A Beacon on the Wilderness Coast:
The Story of Point Hicks (Cape Everard)1
by Robert Haldane

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This article first appeared in Gippsland Heritage Journal #25 (2001).

This page is designed to be viewed with a screen resolution of 800x600.

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Cape Everard Light Station in 1915, at the time of transfer from the state to federal control.
Note the original external portico is still intact. NAA:A6247.C36(1)

The Southernmost Point of land we had in sight which bore from us w1/4S I judged to lay in the Latitude of 38 degrees 0’S. and in the Longitude of 211 degrees 7’ w from the Meridion of Greenwich.

I have Named it Point Hicks, because Lieutenant Hicks was the first who discover’d this land.

Lieutenant James Cook wrote this entry in his journal in 1770, during his epic voyage aboard HM Bark Endeavour, begun in 1768 as an expedition to Tahiti to observe the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun. This task completed Cook then circumnavigated New Zealand and charted its coast, after which he decided ‘to steer to the Westward until we fall in with the E coast of New Holland’, intending to make his return voyage to England by way of Java. At 6.00 am on 19 April 1770 (nautical date), Lieutenant Zachary Hicks saw land and Cook named a point at the south-east of the Australian mainland after him.2

Little did Cook know when he did this that more than two centuries later historians and navigators would still be debating the accuracy of both his historiography and his cartography. Arguably, Cook was wrong on both points.

The land sighted by Hicks had long been discovered and occupied by Aboriginals, a fact attested to at the time by the noted naturalist Sir Joseph Banks who observed, ‘…at noon a smoak [sic] was seen a little way inland and in the Evening several more’. This was Aboriginal land, primarily the domain of the Krauatungalung people, one of the five Aboriginal tribes who together comprised the Gunai. The land around Cook’s Point Hicks was at the confluence of that country occupied by the Krauatungalung tribe, together with the scrub-dwelling Bidawal people and the coastal Murring tribe to the north-east. The coastal country espied by Hicks and described by Banks as, ‘…sloping hills covered in Part with trees or bushes, but interspersed with large tracts of sand’, was a rich hunting ground for the Krauatungalung tribe. The innumerable middens which dot this coastline contain the archaeological remains of shellfish, seals, whales, dolphins and birds. Aboriginal middens still in existence in the vicinity of Point Hicks provide tangible evidence that the area was actively occupied by Aborigines at least 1400 years ago.3 

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Cape Everard Light Station, December 1937. The Head Keeper's residence is to the left of the tower.
In the foreground is the Devonian Everard granite which was used to construct the dry stone walls.
(The Herald and Weekly Times photographic collection)

This was not known to Cook or likely to be acknowledged by him in 1770. But not only was Hicks not ‘first’. There is compelling contemporary evidence to show that the location, which is known as Point Hicks in the year 2000, might not have been sighted by Cook: the latitude and longitude given by him putting it many miles out to sea.

Coastal cartographers, surveyors and historians have hypothesised for decades whether and, if so, how the great navigator might have erred in his reckoning and some have suggested that Cook’s landfall was in fact clouds or other geographic features on the coast. Notwithstanding these theories, Point Hicks was the closest point of land to the Endeavour at the time of Cook’s Australian landfall. Since 1970 that icon has generally been known and mapped as Point Hicks and in that regard Cook’s intention to name the area of his Australian landfall after Zachary Hicks has been fulfilled. Cook also named Hicks Bay in New Zealand after him, both placenames immortalising Hicks, who died of tuberculosis on 26 May 1771 during the return voyage. However, the naming of Point Hicks was not achieved without its element of historical intrigue and controversy. Because following expeditioners could find no land in the position assigned to the point by Cook, the name Point Hicks was quickly dropped from general usage and the site later re-named Cape Everard, by which name it was generally known from 1852 until 1970.4

On his second voyage, during 1772-1775 Cook returned to the southern latitudes in the Resolution as commander of an expedition that included Tobias Furneaux as captain of the Adventure. In 1773 the vessels were parted during a gale and later bad weather prevented Furneaux reaching Point Hicks. There is no further recorded exploration off the Gippsland coast until that of George Bass in a whaleboat during 1797. This was the same year that a shipwrecked crew from the Sydney Cove became the first recorded Europeans to land on the Victorian coast, when their longboat was put ashore not far from Point Hicks. Bass could not locate Point Hicks at the location ascribed to it by Cook nor does it appear on the charts of Matthew Flinders, dating from their joint 1798-1799 circumnavigation of Van Diemen’s Land in the sloop Norfolk.5

