Venus Bay, South Australia facts for kids

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Venus Bay
South Australia
12 Venus Bay 24.JPG
The entrance to Venus Bay
Population: 139
Established: 1864
Postcode: 5607
Elevation: 1 m (3 ft)
Location: 665 km (413 mi) North West of Adelaide
LGA: District Council of Elliston
State District: Flinders
Federal Division: Grey

Venus Bay (formerly Parkin) is a small tourist and fishing town sited on the bay of the same name, on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The town population numbers in the twenties during most of the year, but its numbers greatly increase during the summer holidays. At the 2006 census, Venus Bay had a population of 139. The town also serves the professional fishermen who fish the Southern Ocean.

History

Venus Bay, as with most of the coast of the Eyre Peninsula was first recorded by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1802, during his attempt to map the coast of southern Australia, although he did not land, did not name it, and had no idea of its extent. The first Europeans to explore the bay were the party which landed from the brig Nerus in March 1839, comprising Captain F.R. Lees, David McLaren, and Samuel Stephens, the latter two being the current and former Colonial Managers of the South Australian Company, who were examining the West Coast for potential special surveys, but they also did not name it. Sheep pastoralists soon followed, and in 1850, in order to load wool, the bay was first entered by a vessel, Robert Venn's schooner Venus, 60 tons, from which the bay took its name. The Venus continued to trade along the coast, carrying wool, wheat, and passengers, until she was sold to NSW in 1952, where she was wrecked at Cronulla on 22 July.

The town was established after a whaling station was built in the 1850s, and for twenty years it existed as no more than a shop, hotel and police station. In 1855 there were eleven Aboriginal mounted constables of the Native Police Force stationed at Venus Bay under Sergeant Eyre. The focus of the town soon turned from wool and pastoralism to agriculture as the area was opened for cereal cropping in the 1870s. The town was surveyed in August 1864 and was subsequently given the name "Parkin" (also spelt as Parkyn in one source) in honour of William Parkin, who was notable as a businessman, politician and philanthropist. The name of the town was officially changed to "Venus Bay" in July 1940.

The township was abandoned by 1900, but was revitalised in the 1920s when it became the base for a commercial fishing operation. This led to a school being established in 1939 which, however, closed in 1955.


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