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South Australia
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Adventure Bay (Bruny Island)


(No zone given)
Adventure Bay is in the south of Bruny Island.
Kelly and Lucasí Station is a bay whaling station occupied between 1829 and 1841 and is located at Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Whaling stations were established at Adventure Bay, Bull Bay, Trumpeter Bay and Cloudy Bay. By 1850 they had all been abandoned. 


Adventure Bay consists of 4 whaling stations/establishments. As early as 1804 whaling has taken place with the English whaler Alexander reported to be whaling off Adventure Bay.  Kelly and Lucasí station is one of these and one of at least 5 stations around Tasmania owned or managed by James Kelly between 1824 - 1854. James Kelly applied for a first class allotment "for the purpose of carrying on the whale fishery." Kelly was believed to be in partnership with Lucas at this time. During the period of the stations use it was part of a flourishing fishery in and around Adventure Bay. At one time there were between 80-90 men at the bay engaged in whaling (Kostoglou & Evans).

Bethune and Kelly were amongst the first whalers to establish shore stations at Adventure Bay. George Angas Robinson wrote of the whaling establishments at Adventure Bay in 1829:

"Here is a large establishment consisting of three firms: Messrs Kelly and Lucas, Messrs Young and Walford and Mr Maycock. The number of men employed collectively are from eighty to  ninety in number: and there are two schooners, two sloops and a large number of boats. It appears that they have been very successful this season."

Kelly and Lucas became partners in the whale fishery and in 1829 the Colonial Times reported that Kelly and Lucas, had in partnership, caught 44 whales so far that season. (Colonial Times, 14/8/1829). In July 1831 Kelly and Lucas acquired the Government brig Prince Leopold and renamed it the Mary and Elizabeth. (Evans, K. 1993, p13)

(Evans, K. 1993. Shore based whaling in Tasmania Historical research project - A report for the Parks and Wildlife Service.)

Kelly and Lucasí Grass Point Station


Kelly and Lucasí whaling station is the northern most of those stations located on the eastern side of Adventure Bay. More specifically it is located at Grass Point opposite Penguin Island. The station was in an ideal location to sight the southern right whales on their winter migration northwards. The whales passed close to shore and sheltered in Adventure Bay, allowing the small whaleboats to be launched from the beach.


 At least 12 stone structures remain of Kelly and Lucasí station, making it the largest and best preserved of the Adventure Bay whaling sites.
Stone footings of a small substantial building remains.
Residential area remains - included half a dozen structures built partially of stone.
Tryworks buildings - two stone buildings to serve communal facilities and the other as a storage shed.
Tryworks - Trypot nests and related fire places mark the location of the station tryworks. Physical evidence shows three trypots, although there were probably more.
(Site plans available in Kostoglou paper 1995)


Evans, K. 1993. Shore-based whaling in Tasmania: Historical Research Project, Volume 1 - A social economic history, A Report for the Parks and Wildlife Services.

Evans, K. 1993. Shore-based whaling in Tasmania: Historical Research Project, Volume 2 - Site Histories, A Report for the Parks and Wildlife Services, p11-14.

Kostoglou, P. 1995. Shore-based whaling in Tasmania - Archaeological Research Project Volume II: Results of Fieldwork, A Report for the Parks and Wildlife Service. 

Lawrence, S. (nd) Archaeological Excavation at Kelly and Lucas Whaling Station, Adventure Bay, Bruny Island. La Trobe University permit application.

Kelly and Lucasí Whaling Station Excavation Information Pamphlets for Visitors.

Colonial Times - 14/8/1829.

By Rebecca O'Reilly

Tasmanian Whaling Sites

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