The Eyre Bird Observatory was established as Australia's first bird observatory by Birds Australia (formerly the RAOU) in 1977.
The observatory is a lovely old stone building nestled between leafy woodlands and striking white dunes within walking distance of the beach. It was built in 1897 to serve as a telegraph station on the Intercolonial Telegraph Line (South Australia to Western Australia). It is located near the site where explorer Edward John Eyre found water during his overland journey from Adelaide to Albany in 1841. The station was deserted in 1930 and remained so until its restoration in 1977.
The building incorporates a fine natural history library and a small museum, which provides some history of the Eyre Telegraph Station and the telegraph line. It also contains information and displays on the coastal environments, including past activities such as whaling.
East and west
Ruins of other telegraph stations built on the Intercolonial Telegraph Line are located to the east at Eucla (near Eucla National Park) and to the west at Israelite Bay, which lies within Nuytsland Nature Reserve.
Book your visit
Day visitors and overnight guests to the observatory welcome. Bookings essential. Contact Eyre Bird Observatory caretakers before arrival.
The turnoff from the Eyre Highway to the observatory is 17km east of Cocklebiddy. The unsealed access road, which is suitable for two-wheel drive, will take you to a lookout near the edge of the scarp. The descent down the scarp and last 10km of the track to the observatory is suitable for four-wheel drive only. Observatory caretakers will ferry overnight guests who have two-wheel drive vehicles from the lookout to the observatory by prior arrangement. Two-wheel drive vehicles, trailers, and caravans must be left at the lookout.