The Mystery of the Hope Treasure

Tassie Tales is our weekly communiqué that explores Tasmania’s rich heritage. We quote from a diverse collection of publications, many of which are very rare. As a leader in knowledge based tourism, our goal is to educate our industry and guests with a deep understanding of the rich tapestry of Tasmania’s culture, history, and natural beauty.

This week’s source is “Only in Tasmania by Sandra Huett”

Unearthing Tasmania’s Hidden Treasures – Tassie Tales – 29 Dec 202

Tasmania is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. This island has a treasure trove of stories waiting to be discovered.  Among these tales, one of the most intriguing and mysterious is the legend of the “Hope Treasure” on Bruny Island. Join us on a journey back in time as we explore the enigmatic history of this hidden treasure.

The Tale of the Hope Treasure

Our story begins in the early 19th century when the colonial trading vessel Hope set sail from Sydney in 1827. It carried valuable cargo bound for Hobart Town. Little did the crew and passengers know that this voyage would be far from ordinary. On board were not only 100 tons of cargo but also two soldiers from the 40th Regiment of Foot with a special assignment. These soldiers were guarding a fortune of £40,000 in gold sovereigns, worth almost AUD$10m today!

As fate would have it, the Hope ran aground on a beach between Betsy and Iron Pot Islands. Hope Beach is still the name of the beach today. Efforts to free the ship were in vain. So the captain decided to unload passengers and cargo onto the beach. The two soldiers reportedly took the gold sovereigns onto a small whaling boat and allegedly crossed the River Derwent. Allegedly they buried their treasure in the dunes at Bruny Island‘s Nebraska Beach, intending to return for their fortune.

The Mysterious Treasure Hunt

Decades passed, and the gold sovereigns remained hidden beneath the sand, guarded by the secrets of time. It wasn’t until the 1850s that a curious Irishman named McKinnon arrived on Bruny Island. One of the soldiers gave McKinnon a map before their departure to India. With a spade in hand, McKinnon embarked on a treasure hunt of his own, tearing up the beaches in search of the hidden treasure.

Despite his relentless efforts and determination, McKinnon’s search proved fruitless, and he eventually gave up his quest. However, word of the treasure quickly spread, and soon, the island was buzzing with locals eager to try their luck at discovering the elusive wealth.

The Legacy of the Hope Treasure

Today, the Hope Treasure remains one of Tasmania’s enduring mysteries. Did the two soldiers truly bury a fortune in gold sovereigns on Bruny Island’s shores? Or is this legend merely a product of imagination and folklore? The truth remains hidden beneath layers of history and myth.

As you explore the picturesque landscapes of Tasmania with our tours, take a moment to consider the hidden stories that lie beneath the surface. The Hope Treasure is just one of many tales that make Tasmania a place of wonder and intrigue.

Join us on an adventure through Tasmania’s past and present, where every corner of this island has a story to tell. Whether you’re fascinated by legends of hidden treasures or captivated by the natural beauty of Tasmania, our tours offer an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories.

Come and be a part of Tasmania’s rich tapestry of history, mystery, and breathtaking scenery. Book your tour with us today and embark on a journey of discovery that will leave you with a deeper appreciation of this remarkable island.