Bald Hill Beach

Where is it?: Bald Hill Beach is c. 14km south of Port Wakefield on the eastern shore of the Gulf of St Vincent. It is on the Proof and Experimental Establishment, Port Wakefield.

Owner: Department of Defence

Property summary: Total area c. 70 hectares. Hundred of Inkerman – Part Allotment 100 (Deposited Plan 91761) and Allotment 315 (Deposited Plan 61641)

Landscape Management Region: Northern and Yorke

History: Land for the proof range was first acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 1924. By the end of 1925 the South Australian Harbors Board was erecting piles in the gulf marking the range’s seaward boundaries to deter intrusions by fishing boats and other vessels. Although the establishment was small, its remoteness meant that it had to be self-contained, so from the outset the entire building complex was equipped with reticulated electricity, water and sewerage, and the administration, guardhouse and range were linked by telephone. The first official test firings at the Port Wakefield Proof Range took place in December 1929. In 1997 the area was renamed the Proof and Experimental Establishment. In May 2004, to acknowledge this greater diversity in its functions, the Proof and Experimental Establishment Port Wakefield was re-named the Joint Proof and Experimental Establishment.

Habitat: Habitats around Bald Hill Beach include:

  • Low Shrubland – Short-leaf Bluebush (Maireana brevifolia)
  • Low Shrubland – Fused Samphire (Tecticornia syncarpa)
  • Low Shrubland – Shrubby Samphire (Tecticornia arbuscula), Beaded Samphire (Sarcocornia quinqueflora) 
  • Tidal flats

More information: Defence

Total Species Recorded to Date: 86 (non-passerines 60, passerines 26)

Common Species: Pied Oystercatcher, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Silver Gull, Crested Pigeon, Singing Honeyeater

Less Common Species: Australian White Ibis, Swamp Harrier, Double-banded Plover, Lesser San Plover, Great Knot, Sacred Kingfisher 


Bell, P. 2004 History of the Port Wakefield Proof Range. Historical Research Pty. Ltd., Adelaide

Updated: 9/01/2022

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