Map - Thistle Island

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Thistle Island

Thistle Island is in the Spencer Gulf, South Australia, some 200 km west of Adelaide, and northwest of the Gambier Islands. The city of Port Lincoln lies to the northwest of the island. Between them, the Gambier Islands and Thistle form a chain across the mouth of the gulf between the southern tips of the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas. As of 2014 the Royal Australian Navy operated an acoustic range in the waters west of Thistle Island, with a small control facility being located on the island itself.

The island was named by British explorer Matthew Flinders in 1802, after a terrible accident in which a cutter that was mastered by John Thistle and carrying 7 other men, overturned in choppy seas while returning from the mainland to the ship. Despite frantic searching by the ships crew, the bodies of the men were never found. Flinders also named several smaller islands in the area after the lost crew.

A small community of sealers, their Aboriginal "wives" and children were living on the island by 1832. They are thought to have had their camp on the shore of Waterhouse Bay.

The South Australian Company established a shore-based bay whaling station at Whalers Bay in 1838. A team of experienced whalers were brought from Tasmania with H.B.T. McFarlane in charge as headsman. The operation had limited success during the 1838 season and none at all in the 1839 season. It was concluded the location was too far from the migration route of the southern right whale and the site was abandoned.

The historic Whalers Bay Whaling Site and Thistle Island Sealing Site are both listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.


Map - Thistle Island

Latitude / Longitude : 34° 59' 44" S / 136° 9' 2" E | Time zone : UTC+10:30:30 / UTC+9:30 (Summer) | 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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