James Grant during his 1801 voyage in the Lady Nelson claimed to have sighted Point Hicks but the position he assigned to it was different to that of Cook, prompting the observation from one geographer that, ‘Grant appears to have been a good sailor but a poor surveyor…’.6

There is no other record of a survey of Bass Strait in the years between those of Flinders and Bass and that of the hydrographer and explorer John Lort Stokes, undertaken aboard the Beagle in 1843. Numerous secondary sources credit Stokes with assigning the name Cape Everard to the site of Point Hicks, presumably naming it after fellow naval officer, James Everard Home, who was then Captain of the North Star, and who, like Stokes, was serving in Australian waters about that time. However, the original survey maps drafted by Stokes and held in the National Library of Australia do not include any mention of Cape Everard.7

But according to early twentieth century studies by the engineer, Thomas Walker Fowler, who was an active member of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, the earliest map or chart bearing the name Cape Everard was that prepared in 1852 by the surveyor George Douglas Smythe, who had ‘made a traverse of the whole of the Victorian coast’. Smythe submitted the results of his coastal survey from Sydenham Inlet to Cape Howe, to the Surveyor-General, Robert Hoddle on 4 February 1853 and Cape Everard was subsequently shown on the Map of the Province of Victoria, published in London by John Arrowsmith on 4 July 1853. 8

As to who Smythe named Cape Everard after is still open to conjecture. In 1852 Sir James Everard Home, Baronet, was Captain of the Calliope and Senior Naval Officer on the Sydney Naval Station. And although he had voyaged widely throughout Australasia, including a visit to Melbourne, there is no evidence that Smythe named Cape Everard after him. However, the other origins postulated in secondary sources are even less likely candidates. The former Gippsland politician John Everard (1825-1886) has been touted as a possibility but he did not arrive in Australia from England until 11 May 1853. This also clearly eliminates his son, William Everard (1869-1950). One source nominates ‘the Commissioner for Crown Lands William Everard’ as an alternative origin but no mention of him can yet be found in historical records. The often-cited ‘Admiral in charge of the Australian station’ is in fact an erroneous reference to the previously mentioned Sir James Everard Home. And there definitely was not, as one published work suggests, a First Lieutenant Everard ‘on board the Endeavour’.9

By whatever provenance, Cape Everard was so named about 1852 and that placename was generally used until changed by Sir Henry Bolte at the site on 20 April 1970, when he declared, ‘that this spot shall henceforth be known as Point Hicks’. It took 200 years but James Cook eventually had his way. The name Everard was not fully erased from maps of that area as a nearby mountain peak retains the name Everard Hill [Mount Everard] and the bedrock on which the Point Hicks Light Station stands is Devonian Everard Granite.10

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Sir Henry Bolte, 20 April 1970, declaring 'that this spot shall henceforth be known as Point Hicks'
(The Herald and Weekly Times photographic collection)

Following the naming of Point Hicks by Cook and the subsequent re-naming of that point as Cape Everard by Smythe, that part of the Gippsland coast remained relatively untrammelled by Europeans and even in the late twentieth century was known as the Wilderness Coast. Sealers and other expeditioners were infrequent visitors during the nineteenth century but Bass Strait was an important shipping route and the Gippsland coast became a graveyard for a number of vessels, including the steamship Auckland, which ran onto Beware Reef near Cape Everard on 25 May 1871 and the S.S.Kerangie, which was wrecked in a small bay to the west of Cape Everard on 7 February 1879, and from which that bay today draws its name: Kerangie Bay.11

It was during the 1870s that moves were begun in earnest to erect another navigation beacon on the Gippsland coast. Lighthouses were erected at Wilson’s Promontory and Gabo Island in 1859 and 1862 respectively but a hiatus then followed during which much of the Gippsland coastline was neglected. In 1873 a conference of senior colonial maritime officers held in Sydney recommended that several new light stations be erected along the Victorian coast, including one at either Cape Everard or Cape Conran. Several years elapsed before it was announced in June 1886 that a bluestone lighthouse would be erected at Cape Everard. The proposed light station included storerooms and housing for three light keepers and their families. Drawings for the light station were prepared by the Department of Public Works in Melbourne and the estimated cost for a tower rising 185 feet above the high water mark was 12,000. However, after potential contractors visited the site aboard the government steamer Despatch, tenders submitted were well above that figure.12

