Matthew Flinders

Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) was a navigator and hydrographer of exceptional ability, high ideals and undaunted spirit. In 1795-1800 he explored waters off New South Wales and Van Diemenís Land. Commanding the Investigator, in 1801-03 he circumnavigated the continent, charting extensive sections of the coast. His account of this work, A Voyage to Terra Australis, proposed the name Australia. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


20 May 1814

Naming a nation

Matthew Flinders completes the first circumnavigation of the continent in 1803. He writes in his journal, A Voyage to Terra Australis, that the name Australia is more agreeable to the ear. Governor Macquarie subsequently adopts the name Australia; in official correspondence after receiving a copy of Flinders journal, A Voyage to Terra Australia, published in 1814.


The Investigator.