Broughton Island (New South Wales)

Broughton Island is an island 14 km north-east of Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the Myall Lakes National Park.[1](map)[2]

Broughton Island
New South Wales
Broughton Island
Coordinates32°36′57″S 152°19′02″E
Area1.14 km2 (0.4 sq mi)
Managing authoritiesNew South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service
WebsiteBroughton Island


Archaeology indicates that the Worimi people inhabited the island for at least 2,000 years, but their name for it does not seem to have been recorded. It lay within the territory of the Garrawerrigal branch (nurra) of the Woromi.[3] "Garrawerrigal" meant "the people of the sea", from garoowa=sea.[4] Niritba was "the home of the mutton bird" in their language.[5]

Broughton Island was seen by James Cook commanding HM Bark Endeavour on 11 May 1770: he mistook it for a headland and called it Black Head.[6] After its insularity was discovered, it was renamed Broughton Islands, and so appears on the 1852 Admiralty chart, Australia, East Coast. Broken Bay to Sugarloaf Point, from a running survey by Captn. J. Lort Stokes, H.M.S. Acheron, 1851.[7] Providence Bay also appears for the first time on this chart.

Nearby Port Stephens was surveyed by Commander William Broughton in HMS Providence in August 1795.[8][9] Stokes appears to have named the island and bay after Broughton and his ship, perhaps on the advice of his friend, Phillip Parker King, who was then residing at Tahlee in Port Stephens and had surveyed the coast in a private capacity.[7][10]

The island was used between 1905 and 1907 in regards to testing of biological controls on feral rabbits, by French-based Polish biologist Jean Danysz (1860–1928).

National Park

Broughton Island has been part of the Myall Lakes National Park since it was declared in 1972. wedge-tailed shearwaters, known locally as "muttonbirds", nest on the island, as well as little penguins, close to the northern limit of their range. In November 2009, the National Parks and Wildlife Service declared the island free from rabbits and rats.[11]


  1. "ARNST TAKES TO FISHING". Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 - 1954). Echuca, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 28 April 1913. p. 3. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. Clarke, John (2009), Broughton Islanders, Boat Harbour, New South Wales: Veranu Pty. Ltd, ISBN 978-0-646-51900-5
  3. W.J. Enright, "The Kattang (Kutthung) or Worimi: An Aboriginal Tribe", Mankind, vol. 1, no. 4 March 1932. R.V.S. Wright, "Broughton Island, NSW: recent prehistoric use of an offshore ocean island", Australian Archaeology, no.3, October 1975, p.18-23. Boris Sokoloff, The Worimi: hunter gatherers at Port Stephens, [Raymond Terrace, N.S.W.], Raymond Terrace and District Historical Society, 1980. John Armstrong, Yacaaba and Tomaree: A History of Port Stephens, Port Stephens (N.S.W.), Port Stephens Council, rev. ed., 1996.
  4. W.J. Enright, "The language, weapons and manufactures of the aborigines of Port Stephens", Journal and proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, volume XXXIV, 1900, pp.103-118, pp.104 and 111.
  5. Desiree Sutherland, Garoowa Coastal Sea Country Report, Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park, 2011, p.23."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. James Cook, The Voyage of The Endeavour, 1768-1771, edited by J. C. Beaglehole, Cambridge, Hakluyt Society, 1968, pp.12-14, 314.
  7. Great Britain. Hydrographic Dept; Potter, J. D (1852), Australia, East Coast. Sheet IV, Broken Bay to Sugarloaf Point, from a running survey by Captn. J. Lort Stokes, H.M.S. Acheron, 1851; engraved by J & C. Walker., Published according to Act of Parliament at the Hydrographic Office of The Admiralty : Sold by J.D. Potter Agent for The Admiralty charts, retrieved 22 January 2012
  8. Broughton, William Robert (1804), A voyage of discovery to the north Pacific Ocean : in which the coastal Asia, ... Japan ... as well as the coast of Corea have been examined and surveyed, performed in His Majesty's Sloop Providence and her tender in the years 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, T. Cadell and W. Davies, pp. 16–19, OL 24159440M, retrieved 20 January 2012
  9. Andrew David (ed.), William Robert Broughton's Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific 1795-1798, Introduction by Barry M. Gough, Hakluyt Society 3rd series, no.22, London, Ashgate, 2010, Introduction, p.v. ISBN 0-904180-97-2.
  10. Journal of Captain John Lort Stokes, HMS Acheron, on the surveying voyage from Plymouth to New Zealand, 1848 to 1851, transcribed by Sheila Natusch, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, MRF/113. Robert J. King, "Putting Broughton Islands on the Map, 1770-1851", ; also in Journal of Australian Naval History, vol.9, no.1, March 2012, pp.122-6.
  11. Lyons, Melissa (13 November 2009), "Broughton Island declared feral-free", The Newcastle Herald, retrieved 22 January 2012
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