8 Incredible Piers and Jetties
If you've ever been to the coast there's a good chance you'll have come face to face with either a jetty or pier, both of which are man-made structures that extend from the shore out into the water. Generally (there are exceptions) a jetty is made of stone and rests on the bottom of the water's bed so as to restrict its flow, in turn either protecting the harbour or providing a dock for ships. Piers, on the other hand, are usually pile-supported decks, generally used as walkways for pedestrians, fishermen and researchers.
Usage aside, both jetties and piers are visually charming structures which add a certain amount of character to beaches and harbours around the World, in some places serving as major tourist attractions in their own right. Below are just some of them, accompanied by interactive Google Maps.
1. Busselton Jetty, Busselton, Australia
Measuring a whopping 1.84km, the 140 year old jetty in Busselton is (so they say) the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. This mammoth structure - which is also home to an underwater observatory - was built to enable the loading and unloading of ships which couldn't get close to the shore due to its shallow waters. Since then the jetty has been extended on numerous occasions.
2. Southend Pier, Southend, U.K.
Southend Pier is the world's longest 'pleasure pier' and measures a hefty 2.15km from shore to pier-head. It has also been victim to an incredibly high number of disasters over the years, with attackers ranging from fire through to high winds and even a number of stray boats. Also, the pier is so large it's even home to a single track railway.
3. Progreso Pier, Yucatan, Mexico
The pier in Progreso is absolutely enormous, jutting out 6.5km into the Gulf of Mexico in order to accommodate the numerous large cruise ships which enter the port on a regular basis. However, this pier is apparently not big enough. Work began this year on a new pier parallel to the existing one which when completed will measure somewhere in the region of 7km.
4. Spiral Jetty, Utah, U.S.A.
Ok, so this isn't a jetty in the strictest sense, but it is worthy inclusion as a tourist attraction which protrudes from a shore. It's classed as an earthwork sculpture, measures 1500ft in length, and was created by artist Robert Smithson in 1970.
5. Port Germein Jetty, Port Germein, Australia
In its heyday, when it measured 1.64km, the jetty at Port Germein was the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere. Unfortunately storms battered the structure to such an extent that its length was decreased and never repaired, resulting in a lack of world records and the inability for ships to use it as a dock. What is left is a great photo opportunity and a 20 minute walk from end to end.
6. Redondo Pier, California, U.S.A.
Since its initial construction back in 1889, the pier at Redondo Beach has taken on a variety of shapes (see here
) and sizes. In its current form the pier consists of two triangular sections which boasts a combined area of 70,000 square feet and which have resulted in the structure being the 'largest endless pier on the California coast', a title which presumably was quite easy to win.
7. St Petersburg Pier, Florida, U.S.A.
St. Petersburg Pier is a monster. Opened in 1889, the pier has since undergone various renovations, the most notable being the addition of an enormous 5 storey inverted pyramid at the pier's head which serves as a complex for the structure's numerous attractions and shops. Just as you would expect in Florida, this pier is huge.
8. Kastrup Sea Bath Pier, Kastrup, Denmark
This beautiful wooden pier in Kastrup serves as a walkway between the shore and a stunning wooden enclosure that is in fact a sea bath. The pier itself is small but stunning and was built in 2004.
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