The Island, Thompson Bend, Warrandyte

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The Island is located at Thompson Bend on the Yarra River at Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia, approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi) north-east of Melbourne. It was created by gold miners in 1859-60, during the Victorian gold rush. They dug a diversion channel to alter the course of the Yarra River, providing access to the alluvial gold in the exposed river bed. [1] [2] The canal was widened by subsequent flooding becoming the main river course, with the previous river bed becoming a willow-choked backwater. [3]

Mining Registrars and Surveyors Reports for the St. Andrews Division[2] date the diversion of the river into a canal as May–July 1859. The work cost £7,000. There was more work in November 1859 and February 1860.

The nearby Pound Bend Tunnel was cut for a similar purpose in 1870. Two other tunnels, the Big Peninsula Tunnel and the Little Peninsula Tunnel, were dug further upstream in the 1860s.

The site is listed in the Victorian Heritage Inventory. [1]


  1. ^ a b "'The Island' Diversion Cutting, Heritage Inventory (HI) Number H7922-0228", Victorian Heritage Database, Heritage Victoria, retrieved 13 September 2010
  2. ^ a b "Historic Gold Mining Sites in the St Andrews Mining Division", Victorian Goldfields Project, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, July 1999, archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2011
  3. ^ Warrandyte State Park Management Plan (PDF), Parks Victoria, July 2006, retrieved 13 September 2010

Coordinates: 37°44′13″S 145°13′42″E / 37.73694°S 145.22833°E / -37.73694; 145.22833