Map - Gun Island

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Gun Island

Gun Island is one of the larger islands in the Pelsaert Group of the Houtman Abrolhos, in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. It is nominally at, about north and east of Half Moon Reef and is a flat limestone outcrop of about 800 by in size. The island is part of the Houtman Abrolhos Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for supporting large numbers of breeding seabirds.

Between June 1727 and March 1728, crew of the Dutch VOC ship Zeewyk were stranded on the island after it struck Half Moon Reef. After a longboat with 11 seamen which had been dispatched to go for help had failed to return, the remaining survivors constructed a 20 m sloop from the wreckage, which they named the Sloepie. Of the 88 who survived, 82 arrived in Batavia on 30 April 1728.

During admiralty surveys of the north-west coast in 1840, the crew from HMS Beagle discovered a brass gun of about three pounds calibre and an iron swivel on which paint was still adhered. Captain Stokes with Commander John Clements Wickham named the place Gun Island. They also discovered several coins, including one dated about 1707 and another dated 1720. Also seen was what appeared to be the beam of a ship with an iron bolt through it, and glass bottles and clay pipes. The material was presumed to have been left there by the Zeewyk castaways 112 years earlier.

In 1883, Charles Edward Broadhurst, who had been granted a lease for guano export, discovered several campsites and seal bones there, which had evidently been killed for sustenance by the Zeewyk crew.

Gun Island was one of the most heavily worked islands of the Abrolhos Islands for guano. Guano workings continued on a commercial scale from the 1880s to the 1920s, and again in the mid-1940s. A 100 m stone jetty built for loading guano on the south-eastern corner is intact.

A yacht, the Nautilus, was wrecked at Gun Island in 1897.

A stratigraphic test well was drilled on Gun Island (28º53'30.11"S, 113º51'27.0"E) by BP Petroleum Development Australia in June–November 1968. It was drilled within the Perth Basin and reached a total depth (TD) of. The extent of the drilling platform near the wharf can be seen on satellite images.


Map - Gun Island

Latitude / Longitude : 28° 53' 14" S / 113° 51' 32" E | Time zone : UTC+8 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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