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©2018 BY AUSTRALIAN ART HISTORY/Andrea Hope

Early Australian Exploration
 1600 - 1800

At around CE 150 a brilliant Greek astronomer named Ptolemy drew a map of the world, speculating that land masses might lie beyond the known European world. Like many others, Ptolemy believed there was a Great South Land to balance the landmass of the Northern Hemisphere.

 

He called his imagined land Terra Australis Incognita – the unknown south land.

 

Maps drawn around the 5th Century AD showed the world shaped like a sphere, with the three known continents of the Northern Hemisphere balanced by a similar landmass to the south of the equator. 

Centuries later, explorers set out to discover this great southern land.

Listed below are some of those voyages. (see more at the Museum of W.A.) There are also links via the images to relevant website with more information.

Willem Janszoon
Duyfken
1606
Dirk Hartog
Eendracht
1616
Adrian Jacobsz/ Francisco Pelsaert
Batavia
1629
Abel Tasman
1642 & 1644
Willem De Vlamingh
1697
 
 
 
 
 
 
William Dampier
Cygnet & Roebuck
1688 & 1699
Jean Francois Marie de Surville
1769
 
 
James Cook
HM Barque Endeavour
1770
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne
1772
 
 
Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse
L’Astrolabe and La Boussole
1778
 
Nicholas Baudin
L’Astrolabe and La Boussole
1802
 
Matthew Flinders
Reliance and Investigator
1795 - 1802

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.

Matthew Flinders

Matthew Flinders was an accomplished navigator who explored Australian waters from 1795 to 1803, engaged mostly in coastal survey work. His most notable achievements were to demonstrate that Van Diemen's Land was not part of New South Wales and that New Holland and New south Wales were part of one continental mass. Flinders is generally acknowledged as the first to use the term 'Australia' to name that continent.