playing on the beach at Stansbury
Stansbury (including Wool Bay)
Pleasant and attractive holiday destination
on the Yorke Peninsula.
Located 213 km west of Adelaide, Stansbury is
substantial community on the coast of the Yorke
Peninsula. It is 17 km from Port Vincent and 23
km from Yorketown. The main town centre is
characterised by some attractive stands of
Norfolk pine. The defining characteristic of
Stansbury is that, unlike many of the coastal
settlements on the Yorke Peninsula, it is looks
very permanent. While it is clearly a family
holiday resort, there are plenty of long
established residences and little sign of the
transience (cheap holiday homes, caravan parks
etc) which characterise many of the smaller
towns on the peninsula.
Prior to European settlement the whole of the
Yorke Peninsula (which was always marginal land)
was inhabited by the Naranga Aborigines. It is
estimated that there were about 500 of them by
the 1840s and this had reduced to a mere 40 by
1880. These Aborigines lived on a diet of
oysters and fish supplemented by the kangaroos
which abounded on the peninsula.
The first settler in the district was Alfred
Weaver who brought 7,000 sheep with him. He was
constantly confronted with problems in terms of
disease, reliability of water and the penchant
of the Aborigines to kill the sheep whenever
they needed meat. Weaver built a shearing shed
where Stansbury now stands.
Stansbury was originally known as Oyster Bay
because of the region's reputation as a place
where the best oyster beds in South Australia
could be found. Governor Musgrave renamed the
town 'Stansbury' after a mysterious 'Mr
Stansbury' who was a friend of his. The Oyster
Bay Hotel was completed in 1875 and the District
Council was established in 1877 and the first
Stansbury jetty, which was over 300 metres long,
was constructed that same year at the cost of
The town grew up as a ketch port. The grain
from the surrounding area was brought to the
port where it was loaded on ketches and shipped
across Gulf St Vincent to be loaded on the
larger ships at Port Adelaide.
Today the town operates as a service centre
for the surrounding farmers but its primary
focus is on tourism. It has a charm which is
quite distinctive and it attracts holidaymakers
from Adelaide who want to escape from the city.
Things to see:
House which was completed in 1878 and
was originally the old school house
Dalrymple House which was completed in 1878 and
was originally the old school house. It is now a
folk museum with the original schoolrooms having
a lot of interesting educational memorabilia.
For more information contact (08) 8852 4231.
Police Station 1870s
Although the Police Station is historic the
facade which has been placed on it has managed
to make it one of the least interesting
buildings in town.
A symbol of earlier times when the port of
Stansbury was alive with workers moving the
grain from the surrounding farms onto the
clippers which called into the port.
|The Wool Bay
jetty from the Wool Bay Lime Kiln
Wool Bay Lime Kiln
The sign on the cliffs above the Wool Bay Lime
Kiln reads: 'The Wool Bay Lime Kiln was built
between 1900-1910 and was used for burning lime.
Lime production was a significant industry on
the Yorke Peninsula from the turn of the century
to the 1950s. A number of kilns were built
around Stansbury and Wool Bay to burn the lime.
The lime was mainly exported to Adelaide for use
as building mortar. Limestone was readily
available in the area and tea tree, cleared to
open farm land, was used as fuel. While many
kilns were changed to oil burning, the Wool Bay
kiln was a draw kiln using wood, and was not
converted. Due to the cliff top location,
variation in wind conditions caused problems.
This kiln was not a great success, but is one of
a few still in reasonable condition and
represents the past lime industry of the Yorke
Peninsula. The lime industry declined in the
1950s largely due to competition from hydrated
lime imported from Melbourne.'
Today Wool Bay is a popular holiday
destination for fishermen and people wanting a
safe, sandy beach to relax on.