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Fowlers Bay

Fowlers Bay, formerly Yalata, is a small coastal town in the Australian state of South Australia located about 658km north-west of the state capital, Adelaide. Situated on the Nullarbor Plain, it was once an active port and a gateway to the western reaches of the continent, but fell into decline in the 1960s. At the 2006 census, Fowlers Bay and the surrounding area had a population of 125.HistoryEuropean explorationThe coastline around Fowlers Bay was first mapped in 1627 by François Thijssen, a Dutch sea captain. His ship was the Golden Seahorse (Gulden Zeepard). Fowlers Bay was named on 28 January 1802 by Matthew Flinders after his first lieutenant, Robert Fowler.Edward John Eyre set up base camp here in 1840 during his epic journeys across the Nullarbor Plain. By this time the area was well-known to American and French whaling ships; Eyre documents seeing whalers in the area.SettlementIn the 1860s, the first pastoral leases were established by William Swan and Robert Barr Smith, forming Yalata station, a farming property whose boundaries extended from the Head of the Bight in the west to Streaky Bay in the east.The settlement was surveyed in March 1890 and proclaimed a town (under the name Yalata) in the Government Gazette in 1890, with the name being changed to Fowler's Bay in 1940. The settlement is on Port Eyre at the western end of the larger Fowlers Bay. Yalata now refers to a nearby township.
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