If you’re ever travelling across Australia on the Eyre Highway, be sure to budget time for The Old Telegraph Station.
Located in the sand dunes, just 11km from the WA/SA border, the Telegraph Station stands as one of the last ruins of what used to be a thriving settlement. Established in 1877, the old site of the Eucla township included the telegraph station, a jetty, a tramline and of course, the telegraph line itself. The close location to the WA/SA border was no accident. In those days, Western Australia and South Australia were separate governments and their communications systems ran on different codes meaning that every messaged that crossed the border had to be translated and retyped. Messages would arrive in one office of the telegraph station, be carried across to a wall which represented the boundary between WA and SA, passed through a pigeon hole, and then sent by the other state’s telegraphist who sat on the other side of the wall.
The location of the repeater station was one of the few places on the Great Australian Bight where supplies could be landed. It was the only place where boats could moor for hundreds of kilometres and so a jetty and one kilometre of tracks were constructed to allow for the loading and unloading of goods. The cliffs to the east are the longest stretch of uninterrupted cliff face in the world.
In the 1890s, the original Eucla township was abandoned due to a rabbit plague which swept over the dusty land. The telegraph station continued to operate for a few years but when a new townsite was built just a few kilometres to the north, the Eucla Telegraph Station closed and was left at the mercy of weather and stand. Only ruins remain today.
To Find the Site: The Old Telegraph Station is located to the south of Eucla, WA. Directions are available on Google Maps.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS NEARBY:
- Eucla Jetty (walk towards the ocean from the Old Telegraph Station)
- Murranwijinie Caves
- Bunda Cliffs (Great Australian Bite)
- Nullarbor Links (longest golf course in the world)