Europeans Discover Australia - Part V - West North and South


In 1626 François Thijssen on his ship 't Gulden Zeepaert (The Golden Seahorse) travelled east along much of the south coast of Australia. He named it Peter Nuyt's land (after the senior company official on board.) This journey of discovery rarely rates a mention, even though it mapped a large part of Australia's coast.


By 1627, Dirk Hartog's discoveries allowed Hessel Gerritz to produce the first map of the Western Australian coast-line :


Also in 1627, the Vianen under Capt. Gerrit Frederikszoon de Witt was blown far south, and mapped part of N.W. Australia.


Shortly afterwards, in 1628, Hessel Gerritz put it all together and produced this milestone map :

Everyone wanted dibs on naming the new land(s) - along with Unity (Eendracht) Land, in the south is Peter Nuyt's Land, south-west is Leeuwin's Land, west is d'Edel's Land, and north is G.F. de Witt's Land.


The Batavia

More Dutch ships passed by on their way to the spice islands up north, but being still unable to determine accurate longitude (having no accurate clocks yet), sailing too far west was a risk.

Sure enough, in 1629, the ship Batavia struck reefs at Houtman Abrolhos (meaning 'keep your eyes open'), luckily hundreds survived the wreck - but to cut a nasty story short, it went very bad :

But later - the officers returned and justice was served :


In 1641 Hendrik Hondrius's map shows that New Guinea and Australia's relationship is still not clear :


Abel Tasman

In 1642 famous explorer Abel Tasman set out to find all the unknown provinces of Beach.

Tasman made two important journeys :

On his first voyage Tasman missed Australia (but did find Tasmania and New Zealand.)  On his second voyage he missed the Torres Straight. He seems to have missed Beach entirely.

Tasman's actual map looks like this (with image adjustment) :

The official map of Joan Blaeu in 1659 incorporates Tasman's discoveries :

Note the vertical line - the old Spanish / Portugese division of 1529. But now the west side is 'Hollandia Nova' (New Holland), and the largely unknown east is still 'Terre Australis'.


The hemisphere now looked like this map of Joan Blaeu in 1664 :

Australia is half known and half unknown - here is Mortimer's world map from about the same time :

In 1681, Moxon produced this lovely map which includes a somewhat accurate Australia - it also helpfully identifies Eden and the land of Nod :


 to Part VI - Australia Complete

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by Kapyong


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