Augusta, Western Australia
Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; the town is within the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River local government area, is in the Leeuwin Ward. It is connected by public transport to Perth via Transwa coach service SW1. Augusta was a summer holiday town for many during most of the twentieth century, but late in the 1990s many people chose to retire to the region for its cooler weather; as a consequence of this and rising land values in the Augusta-Margaret River area, the region has experienced significant social change. The coastline near the Augusta area was first sighted by Europeans in March 1622 when the Dutch East India Company ship Leeuwin mapped and named the land north of Cape Leeuwin between Hamelin Bay and Point D'Entrecasteaux't Landt van de Leeuwin. In 1801 Captain Matthew Flinders named the "south-western, most projecting part of Leeuwin's Land" Cape Leeuwin.
Augusta was founded in 1830. In March of that year, a number of settlers, including John Molloy and members of the Bussell and Turner families, had arrived at the Swan River Colony on board the Warrior. On their arrival the Lieutenant-Governor Captain James Stirling advised them that most of the good land near the Swan River had been granted, suggested that they form a new sub-colony in the vicinity of Cape Leeuwin; the following month, Stirling sailed with a party of prospective settlers on board the Emily Taylor. After arriving at the mouth of the Blackwood River, the party spent four days exploring the area. Stirling confirmed his decision to establish a subcolony, the settlers' property was disembarked, the town of Augusta declared at the site. Stirling named the town in honour of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III, due to its location within Sussex County, one of the 26 counties of Western Australia that were designated in 1829 as cadastral divisions.
During the 1880s, an expansion of the timber industry occurred following the construction of a timber mill at nearby Kudardup and the completion of jetties at Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay. Augusta was a stopping place on the Busselton to Flinders Bay Branch Railway, government run from the 1920s to the 1950s. Prior to that M. C. Davies had a timber railway system that went to both Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay jetties in the 1890s. On 30 July 1986, a pod of 114 false killer whales became stranded at Augusta. In a three-day operation, co-ordinated by the Department of Conservation and Land Management, volunteers from around Western Australia, including forestry workers, wildlife officers and townsfolk, carried 96 of the whales on trucks to more sheltered waters; the surviving whales were successfully guided out into the bay, flanked by a flotilla of boats, board riders and swimmers. A memorial to the rescue now overlooks Town Beach. Many tourist websites and information conflate Augusta and Cape Leeuwin with features that exist nearby.
The Augusta townsite now includes the former separate Flinders Bay community at its southern end, where there had been a jetty, railway terminus, whaling location. The new Augusta Boat Harbour to the south of Flinders Bay is well outside of the townsite. In 2009, 2 Oceans FM was set up at the Augusta Community Center and began broadcasting on 97.1 MHz FM. In 1961, over 100,000 acres of farms and forests between Margaret River and Augusta were destroyed by bushfires. Augusta was saved from these because a serious fire a few months earlier had created a low fuel zone north of the town; the Augusta residents cared for the school children, evacuated from Karridale and Kudardup. A bushfire threatened over 200 residents were evacuated; the fire had claimed 40,000 hectares before reaching the outskirts of East Augusta, but was brought under control and no homes were destroyed. In January 2018 the town was threatened by a bushfire. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Saint Alouarn Islands Shire of Augusta-Margaret River – official site Australian Local Government Association - Shire of Augusta Augusta portal South West portal Official Augusta Information Website Augusta Community Radio
Seal Island (St Alouarn Islands)
Seal Island is located near Augusta, Western Australia in the South West region. It is located just east of Cape Leeuwin, lies closer to land than Saint Alouarn Island which lies further to the south. Seal Island is low lying, is small in area close to 5.5 hectares. It can be awash in severe weather; when viewed from beaches at sea level on adjacent coast, its height above sea level is negligble, however one map shows 9 metres maximum height of any part of the rock and its name was altered in 1972, 1979. Murray and Hercock consider its naming was by Vancouver in 1791, however, it is located near a series of unmarked and detectable below surface rocks, however the name was recorded by Archdeacon in 1878
SS Pericles was a 10,925-ton ocean liner of the Aberdeen Line launched in 1907. In 1910, she hit a rock near Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia and sank, although with no loss of life. Pericles was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland being launched on 21 December 1907, she left London on her maiden voyage to Australia on 8 July 1908. She was the first ship of the Aberdeen Line to be built by Harland & Wolff and at that time the largest on routes to Australia for first and third class passengers. On 31 March 1910, on her way home from Sydney to London, under the command of Captain Alexander Simpson, Pericles struck an uncharted rock 6 miles south of Cape Leeuwin; the weather was calm and 238 passengers and 163 crew were able to safely abandon ship, which sank shortly thereafter. On 7 April 1910 a Court of Inquiry was commenced at Fremantle Courthouse, it concluded on 14 April 1910 and found that the ship's master had taken all due care and vigilance, but had struck a uncharted submerged obstruction and thereby foundered.
