Our Latest News

Viewing platform upgrades for Rocky Cape's Aboriginal heritage sites

13/02/2018

Two viewing platforms have been replaced as part of visitor facility improvements at Rocky Cape National Park on the North-West Coast. The platforms are at the Lee Archer Cave and South Cave sites, which have highly significant Aboriginal heritage values.More

Urban focus for World Wetlands Day

01/02/2018

'Wetlands for a sustainable future' is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2018. This international celebration of the significance of wetland environments is held annually on 2 February.More

Stage Three of Three Capes Track complete

29/01/2018

Stage Three of the award-winning Three Capes Track has now been completed. The Cape Raoul and Shipstern Bluff lookout tracks have been upgraded to a class 3 dry boot standard track consistent with the existing Three Capes walks.More

History of the Reserve

Macquarie Island has a harsh and rich history prior to its reservation as a nature reserve. See our pages on the sealing history of Macquarie Island for further information.

Wandering albatross 
  • In 1933 Macquarie Island was proclaimed a wildlife sanctuary under the Tasmanian Animals and Birds Protection Act 1928
  • In 1972 it was made a State Reserve under the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Act 1970.
  • In 1977 it was listed on the Register of National Estate of the Australian Heritage Commission. It was also made a Biosphere Reserve that same year under the IUCN "Man and Biosphere Program." It is the only Biosphere Reserve in the Southern Ocean.
general shot

  • In 1978 it was extended and named the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve.
  • In 1979 it was declared a restricted area, with intending visitors requiring permits from the managing authority, the Parks and Wildlife Service.
  • It was first nominated for World Heritage Area listing in 1992.
  • On the 5th of December 1997, Macquarie Island was listed as a World Heritage Area mainly because of its unique geological values. This is the second World Heritage Area for Tasmania, the other being the famous Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
  • The Commonwealth proclaimed the Macquarie Island Marine Park in 1999. This applies to the waters from three nautical miles to 200 nautical miles offshore. The Department of Environment and Heritage is the Commonwealth government’s managing authority for the marine park.
  • In 2000 the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve was extended to the limit of State waters, three nautical miles from low water mark around the island and outlying islets.
  • On 21 May 2007, Macquarie Island was added to the National Heritage List.