Eddystone (Tasmania)

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Eddystone (indigenous name: Larapuna) is a tower-shaped rock or small island, 30 m high and 27 km from South East Cape on a bearing of 149°, in Tasmania, Australia. It is known for its inaccessibility and distinctive shape. It is part of the Southwest National Park, and thus included in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site.

Eddystone should not be confused with the similarly named Eddystone Point off the north-east coast of Tasmania. They can be identified and distinguished using the place name search at Geoscience Australia[1]

50 metres off Eddystone there is a recently publicised surf break named 'Eddystone Rock'. Surfers were shown the location by local fisherman, who have known about the legend for many years.


Eddystone is an erosional remnant of the Tasmanian mainland. It is estimated to have separated from the mainland at least 15,000 years ago.[2]

The island was described by Abel Tasman in 1642 as "a tall, obtuse, square tower".[3] A painting[4] from 1823 bears this out, and also shows its proximity to Pedra Branca, 2.2 km to the west.

Eddystone was named by Captain James Cook in 1777 because of its resemblance to Eddystone Lighthouse in Devon, England.[5]


In 1884, the adjacent colonies of Tasmania and Victoria were discussing the erection of a lighthouse at Eddystone Point, which was eventually built.[6] The lighthouse and keepers cottages are made of granite, quarried from nearby.[7] Head of works and head mason was James Galloway from Glasgow, Scotland, who migrated to Tasmania to oversee the building program. His brother, Alexander Galloway also migrated from Glasgow to work on the building of the lighthouse and cottages.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The island has negligible plant life. Seabirds recorded as nesting there include Australasian Gannets, Black-faced Cormorants and Fairy Prions.[8] Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals haul-out on the lower ledges when seas are not too rough.[5]

Important Bird Area[edit]

Together with the nearby Pedra Branca and Sidmouth Rock the island constitutes the 2 ha Pedra Branca Important Bird Area (IBA), identified as such by BirdLife International because it supports over 1% of the world populations of Shy Albatrosses and Australasian Gannets.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ et al. "Place Name Search, Geoscience Australia". Geoscience Australia. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 
  2. ^ "Pedra Branca Skink". Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania. pp. 563–569. Retrieved 2006-07-16. 
  3. ^ Heeres, J E (Editor) (2006). "Abel Janszoon Tasman's Journal of his Discovery of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand in 1642 with Documents Relating to his Exploration of Australia in 1644...to which are added his Life and Labours, 1898". Project Gutenberg of Australia. Retrieved 2006-07-09. 
  4. ^ Boyes, G. T. W. B.) (1823). "Pedra Branca and Eddistone; Tasmans Head". State Library of Tasmania. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 
  5. ^ a b Brothers, Nigel; David Pemberton, Helen Pryor, Vanessa Halley (2001). Tasmania's Offshore Islands : seabirds and other natural features. Hobart, Tasmania: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. ISBN 0-7246-4816-X.  pp. 510-511
  6. ^ "EDDYSTONE LIGHTHOUSE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860-1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 5 December 1884. p. 3. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  7. ^ http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/TAS/Eddystone%20Point/Eddystone%20Point.htm#History
  8. ^ "Small Southern Islands Conservation Management Statement 2002" (PDF). Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. 2002. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  9. ^ "IBA: Pedra Branca". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 

Coordinates: 43°51′18″S 147°00′00″E / 43.85500°S 147.00000°E / -43.85500; 147.00000