Alexander Wilson, Engineer-in-Charge of Ports and Harbours then recommended the erection of an iron light-tower but his idea was not accepted and new tenders were called for the construction of a concrete lighthouse. On 26 June 1888 a contract to construct the Cape Everard light station was let to John Horne, whose tender for 13,990 18s 7d was accepted ahead of six others. The Horne Brothers had already completed a number of other public works contracts, including the Cape Nelson lighthouse and the defence buildings at Point Nepean and Queenscliff. The eldest of the eight Horne brothers, George and his father Alexander, adopted the surname spelling Horn, whereas George’s seven younger brothers used the spelling Horne.13

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George Horn (1848-1925)
Works Supervisor in charge of construction of
Cape Everard Light Station.
(Mrs Heather May, Alfredton)

George was responsible for the works at Cape Everard and with his team of tradesmen – carpenters, quarrymen, bricklayers, stonemasons, engine driver, blacksmith and labourers –together with stores and building materials, he left Melbourne in the ketch J.C.Taylor on 11 September 1888 and pitched camp on the bleak and windswept granite point at Cape Everard on 17 September. Work began almost immediately, starting with the houses, storeroom, workshop, stables and the dry stone granite walls, intended to protect the light station from gale force winds. George Horn and his men were kept supplied by regular visitations from the J.C.Taylor, which carried bricks, bluestone, casks of cement, clay, timber, bags of vegetables, pigs, sheep, hens and beef. Everything had to be landed onto the beach or a makeshift wharf in a lifeboat. Other vessels to provision the worksite or convey visitors included the Lady Loch, Enterprise and Tommy.

Life at the worksite was arduous. The hours were long and work was delayed frequently by rough seas, inclement weather, gales and refusals by the tradesmen to work. Their grievances included demands for the dismissal of fellow workers, higher wages and complaints about the food. Clearly exasperated by their antics, Horn’s diary notes included, that the blacksmith ‘has gone wrong in the head’ and ‘Men stopped work, nobody turned out this morning, struck on account of bad beef’. As he frequently did, Horn went hunting wild cattle in order to provide fresh beef and also took the workboat out fishing. Depending on their needs Horn and his men travelled overland or by boat to Orbost, Marlo, Cann [River] and Sumner’s Accommodation House on Bemm River at Sydenham Inlet, where they obtained refreshments, mail, banking, telegraph services and other provisions.

Despite their setbacks Horn’s team made excellent progress. On Christmas Day, 1888, Horn wrote in his diary, ‘No work done today. Served out beer to men in forenoon, also gave them hot punch all round at night. All enjoyed themselves well’. Two days later he reported that excavations for the tower were completed: a suitable rock base was reached at a depth of 24 feet. Work on their lighthouse could begin in earnest.14

The Cape Everard lighthouse tower was the first Victorian lighthouse made of concrete. Built-up in courses within timber formwork, the concrete was rendered inside and out and painted white. Standing at 130 feet, it remains the tallest mass concrete lighthouse ever constructed in Australia. The tower is of the Doric column type and although built of concrete and not stone, it follows the form of the original stone design. The tower wall is six feet thick at the base, narrowing to four feet at the top. Granite rubble for the concrete was quarried and crushed on site. This granite source was the same as used for the impregnable dry stonewalls that surround the complex. An imposing feature of the tower is a cast iron internal spiral staircase leading to the lantern house. Cast in Melbourne, the staircase has 140 steps, which are supported on cast iron brackets set into the wall. There are another twenty-two steps from the bottom of the lantern room to the bottom of the lantern panes. There is no central support column.15

The other light station buildings were constructed of timber, including lumber salvaged from the wreck of the Kerangie. The usual practice in the nineteenth century was to construct keepers’ houses and detached buildings using the same material as the tower. So the timber houses built at Cape Everard by Horn[e] Bros. are rare and distinctive examples of nineteenth century Australian light station residences.16

The tower was completed in late 1889 after which Horn was reportedly granted a further contract of 1000 to erect the lantern room on top of the tower. The lantern house was built by Chance Brothers, Birmingham, England and was a glazed structure of plate steel and cast iron with a segmented copper dome roof surmounted by a ventilating ball finial. There was an outside balcony incorporating cast iron posts and steel railings.

