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Fowlers Bay

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Fowlers Bay, formerly Yalata, is a small coastal town in South Australia, approximately 912km 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.HistoryThe 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.In the 1860s, the first pastoral leases were established by William Swan and Robert Barr Smith, forming Yalata station, a massive farming property, whose boundaries encompassed from the Head of the Great Australian Bight to Streaky Bay.The region was surveyed in March 1890 and proclaimed a town (under the name Yalata) in the Government Gazette in 1890, with the name changed to Fowler's Bay in 1940. Yalata now refers to a nearby township.
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