Point Hicks

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Point Hicks
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; 149.27556Coordinates: 37°48′11″S 149°16′32″E / 37.80306°S 149.27556°E / -37.80306; 149.27556
Discovered by James Cook
 - date 19 April 1770 (1770-04-19)
National parks Croajingolong NP,
Point Hicks Marine NP
Location of Point Hicks in Victoria


Point Hicks ' (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 the Tasman Sea.


The coastal area near Point Hicks on the north-eastern coast of Victoria, Australia, was first sighted and recorded by Europeans on 19 April 1770; by the men on James Cook's Endeavour voyage. Cook recorded that it was Lieutenant Zachary Hicks that first saw the land,[3] and therefore Cook later that day named a far-off point after him.[4] This was confirmed by Aaron Arrowsmith's 1798 Chart of the Pacific Ocean, clearly showing Cook's Point Hicks.

George Bass sailed past the area at the end of 1797, in an open whale-boat and was unable to identify the point.[5] Although Matthew Flinders sailed past the area in 1798-99 and again in 1802-03, the coastal area near Point Hicks was always out of Flinders’ visual range. Therefore, it did not appear on any of Matthew Flinders published charts. The name Point Hicks was still being used on maps[6] up until 1840, before being replaced and renamed Cape Everard. The first use of the new name has been attributed to hydrographer John Lort Stokes who surveyed the coast in the Beagle in 1843. It is presumed he named it after fellow naval officer James Everard Home.[2] Stokes' maps don't record the name, but many secondary sources attribute its introduction to him. The first known chart showing Cape Everard was published by surveyor George Douglas Smythe, made in 1852 and published in 1853. If he coined the name, then according to one theory he may have been referring to William Everard, commissioner of crown lands (though no record of that Everard has been found). The name Cape Everard was then adopted from 1853 up until the early 1900s, until more historical information became readily available. Cook estimated the coordinates of his Point Hicks (from a great distance) to be located at: (38°0′S 148°53′E / 38.000°S 148.883°E / -38.000; 148.883) Cook's estimated coordinates of a point on his southern horizon was not correct.

Photo of plaque
The plaque on the landward side of the obelisk at Point Hicks, Victoria, Australia.

Despite the adopted use of the name Point Everard to designate the promontory, Cook's original name was recorded on an obelisk-shaped monument erected by the Australian Government on the site in 1924.[7][2]:n30 The inscription on the landward side of the monument reads:[8]

"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."

On the seaward side of the monument is a plaque listing the "Ship's Company of H.M. Bark Endeavour April 20th 1770".[2]:n30

Cook's name, Point Hicks, was once again established as part of the bicentenary of Cook's 1770 voyage, along the East Coast of Australia . Victorian Premier Henry Bolte proclaimed the new name in a ceremony at the point on 20 April 1970.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Point Hicks: 17439". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Haldane, Robert (2001). "A Beacon on the Wilderness Coast: The Story of Point Hicks (Cape Everard)". Gippsland Heritage Journal (25). Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Land of New Holland" from Parkinson's manuscript Journal dated 29/4/1770
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Flinders, Matthew (17 July 2004). A Voyage to Terra Australis (E-BOOK). Volume I. Project Gutenberg. 
  6. ^ Map by The Society for the diffusion of useful knowledge published in 1840
  7. ^ Lipscombe, Trevor (August 2014). "Hydrographers v Historians — the truth about Point Hicks" (PDF). Map Matters (Australasian Hydrographic Society) (24): 4–8. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "COOK'S VOYAGE.". The Argus (Melbourne: National Library of Australia). 6 November 1924. p. 17. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 

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