Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese and Fernando de Magallanes in Spanish) was born in Sabrosa, Portugal in the year 1480. He is famed for leading the tumultuous expedition of 1519 to the Pacific; to set up spice routes for the Spanish, and for being one of the first Europeans to circumnavigate the globe. Magellan was... Continue Reading →
For centuries, the European powers of Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, and Britain, had been battling it out across the globe to claim the Americas, Africa, and Asia; to colonise the land and gain control of new trade markets. The 18th century saw an increase in the demand for exotic goods and spices, and as Australia... Continue Reading →
The hypothetical idea of ‘Terra Australis Incognita’, existed in the imaginations of people long before the continent was discovered. They held the archaic belief that there had to be a large land mass in the south of the globe; to balance out the weight of the lands of the north.
Willem Janszoon In 1606, the Dutch explorer, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company, the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), to set sail for his third voyage to the East Indies. Leading a large fleet of twelve ships called the Steven can der Hagen, Janszoon sailed aboard the vessel Duyfken, known in... Continue Reading →
Abel Tasman The entire coast of the new continent was not fully circumnavigated until 1642, when the Governor-General of the Dutch East India Company, Anthony Van Diemen, commissioned yet another expedition to the still much-unexplored southern hemisphere. This fleet was led by the Dutch explorer and merchant Abel Janszoon Tasman, who sailed aboard the Zeehaen... Continue Reading →
Below is the full text of William Dampier's book 'A Voyage to New Holland', written in 1703. The text below is from the third edition of the book, published in 1729. ______________________________________________ A VOYAGE TO NEW HOLLAND by William Dampier A VOYAGE TO NEW HOLLAND ETC. IN THE YEAR 1699. Wherein are described, The... Continue Reading →
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós The Portuguese explorer, Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, sailing on behalf of the Spanish monarch, Philip III, came across the New Hebrides in 1606, now known as the island of Vanuatu. Queirós mistakenly claimed this to be the Terra Australis, the great unknown southern land and presented it to Philip III as... Continue Reading →