The History of Australian Exploration


1503--De Gonneville visited the South Seas, and is claimed by the French to have touched on Australia.

1520--Magalhaens, the first circumnavigator, claims to have discovered Australia. (Doubtful.)

1540--The Portuguese claims to early discovery of Australia are doubtful.

1542--Guillaume le Testu. Claims based on a map now in the Depôt de la Guerre, at Paris, indicating Australia.

1601--Manoel Godinho de Eredia, a Spaniard. (Claim doubtful.)

1606--The Duyfhen entered the Gulf of Carpentaria as far as Cape Keer-Weer (Turn Again).

1606--Luis Vaez de Torres, with Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, discovered Torres Straits.

1616--Dirk Hartog, in the Endracht, visited the west coast.

1618--Zeachern, in the Mauritius, discovered Arnheim's Land.

1619--John Van Edels on the west coast.

1622--The Landt van de Leeuwin, south-west cape of Australia, named after the ship Leeuwin.

1623--Jan Carstens, with the yachts Pera and Arnheim; on the south-west coast.

1627--Pieter Nuyts, in the Gulde Zeepard; western and southern coasts.

1628--Willem de Witt, the Vianen; north-west coast named after him.

1628--Pieter Carpenter discovered the Gulf of Carpentaria.

1629--Francis Pelsart, in the Batavia; lost on Houtman's Albrolhos.

1636--Gerrit Tomaz Pool, with the Klyn, Amsterdam, and Wezel; coast of Arnheim's Land.

1642--Abel Janz Tasman and Gerrit Jansen, with the Heemskirk and Zeehaan; discovered Van Dieman's Land, and took possession of New Holland.

1644--Abel Janz Tasman, with the Limmen, Zeemeuw, and De Brak west coasts of Carpentaria.

1656--The Vergulde Draeck lost on Houtman's Albrohos.

1688--William Dampier, in the Bachelor's Delight and Cygnet, with crews of buccaneers.

1695--William de Vlaming, with the Geelvink, Nyptangh, and Wezeltje, named the Swan River.

1699--William Dampier, in the Roebuck; north-west coast of New Holland.

1705--Martin Van Delft, with the Vossenbach, Wayer, and Nova Hollandia; on the west coast. This was the last voyage of discovery by the Dutch.

1721--Commodore Roggewein started for New Holland; discovered the "Thousand Islands."

1727--The Zeewyck lost off Houtman's Abrolhos. In 1839, Captain Stokes found a gun and other relics of this visit on an island.

1768--De Bougainville discovered the Louisade Archipelago.

1770--Captain James Cook, in the Endeavour; landed at Botany Bay; explored the east coast, and took possession under the name of New South Wales.

1772--Captain Marion du Fresne and Captain Crozet, from Nance, in the Mascarin and Castres to Tasmania. The first visitors after Tasman. From thence they sailed to New Zealand, where they were murdered by the Maories.

1772--Captain Tobias Furneaux, with the Adventure; accompanied Captain Cook on his second voyage in search of Australia. Separated from the Endeavour, and afterwards, when he met Cook, gave as his opinion that Tasmania and New South Wales were joined, with a deep bay intervening. This opinion Cook thought sufficient to prevent the necessity of a further examination by himself.

1777--De St. Alouarn anchored near Cape Leeuwin.

1788--Father le Receveur, naturalist; died at Botany Bay, while with La Perouse in the Astrolabe.

1788--Lieutenant Shortland, with three ships from Sydney to England passed through Bougainville's Strait, north-west coast.

1788--Governor Phillip arrived in Botany Bay with the first fleet.

1788--Jean Francois Galup de la Perouse at Botany Bay.

1789--Hawkesbury discovered.

1789--Tench discovered the Nepean.

1790--Messrs. Tench, Dawes, and Morgan explore south and west of Rose Hill.

1791--Captain George Vancouver, in the Discovery and Chatham, explored the south-west coast, and discovered King George's Sound.

1791--Captain William Bligh passed Cape York in the Bounty's launch.

1791--Captain Edward Edwards, in search of the mutineers of the Bounty, wrecked on a reef.

1791--Captain John M'Cluer sailed along Arnheim's Land to Cape Van Dieman.

1792--Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in the Recherche and L'Esperance; to seek La Perouse.

1792--Captains William Bligh and Portlock, in the Providence and Assistant; examined Torres Straits.

1793--Matthew B. Alt and William Bampton, in the ships Hormuzeer and Chesterfield; through Torres Straits.

