Times Past (History and Museums)
In 1627 Dutchman Peter Nuyts sighted Streaky Bay from the ship Golden Zeepard (see monument on the median strip on Bay Road).
Nearly two centuries later, in 1802, Captain Mathew Flinders rediscovered and named Streaky Bay whilst examining the South Australian coast in his ship, The Investigator.
He named it because of the streaks in the water across the bay (caused by the reflection of light and seaweed).
In 1839 Edward John Eyre established a camp area about three kilometers from Streaky Bay, known as "Cooeyanna" (Eyre's Waterhole). He used the waterhole on his expedition to Point Bell and Albany, Western Australia in 1840. This site is situated in the Calpatanna Waterhole Conservation Park and can still be visited today.
In his travels Eyre made contact with indigenous peoples in the Far West including the Wirangu, the traditional custodians of the land around Streaky Bay.
From 1850 to 1860 a whaling station operated near Point Brown. It is believed that these whalers were the first white men to remain in the area for any length of time.
The country around Streaky Bay was opened up by pastoralists from 1854 onward; with the biggest station "Maryvale", comprising 470 square kilometers. This run represented the pick of the grazing land, where water was available at a shallow depth. As these lands were opened up the establishment of Streaky Bay as a township was a necessity.
In the 1870's a small oyster factory was established at Streaky Bay to can oysters for export (Smoke House Bay).
Streaky Bay was originally named Flinders, but in 1940, after continued local usage, the name of the town was officially changed to Streaky Bay.
National Trust Museum
Located at the old school site on Montgomerie Terrace you will spend hours combing through the well presented collection of artifacts and memorabilia on display. Items of interest are: the church alter from St. Canutes Catholic Church; an assorted collection of bird's eggs, shells, flora and vertebras; items and indigenous artifacts belonging to Daisy Bates and lots more nostalgia and antiques from a time gone by.
The sheds and outer buildings have collections of early agricultural machinery, blacksmith tools and printing equipment dating from 1912. The printer was used at the Sentinel before the office was relocated in 1974 to Ceduna.
A doctor's surgery with dental and surgical instruments used from 1920 to 1983, including an iron lung will fascinate you. The "Pug 'n Pine" cottage showcases many items such as furniture and clothing used by early settlers dating from 1886.
Immerse yourself in the days of yesteryear and listen first hand as the volunteers relate tales of olden days, enriching and bringing them to life. A small fee is payable on entry.
National Trust Museum
42 Montgomerie Terrace, Streaky Bay, 5680
Hours: 1:30pm - 4:00pm Tuesday and Friday or by prior arrangement or appointment.
Over the summer months:
Saturday morning 9:00am - 12:00pm
Rae Brewster: (08) 8626 1443
Jan Patterson: (08) 8626 1485
Peter McNicol: (08) 8626 1328
The renowned Powerhouse Museum is a treasure trove of over 400 engines - all restored and in working condition. The ambition of the Powerhouse members is to restore and display engines that have been working in varied "occupations" over the last 100 years. What makes the work worthwhile for this dedicated group of volunteers? Seeing the look of sheer delight and wonderment on a visitors face as the old engines sputter into life, each one telling its own unique story. Superbly presented, this display is rated as one of the best in Australia.
20 - 22 Alfred Terrace, Streaky Bay, 5680
Hours: 2:00pm - 5:00pm Tuesday and
Friday or by previous arrangement.
Noel Gosling: (08) 8626 1459
Take a trip down memory lane... Streaky Bay Historical Walk
With over 33 locations, the majority of which are situated within the CBD, the historical walk is a popular pastime for visitors wanting to walk off lunch or stroll around our picturesque town.
Pick up the brochure from the Streaky Bay Rural Transaction and Visitor Information Centre and begin your journey to discover plaques, temples, churches, cottages, monuments and cenotaphs. This walk is steeped in mystery and intrigue.
While walking glance down to keep an eye out for the "museum baits" strategically located to lure you toward our two remarkable town museums!
Can you pronounce Nothornyrmecia Macrops? The Poochera Museum has some very interesting displays and facts about the rare dinosaur ants. The ants, previously thought extinct, were discovered at Poochera in 1977. A site was fenced and protected, enabling a four year study of these rare ants. In 1931 two Dinosaur Ants were found near Esperance, but despite searches no more were found until 1995. Seventy four Eyre Peninsula locations were surveyed and the ant was found at 17 of these. They frequent "old growth" mallee woodland.
Worker Dinosaur Ants are distinctive with pale yellow colour, large eyes, elongated mandibles and a sting - not likely to be confused with other Australian ants. Studies reveal they lack the social qualities of other ant species, apart from living together. Workers are predatory, taking live prey. Unlike other ants, they tolerate low temperatures and forage alone after dusk, navigating between ant nests and trees using the tree canopy like a map.
Drop in and be enthralled with the Poochera Museum housing an interesting display of relics depicting from the pioneering days. Of particular interest is "Pete's Shack" built from flattened kerosene tins.
It was relocated from the western end of town and restored by the museum.
Poochera & Districts Historical Museum
Renna Street, Poochera, 5655
Hours: 9:30am - 3:00pm Wednesday or on request.
Enquire at the roadhouse or hotel.