Point Hicks, formerly called Cape Everard, is a coastal headland on the eastern coast of Victoria, Australia, located within the Croajingolong National Park. The point is marked by the Point Hicks Lighthouse.
Point Hicks is where, on 19 April 1770, the continent of Australia was first sighted by the men on Captain Cook's Endeavour voyage. Cook records that it was Lieutenant Zachary Hickes who first saw land, and Cook named the point after him. Hickes spelt his name with an "e" but he was recorded as "Hicks" in Endeavour's log.
When George Bass sailed past the area at the end of 1797 he was unable to identify the point, and it therefore didn't appear on the charts Matthew Flinders produced of their voyages, and the name fell into disuse.
The point instead came to be known as Cape Everard. The first use of that name is attributed to hydrographer John Lort Stokes who surveyed the coast in the Beagle in 1843. It's presumed he named it after fellow naval officer John Everard Home. Stokes' maps don't record the name, but many secondary sources attribute its introduction to him.
The first known chart showing Everard was by surveyor George Douglas Smythe, made in 1852 and published in 1853. If he coined the name, then one theory is that he may have been referring to William Everard, commissioner of crown lands (though no record of that Everard has been found). In any case the name Cape Everard was used from that time up until 1970. The actual latitude and longitude he gave ( ) is a location many miles out to sea.
Despite the common use of Point Everard to designate the promontory, the earlier appellation was recorded in a monument erected by the Victorian Government on the site in 1924. The monument inscription reads," Lieutenant James Cook, R.N. Of the Endeavour, First Sighted Australia Near This Point, Which He Named Point Hicks After Lieutenant Zachary Hicks Who First Saw the Land. April 19th (Ship's Log Date). April 20th (Calendar Date).1770"
- Point Hicks Marine National Park is the waters off Point Hicks
- SS Saros, a wrecked steamship visible on the rocks at Point Hicks
- Beaglehole, J.C., ed. (1968). The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery, vol. I:The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768–1771. Cambridge University Press. p. 591. OCLC 223185477.
- "COOK'S VOYAGE.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 6 November 1924. p. 17. Retrieved 27 September 2013.