No. 1397 - Tunnel Bay [Highcroft] - Church of Christ (1916)

Highcroft is a rural area on the Tasman Peninsula approximately 8 kilometres south of Nubeena. It was once an orchard and mixed farming district. The area was called Tunnel Bay before it was renamed in 1923.

The Tasman Peninsula was the site of several Church of Christ communities who established churches or ‘meeting houses’ at Nubeena, Koonya, Highcroft, Oakwood and Impression Bay.

The first Church of Christ was established near Impression Bay in 1879 when William Spaulding moved into the area from Bream Creek. Worship initially took place in Spaulding’s home. In 1889 a small chapel was built on land donated by George Greatbatch. The church at Tunnel Bay was the fourth church established on the Peninsula and was officially opened on Sunday 9 January 1916. The Mercury carried a brief report on the opening:

“The new Church of Christ chapel was opened at Tunnel Bay on Sunday last. The opening was celebrated by special services, conducted by Messrs. Woolnough and Clifford. On Monday about 200 people assembled at the chapel for a picnic, which passed off very pleasantly”.

As with most Church of Christ communities, the affairs of the church were rarely reported by newspapers and nor was publicity sought. Consequently little is known about the church’s history. 

The chapel was destroyed in March 1940 when bushfires raged across large sections of the Tasman Peninsula. The building was replaced in the same year. The new church is no longer used.

The first chapel at Tunnel Bay. (Church of Christ, Tasman Peninsula Centenary Celebrations)


Mercury, Saturday 15 January 1916, page 10
Mercury, Monday 25 March 1940, page 8
Mercury, Tuesday 31 December 1940, page 8

Neville, C.C., 1979: Church of Christ, Tasman Peninsula Centenary Celebrations, 1878-1979. Hobart. (1979)


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