Whyalla is located 396km northwest of South Australia's capital, Adelaide. The city is the largest in the Upper Spencer Gulf region, and is located on the western shores of Spencer Gulf. Founded in 1901 as the town of Hummock Hill and renamed Whyalla in 1914, it was established as a port to ship iron ore extracted from the nearby Middleback Ranges.
Whyalla City Council is a regional council occuping an urban area of 41.5 square kilometres, while the total Local Government Area is approximately 1,000 square kilometres (below). The area is bounded by the Middleback Ranges to the west and Spencer Gulf to the east. The boundary of the Whyalla Local Government area extends along the coastline, 35 kilometres north and south of the urban area and approximately 18 kilometres inland.