The lantern optic was a 920mm focal radius apparatus with a range of 26 nautical miles. Operated on kerosene and turned by a clockwork mechanism driven by chain and weights, the unit weighed several tonnes and floated in a sealed bath of mercury. Cape Everard Light station officially opened on 15 May 1890, manned by Messrs. W. Fish (head keeper), J. Dandie and G.Keys (assistant lighthouse-keepers). They originally operated two lights: the main light was a ‘first order holophotal double flashing white and red light’ and there was an auxiliary fixed red light with a limited range of two nautical miles on a lower level of the tower. Use of the auxiliary light was discontinued around 1913 as such lights proved unreliable in misty or foggy conditions. The balcony for that light was removed from the tower in 1971 when it became dangerously rusted.17

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Painting the lighthouse, c.1935.
(R. and M. Coates Point Hicks collection)

In common with lighthouse-keepers around the world, the keepers of the Cape Everard light and their families endured long periods of relative isolation but also enjoyed the challenges of self-reliance and self-sufficiency in what was effectively a small ‘village’. Early occupants of Cape Everard received their supplies by ship every 3-4 months. These were off-loaded at the jetty to the west of the point and were then conveyed by horse-drawn sledge, across the sand dunes to the station. To supplement these supplies keepers and their families kept livestock, including poultry, sheep, goats and cows. They also maintained a large vegetable garden. From 1890 until 1965 the keepers kept light draught horses – Dolly, Bobby, Prince and Old Box among them – but the horses and the jetty were last used on 8 December 1965. They were replaced by an ex-army amphibious vehicle (‘army duck’), which was then used to ferry supplies ashore from the M.V.Cape Pillar. Earlier supply vessels included the Lady Loch and Cape York.18

Prior to Federation lighthouses around Australia were a state responsibility but in 1911 the first Commonwealth Lighthouse Act was passed and on 1 July 1915 all coastal lighthouses were transferred to the Commonwealth, to be administered by the Department of Trade and Customs.19

Lighthouses along the Victorian coast were an important guide for seafarers but the efficacy of these silent sentinels of the night was frequently tested by sea mist, fog, poor seamanship and unseaworthy vessels. The last vessel to founder on the Far East Gippsland coast before the Cape Everard light became operational was the S.S.Riverina, which in January 1890 became lost in thick smoke from bushfires onshore and ran aground at Island Point, east of Cape Everard. Despite the existence of the beacon at Cape Everard numerous others vessels foundered within range of its light: they included the S.S.Federal (1901), S.S.Easby (1907), the cutter Orme (1909), S.S.Commissioner (1914), the collision of the steamer City of Florence and the schooner Phillipine (1916), S.S.Rostrevor (1919), trawler Albert San [ex-Brolga] (1926), the yacht Viking (1961), the multi-hull Wing Song (1985) and the Breeze (1989). The last major shipwreck at Cape Everard was that of the 2044 ton steel steamer Saros, which ran ashore in heavy fog on Christmas Day 1937. The crew was rescued but the ship could not be salvaged.

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S.S. Saros aground off Cape Everard, 1937
(La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria)

On 6 February 1938 the Saros broke in two and remained that way until April 1948, when force nine winds and heavy seas washed the bow onto the rocks, where part of it can still be seen.20

The most recent marine mishap at Point Hicks occurred on 13 February 2000, when the yacht Aquarius was found wrecked on rocks to the west of the lighthouse. The body of the lone sailor on board was never found.21

Unlike Port Albert, further west along the Gippsland coast, Cape Everard has never been a lifeboat station but along with Gabo Island to the east, it has in the past been a rocket station. Rocket lines could be fired over a vessel in distress regardless of sea conditions and with little personal risk to the rescuers. They also enabled the transfer of people from ship to shore when a vessel was stranded on rocks or in breaking surf. It is not known if the rockets at Cape Everard were ever fired to affect a rescue.22

During both the First and Second World Wars Cape Everard was a vital link in the nation’s defences as light-keepers watched for both suspicious ships and aircraft but wartime secrecy provisions kept much of this information from reaching most Gippslanders. In June 1917 the German raider Wolf laid mines along the Melbourne-Sydney shipping lane and on 15 July the S.S.Cumberland struck a mine east of Cape Everard and was forced to beach near Gabo Island. During the Second World War the crew of the freighter Iron Crown was less fortunate. On 4 June 1942 their ship was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine, just east of Cape Everard with the loss of 38 lives.23

