Frederick Henry Bay

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Frederick Henry Bay is a body of water in the southeast of Tasmania, Australia. It is located to the east of the South Arm peninsula, and west of the Tasman Peninsula. Towns on the coast of the bay include Lauderdale, Seven Mile Beach, Dodges Ferry and Primrose Sands. The bay is accessible via Storm Bay from the south, and provides further access to Norfolk Bay to its east.

The bay contains Seven Mile Beach on its northern shores, the closest surfing beach to Hobart.[1]


It was first discovered and named “Baie du Nord” (North Bay) by Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in 1792-93.[2] Matthew Flinders erroneous named and placed it on his 1800 and 1801 charts of "Van Diemen’s" Land[3] - thinking it was Tasman’s Frederick Henricx Bay (today's Blackman Bay) discovered by Abel Tasman in 1642 and named after Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.

On 9 March 1773 Captain Tobias Furneaux, the first Englishman in Tasmanian waters, landed and named Adventure Bay. Furneaux thinking he was just south of Tasman’s Fredrick Henricx Bay, named the Northern cape of Adventure Bay “Cape Frederick Henry” (today's Cape Queen Elizabeth) This error was also made by Cook and Bligh etc. Matthew Flinders adjusted his 1814 map, however the name Frederick Henry Bay remained in its present-day location.[4]

The bay was identified as a national drowning blackspot in 2008.[5] As a result, surf life savers patrols in the area increased.

Frederick Henry Bay as seen from Acton Park

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 10 March 1946 a Douglas DC-3 aircraft operated by Australian National Airways departed from Cambridge Aerodrome with a crew of 4 and 21 passengers for Essendon Airport. Less than 2 minutes after take-off the aircraft crashed into Frederick Henry Bay, killing all on board. At the time it was Australia's worst civil aviation accident.[6]


  1. ^ Short, Andrew (2006). Beaches of the Tasmanian Coast and Islands. Sydney University Press. p. 125. ISBN 1920898123. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. ^ The Early History of Tasmania by R.W.Giblin1928.
  3. ^ Matthew Flinders Observations on the coast of Van Diemen's Land 1801.
  4. ^ Australian Discovery by Ernest Scott vol.I By Sea 1929
  5. ^ "Surf patrols to hit drowning blackspots". ABC Hobart. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Air Liner Hit Water At A Great Speed" The Canberra Times - 12 March 1946, p.2 (National Library of Australia) Retrieved 2011-10-03

Coordinates: 42°55′26″S 147°36′33″E / 42.924°S 147.609215°E / -42.924; 147.609215