It is believed that local aborigines used the island for fishing and there is evidence of shell middens above the cliffs at the Western end of the island.

Picnic Island was granted to Captain Robert Hepburn in 1829 when he arrived from Edinburgh with his wife and eight children.

As a seafaring man he particularly wanted Picnic Island included in his grant so he could use it as a breakwater for his boat.

He set up a whaling station at the foot of the Hazards mountains across the bay and when the whales weren’t running would set his convict labour to work mining sandstone from the island.

When constructing the retreat we discovered one block that was left behind by the convicts almost 200 years ago which now sits as a hearth under the fire place.