Cockle Creek

Cockle Creek enters the sea at the southern end of Recherche Bay and is Tasmania’s most southerly point accessed by road. Middens in the region speak of the aboriginal presence here, well before  Europeans arrived, and the encounters between the indigenous people, the Lyluequonny, and the early  French explorers in 1792-93 has been well-documented. Initially established as a base for whaling in the early 1830’s, the settlement was given the name Ramsgate, when land was officially surveyed and subdivided. The many whaling stations were manned mostly by free settlers and ticket-of-leave convicts. Whilst many of the early habitations were crude and short-lived, some dwellings or buildings made use of convict-made bricks from Southport; some remnants can still be seen, such as the whaling hotel at Fishers Point. Livelihoods were based around whaling, then included coal-mining, market gardening and timber-harvesting. Boat-building was essential for supporting the whaling industry as well as servicing a developing community, that relied on trade with Hobart-town or visiting ships from overseas.

Cockle Creek partly defines a boundary for the South-West National Park (WHA) and now has only a scattering of old houses and shacks; few people live there permanently. It is a popular place for camping, both with Tasmanians and visitors and is the southern end of the lengthy South Coast Track that takes bush-walkers through to Port Davey.