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The Dunkley family, Cape Everard, c.1935
(R. and M. Coates Point Hicks collection)

Although shipwrecks and acts of war highlighted the solitariness of Cape Everard it was, as George Horn had found, a desolate place at any time and its isolation was particularly evident during incidents of illness or accident at the station. A need for medical attention was not uncommon but Head Keeper E.B.Gledhill must have been an ignominious sight when in August 1938 he headed for the Orbost Hospital seated in a chair positioned in a horse-drawn sledge. He was conveyed for six miles along the beach then onto Cann River on a sledge journey lasting eight hours. Transferred onto the back of a truck at Cann River, things did not improve much: ‘With a policeman and three other men he set out from Cann River in a truck, which took six hours to travel 20 miles, being bogged seven times’.24

Gledhill survived his arduous journey. The only recorded death of a light-keeper at Cape Everard being that of Robert Grace Christoferson, an assistant light keeper, who vanished on 3 April 1947. A former mounted policeman, returned soldier and German POW, he was last seen alive by a friend at 8.30 that morning, setting a crayfish pot off the rocks at the front of the lighthouse, when a heavy sea was running. A six-day police search failed to find any trace of him but his spirit lives on. Residents and visitors at the station attest that the ghost of Christoferson occupies his former cottage: his hobnail boots are heard around the tower at night and his apparition polishes brass door knobs and moves tools and other objects about the light station.25

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Robert Grace Christoferson (standing) on the rocks
at Cape Everard with his crayfish pot.
(Mrs Margaret Christopher, Traralgon)

In the years after Word War Two the provision of better roads, transport and other changes made life for light station families safer and easier but such developments also heralded the end of Cape Everard as a working lighthouse. With that went much of the romanticism and arcadian lifestyle that had attached to it for over a century.

In September 1946 the station was issued with a four-wheel-drive jeep, which was garaged in a ‘jeep shed’ at Clinton Rocks. This shed was equipped with sleeping facilities and a telephone. There was also a ‘bark hut’, which was used en route for stopovers between Clinton Rocks and Cann River. Prior to 1946 lighthouse families took two days to travel by horse to Cann River. With the advent of the jeep they travelled from Cape Everard to the ‘jeep shed’ on horseback or by horse and sledge and then drove to Cann River by jeep: a return trip that took one and a half days. Road improvements in 1950 further reduced travel time to 12 hours and when a new road to Cape Everard was opened in April 1954, a car trip from Cape Everard to Cann River took only two hours.26

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"The Bark Hut": Used as a shelter on trips between Cape Everard and Cann River.
(R. and M. Coates Point Hicks collection)

With such ease of access to the light station other changes followed relatively quickly. A new engine room was built in 1964 and on 15 December a new electric light was switched-on. The days of hauling kerosene were over. So too were the days of cutting firewood. During 1965 the light station residences were supplied with briq-uettes as a fuel source, the supply jetty and horses were used for the last time and the station was reduced to a ‘two-person non-watch-keeping station’.27

Powered by twin diesel engines the electric light at Cape Everard continued to make one revolution every sixty seconds, its 1000 watt lamp projecting a light of one million candelas through the original Chance Brothers first order lense, giving two flashes of light every ten seconds: a beacon that could be seen twenty-six nautical miles out to sea. But as efficient as it was, it was rapidly becoming obsolete. Satellite navigation, improved shipping technology and the discovery of the Bass Strait oilfields all conspired to bring about the demise of the Point Hicks light station. When oil and gas production platforms began operating off the Gippsland coast during the 1970s, safety requirements meant that the commercial shipping lanes were pushed further out to sea, putting them outside the oil and gas production zone. This also put them beyond the effective reach of the Point Hicks light. In January 1991 the primary light at Point Hicks ceased operation and was replaced by a much smaller solar light. Mounted on the external balcony of the tower and with a range of only ten nautical miles, this light was primarily a beacon for local fishermen and small boat operators. The solar light did not need to be manned and required very little maintenance. Point Hicks was no longer an official light station and one ‘light-keeper’ was left in residence as a caretaker.28

