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Denial Bay
South Australia
Population 501 (shared with other localities in the "State Suburb of Denial Bay") (2011 census)
Established 1889
Postcode(s) 5690
Elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Time zone ACST (UTC+9:30)
 • Summer (DST) ACST (UTC+10:30)
  • 562 km (349 mi) North West of Adelaide city centre
  • 10 km (6 mi) West of Ceduna
LGA(s) District Council of Ceduna
State electorate(s) Flinders
Federal Division(s) Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.5 °C
74 °F
10.4 °C
51 °F
294.8 mm
11.6 in
Localities around Denial Bay:
Ceduna Ceduna Ceduna
Nadia Denial Bay Murat Bay (water body)
Tourville Bay (water body) Denial Bay (water body) Denial Bay (water body)
Footnotes Location
Adjoining localities

Denial Bay (formerly McKenzie) is a small fishing and tourist village in the west of South Australia that lies on the western side of Murat Bay about 562 kilometres (349 mi) from the Adelaide city centre and about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from Ceduna. The town has extensive European history, first built on in 1889, and now hosts a large expanse of oyster farms, one of the largest on the Eyre Peninsula.


The bay which the town is named after initially mapped by Matthew Flinders in 1802, as part of a wider attempt to map South Australia's coastline. Flinders named the inlet "Denial Bay" because of "the deceptive hope we had formed of penetrating by it some distance into the interior of the country".

The first European exploration of the hinterland was in August 1839 by John Hill and Samuel Stephens, using the chartered brig Rapid as a base.

The town was established by William McKenzie in 1889 as the first settlement in what was to become the Ceduna area. McKenzie nearly single handedly set up the town, clearing mallee scrub by axe, building a general store and becoming the local harbour master, postman, blacksmith, butcher, saddler and Justice of the Peace, employing up to 30 people at any one time.

The town established primarily as a loading and offloading point for the various inland farming activities, and this was done using a unique system based on the rocky floor of the bay's seabed.

A large wooden platform known as 'McKenzie's Landing' was constructed and at high tide, boats would unload goods onto the platform and at low tides horse and cart would be used to collect the items. The same would be done to load boats.

The town was surveyed during December 1909 and proclaimed under the name McKenzie on 16 June 1910 presumably after William McKenzie. The town was officially renamed as Denial Bay on 19 September 1940.

During this peak of activity, a school opened in 1897 and continued operation until 1945. In 1909, a jetty was constructed south of McKenzie's Landing after a 1905 proposal, and still stands today.

Another piece of history at Denial Bay is the famous dog fence which runs down to the water near McKenzie's Landing.

The town has long since ceased functioning as a port, and today relies on the aquaculture industry, as well as tourism.


Denial Bay is a very small town, and as such has very limited facilities. The town does have a small general store that sells petrol and groceries, with a public payphone located nearby. A full range of shopping and business services is located in Ceduna only 12 kilometres away by sealed road.

The town has very little in the way of accommodation, sporting grounds, eateries or other services.

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