There is no definitive answer as to when the Aboriginal People first came to Tasmania however historians say it was likely some 40,000 years ago. Tasmania then became isolated from mainland Australia as sea levels rose.
The Aboriginal People used the Peninsula to gather seafood and there are many traces of that activity displayed in middens along the shoreline. It appears the Eastern shoreline was most popular, and it’s been postulated this was because of a more sheltered shoreline. The Carr Family have engaged Tasmanian expert consultants, in conjunction with today’s Tasmanian Aboriginal People experts, to closely map what appear to be shells from the harvested seafood and ashes from cooking fires in order to ensure the preservation of these heritage sites.
In the 1700’s Europeans began exploration around Tasmania. The history of the peninsula is tied strongly to the European history of Hobart. In 1792 Rear Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux on board the 500 Ton Frigate Recherche led an expedition to search for Jean-Francois de Laperouse, who disappeared after leaving Botany Bay in 1788. That voyage took them to Van Diemen’s Land and led to their discovery of the Derwent River which they called Riviere Du Nord and the Droughty Point Peninsula which they named Pointe Laignel after one of the ships officers.
In the early 1800’s whaling became common as the Southern Right Whale made its migratory passage from Antarctica, and William Collins established Tasmania’s first shore based whaling station in 1805 on the southern shoreline. Small remnants of the whaling station remain today and will be protected. Additionally, an exhibition will be established at the site so that current and future generations can learn the history of the peninsular which is an important part of Hobart’s history. For a time, whaling was a major economic contributor to Hobart. While the whaling station is believed to have only operated for a couple of seasons, large areas of bushland were cleared to provide wood for the fires that rendered the whale oil that was used in street lamps and industrial processes.
Clearing of the bushland is believed to have continued first to feed the furnaces at the George Peacock jam factory established in the 1860’s (later to become the Henry Jones IXL Jam factory) on the other side of the Derwent in Hobart
From 1820 to 1947 the land was farmed by the Chipman family producing vegetables wool and wheat. The family established their home at the southern tip, named Droughty Point Farm. Some remnants of the homestead remain today and have been identified by the Tasmanian Heritage Council.
After farming ended, around 1947, the peninsula was purchased by A.S.L. Finance Pty. Ltd. and while several master plans were drawn for subdivisions only a single 39 lot subdivision was completed. Further development was prevented due to lack of infrastructure, water, electricity, and road access. The peninsula was however designated as a land bank for Clarence and that purpose remains today.
In 1981, our father, Bert Carr purchased the property, recognizing the beauty of the land for residential development. However, his efforts to obtain approval for residential development were frustrated by the continuing lack of infrastructure, and the goal of planning authorities to avoid “ribbon development”. His first approved development was “Camelot” at the north east corner of the property. Camelot was taken from the story of the life of US President John F Kennedy who Bert held in high regard.
In 1992 Bert leased an area towards the hilltops at the north end of the property for the TERSS antenna providing weather observations, it was owned and operated by the Tasmanian University and the CSIRO. Bert was proud to be able to support this endeavor.
Bert Carr grew up in the outback of Australia where, at age 22 he became both stockman and station manager of Innaminka Station for Sir Sydney Kidman who owned a lot of land in Australia. Bert rode in the famous rodeo in Adelaide to celebrate Sir Sidney Kidman’s 75th birthday. Bert was a great raconteur and told many stories and showed many old photographs of the Aboriginal stockmen he worked alongside in outback Australia. After leaving Kidman Bert joined the Texaco Company and was their guide as they sought oil across the inland of Australia. Here again Bert shared many stories and photos of the Aboriginal People who helped guide the caravans of trucks and camels.
Bert joined the RAAF and was stationed in New Guinea alongside the Americans when Australia was fighting to hold back the Japanese from invading the north. When he returned, he took up farming and general contracting which he continued to do until his death in 2003 at the age of 96. He worked hard all of his life and always lent a helping hand to those less fortunate.
When Bert died the property passed in Trust to his children, Roger, Judi, David and Greg, with David and Greg managing operations.
A major improvement to the water supply made by the Carr Family was to build a large water reservoir high up at the north end.
Greg and David, Clarence Council and the Planning Commission all became frustrated at the lack of a master plan that would ensure the peninsula was developed in the best way possible for Clarence, Hobart, Tasmania and the Aboriginal Community.
We believe the peninsula provides a truly unique opportunity, and with that a heavy responsibility for the Community, Council, The Planning Commission and the Carr Family to create a magnificent sustainable community. The site is a long narrow peninsula rising from the Derwent and Ralphs Bay to a ridgeline punctuated by 5 distinct hilltops that can be seen from downtown Hobart across the beautiful Derwent River.
The family are determined to see the property remain 100% Australian owned and developed and the fact that the property’s sole ownership is by the Carr Family Trust, indebted to no one, makes its sensible and sensitive development very possible.
We believe together we can successfully create this new community that will retain Tasmania’s young, very smart people and will also attract others who together, can bring to Tasmania some of the most advanced technologies in the world.
Because we take our responsibility to make Skylands a development that will be unsurpassed, we searched far and wide and selected DPZ, a world renowned town planning firm based in the USA to come to Tasmania to help us master plan this community. DPZ have begun to meet with Clarence Council to describe the approach they will take in the creation of a plan for development of the peninsula that is sustainable in every way and will become the pride of Clarence Council. DPZ is excited to begin planning the site in a public way. It is our mission to see this accomplished and together with DPZ we will work with many firms in Tasmania to complete the details and build this new community