Our region offers you a huge choice of coastline for your favourite outdoor activities, or try something new; scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing or ski-ing, fish for the delicious King George Whiting, explore our outback, or come on a Nullarbor adventure.
Our diverse scenic beauty varies from outback wilderness, to untouched coastline, to the castaway islands of St Peter and St Francis, making it a tourist destination with its own natural charm, having everything you need for a leisurely holiday, without the hustle and bustle of ... anything.
Visitors can stroll along clean white sandy beaches, go surfing, swimming, boating, sailing, windsurfing, water ski-ing, look for shells or simply explore tidal rock pools and spectacular coastal places to explore. Just a short distance from our fabulous beaches are dry salt lakes, natural mallee scrubs, wonderful wildflowers and granite outcrops.
Information on the District Council of Ceduna and Council services can be obtained from www.ceduna.net.
It is popularly believed that Ceduna is a contraction of the Aboriginal word Cheedoona, which means a place to sit down and rest.
The large agricultural community surrounding Ceduna supports and depends on the town for its facilities and services. The small township of Thevenard extends out on the peninsula south of Ceduna and is a deep-sea port. Huge white silos there, visible for many miles, are a sign of grain growing in the area and bulk handling of grain, gypsum and salt takes place. Across the water you glimpse Denial Bay, home of the oyster industry. Travel further west to Penong and see the salt and gypsum works. Mineral exploration in the Gawler Craton - the heart of which is just north of Ceduna - is becoming more and more likely. Mining could be a governing factor in the increase of employment and population in this area.
Thevenard is the home-port to a fleet of professional fishing vessels, and fish processors market catches of whiting, lobster, prawns, shark, garfish, squid, snapper, abalone and locally farmed oysters.
Sandwiched between the Southern Ocean and the Great Victorian Desert, this district first appeared on maps from 1627. Discovery was made by the Dutch whose sailing vessels frequently crossed the Indian Ocean in search of trade. One, the Gulden Seepaart (Golden Seahorse), was separated from a convoy on the way to Djakarta. The captain, Francois Thyssen, recorded the coastline of "Nuyts Land" and the eastern extremity of the voyage recorded St Peter and St Francis Islands. Thyssen had on board a "distinguished passenger ", a Company official from the Dutch East Indies Co., Pieter Nuyts, and these islands were named after these two men, Thyssen and Nuyts.
Comments were not favourable apparently, as nobody came from Holland to find out more. Enthusiastic however, was Company employee Jean Pierre Purry who, in 1717, put forward a colonising scheme, which was rejected by the Company. Part of his proposal explored the possibility that there may have been giants in the Land of Nuyts, "not only in stature, but in intelligence and knowledge, living in fortified towns with machines of war more terrifying than our bombs and cannons..."
He published his proposals in a small booklet in 1718, and it was soon after this that brilliant British satirist, Jonathon Swift began work on his celebrated Gulliver's Travels. He was aware of Purry's theories and wrote that Lemuel Gulliver, driven by a storm to the north west of Van Diemen's Land was shipwrecked in the vicinity of 30 degrees south latitude. Swift's islands called Lilliput and Blefuscu, could have matched St Francis and St Peter Islands. Swift substituted Purry's giants for the tiny Lilliputians armed with bows and arrows, as the inhabitants.
The monument at Thevenard jetty was donated by the Dutch people of South Australia and unveiled in February 1986 to commemorate Thyssen's voyage in 1627.
Matthew Flinders on his voyage in the Investigator, anchored in Fowlers Bay on 28 January 1802. He went on to explore the coast and name Denial Bay and Smoky Bay, the islands of Nuyts Archipelago, and prominent features such as Point Bell and Point Brown. He was disappointed to find no river and gave the name of Denial Bay because they did not find fresh water.
Flinders left the Far West area early in February 1802 and met the French expedition led by Nicolas Baudin at Encounter Bay. Later Baudin discovered "a broad bay, that stretches north east by north" and called it Murat Bay after Joachim Murat who lived from 1767-1815. French names that have been kept include Cape Thevenard named after the Admiral and Minister of Marine, Jean Marie Thevenard, Decres Bay named after Denis Decres, French Admiral and Cape Vivonne was named after Duc de Vivonne, French naval officer. From their anchorage in Tourville Bay, Baudin sent two boats out to look around and noted what is now called Davenport Creek which gave them a "moment of joy and satisfaction" but it proved not to be the great inland river they wanted to find.
The interior of this district was not explored until Edward John Eyre came in November 1840, travelling through to Fowler's Bay and further west. Eyre's writings did nothing to create a favourable impression of the Far West Coast. He reported on "dense scrubby country", "steep sandy ridges", and country that "looked very cheerless in every direction."
By 1841, the coastline was well known and from 1889, the Government in Adelaide formalised the Far West with survey lines. The Counties of Way, Kintore and Hopetoun and their Hundreds replaced the pastoral leases owned by Smith and Swan. The Commissioner of Crown Lands, faced with widespread agitation to open West Coast lands for agricultural settlement, invited three farmers in July 1887, to inspect the land between Streaky Bay and the Western Australian border. The men chosen were William Earle, Peter Anderson and George Mayers. They were optimistic about the area and recommended that the necessary surveys start at once. Locally, there is still the original copy, handwritten in pencil of George Mayer's diary of this trip.
In June 1901, the town of Ceduna was proclaimed. For many years, locals called the township Murat Bay, and it wasn't until the railways came and called the siding Ceduna in 1915, that locals adopted the name. Ceduna's jetty was built in 1902.
The line from Pt Lincoln to Thevenard was opened on 8 February 1915. Regular monthly stock markets were held at the yards near the railway siding of Ceduna. In the early years a line came from the Ceduna Jetty and ran along the seafront, joining up near the Sailing Club, to the Thevenard line. See the Tourist Board at the site of the former siding, opposite the Sailing Club.
The Tod Water pipeline was officially opened by Mr M McIntosh, Commissioner of Public Works, June 1928. In 1997 the Tod River pipeline was finally extended west of Ceduna, to service Koonibba township and farms almost all the way to Penong.