CEDUNA - South Australia
The town is the last major settlement before crossing the Nullarbor Plain from east to west. It is set on Murat Bay and the sandy coves, sheltered bays and offshore islands of the bay make it a popular base for a beach holiday. The foreshore at Ceduna is lined with Norfolk Island pine trees. There is a jetty for walking, fishing and small boats.
Ceduna is on land that was part of the traditional home of the Wirangu people.
Matthew Flinders, on his voyage in the Investigator, anchored in Fowlers Bay on 28 January 1802. He went on to explore the coast and named Denial Bay, Smoky Bay and the islands of Nuyts Archipelago. He was disappointed to find no river and gave the name Denial Bay because they did not find fresh water.
French expedition leader Nicolas Baudin discovered Murat Bay after meeting with Flinders and named it after Joachim Murat. He also named the point of Thevenard after the Admiral and Minister of Marine Antoine-Jean-Marie Thevenard, and Decres Bay after Denis Decres, duke of the First French Empire.
The first European exploration of the hinterland was during August–September 1839 by John Hill and Samuel Stephens, using the chartered brig Rapid as a base. Hill reported to Governor Gawler that although the bay was 'valuable', the hinterland was 'waterless', thereby stalling European interest.
There was a whaling station on nearby St Peter Island during the 1850s before settlement.
The Commissioner of Crown Lands, faced with widespread agitation to open West Coast lands for agricultural settlement, invited three farmers in July 1887 to inspect the lands between Streaky Bay and Western Australia. They were optimistic about the area and recommended that the necessary surveys be started at once. In 1889 the Government in Adelaide formalised the Far West with survey lines.
In June 1901, the town of Ceduna was proclaimed. For many years, locals called the township Murat Bay and it was not until the railways came and called the siding Ceduna in 1915 that locals adopted the name. The Ceduna Jetty was built in 1902.
The Tod Water pipeline was officially opened by Mr M McIntosh, Commissioner of Public Works, June 1928.
Ceduna was the site of a major satellite telecommunications facility operated by the Overseas Telecommunications Commission. It was a major employer in the town until made redundant by technological change. It was built in 1969 and by 1984 almost half of Australia's International telecommunication traffic passed through Ceduna's Earth Station.
On 4 December 2002, Ceduna received international attention when the path of totality of a solar eclipse passed directly over the town. Though the day had at times been partly cloudy, and although mere kilometres away in Thevenard the view was still clouded over, the southwestern sky where the Sun and Moon were located was clear from Ceduna itself at the time of the total solar eclipse, late in the afternoon.
In the 2007/2008 State Budget, Premier Mike Rann (who had opened the new Ceduna TAFE campus in the early 1990s) announced a commitment of $36 million for Stage 1 of the Ceduna Hospital Redevelopment. It was opened in 2011.
In February 2010 Premier Rann opened the world's largest mineral sands mine, operated by Iluka Resources. The $390 million mine is located 200 km north west of Ceduna.