Supporting ecotourism on Whyalla's northern coastline

The Northern Coastline of Whyalla includes the Heritage listed Fitzgerald Bay Stranded Shingle Ridge, deposited by high sea levels during the Holocene during the Quaternary period (approximately 11,700 years before present).The shingles are in largely undisturbed condition and are extremely rare, with only two other comparable examples known in the world (along the southern Red Sea coast in Egypt and at Munlochy in north-eastern Scotland).

This section of coastline is also home to the Giant Australian Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) that congregate by the thousands between May and August each year to spawn. These amazing 'chameleons of the sea' are one of the largest species of cuttlefish found in the world; and can reach up to 60cm in length and can weigh up to five kilograms. This natural event has become a worldwide marvel, with increasing numbers of scientists, naturalists and recreational divers visiting the area each year.

The nearby Sanctuary Zone in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park.

The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board has worked productively with Whyalla City Council and other partners to build infrastructure at the main Giant Australian Cuttlefish dive site. The infrastructure assists visitors to interact with the cuttlefish and the surrounding environment in such a way that limits environmental degradation of the area.

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Background

The Whyalla City Council in partnership with Regional Development Australia Whyalla & Eyre Peninsula (RDA WEP) have completed a Master Plan for the Northern Coastline of Whyalla (i.e. Coastline surrounding Point Lowly).

The Master Plan aims to generate sustainable economic development through increased tourism visitation, whilst safeguarding the existing environmental assets. Tourism on this coastline is largely reliant on nature and heritage and the master plan proposes to develop the following features:

  • Cuttlefish diving infrastructure and camp area
  • Accommodation and café facilities at Point Lowly Lighthouse
  • Camping and recreational vehicle area at Fitzgerald Bay
  • Upgraded walking and cycling trail between Fitzgerald Bay, Point Lowly and Black Point.

More information