Chain of Bays Chain of Bays
October 21, 2017, 12:09:17 pm *
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Enjoy the Beautiful Coastal Environment

The Chain of Bays offers some of the best beaches and coastal scenery in Southern Australia, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy these locations.

Make sure you visit all four Bays, you will be astounded by the diversity of coastal environments in the Chain of Bays. Information on accommodation can be found at the District Council of Streaky Bay: Toursim webpage

Enjoy the Wirangu Interpretive signs

Recently the District Council of Streaky Bay have erected eleven new interpretive signs around the coastline of the Chain of Bays. You can see them at Sceale Bay, Surfers Beach, Yanerbie, Speeds Point, Smooth Pool, The Granites, Tractor Beach, Gibson Peninsula, Cape Bauer, Back Beach, and Baird Bay. Pictures of the new signs are on the Chain of Bay's Facebook page. To see them, go to the home page and click on the Facebook icon at the bottom left.

The artwork on the signs was created by Wirangu artist Susie Betts. The text was written by the Friends of Sceale Bay's Bob Minnican, and approved by the Australian Government Caring for our Country Project Working Group. This group consisted of members of the major stakeholders of the CFOC project: the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Wirangu elders, Friends of Sceale Bay, and the District Council of Streaky Bay

Enjoy reading about the meaning of these beautiful places to the Wirangu people, and learn about the flora and fauna, geology and history. Sometimes signs can be stolen or damaged, so if you notice one missing, please report it to the District Council of Streaky Bay.

Another sign will be erected by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at Point Labatt soon. This sign is also being designed and created by Wirangu artist Suzie Betts.

Don't drive off established tracks

Sand dune and cliff-top vegetation is very sensitive to damage caused by vehicular trampling, and may take years to regenerate. The problem gets worse when tracks opened up by one vehicle are followed by another. Visitors are asked to keep to the established roads and tracks, and when in doubt, try walking!

Enjoy the Conservation Parks

A new Conservation Park has been established at Sceale Bay, a new Conservation Park will very soon be proclaimed at Baird Bay, and an enlarged Conservation Park will also very soon be proclaimed at Point Labatt and Searcy Bay. Sceale Bay Conservation Park includes part of a significant wetland at Seagull Lake, and protects part of the vegetated coastal dune system of Sceale Bay beach. Baird Bay Conservation Park will protect all of the coastal margins of Baird Bay, which includes a range of coastal environments and wildlife around the sheltered shallow waters of Baird Bay. The expanded Point Labatt Conservation Park protects more exposed cliff-top and coastal heathland and grassland environments fringing Searcy Bay. Calpatanna Waterhole Conservation Park is a larger inland Park with a range of mallee, heath and seasonal wetland environments.

Visitors should be reminded that the Australian Sea Lion colonies and the adjacent waters at Nicholas Baudin Island, Point Labatt, and Jones Island are prohibited areas for the protection of the species. Viewing of the colony at Point Labatt is encouraged, and for a closer encounter, visitors are encouraged to swim with Australian Sea Lions and dolphins with Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience.

Enjoy the Wildlife

Point Labatt is a must-see location for visitors to the region. From an elevated viewing platform, Australian Sea Lions, New Zealand Fur Seals, and a variety of shorebirds may be observed in a spectacular setting.

Baird Bay supports an internationally-renowned nature-based ecotourism activity, "Swim with Sea Lions and dolphins" conducted by Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience, a new visitor centre and accommodation facility, and a small Baird Bay Campground. There are a number of private shacks at the settlement, and boating, marine charters, fishing, bird watching and canoeing within Baird Bay are popular activities conducted by residents and visitors.

Whale Sightings

Please report all whale sightings in the area to the nearest Park Ranger Office. Until the new Ranger Office is established in Streaky Bay, this will be the Port Lincoln Office.

Injured or distressed wildlife

Please call Fauna Rescue SA (+61 08 22890896) Please report any abuse of wildlife to the Ranger Office as soon as possible.

Avoid disturbing Sea Lion colonies

The breeding colonies for the Australian Sea Lion located at Olive Island, Nicholas Baudin Island, Point Labatt and Jones Island should not be accessed by visitors on foot or approached by boat. Such approaches are illegal, unless they are part of an officially-approved tour, survey or scientific study for which approvals have been granted.

If you have a dog it is best to keep it restrained around wildlife, rather than being allowed to run across the rocks where Australian Sea Lions haul-out to rest.

There are many locations in the Chain of Bays which provide ideal opportunities for viewing shorebirds and waterbirds. Visitors can walk long distances on isolated beaches at Corvisart Bay and Sceale Bay viewing shorebirds, and there are numerous wetlands in the Chain of Bays region where migratory waterbirds may be observed. You may be fortunate enough to spot Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles as the soar along the coast in search of fish.

Avoid disturbing coastal raptors

Coastal raptors nest in some remote cliff top locations along the Chain of Bays coastline. Visitors should avoid disturbing nest sites and no approaches should be made to nesting areas.

These birds are particularly sensitive to approaches being made from above the nest and during the breeding season especially, a wide berth should be made around the nesting areas. Adult birds which fly above the nest emitting distress calls are a sure sign of disturbance and visitors should retreat immediately.

The sensitive breeding period for coastal raptors on Eyre Peninsula, is between July and January for White-Bellied Sea Eagle, and from July to as late as April for Osprey, but breeding pairs remain in the vicinity of the nest year-round, so nest sites should be avoided at all times.

Don't run over the wildlife

Lizards, snakes, kangaroos and birds frequently cross roads in the region. Please keep a lookout and drive carefully. Sleepy lizards in particular are frequently seen crossing roads. They move slowly and can be avoided by slowing down (not swerving erratically).

Enjoy the Pristine Marine Environment

The waters of the Chain of Bays are some of the most pristine in the world. Here it is possible to view Southern Temperate marine ecosystems in superb condition. These waters are known for their great diversity of marine algae, and diversity and abundance of reef fish and marine invertebrates. There are many excellent and accessible dive and snorkelling sites. There are excellent locations for swimming at sheltered beaches at Baird Bay shacks, Yanerbie shacks, and Sceale Bay settlement, and in more open conditions at Surfers Beach at Sceale Bay. The sheltered pools at "The Granites" and "Smooth Pool" are also great places for a swim. The Chain of Bays is a renowned surfing location, and there are numerous surf breaks ranging from beginners-level to hazardous! Please seek local advice and respect local knowledge when surfing this coastline.
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