Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert

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Keeping our Community Safe - click on link to read Council's newsletter addressing Coronavirus - Newsletter 30 March 2020

Council services

Effective 30 March 2020, the District Council of Franklin Harbour has updated a range of measures to its operations. These measures are in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the health and safety of its staff and the community, while providing the continuity of essential services.

Details of this are set out below:

Council Office

For the safety of staff and the community all enquiries are encouraged to be directed to staff via phone or email, if you wish to contact the Council Office please call 08 8629 2019 or email

Playgrounds, parks and reserves

All playgrounds and skate parks are closed from Monday, 30 March in line with the Federal Government’s restrictions. Signage has been placed at these sites.

While our parks and reserves are still open for exercise, people are reminded of the Federal Government’s limit on two people per social gathering (with exemptions for members of the same household).

Visitor Information Centre, Craft Shop and Historical Museum

The Visitor Information Centre, Craft Shop and Historical Museum are all closed until further notice.

Visitor Information can be located at

Public Toilets & Showers

All public toilets remain open and the cleaning of these facilities has increased. Showers at Port Gibbon and Lucky Bay have been closed until further notice.


Due to the latest Federal Government restrictions, the Library has been closed to the general public. The library are operating a Call & Collect service for library patrons, and for those self-isolating are providing a Drop & Wave service were items can be delivered to your door, there are strict guidelines for these services and these services can change at any time, please contact the library on 8629 2320 for further information.

Refuse Site

The refuse site remains open and can be accessed by the general public at the normal opening times, please ensure social distancing is undertaken at all times whilst attending this site.


People are urged to avoid any non-essential travel plans, including holiday travel planned for the Easter long weekend and school holiday break.

This information will continue to be updated, last updated 2.30pm 31 March 2020.

Dismiss alert


Franklin Harbour district is one of the older established areas on Eyre Peninsula. This area was first seen by Captain Matthew Flinders in the "Investigator" in 1802, when he reported a large lagoon (Franklin Harbour) visible from the mast-head, and gave the name Elbow Hill to a point in the coastal range. In 1840, Governor Gawler visited the area from Port Lincoln, and named Franklin Harbour after a midshipman on Flinders' vessel - John (later Sir John) Franklin. The name of Cowell was applied to the township in 1880 by Governor Jervois, after Sir John Cowell, a brilliant English Army Engineer.

The first settlers in the area were Dr James McKechnie and his brothers Donald and Peter, who came from Scotland in 1853 and took up their "run" which became known as Wangaraleednie Station. The name is considered to be an anglicised version of an Aboriginal word meaning "hill of the west wind". The original pine and pug home is now a ruin, but the present homestead dates from 1879. The old Middlecamp outstation nearer to Cowell is classified "B" by the National Trust.

Franklin Harbour is virtually a land locked harbour, with a narrow entrance about 300 meters wide through which vessels have entry. The entrance is like a fast flowing river when the tide is running. In the early part of this century, and until the advent of reliable motor transport, it was an important shipping port and it was a common sight to see three coastal vessels tied to the jetty several times a week.

Today the town of Cowell is the service centre for the surrounding rural areas, and for the professional fishers and aquaculture farmers who make their living from the harbour and gulf waters.

Further historic information can be found in the following books:
"Saga of Wangaraleednie" by Frank Masters
"Franklin Harbour District Council 1888 - 1988"
Both of these books are available for sale at the Council Office, phone 8629 2019.