The Furneaux Group (indigenous name: Tayaritja) is a group of 52 islands, at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands were named, after British navigator Tobias Furneaux who sighted the eastern side of these Island after leaving Adventure Bay in 1773 on his way to New Zealand to rejoin Captain James Cook. Navigator Matthew Flinders explored the Furneaux Islands group first in the Francis in 1798 and later that year in the Norfolk.
The largest islands in the group are Flinders Island, Cape Barren Island and Clarke Island. The region contains five settlements Killiecrankie, Emita, Lady Barron, Cape Barren Island and Whitemark on Flinders Island which serves as the administrative center of the Municipality of Flinders local government area.
King Island, at the western end of Bass Strait, is not a part of the group.
Kent Group islands
The group of islands to the north west is the Kent Group. Smaller islands in the group include Anderson Island, Babel Island, Badger Island, Billy Goat Reefs, Big Green Island, Briggs Islet, Cat Island, Chalky Island, Cooties Reef, Doughboy Island, East Kangaroo Island, Fisher Island, Fisher Island Reef, Forsyth Island, Great Dog Island, Inner Sister Island, Outer Sister Island, Isabella Island, Little Anderson Island, Little Chalky Island, Little Dog Island, Little Green Island, Long Island, Low Islets, and another of the same name Low Islets, Middle Pasco Island, Mile Island, Moriarty Rocks, Mount Chappell Island, Neds Reef, Night Island, North Pasco Island, Passage Island (Tasmania), Pelican Island, Prime Seal Island, Puncheon Island, Puncheon Islets, Roydon Island, Rum Island, Samphire Island, Sentinel Island, South Pasco Island, Spences Reefs, Spike Island, Storehouse Island, Swan Island, Tin Kettle Island, Vansittart Island.
The islands contain granite from the Devonian period, as well as unconsolidated limestone and sand from Cenozoic periods. During the ice age, a land bridge joined Tasmania to the Australian mainland through this group of islands.
- Observations on the coasts of Van Diemen’s, Land on Bass’s Strait and its islands, and on part of the coasts of New South Wales; intended to accompany the charts of the late discoveries in those countries. By Matthew Flinders, second lieutenant of His Majesty’s Ship Reliance. 1801
- Ian McFarlane, Dalrymple, Dolly (c. 1808 - 1864), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, Melbourne University Press, 2005, p. 94.
- Cumpston, J. S. First visitors to Bass Strait Canberra : Roebuck Society, 1973. ISBN 0-9500858-8-X Roebuck Society publication no. 7.