- European exploration of Australia
The European exploration of Australia encompasses several waves of seafarers and land explorers. Although Australia is often loosely said to have been discovered by Royal Navy Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook in 1770, he was merely one of a number of European explorers to have sighted and landed on the continent prior to English settlement, and he did so 164 years after the first such documented encounter. Nor did the exploration of Australia end with Cook; explorers by land and sea continued to survey the continent for many years after settlement.
Early European sightings
The first documented and undisputed European sighting of and landing on Australia was in March 1606, by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon aboard the Duyfken. It is possible that Luís Vaz de Torres, working for the Spanish Crown, sighted Australia when he sailed through the Torres Strait several months later, in October 1606.
Occasional claims have been made in support of earlier encounters, particularly for various Portuguese explorations. Evidence put forward in favour of this theory, particularly by Kenneth McIntyre, is primarily based on interpretation of features of the Dieppe Maps. However, this interpretation is not accepted by most historians.
Dutch exploration in the 17th century
The most significant exploration of Australia in the 17th century was by the Dutch. The Dutch East India Company traded extensively with the islands which now form parts of Indonesia, and hence were very close to Australia already. In early 1606 Willem Janszoon encountered and then charted the shores of Australia's Cape York Peninsula. The ship made landfall at the Pennefather River in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This was the first authenticated landing of a European on Australian soil. Other Dutch explorers include Dirk Hartog, who landed on the Western Australian coast, leaving behind a pewter plate engraved with the date of his landing; and Abel Tasman, for whom Tasmania was eventually named—he originally called it Van Diemen's Land after a senior member of the Dutch East India Company. Maps from this period and the early 18th century often have Australia marked as "New Holland" on account of the voyages of these Dutch explorers.
When Who Ship(s) Where 1606 Willem Janszoon Duyfken Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York Peninsula (Queensland) 1616 Dirk Hartog Eendracht Shark Bay area, Western Australia 1619 Frederick de Houtman and Jacob d'Edel Dordrecht and Amsterdam Sighted land near Perth, Western Australia 1623 Jan Carstensz Gulf of Carpentaria, Carpentier River 1627 François Thijssen het Gulden Zeepaerdt 1800 km of the South coast (from Cape Leeuwin to Ceduna) 1642–1643 Abel Tasman Heemskerck and Zeehaen Van Diemen's Land, later called Tasmania 1696–1697 Willem de Vlamingh Geelvink, Nyptangh and the Wezeltje Rottnest Island, Swan River, Dirk Hartog Island (Western Australia)
One Dutch captain of this period who was not really an explorer but who nevertheless bears mentioning was Francisco Pelsaert, captain of the Batavia, which was wrecked off the coast of Western Australia in 1629.
Joan Blaeu's 1659 map on the right shows the clearly recognizable outline of Australia based on the many Dutch explorations of the first half of the 17th century.
Throughout the 18th century, knowledge of Australia's coastline increased gradually. Explorers such as the Englishman William Dampier contributed to this understanding, especially through his two-volume publication A Voyage to New Holland (1703, 1709)
1770: Cook's Expedition
In 1768 British Lieutenant James Cook was sent from England on an expedition to the Pacific Ocean to observe the transit of Venus from Tahiti, sailing westwards in HMS Endeavour via Cape Horn and arriving there in 1769. On the return voyage he continued his explorations of the South Pacific, in search of the postulated continent of Terra Australis.
He first reached New Zealand, and then sailed further westwards to sight the south-eastern corner of the Australian continent on 20 April 1770. In doing so, he was to be the first documented European expedition to reach the eastern coastline. He continued sailing northwards along the east coast, charting and naming many features along the way.
He identified Botany Bay as a good harbour and one potentially suitable for a settlement, and where he made his first landfall on 29 April. Continuing up the coastline, the Endeavour was to later run aground on shoals of the Great Barrier Reef (near the present-day site of Cooktown), where she had to be laid up for repairs.
The voyage then recommenced, eventually reaching the Torres Strait and thence on to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia). The expedition returned to England via the Indian Ocean and Cape of Good Hope.
Cook's expedition carried botanist Joseph Banks, for whom a great many Australian geographical features and at least one native plant are named. The reports of Cook and Banks in conjunction with the loss of England's penal colonies in America after they gained independence and growing concern over French activity in the Pacific, encouraged the later foundation of a colony at Port Jackson in 1788.
French eighteenth-century explorers
Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne visited Van Diemen's Land in 1772 and was the first to encounter the Tasmanian Aborigines (who had not been seen by Abel Tasman). Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse visited Botany Bay in 1788.Bruni d'Entrecasteaux discovered Esperance in Western Australia and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the Derwent and Huon Estuaries in Van Diemen's Land. His expedition also resulted in the publication of the first general flora of New Holland.
