The Landslide Legacy – Australia’s Scenic Public Toilet # 34, Wool Bay

Last Updated on December 7, 2015 by Red Nomad OZ

Wool Bay Jetty (and public loos) from old Limestone Kiln, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Wool Bay Jetty (and public loos) from old Limestone Kiln, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Looking down over the steep limestone cliff into the multicoloured waters of the Southern Yorke Peninsula’s Wool Bay can be a parallel universe moment as the flat and unremarkable pastoral country – often dry and arid – gives way to the vividly coloured and splendid panorama of the bay.

Wool Bay from the Jetty, Yorke Peninsula
Wool Bay from the Jetty, Yorke Peninsula

High on the cliff the now disused limestone kiln, the only one left of several which once gave this tiny town its purpose, towers above the jetty that gave Wool Bay its current name.

The Conveniences Context:  Wool Bay Jetty, Loos and Limestone Kiln with Pt Giles Jetty in the background
The Conveniences Context:  Wool Bay Jetty, Loos and Limestone Kiln with Pt Giles Jetty in the background

The jetty was originally built for limestone transportation but it’s apparently wide enough to roll a bale of wool down so became known as the Wool Bay Jetty. Of course whether anyone ever indulged in the (tragically) lost art of jetty-wool-bale-rolling is unknown – AND irrelevant – because the fact of being able to was enough to change the town’s name from Pickering to Wool Bay.

Wool Bay Limestone Kiln from Loos, Wool Bay, Yorke Peninsula
Wool Bay Limestone Kiln from Loos, Wool Bay, Yorke Peninsula

Just as well it wasn’t re-named ‘Limestone Bay’.

Despite the fanfare and great expectations of the opening ceremony on 11 August 1910, the variable wind conditions meant that although Miller’s Lime Kiln Co became the main supplier of lime for the Adelaide building industry, the three clifftop kilns were not successful.

Wool Bay's Limestone Landslide Legacy, the Temporary Toilets! South Australia
Wool Bay’s Limestone Landslide Legacy, the Temporary Toilets! South Australia

So what’s a nice temporary toilet doing in a setting like this?

Clifftop sign, Wool Bay
Clifftop sign, Wool Bay

A couple of years ago, a heavy storm dumped so much rain in the area that the fragile limestone cliff above the previous ‘permanent’ public amenities collapsed and took out the loo.

BUT … every cloud has a silver lining!

The magnificent coastal views from the new amenities for the many visitors who use the jetty for fishing, diving to spot leafy seadragons and other recreational pursuits are far more extensive than from the old site!

Previous Loo site, Wool Bay
Previous Loo site, Wool Bay

The panorama from the top of the old limestone kiln is enhanced by the distinctive ‘building site blocks’ that add a focal point to the car park and wharf!!

And the temporary toilet’s convenient location virtually on the jetty ensures far less ‘down time’ when nature calls!!!

What’s NOT to love?!?!

The waters of Wool Bay
The waters of Wool Bay

SO … who needs a lasting loo when these fine fly-by-night fixtures are already a semi-permanent part of the Wool Bay jetty landscape?

The legacy of Wool Bay’s limestone landslide might just turn out to be permanent after all!!

Watch this space …

Limestone Kiln, Landslide and Loos from the Wool Bay Jetty
Limestone Kiln, Landslide and Loos from the Wool Bay Jetty
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  1. What a fascinating place. I’ve never heard of it even though I’ve been to the Yorke Peninsula, but it looks like almost every other place we visited because they all have similar jetties. Love the old limestone kiln and the waters are so crystal clear. It certainly is a scenic spot for a loo with a view!

    1. You’re right, Kathy! A jetty, cliffs, stunning seascape – and scenic loo – can be found in almost every YP town! But they’re all subtly different 😀

  2. Nothing like a relaxing time at the loo:) I wouldn’t mind “going” here:) Thanks for the tour. Such crystal waters. I dream of Australia one day. The wildlife I can only imagine is spectacular!

  3. @diane b – your wish is their command! Just revisited the Wool Bay Jetty -the temp loos have gone & a new permanent loo has been built down the far end!!!
    @Stuart – It’s the kind of place where it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo!!
    @Go Camping – Haha, I already have!! Just click ‘Yorke Peninsula’ under ‘South Australia’ on the right, and you’ll get all my posts about it!!!
    @Eileeninmd – Well, it’s gone now!! They’ve built a new permanent loo down the far end and removed the temp ones!! I’m sure my post had nothing to do with it 🙂

  4. Great colours in the water and under the water. A great view from the loo but I feel the loos spoil the scenery. Hopefully they can rebuild a more aesthetic loo block.

