First explored by Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in 1792, the region was settled in the
early 1800s by timer cutters, whalers and sealers. Life was hard and people in
the area rarely stayed for long, preferring to settle in the nearby Hobart Town. Bruni D’Entrecasteaux
was also to explore and name the Riviere du Nord 28th February, 1793. A few
months later, the explorer Lieutenant John Hayes, unaware that D’Entrecasteaux
had already discovered the River Derwent, named the river after Derwentwater and
the Derwent River in the Lakes District of his native Cumberland in England.
It is estimated that the original occupants of Tasmania numbered between
4,000 to 6,000 in 1803, but by 1833 this number had been reduced to around 300.
With a number dying from diseased brought in by Europeans, and alcoholism,
others died in conflicts with the European settlers. The remaining Aborigines
were moved to and isolated on Flinders Island, which saw another 250 dying in
poor conditions over the next 14 years. In 1847, the surviving 47 were
transferred to their final settlement in Oyster Cove, just north of Kettering.
By 1859 their numbers were further reduced to about a dozen. Truganini is
described as the last of the Tasmanian Aborigine, having died in 1876. Although
today, there are many of mixed blood who claimed Aboriginal ancestry.
Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition -
Hayes, Sir John (1768-1831),
Tasmanian Salvaged Resurrection Timbers PL -
Discovery & Exploration of Tasmania,
National Foundation for Australian Women -
Check out our listing of
accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information. Also enjoy lunch, morning and
afternoon tea in the cafe with harbour views.