Later exploration by sea
When Who Ship(s) Where 1773 Tobias Furneaux Adventure South and east coasts of Tasmania 1776 James Cook Resolution Southern Tasmania 1788 Jean de La Pérouse Astrolabe and Boussole encountered First Fleet in Botany Bay 1796 Matthew Flinders Matthew Flinders and George Bass Norfolk Circumnavigated Tasmania 1801–1802 Nicolas Baudin, accompanied by Thomas Vasse and numerous naturalists (see below) Le Géographe and Le Naturaliste The first to explore Western coast; met Flinders at Encounter Bay 1801 John Murray Lady Nelson Bass Strait; discovery of Port Phillip 1802 Matthew Flinders Investigator Circumnavigation of Australia 1817 King expedition of 1817 – Phillip Parker King accompanied by Frederick Bedwell edit] Land exploration 1788–1900
The opening up of the interior to European settlement occurred gradually throughout the colonial period, and a number of these explorers are very well known. Burke and Wills are the best known for their failed attempt to cross the interior of Australia, but such men as Hamilton Hume and Charles Sturt are also notable—if only because major geographical features, landmarks, and institutions have been named after them.
For many years, plans of westward expansion from Sydney were thwarted by the Great Dividing Range, a large range of mountains which shadows the east coast from the Queensland-New South Wales border to the south coast. The part of the range near Sydney is called the Blue Mountains. Governor Philip Gidley King declared that they were impassable, but despite this, Gregory Blaxland successfully led an expedition to cross them in 1813. He was accompanied by William Lawson, William Wentworth and four servants. This trip paved the way for numerous small expeditions which were undertaken in the following few years.
In 1824, Governor Thomas Brisbane asked Hamilton Hume and William Hovell to travel from Hume's station near modern-day Canberra, to Spencer Gulf (west of modern-day Adelaide). However, they were required to pay their own costs. Hume and Hovell decided that Western Port was a more realistic goal, and they left with a party of six men. After discovering and crossing the Murrumbidgee and Murray rivers, they eventually reached a site near modern-day Geelong, somewhat west of their intended destination.
After the Great Dividing Range had been crossed at numerous points a great many rivers were discovered; the Darling, Macquarie, Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. All of these rivers flowed west. A theory was developed of a vast inland sea into which these rivers flowed. Another reason behind the idea of an inland sea was that Matthew Flinders, who had very carefully mapped much of Australia's coast had discovered no great river delta where these rivers should have emerged by had they reached the coast. The Murray-Darling basin actually drains into Lake Alexandrina. Matthew Flinders had noted this on his maps but viewed from the sea does not look like the outfall of a large watershed, but instead as a gentle tidal basin.
The mystery was solved by Charles Sturt. In 1829–30, Sturt performed an expedition similar to the one which Hume and Hovell had refused: a trip to the mouth of the Murray River. They followed the Murrumbidgee until it met the Murray, and then found the junction of the Murray and the Darling before continuing on to the mouth of the Murray. The search for an inland sea was an inspiration for many early expeditions west of the Great Dividing Ranges. This quest drove many explorers to extremes of endurance and hardship. Charles Sturt's expedition explained the mystery. It also led to the opening of South Australia to settlement.
The theory of the inland sea had many adherents. Major Thomas Mitchell, the Scottish born Surveyor-General of New South Wales. He set out to disprove Sturts claims and in doing so made a significant discovery in 1836. He led an expedition along the Lachlan River, down to the Murray River. He then set off for the southern coast, mapping what is now western Victoria. There he discovered the richest grazing land ever seen to that time and named it Australia Felix. He was knighted for this discovery in 1837. When he reached the coast at Portland Bay, he was surprised to find a small settlement. It had been established by the Henty family, who had sailed across Bass Strait from Van Diemen's Land in 1834, without the authorities being informed.
Perhaps the most famous Australian explorers were Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills who in 1860–61 led a well equipped expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Due to an unfortunate run of bad luck, oversight and poor leadership, Burke and Wills both died on the return trip.