1793--Colonel Paterson rowed up the Hawkesbury, and named the Grose.

1793--Don Alexandro Malaspina, with the Descobierta and Atrevida, Spanish discovery ships, arrived at Sydney. Was imprisoned on his return to Calais.

1794--John Hayes, with the Duke and Duchess; visited Tasmania re-named the discoveries of D'Entrecasteaux.

1794--Quarter-master Hacking attempted to cross the Blue Mountains.

1795-96--Dr. George Bass and Matthew Flinders in the Tom Thumb.

1796--Lieutenant Bowen visited Jarvis Bay.

1796-97--Dr. George Bass; on the Blue Mountains.

1797-Dr.--George Bass's whaleboat survey of the coast to the southward.

1797--Lieutenant Shortland discovered the Hunter River.

1798--Dr. George Bass and Matthew Flinders, in the Norfolk; discovered Bass's Straits.

1798--Quarter-master Hacking revisits the Blue Mountains.

1799--Matthew Flinders, in the Norfolk; to Glass-House and Hervey Bays.

1800--Christopher Dixon, in the ship Ellegood; visited King George's Sound.

1801--James Grant, in the Lady Nelson; examined Bass's Straits and verified Bass's discovery.

1801--Ensign Barraillier; attempted exploration of the Blue Mountains.

1801-2--Matthew Flinders, in the Investigator; prosecuted his survey of the coasts of Australia.

1801-2--Captains Baudin and Hamelin, with the French ships Naturaliste and Géographe; on the Australian coasts.

1802--Lieut. John Murray and Surveyor Grimes, in the Lady Nelson discovered and surveyed Port Phillip.

1803--George Cayley, botanist; attempt to discover pass over the Blue Mountains.

1803--Lieutenant-Governor Daniel Collins, from England, in H.M.S. Calcutta, to form a penal settlement at Port Phillip, accompanied by the transport Ocean. Landed the settlement at "The Sisters," and finally decided that Port Phillip was unfit to meet the requirements of settlement. They proceeded to Tasmania, where they were all murdered at Hobart Town.

1804-5--Lieutenant Charles Robbins and John Oxley, in the cutter Integrity; examined Western Port with a view to settlement; opinion unfavourable.

1813--Messrs. Wentworth, Lawson, and Blaxland succeeded in crossing the Blue Mountains.

1814--Hamilton Hume, with his brother; explored the country round Berrima. His first trip.

1815--Deputy-Surveyor Evans discovered the first Australian inland river, the Macquarie.

1815--Cox finished a road over the Blue Mountains

1817--L. de Freycinet, in L'Uranie, touched at Sydney and Shark's Bay.

1817-20--Captain Phillip P. King, with Allan Cunningham, botanist, in the cutter Mermaid; survey of the Australian coasts.

1817--Messrs. Meehan and Hume; discovered Lake George, Lake Bathurst, and Goulburn Plains.

1817-19--John Oxley, Surveyor-General of New South Wales; Lachlan and Macquarie expeditions.

1819--Surveyor-General Oxley, accompanied by Messrs. Meehan and Hume to Jarvis Bay.

1819--Captain Sutherland, on a sailing voyage, visited Port Lincoln.

1820--Captain Stewart sent by Governor Macquarie with a small party in a boat to search for a passage supposed to exist between Lake Bathurst and the sea. He lost his boat in Twofold Bay, and on endeavouring to reach Sydney overland was cut off by the natives.

1821-22--Captain Phillip P. King, in the Bathurst; continues the survey.

1822--Messrs. Lawson and Scott attempted to reach Liverpool Plains; discover the Goulburn River.

1822-24--Captain Duperry in La Coquille; voyage amongst the Line Islands

1823--Captain Currie and Major Ovens on the Murrumbidgee

1823--Allan Cunningham found Pandora's Pass; a good stock route to the Liverpool Plains.

1823--Surveyor-General Oxley investigated Port Curtis, Port Bowen and Moreton Bay. Discovered the Brisbane River.

1824--Sir Gordon Bremer, in the Tamar; to Port Essington.

1824--Melville Island settled

1824--Hamilton Hume and W. H. Hovell journey overland to Port Phillip.

1824--Penal settlement at Moreton Bay.

1825--Allan Cunningham north of Bathurst.

1825--Major Lockyer made a boat excursion up the Brisbane River.

1826--Captain Dillon, in the Research, on the west coast,

1826--Major Lockyer, founded King George's Sound settlement.

1826--Captain Dumont D'Urville, in the Astrolabe, from touched at Bass's Strait.

