E 586000 - N 6151500
Spalding Cove is part of the Lincoln
National Park on the Jussieu Peninsula. It is located 13 kilometres southeast
of Port Lincoln.
Topographic map showing Spalding Cove (Courtesy:
Two references to the whaling activity
that took place at Spalding Cove were published in the Proceedings of the
Royal Geographical of Australasia Society in 1923. The two passages follow:
The most recent account of
Spalding Cove is given by a person by the name of Homburg, who visited
the area in May 1832...The object of his visit to Port Lincoln was to carry
hither a party of thirty persons with five boats, and the necessary implements
for catching whales. The persons whom he left had been there for three
previous seasons for the same purpose and had been successful. The black
whales are very commonly met with close in shore; the sperm whales not
infrequently being farther southward. Seals are not very numerous...The
natives, as well as the whalers and sealers depend for their supply of
water on two streams running into Spalding Cove before mentioned (Moore,
Frederick Homburg was on
the brig Socrates when he visited Port Lincoln in May 1832. It is to be
regretted that he did not give more information about the thirty two persons
who conveyed to Port Lincoln and who had been there during the three previous
seasons. He stated in his evidence given in London that they had left their
huts standing (Moore, 1923)
Th site is very rocky, there is
no beach. It is extremely difficult to access the site, with an uneven
surface and a steep climb to the site. The whaling station is located in
open scrub, with trees to the northern east in a natural gully.
Rock Structure (photo by M. Staniforth)
A survey of the area in 1997 by
the Flinders University revealed the following scattered material. These
remains support the passages above that suggest a whaling station was active
at the site of Spalding Cove:
Pickle Jar (photo by M. Staniforth)
Pale green bottle fragments and
Base of earthenware tea cup (White)
Some iron fragments
1 mulberry decorated tea cup base
1 maroon striped decorated tea
5 maroon red plate fragments
5 white tea cup fragments
1 white tea cup base with a pale
blue line through it
1 olive green glass
Scattered pieces of metal with
Mulberry coloured fragments with
a leaf and branch decoration on it.
4 pieces resembling a base
Scattered pale green glass.
2 fragments of a wide mouth pickle
4 olive green fragments.
1 nearly complete pale green glass
Rectangular section of bottle,
no markings, possibly a medicine bottle.
Partial remains of a pale green
Pale green bottle base, round in
Pale green rectangular bottle base,
White tea cup base.
Whole pale olive green pickle jar
located (complete) with the markings EBH
Rock structure, at least 2 courses
of rubble visible.
Pale purple jars, with the markings
M on base. Jars complete.
Cobalt blue circular section of
Moore, H.P. 1923. "Notes on the
early settlers in South Australia prior to 1836, Proceedings of the Royal
Geographical Australiasia Society (South Australian Branch, Adelaide),
Vol 25, pg 92-93.
Kostoglou, P. and McCarthy, J. 1991.
Whaling and Sealing Sites in South Australia, Australian Institute for
Maritime Archaeology, Special Publication No:, p 22.
By Rebecca O'Reilly
South Australian Whaling Site Index