The wreck lies 5.6 kilometres south of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at a depth of about 35 metres. It was discovered by diver Tom Snider in 1957, he subsequently removed lead from the wreck in following years
The Aberdeen Line was a shipping company founded in 1825 by George Thompson of Aberdeen to take sailing vessels to the St. Lawrence, carrying some passengers and returning with cargoes of timber; the business flourished and grew to 12 sailing vessels by 1837, travelling to South America, the Pacific, West Indies and the Mediterranean. In 1842 the line included a regular schedule from London to Australia; the Aberdeen Line’s best known ship was the clipper Thermopylae, launched in 1868, constructed with the ‘Aberdeen Bow’, designed for greater speed and seaworthiness. The clipper set new records for voyages to and from the Far East. In 1872, her nearest rival, "Cutty Sark", lost by seven days in a race from Shanghai to London. Thermopylae was acknowledged to be the fastest sailing ship afloat; the arrival of the steamship signalled the end of the sailing era, but enabled the line to introduce a regular service between London and Australia in 1882 and by 1899 all the vessels were able to carry frozen produce.
Changing fortunes put the company under joint control of White Star Line and Shaw, Savill & Albion Line in 1905, while retaining a degree of autonomy. In 1928 the White Star Line took over the Government-owned Australian Commonwealth Line, but in 1931 White Star Line's holding company, the Kylsant shipping group, collapsed. A year Shaw, Savill & Albion bought the Aberdeen Line and in 1933 the former Australian Commonwealth Line was incorporated and the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line was founded. Furness Withy & Co took over Shaw Savill & Albion in 1936. By 1957 the last of the ships was scrapped and the company dissolved
Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec
Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec was a French explorer and naval officer. He was born in Brittany. During the Seven Years' War, Kerguelen-Trémarec without much success. In 1767 he sailed near Rokol. Although he may not have approached within sight of it, or within 150 miles, he appears to have had good information regarding it, his charted position for it was only 16 miles north of its actual position and he described its appearance and the nearby Helen's Reef: "East of Rokol, ¼ league away, there is a submerged rock over which the water breaks". In 1771, he published a map of the area. In early 1772, he was assigned command of the third French expedition sent in search of the fabled Terra Australis with the vessels Fortune and Gros Ventre; the expedition discovered the isolated Kerguelen Islands north of Antarctica in the southern Indian Ocean and claimed the archipelago for France before returning to Mauritius. He was accompanied by the naturalist Jean Guillaume Bruguière. In his report to King Louis XV, he overestimated the value of the Kerguelen Islands.