Expeditions (in chronological order):
When Who Where 1804 William Paterson Port Dalrymple, Tamar River, North Esk River (Tasmania) 1813 Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson From Sydney across the Great Dividing Range via the Blue Mountains; first penetration into inland New South Wales 1817–1818 John Oxley Interior of New South Wales; discovered Lachlan River and Macquarie River 1818 Throsby, Meehan, Hume and Wild Throsby and Wild discovered an overland route from Sydney to Jervis Bay via the Kangaroo and Lower Shoalhaven rivers
1820 Joseph Wild discovered Lake George 1823 Currie, Ovens and Wild Region south of Lake George; discovered Isabella Plains (now a suburb of Canberra), charted the upper reach of the Murrumbidgee River and discovered Monaro 1824 Hume and Hovell expedition Sydney to Geelong; discovered Murray River 1828–1829 Charles Sturt and Hamilton Hume Macquarie River area; discovered Darling River 1829 Currie, Drummond, Dr Simmons and Lieut Griffin South of Fremantle; explored region, now Rockingham and Baldivis, and sighted the Serpentine River 1829 Dr Collie and Lieut.Preston discovered Harvey, Collie and Preston rivers 1829–1830 Charles Sturt Along the Murrumbidgee River; found and named Murray River, and determined that western-flowing rivers flowed into the Murray-Darling basin 1830 John Molloy Blackwood River, Western Australia 1830–1834 Alfred and John Bussell Blackwood River and the Vasse, Western Australia 1831 Robert Dale and George Fletcher Moore Avon River area in Western Australia 1831 Collet Barker Mount Lofty and the Murray Mouth 1834 Frederick Ludlow Augusta to Perth; discovered Capel River 1834–1836 George Fletcher Moore Avon River and Swan River; discovered that they are the same river; discovered rich pastoral land near the Moore River 1839–1841 Edward John Eyre The Flinders Ranges and Nullarbor Plain 1840 Paweł Edmund Strzelecki Ascended and named Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales 1840 Patrick Leslie Condamine River, New South Wales 1840–1842 Clement Hodgkinson North-eastern New South Wales, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay 1844 Charles Sturt North-western New South Wales and north-eastern South Australia; discovered the Simpson Desert 1847 Anthony O'Grady Lefroy and Alfred Durlacher Gingin, Western Australia 1854 Austin expedition of 1854 – Robert Austin, Kenneth Brown Geraldton, Mount Magnet, Murchison River 1858–1860 John McDouall Stuart North-western South Australia; discovered water sources used as staging points for later expeditions; found and named Finke River, MacDonnell Ranges, Tennant Creek 1860 Burke and Wills expedition including Robert O'Hara Burke, William John Wills Melbourne to Gulf of Carpentaria (traversing Australia south to north); determined non-existence of inland sea 1897 Frank Hann Pilbara region of Western Australia; named Lake Disappointment
Other 19th Century Explorers
Other explorers by land (in alphabetical order):
20th Century Explorers
By the turn of the 20th century, most of the major geographical features of Australia had been discovered by European explorers. However, there are some 20th century people who are considered explorers. They include:
- Ted Colson (First to cross the Simpson Desert in 1936.)
- Donald George Mackay (Five major expeditions to survey and accurately map the Northern Territory, discoverer of Lake Mackay)
- Cecil Madigan (Major scientific expedition to the Simpson Desert in 1939. In 1930, Madigan coined the name "Simpson Desert" after Alfred Allen Simpson, following an aerial survey.)
- Len Beadell
Indigenous Australians participating in European Exploration
A number of Indigenous Australians participated in the European exploration of Australia. They include:
- Jackey Jackey (aka Galmahra), who accompanied Kennedy's expedition.
- Tommy Windich, who joined John Forrest in his search for Ludwig Leichhardt
- Wylie, who accompanied Eyre's expedition across the Nullarbor
Naturalists and other scientists
There are a number of naturalists and other scientists closely associated with European exploration of Australia. They include:
- Daniel Solander, accompanied Cook's 1770 expedition.
- Jacques Labillardière, accompanied Bruni d'Entrecasteaux.
- Allan Cunningham, accompanied Oxley's 1817 expedition.
- John Gilbert, accompanied Leichhardt's expedition.
- Ferdinand von Mueller, accompanied Augustus Gregory's expedition.
- Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour, François Péron and Charles Alexander Lesueur, accompanied Baudin's 1801 expedition.
- John Lhotsky
- Gerard Krefft
- Olive Pink
- Scientists of the Horn Expedition of 1894, including Walter Baldwin Spencer, Edward Charles Stirling and Ralph Tate
- ^ George Collingridge (1895) The Discovery of Australia. P.240. Golden Press Facsimile Edition 1983. ISBN 0 85558 956 6
- ^ Ernest Scott (1928) A Short History of Australia. P.17. Oxford University Press
- ^ Heeres, J. E. (1899). The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606–1765, London: Royal Dutch Geographical Society, section III.B
- ^ Brett Hilder (1980) The Voyage of Torres. P.87–101. University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Queensland. ISBN 0 7022 1275 x
- ^ K.G. McIntyre (1977) The Secret Discovery of Australia; Portuguese discoveries 200 years before Captain Cook. Souvenir Press, Medindie, South Australia. ISBN 0285 62303 6
- ^ For a survey of most writers and their interpretations, see the Dieppe Maps entry.