Following considerable public debate and negotiation Point Hicks was transferred by the Federal Government to the State of Victoria in 1995. Its historical and architectural value were recognised by a listing on the Register of the National Estate and a National Trust classification. Since 1 January 1997, Point Hicks has been maintained and operated as a tourist facility by Rob and Manda Coates. Accommodation is provided in the original light-keepers cottages: no added charge for the poltergeist.29 The lighthouse tower is open to visitors, as are the Aboriginal middens, the remains of the Saros, an obelisk marking Cook’s Australian landfall and a geodetic plaque on a memorial cairn, marking places of interest associated with Cook’s voyage.30 The site is now also a noted whale watching vantage point. Steeped in history and surrounded by the Croajingalong National Park, Point Hicks retains much of the romance from its days as a working light station and is deigned to remain a beacon on the Wilderness Coast.31


1. The name Point Hicks was used from 1770 until c.1852 and again from 1970 until the present. From c.1852 until 1970 this place was known as Cape Everard. In this article both names are used depending upon the historical context.

2. Historical Records of New South Wales Vol.1 Part 1 Cook 1762-1780. Sydney, Government Printer, 1893, Charts 2 and 3, for Cook’s Charts showing Point Hicks entry; In these charts Cook spelt Hicks both with (Hickes) and without the ‘e’ but the spelling without the ‘e’ has fallen into common usage; Douglas Pike (Ed.). Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB). Vol. 1. Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp.243-4; and J.C. Beaglehole. The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery: The Voyage of The Endeavour 1768-1771. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1955, pp.298-7, for details of Cook’s voyage and his journal entry naming Point Hicks. In his journal Cook uses the nautical date (19 April 1770). He followed the custom of navigators of his time when crossing the 180 deg. meridian of not adjusting the date until first entering a ‘civilised’ port. Hence Cook corrected his calendar at Batavia. Although his log shows 19 April 1770 the actual date by civil reckoning and the date now used is 20 April 1770.

3. State Library of New South Wales. Sir Joseph Banks’ papers. Series 03.603 Endeavour journal, 19 April 1770, Frame CY 3010/241 and Series 03.604 Endeavour journal, 20 April 1770, Frame CY 3010/ 242; Kym Thompson. A History of the Aboriginal People of East Gippsland. Victoria, Land Conservation Council, 1985, pp.43-50, for details about Krauatungalung, Bidawal and Murring tribes; Cathie Webb. An Evaluation of the Archaeological Resources of Six Light station Reserves in Victoria (Point Hicks). Australian Heritage Consultants, 1995, pp.39-47 and P.J.Coutts (Ed.). Coastal Archaeology in South-Eastern Victoria. Melbourne, Victorian Archaeological Survey, 1984. pp. 19 -21, for tribal boundary and midden data.

4. Articles debating the precise location of Cook’s Australian Landfall are numerous. A number of them can be found in Victorian Historical Magazine. Vol. 41. No.2, 1970 and Vol.42 No.3, 1971. A detailed discussion of this topic by Thomas Walker Fowler can also be found in the Victorian Geographical Journal. ‘Captain Cook’s Australian Landfall’, Vol. XXV, 1907, pp. 8-12 and ‘A Note re Captain Cook’s Point Hicks’, Vol. XXVIII, 1911, pp. 88-92; A.H. and A.W. Reed (Eds.). Captain Cook in New Zealand, Wellington, 1969, p. 52; and Correspondence from New Zealand Geographic Board to The Author, 25 August 2000, for information re Hicks Bay.

Beaglehole, Journals of Captain Cook, p. 591, for details re the death of Hicks.

5. ADB. Vol.1, op cit, ‘George Bass (1771-1803)’, pp. 64- 65; ‘James Cook (1728-1779)’, pp. 243-4; ‘Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)’, pp. 389-91; J.C.Bull and Peter Williams. Story of Gippsland Shipping. Metung, The Authors, 1967, pp. 11-14; Max Jeffreys. Wreck of the Sydney Cove, Frenchs Forest, New Holland Publishers, 1997; Fowler, Captain Cook’s Australian Landfall’; Notes from State Library of Victoria - Maps Librarian to The Author, 10 August 2000.

