This area has gained notoriety in recent years as the first meeting place between Bruni D’Entrecasteaux 1772/73 expedition and the original inhabitants – the Lylequonny. Studying native flora, fauna, geology, maritime navigation, charting waterways, and creating rudimentary vegetable gardens, the French, after some initial cautionary interaction, succeeded in establishing amicable cross cultural exchanges with the aboriginal people. Sadly later the early British settlers adopted a different attitude, removing the Aboriginal people from their country, leaving only middens to remind us of once rich communities & customs.
Recherche Bay has provided safe harbour for sealers, settlers, and convicts , as well as the early explorers. Coal mining, sawmilling and whaling were early industries and initial attempts at settlement had to contend with tremendous hardship because of the areas remoteness (accessed only by boat). Although the area can be easily reached by car today, you can still get a sense of the isolation as you drive along appealing sheltered waterways, framed by tall, thick stands of Eucalyptus. The forest has reclaimed whole communities, with little visible evidence remaining of this area’s once active human exploits, leaving it to the imagination to fill in the pieces.
To download a copy of "A Traveller's Glimpse into the history of Recherche Bay" please click here.