1826--Fort Wellington and Raffles Bay founded.

1827-28--Captain Gould on the south coast, near Port Lincoln.

1827--Allan Cunningham discovers the Darling Downs, the Dumaresque, Gwydir and Condamine Rivers, etc.

1828--Allan Cunningham, accompanied by Charles Frazer, botanist connected the Moreton Bay settlement, with the Darling Downs by way of Cunningham's Gap.

1828--Captain James Stirling, accompanied by Charles Frazer, in H.M.S. Success; surveyed the coast of King George's Sound to the Swan River.

1828--Surveyor-General Oxley died near Sydney.

1828-29--Captain Charles Sturt's first expedition; discovered New Year's Creek (now the Bogan) and the Darling.

1829--Hay explored the country back of Parry's Inlet and discovered the Denmark River.

1829--Captain Fremantle hoisted the British flag at Fremantle.

1829--Captain la Place, from Toulon; visited Hobart Town and New Zealand.

1829--Captain R. Fitzroy, in the Beagle; visited King George's Sound.

1829--Fort Wellington and north coast settlement abandoned.

1829--Allan Cunningham explored the source of the Brisbane River his last expedition.

1839-30--Captain Charles Sturt's Murrumbidgee expedition; sailed down the Murray.

1830--Dale from the upper Swan River followed up the Avon.

1831--Major Bannister crossed from Perth to King George's Sound.

1831-32--Sir Thomas Mitchell; Kindur expedition.

1832--Captain C. Barker murdered at Lake Alexandrina by the blacks.

1833--Surveyor Dixon on the Bogan.

1833--Sir Thomas Mitchell on the Namoi.

1833--Richard Cunningham, botanist, brother to Allan Cunningham, murdered by the blacks while with Sir Thomas Mitchell's expedition.

1835--E. Henty and brother formed a settlement in Portland Bay.

1836--John Batman landed at Port Phillip, and became a permanent settler there.

1836--Captain Sir John Hindmarsh founded Adelaide; first Governor of South Australia.

1836--Colonel Light surveyed the shores of St. Vincent's Gulf, and selected site of present city of Adelaide.

1836--Captain Hobson (afterwards Governor of New Zealand), in H.M.S Rattlesnake; surveyed and named Hobson's Bay.

1836--Sir Thomas Mitchell's expedition through Australia Felix.

1837--Captain George Grey (afterwards Governor of South Australia), with Lieutenant Lushington; explorations on north-west coast.

1837-Messrs. Hesse and Gellibrand, while exploring Cape Otway country, were murdered by the blacks.

1837-45--Captains Wickham and Stokes, in the Beagle, surveyed the coasts of Australia, completing the geographical knowledge of the shores of the continent.

1838--E. J. Eyre; Port Phillip to Adelaide; discovered Like Hindmarsh.

1838--Sir Gordon Bremer re-settled Port Essington.

1839--Captain George Grey; second expedition; Western Australia.

1839--Schooner Champion examined the west coast for navigable rivers.

1839--George Hamilton and party overland from Sydney to Melbourne. (See Overlanders, page 454 [in Index of Names])

1839--Governor Gawler, South Australia; made an excursion to the Murray.

1839--E. J. Eyre to the head of Spencer's Gulf and Lake Torrens, Port Lincoln, and Streaky Bay.

1839--Allan Cunningham died in Sydney.

1840--Angus M'Millan discovered Gippsland.

1840--Patrick Leslie, called the father of Darling Downs settlement; settled on the Condamine.

1840-41--E. J. Eyre travelled the Great Bight to King George's Sound.

1841--John Orr and party explored Gippsland.

1841--Stuart and Sydenham Russell form Cecil Plains Station.

1841--Dr. Edward Barker, Edward Hobson, and Albert Brodribb were the first to walk from Melbourne to Gippsland. The present road follows their track.

1842--Stuart Russell discovered Boyne River; journeyed from Moreton to Wide Bay in a boat.

1842-45--Captain Blackwood, in the Fly; continued the surveys of Captains Wickham and Stokes; and made a minute examination of the Great Barrier Reef.

1843--Count Paul von Strzelecki followed M'Millan's tracks when he discovered Gippsland.

1843--Captain Frome, Surveyor-General of South Australia; explorations in the neighbourhood of Lake Torrens.

1843--Messrs. Landor and Lefroy; exploration in Western Australia.

1843--J. A. Horracks was killed by the explosion of his gun at the head of Spencer's Gulf soon after the start of his expedition.