6. Fowler, ‘A Note re Captain Cook’s Point Hicks’, p. 89; ADB, Vol.1, op cit, ‘James Grant (1772-1833)’, pp. 468-9.

7. ADB, Vol.2, ‘John Lort Stokes (1812-1885)’, pp. 488-9; H.J.Gibbney and Ann G Smith. A Biographical Register 1788-1939. Vol.1. Canberra, ADB, 1987, p. 341, ‘Sir James Everard Home, Bart.’, p. 341; and Sydney Morning Herald. 3 November 1853, for his obituary; sources citing Stokes as assigning the name Cape Everard to Point Hicks include R.D. Boys. First Years at Port Phillip 1834-1842. Melbourne, Robertson and Mullens Ltd, 1959, p.2; The Victorian Historical Magazine. Vol.2, Ernest Scott, ‘English and French Navigators on the Victorian Coast’, p. 147; Les Blake. Place Names of Victoria, Adelaide, Rigby, 1977, pp. 60; Note to the author dated 20 July 2000 from Paul Livingston, National Library of Australia, verifying that ‘… the 1843 map surveyed by John Lort Stokes does not have Cape Everard identified’.

8. Fowler, ‘A Note re Captain Cook’s Point Hicks’, p. 90; Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds.). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol.8, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1981, ‘Thomas Walker Fowler (1859-1928)’. p. 565; G. Scurfield. The Hoddle Years: Surveying in Victoria, 1836-1853, Canberra, The Institution of Surveyors, Australia Inc, 1995, p. 139, for Smythe survey and end-pocket for Map of the Province of Victoria.

9. Gibbney and Smith, ‘Sir James Everard Home’ for biographical references; The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol.3, 1914, A.K.Moore in ‘Notes and Queries :Cape Everard’, p. 176, for suggestion that Cape Everard was named after John Everard; ADB, Vol.4, ‘John Everard (1825-1886)’, pp. 143-4; Geoff Browne, Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament 1900-84. Melbourne, Government Printing Office, 1985, pp. 62-3, for William Everard details; P.D.Gardner. Names of East Gippsland, Ensay, Ngarak Press, 1992, p. 35 for ‘Commissioner for Crown Lands’ and ‘Admiral in charge of the Australian Station’; A.D.Reid, et al. The Lightkeepers Guide to Pt. Hicks, Point Hicks, Department of Transport, n.d., p. 17, for Everard ‘on board the Endeavour’.

10. Warren Perry. ‘Captain Cook Bi-Centenary Celebrations in Victoria in 1970’, The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol.41, No.2, 1970, p. 301; Neville Rosengren. Geological and Geomorphological Values of Six Lightstation Reserves, Victoria, Bendigo, La Trobe University, 1995, p. 5, for Everard Granite; CFA Mapping Association. Region 11 Rural Directory – East Gippsland, Mount Waverley, CFA Mapping Association, 1994, p. 88, for Mount Everard; Hydrographic Service RAN. Chart Aus 358 (1:300 000) Wilsons Promontory to Point Hicks. North Sydney, Commonwealth of Australia, 1971, for Everard Hill.

11. Jack Loney. Wrecks Along The Gippsland Coast (8th Edition), Portarlington, Marine History, 1994, p.38, for Auckland and p. 43, for Kerangie.

12. Victoria, Parliament, Report of the Proceedings of the Conference of the Principal Officers of the Marine Departments of the Australian Colonies 30 September-10 October 1873, Parl. Papers 1873, vol. 3, No. 89, p. 1212 for recommendation re Cape Everard/Cape Conran light; Argus, 12 June 1886, p. 5, for bluestone announcement; National Archives of Australia (Melbourne), Series B3712 Dr 88 Fld for lighthouse station plans; Ivar Nelsen, et al, Conservation Plan Point Hicks Lightstation. p.18, Victoria, Victoria, Australian Construction Services, 1991, p. 13, for Public Works tender process.

 13. Nelsen, Conservation Plan Point Hicks Lightstation, for iron lighthouse; Victoria Government Gazette, No.56, 26 June 1888, p. 2050, for Horne contract; Alexander Sutherland. Victoria and Its Metropolis Past and Present, Melbourne, McCarron & Bird Co., 1888, p. 643, for Horne Brothers building history.

14. George Horn diary notes taken from his diary compiled 11 September 1888 – 29 October 1889. Two subsequent volumes were destroyed in a house fire at Strathewen, Victoria, c.1930. The original handwritten diary is in the possession of his granddaughter, Mrs Heather May of Alfredton. The Author has a typescript copy.

