Map - Vansittart Island

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Vansittart Island

Vansittart Island, also known as Gun Carriage Island, is a granite island with an area of 800 hectare. The island is part of Tasmania's Vansittart Island Group, lying in eastern Bass Strait between Flinders and Cape Barren Islands in the Furneaux Group.

It is partly private property and partly leasehold land and is currently used for grazing Wiltshire Horn sheep. The island is part of the Franklin Sound Islands Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because it holds over 1% of the world populations of six bird species.

1. Former Bass Strait sealers were living on the island by the 1820s. In 1831 George Robinson came to evict the sealers and their families as he wanted to establish an Aboriginal settlement (see Section 5 below) on the island. When the Aboriginal establishment proved unsuccessful the sealers and their families returned to the island. Their community had grown to 28 people by the time Bishop Nixon came to visit in 1854.

2. In 1842 the island was formally charted by and renamed from Gun Carriage Island to Vansittart Island. "Vansittart" is a significant maritime name within private and naval vessels, linked to the East India Company where Henry Vansittart was Governor of Bengal from 1759 to 1764.

3. In that year 1842 HMS Beagle returned to Van Diemens Land following a reverse circumference of Australia, via Timor and Swan River, Western Australia; Lt John Lort Stokes was affirmed as captain following the departure of then Cpt Wickham at Brisbane for reasons of sickness. Beagle was destined to join the Van Diemens Land government's cutter the Vansittart (seconded from the Van Diemens Land Government as tender to HMS Beagle) for the NE charting of Tasmania and the Bass Strait. Following which in the Bass Strait - Flinders Group of islands, "Gun Carriage Island" (named by sealers) was officially named "Vansittart Island".

4. Originally the vessel Vansittart was a private sloop with two cannon arriving from London and Cowes into Hobart Town, Van Diemens Land with eight soles aboard on 30 January 1836. Following arrival, within days Vansittart was sharing the harbour with HMS Beagle when Captain Robert Fitzroy and Charles Darwin with Lt Wickham berthed on 5 February 1836 on their reverse circumference of the globe, establishing the Theory of Evolution. This was the first of two considerably notable meetings between the two vessels. Vansittart traded between Hobart Town, Sydney, Kangaroo Island and Launceston prior to purchase by the colonial government of Van Diemens Land (renamed Tasmania 1856) on 22 February 1837 for "search and rescue".

5. Vansittart frequently visited Port Arthur and progressed to be a government revenue cutter and is purported to have transported the last Aboriginals from the main island of Van Diemens Land to the Flinders Group for a failed resettlement. Vansittart was lost at sea when sailing from Sydney to California as a private vessel under Master Gill 1849, the California Gold Rush had started in 1848.

 

Map - Vansittart Island

Latitude / Longitude : 40° 16' 12" S / 148° 18' 0" E | Time zone : UTC+11:0 / UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  

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Vansittart Island--Vansittart Island Tasmania

Vansittart Island Tasmania
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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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