The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100
island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island ...
s located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria and
Tasmania ) , nickname = , image_map = Tasmania in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of Tasmania in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdi ...
, Australia. The islands were named after British navigator Tobias Furneaux, who sighted the eastern side of these islands after leaving Adventure Bay in 1773 on his way to New Zealand to rejoin
Captain James Cook James Cook (7 November 1728 Old Style date: 27 October – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the British Royal Navy, famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean an ...
. Navigator Matthew Flinders was the first European to explore the Furneaux Islands group, in the in 1798, and later that year in the . The largest islands in the group are Flinders Island, Cape Barren Island, and Clarke Island. The group contains five settlements: Killiecrankie, Emita, Lady Barron, Cape Barren Island, and Whitemark on Flinders Island, which serves as the administrative centre of the Flinders Council. There are also some small farming properties on the remote islands. After seals were discovered there in 1798, the Furneaux Group of islands became the most intensively exploited sealing ground in Bass Strait. A total of 29 islands in the Furneaux Group have been found to have some tangible link with sealing in the 19th century. The Aboriginal matriarch, Dolly Dalrymple, was born on the Furneaux Islands. Her mother was one of two Aboriginal women who had been kidnapped from northern Tasmania by the sealer George Briggs. King Island, at the western end of Bass Strait, is not a part of the group.


The Furneaux Group forms the Flinders Council together with the groups of islands to the northwest: the Kent Group, Hogan Island Group, Curtis Group, and the Tasmanian part of the Wilsons Promontory Islands.

Islands in the Group


The islands contain granite from the
Devonian The Devonian ( ) is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic era, spanning 60.3 million years from the end of the Silurian, million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Carboniferous, Mya. It is named after Devon, England, whe ...
period, as well as unconsolidated limestone and sand from
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era, representing the last 66million years of Earth's history. It is characterised by the dominance of mammals, birds and flowering plants, a cooling and drying climate, and the current configu ...
periods. During the last ice age, a land bridge joined Tasmania to the Australian mainland through this group of islands.

See also

* Furneaux bioregion * '' Engaeus martigener'' *
List of islands of Tasmania Tasmania is the smallest and southernmost state of Australia. The Tasmanian mainland itself is an island, with an area of - 94.1% of the total land area of the state. The other islands have a combined area of , for a cumulative total of 99.75% o ...


External links

Birds of the Furneaux Islands

{{Authority control Seal hunting