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Doyles Bay


Zone 53
Map 6326
E 697000 - N 6015000
The exact location of the whaling station of Doyles Bay is unknown, however it is possible that it was established in Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island.


Doyles Bay was used as a whaling station around 1844 and employed the ship Elizabeth which was captain by Captain Thompson. One documentary piece of evidence remains of the Doyles Bay whaling station in the South Australian Register, 25 September, 1844:

"On the south side of the Island, Messrs Hagen and Hart have two Fisheries, one at Flour Cask Bay, nearly opposite American River, and the other at Doyles Bay thirty five miles to the west. The party at Flour cask Bay have caught several fish, but the other party has been unsuccessful."


Little archaeological evidence remains to conclusively state where the actual whaling site was established. Kostoglou and McCarthy (1991) have asserted that the atation was established in Vivonne Bay: 

"The location of this site on Kangaroo Island is unknown, however an approximate scaled measurement based on the reference given below would place it  in Vivonne Bay, if the 'Flour Cask Bay' station was in reality located at Flour Cask Bay. An early well site was found at Vivonne Bay while conducting this survey:  (Kostoglou and McCarthy, 1991, p 29) 

Nothing was located during the 1997 Flinders University survey nor has anything been found in past surveys conducted by Kostoglou and McCarthy accept for the well mentioned above.  Nelson (1997) concludes that it would be reasonable to assume that this site was no more successful than any of the other sites on Kangaroo Island during this time. If it had been successful more historical evidence would have been located in archival sources or on the island itself.


Kostoglou, P. and McCarthy, J. 1991. Whaling and Sealing Sites in South Australia. Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, Special Publication No:6.

Nelson, N. 1997. Right Place, Wrong Time: The archaeology of Bay Whaling, Kangaroo Island, South Australia 1840-1845. Unpublished Honours Thesis, Flinders University of South Australia.

South Australian Register, 25/9/1844.

By Rebecca O'Reilly

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