Gracetown, Western Australia

Last updated

Gracetown
Western Australia
GracetownO.jpg
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Gracetown
Coordinates 33°52′S114°59′E / 33.87°S 114.99°E / -33.87; 114.99 Coordinates: 33°52′S114°59′E / 33.87°S 114.99°E / -33.87; 114.99
Population323 (2006 census) [1]
Established1963
Postcode(s) 6284
Elevation25 m (82 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Augusta-Margaret River
State electorate(s) Vasse
Federal Division(s) Forrest

Gracetown is a small town in Western Australia. It is located 269 kilometres (167 mi) south of the Perth central business district, and 21.5 kilometres (13.4 mi) north-west of the township of Margaret River in the Augusta-Margaret River Shire Council area on the coast at Cowaramup Bay.

Contents

History

The first recorded use of the area was as a holiday area and later in 1957 it was proposed that the area should be developed as a camping and caravan park. Instead the government decided that the area would be developed as a townsite. The area was surveyed in 1961 and the bulk of the townsite was planned. Sale of lots within the townsite occurred in 1963, the same year the town was gazetted. [2]

It was named in honour of local Western Australian heroine Grace Bussell.

The Cape to Cape Track runs across the beach to the west of the town and it is one of the few towns located along the track. [3]

There is a general store located in the town that provides a variety of goods and limited services. There are many holiday homes within the town that are available to rent all year round.

Surfing

The town is well known for its many surfing spots. North Point is a powerful break that provides good tube rides for surfers. South Point is popular because it works well when the breeze is onshore and Huzzas, in the middle of the bay, is a less powerful wave that is popular whenever it breaks. The main beach area, located in the bay, is an easily accessible swimming beach suitable for families with small children. Close to Gracetown are several other excellent surfing locations. The Cowaramup Bombora ("Cow Bombie") surf break, location of 2011 [4] and 2015 [5] Oakley Big Wave award-winning rides, is 2 km offshore west of Gracetown.

Huzzas Cliff

In 1996 five adults and four children were killed in a cliff collapse while watching a surfing carnival on the local beach close to town. The victims were sheltering underneath a rock overhang at the base of the limestone cliff during a rain storm when the cliff collapsed without warning. [6] [7] [8]

A rehabilitation project was commenced on the cliff tops overlooking the site where the tragedy occurred, following funding by the state government, in 1997. Stairways, a lookout shelters and fencing were built and vegetation replanted to stabilise the cliffs over Cowaramup Bay. [9]

Shark attacks

In 2004 a surfer, Bradley Smith, was attacked and killed by a great white shark at a beach close to town. The town was again struck by tragedy in 2010 when Nick Edwards, a 31-year-old man died after being attacked by another great white shark at South Point, a beach close to town. The man was attacked while surfing and was found unconscious after being washed up on rocks near the beach with a huge gash on his leg. Passers by tried to resuscitate the man who did not regain consciousness and was pronounced dead on arrival at Margaret River hospital. [10] [11] In November 2013 a 35-year-old surfer died after a shark attack. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Margaret River, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Margaret River is a town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state capital. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

Innes National Park Protected area in South Australia

Innes National Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located on the southwest tip of Yorke Peninsula about 300 kilometres (190 mi) west of the state capital of Adelaide. Known as Innes by many, the national park is a popular destination for camping, bushwalking, fishing, surfing and scuba diving.

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park Protected area in Western Australia

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 267 km (166 mi) south of Perth. It is named after the two locations at either end of the park which have lighthouses, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It is located in the Augusta-Margaret River and Busselton council areas, and is claimed to have the highest visiting numbers of any national park in Western Australia. The park received 2.33 million visitors through 2008-2009.

Shire of Augusta-Margaret River Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is a local government area in the south-west corner of the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi) south of Perth. The shire covers an area of 2,243 square kilometres (866 sq mi) and had a population of over 14,000 at the 2016 Census, about half of whom live in the towns of Margaret River and Augusta.

Augusta, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; by 2016 the population of the town was 1,109.

Jeffreys Bay Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Jeffreys Bay is a town located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The town is situated just off the N2 Highway, about 75 km southwest of Port Elizabeth.

Clifton, Cape Town Suburb of Cape Town in Western Cape, South Africa

Clifton is an affluent suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It is an exclusive residential area and is home to the most expensive real estate in South Africa, with dwellings nestled on cliffs that have sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bombora is an indigenous Australian term for an area of large sea waves breaking over a shallow area such as a submerged rock shelf, reef, or sand bank that is located some distance from the shoreline and beach surf break. In slang it is also called a bommie.

