Australia on the Map” (AOTM) is the history and heritage division of the Australasian Hydrographic Society (AHS). This website consequently focusses on important themes in Australian hydrographic history and heritage. This includes maritime exploration and the mapping of Australia, and where relevant, New Zealand.

As an educational resource, which was compiled and maintained by volunteers. It has some documents and databases relevant to the unveiling of Australia and New Zealand to the world , the charting of its coasts and their appearance on maps from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It also provides access to some of the research and writings of AOTM’s members and news on relevant events.

The initiative for what became the project was taken by Peter Reynders. He had published a proposal for a 2006 commemoration in a WA maritime history newsletter from the VOC Historical Society suggesting to start preparations for the commemoration of the arrival of the first European ship in Australia. Peter teamed up with the late Rupert Gerritsen to ultimately create an organisation (‘Australia on the Map 1606-2006’ – AOTM) to make it happen.  

Its organisation comprised a national Steering Committee, and a state committee in every state and territory (Northern Territory dropped out because the Duyfken replica would not go to Darwin).

They both Rupert received a ‘ lintje’ (Royal Award) from the Dutch head of state in 2007 as the AOTM project had been a great success, involving both the Dutch and the Australian governments.

The history of the charting of the continent is a rather huge and specialist piece of history, which is covered in massive bodies of literature.


Map Matters Cover Page

Map Matters no. 33

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Map Matters no. 32

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Map Matters no. 31

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Map Matters no. 30

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Map Matters no. 29

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Map Matters no. 28

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Map Matters no. 27

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Map Matters no. 26

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The project has been continued through the website: Australia on the Map

See also:

Historic Maps of the explorers

Historic Australian Maps

Dutch Explorers in the Gulf of Carpentaria

Dutch Royal vist to Australia 2006

List of resources – Weblinks

2016 Dirk Hartog visit celebrations
Information regarding events planned for 2016 to pay attention to the first European mariner to arrive in Western Australia whose findings accelerated the exploratory efforts to find and chart the legendary South Land.

Shipwrecks Galleries, Western Australian Museum
The Western Australian Museum – Shipwreck Galleries is recognised as the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere.

Australian and New Zealand Map Society (ANZMapS)
ANZMapS promotes all aspects of cartography to a wide range of potential users

Queensland Maritime Museum
The Queensland Maritime Museum operates to preserve in perpetuity the significant aspects of the rich maritime heritage of Queensland

Australian National Maritime Museum
To be dynamic and innovative in managing and exploring Australia’s maritime heritage in ways that inspire, delight and enlighten.

Maritime Museum of Tasmania
Dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Tasmania’s rich maritime heritage for all time

Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville researches and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of tropical Queensland.

National Library of Australia map collection
The Map Section serves as the Legal Deposit repository for all Australian mapping and has a world class collection.

The Baudin Legacy
The aim of the Baudin Legacy project is to establish the importance of the Baudin expedition in the history of early European contact with Australia and its place in French/Australian history.

South Land to New Holland
South Land to New Holland: Dutch Charting of Australia 1606 – 1756 documents early Dutch charting and exploration of Australia’s coasts.

National Archives of Australia
The National Archives promotes good government recordkeeping and encourages community awareness and use of valuable Commonwealth records in its care.

State Library of NSW – Map Collection
The Mitchell Library and Sir William Dixson Research Library hold one of the most significant collections of maps in Australia

The 1606 Duyfken Replica Foundation
The Duyfken, captained by Willem Janszoon, was the first authenticated voyage by Europeans to sight Australia.

Arrowsmith’s Australian Maps
Online access featuring summaries of the Australian maps from John Arrowsmith’s London Atlas of Universal Geography.

Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology
The Australian Society for Historical Archaeology was founded in 1970 to promote the study of historical archaeology in Australia.

Les Amis de Nicolas Baudin
L’association a été créée suite à une constatation : l’expédition Baudin aux terres australes (1800-1804) et son capitaine n’étaient pas assez connus du grand public.

VOC Historical Society
The Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (United East Indies Company) was formed in the Netherlands in 1602. This website covers many aspects of the history of the VOC in Australia.

Australasian Hydrographic Society
The Australasian Hydrographic Society provides a focus for those in the South East Asian and South West Pacific region who have an interest in hydrography and related sciences.

South Australian Maritime Museum
The SA Maritime Museum’s collection began in 1872 to preserve, explore and celebrate the human history of our oceans and rivers.