  5. @SFlaGUY – HAha, if it didn’t work for limestone, what makes you think it’d work for BBQ?? Don’t know if you recall the 80’s ad campagin for travel to OZ ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’ with Croc Dundee (Paul Hogan)?? It’s there on YouTube somewhere …
    @Sallie – Time in THIS loo means time NOT being out in that marvellous landscape!
    @Iris – you’ll just have to put it on the list for next time … and maybe you & I could start up wool bale rolling?? It’s a date!
    @Jill – Just add the whole of the Yorke Peninsula to your travel list … there’s nothing like it! Look forward to seeing your pix!
    @darling – Haha, one visit is NEVER enough!!

  6. @FruitCake – On the contrary, I could take up your challenge and try to track down the Dunnies in that 70’s book … but it’s quite possible you & I would be the only ones interested!!
    @MJWC – Storm damage aside, I suspect the only thing to start it crumbling would be morons trying to climb it …
    @Saucy Kod – Haha, tour Australia via its most scenic loos would be a bestseller I’m sure … NOT!!!
    @Beach Bum – You know what? It’s even BETTER live!! Did you see the award I gave you a few posts back??
    @Mary – Can’t wait to see the look on the travel agent’s face when you tell her/him you want the ‘RED’s LOO TOUR’!!!

  7. @LONDONLULU – HAha, when you’ve got to go, you’ve GOT to go!!
    @Arija – Sadly, I’m yet to see Bell’s Beach at all, let alone the loo! One day, one day … The seahorses are apparently right around the jetty – it’s a known hotspot for them & they’re often seen when snorkelling. I’m yet to do that too – it’s always too windy or cold!
    @Fun60 – The toilet is ALMOST incidental to the view …
    @Carole – It’s hard to beat the range of colours in the ocean on the Yorke Peninsula! Come down & try it sometime!
    @Andrew – Don’t you just LOVE a graphic graphic! There’s no doubt what THIS one means – to even the most confirmed bogan!
    @Kath – As I’m fishing for them now just down the coast … a little foray just offshore got us 9 King George Whiting, 7 Tommies & a massive salmon trout! And that was just the keepers! April really IS the best month on the YP!

  8. Wow, this place looks stunning Red! I’d love to come back for another visit and make this a ‘must see’ place!

    I noticed you are now following me on twitter, I’m still trying to figure it out so please be patient with me. I’ve just caught on to instagram… as I laugh!


  9. I’m off to find Wool Bay on my map – we will be in SA later in the year, looks like I will need to add it to my list. It would be interesting to see jetty-wool-bale-rolling! Perhaps they could start an annual event!

  10. What an awesome place!!! What did I just say about Adelaide?! (e-mail)
    Oh, dang. So sad jetty-wool-bale-rolling is a lost art 😉
    Just like lace-making at night with the maker turned upside-down… (my colleagues come up with the weirdest stuff at times).
    Right, when nature calls this might be a good alternative for the guys at the jetty!
    Awww, those colors, so dang beautiful!

  11. That kiln would make one heck of a BBQ. So what do y’all throw down on the grill down under? A little slow roasted sheep and Kangaroo maybe? I did notice the crowds are a bit slim for a real party so be sure to invite a few hundred friends before lighting that bad boy up. Yes – I do see the world a little differently.

  12. That water is beautiful. I’d love to kick off my shoes and have a walk in it. I’m so glad the “loo” adventures continue. I have quite a directory of spots to stop when I finally get to really tour your country. I hope your week is off to a great start.Blessings…Mary

  13. Doesn’t matter how breathtaking the views are or how high the hills are or what magnificent the clear waters are, or how many Alligators one might see, we all gotta “GO” at some point during our truly wonderful journeys, adventures and If I ever visit Aussie land, at least I have some idea as to where all these lovely “LOOS” are, with all their added attractions 🙂 Cheers Red

  14. Always nice to know where the toilet is!! Beautiful! Might be a little scary if that cliff starts crumbling when someone is near.

  15. Suppose a “lost loos of Australia” series would be too much of a challenge. Just the same, the water looks really inviting, and the story of the lime kilns is interesting. Thanks!

  16. How interesting. The warning sign about crumbling cliffs is graphic. I guess it is not something to be too obscure about.

  17. De do have a great variety of dunnys. Have you seen the loos at Bell’s Beach? Wool Bay is a very photogenic spot. Are the sea horses in deep or shallow water. i.e. can you see them when snorkelling?

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