website design software
History

HISTORY OF VENUS BAY

It is believed that Venus Bay was named after Robert Venn’s schooner “Venus” which was used for exploring the area in the 1840’s originally the township itself was named “Parker” after William Parker, the name was then changed to Venus Bay in 1940. Venus Bay was used by whaling vessels in the 1830-40’s, bones and other relics from this whaling activity have been found on Germein Island. It is rumoured a whaling ship was wrecked and sunk at the bar entrance of the bay but no account of it has been recorded. Ships also called in regularly bringing supplies for settlers as far away as the Gawler Rangers, wool and skins would have been the main cargo shipped in the early period. Guano (Bat and bird droppings) collected from islands in the bay was shipped on the “SS Argyle”. In about 1924 the jetty was built enabling wheat and goods to be shipped through Venus Bay.

  • A Post Office opened in 1862-63 before the township was established.
  • A hotel named “Huddersford Arms” was built by J. Freeman for R. Symes in 1864.
  • The first Police Station was built about one mile from the township, later a stone building was constructed.
  • Settlers in 1871 were: A Day Storekeeper, T. Harte - Grocer, R. Symes - Innkeeper and G. Wiltshire - Shoemaker.
  • An 1881 census reports 5 occupied dwellings with 53 people as residents.
  • A cemetary is located on the outskirts of town now almost hidden amongst the sand dunes; there are several graves but only one with a headstone.
  • A school was opened in September 1939.

Post war years brought many changes: In late 1946 a post office was opened with a mail bus once again including Venus Bay on its Port Lincoln to Streaky Bay run. A telephone exchange was connected early in 1947, local residents having to supply and erect poles for a distance of approximately 5 miles to connect with the nearest telephone line. Electricity was connected in 1974 and the 8 km road to the main highway had the last stretch sealed in 1987.

VENUS BAY HOTEL

JETTY AND WHEAT SHED

CARAVAN PARK

JETTY - BEFORE EXTENSION

EARLY FISHING AT VENUS BAY

Aborigines armed with sticks and spears fished as a group. After catching a great haul of fish they would cut them into steaks, dry them and carry them on journeys inland.

When fishing first became a way of earning a living at Venus Bay the men used wooden boats with oars or sails to get to their patches. They lived in tents and brought their fish in weekly to be sent to market when netting became legal in the late 1940’s a greater variety of fish were marketed, including Salmon and Tommy Ruff, these were filleted and packed for markets in Adelaide and Melbourne.

During the late 1940’s Venus Bay became the home port for several boats engaged in shark fishing, these hauls were mostly trucked to Port Lincoln. Decreasing numbers caused this to actively cease after several years.

In the early 1960’s one fish market closed in Port Kenny, Kon Paul then opened a fish works in 1964. In the mid 1970’s he obtained a boat and license for prawn fishing which his children Nick, Yianni and Terry still hold and run, today unfortunately, due to an increase in size limits for fish and netting being disallowed in the bay, the fish works had to close its doors. Currently the Paul family own two prawn boats the “Limnos” and the “Bosanquet Bay” which head out in the prawn season. They cook and freeze their catch at sea and pack it ready for sale locally and in Adelaide, Victoria as well as parts of Queensland.

Crayfish boats also operated from Venus Bay however decreasing stocks led to a reduction in crayfish licenses and these are restricted to working for six months of the year.

BOSANQUET BAY

LIMNOS

[Home] [Facilities] [Boat Hire] [Rates] [Cabins] [House Rentals] [Park Map] [Attractions] [History] [Contact Us]