Bowen Island (Jervis Bay)

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Little Penguins

Bowen Island is a sandstone island lying 250 m off the tip of the Bherwerre Peninsula at the entrance to Jervis Bay, on the coast of New South Wales, Australia. The island, however, is not part of the state of New South Wales but of the Jervis Bay Territory, administered by Australia’s federal government. It lies within the Booderee National Park.[1]


The island is tear-shaped, about 1.1 km long north to south, and 0.6 km wide. It slopes sharply from the cliffs on its eastern, or oceanic, side down to rock platforms at sea level on its west. Much of it is covered by windblown sand supporting, and stabilised by, various vegetation communities.[1] The island was named after Lieutenant Richard Bowen RN. Another Bowen Island, in Canada, is named after Richard's eldest brother Rear-Admiral James Bowen RN.


It is home to an important Little Penguin colony, with some 5000 breeding pairs.[2] Other birds nesting on the island include Sooty Oystercatchers and three species of shearwater (Little, Wedge-tailed and Short-tailed). The island, with the waters on its western side, constitutes a special purpose zone intended to protect nesting seabirds and their habitat from disturbance, and is not open to general public access.[1]

Panorama of Jervis Bay with Bowen Island in the central background


  1. ^ a b c Booderee National Park Board of Management and the Director of National Parks (2002). Booderee National Park Management Plan. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. ISBN 0 642 54825 0. 
  2. ^ "Little Penguin". Booderee National Park: Birdwatching. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australia. 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 

Coordinates: 35°07′06″S 150°46′07″E / 35.11833°S 150.76861°E / -35.11833; 150.76861