Point Marsden (also called Marsden Point) is a headland located on the north coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. It was named after William Marsden, Second Secretary to the Admiralty by Matthew Flinders in 1802. It is the western extremity of Nepean Bay and has been the site of a navigation aid since 1915.
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Point Marsden is the most easterly point of the Kangaroo Island coast that directly adjoins Investigator Strait. It is the termination for a pair of coastlines - one extending from Cape Borda in the west and the other extending from Cape Rouge from the south in Nepean Bay. It is described as being ‘a rocky headland of moderate height’ and that ‘High wooded land rises about 0.5 nautical miles (0.93 kilometres; 0.58 miles) W of it.’ It is the western extremity of the opening to Nepean Bay.
Formation, geology & oceanography
Point Marsden was formed when the sea reached its present level 7,500 years ago after sea levels started to rise at the start of the Holocene. The cliff line which includes Point Marsden consists of a metamorphic rock belonging to the Kangaroo Island Group bedrock called Boxing Bay Formation. The water adjoining Point Marsden drops to a depth of 10 metres (33 feet) at the outer edge of the wave-cut platform at the base of its cliff face.
By 1999, the literature had not cited any archaeological discoveries specific to Aboriginal use of land in the immediate vicinity of Point Marsden.
A navigation aid consisting of a 3-metre-high (9.8 ft) tower with a single flashing light was installed in 1915. The light which is 85 m (279 ft) above sea level, assists vessels underway at night in Investigator Strait. The need for a navigation aid at Point Marsden was suggested as early as 1882 and was one of four sites recommended for immediate construction of navigation aids in 1912 when the responsibility for navigation transferred from the South Australian government to the Australian government.
As of 2014, the land adjoining Point Marsden is used for farming. Farming activity at the locality is reported as being underway as early as 1908 with most of the land being cleared of native vegetation by 1945.
- South Australia. Department of Marine and Harbors (1985), The Waters of South Australia a series of charts, sailing notes and coastal photographs, Dept. of Marine and Harbors, South Australia, pp. Chart 11, ISBN 978-0-7243-7603-2
- Sailing Directions (Enroute), Pub. 175: North, West, and South Coasts of Australia (PDF). Sailing Directions. United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2017. p. 215, 218.
- Robinson, A. C.; Armstrong, D. M. (eds.). A Biological Survey of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 1989 & 1990 (PDF). Adelaide, SA: Heritage and Biodiversity Section, Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, South Australia. p. 26. ISBN 0 7308 5862 6. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Fairclough, Martin C (December 2007). "KINGSCOTE Special 1:250 000 geological map" (PDF). MESA Journal. Government of South Australia, DMITRE. 47: 28–31. ISSN 1326-3544. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- Robinson, A. C.; Armstrong, D. M. (eds.). A Biological Survey of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 1989 & 1990 (PDF). Adelaide, SA: Heritage and Biodiversity Section, Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, South Australia. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0 7308 5862 6. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Flinders, Matthew (1966) . A Voyage to Terra Australis : undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country, and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803 in His Majesty's ship the Investigator, and subsequently in the armed vessel Porpoise and Cumberland Schooner; with an account of the shipwreck of the Porpoise, arrival of the Cumberland at Mauritius, and imprisonment of the commander during six years and a half in that island (Facsimile ed.). Adelaide; Facsimile reprint of: London : G. and W. Nicol, 1814 ed. In two volumes, with an Atlas (3 volumes): Libraries Board of South Australia. p. 250. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Lighting the coast. South Australian Lights. Important Changes. Wonga Shoal to have unattended light. £24,000 to be spent in this state". The Advertiser. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- "The Producer, Kangaroo Island Crops". The Advertiser. 27 November 1908. p. 11. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Robinson, A. C.; Armstrong, D. M. (eds.). A Biological Survey of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 1989 & 1990 (PDF). Adelaide, SA: Heritage and Biodiversity Section, Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, South Australia. p. 52. ISBN 0 7308 5862 6. Retrieved 1 May 2014.