The Great Australian Bight is a large bight, or open bay, off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.
The Bight's boundaries are from Cape Pasley, Western Australia, to Cape Carnot, South Australia - a distance of 1,160 km or 720 miles.
The coast line of the Great Australian Bight is characterised by cliff faces (up to 60 m high), surfing beaches and rock platforms, ideal for whale-watching.
The waters of the Great Australian Bight, despite being relatively shallow, are not fertile. While most continental shelves are rich in sea life and make popular fishing areas, the barren deserts north of the bight have very little rainfall, and what there is mostly flows inland, to dissipate underground or in salt lakes. In consequence, the Great Australian Bight receives very little of the runoff that fertilises most continental shelves and is essentially a marine desert. It is probably best noted for the large number of sharks that frequent its coastal waters, as well as the increasing numbers of Southern Right Whales that migrate within the region.
In areas, the southern ocean blows through many subterranean caves, resulting in blowholes up to several hundred metres from the coast.
The much more generally accepted name in Australia for the adjoining waterbody is the Southern Ocean rather than the Indian Ocean. Much of the Bight lies due south of the expansive Nullarbor Plain, which straddles the two Australian states of South Australia and Western Australia.
The settlements existing along the coastline of the Bight, such as Ceduna and Eucla have facilities to access the bight. Some other locations on the Eyre Highway or located on the Nullarbor do not have facilities or easy access.