About Us

A place to be enchanted

Reason for being

The BnF Centre came into being in 2006 for the sole purpose of finding a home for the replica Sloop, Norfolk.

In 1798 Matthew Flinders and George Bass in the sloop Norfolk, proved Bass Strait existed.

And in 1998 in a replica sloop, mariner Bern Cuthbertson and his crew re-enacted that same trip in a replica Norfolk.

A permanent home for the Norfolk was required as the sloop is not suited to carry tourists, with no motor or any facilities for cruising.

The old picture theatre in George Town was available and was specifically modified to house the sloop.

This is a short summary of the events that led up to the Centre being established and finally becoming home to …

The Norfolk,

the Tom Thumb and the 

whale boat Elizabeth.

The Centre includes other historic boats that visitors can explore in detail within this unique display.

Layout of the Centre.

The BnF Centre features the Norfolk berthed next to a wharf which is setup with a typical dockside warehouse, complete with crew waiting to go aboard.

Access to the wharf is via a wheelchair friendly walkway from ground level or alternatively via a set of stairs off the wharf.

Visitor can board the Norfolk and go below to explore the Captain’s cabin, the cargo hold and into the galley.

The Norfolk is fully rigged with its normal sails and the square rigged sail is hung on a wall next to the vessel. This gives an understanding of the amount of sail that she can carry.

A feature on the Norfolk is Trim the Cat, sleeping quietly on the hatch cover of the Captain’s cabin.

As one strolls to the wharf, there are interesting stories of the displays that can be read, along with videos of the Norfolk being transported to the Bass and Flinders Centre back in 2006.

A theatrette (Captains Cabin)under the wharf allows visitors to view both the story of Flinders and the construction of the replica Norfolk.


  • Norfolk
  • Elizabeth
  • Tom Thumb
  • Captains Cabin theatrette

Films to see

  • Life of Flinders
  • Building the replica Norfolk
  • The Navigators


  • Admin
  • Ph 03 63823792
  • Email admin@bassandflinders.org.au
  • Location

The Bass and Flinders Centre is operated by volunteers under a trust arrangement and is self funded.

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