Tasmania’s Forgotten Frontier
Tasmania’s Forgotten Frontier follows a history of exploration, exploitation and settlement around Tasmania’s Far North-East Coast.
Almost five years before the first British settlement on mainland Tasmania (in the Derwent estuary), sealers established semi-permanent settlements on the islands off the North-East Coast. The sealers exploited not only the seal population but also the indigenous tribes that had inhabited the northeastern coastal plains for thousands of years.
Following the decimation and ultimate removal of the native population, a string of isolated grazing establishments, along the coastline east of what is now Bridport, became the first settlements in this remote corner of the state. John Beswick recalls the exploits of Bass and Flinders, Captain Charles Bishop (founder of the Bass Strait sealing industry), Captain James Kelly and George Augustus Robinson. Significantly, he identifies and records in detail, for the first time, the settlers who braved the isolation to establish long term grazing ventures.