The 1705 van Delft expedition to northern Australia: a toponymic perspective

Jan Tent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


During the 17th and 18th centuries the Dutch were quite active in exploring the western and northern coastlines of the Great Southland. Of one of these expeditions, conducted by Maerten van Delft in 1705, intelligence is limited and it is infrequently mentioned in the canon of Australia’s exploration. The only extant documents of the expedition are an anonymous manuscript chart and a report of the voyage by two Councillors of the VOC in Batavia. This article provides a brief outline of the voyage, then examines the toponyms and appellations in the report and those on the manuscript chart, endeavours to reconcile the differences between the two, and finally attempts to provide motivations for the names as well as to pinpoint their locations and present-day names.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6–37
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Cartography
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Maarten van Delft
  • 1705
  • VOC
  • Nova Hollandia
  • toponyms


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