After Federation in 1901, plans were set in motion to create a city (Canberra)
within an independent territory (of the ACT) where the new Federal Government
would sit. The Seat of Government Act (1908) declared that access to the sea was
imperative, thus 7,400 hectares of land at the southern end of Jervis Bay were
handed over from the NSW to the Commonwealth Government.
The Wreck Bay area to
the south of Jervis Bay was designated a reserve in 1928. By the time it was
gazetted in 1952 the reserve had shrunk considerably. 1971 two-thirds of the
Territory (4,470 hectares) was declared a natural reserve. Then five years later
the whole was classified by the National Trust of Australia in recognition of
its conservation, scientific, historical, scenic and recreational value. Cape St
George Lighthouse, Bowen Island and HMAS Creswell have been included on the
Register of the National Estate.
In December 1995 it was handed over to the
Wreck Bay Aboriginal community as part of the reconciliation process. Under the
agreement the land was leased back to the Federal Government for 99 years in
return for a share of the income the park generates and a majority presence on
the management board. Many of the sites are of great significance to the local
Aboriginal community, such as the Reserve Cemetery, fishing spots at Summercloud
Bay and Mary Bay. As part of the process the name of the reserve has been
changed from Jervis Bay National Park to
Booderee National Park.
Check out our listed range of Jervis
Bay accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide
information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for
more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.