- ^ Phillip E. Playford (2005) "Hartog, Dirk (1580–1621)" Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ J. W. Forsyth (1967) "Tasman, Abel Janszoon (1603?–1659)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ J.P.Sigmond and L.H.Zuiderbaan (1976) Dutch Discoveries of Australia. Rigby Australia. ISBN 0 7270 08005
- ^ Thomas Suarez (2004) Early Mapping of the Pacific. Chapter 5. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong.ISBN 0 7946 0092 1
- ^ J. van Lohuizen (1966) "Houtman, Frederik de (1571?–1627)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ J.P.Sigmond and L.H.Zuiderbaan (1976), P.43–50
- ^ J.P.Sigmond and L.H.Zuiderbaan (1976), P.52
- ^ J. van Lohuizen (1967) "Vlamingh, Willem de (fl. 1697)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ J.P.Sigmond and L.H.Zuiderbaan (1976) P.54–69.
- ^ For a full record of the log and journals of the entire voyage, see Ray Parkin, (1997) H.M. Bark Endeavour. Reprinted 2003. The Miegunyah Press, Carlton, Australia. ISBN 0522 850936
- ^ C.M.H. Clark (1963) A Short History of Australia. P.20–21. Signet Classics, A Mentor Book.
- ^ Edward Duyker (2005) "Marion Dufresne, Marc-Joseph (1724–1772)."  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ See extract from La Perouse's journal published in 1799 as; "A Voyage Around the world," p. 179–180 in Frank Crowley (1980), Colonial Australia. A Documentary History of Australia 1, 1788–1840. P.3–4, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne. ISBN 0 17005406 3
- ^ Leslie R. Marchant, (1966). "Bruny D'Entrecasteaux, Joseph-Antoine Raymond (1739–1793)."  Australian Dictionary of Biography.
- ^ Matthew Flinders (1814), A Voyage to Terra Australis; Undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country. G. and W. Nichol, London. Project Gutenberg 
- ^ Dan Sprod (2005) "Furneaux, Tobias (1735–1781)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ K. M. Bowden (1966) "Bass, George (1771–1803)" Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Leslie Marchant, J. H. Reynold.(1966) "Baudin, Nicolas Thomas (1754–1803)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Vivienne Parsons (1967) "Murray, John (1775?–1807?)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ P.Serle (1967) "King, Phillip Parker (1791–1856)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Gregory Blaxland:"A Journal of a Tour of Discovery across the Blue Mountains, New South Wales in the Year 1813," in George Mackaness (Ed.)(1965) Fourteen Journeys Over the Blue Mountains of New South Wales 1813–1841, Horwitz Publications, The Grahame Book Company, Sydney, Australia.
- ^ See full article Hume and Hovell expedition and numerous summaries such as; Jan Bassett (1986) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Australian History. P.136. Oxford University Press, Melbourne ISBN 0 19 554422 6
- ^ Hamilton Hume and William Hovell (1831) Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip District at Project Gutenberg 
- ^ H.J. Gibbney (1967) "Sturt, Charles (1795–1869)" Australian Dictionary of Biography 
- ^ D.W.A. Baker (1967) "Sir Thomas Livingstone (1792–1855)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Alan Moorehead (1963) Cooper's Creek. MacMillan, Melbourne and Sydney. ISBN 0 333 22909 6
- ^ E.W. Dunlop (1967) "Oxley, John Joseph William Molesworth (1784?–1828)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Year Book Australia 1931 – Canberra Past and Present
- ^ Vivienne Parsons (1967)"Wild, Joseph (1773?–1847)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ NSW Government Collections, Joseph Wild
- ^ M.J.Currie, Journal of an excursion to the south of Lake George 1823
- ^ The Discovery of Monaro
- ^ Reference to the Serpentine in Murray River (Western Australia)
- ^ Geoffrey Dutton (1966) "Eyre, Edward John (1815–1901)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Helen Heney (1967) "Strzelecki, Sir Paul Edmund de [Count Strzelecki] (1797–1873)" , Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ K.A. Patterson (1972) "Hodgkinson, Clement (1818–1893)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ Deirdre Morris (1976) "Stuart, John McDouall (1815–1866)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ G.C.Bolton (1972) "Hann, Frank Hugh (1846–1921)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ G.C.Bolton (1981) "Forrest, Alexander (1849–1901)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ F.K.Crowley (1981) "Forrest, Sir John [Baron Forrest] (1847–1918)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ Louis Green (1972) "Giles, Ernest (1835–1897)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ P.Serle. (1961) "Grey, Sir George (1812–1898)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ Edgar Beale (1967) "Kennedy, Edmund Besley Court (1818–1848)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ E.W. Dunlop (1967) "Lawson, William (1774–1850)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ Renee Erdos (1967) "Leichhardt, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (1813–1848)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ Tim Flannery (Ed) (1996) Watkin Tench, 1788; Comprising a narrative of the expedition to Botany Bay and a complete account of the settlement at Port Jackson. Text Publishing, Melbourne. ISBN 1 875847 27 8