1844--45-Captain Charles Sturt; Great Central Desert expedition.

1844-45--Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt; first expedition, from Jimbour Station, Darling Downs, to Port Essington; Gilbert, the naturalist, killed by natives.

1845-46--Sir Thomas Mitchell; Barcoo expedition.

1846--Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt's second expedition.

1846--A. C. Gregory and brothers; first expedition in Western Australia.

1847--E. Kennedy; to decide the final course of the Victoria, named the Thompson.

1847--Baron Von Mueller; expeditions, for botanical and geographical researches combined. in South Australia and the Australian Alps.

1848--Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt's last expedition.

1848--E. Kennedy's fatal venture up Cape York Peninsula.

1848--A. C. Gregory, with party, explore the Gascoyne.

1848--Governor Fitzgerald, of Western Australia; examined the new mineral discovery, accompanied by A. C. Gregory, and named the Geraldine Aline.

1848-49--J. S. Roe, Surveyor-General of Western Australia; from York to Esperance Bay.

1851--Messrs. Oakden and Hulkes; on west side of Lake Torrens.

1852--Hovenden Hely, in charge of search party for Leichhardt; from Darling Downs.

1854--R. Austin, Assistant Surveyor-General of Western Australia; in search of pastoral country, and to examine the interior for auriferous deposits.

1855--Sir Thomas Mitchell died near Sydney.

1855-56--A. C. Gregory and Baron von Mueller North Australian expedition, in search of Leichhardt; discover Sturt's Creek and the Elsey.

1855--B. H. Babbage; to examine country north and east of Adelaide for gold. In a second expedition the same year discovered Blanche Water.

1857--Campbell and party; west of Lake Torrens; and again, with party, looking for pastoral country west of Lake Eyre.

1857--G. W. Goyder, Deputy Surveyor-General of South Australia, to examine and survey the country about Blanche Water.

1857--Colonel Freeling, Surveyor-General of South Australia, sent to verify Goyder's report; decided that Goyder had been misled by a mirage.

1857--Stephen Hack, with Mr. Miller; examined Gawler Range and sighted Lake Gairdner.

1857--Major Warburton crossed Stephen Hack's track.

1857--Messrs. Miller and Dutton explored country back of Fowler's Bay.

1858--Sir Richard G. M'Donnel; exploration to Strangways and Loddon Springs; also up the River Murray to Mount Murchison.

1858--B. H. Babbage; third expedition from Adelaide; superseded by Major Warburton.

1858--Major Warburton, continued the expedition started by B. 11. Babbage. This trip established the definite size and shape of Lake Torrens.

1858--S. Parry, Government Surveyor, South Australia; an expedition round Lake Torrens, Lake Gregory, and Blanche Water.

1858--Frank Gregory reached the Gascoyne; discovered Mount Augustus and Mount Gould.

1858--A. C. Gregory; Barcoo expedition to search for trace of the course of Leichhardt's party. Confirmation of the supposed identity of the Barcoo and Cooper's Creek.

1858--J. M'Dowall Stuart; first expedition.

1859--J. M'Dowall Stuart; second expedition; one of his party, Hergott, discovered and named Hergott Springs.

1859--George E. Dalrymple, discovered main tributaries of the Lower Burdekin, Bowen, and Bogie Rivers.

1860--Edward Cunningham and party explored the Upper Burdekin.

1861--J. Neilson and brothers; in search of pastoral country; from Mount Ranken on the Darling to Cooper's Creek.

1860-61--Burke and Wills' expedition; death of Burke, Wills, and Gray.

1861--J. M'Dowall Stuart's third expedition; he crossed the continent after two attempts.

1861--Frank Gregory discovered the Hammersley Range, Fortescue, Ashburton, De Grey, and Oakover Rivers.

1861--Messrs. Dempster and Clarkson; Western Australia; explorations to the eastward.

1861-62--William Landsborough, in search of Burke and Wills.

1861-62--Frederick Walker, leader of the Rockhampton expedition in search of Burke and Wills.

1861--Alfred Howitt, in charge of Victorian search party for Burke and Wills.

1861--Edwin J. Welch, second in command of Howitt's search party, found King, only survivor of the Burke and Wills expedition.

1861-622.--John M'Kinlay with a relief party for Burke and Wills, from Adelaide.

1862--G. W. Goyder; explorations in the Great Bight.

1862--George E. Dalrymple on the waters of the Upper Burdekin.

