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Point Collinson


Zone 53 
Map 5632 
N 395800 - E 6400300 
Point Collinson is located at the North Western extremity of Streaky Bay on Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The site of the Port Collinson whaling station is located at the beach front at a place locally known as the  Point Brown Whaling site, which is actually located on the north-east side of Point Collinson. 


Topographic map showing Point Collinson (Courtesy: Mapland)


Aerial photograph showing location of the Fowlers Bay Whaling Station (Courtesty: Mapland)

Port Collinson was a Hobart based whaling station between 1843 - 1846. 
In April 1844, Captain Gardiner from Camilla arrived in Streaky Bay and carried out the following tasks: 

"Went ashore to fetch off some staves that were left last voyage, and the trypots...I pulled down the huts, and burned the bark; sent the slabs onboard for firewood; pulled the pots down, and cleaned them ready for going onboard" (Hobart Town Courier, 2 August 1844).  

The Camilla was driven ashore the same day and Captain and Mrs Gardiner and 25 of the crew arrived back in Hobart on 10 October 1844. (Hobart Town Courier, 17 December 1844).  
There is no documentary record of a whaling station at the location of Point Collinson, despite archaeological evidence that one was established. How, where and by whom the whaling station was established remains unknown. An early account of the region came largely from explorers. One account by John Hill and company was given in 1845 explaining that the land was unsuitable for farming. E. J. Eyre (1845) explained that during his journey, he located water only once (Eyre, 1845). 


Material remains located at Point Collinson included three types: 
Ferrous - mostly fragmented cast iron. Also included were several broken iron pins. 
Glass - Pieces of green bottle glass were located in the deposits. 
Whale Bone. 
Other remains include: 
Two hand made red bricks were located in the northern most deposit. 
A try-pot from the site is in the possession of Mr. C.J. Theakstone of Whalers Way, Port Lincoln. 
Several large whale vertebrae and rib fragments, as well as a large cast iron trough from the site, are also in the property of Mr Willcox near Smoky Bay.  ( - P. Kostoglou & J. McCarthy) 
Several pieces of hoop iron around the area. 


DeLeiuen, C., Nelson, N., Pecanek, M., Phillippou, C., and Richards, N.  Point Collinson Whaling Station. Archaeological Field Methods Report 1997, Flinders University of S.A. (unpublished). 

Eyre, J. 1845. 

Kostoglou, P. and McCarthy, J. 1991. Whaling and Sealing Sites in South Australia, Australian institute for Maritime Archaeology, Special Publication No:6, p7-9. 

Hobart Town Courier:  2/8/1844 

By Rebecca O'Reilly 

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