Gulf St Vincent

Gulf St Vincent, sometimes incorrectly referred to as St Vincent Gulf, St Vincent's Gulf or Gulf of St Vincent, is a large inlet of water on the southern coast of Australia, in the state of South Australia. It is bordered by Yorke Peninsula on its west, the mainland and Fleurieu Peninsula to its east, with its entrance being a line from Troubridge Point on Yorke Peninsula to Cape Jervis on Fleurieu Peninsula.[2] Adelaide, the South Australian capital, lies midway along the gulf's east coast. Other towns located on the gulf, from west to east include Edithburgh, Port Vincent, Ardrossan and Port Wakefield and Normanville.

Gulf St Vincent
Gulf St Vincent is the easternmost of the two inlets
River sourcesBungala, Dry Creek, Field, Gawler, Gilbert, Light, Little Para River, Onkaparinga, Patawalonga, Port, Sturt, Torrens, Wakefield
Basin countriesAustralia
Max. length138.9 km (86.3 mi)[1]
Max. width61.15 km (38.00 mi)[1]
Surface area6,800 km2 (2,600 sq mi)[2]
Average depth21 m (69 ft)[2]
Max. depth40 m (130 ft)[3]
IslandsGarden Island
Troubridge Island
Torrens Island

The Aboriginal name given to it by the original inhabitants of the are was Wongajerla.[5] It was named Gulph of St. Vincent by Matthew Flinders on 30 March 1802, in honour of Admiral John Jervis (1st Earl of St Vincent).[6] It was shortly afterwards (after his meeting with Flinders at Encounter Bay on 8 April 1802) mapped by Nicolas Baudin, who named it Golfe de la Mauvaise[5] or Golfe de la Misanthrophie.[7] In the following year Louis de Freycinet renamed Golphe Josephine to honour Josephine Bonaparte.[8][5]

Due to Flinders' lengthy imprisonment on Mauritius during his return to England, the publication of Baudin's map preceded that of Flinders by three years.

The Adelaide Desalination Plant which is located on Gulf St Vincent's eastern shore in Lonsdale, supplies the Adelaide metropolitan area with desalinated water from the gulf. It officially opened in 2013.[9][10]


The Gulf teems with crustacea and polychaeta, as well as various species of sea squirts and sea urchins. The benthos is a soft sediment shelf, with species of zosteraceae around the mouth of the Port River. The cardinalfish genus Vincentia takes its name from Gulf St Vincent where the type specimen of its type species was collected.[11]

See also


  1. Hydrographic Department, Ministry of Defence (reproduced by the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service) (1983). Gulf of St Vincent and approaches (chart no. 1762).
  2. Bye, J.A.T. (1976). "Chapter 11:Physical oceanography of Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait". In Twidale, C.R.; Tyler, M.J; Webb, B.P (eds.). Natural history of the Adelaide Region. Royal Society of South Australia Inc. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-9596627-0-2.
  3. South Australia. Department of Marine and Harbors (1985), The Waters of South Australia a series of charts, sailing notes and coastal photographs, Dept. of Marine and Harbors, South Australia, pp. Chart 21, ISBN 978-0-7243-7603-2
  4. "Place Name Search: Gulf St Vincent". Geoscience Australia. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  5. Gulf St Vincent: A precious Asset (PDF). Friends of Parks Inc / Friends of Gulf St Vincent. 2009. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-646-52043-8.
  6. Matthew Flinders. "South coast. Gulph of St. Vincent". A voyage to Terra Australis. State Library of South Australia. p. 180. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  7. Dutton, Geoffrey (1984). Founder of a city: the life of Colonel William Light, first Surveyor-General of the colony of South Australia, founder of Adelaide, 1786-1839 ([New] ed.). Rigby. pp. 146–147. ISBN 978-0-7270-1913-4.
  8. Eric Wolanski (editor), Estuaries of Australia in 2050 and Beyond, Dordrecht: Springer, 2014, p.155 (ISBN 9789400770188 & ISBN 9400770189)
  9. "Adelaide Desalination Plant (ADP)". SA Water. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  10. "Adelaide Desalination Plant (Port Stanvac)". ACCIONA Australia. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  11. Christopher Scharpf & Kenneth J. Lazara (31 May 2018). "Order KURTIFORMES (Nurseryfishes and Cardinalfishes)". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
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