Our Latest News

Join us for the Power of Parks forum at Launceston

22/07/2016

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in partnership with the University of Tasmania is exploring The Power of Parks through a series of UTAS public forums celebrating the benefits that parks and reserves provide to Tasmania's overall identify.More

Shipwreck identified as the Viola

19/07/2016

Timber samples from a ship wrecked on Tasmania's East Coast nearly 160 years ago have been identified as the Canadian-built brig Viola.More

Prosecution for Stanley penguin deaths

15/07/2016

The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and the Circular Head Council have conducted a joint investigation after 18 little penguins were found dead near a rookery in Stanley on the State's North-West coast last week.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.