Rapid Bay

South Australia, Australia

Rapid Bay.png

Rapid Bay is located in South Australia
Rapid Bay
Postcode: 5204
Coordinates: 35°31′28″S 138°11′14″E / -35.52444, 138.18722Coordinates: 35°31′28″S 138°11′14″E / -35.52444, 138.18722
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)

ACST (UTC+9:30)

ACDT (UTC+10:30)

Location: 100 km (62 mi) S of Adelaide
LGA: District Council of Yankalilla
State District: Finniss
Federal Division: Mayo

Rapid Bay (postcode 5204) is a small seaside town in the southwest of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. It is approximately 100 km south of the state capital, Adelaide. Rapid Bay lies within the District Council of Yankalilla.


Rapid Bay features in Kaurna Aboriginal Law creation myth, most notably in relation to creation ancestor Tjilbruke (also Tjirbruki).[1]

Colonel William Light made his first landfall on mainland South Australia at Rapid Bay on 8 September 1836.[2] The site was named after Light's ship, the 162 ton brig Rapid. To mark this historic landfall the Colonel's initials, "W.L.", were carved into a large boulder – a replica is visible in the township, while the original is stored in the South Australian Museum, in Adelaide. The first European child born on mainland South Australia was delivered at Rapid Bay on 7th Novomber, 1836. His name was John Rapid Hoare.

For a short time Rapid Bay was considered a potential site for the new state capital, but with the discovery of the Adelaide Plains it faded into quiet obscurity. BHP established a limestone mine here in the early 1940s, establishing the town in its current layout.


Rapid Bay is known for its imposing cliffs, caves and beach.


Rapid Bay has a long jetty with a local leafy seadragon population. It is one of Australia's premiere shore scuba dive sites.[3] The old wooden Rapid Bay jetty, built by BHP in 1940, was damaged by storms in 2004. A new 240m concrete jetty was completed in 2009.[4][5] In 2002, HMAS Hobart, a guided missile destroyer, was scuttled in 30 metres of water 3 km from shore, and is a also popular scuba diving site. There is good fishing from the jetty.


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Rapid Bay, South Australia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.