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Port Rickaby approaches
Title : Port Rickaby approaches Port Rickaby approaches
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Creator : Goalen, N
Source : South Australia. Spencer Gulf - Port Rickaby [cartographic material]
Place Of Creation : [Adelaide
Publisher : Surveyor General's Office
Date of creation : 1877-1890]
Additional Creator : Howard, F Crawford, Frazer S. (Frazer Smith), d. 1890
Format : Map
Dimensions : 650 x 555 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Chart of the approach to Port Rickaby, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, showing soundings.

Port Rickaby began as a landing place in June 1876 and a year later a petition was submitted to the Government for the erection of a jetty. The port 'was the natural outlet for 34,000 acres of good farmland ...' (quoted in Cook, p. 66). The jetty was completed in March 1879 and was 400 feet long (122 metres) with 11 feet of water at the end at low tide. A survey of the harbour was also undertaken, providing information for ships' captains about the safest approach to the jetty and shore. Shipping was quick to use the improved facilities over the beach landing: ketches and small steamers brought in supplies such as stores, fencing wire, and wheat bags, and carried away the filled sacks after the grain harvest. This would either be taken to a larger Peninsula port such as Port Victoria or Wallaroo, or to Port Adelaide.

The Hundred of Koolywurtie for which Port Rickaby provided the main access point for many years was farm land, with an average yield of grain for the six years 1877-1882 of 5 bushels 57 pounds. A harbour master was appointed in 1899 and a load limit set for the jetty due to previous incidents of gross overloading. The small port was busy for many years carrying away the grain harvest which increased after the introduction of superphosphate, which greatly increased the productivity of the soil, in the late 19th century. The main carriers were the ketches of the mosquito fleet, ferrying the wheat sacks up the coast to the larger ports. However by the 1950s bulk carriers were loading the wheat and barley: the days of the small ports were over. The last cargo of wheat bags was shipped from Port Rickaby in March 1852.

Without this activity Port Rickaby declined to become a holiday resort: excellent fishing and good beaches attract hundreds every year. Its shortened but repaired jetty remains a popular spot for fishermen.

Coverage year : 1877
Place : Port Rickaby
Region : Yorke Peninsula
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