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Tumby Bay


Tumby Bay

Template:Use Australian English

Tumby Bay
South Australia
View of the Tumby Bay jetty

34°22′S 136°06′E / 34.367°S 136.100°E / -34.367; 136.100Coordinates: 34°22′S 136°06′E / 34.367°S 136.100°E / -34.367; 136.100

Population 1,351[1]
Established 1900
Postcode(s) 5605
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Location 45 km (28 mi) North of Port Lincoln
LGA(s) District Council of Tumby Bay
State electorate(s) Flinders
Federal Division(s) Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
22 °C
72 °F
14 °C
57 °F
330.2 mm
13 in

Tumby Bay is a coastal town situated on the Spencer Gulf, on the eastern coast of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, 45 km north of Port Lincoln. The town of Tumby Bay is the major population centre of the District Council of Tumby Bay, and the centre of an agricultural district farming cereal crops and sheep, as well as having established fishing and tourism industries.


The bay was first explored and given the name Tumby Bay by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1802, after a parish in Lincolnshire, England. In 1840 Governor Gawler renamed the bay Harvey('s) Bay after one other district's early settlers.[2] Then on 15 November 1900 the town of Tumby was proclaimed by Governor Tennyson, and the name of the bay itself reverted to Tumby Bay. On 14 June 1984 the town officially became known as Tumby Bay.[3]

The earliest settlers to the district arrived in the 1840s, and farmed the area with wheat and sheep predominantly. The town soon grew into an important grain storage and loading point, with a jetty constructed in 1874, only the second to be built on the Eyre Peninsula. This provided a much needed outlet for the copper ore which was coming from the Burrowing Mine. The original jetty was taken down in 1999 due to safety concerns, but the other newer jetty is still in use.[3]

The town's first school was opened in 1881 as 'Tumby', and the district's first hospital opened in 1913.[4]

In 2011, Tumby Bay hosted the popular event Triple J's One Night Stand on 2 April 2011, featuring the bands Birds of Tokyo, Art vs. Science and The Jezabels and locally "Unearthed" musician Joshy Willo . The town's population swelled from 1000 to over 12,000 for the event.[5][6]


Tumby Bay lies on the large, sheltered bay of the same name on the western side of Spencer Gulf. Much of the land surrounding Tumby Bay is used for agriculture. The coast is predominantly white, sandy beaches, on which the town itself is situated, as well as towering cliffs to the south.

Inside the bay, Tumby Island is the only island but further offshore lie the Sir Joseph Banks Group, a small archipelago that is easily accessed by boat from Tumby Bay.[7]

Like much of coastal South Australia, Tumby Bay experiences a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and moderately wet winters.


Since it was first settled, Tumby Bay has predominantly been an agriculturally driven town, with cereal crops, sheep and beef commonly farmed at the present. As with many towns on the Eyre Peninsula, Tumby Bay also has a well-established professional fishing industry.

Like many towns on the Eyre Peninsula, it is a popular holiday destination during the summer months.

One of the major drawcards to the area is its fishing, with a wide array of fish species available, including King George Whiting and Snapper.[8] Fishing can be done from the town jetty, the surrounding beach and rock areas, as well as from a boat, which allows access to the Sir Joseph Banks Group. In 2001, a marina was constructed to allow easy all weather boat launching for a range of boat sizes, as well as opening up new real estate options.[9]

The safe, calm waters and the white sand of the bay lend themselves to a variety of watersports including swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and water skiing for those with access to a boat.

The town has a caravan park and a number of hotels and apartments for tourists visiting the area, and has a large number of facilities and shops.


Tumby Bay had a town population of 1228 in the 2001 census, with the vast majority being Australian born. Of those that immigrated (about 100 people), most are from the United Kingdom, with others coming from a variety of European countries, the U.S. and New Zealand.[1]

The 2001 census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that the main religion followed in Tumby Bay was Christianity, with the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting denominations having the strongest followings.[1] The overall religious affiliations are summed up in the chart, derived from the census data.

There are a number of churches in the town, including Anglican, Uniting and Lutheran Churches. There are also a large number of sporting groups in the town, including football, cricket, netball, basketball, tennis, bowls and golf clubs, with most of the clubs competing in local leagues.[10]

Tumby bay has an Area School to serve educational needs, as well as a public library located on school grounds. A hospital is also in place to serve the health needs of the town.


Tumby Bay is encompassed in the District Council of Tumby Bay local government area with the current mayor being Laurie Collins. The town is also incorporated in the South Australian House of Assembly electoral district of Flinders and the Australian House of Representatives Division of Grey.


Tumby Bay is normally reached by private car via the Port Lincoln Highway that runs along the coastline of the Eyre Peninsula. Although the town does have an sealed airfield, it is not usually used for private flights, but for the Flying Doctor and crop spraying aircraft.

The town is serviced daily by Premier Stateliner coaches.[11]

Port and Rail

Land has been bought by the CXM mining company for potetential development of a port capable of taking Panamax sized ships for export of iron ore in particular. A rail connection to the Eyre Peninsula Railway at Ungarra 27 km away would be required. The port would be located 20 km northeast of Tumby Bay at Sheep Hill, South Australia.[12]


External links

  • Tourism Site
  • Council Site
  • Map
  • MSN Map
  • SD Map

Template:District Council of Tumby Bay localities

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