The "Tracks along the Coast" walking trail is located along the coastline that runs from the Sailing Club to Pinky Point, Thevenard. The trail is approx 3.8 km in length.
"Tracks along the Coast" was developed during the Encounter 2002 celebrations that focused on the coming together of three worlds - British, French and Aboriginal. The walking trail serves to highlight and also commemorate the significant historical background of this meeting.
The trail records the history of the Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders encounter and their impact on the Aboriginal community through signage dotted along the trail, and the establishment of local plant species that were collected by the botanists on the two voyages. ''Tracks along the Coast'' also serves as a practical demonstration of reconciliation with the local Indigenous community through acknowledging their culture and links with the land.
Two viewing platforms have been constructed along the trail, one approximately half way along, with the second situated at Pinky Point marking the end of the trail. Car parking is available at both ends of the trail.
Local artists, children and the community contributed to the trail with a project entitled ''Walking together into the Future'' comprising of individually painted clay tiles, which have been inlaid in four bands along the trail.
Recently bitumised, the trail is an easy walk on relatively level ground. The viewing platform at Pinky Point provides a fabulous view of the wharf, Denial Bay, the shipping channel and the nearby islands. Both platforms are disabled access friendly.
Alexander's Beach is the local swimming beach and is situated off O'Loughlin Tce. The beach was named after George Alexander, an early blacksmith whose business was nearby. Parking is on the cliff overlooking the beach. As you drive out note the Spotters' Memorial on the left. The memorial was erected by the Lions Club and the plane made by Mark Handtke. It was erected in memory of those volunteer "spotters" who spent many hours during World War II reporting on any ships or planes that came into the area.
Stop near the Ceduna Sailing Club to view the anchor from the ill-fated Eleni K.
The single-screw steamer, Eleni K, was built at Baltimore in March 1943, one of the mass produced Liberty Ships that were constructed by the USA to carry troops and cargo during World War 11. When it arrived at Thevenard in mid 1966, it was considered unseaworthy by shipping authorities and repaired in Port Adelaide. It returned to Thevenard to load bulk wheat. On 29 Sept 1966, the Eleni K departed Thevenard carrying 7776 tons of wheat bound for Port Lincoln. A design fault had been recognized in the development of the Liberty Ships and they had a tendency to crack around midships. The cargo from Thevenard had been divided between the forward and after holds, leaving the centre empty, under the written responsibility of its master. Ninety minutes after leaving Thevenard, the Eleni K broke its back and buckled at the central hold. The vessel was anchored but sank soon after. In October the G I Nickelson salvaged 1770 tons of wheat using suction equipment. In November the Eleni K was refloated and towed to its present position between Goat Island and St Peter Island where it was grounded in 11 - 13 m of water.
The Museum is located in Park Tce and is opened Monday to Saturday. Built in 1912, this was the first school in Ceduna and was opened in 1981 as a museum. Visits can be arranged when it is not open by ringing Mrs Lowe on 08 8625 2210. On display are historic items from pioneering families, antiques and restored farm machinery. Features are the Maralinga Room with artifacts from the 1950s Maralinga era and the British Atomic Program, and the Medical room dedicated to the Bush Church Aid Society. Make sure you see the cast of a basking shark found at Fowlers Bay in 1914.
Matthew Flinders: Situated on the Roundabout Signpost, this plaque commemorates Flinders' voyage in 1802.
Railway Sidings: This plaque is to commemorate the old Railway Sidings that existed from 1924. The railway line served many small farming areas from Ceduna to Penong, delivering water and superphosphate and taking milk, cream, grains, salt and gypsum. This railway line closed in 1966. The old track passed through sidings with the names of Chinta, Kalanbi, Wiabuna, Koonibba, Uworra, Watraba. In 1962, the Gypsum Company negotiated with the Government for a new railway line and four years later a 60 km narrow gauge line, direct from the gypsum field to Thevenard, was built.
Australia Remembers: As with many towns throughout the whole of Australia, Ceduna commemorated 50 years since the end of World War II and this plaque was unveiled by Tobruk RAT veteran, Sydney Arthur (Art) Trewartha on ANZAC Day 1995.
William McKenzie: Known as the father of the district, William McKenzie was the first farmer to come here and lived 14 km west of Ceduna, on the Denial Bay Road.