- ^ Denison Deasey (1976) "Warburton, Peter Egerton (1813–1889)"  Dictionary of Australian Biography
- ^ C. J. Horne (1993) "Colson, Edmund Albert (1881–1950)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ David Carment, (1986) "Mackay, Donald George (1870–1958)  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ L. W. Parkin (1986) "Madigan, Cecil Thomas (1889–1947)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ ABC TV, George Negus Tonight. Broadcast 21/06/2004
- ^ Edgar Beale (1967) "Jackey Jackey ( –1854)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ L.A. Gilbert (1967) "Solander, Daniel (1733–1782)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ T.M.Perry (1967) "Cunningham, Allan (1791–1839)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Deirdre Morris (1974) "Mueller, Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von [Baron von Mueller] (1825–1896)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ G.P.Whitley (1974) "Lhotsky, John (1795?–1866?)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ G. P. Whitley, Martha Rutledge(1974) "Krefft, Johann Ludwig Gerard (Louis) (1830–1881)" Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Julie Marcus (2002) "Pink, Olive Muriel (1884–1975)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ Treasures of the Museum Victoria
- ^ A.H. Chisholm (1969) "Calvert, James Snowden (1825–1884)"  Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ See numerous books by Michael Terry, dating from (1925) Across Unknown Australia, Herbert Jenkins, London, to (1974) War of the Warramullas. Rigby Limited, Australia. ISBN 0 85179 790 3
- Explorers page at Project Gutenburg Australia
- Australian Discovery page at Project Gutenburg Australia
- original documentation from 17th Century Dutch exploration at Project Gutenburg Australia
Australia topics History Geography Governance Politics Economy Society Culture Symbols Other topics Category · Portal · WikiProject Exploration and explorers by nation or region Explorers by country Explorers by type Exploration by region Exploration timelines
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
European exploration — Introduction the exploration of regions of the Earth for scientific, commercial, religious, military, and other purposes by Europeans beginning in the 15th century. The motives that spur human beings to examine their environment are… … Universalium
Chronology of European exploration of Asia — The Fra Mauro map, completed around 1459, is a map of the then known world. Following the standard practice at that time, south is at the top. The map was said by Giovanni Battista Ramusio to have been partially based on the one brought from… … Wikipedia
Exploration — is the act of searching or traveling for the purpose of discovery, e.g. of unknown people, including space (space exploration), for oil, gas, coal, ores, caves, water (Mineral exploration or prospecting), or information.Although exploration has… … Wikipedia
European contact — may refer to discovery: *European discovery of the Americasexploration: *European exploration of Australia *European exploration of Africacolonization:*Colonialism *Colonization of Africa *European colonization of the AmericasOr the effects of… … Wikipedia
Australia — • Includes history, education, and religious statistics Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Australia Australia † … Catholic encyclopedia
Australia — /aw strayl yeuh/, n. 1. a continent SE of Asia, between the Indian and the Pacific oceans. 18,438,824; 2,948,366 sq. mi. (7,636,270 sq. km). 2. Commonwealth of, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, consisting of the federated states and… … Universalium
Australia — Why is Australia called Australia? From the early sixteenth century, European philosophers and mapmakers assumed a great southern continent existed south of Asia. They called this hypothetical place Terra Australis, Latin for southern land . The… … Australian idioms
Australia — This article is about the country. For other uses, see Australia (disambiguation). Commonwealth of Australia … Wikipedia
Australia — Originally Terra Australis Incognita, or the unknown southern continent, Australia was first claimed for Britain by Captain James Cook on August 22, 1770. Although the Dutch navigator Tasman had first explored what is now Tasmania in the… … Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914
Australia–China relations — Sino–Australian relations Australia … Wikipedia