Jervis Bay (// or local //) is a bay of 102 square kilometers on the south coast of New South Wales adjacent to the Jervis Bay Territory. HMAS Creswell is located between Jervis Bay Village and Greenpatch in the Jervis Bay Territory.
Jervis Bay has to the south Greenpatch; Hyams Beach, and Bowen Island in the Jervis Bay Territory. In New South Wales, it has Vincentia to the west; Callala Beach, Callala Bay and Hare Bay to the north, and Beecroft Peninsula which has been used as a bombing range for the Royal Australian Navy. To the south of Beecroft Peninsula is Point Perpendicular.
Jervis Bay is bordered by (in order from north to south) the NSW towns of Callala Bay, Callala Beach, Myola, Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach, and the Jervis Bay Territory developments of HMAS Creswell and Jervis Bay Village.
In August 1791 the bay was entered and named by Lieutenant Richard Bowen aboard the convict transport ship Atlantic of the Third Fleet in honour of Admiral John Jervis, under whom he had served. In November 1791 Master Matthew Weatherhead aboard the Matilda entered the bay to undertake repairs.
Jervis Bay has been officially recorded as having the whitest sand in the world.
In the late 1960s Australia's first nuclear power plant was proposed for the area, and a site was prepared. However, the project did not proceed.
Jervis Bay formed as a drowned river valley 15,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. The bay took its present appearance around 4000BCE after the sea levels had risen 120m and as sand dune barriers created the southern peninsula. Much of the rock in Jervis Bay is part of the Sydney Basin sandstone formation, aged 280-225 million years old, although lower areas are overlain with Tertiary-era sediments.
Some 158 square kilometres (61 sq mi) of the land on both sides of the bay has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because the coastal heathland supports the largest sub-population of the endangered Eastern Bristlebird, isolated from other sub-populations. The Jervis Bay natural environment is protected in the Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay National Park and the Jervis Bay Marine Park.
Jervis Bay is a well known recreational fishing and scuba diving destination, with tour operators departing from Huskisson and amateurs using boat ramps at bayside towns and camp sites. Popular diving sites include The Labyrinths, Gorgonian Wall, Point Perpendicular, a Fairey Firefly aeroplane, scallop beds, Middle Ground, Ten Fathom Reef, and Bowen Island.
Jervis Bay is also known for whale watching, placed such that the migration, both north and south can be observed as they pass the entrance to the Bay, frequently entering the bay to rest. The majority of whales sighted at Jervis Bay are the Humpback whales, which migrate along the east coast from June to November, however other species on occasions such as Southern Right Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas, Minke whales and on one occasion the Blue Whale are seen.
Tourism in Jervis Bay is one of the most important avenues of income for many of the local residents, with many businesses orienting themselves toward tourism in and around Jervis Bay. The local Council-managed Visitors Information Centres are located at Nowra and Ulladulla. The Jervis Bay Visitors Information Centre is at the Lady Denman Heritage Centre, within the museum buildings. It contains a wealth of knowledge for visitors to the area.
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- The Jervis Bay Region 1788 to 1939 an Emptied Landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. 2007. p. 1. ISBN 0 9586447 3x.
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- "Gazing onto the world's whitest sands". Sydney Morning Herald. Jan 1, 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- Jervis Bay Landscape and Geology, NSW National Parks and Wildlife.
- Geology and Geomorphology, Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.
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- "Jervis Bay". VisitNSW.com. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
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- Scuba Divers Guide to Jervis Bay, Tom Byron
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