The Bass and Flinders Centre is centrally located in George Town on Tasmania’s Tamar River. In 1798, the explorers Bass and Flinders were dispatched to ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ to ascertain if Tasmania was an island or not. They sailed with a crew of eight in Her Majesty’s Colonial Sloop Norfolk right into the Tamar River and anchored off what is now George Town.
In 1998, Bern Cuthbertson in the replica Norfolk, re-enacted the Bass and Flinders journey. Like Bass and Flinders, Bern established a relationship with George Town and asked if she could be berthed on the banks of the Tamar at George Town.
Bern and his team of volunteers in Hobart constructed the replica Norfolk. The hull is Huon Pine and the mast and deck are made out of Celery Top Pine. Not a screw or a nail was used – trunnels or treenails hold the vessel together.
The Bass and Flinders Centre is now the home of the replica sloop ‘Norfolk’, together with the ‘Elizabeth’, a replica of the whale boat rowed by James Kelly around Tasmania; the ex-naval cutter ‘Kenneth Dickenson’; two old racing ‘fours’; a banana boat surfboard and the gentle ‘Melanie’ and many more.