Coffin Bay

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Coffin Bay
South Australia
Coffin Bay Channel South Australia.JPG
View down Coffin Bay Channel
Coffin Bay is located in South Australia
Coffin Bay
Coffin Bay
Coordinates 34°37′S 135°28′E / 34.617°S 135.467°E / -34.617; 135.467Coordinates: 34°37′S 135°28′E / 34.617°S 135.467°E / -34.617; 135.467
Population 584 (2006 census)[1]
Established 1830s
Postcode(s) 5607
Location 46 km (29 mi) from Port Lincoln
LGA(s) District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula
State electorate(s) Flinders
Federal Division(s) Grey

Coffin Bay (34°37′S 135°28′E / 34.617°S 135.467°E / -34.617; 135.467[2]), originally Coffin's Bay,[3] is a town at the southern extremity of the Eyre Peninsula, a wheat growing area of South Australia. At the 2006 census, Coffin Bay had a population of 584.[1]

The town is situated on the western side of the southern tip of Eyre Peninsula about 46 km from Port Lincoln. The population swells during holiday seasons to more than 2,000 people due to its proximity to the Coffin Bay National Park.

It is a popular location for boating, sailing, swimming, water-skiing, skindiving and wind-surfing, as well as fishing (rock, surf, angling and boat).

Oyster farming is conducted in the quiet waters of Coffin Bay.

Coffin Bay is in the District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula local government area, the state electoral district of Flinders and the federal Division of Grey.


The Parnkalla people occupied the area prior to European settlement in the 1830s.

British naval explorer Matthew Flinders named the bay on 16 February 1802 in honour of his friend Sir Isaac Coffin, who was Resident Naval Commissioner at Sheerness, where the Investigator was fitted out.[4] The same year, French explorer Nicolas Baudin provided the alternative French name of Baie Delambre.[5]

The bay remained uncharted until explored in March 1839 by Captain Frederick R. Lees (d.1839) in command of the brig Nereus. Lees' thorough charts became a standard reference for mariners through until the electronic era.[6]

In 1966, Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited established a private railway between Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln to convey lime sands.[7] It was closed in 1989, with the track removed in 2001.

The historic former Coffin Bay Whaling Site at Point Sir Isaac lies within the locality and is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Coffin Bay (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Coffin Bay". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government. 
  3. ^ "The Situation of the New Colony". The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838). NSW: National Library of Australia. 11 April 1832. p. 4 Edition: Afternoon. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Place names of South Australia". The Manning Index of South Australian History. State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  5. ^ Property Location Browser V2 Government of South Australia, Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  6. ^ Lees, Frederick : Sailing directions for South Australia (Sydney, 1839). Mitchell Library, NSW, Call No DSM/656/L.
  7. ^ Buckland, J. L. "A Standard Gauge Industrial Railway in Mothballs" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, August 1977
  8. ^ "Former Coffin Bay Whaling Site (designated place of archaeological significance) Coffin Bay National Park". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 

External links[edit]