Lying six kilometres south of Kingston is Phillip Island – a distinct feature on the horizon for its majestic cliffs, exposed pink soil ridges and near 300m high peak. Named for Governor Arthur Phillip of the convict settlement in Sydney, rather than the Governor Philip Gidley King of the Norfolk Settlement, Phillip Island’s history is one of devastation and regeneration.
Shortly after European settlement in 1788, animals such as rabbits, goats and pigs were introduced to Phillip Island. They caused so much damage that by 1796 this was already visible and noted in a report by King. Almost 200 years later the island had been stripped completely, leaving little more than the underlying soils and rock.
Eradication & Regeneration
In the 1980s the last of the introduced animals was finally eradicated and a long-term regeneration project commenced to bring Phillip Island back to its natural green state. Managed by the National Parks, this important breeding site for migratory seabirds is slowly reclaiming a canopy of vegetation. There are no permanent human inhabitants, just those lucky enough to use a small Fishing Club hut perched on a rocky outcrop for an incomparable island escape.