Vivonne Bay, South Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vivonne Bay
Vivonne Bay is located in South Australia
Vivonne Bay
Vivonne Bay
Location in South Australia
Location Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Coordinates 35°58′53″S 137°10′50″E / 35.98139°S 137.18056°E / -35.98139; 137.18056Coordinates: 35°58′53″S 137°10′50″E / 35.98139°S 137.18056°E / -35.98139; 137.18056[1]
Type Bay
Basin countries Australia
Frozen never

The Vivonne Bay is located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 61 kilometres (38 mi) from Kingscote, the island's main town, and was named by the French explorer Nicolas Baudin who visited the bay in January 1803.[2] In a survey of 10,000 beaches by Professor Andrew Short, director of Sydney University's marine studies centre, the beach at Vivonne Bay was adjudged as one of the best in Australia.[3] The Vivonne Bay Conservation Park extends westwards along the coast from the western end of the bay.


Vivonne Bay is characterised by its long, sandy beach and the jetty which is used by cray fishermen for off-loading their catch. The middle portion of the jetty was removed during the Second World War as a deterrent to enemy ships wishing to embark on the Island. Immediately above the jetty is the town of Vivonne, a government proclaimed township of originally sixteen allotments. However, all but four allotments were ultimately resumed by the Crown as reserve.

An estate of 220 allotments was established in 1963 adjoining the Harriet River. In 1979, after investigation of the effects of erosion on the dunal system at Vivonne Bay, every esplanade allotment was compulsorily acquired by the Crown. These allotments now constitute a reserve.

There is a general store located on the South Coast Road, whilst Kangaroo Island SeaLink runs an outdoor education facility a short distance from the bay and Harriet River. A camping ground is located near the Harriet River.[4]

2007 fires[edit]

Serious fires on Kangaroo Island in December 2007 threatened the Harriet River township and came extremely close to the Outdoor Education Facility, with residents forced to evacuate the area as the Country Fire Service determined the area was difficult to defend. While only one house was destroyed, residents in the area were labelled "foolish and reckless" for not adequately clearing vegetation around their homes.[5]

2011 drownings[edit]

Vivonne Bay is recognised as having a significant undertow[6] and at times a sizeable swell, and is therefore suited only to experienced swimmers. In April 2011, two Australian tourists drowned when a large wave swept them out to sea as they posed for a photograph with their backs to the water at Point Ellen at the western end of the bay.[7]


  1. ^ "Vivonne Bay (SA)". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government. 
  2. ^ Rodney Cockburn (1984) [1908]. What's in a name? Nomenclature of South Australia. Fergusson Publications. 
  3. ^ ABC news (26 April 2002). "Vivonne Bay judged Australia's best beach". Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  4. ^ Kangaroo Island Council. "Vivonne Bay". Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  5. ^ Shepherd, Tory (8 December 2007). "Foley slams slack residents". Adelaide Now. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Vivonne Bay". Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  7. ^ "Drowning victims confirmed as Melbourne tourists". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 January 2014.