Location off the coast of New South Wales
Jervis Bay from orbit
|Location||Jervis Bay Territory; New South Wales|
|Primary outflows||Tasman Sea|
A 70 square kilometre area of land around the southern headland of the bay is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia known as the Jervis Bay Territory. The Australian Navy base, HMAS Creswell, is located in the Jervis Bay Territory between Jervis Bay Village and Greenpatch Point.
Jervis Bay is drowned river valley and formed 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age. The bay took on its present appearance around 4000BCE after the sea levels had risen 120 metres (390 ft), and as sand dune barriers created the southern peninsula. Much of the rock in Jervis Bay is part of the Sydney Basin sandstone formation, which is 280-225 million years old, although lower areas are overlain with Tertiary-era sediments.
In the Jervis Bay Territory on the southern side of the bay are the settlements of Greenpatch, Hyams Beach, and Bowen Island. From north to south on the New South Wales shore of the bay are Callala Beach, Callala Bay, Huskisson and Vincentia. Beecroft Peninsula, on the northern side of the bay, has been used as a bombing range by the Australian Navy. Point Perpendicular forms the southern end of the peninsula.
In August 1791 Lieutenant Richard Bowen, aboard the convict transport ship Atlantic, part of the Third Fleet, sailed into the bay and named it in honour of Admiral John Jervis, under whom he had served. In November 1791 Master Matthew Weatherhead entered the bay aboard the Matilda, which had also been part of the Third Fleet, in order to undertake repairs to the ship.
The land now comprising the Jervis Bay Territory was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 to provide a seaport for the new Federal capital under construction at Canberra, which would be Australia’s only inland capital.
In the late 1960s, Australia's first nuclear power plant was proposed for the area, and a site was prepared. However, the project did not proceed.
Some 158 square kilometres (61 sq mi) of the land on both sides of the bay have been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because the coastal heathland supports the largest sub-population of the endangered Eastern Bristlebird, isolated from other sub-populations. The Jervis Bay natural environment is protected in the Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay National Park and the Jervis Bay Marine Park.
Jervis Bay has been recorded as having the whitest sand in the world.
Jervis Bay is a well-known recreational fishing and scuba diving destination, with tour operators departing from Huskisson and amateurs using boat ramps at bayside towns and camp sites. Popular diving sites include The Labyrinths, Gorgonian Wall, Point Perpendicular, a submerged Fairey Firefly aeroplane, scallop beds, Middle Ground, Ten Fathom Reef, and Bowen Island.
Jervis Bay is also known for whale watching, because whale migration, both north and south, can be observed as the animals pass the entrance to the bay, frequently entering the sheltered waters to rest. The majority of whales sighted at Jervis Bay are Humpbacks, which migrate along Australia's east coast from June to November. Southern Right Whales are also showing a slow but steady increase in recent years as they re-colonize former habitats, having been extensively hunted in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other species sighted have been False Killer Whales, Orcas, Minke whales and, on one occasion, a Blue Whale.
Tourism in Jervis Bay is one of the most important avenues of income for many of the local residents, with many businesses orienting themselves towards it. The Jervis Bay Visitors Information Centre is at Huskisson, and is part of the Lady Denman Maritime Museum and Gallery. Local Council-managed Visitor Information Centres are located at Nowra and Ulladulla.
- Australian Capital Territory
- Beecroft Peninsula
- Booderee National Park
- HMS Jervis Bay
- Jervis Bay National Park
- Jervis Bay Territory
- "Jervis Bay (NSW)". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government.
- Macquarie Dictionary (Fourth ed.). Melbourne: The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. 2005. ISBN 1-876429-14-3.
- Australian Broadcasting Commission, Standing Committee on Spoken English; Mitchell, A. G; Australian Broadcasting Commission (1957), A guide to the pronunciation of Australian place names, Angus and Robertson, p. 61, retrieved 17 June 2013
- The Jervis Bay Region 1788 to 1939 an Emptied Landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. 2007. p. 1. ISBN 0-958644-7-3X.
- Jervis Bay Landscape and Geology, NSW National Parks and Wildlife.
- Geology and Geomorphology, Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.
- Bryant et al, The impact of tsunami on the coastline of Jervis Bay, Southeastern Australia, Physical Geography 18 p.440 (1997)
- The Jervis Bay Region 1788 to 1939 an Emptied Landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. 2007. p. 53.
- Reed, A. W (1973). Place Names of Australia. Reed Books.
- The Jervis Bay Region 1788 to 1939 an Emptied Landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. 2007. p. 4.
- The Jervis Bay Region 1788 to 1939 an Emptied Landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. 2007. p. 5.
- The Jervis Bay Region 1788 to 1939 an Emptied Landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. 2007. p. 6.
- Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 (Cth)
- "Seat of Government Surrender Act (NSW) Act 9 of 1915". This document, assented to by the Governor-General in 1915, provided for the transfer of 28 square miles of land at Jervis Bay to the Commonwealth, in addition to the areas surrendered under the Seat of Government Acceptance Act 1909 and the Seat of Government Surrender Act 1909. Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Map Showing Jervis Bay and the Most Suitable Area for Commonwealth Purposes". Documenting a Democracy. Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "IBA: Jervis Bay". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "Gazing onto the world's whitest sands". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "Jervis Bay". VisitNSW.com. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Lady Denman Heritage Complex". Lady Denman Heritage Complex. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Scuba Divers Guide to Jervis Bay, Tom Byron
- Barker, A. 1996. What Happened When. Allen and Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-986-6