Spectacle Island (Hawkesbury River)

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Spectacle Island is a 36.4-hectare (89.9-acre) island located in Australia's Hawkesbury River near its junction with Mooney Mooney Creek, to the north of Sydney, New South Wales. It is within the bounded locality of Mooney Mooney.

The island was originally known as 'Goat Island', named after a herd of goats that were once kept on the island.[1][2] Apparently other domesticated animals were also marooned here, as there is one report of an omnivorous cow consuming two flathead that it had pulled down from a tree where the fisherman had left them to dry, probably in order to supplement the meagre amount of pasture that was available.[3]

The name of the island was subsequently changed to Spectacle, although the reason is unclear. It may have been due to the spectacular view from its summit,[4] or maybe due to its resemblance to a monocle.[5]

The island was designated a nature reserve in 1972 and was listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1978 for its scientific importance as a remnant of the natural environment of Sydney, for the abundance of aboriginal sites it contains, and particularly diverse vegetation. It is managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.[6]

Spectacle Island was included on the Australian National Heritage List in December 2006.[7]

Aboriginal rock art on Spectacle Island - Hawkesbury River
The village of Mooney Mooney and Peat Island, as viewed from the top of Spectacle Island in the Hawkesbury River
The remains of one of several old shacks on Spectacle Island in the Hawkesbury River, N.S.W. - 2009


  1. ^ "Spectacle Island". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Hawkesbury Central Residence and farm". Sydney Herald. 30 October 1841. 
  3. ^ "Fish Eating Cow". Cairns Post. 13 March 1920. p. 8. 
  4. ^ Joffe, Mick (1992). Yarns& Photos - Beautiful Old Berowra & Hornsby to the Hawkesbury. Sandstone Press. p. 214. ISBN 0731614623. 
  5. ^ "A Trip up the Hawkesbury". Sydney Morning Herald. 22 September 1874. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Spectacle Island Nature Reserve (Place ID 2611)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Lion Island, Long Island and Spectacle Island Nature Reserves". National Heritage List. Australian Government – Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 

Coordinates: 33°31′52″S 151°12′41″E / 33.531019°S 151.21139°E / -33.531019; 151.21139