Replica of the Duyfken

The Discovery and Exploration of Australia

The earliest claim to the discovery of Australia by Europeans was made by a French sailor from Normandy named Jean Binot Paulmier De Gonneville, who claimed that, during a two year voyage of discovery with the intent of finding an ocean route from Europe to the East Indies, he landed on the shores of the Southland early in 1504. That the country De Gonneville's described was the island of Madagascar has been generally entertained by navigators and historians ever since, however there is evidence to suggest that De Gonneville might well have reached Australia's shore.

Dutchman Willem Janz is the man history credits as having made the first confirmed, recorded encounter of the Australian coastline by Europeans in the Duyfken. Map and books published years before Dutchman Willem Janz sailed down the east coast of Cape Yorke Peninsula in 1606, however, give telltale signs of earlier discoveries and that the Sydney region was perhaps among the first sections of coast to be charted.

Who Came First?

Great South Land

The Explorers



Coastal Names