Fowlers Bay, South Australia

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Fowlers Bay
South Australia
Fowlers-Bay-town.JPG
Town of Fowlers Bay
Fowlers Bay is located in South Australia
Fowlers Bay
Fowlers Bay
Coordinates 31°59′S 132°26′E / 31.983°S 132.433°E / -31.983; 132.433Coordinates: 31°59′S 132°26′E / 31.983°S 132.433°E / -31.983; 132.433
Population 125 (2006)[1]
Established 1890
Postcode(s) 5690
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)[2]
Location
LGA(s) Outback Areas Community Development Trust
State electorate(s) Flinders
Federal Division(s) Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
21.5 °C
71 °F
12.3 °C
54 °F
300.2 mm
11.8 in

Fowlers Bay, formerly Yalata, is a small coastal town in South Australia, approximately 912 kilometres (567 mi) north-west of the state capital, Adelaide. Situated on the Nullarbor Plain, it was once an active port and a gateway to the western reaches of the continent, but fell into decline in the 1960s. At the 2006 census, Fowlers Bay and the surrounding area had a population of 125.[1]

History[edit]

The coastline around Fowlers Bay was first mapped in 1627 by François Thijssen, a Dutch sea captain. His ship was the Golden Seahorse (Gulden Zeepard).[3] Fowlers Bay was named on 28 January 1802 by Matthew Flinders after his first lieutenant, Robert Fowler.[4]

Edward John Eyre set up base camp here in 1840 during his epic journeys across the Nullarbor Plain. By this time the area was well-known to American and French whaling ships; Eyre documents seeing whalers in the area.[5]

In the 1860s, the first pastoral leases were established by William Swan and Robert Barr Smith, forming Yalata station, a massive farming property, whose boundaries encompassed from the Head of the Great Australian Bight to Streaky Bay.[3]

The region was surveyed in March 1890 and proclaimed a town (under the name Yalata) in the Government Gazette in 1890, with the name changed to Fowler's Bay in 1940. Yalata now refers to a nearby township.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Fowlers Bay, South Australia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.0
(113)
43.3
(109.9)
42.8
(109)
40.0
(104)
33.3
(91.9)
28.3
(82.9)
27.2
(81)
30.6
(87.1)
38.9
(102)
43.3
(109.9)
44.4
(111.9)
45.0
(113)
45.0
(113)
Average high °C (°F) 25.1
(77.2)
24.1
(75.4)
24.2
(75.6)
22.5
(72.5)
20.3
(68.5)
17.8
(64)
17.0
(62.6)
18.2
(64.8)
20.3
(68.5)
21.8
(71.2)
23.2
(73.8)
24.0
(75.2)
21.5
(70.7)
Average low °C (°F) 17.1
(62.8)
17.0
(62.6)
16.0
(60.8)
13.4
(56.1)
10.3
(50.5)
8.1
(46.6)
6.9
(44.4)
7.6
(45.7)
9.6
(49.3)
11.8
(53.2)
13.9
(57)
15.7
(60.3)
12.3
(54.1)
Record low °C (°F) 7.2
(45)
2.8
(37)
5.0
(41)
3.9
(39)
−1.1
(30)
−2.2
(28)
−1.1
(30)
−0.6
(30.9)
1.7
(35.1)
0.0
(32)
3.9
(39)
3.0
(37.4)
−2.2
(28)
Precipitation mm (inches) 8.4
(0.331)
12.3
(0.484)
13.7
(0.539)
21.6
(0.85)
42.0
(1.654)
51.7
(2.035)
43.5
(1.713)
36.1
(1.421)
21.8
(0.858)
20.9
(0.823)
16.5
(0.65)
12.0
(0.472)
300.2
(11.819)
Avg. precipitation days 2.4 2.4 3.6 5.9 9.9 11.5 11.9 10.4 7.1 6.0 4.4 3.3 78.8
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [6]

In the 2000s[edit]

Today Fowlers Bay is located in the unincorporated area of South Australia (only 15% of the state is under Local Government). The town does not receive reticulated power or water. It is currently a popular overnight destination between Nundroo and Penong, and its good fishing facilities, attractive beaches and surrounding historical ruins gives the town some interest for tourists and sightseers. There are no sealed roads to Fowlers Bay and visitors should seek advice before driving across the saltwater bog behind the town.

Visually the town is dominated by a large sand dune that protects the town from the Southern Ocean. Elusive Southern Right Whales have recolonized into the areas in recent years, and the bay is now a smaller but ideal sanctuary for these majestic giants. Friendly Bottlenose Dolphins and curious Australian Sea Lions are yearly residents.

The ruins of the homestead of the Yalata station can be found several kilometres from the town. There is a small cemetery on the outskirts of the town.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]