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Middle Island (Western Australia) facts for kids

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Middle Island
Middle Island 1 Recherche Archipelago NR IV-2011.JPG
Middle Island, Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve, April 2011
Geography
Location Off the south coast of Western Australia
Archipelago Recherche Archipelago
Area 1,080 ha (2,700 acres)
Length 6.5 km (4.04 mi)
Highest elevation 185 m (607 ft)
Highest point Flinders Peak
Administration

Middle Island (French: Île du Milieu) is an island off the south coast of Western Australia in the Recherche Archipelago.

The island is 6.5 kilometres (4 mi) in length occupies an area of 1,080 hectares (2,669 acres) and approximately 9 kilometres (6 mi) off shore from Cape Arid. The island is the largest in the Recherche Archipelago.Goose Island rides adjacent.

It was named by D'Entrecasteaux. Matthew Flinders visited in January 1802 and climbed the 185 metres (607 ft) peak (subsequently named Flinders Peak) to survey the surrounding islands.
The island contains a pink lake, Lake Hillier, from which John Thistle, the Investigator's Master, collected some salt samples.

Philip Parker King anchored off the island in 1818 and lost two anchors that were later recovered in 1973. Sealers operated from the island throughout the 1800s. Bay whaling operations were conducted here in the 1870s and, possibly, as early as the 1840s.

The pirate Black Jack Anderson based himself on Middle Island in the 1820s and 1830s to launch raids on vessels making their way between Adelaide and Albany.

The Belinda was wrecked off Middle Island in 1824. In 1826 eight Englishmen who had been marooned on Middle Island by the captain of a sealing vessel Governor Brisbane were found by the French explorer Dumont d’Urville aboard the Astrolabe. The Mary-Jane was wrecked off the island in 1875.

In 1889, Edward Andrews investigated the commercial possibilities of producing salt from Lake Hillier, and briefly moved onto the island with both of his sons. They left after working the salt deposits for about one year.

The Rodondo was wrecked off the island in 1894 and the Eclipse met a similar fate in 1898. The SS Penguin was wrecked off the island while sheltering from a gale in 1920.

The island supports a population of the tammar wallaby and the bush rat.

Middle Island (Westall collection)
Sketch of view from Middle Island from the Westall collection looking toward Cape Arid
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