Recherche Bay (NE Peninsula) Area

The north east peninsula of Recherche Bay has an important association with the French scientific and exploratory expedition of Rear Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux. It stopped at Recherche Bay in 1792 and in 1793 for about seven weeks in total. The relatively extensive, well-documented encounters on the coast of the north east peninsula of Recherche Bay, compared to those in other places and involving other expeditions, between the expedition members and the Tasmanian Aborigines, provided a very early opportunity for meetings and mutual observation. The recordings, from the French perspective, of these encounters, are important observations of the lives of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The French also camped ashore on the north east peninsula (in 1792), made scientific observations, collected numerous specimens of flora and fauna, and established a vegetable garden (possibly one of several in the wider area intended, unusually, for the economic benefit of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people). In particular, the place is associated, through Jacques Julien Houtou de Labillardiere’s plant collection, with the very important, first, illustrated, general publication in 1804-06 of Australian plants. Also early French records created here of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture are the best records of Tasmanian Aboriginal society before European settlement and are major contributions to the knowledge of Tasmanian Aboriginal life and society before European settlement. All of these significant activities of the French expeditioners associated with the place, constitute a significant, ‘associative’ cultural landscape. The research potential deriving from the important and extensive, surviving documentation and collections created by the French expeditioners when combined with the information that could be uncovered from field survey and site investigation of the northern peninsula of Recherche Bay, is of outstanding significance to the nation. From a scientific perspective, the northern peninsula of Recherche Bay was the site, in 1792, of the first deliberate scientific experiment in Australia. This was a geomagnetic measurement undertaken by French naval officer Elisabeth Paul Edouard de Rossel, showing that goemagneticism varied with latitude. It was an experiment of international significance. The Tasmanian Aboriginal community has a strong association with the place that is of outstanding significance to the nation because Recherche Bay is associated with the best documentary evidence of Aboriginal culture before European settlement.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Gornment Department of Environment and Water Resources, Recherche Bay Northeast Peninsula Reserve Management Plan

    The effects of disturbance are cumulative and increase with proximity to the nest; visibility; rate; duration; adverse climatic conditions; height above the nest; and were the nest is the focus of the disturbing activity; I However; the effects decrease with regularity predictability; and prior breeding success.

    Fire History The whole Southport area has suffered repeated wildfires from pre historic times on; and the frequency of fires seems to have increased in recent decades.