Gilt Dragon Research Group
The Gilt Dragon Research Group (GDRG) is a volunteer group of scientists seeking to digitally record any and all information related to the mysterious 17th century shipwreck – Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon) – which sunk off the coast of Western Australia in 1656.

Geoscience Australia
Geoscience Australia is Australia’s national agency for geoscience research and geospatial information.

Project Gutenberg about Australian Navigators
A treasure of e-books about our maritime contact history

Dutch and Portuguese Colonial History
Website devoted to Dutch and Portuguese colonial history and that of some other European Countries.

Australian Association for Maritime History
A site whose main aim is to promote the study, publication and general appreciation of maritime history.

Mapping Sciences Institute, Australia
The Mapping Sciences Institute, Australia is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) established in 1952 to engender the professional development of individuals and organisations involved.

Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology
The Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) is an incorporated, non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation of underwater cultural heritage, and promotion of maritime archaeology conducted in accordance with internationally accepted ethical standards. It also hosts the Australian National Shipwreck Database.

From France to Freycinet
From France To Freycinet Festival on the east coast of Tasmania.

VOC employees
A webpage of the National Archives of the Netherlands in the Hague showing a list of VOC employees on board of ships on voyages to the Cape of Good Hope and to the Indies from 1700 to 1795. It concerns names of half a million persons. Some information of earlier voyages is also included.

List of Books

References – Bibliography

Sources on –
Early Australian Maritime Exploration
Shipwrecks and Related Events
Early Coastal and Island Contact and Interaction


(Includes the references used for the Landings List and First Contacts Data Base)

(Australia On The Map does not always agree with all views expressed in these books )

Earliest Encounters and Exploration – Original Sources

Bass, G. Journal of a Whaleboat Voyage, Queensberry Hill Press, Carlton, 1986.

Baudin, N. The Journal of Post Captain Nicolas Baudin, C. Cornell (trans.), Library Board of South Australia, Adelaide, 1974

Beaglehole, J. C. (ed.) The “Endeavour” Journal of Joseph Banks 1768 – 1771, volume 2, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1962.

Beaglehole, J. C. (ed.) The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyage of Discovery: Volume 1, The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768 – 1771, Hakluyt Society, Cambridge, 1969.

Dampier, W. A New Voyage Round the World, James Knapton, London, 1697, 1729.

Dampier, W. A Voyage to New Holland … In the Year 1699, Vol. 3 Part 1, James Knapton, London, 1703. pp.120-154.

Duyker, E. (ed.) The Discovery of Tasmania: Journal Extracts from the Expeditions of Abel Janszoon Tasman and Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne, St. David’s Park Publishing, Hobart, 1992.

Duyker, E. and Duyker, M. (eds). Bruny D’Entrecasteaux: Voyage to Australia and the Pacific 1791-1793, Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2001.

Flinders, M. A Voyage to Terra Australis, 2 volumes, G. and W. Nicholson, London, 1814.

Furneaux, T. 1777 “Captain Furneaux’s Narrative” in J. Cook, A Voyage Towards the South Pole … in HMS Resolution and Adventure 1772 – 1775, volume 1, State Library Board of SA, Adelaide, 1970. pp.108 -115.

Heeres, J. E. The Part Borne By The Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765, E. J. Brill, Luzac and Co., Leiden, London, 1899. (launched in Jan 2006 as a AOTM related project as an on-line e-book :

Parkinson, S. Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas in His Majesty’s Ship The Endeavour, Stansfield Parkinson, London/Library Board of South Australia, Adelaide, 1773/1972.

Peron, M. F. A Voyage of Discovery to the Southern Hemisphere … During the Years 1801,1802, 1803 and 1804, Richard Phillips, London, 1809.

Peron, M. F. and de Freycinet, L. Voyage of Discovery to the Southern Lands, C. Cornell (trans.) Friends of the State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, 2003

Purchas, S. Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrims Contayning a History of the World, in Sea Voyages and Lande-Travells by Englishmen and Others … , Fifth Part, Henrie Fetherstone, London, 1625, pp.384-89.

Major, R. H. Early Voyages to Terra Australis to the Time of Captain Cook, Hakluyt Society, London, 1859.

Mortimer, G. Observations and Remarks Made During a Voyage to the Islands of Teneriffe, Amsterdam, Maria Islands Near Van Dieman’s Land, Author, London, 1791.

Prado y Tov[b]ar, D. de New Light on the Discovery of Australia as Revealed by the Journal of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar, H. Stevens (ed.), G.