By now, it had become clear that the Kerguelen islands were desolate and quite useless, not the Terra Australis. On his return, Kerguelen-Trémarec was sent to prison; the islands were visited by Captain James Cook, but were not surveyed until 1840 during the Ross expedition. During the French Revolution, he was seen as a victim of the Ancien Régime and restored to his position, taking part in the Battle of Groix, he died in 1797 as a Rear commander of the port of Brest. Kerguelen-Trémarec, Yves-Joseph. Relation d'un Voyage dans la Mer du Nord. ISBN 2-84265-129-4. Kerguelen-Trémarec, Yves-Joseph. Relation des combats et des évènements de la guerre maritime de 1778 entre la France et l'Angleterre. Imprimerie de Patris. European and American voyages of scientific exploration
Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian continent, in the state of Western Australia. A few small islands and rocks, the St Alouarn Islands, extend further in Flinders Bay to the east of the cape; the nearest settlement, north of the cape, is Augusta. South-east of Cape Leeuwin, the coast of Western Australia goes much further south. Located on headland of the cape is the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and the buildings that were used by the lighthouse keepers. In Australia, the Cape is considered the point. Cape Leeuwin is grouped with the next headland north, Cape Naturaliste, to identify the geography and ecology of the region. One example is in the name Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Another is in the use of the phrases Cape to Cape or the Capes in tourist promotional materials. A shore base and a ship of the Royal Australian Navy have been named HMAS Leeuwin after the cape; the English navigator Matthew Flinders named Cape Leeuwin after the first known ship to have visited the area, the Leeuwin, a Dutch vessel that charted some of the nearby coastline in 1622.
The log of the Leeuwin has been lost, so little is known of the voyage. However, the land discovered by the Leeuwin was recorded on a 1627 map by Hessel Gerritsz: Caert van't Landt van d'Eendracht, which appears to show the coast between present-day Hamelin Bay and Point D’Entrecasteaux. Cape Leeuwin itself cannot be recognised. Other European vessels passed by for the next two centuries, including the Dutch't Gulden Zeepaert, commanded by François Thijssen, in 1627 and the French Gros Venture, under Louis Aleno de St Aloüarn, in 1772; the first known sighting of the cape was by Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in 1791. D'Entrecasteaux thought the cape was an island, named it "Isle St Allouarn", in honour of Captain de St Aloüarn. Ten years Matthew Flinders began his survey of the South coast of New Holland from Cape Leeuwin in 1801 when he named it. Flinders landed in the bay to the east of today's Flinders Bay. Flinders was aware that the area had been known to the Dutch as "Leeuwin's Land". At two in the morning we had 80 fathoms, veered towards the land.
It was seen from the masthead at five. This is the largest of the before-mentioned Isles of St Alouarn; this supposed isle is, what I denominate "Cape Leeuwin", as being the south-western and most projecting part of Leeuwin's Land. The St Alouarn Islands is a group of islands off the tip of Cape Leeuwin; the hillside to the west of the lighthouse, the land nearby is now part of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. It has extensive heath vegetation and thick scrub which supports a high number of plant species and bird species that utilise this habitat; the bay just east of Cape Leeuwin is Flinders Bay, named after Matthew Flinders, the circumnavigating explorer of the early 19th century. Shipwrecks within sight of this location include SS Pericles, an iron-screw steamer built in Belfast in Northern Ireland, which sank after hitting an uncharted rock on a clear calm day in 1910; the wreck was found by Tom Snider in 1957 at 34°25.33′S 115°08.24′E. He dived on the wreck to recover the lead, being carried by the ship.
Some shipwrecks are identified as being within the vicinity of Augusta, Cape Leeuwin or Hamelin Bay that might not be within visual distance of the lighthouse. CALM/DOLA 1996. Land Management Series Map Sheet 1929-3 Leeuwin Edition 11:50000. (Edward Duyker The Dutch in Australia, AE Press, Melbourne. Bruny d’Entrecasteaux: Voyage to Australia and the Pacific 1791—1793, Miegunyah/Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0-522-84932-6 Edward Duyker, François Péron: An Impetuous Life: Naturalist and Voyager, Miegunyah/MUP, Melb. ISBN 978-0-522-85260-8, Eakin,Morgan Very Much on Watch - The Percy Willmott Photos Thornlie, W. A. Blackwood Publishing. ISBN 0-646-49939-4 "Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse". Lighthouses of Western Australia. Lighthouses of Australia Inc. - List of WA lighthouses - check link to Cape Leeuwin
Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux
Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni, chevalier d'Entrecasteaux was a French naval officer and colonial governor. He is best known for his exploration of the Australian coast in 1792, while searching for the La Pérouse expedition. Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux is referred to as Bruni d'Entrecasteaux or Bruny d'Entrecasteaux, a compound surname. Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was born to Dorothée de Lestang-Parade and Jean Baptiste Bruny, at Aix-en-Provence in 1739, his father was a member of the Parlement of Provence. Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was educated at a Jesuit school and intended to become a priest in the Society of Jesus, but his father intervened and enlisted him in the French Navy in 1754. In the action that secured the Balearic Islands for Spain, Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was a midshipman aboard the 26-gun Minerve, in April 1757 he was commissioned as an ensign, his further naval career as a junior officer was uneventful, he appears in this period to have done general service in the French Navy.
