Fowlers Bay - SA



DEG: -31.98963 132.436874
DMS: 31º 59' 22.67" S 132º 26' 12.75" E
UTM: 53 J 6457843mN 257836mE
Altitude: 4.28m


Address & Contact

First St
Fowlers Bay SA 5690
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


Prior to the arrival of European settlers the area was occupied by the Wirangu and Mirning Aboriginal people.

Fowlers Bay, formerly Yalata, is a town and locality in the Australian state of South Australia located about 658 kilometres (409 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 2016 census, the localities of Fowlers Bay and Coorabie shared a population of 51.

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). Fowlers Bay was named on 28 January 1802 by Matthew Flinders after his first lieutenant, Robert Fowler.
Matthew Flinders 1802.

In 1802, Captain Matthew Flinders commanding his sloop the “Investigator” charted the Southern Coast of Australia, naming coastal features. He attested to the accuracy of the charting which the Dutch had done and believed that he had rediscovered the group of islands at the eastern extremity of Thijssen’s chart. He identified IS Francois and IS Pieter and called them St Peter and St Francis Islands and named the total group of small islands Nuyts Archipelago. On 28th January, 1802 he anchored in waters, which he named Fowlers Bay, after his first Lieutenant, Robert Fowler, who later became Admiral Fowler. The land party found neither water nor fire wood but Flinders noted that the bay would provide useful shelter to ships.

Eyre’s Landing 1840 – 1841

Edward John Eyre set up a base camp at Fowlers Bay on 17th November 1840 and made several forays westward in preparation for his epic journey of exploration to King Georges Sound (Albany) Western Australia, departing finally on 25th February 1841. During his time at Fowlers Bay Eyre received supplies at Eyre’s Landing, via the cutters “Waterwitch” and “Hero”. In his journals, he describes a scene of whaling carnage, evident by the vast quantity of the bones and carcases of animals washed up on the shores of the bay, which he suggests were taken by an American whaling ship (the “Martha”), which he had recently seen in Port Lincoln

In the 1860s, the first pastoral leases were established by William Swan and Robert Barr Smith, forming Yalata station, a farming property whose boundaries extended from the Head of the Bight in the west to Streaky Bay in the east.
The town was surveyed in March 1890 and proclaimed as the Town of Yalata on 10 July 1890. Its name was changed to Fowler's Bay on 19 September 1940 to agree with the bay and to prevent dual naming. The town is on Port Eyre at the western end of the larger Fowlers Bay. Yalata now refers to a nearby township.

Today Fowlers Bay is located in the Pastoral 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 fishing facilities, 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. Southern right whales have recolonised into the area in recent years, with the bay providing a small but ideal sanctuary. Bottlenose dolphins and Australian sea lions may also be found.

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.

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Closest Weather Station

Thevenard at 30/04:00pm CST
Distance from Fowlers Bay 114.81km E
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Ceduna Amo
Distance from Fowlers Bay 119.74km E
Mean Max. °C28.628.226.724.220.818.217.418.721.423.826.027.3
Mean Min. °C15.
Mean Rain mm11.513.716.419.432.335.339.834.527.725.319.420.7

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