About the original Duyfken

The original Duyfken had a short but remarkable life, playing significant roles in the histories of Australia and the Netherlands. It was not only the first European ship to visit and map Australian shores, it also helped build the foundations of the Dutch Golden Age.

First European ship to reach Australia

In 1606, a small ship called the Duyfken sailed into history when, during a journey of exploration, it became the first European ship to make a recorded landing on Australian shores.

Read details about this historic event »

click for larger view (PDF 2.04 MB)

First map of Australian coastline

During the Duyfken’s historic voyage in 1606, the ship’s captain became the first European navigator to map Australian coastline when he charted Cape York Peninsula’s west coast.

Read more about Janszoon’s map »

A brief history of the original Duyfken

The original Duyfken was one of a new breed of innovative European ocean-going ships when it was built in 1595. This innovation allowed the ship to make significant marks in world history.

Learn more about the original Duyfken’s history »

Dutch East India Company

The original Duyfken was owned by Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) – otherwise known as the Dutch East India Company – which became the world’s richest privately-owned organisation in its time.

Learn more about the VOC »


Indonesia’s spice islands

Immense wealth offered by the spice islands in Indonesia brought the Dutch East India Company onto Australia’s back doorstep in the 1600s.

Find out more about Indonesia’s spice islands >>

Hollandia Nova detecta (1644): Thevenot

VOC navigators put Australia on the map

A small group of navigators in the service of the Dutch East India Company put much of Australia’s coastline on the world map by the year 1644.

Discover how the Dutch mapped Australia’s coastline >>