Eucla is the last town in southern W.A. before the South Australian Border just 11 kilometres away.
It is little more than a truck stop on the long trek across the Nullarbor.
The ruins of the old telegraph station are sometimes visible in the ever shifting sand dunes.
A 4wd track leads from the old telegraph station to the south coast where you will find the remains
of an old jetty (pictured above). This was where supplies for the telegraph station were once unloaded.
A feature of some note in the area is Koonalda Cave. The cave has a huge 40 metre wide entrance which leads down
20 metres to a lake. The cave was accessible at one time but we have no information on its curret status regarding access
by the public.
Cave paintings indicate that the cave was used by Aboriginal people as much as 20,000 years ago. The cave is located on the South Australian
side of the border.
Eucla is part of the Nullarbor Links golf course. Check out more information about the course at
Nullarbor Links Website
Edward John Eyre
passed through this area on his overland expedition from South Australia in 1841. As he met no local Aborigines in the area he
did not record any name for it.
led an expedition from west to east in 1870 and reported nothing of interest in the area.
In 1867 the President of the Marine Board of South Australia, Mr B Douglas, reported the discovery of a potential port at Eucla and this appears
to be the first time the name was recorded.
The name is said to mean 'bright' and it has been suggested that it may be in reference to the appearance of Venus in the morning
sky just before sunrise. The planet is often referred to incorrectly as the 'morning star'. The name seems to have been derived from a nearby
bluff called "Yinculyer" and it may be that the 'morning star' became visible over that bluff but this is something I cannot verify.
Another Aboriginal name for the Eucla townsite is Chiniala.
The area was first settled in 1873 by the Muir brothers who established pastoral runs.
The overland telegraph repeater station was established in 1877 and the town was proclaimed in 1885 (1) although land had already been
set aside as early as 1873.
In the 1890s the town experienced two consecutive plagues when it was overrun by rabbits and some entrepreneur decided to bring in cats to
control the rabbit population. The area was then overrun by feral cats.
In 1929 a new telegraph station was established to the north near the railway line and Eucla declined in importance.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
Nymph of the Nullarbor
In an attempt to drum up a bit of publicity for the town, a story was spread in 1971 that a half naked blonde girl had gone feral and was
living with the kangaroos. How many visitors this attracted to the town remains a mystery but the press had a field day. Apparently the
originator of this hoax was a kangaroo shooter named Laurie Scott and his girlfriend Geneice Brooker. A statue commemorating the 'nymph'
stands outside the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide.
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(c) Colin Dixon
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6443
Local Government : Shire of Dundas
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