1862--Messrs, Delisser and Hardwicke explore from Fowler's Bay to the edge of the Victorian Desert.

1863--Thomas Macfarlane attempted to push inland north of the Great Bight.

1863--Messrs. H. M. Lefroy and party; eastward of York, Western Australia.

1863--C. C. Hunt and Ridley to the De Grey River.

1863--Colonists landed at the De Grey River, and settled on country discovered by Frank Gregory.

1863--Jardine, sen., formed the settlement of Somerset, Cape York.

1863--William Landsborough; in charge of the new township, Burketown, Gulf of Carpentaria.

1864-65--Jardine Brothers; overland to Somerset, on the west coast of Cape York.

1864--Colonel Finnis formed a settlement at Escape Cliffs.

1864--J. M'Kinlay on the Alligator River; searching for suitable site for a township; his last expedition.

1864--Duncan M'Intyre; from Paroo to the Gulf of Carpentaria; died there.

1864--C. C. Hunt; exploration east of York, Western Australia.

1865--G. W. Goyder; removed settlement of Escape Cliffs to Port Darwin.

1865--J. G. Macdonald; visited the Plains of Promise.

1864--Frederick Walker; marking a telegraph line from the back of Rockingham Bay to the Norman River, Gulf of Carpentaria.

1866-7--Sir George Strong Nares, in command of H.M.S. Salamander; surveyed the eastern and north-eastern coasts of Australia and Torres Straits.

1869--John Forrest; first expedition to Lake Barlee.

1869--J. M'Dowall Stuart; died in England.

1870--John Forrest; travelled the Great Bight, from Perth to Adelaide.

1871--A. Forrest; took charge of a private expedition in search of new pastoral country.

1872--J. W. Lewis; round Lake Eyre to the Queensland border.

1872--Ernest Giles; first expedition; discovered Lake Amadeus--a large, dry, salt lake.

1872--William Hann; explorations to Charlotte Bay.

1873--Ernest Giles; second trip; death of Gibson; Gibson's Desert named.

1873--Major Warburton; crossed from Alice Springs, overland telegraph line, to the Oakover River, Western Australia.

1873--W. C. Gosse; in charge of Central and Western Exploration expedition from Alice Springs.

1874--Ross and son started from Peake Station, but failed in their endeavours to bridge the desert.

1874--John Forrest; from the Murchison to the overland telegraph line.

1874--John M'Kinlay; died at Gawler, South Australia.

1875--J. W. Lewis, formerly one of Warburton's party, and W. Beresford, were sent by the South Australian Government to survey the country about Lake Eyre.

1875-76--Ernest Giles; third and successful effort to reach Western Australia; returned to Peake Station.

1876--Gilbert M'Minn, and A. W. Sergison; to ascertain the course of the Katherine River.

1877--A. W. Sergison and R. Travers explored the country round the Daly and Fitzmaurice Rivers.

1877--Ross and Harvey; explorations in South Australia.

1876--W. 0. Hodgkinson; north-west expedition to the Diamantina and Mulligan.

1876--Phillip Saunders and Adam Johns; from Roeburn, Western Australia, to the overland telegraph line.

1878--Prout Brothers; looking for country across the Queensland border; never returned.

1878--N. Buchanan; excursion to the overland telegraph line, from Queensland border. Discovered Buchanan's Creek.

1878--Frank Scarr, surveyor, attempted to cross the line south of Buchanan's track; prevented by waterless belt of country; made north to Tennant's Creek Station.

1878-79--Ernest Favenc; in charge of the Queenslander Transcontinental Expedition, from Blackall to Powell's Creek Station, overland telegraph line.

1879--Alexander Forrest led an expedition from the De Grey River, Western Australia, to the overland telegraph line; discovered the Ord and Margaret Rivers.

1878-80--Winnecke and Barclay, surveyors; to determine the border lines of Queensland and South Australia.

1882-83--Ernest Favenc; coast rivers of the Gulf, particularly the Macarthur; then crossed to the overland telegraph line.

1883--O'Donnel and Carr Boyd; from the overland telegraph line to Kimberley District, Western Australia.

1883--M'Phee; east of Daly Waters.

1883--David Lindsay; explored Arnheim's Land.

1884-85--Harry Stockdale; from Cambridge Gulf to the Katherine Telegraph Station, overland telegraph line.

1884-5--Messrs. O'Donnel and party; from the Katherine Telegraph Station to the Kimberley District.

1888--Ernest Favenc; to examine the country on the Gascoyne and Murchison, starting from Geraldton, Western Australia.