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Taking it to the edge: Coast: Flinders and Baudin

'The apparent want of rivers had induced some persons to think, that Terra Australis might be composed of two or more islands…whilst others, believing in the continuity of the shores, thought this want might arise from the interior being principally occupied by a mediterranean  sea;…'
Matthew Flinders Voyage to Terra Australis… Introduction p. lxxiii

More of the west coast of Australia was gradually charted by the Dutch over many years during the 17th century, and by William Dampier an English navigator also in the 17th century; the southern part of Tasmania was charted by Abel Tasman in 1642-43 and the northern part of Australia in 1644 again by Tasman. The Englishman Captain James Cook charted the eastern coast of Australia in 1770.  Several expeditions were sent out by the English and French Governments in the 18th century, but did not add anything further to the unknown southern coast.

In the beginning of the 19th century two expeditions sailed - one from France, and the other from England, with instructions to discover the unknown coastline.  These expeditions were led by Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders and their discoveries account for both the French and English names on the South Australian coast.  The full story of their voyages can be seen on the Encounter 2002 website.

Meanwhile Lieutenant James Grant had been sent out from England in the Lady Nelson, a specially designed vessel with sliding keels, for work in shallow coastal waters.  On 3 December 1800 he approached the South Australian coast and named two capes - Northumberland and Banks, and further inland saw two mountains which he named Mount Schank after the designer of his ship, and Mount Gambier after Admiral Lord Gambier   Lieutenant Grant had discovered the first stretch of South Australian coast since Pieter Nuyts over 170 years before. 

Australia circumnavigated: General chart of Terra Austr
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Baudin's activities before the meeting
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Cape Northumberland charted
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Coastal profiles of South Australia
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Conclusion of Flinders' instructions
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Details of explorations to be recorded
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Flinders believes Peron was over-ruled
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Flinders continues his survey
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Flinders denies Peron's claims
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Flinders explains his geographical findings
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Flinders' instructions
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Flinders map of South Australia
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