The South Australian City of Whyalla Is Now Home to a Spectacular New LED-Lit Circular Jetty

Add it to your must-visit list — it spans 315 metres, and is the only jetty of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
Sarah Ward
Published on September 22, 2020

Strolling along a jetty is one of life's simple pleasures. Decking stretches from the shore out over the ocean, the water glistens as far as the eye can see, and the breeze — because there's always a breeze — is instantly refreshing. And, no matter where in the world you happen to be, the experience always feels comfortably familiar. The scenery might be different, but there's not much about moseying along a pier that changes from place to place.

Well, that's usually the case. At Australia's new structure in the Eyre Peninsula city of Whyalla, in South Australia, the whole jetty concept has had quite the upgrade. The basics are still the same — it's still a platform that juts out over the sea, of course, and you still walk along it and soak in the coastal splendour — but this one has a huge circle in the middle, as well as LED lights along its handrails. If you're thinking about immediately adding it to your must-visit list, that's understandable.

Instead of running in a straight line as most piers do, this $7.8-million concrete jetty boasts a loop in the centre — and visitors have to walk either one way or the other along the circle to get to the end of the structure. The design isn't symmetrical, which means you have two options: take the shorter, more direct route as you head to the big square platform at the jetty's tip, or meander along the lengthier arc for a leisurely spot of wave-watching.

If you decide to wander along the entire jetty — walking the full circumference of the loop, as well as the straight sections at either end — you'll cover 315 metres. You'll also venture 165 metres out from the shore. In addition, you'll have ample space, as the whole thing is 4.5 metres wide. For accessibility purposes, a 45-metre ramp is currently under construction as well.

A render of the jetty

Officially opened on Wednesday, September 16, the Whyalla Jetty is the only jetty of its kind in the southern hemisphere — and given its eye-catching look, it's easy to see how that's the case. The design was selected by the local community to replace the old pier, which was destroyed by a fire in 2019 but was set to be superseded by the new jetty anyway. And, in picking a new structure, these SA residents have chosen well.

To keep the jetty visible at night, bespoke lighting has been installed in its top brushed steel balustrade, too, with each 50-centimetre section of railing including a five-centimetre LED pod. So, as well as standing out due to its shape, this pier lights up the night. It has been built to last at least 80 years, so expect those lights to glow for some time.

Visitors can meander along the jetty's expanse, obviously, as well as fish off the side; however, jetty jumping is strictly forbidden. There aren't any ladders or steps to take you down to the water either — so once you're up there, you'll be looking down at the sea from above.

Find the Whyalla Jetty in Whyalla, on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. For further details, visit the Whyalla City Council's website.

Published on September 22, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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