The Pages

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This article is about the island in South Australia. For the conservation park, see The Pages Conservation Park. For other uses, see page (disambiguation) .
The Pages
The Pages is located in South Australia
The Pages
Location Backstairs Passage
Australian sea lion

The Pages is a group consisting of two small islands and a reef lying in Backstairs Passage, a strait separating Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia. The group is protected by designation as The Pages Conservation Park.


The islands were known to the indigenous Kaurna people as Metalong.[1] They were named “The Pages” by Matthew Flinders on 7 April 1802 from their fancied resemblance to pages guarding their strategic position at the eastern entrance to the strait.[2]


Geologically, The Pages are constituted of phyllites of the Brukunga Formation, formed from metamorphosed Cambrian sedimentary rocks. The two main islands, lying about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) apart, are similar in size; North Page is 400 metres (1,300 ft) long, 200 metres (660 ft) wide and 24 metres (79 ft) high, and South Page 450 metres (1,480 ft) long, 170 metres (560 ft) wide and 20 metres (66 ft)high. The reef, south-west of South Page, comprises two adjacent wave-washed islets, rising 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) or so above sea level, with a combined length of 380 metres (1,250 ft). The islands are rugged; they contain no beaches and access by sea is difficult. There is a navigational aid on the top of South Page Island.[1]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Small pockets of soil on the tops of the islands support patches of vegetation. Recorded plants include variable groundsel, bulbine lily, round-leaved pigface, ruby saltbush and an Atriplex saltbush. Silver gulls breed on the islands, which also support a breeding colony of Australian sea lions.[1]

Protected area status[edit]

The Pages has enjoyed protected area status since 6 May 1900 starting with declaration as part of a Bird Protection District under the Birds Protection Act 1900 followed by declaration as a closed area under the Animals and Birds Protection Act 1919-1938 in 1955, proclamation as a Fauna Reserve under the Fauna Conservation Act 1964-1965 in 1966, proclamation as a Fauna Conservation Reserve under the Crown Lands Act 1929-1967 in 1967, and concluding with proclamation as The Pages Conservation Park following the enactment of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 in 1972.[1]


Coordinates: 35°46′10″S 138°17′45″E / 35.76944°S 138.29583°E / -35.76944; 138.29583