For a time Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was Assistant Director of ports and arsenals, after which he was transferred to command a French Squadron in the East Indies. During this service he opened up a new route to Canton by way of the Sunda Strait and the Moluccas, for use during the south-east monsoon season. In 1787 he was appointed Governor of the Isle of Bourbon. In September 1791, the French Assembly decided to send an expedition in search of Jean-François de La Pérouse, who had not been heard of since leaving Botany Bay in March 1788. Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was selected to command this expedition, he was given a frigate, with Lieutenant Jean-Louis d'Hesmity-d'Auribeau as his second-in-command and Élisabeth Rossel among the other officers. A similar ship, Espérance, was placed under Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec, with de Trobriand as his second-in-command. A distinguished hydrographical engineer, Beautemps-Beaupré, served as the hydrographer of the expedition; when the expedition left Brest on 28 September 1791, Entrecasteaux was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral.
The plan of the voyage was to proceed to New Holland, to sight Cape Leeuwin to hug the shore all the way to Van Diemen's Land, inspecting every possible harbour in a rowing boat, to sail for Tonga via the northern cape of New Zealand allowing gardener Félix Delahaye to collect live breadfruit plants for transport to the French West Indies. D'Entrecasteaux was next to follow La Pérouse's intended route in the Pacific, it was thought that La Pérouse had meant to explore New Caledonia and the Louisiade Archipelago, to pass through Torres Strait, to explore the Gulf of Carpentaria and the northern coast of New Holland. However, when Bruni d'Entrecasteaux reached Table Bay, Cape Town on 17 January 1792, he heard a report that Captain John Hunter had seen – off the Admiralty Islands – canoes manned by indigenous people wearing French uniforms and belts. Although Hunter denied this report, although the Frenchmen heard of the denial, Bruni d'Entrecasteaux determined to make directly to the Admiralty Islands, nowadays part of Papua New Guinea, taking water and refreshing his crew at Van Diemen's Land.
On 20 April 1792, that land was in sight, three days the ships anchored in a harbour, which he named Recherche Bay. For the next five weeks, until 28 May 1792, the Frenchmen carried out careful boat explorations which revealed in detail the beautiful waterways and estuaries in the area. Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was fortunate in having good officers and scientists, most from the exploration point-of-view the expedition's first hydrographical engineer, C. F Beautemps-Beaupré, now regarded as the father of modern French hydrography; the work this officer did in the field was excellent, his charts, when published in France as an Atlas du Voyage de Bruny-Dentrecasteaux were detailed. The atlas contains 39 charts. Beautemps-Beaupré, while surveying the coasts with Lieutenant Crétin, discovered that Adventure Bay, discovered by Tobias Furneaux and named after his ship in 1773, was on an island, separated from the mainland by a fine navigable channel. On 16 May, d'Entrecasteaux commenced to sail the ships through the channel, this was accomplished by the 28th.
Port Esperance, the Huon River, other features were discovered and charted, the admiral's names being given to the channel and the large island separated by it from the mainland. On 28 May 1792 the ships sailed into the Pacific to search for La Pérouse. On 17 June they arrived off the Isle of Pines, south of New Caledonia. From there, d'Entrecasteaux sailed northward along the western coast of New Caledonia, he passed the Solomon Islands along their southern or western coasts, sailed through Saint George's Channel between New Ireland and New Britain, on 28 July sighted the south-east coast of the Admiralty Islands. After three days spent in scrutinizing the eastern and northern coastline, Bruni d'Entrecasteaux decided that the rumours he had heard in Table Bay must be false, he therefore set sail for Ambon, in mo