As January 26th was "Australia Day", I'll focus a bit on the historic part, putting pics is great, but that doesn't make the whole thing does it? You don't visit just for it do you? Or even if... you're here and it’s all that matters.
I won't talk too much about the "Big Island" for the moment, as I only spent 6 days there since I've arrived, I'll have the opportunity to come back to it later hopefully….
KI is the third largest island of Oz with about 155km long and 55km wide it’s approximately 7 times the size of Singapore. There are around 4400 residents, most of them being farmers or fishermen for several generations (yes, I do speak of Australia, not my native Brittany). Nowadays, one third of KI are natural parks, both fauna and flora are preserved from external damages caused by pesticides, pests and such as.
KI was discovered in 1802 by the British Captain Matthew Flinders. In April, when the 'The Investigator' sailed to the mainland he met a corvette "The Geographer" on the horizon, under the command of French Nicolas Baudin. Matthew Flinders told him about his discovery and the opportunity to replenish on food on the island. Baudin went there during 1802 and 1803 summers, hence the French name given to many parts of the south coast / west.
Of course, the island is older, research has been conducted and Aboriginal camps were discovered, including one near Cape du Couedic. At present it is believed that they inhabited KI 16,000 years ago (long before KI was separated from the mainland by rising sea levels). The reason for the abandonment of the island about 2000 years ago remains a mystery, however, the Aboriginals from the "big island" name KI Karta or “Land of the Dead” ... There ought to be a reason for it….
The first Europeans to settle on KI were deserters or prisoners escaped from jail, living on the island’s resources and trading animal skins for tobacco or alcohol. They also kidnapped Aboriginal women from the mainland or in Tasmania.
The 27th of July 1936, after a parliamentary act was signed in 1934, the first "free" settlers arrived in Nepean Bay aboard the "Duke of York." The signs of that time are numerous, such as the first Cemetery or the first Mulberry tree, imported from England. The tree still has fruits and just to mention it, Helen’s mulberries ‘jam is just gorgeous, a real treat…
I purposely wrote a short prose. A forthcoming article on American River will probably come out. However, if you need more info, photos, if you have questions or other ideas, please let me know in the comments. Same if you need to correct some info for those of my readers familiar with KI^^.