Bass and Flinders Memorial
Port Hacking, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The Bass and Flinders Memorial, dedicated to George Bass and Matthew Flinders. This is located at Bass and Flinders Point overlooking the entrance to Port Hacking and the mouth of the Hacking River on the southern outskirts of Sydney, Australia.

Bass and Flinders sailed from England to New South Wales on board the HMS Reliance, arriving at the new colony of Sydney in September 1795.  During this voyage they had become close friends and would together explore and chart much of the eastern coast of Australia southward of Sydney. In March 1796 Bass and Flinders took their single masted yawl of just over 4 metres, the Tom Thumb II, south to what is now known as Lake Illawarra.  During this voyage they discovered, explored and named Port Hacking estuary and camped overnight near the point that is named in their honour.

They again sailed together from Sydney in 1798 with Flinders in command of the sloop Norfolk. During this voyage they discovered the stretch of water that separates the island of Tasmania (then Van Diemen's Land) from the Australian mainland and which Flinders named Bass Strait in honour of his close friend George Bass.  Their discovery of Bass Straight and circumnavigation of Tasmania  meant that ships travelling to and from England to New South Wales could save several days by no longer having to round Tasmania.

After his return to England in early 1800, Flinders was given command of HMS Investigator, again sailing for New South Wales in 1801 and tasked with circumnavigating the coast of New Holland (western Australia) and New South Wales (eastern Australia).  This he completed by mid 1803.  Although not the first to use the term "Australia", it seems that Flinders first used Australia in reference to the island continent and this was later championed by the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, and officially adopted by the British Admiralty in 1824.

The Bass and Flinders Memorial with Port Hacking seen in the background.

Close-up of the memorial.

The information plaque for George Bass.

The information plaque for Matthew Flinders.

Another view of the memorial.

A 50 cent coin from 1998 commemorating the 200th anniversary of the 1798 voyage made by Bass and Flinders which discovered the Bass Strait.
(All photos and text courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2011 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved

Page published July 4, 2013