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Location of Spencer Gulf in Australia
The harbor of Port Broughton, part of Spencer Gulf

The Spencer Gulf (34°25′S 136°48′E / 34.417°S 136.8°E / -34.417; 136.8) is the westernmost of two large inlets on the southern coast of Australia, in the state of South Australia, facing the Great Australian Bight. The Gulf is 322 km (200 mi) long and 129 km (80 mi) wide at its mouth. The western shore of the Gulf is the Eyre Peninsula, while the eastern side is the Yorke Peninsula, which separates it from the smaller Gulf St. Vincent. The largest towns on the gulf are Whyalla, Port Pirie, and Port Augusta. Among smaller towns on the gulf are Wallaroo and Port Broughton.

History

The gulf was named Spencer's Gulph by explorer Matthew Flinders in 1802,[1] after George John Spencer, the 2nd Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales. Today "Spencer Gulf" is usual. The gulf was also named Golfe Bonaparte by Nicholas Baudin at roughly the same time as Flinders, but the name did not catch (others, like the Fleurieu Peninsula, did).

The area was first explored on land by Edward John Eyre in 1839 and 1840-41. Settlement of the shores of the Gulf began in the late 1840s.

Wildlife

Spencer Gulf, in particular a certain section of it north of Whyalla, is known as a breeding ground of Australian Giant Cuttlefish.[2][3][4] They are a favorite food of local dolphins, who have developed a sophisticated techniques for safely eating those creatures.[5]

The upper Spencer Gulf is also known for its snapper fishing.[6]

References

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