Mick Fanning Australian surfer

Michael Eugene Fanning, nicknamed "White Lightning" is a former Australian professional surfer. Fanning won the 2007, 2009 and 2013 ASP World Tour. In 2015 he survived a shark attack with what is suspected to be a great white shark during the J-Bay Open finals in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

Cowaramup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Cowaramup is a town in the South West of Western Australia, 12 kilometres north of Margaret River in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

Yallingup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Yallingup is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, 256 kilometres (159 mi) south of Perth. Yallingup is a popular tourist destination because of its beaches and limestone caves, and proximity to Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

Prevelly, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Prevelly is a townsite in the South West region of Western Australia. It is located on the coast at the mouth of Margaret River at the northern end of Calgardup Bay. At the 2011 census, Prevelly had a population of 177.

Cowaramup Bombora

Cowaramup Bombora is a big wave open-ocean surf break found on the south-west coast of Western Australia. It is located 2 kilometres offshore west of Gracetown which is near the town of Margaret River, world-renowned for its surf, and is 265 km south of the capital city Perth.

Huzzas is the name of a surf break off Gracetown, Western Australia.

Surfing locations in the Capes region of South West Western Australia surfing locations between Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia and Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia

Most surf breaks in the Capes region – from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin – within the larger area known as the South West region of Western Australia tend to have the name Margaret River attached, despite the wide geographic range of locations where the breaks are located.

Ngari Capes Marine Park Protected area in Western Australia

The Ngari Capes Marine Park is a marine protected area on the lower south west coast of Western Australia, located approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of Perth. The 123,790-hectare (305,900-acre) marine park was gazetted on 12 June 2012 and the park's western and southern boundaries are the Limit of Coastal Waters of the State of Western Australia, abutting the South-west Corner Marine Park located within the Australian Commonwealth exclusive economic zone.

Western Australian shark cull

The Western Australian shark cull is the common term for a former state government policy of capturing and killing large sharks in the vicinity of swimming beaches by use of baited drum lines. The policy was implemented in 2014 to protect human swimmers from shark attack following the deaths of seven people on the Western Australian coastline in the years 2010 to 2013. National public demonstrations opposing the policy attracted international attention to the issue. In September 2014 the seasonal setting of drum lines was abandoned following a recommendation made by the Western Australian Environment Protection Authority. From December 2014 to March 2017, the special deployment of drum lines was permitted in cases where sharks were deemed to present a serious threat to public safety. This policy allowed the government of Western Australia to kill "high-hazard" sharks it found to be a threat to humans; the policy was criticized by senator Rachel Siewart for damaging the environment. In March 2017 the use of drum lines was abandoned by the newly elected West Australian state government. In August 2018 following continual shark attacks the West Australian state government reversed their position and announced a 12-month trial of "SMART" drumlines along Western Australia's South West coast, near Gracetown.

Shark attacks in South Australia

There have been 82 recorded shark attacks in South Australia since the establishment of the colony in 1836. 20 of those have involved a single fatality. Victims were involved in a range of aquatic activities, including surfing, diving, spear-fishing, snorkeling, boating and swimming. Six of the fatalities occurred off the coast of greater metropolitan Adelaide, with the remainder distributed across South Australia's extensive coastline. Many of the fatal attacks have been attributed to Great white sharks.

A shark barrier is seabed-to-surface protective barrier that is placed around a beach to protect people from shark attacks. Often confused with shark nets, shark barriers form a fully enclosed swimming area that prevents sharks from entering. Shark barrier design has evolved from rudimentary fencing materials to netted structures held in place with buoys and anchors. Recent designs have used plastics to increase strength, versatility and to reduce the environmental damage of bycatch.

There are a range of shark attack prevention techniques employed to reduce the risk of shark attack and keep people safe. They include removing sharks by various fishing methods, separating people and sharks, as well as observation, education and various technology-based solutions.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Gracetown (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  2. Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – G" . Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  3. "Cape to Cape Track - Track Facts". 2009. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  4. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-09/five-year-wait-pays-off-for-surfer/3820728?section=wa
  5. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-12/big-wave-competition-winner-jarryd-foster/6089000
  6. "Informit - The Rockfall of Huzzas Cliff, Gracetown, Western Australia". 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  7. "ABC News - Gracetown cliff collapse claim before court". 2004. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  8. Gordon, FR (1999), "The Rockfall of Huzzas Cliff, Gracetown, Western Australia", Proceedings 8th Australia New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics: Consolidating Knowledge, Australian Geomechanics Society: 599–606, ISBN   978-1-86445-002-6
  9. "Department of Environment - Grant towards rehabilitating site of Gracetown tragedy". 1997. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  10. "ABC News - Surfer dies after shark attack". 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  11. "ABC News - Huge shark kills surfer". 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  12. "Man dies following Gracetown shark attack". The West Australian. Yahoo7. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.