F. Barwick (trans.) H Stevens, Son and Stiles, London, 1930. [also contains Letter of Torres pp.214-237.]

Schilder, G. Voyage to the Great South Land, Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, 1985.

Tasman, A. J. Abel Janszoon Tasman’s Journal, J. E. Heeres (comp. and trans.), Frederick Muller, Amsterdam, 1898.

Torres, L. V. de “Relation Concerning the Discoveries of Quiros, As His Almirante” [1607]. In R. H. Major Early Voyages to Terra Australis, Hakluyt Society, London, 1859. pp.31-42.

Vancouver, G. A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Around the World 1790-1795, volume 1, John Stockdale, London, 1802.

Witsen, N. Noord en Ooste Tartarye, O. Richter (trans.) pp.175-6,179-183. Francois Halma, Amsterdam, 1705.

Earliest Encounters and Exploration – History and Debates

Broeze, F. J. A. Island Nation: A History of Australia and the Sea, Allen and Unwin, St. Leonards, 1998.

Collingridge, G. The Discovery of Australia, Golden Press, Gladesville NSW, 1895/1983.

Collingridge, G. The First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea. Being the Narrative of Portuguese and Spanish Discoveries, William Brooks and Co. Sydney, 1906.

Essén, A. W. Wilhelm Bolts und die schwedischen Kolonisierungspläne in Asien Bijdragen voor Vaderlandsche Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde, 1935, 7(6):83-101.

Estensen, M. Discovery: The Quest for the Great South Land, Allen and Unwin, St. Leonards, 1998.

Feeken, E. H. J. and Feeken, G. E. E. Discovery and Exploration of Australia, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne,1970.

Fernandez-Shaw, C. M. Espana y Australia: Cinco Siglos de Historia/ Spain and Australia: Five Centuries of History, Direccion Generale de Relaciones Culturales, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Espana, Madrid, 2000.

Fitchett, W. H. Discovering ‘Australia the Happy’: A Tangle of Claims Spread Over Two centuries, Fitchett Bros., West Melbourne, 1912.

Godard, P. French maritime history in WA. Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Association for Maritime History, 2000, 79:3-4.

Howgego, R. J. Encylcopedia of Exploration to 1800, Hordern House, Potts Point, 2003.

Kenny, J. Before the First Fleet, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst NSW, 1995.

Marchant, L. R., France Australe, The French Search for the Southland and Subsequent Explorations and Plans to Found a Penal Colony and Strategic Base in South Western Australia 1503-1826, Scott Four Colour Print, Perth, 1998.

McIntyre, K. G. The Secret Discovery of Australia, Pan Books, Sydney, 1987.

Mutch, T.D. The first Discovery of Australia-with an account of the Voyage of “Duyfken and the career of captain Willem Jansz. Journal of the RAHS, Vol. XXVIII, Part V

Robert, W. C. H. The Dutch Explorations 1605 – 1756, of the North and Northwest Coast of Australia, Philo Press, Amsterdam, 1973.

Schilder, G. Australia Unveiled: The Share of the Dutch Navigators in the Discovery of Australia, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Amsterdam, 1976.

Scott, E. (ed.) Australian Discovery by Sea, Dent, London, 1929.

Sharp, A. The Discovery of Australia, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1963.

Sigmond, L. and Zuiderbaan, L. H. Dutch Discoveries of Australia: Shipwrecks, Treasures, and Early Voyages Off the West Coast, Batavia Lion, Amsterdam, 1995.

Tiley, R.Australian Navigators Kangaroo Press, Roseville, 2002.

Toft, K. The Navigators: Flinders Versus Baudin, Duffy and Snellgrove, Sydney, 2002.

Ward, R. Finding Australia: the History of Australia to 1821, Heinemann Educational Australia, Richmond, 1987.

Williams, G, and Frost, A, (eds) Terra Australis to Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1988.

Mapping and Cartography

Clancy, R. The Mapping of Terra Australis, Universal Press, Macquarie Park, 1995.

Clancy, R. and Richardson, A. So Came They South, Shakespeare Head Press, Sydney, 1988.

King, P. P. Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia: Performed Between the Years 1818 and 1822, 2 volumes, John Murray, London, 1826.

Peron, F., Lesueur, C. F. and Petit, N-M. Voyage de Decouvertes aux Terres Australes: Atlas, De L’Imprimerie Imperiale, Paris, 1812.

Perry, T. M. The Discovery of Australia: the Charts and Maps of the
Navigators and Explorers, Nelson, London, 1982.

