Carstenszoon 1623

Dutch interest awakened in the south land

The Dutch East India Company was keen to complete the significant gap between what was known of the west coast and the region that Janszoon had mapped aboard the Duyfken along the eastern shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606.
On 21 January 1623, the Dutch East India Company sent two ships – the Pera, captained by Jan Carstenszoon, and the Arnhem, under the command of Willem Colster – to chart the coastline to the south of the area Janszoon had previously mapped.

Carstenszoon was soon forced to abandon his voyage about 150km from the south eastern corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria when local Aborigines prevented his crew from replenishing their water supplies. On their return voyage to Indonesia, Colster left the company of the Pera and headed the Arnhem on a long north-west course. On this journey he sighted an unknown coastline – what we now know as the west coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. He named it Arnhem Land after his ship. With this new information, Carstenzoon presumed a gulf had been discovered. He named it the Gulf of Carpentaria after a governor general of the Dutch East Indies.