The Furneaux Museum is on Flinders Island, one of the Furneaux Group of islands in eastern Bass Strait.
Events occurred in the Furneaux Islands which influenced the course of Australia's early colonial history. The repercussions reach right up to the present day.
A 1797 shipwreck brought Matthew Flinders to these then-unknown waters. His reports of the abundance of seals resulted in sealers setting themselves up on Cape Barren Island in 1798. This was the first European settlement outside of Sydney.
The sealing 'rush' which followed led to the survival of Tasmania's indigenous population - the descendants of sealers and their Aboriginal wives.
The same voyage led Flinders to suspect the existence of Bass Strait, and he later returned with George Bass to prove it. The 'discovery' of Bass Strait had many very significant consequences for the history and economy of early Australia.
Visit the Furneaux Museum and learn about the events and people that have shaped these islands - shipwrecks, pioneering life, the ill-fated 1833-47 Tasmanian Aboriginal settlement at Wybalenna, the tradition of mutton-birding, soldier settlement, island families.
See how isolation brought about a resourcefulness and strong community spirit which still exist today.
Here's what our visitors say:
- A great surprise!
- Top little museum - well laid out and very informative.
- A must-do on Flinders Island.
- Give yourself at least 2 - 3 hours.
- A wonderful insight into the life and history of Flinders Island.