The University of Tasmania operates a 30 m diameter antenna, located 35 km north of Ceduna, as a radio astronomy observatory. This site was established by OTC in 1969, as the Ceduna Satellite Earth Station and was later taken over by Telstra. The Earth Station provided the gateway between Australia and Europe for telephone and television communication. A global satellite system set up by Intelsat offered sophisticated and low cost communication services around the world. The ground segment of the Intelsat system consisted of over 270 international antennas at over 170 Earth Station sites in 150 countries. The choice of Ceduna as the location of an Earth Station was dictated by the limits of the coverage zone of the Indian Ocean satellite, the need to be reasonably close to Australia's populous south eastern region and the need to be in a location free from man-made electrical noise. In July 1980, a second antenna provided an additional path for communication.
During 1984, almost half of Australia's International telecommunication traffic passed through Ceduna's Earth Station. Earth Stations could simultaneously transmit and receive thousands of telephone calls, telegraph and telex messages, high speed data, facsimile and television signals. The dish antenna of the Earth Station was aimed precisely at the satellite through which it communicated. A microwave signal was received by the satellite and retransmitted back to Earth, where the signal was amplified a million times in strength before distribution to the Australian communication network. Kongwirra Microwave Station, 10 km east of Ceduna, provided OTC with an Australian terrestrial (earth based) communication connection. In October 1994, improved communication methods and a desire to rationalise services saw the closure of the Ceduna Earth Station.
Tours to this site are not currently available, but you can travel out Goode Road around 30 km to see the building and the one dish left there.
In September 1995 Telstra donated its Ceduna Satellite Earth Station to the University of Tasmania for use as a radio astronomy observatory. Radio astronomy is the study of celestial objects by examining their emission of electromagnetic radiation in the radio portion of the spectrum. By using sophisticated computer processing they can generate images of these radio sources similar to the photographic images produced from optical telescopes.
The University of Tasmania has had mains electricity connected, antenna drive motors and controllers have been upgraded, and new angle encoding equipment, new feeds and a range of specialised radio astronomy equipment installed.
The Ceduna site is an important addition to the Australian radio telescope network. Over a number of years, an array of antennas has been established in the eastern states, from Narrabri to Hobart. These antennas are operated in array, using a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry, where they simulate an antenna several thousand kilometres in diameter. The addition of Ceduna to this array provides a vital east-west extension, which will allow astronomers to image celestial sources with high resolution, much better than that obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope at optical wavelengths. By combining these telescopes with radio telescopes in other countries and one orbiting around the Earth, radio astronomers create a much larger antenna with even higher resolution, able to tackle many of the outstanding problems in astronomy.
The Ceduna antenna will be used to study such fascinating objects as masers, quasars, black holes, supernovas, pulsars, and galaxies. Masers are the radio version of lasers. On Earth it is difficult to create a maser, however in some regions in space where the gas is in exactly the right conditions, they are produced naturally. They are often found where large stars are being born, indicating the birth of a star. The Ceduna telescope will be used to search for new masers and monitor interesting ones. Masers are very small, astronomically speaking, 1 billion kilometres across, and very distant, the nearest being around 6000 light years away. Pulsars are distant sources of radio pulses, described as cosmic lighthouses, neutron stars rotating many times a second. They are small, around 10 km in diameter, and are very dense, one teaspoon full would weigh many thousands of kilograms. When stars more massive than our sun, come to the end of their lives, they explode, becoming supernovae. The core of the star, which is left, collapses and may form a pulsar or even a black hole. The shockwave from the explosion compresses gas and dust in its neighbourhood, triggering the future formation of stars. Therefore, scientists can observe and monitor both the birth and death of some stars in the Universe.
Most of the time, radio telescopes are used to study objects in space, however, at the same time as they measure the position of distant quasars, they also measure their own position on the Earth. By repeatedly measuring the distance between different antennas all over the world, the direction and distance in which the telescopes, and the continental plates on which they sit, are moving, can be determined. Experiments using the University of Tasmania's antenna, have found that Tasmania is moving towards Hawaii at 6 cms a year.
Tours to this site may be available, contact Ceduna Visitor Information Centre for information.