Schilder, G. Australia Unveiled: The Share of the Dutch Navigators in the Discovery of Australia, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Amsterdam, 1976.

Shipwrecks and Related Events

Bateson, C., Loney, J. and Stone, P. Australian Shipwrecks, 6 volumes, Reed, Sydney, 1972-2000.

Christopher, P. Shores of Tragedy: Shipwrecks of South Australia, P. Christopher, Norwood, 1988.

Cramer, M. Treasures, Tragedies and Triumphs of the Batavia Coast, Scott Four Colour Print, Perth, 1999.

Dash, M. Batavia’s Graveyard- The true story of the mad heritic who led history’s bloodiest mutiny, Phoenix, London, 2002.

Drake-Brockman, H. Voyage to Disaster, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1963.

Edwards, H. Islands of Angry Ghosts: Murder, Mayhem and Mutiny: The Story of the Batavia, Harper Collins, Pymble, 2000.

Edwards, H. Wreck on the Half-Moon Reef, Rigby, Adelaide, 1970.

Gerritsen, R. And Their Ghosts May Be Heard, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, South Fremantle, 1994/2002.

Gerritsen, R. An Historical Analysis of Wrecks in the Vicinity of the Deadwater, Wonnerup, Western Australia, WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle, 1995.

Gerritsen, R., Slee, C. and Cramer, M. The Batavia Legacy: The First European Settlement in Australia, Hutt River 1629, Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association, Geraldton, 2003.

Godard, P. First And Last Voyage of the Batavia, Abrolhos Publishing, Perth,1993.

Goldsmith, F. Treasure Lies Buried Here, Pitman, Perth, 1946.

Green, J. Treasures of the Vergulde Draeck, WA Museum, Perth, 1985.

Green, J. Australia’s Oldest Wreck: The Historical Background and Archaeological Analysis of the Wreck of the English East India Company’s Ship ‘Trial’, Lost Off the Coast of Western Australia in 1622, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford, 1977.

Henderson G. Unfinished Voyages – Western Australian Shipwrecks 1622-1850, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, 1980.

Henderson, J. Marooned, St. George Books, Perth, 1985.

Henderson, J. Phantoms of the Tryall: A Documented Account of Australia’s First Shipwreck, St George Books, Perth, 1993.

Ingelman-Sundberg, C. Relics From the Dutch East Indiaman ‘Zeewijk’ Founded in 1727, WA Museum, Perth, 1978.

Loney, J. Mahogany Ship, J.K. Loney, Dimboola, 1974.

Loney, J. Australian Sea Mysteries, Maritime History Publications, Geelong, 1983.

Loney, J. Famous Wrecks, Maritime History Association, Geelong, 1983.

Loney, J. Australian Sea Stories, List Publishing, Geelong, 1985.

Loney, J. Wrecks on the Western Australian Coast: And Northern Territory,

Loneston Press, Yarram, 1994.

Playford, P.E. The Wreck of the Zuytdorp, Perth, West Australian Historical Society, Perth, 1960.

Playford, P. E. Carpet of Silver, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, 1996.

Potter, B. (ed.) The Mahogany Ship, Relic or Legend?: Proceedings of the Second Australian Symposium on the Mahogany Ship, The Mahogany Ship Committee and Warrnambool Institute Press, Warrnambool, 1987.

Powling, J. W. The Mahogany Ship: A Survey of the Evidence, Osburne Group, Warrnambool, 2001.

Robinson, A. In Australia Treasure Is Not For The Finder, A. Robinson, Greenwood, 1980.

Turner, J. H. Gilt Dragon Incident, Paterson Brokensha, Perth, 1963.

Uren, M. Sailormen’s Ghosts, Angus and Robertson, London, 1940.

Initial Coastal and Island Contact and Interaction

Beaglehole, J. C. (ed.) The “Endeavour” Journal of Joseph Banks 1768 – 1771, volume 2, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1962.

Beaglehole, J. C. (ed.) The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyage of Discovery: Volume 1, The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768 – 1771, Hakluyt Society, Cambridge, 1969.

Clendinnen, I. Dancing With Strangers, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2003.

Dawson, J. Australian Aborigines, George Robertson, Melbourne, 1881. p.105.
Estensen, M. Discovery- The Quest for the Great South Land, Allen and Unwin Crows nest, 1998
Estensen, M. Terra Australis Incognita- The Spanish Quest for the mysterious Great South Land, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest 2006
Estensen, M. The Life of Matthew Flinders, in “Encounters” ( p 9 to 176) Reader’s Digest, Surrey Hills, 2004

Favenc, E. The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888, Turner and Henderson, Sydney 1888 ( facsimile editions 1983 and 1987 Golden Press P/L Dummoyne)
Flinders, M. A Voyage to Terra Australis, G. and W. Nicholson, London, 2 volumes, 1814.

