World map for kids
Map of Australia

World Explorers

William Dampier
Alexandra David-Neel
Robert Falcon Scott by Lalagha 5WV

Early explorers

Vasco da Gama
Christopher Columbus

Circumnavigators of the World

  • Circumnavigate means to travel all the way around.
1519–1522 Ferdinand Magellan from Portugal. (He didn't finish the trip because he was killed in the Philippines but his crew did).
1577-1580 Sir Frances Drake from England.
1679–1691 William Dampier from England
1766-1769 Jeanne Baré, from France, the first woman to circumnavigate the world.
2009-2010 Jessica Watson from Australia. Her record is unofficial because she didn't do it exactly according to World Record Rules.

Explorers of Australia

Willem Janszoon (sometimes spelt Jansz)
Abel Tasman
Dirk Hartog
William Dampier
Captain Cook and more information here.
Captain William Bligh by Netana 5/6DW

You can read heaps more about 17th century Dutch explorers who discovered Western Australia, Tasmania and parts of the northern coast at the VOC Historical Society website.

There's a timeline that shows these explorers (and a whole lot of other ones) at Australia on the Map. Don't get confused, just look for the names you know.

There are some interesting links at European Discovery of Australia. Unfortunately many of the links are broken so do not waste a lot of time there. .

Circumnavigators of Australia and Australian islands

Bongaree or Bongaree (first Aborigine to circumnavigate Australia)
Matthew Flinders (first to circumnavigate Australia). Click here as well.
George Bass

Check out this great site at the ABC: The Navigators
You can also find lots of information about other explorers at kid-friendly Enchanted Learning but be careful not to spend too much time there. There are very many explorers on the site, so you should stick to searching just for the ones that will help you with your research.

Inland Explorers

Burke and Wills - see artefacts from this doomed expedition, and also the Burke and Wills website.

Navigational tools

What did early explorers use to find their way around, before the GPS was invented?
The Art of Navigation
The Pirate King (Nautical Navigation)