|Part of||Spencer Gulf|
|Max. length||about1.1 km (0.68 mi)|
|Average depth||5.5 m (18 ft)|
Location and access
Lipson Cove lies 215 km west-northwest of Adelaide and 63 km northeast of Port Lincoln. The nearest townships are Lipson, inland to the southwest and Port Neill to the north east. It can be accessed from the Lincoln Highway via the Lipson Cove Road. The road is unsealed, but well maintained and always passable for 2-wheel drive vehicles. Basic camping facilities are present behind the dunes near the foreshore.
History and development
Lipson Cove was named in 1840 by Governor George Gawler after Thomas Lipson R.N., who was South Australia's first harbor master and collector of customs.
A privately owned jetty was built there in 1882 and extended in 1905. During its working life, it facilitated trade in wool, wheat and other goods. It was demolished in 1949 and its timbers sold. Some partial jetty piles remain in place.
The cove is renowned for its shore-based fishing and an old talc mine which is located nearby. Coastal features include granite hills and cliffs which extend northwards from Lipson Cove to Port Neill. It is also known for its camping, coastal and marine habitats and is regarded as a safe swimming beach.
The cove is adjacent to the proposed site of Centrex Metals Ltd's Port Spencer iron ore port development, which lies to the north. In 2018, agribusiness Free Eyre expressed interest in purchasing the land and developing a grain export port there instead. The potential environmental impacts of the port proposal have prompted protest from local residents and environmentalists.
Lipson Island Conservation Park
Lipson Island lies 150 metres out from the Lipson Cove beach can be accessed when the tide is low, but care must be taken not to become stranded as the tide rises. The island and surrounding intertidal zone constitute the Lipson Island Conservation Park which was proclaimed in 1967 and which is a designated IUCN Category III "natural monument." The island is an important rookery for roosting sea birds, including colonies of black-faced cormorant, crested tern and little penguin. Sooty oystercatchers have also been recorded on the island and New Zealand fur seals visit and haul out there occasionally.
Species of conservation significance known to inhabit or visit the area include hooded plovers, fairy terns, white-bellied sea eagles, great white sharks, southern right whales and bottlenose dolphins.
Little penguin in burrow on Lipson Island, Spencer Gulf, South Australia
Crested terns at Lipson Cove, Spencer Gulf, South Australia
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