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Wallaroo Harbor
Title : Wallaroo Harbor Wallaroo Harbor
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Creator : South Australian Harbors Board
Place Of Creation : [Adelaide
Publisher : s.n.]
Date of creation : 1938]
Additional Creator : Wall, C
Format : Map
Dimensions : 635 x 970 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Chart of Wallaroo Harbour, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, showing soundings. Includes schedule of dredged berths.

Since its establishment in 1861 Wallaroo has remained a viable port; a deep-water port where large ships can moor directly alongside the jetties, to be loaded directly from the jetties and later from the bulk handling conveyor belts.

The port of Wallaroo was not without its dangers: Tipara Reef being the most notable. A lightship was moored over this and finally in 1877 a permanent lighthouse was built on the reef. It was also noted on the charts that there was a magnetic disturbance in Spencer Gulf - this was related to the large iron ore deposits on the western side of the Gulf at Iron Knob. This chart shows the multitude of soundings that enabled ships' captains and pilots to safely navigate the channel. The enormous Hughes chimney stack at the Wallaroo Smelters remained standing after the closure of the smelters in 1923 as it had always served as a daytime navigation marker.

Early in the port's history small coasting vessels brought explosives for the mines, timber for jetties and the mines, coal, potatoes and later superphosphate for the farms. Outwards goods included flour, wool and hides, as well as copper from the mines at Wallaroo and Kadina. In 1880 another jetty was built and it was extended in 1902. This jetty accommodated the large sailing ships that loaded 29,000-30,000 bags of wheat at a time. By the end of the 20th century steamships were increasingly active in the port and Gulf - these carried copper ingots to Port Adelaide for trans-shipment. After the copper mines closed in 1923 as the ore ran out, Wallaroo fell back on its other great export, wheat.

After World War Two further expansion ensured Wallaroo's future. Another jetty had been built in 1926 and in 1958 a conveyor belt for bulk handling was added to this and the first block of grain silos was built on the shore. The size of the grain carriers increased dramatically. In 1967 MV Pontos loaded 29,317 tons of wheat at 430.7 tons per hour - a record for the time. The dredging of a channel assisted in allowing these huge vessels to come into port. In 1874 Wallaroo had been proud to proclaim itself the second port in South Australia, beaten only by Port Adelaide. Over a century later, its main trade changed from copper to wheat, it still ranks among the seven major ports controlled by Flinders Ports and during 2005/06 0.463 million tons of cargo was handled at Wallaroo.

From December 2006, a passenger ferry operated by Sea SA has sailed from Wallaroo to Lucky Bay (near Cowell) on Eyre Peninsula. The service has removed some 350 kilometres from the road trip from Adelaide to the towns of Eyre Peninsula.

Coverage year : 1938
Period : 1927-1939
Place : Wallaroo
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

South Australia's deepsea outports : Port Pirie, Port Lincoln, Thevenard, Port Giles, Wallaroo, Ardrossan, Port Stanvac, [Adelaide] : Government Printer for Dept. of Marine & Harbors, [1980?]

Fyfe, Dorothy M. Maritime history of Wallaroo: an outline, 1802-1978, Wallaroo, S.A.: D.M Fyfe, 1979

Collins, Neville C. The jetties of South Australia: past and present, Woodside, S.A.: Neville Collins, 2005

Parsons, Ronald. Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia, Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986

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