Flinders Island (South Australia)

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Flinders Island
Flinders Island is located in South Australia
Flinders Island
Flinders Island
LocationGreat Australian Bight
Coordinates33°42′49″S 134°29′49″E / 33.71367°S 134.49686°E / -33.71367; 134.49686Coordinates: 33°42′49″S 134°29′49″E / 33.71367°S 134.49686°E / -33.71367; 134.49686
Area3,642 ha (9,000 acres)[1]
Highest elevation66 m (217 ft)[2]

Flinders Island is an island in the Investigator Group off the coast of South Australia. It was named by Matthew Flinders after his younger brother Samuel Flinders, the second lieutenant on HMS Investigator in 1802. It is part of the Investigator Group Important Bird Area. The island has been subject to diamond exploration following the discovery of a wide range of kimberlite indicator minerals there.[3] These minerals include chromite, pyrope, diopside, picroilmenite, forsterite, orthopyroxene, as well as small diamonds.

Little penguin colony[edit]

Flinders Island supports a colony of little penguins which in 2006 was believed to be "probably declining", with a population of less than twenty birds.[4] An account of Flinders Island's wildlife published in 1934 stated that penguins could "be seen waddling soldier-like among the rocks and cave entrances that constitute their homes."[5]


European discovery and use[edit]

Flinders named the island after Samuel Flinders, the sloop’s second lieutenant and his younger brother on Saturday, 13 February 1802.[6]

A sealing camp was in place on the south-east side of the island by the 1820s.[7] The sealers, their Aboriginal wives and children numbered up to twenty people at one stage. A pastoral survey of the site in 1890 identified ten separate structures associated with the sealing community. Archaeological examination of these structures took place in the 1980s.

The Flinders Island Whaling and Sealing Site is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.[8]

Protected area status[edit]

Reserves declared by the South Australian government[edit]

A strip of land along the north coast of the island extending west from the island’s most northerly headland, Point Malcolm, has the subject of the subject of a heritage agreement since 29 August 1995. The parcel of land which is identified as No. HA1003 is sized at 279 hectares (690 acres).[9][10][11]

Non-statutory arrangements[edit]

Flinders Island is one of the islands included in the Investigator Islands Important Bird Area (sic) identified by BirdLife International.[10]

Citations and references[edit]


  1. ^ Robinson et al, 1996, page 189
  2. ^ DMH, 1985, chart 38
  3. ^ Cooper, S.A., 2004. New diamond field discovered in SA. MESA Journal 24, 6-9. Primary Industries & Resources South Australia publication.
  4. ^ Wiebkin, 2011, pages 14 & 39
  5. ^ "KNOW FLINDERS' ISLAND? WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT IT". The Wooroora Producer. 1934-07-12. p. 3. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  6. ^ Flinders, 1814 (1966), pages 223
  7. ^ Kostoglou, Parry; McCarthy, Justin (1991). Whaling and sealing sites in South Australia (First ed.). Fremantle, WA: Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology. pp. 51–6.
  8. ^ "Flinders Island Whaling & Sealing Site". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  9. ^ DEH, 2006, page 12
  10. ^ a b BirdLife International, 2015
  11. ^ "CAPAD 2012 South Australia Summary (see 'DETAIL' tab)". CAPAD 2012. Australian Government - Department of the Environment. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.