Smoky Bay is a popular seaside town offering a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. With good fishing from the jetty or in a boat, and safe sandy beaches, Smoky Bay is ideal for a holiday. Oyster farms here produce fantastic top quality Pacific oysters.
Smoky Bay is situated 22 kms south of Laura Bay, along the Flinders Highway.
To get there, you can travel along the bitumen road, taking the alternate route past the airport, towards Pt Lincoln. Or if you want to explore the coast, from the signpost roundabout in Ceduna, drive towards Thevenard for 0.8km. Turn left over railway line, turn right and left at signposted Decres Bay Rd. Keep following road past TAFE. Veering right, the road leads to Shelly Beach, veering left and 1.7km on, the road passes the Ceduna Race Club. Another few kms along the dirt road you come to Decres Bay and then Laura Bay. Follow signposts back to the bitumen and to Smoky Bay.
Why not add another 43 km to your holiday and allow a night or two to visit this lovely spot.
Today a thriving town exists, supported by a popular caravan park, general store, community club, golf course and wonderful beaches with great fishing. Spend a night or two there and see for yourself. The general store, open 7 days, has a large supply of groceries, take-aways, fresh oysters, and fishing tackle as well as liquor. There is a large beachside caravan park with cabins, and holiday flats are also available. The bay offers a wide range of activities and excellent fishing with whiting, snook, snapper, garfish and salmon. There is a shark proof swimming enclosure, also a coin operated electric barbecue, nine hole golf course, oval and clubrooms and tennis courts.
Smoky Bay is one of the main indentations of the Great Australian Bight and Eyre Island town and acts as a buffer from the big seas of the Southern Ocean. A beautiful sandy, shelly beach extends from the jetty, a gentle curve in a northerly direction for 3 or 4 kms, before encountering rocks. The Point offers spectacular coastal scenery, with huge swells from the Southern Ocean crashing on rocks in a flurry of foam. It is important to keep well above high water mark as large swells sometimes rise up a metre or two.
In 1802, Captain Matthew Flinders mapped the area from Fowlers Bay and because of "the number of smokes rising from the shores of this wide open space" named Smoky Bay.
A whaling camp was south of Smoky Bay, just north of Pt Collinson. In recent years, a dry stone wall connected with a blubber processing site, was uncovered by erosion. Pieces of whale bone and three one-hundred gallon cooking pots were recovered there.
The jetty was built in 1912. Today the port is not used commercially, but the jetty is a focal point for tourists and locals. On the right, 1.5 km from the township, are three historical buildings, originally part of the vital telegraph link from Pt Augusta to Eucla. The buildings were erected in 1911 and comprised a Postmaster's residence, Repeating Station and Post Office, and quarters for single telegraph operators. Later, the Post Office was relocated to the town. In 1905, the town of Smoky Bay consisted of an open shed about fifty feet long and a small tin shanty kept by an Afghan. The town site, jetty and Harbours Board reserve were first surveyed in late 1913. The area was already settled and consisted of a school, hall and Post Office. Soon after there was the jetty, a large galvanised iron goods shed, a railway line extending to the far end of the jetty and five holiday cottages. The present hall was erected in 1967. The town's official name was Wallanippie, but was always known locally as Smoky Bay and, in 1940, the town was officially proclaimed as Smoky Bay and has a population of around 200.
Another area of interest to the tourist and fisherman is Point Brown.
Five kms south of Smoky Bay, a signpost indicates the road to Point Brown. Nearby, Point Collinson is the site of an early whaling station, with only a low stonewall left today as a reminder. Rock fishing, picnics, cliff top views and swimming are just some of the activities that you will enjoy at Point Brown. No facilities there and check road conditions locally before you go.
The Point Brown peninsula is an area of 95 sq km and was leased in 1861-62 by Captain Henry Cowell Hawson, an explorer from near Port Lincoln. There was an outstation homestead built there, but it is now demolished. Droughts forced Hawson and many others to sell their leases to Smith and Swan, who owned the Fowlers Bay Run.