15. Nelsen, Conservation Plan, pp. 111-2; Reid, Lightkeepers’ Guide, p. 16.

16. Horn Diary, 29 September – 2 October 1888, for salvaging timber from Kerangie; Nelsen, Conservation Plan, pp. 112-3, for description of residences.

17. Reid, Lighthouse Keepers’ Guide, p. 16, for erection of lantern room; Nelsen, Conservation Plan, pp. 14 & 51, for technical data; National Archives of Australia, lo cit, for plan of lantern room; Note from Darren Watson, National Archives of Australia to The Author, 9 August 2000, for details of Fish, Dandie and Keys.

18. Reid, Lighthouse Keepers’ Guide, pp. 5-15.

19. Maggie Shapley. Lighthouses in Australia: A Guide to Records held by the Australian Archives, Canberra, AGPS, 1991, p. 1.

20. William H. Reinelt. Eastern Sea Stories, Mallacoota, The Author, n.d., passim; and Loney, Wrecks Along the Gippsland Coast passim, for details of shipwrecks; Reid, Lighthouse Keepers’ Guide, pp. 6 & 15, for details about wreck of the Saros.

21. Record of Investigation into Death, Bairnsdale Coroner’s Court, Case No.467/2000, 13 April 2000.

22. Loney, Wrecks Along the Gippsland Coast, pp. 113-4.

23. Reinelt, Eastern Sea Stories, pp. 15-16, for Cumberland; Loney,Wrecks Along the Gippsland Coast, p. 90, for Wolf; Denis M. Riley. The Iron Ships, Melbourne, BHP Transport Ltd., 1992, pp. 50-1, for Iron Crown.

24. Sun, 4 August 1938, p. 3; Herald, 4 August 1938, p. 8.

25. The Snowy River Mail, 9 April 1947, p. 1 and 16 April 1947, p. 5; National Archives of Australia (Melbourne), Series B406, Item L13/18 Pt. 2; Reid, Lighthouse Keepers’ Guide, pp. 7-8, Cape Everard Log Book entry; The Age, 15 January 1982, p. 14; personal interview with Point Hicks leaseholders, Rob and Manda Coates, 3 July 2000; Christoferson family papers and photographs, including police service and military records in possession of Mrs Margaret Christopher [son] of Traralgon, Victoria.

26. Reid, Lighthouse Keepers’ Guide, pp. 7-10.

27. ibid, p. 13.

28. Nelsen, Conservation Plan, pp. 1,15,51,121; Reid, Lighthouse Keepers’ Guide, p. 16 & 19.

29. Point Hicks Lightstation is registered on the Register of the National Estate (RNE) as Database No. 004738 (Registered 21/10/1980) File No.2/09/270/0001 and is classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) as File No. 2487; The Age (Weekend Review), 14 June 1980, p. 19; The Age, 28 July 1980, p. 3; 6 April 1992, p. 6; 18 April 1994, p. 5; 10 May 1995, p. 8; 2 December 1995, p. A6; 10 March 1997, p. A3.

30. The Commonwealth Government erected the obelisk before 1925. It marks Cook’s Australian landfall and bears a bronze plaque which lists ‘Ship’s Company of H.M. Bark Endeavour April 20th 1770’. The geodetic plaque is mounted on a granite memorial cairn. Designed by Bamford Gay and unveiled by Sir Henry Bolte on 20 April 1970, it shows all the places of interest associated with Cook’s voyage, including Cape York and locations in New Zealand.

31. Peter Gill and Cecilia Burke. Whale Watching, Frenchs Forest, New Holland Publishers, 1999, p. 107; Heather Kozak. ‘Lighthouse Lifestyle’, Grass Roots, No. 133, June/July 1999, pp. 6-8; Keith Dunstan. ‘The Lights Fantastic’, RoyalAuto, February 2000, pp. 14-19.


Many people and institutions assisted with reference material for this paper and I sincerely thank them all. Special thanks are due to the following. For the loan of photographs and other documents: Margaret Christopher – Traralgon; Rob and Manda Coates – Point Hicks; Heather May – Alfredton; Bill and Roger Noden – Lakes Entrance; Captain William H. Reinelt – Mallacoota; Linda Wilkinson – Metung. For friendly, helpful and professional assistance with library and archive research: Bruce Davidson – Victorian State Parliamentary Library; Jan McDonald – State Library of Victoria; Christine Paterson – Librarian and Friend; Darren Watson – National Archives of Australia; and staff at The Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

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