Forrest, P. The Tiwi Meet the Dutch: The First European Contacts, Tiwi Land Council, Winnellie, 1995.

Gerritsen, R. And Their Ghosts May Be Heard, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, South Fremantle, 1994/2002.

Gilbert, K. Living Black: Blacks Talk to Kevin Gilbert, Ringwood: Penguin, Ringwood, 1978. p.292.

Henderson, J. Sent Forth a Dove: Discovery of the Duyfken, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, 1999. pp.129-167.

Hercus, L. and Sutton, P. (eds) This Is What Happened, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, 1986. pp.82-107.

King, R. J. Eora and English at Port Jackson: A Spanish View, Asociacion Espanola de Orientalis, Madrid, 1989
Lipscombe, T. On Austral Shores- A mdern traveller’s guide to the European exploration of the coasts of Victoria and New South Wales Envirobook, Annandale, 2005

Macknight, C. C. Voyage to Marege, Melbourne University Press. Melbourne, 1976.

Mulvaney, D. J, Encounters in Place: Outsiders and Aboriginal Australians 1606 – 1985, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1989.

Parkinson, S. Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas in His Majesty’s Ship The Endeavour, Stansfield Parkinson, London, 1773; Adelaide, Library Board of South Australia, 1972.

Playford, P. E. The Wreck of the Zuytdorp, West Australian Historical Society, Perth, 1960. pp.30-35.

Playford, P. E. Carpet of Silver, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, 1996. pp.200-232.

Roberts, J. Massacres to Mining, Dove Communications, Blackburn, 1981. p.8.

Roberts, J. and McLean, D. The Cape York Aluminium Companies and the Native Peoples, International Development Action, Fitzroy, 1976. pp.35-6.
Sigmond J.P. Sigmond and Zuiderbaan J.H, Dutch Discoveries of Australia- Shipwrecks, treasures and early voyages off the West Coast, Rigby, Perth, 1979

Tiley, R, Australian Navigators, Kangaroo Press, 2002

Toft, K. The Navigators- The Great Race between Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin for the North-South Passage through Australia, Duffy and Snellgrove, Pots Point 2002
Tucker, A. Too Many Captain Cooks, Omnibus Books, Norwood, 1994.

Veth, P, Sutton, P. and Neale, M (eds), Strangers on the Shore- Early coastal contacts in Australia (15 papers presented at the 2006 conference ‘Strangers on the shore’ by AOTM 1606-2006 and the NMA), Natiional Museum of Australia, 2008

Willey, K. When the Sky Fell Down, Collins, Sydney, 1979. esp. pp.51-2.


Berman, T. Batavia: The Counterfeit Coin Conspiracy, 3 volumes, Moonchpa Publishing, Nowra, 2001.

Bradley, J. Wrack: A Novel, Henry Holt, New York, 1999.

Crew, G. Strange Objects, Mandarin, Port Melbourne, 1990,1992, 2001.

Drake-Brockman, H. Wicked and the Fair, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1957.

Edge, A. Company: The Story of a Murder, Picador, Sydney/London, 2000.

Favenc, E. Marooned on Australia, Blackie, London, 1905.

Forrestal, E. Stragglers Reef, Fremantle Art Centre Press, 1999.

Gordon, W. J. The Captain-General, Frederick Warne, London, 1891.

Lear, M. Dangerous Holiday: Five Young Treasure Seekers in the Abrolhos Islands, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1959.


A. The criteria for inclusion of works in this select bibliography include:

1. Primary sources covering the original charting of Australia, as well as the initial landings and contacts.
2. Varied sources that provide detailed, reputable and relatively balanced accounts and perspectives on the unfolding of Australia’s early history.
3. Sources that reflect some of the debates on Australia’s early history and some of the events that took place.
4. Sources that acknowledge the role of different groups, both indigenous and non-indigenous, had in Australia’s early history and which may reflect their perspectives.
5. Material relating to the early history of particular states and regions in Australia.
6. Significant adult and juvenile fictional works relating to the area of Australia’s early history and specific events and episodes that were part of that period.
7. Any other significant works germane to Australia’s early history.

B. Works may be included more than once as the cover subject matter relating to more than one area in the categories that have been created for this bibliography.