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European voyages to the Australian continent HTML version

European voyages to the Australian continent explores Australia through four themes: trade, navigation, science and empire. Learn more about the voyages and how the objects carried by different voyagers were made, used or conserved.

Explore the Flash interactives

Launch the Banks' Florilegium Flash interactive
(Flash 9 compatible – download Flash)

Launch the Voyaging with a needle Flash interactive
(Flash 9 compatible – download Flash)

Explore the HTML version

Trade graphic


Europeans first came to the Australian continent via trade routes to and from Asia. Explore objects from Dutch shipwrecks on Australia's west coast or track the porcelain trade between China and Europe.

Navigation graphic


The 1700s saw the improvement and invention of instruments that enabled European voyagers to navigate and chart the Pacific. Find out more about these instruments and the people that invented them.

Science graphic


In the 1700s science became the primary means for classifying and understanding nature and human society. Read more about the scientists and collectors that came to Australia in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

Empire graphic


From the 1400s European empires expanded and new territory was claimed around the world. Find out more about how the voyages of Captain James Cook enthralled Europeans.


Track European voyaging from 1415 to 1803.

The European voyages exhibit is on display in the Journeys gallery. The gallery looks at the journeys of people to and from Australia and the social, political and economic impacts of those journeys.