Bay is located 32 kilometres southeast of Nundroo and 58 km southwest
Rugged Coastline East of Fowlers Bay
European discovery of
the Fowler's Bay coastline was made in 1627 by Captain Francois
Thyssen, the Dutch commander of the Gulden Zeepard. In 1802 Matthew
Flinders made detailed nautical charts of the area in the sloop
HMS Investigator. Flinders named the Fowler's Bay in honour of
his First Lieutenant, Robert Fowler. By the 1840s Fowler's Bay
had become well known to French and American whaling ships. The
summer of 1840-41 saw Edward John Eyre set up a depot in the Fowler's
Bay sandhills. This was very much a prelude to Eyre's epic crossing
of the Australian continent. At the time Eyre's journal recorded
that two American whalers had recently been active in the area,
and according to Eyre the whaling ship Amazon had slain 33 Right
Whales and 8 Humpback whales.
In the 1860s and 70s pastoral
leases were granted in the Fowler's Bay area. Gradually these
individual leases were consolidated into the vast Barr Smith sheep
run - a sheep run that extended from the Nullarbor to Point Brown,
near Streaky Bay. For a time wool was the chief export from Port
Fowler. Later developments included Fowler's Bay being employed
as a major repeater station for the Transcontinental Telegraph
Line linking Eastern and Western Australia.
In the late 1880s the
Barr Smith pastoral leases reverted to the state government and
the area was opened up to wheat and cereal growing. Today Fowler's
Bay sits on the western edge of South Australia's vast grain belt.
Fowlers Bay'a early social history was very colourful indeed -
with many observers likening it to America's Wild West.
In the 1880s heavy drinking
was rife in this frontier community and a diary recorded by Mrs.
Richards reports her dread when the supply ship "Graceland" pulled
into port bearing a cargo of bottled beer. Apparently the beer
was unloaded at 9 AM one morning in May 1881, and "there was much
drinking that day as all the men went on a spree." Mrs. Richards
was hardly a wowser however, and on another occasion, her diary
reserved a special mention for Trooper Le Messurier "who went
to bed delightfully drunk, was sick all over the clean bed, and
that was not all!" Mrs. Richards was reportedly never more disgusted
in her whole life and Nullarbor Net urges its readers to avoid
any such distasteful embarrasments!
Other notorious characters
from the time included R.T. Maurice who was renowned for shooting
bottles lined up on the window sill of the Globe Hotel. As a variation
on the shooting theme Maurice would occasionally make targets
of coins that had been stuck to the ceiling of the bar. Perhaps
fittingly - and certainly not surprisingly - R.T. Maurice passed
away in the bar of his much beloved Globe Hotel.
Fowler's Bay Facilities
are fairly basic in Fowler's Bay.
Get your fishing tackle here
Fowlers Bay Caravan Park and Kiosk are
conveniently located by the seaside. This caravan park offers the visitor
25 powered sites and 1 on site van with a built-on annexe.
Camping fees for the powered sites are $25 for up to 2 people, with rates of $5 per
One on site van can also be hired for $40 per night for 2 people, with each extra
person charged $5 per night. For those of you on a fishing expedition or an extended
holiday just pay for 6 nights and you can stay the 7th night for free.
Please note the above caravan park accommodation rates are valid as at 9 June 2011.
Please feel free to to contact either Rod or Simone Keogh at the Fowlers Bay Caravan Park
and Kiosk in order to arrange accommodation bookings. Rod and Simone's contact telephone
number is (08) 8625 6143.
Nullarbor Net also wishes to advise that Rod
and Simone Keogh are the new owners of Fowlers Bay Caravan Park, and that they can provide
you with mud maps to local hot fishing spots within the area. One new attraction are the
Whale Watching Charters that are also conducted in the area between June
and October. Bookings for the whale charters can be made at the Fowlers Bay Kiosk.
Please note prices for the Whale charters are $50 per person as at
9 June 2011.
Adjoining the caravan
park is a public phone, playground, undercover picnic facilities
and public toilets.
Fowlers Bay Holiday Flats and Units are also located on the foreshore.
Accommodation rates range from $65 per to $75 per night for 7
self contained holiday units. For further information telephone
Reg or Lorrayne Davis on (08) 8625 6179. From an amenities point
of view Fowler's Bay kiosk sells fishing bait, gas, ice, phone
cards, camera film and a range of groceries. Diesel fuel is also
sold within Fowler's Bay however the nearest petrol outlet is
at Nundroo - 32 kilometres away to the Northwest.
Fowler's Bay is situated
just a couple of hours drive from the Head of Bight. During the
whale watching season from May to October Fowler's Bay may well
provide an excellent overnight stop before or after viewing the
Southern Right Whales.
Lots of sand, Lots of Water and Plenty of Fish
Fowler's Bay is also blessed with an abundance of good fishing.
Here a good time can be had catching Mulloway, Whiting, Garfish,
Tommy Ruff, Trevally, Sweep and so on - in fact just about anything
except your pet goldfish. For the casual fisherman Fowler's Bay
jetty is just a short walk from the caravan Park. Nearby Scott's
Beach and "Mexican Hat" are very popular for surf fishing. You
will need your vehicle to visit these areas. For those of you
with a boat in tow fishing opportunities are nothing short of
excellent. Should you intend to fish from a boat it is recommended
you seek local advice as weather conditions in this part of the
world can be very changeable. Basically southern winds and westerly
squalls are matters to be concerned about.
Can you spot the Osprey's Nest?
Mexican Hat Through A Zoom Lens
Within the Fowler's Bay
area there are a number of potentially interesting tracks for
the sightseer. Sights within the area include beaches, sand dunes
and historical ruins that can be accessed by both 4 wheel drive
and conventional vehicles.
Fowler's Bay is very much
an isolated settlement but it does have some attractions for the
long distance Nullarbor Traveller. If you like being off the beaten
track then Fowler's Bay may well be to your liking. Nullarbor Net recommends Fowlers
Bay as a great fishing destination and place
to unwind from the daily pressures of life in the big city.
A Very Isolated Laundromat