Point Hicks

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Coordinates: 37°48′11″S 149°16′32″E / 37.80306°S 149.27556°E / -37.80306; 149.27556
Point Hicks (Tolywiarar)
Cape Everard
Name origin: In honour of Lieutenant Zachary Hickes
Country Australia
State Victoria
Regions South East Corner (IBRA), East Gippsland
Local government area Shire of East Gippsland
Building Point Hicks Lighthouse
Coordinates 37°48′11″S 149°16′32″E / 37.80306°S 149.27556°E / -37.80306; 149.27556
Discovered by Zachary Hickes
 - date 19 April 1770 (1770-04-19)
National parks Croajingolong NP,
Point Hicks Marine NP
Location of Point Hicks in Victoria

Point Hicks or Tolywiarar (formerly called Cape Everard), is a coastal headland in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, located within the Croajingolong National Park. The point is marked by the Point Hicks Lighthouse that faces out to the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean.


The traditional custodians of the land surrounding Point Hicks are the Australian Aboriginal Bidhawal and Gunaikurnai peoples who called the point Tolywiarar.[1][2]

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.[3] Hickes spelt his name with an "e" but he was recorded as "Hicks" in Endeavour '​s log.[4] When George Bass sailed past the area at the end of 1797 he was unable to identify the point,[5] 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 (38°0′S 148°53′E / 38.000°S 148.883°E / -38.000; 148.883) 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:[6]

"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."

The name Point Hicks was re-established as part of Cook's bicentenary. Victorian Premier Henry Bolte proclaimed the new name in a ceremony at the point on 20 April 1970.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Point Hicks: 17439". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Point Hicks Marine National Park". Parks Victoria. Government of Victoria. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Cook, James (1 May 2005). Wharton, W. J. L, ed. Captain Cook's Journal During His First Voyage Round the World Made in H. M. Bark "Endeavour", 1768-71 (e-book). Project Gutenberg. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Flinders, Matthew (17 July 2004). A Voyage to Terra Australis (e-book). Volume I. Project Gutenberg. 
  6. ^ "COOK'S VOYAGE.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 6 November 1924. p. 17. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 

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