This is a timeline of significant events during Baudin’s voyage of exploration around Australia. To view a corresponding map that charts the routes the expedition took, please click here.

19 October 1800 The Géographe and the Naturaliste leave the port of Le Havre, in Normandy
2 November 1800 The two ships drop anchor in the harbour of Santa Cruz, Tenerife, in the Canary Islands
14 November 1800 Departure from Tenerife
3 February 1801 The two ships sight the Cape of Good Hope
16 March 1801 The Géographe and the Naturaliste anchor in Port North-West (now Port Louis) on the Ile de France (Mauritius)
25 April 1801 Departure from the Ile de France (Mauritius)
27 May 1801 Cape Leeuwin sighted, at half past seven in the morning
30 May 1801 Discovery of Geographe Bay followed next day by first shore party
4 June 1801 First encounter with an Australian Aborigine, of the Wardandie tribe, in Geographe Bay
8 June 1801 Timothée Vasse, assistant-helmsman on the Naturaliste, drowns in the surf at Geographe Bay
10 June 1801 The Géographe and the Naturaliste are separated following a storm
14 June 1801 The Naturaliste anchors east-north-east of Rottnest Island (rendezvous point) where it will spend two weeks surveying the Swan River and the various off-shore islands, including Rottnest Island itself
20 June 1801 The Géographe leaves Geographe Bay and heads north to Shark Bay, having missed the Naturaliste
26 June 1801 The Géographe anchors in Shark Bay, off the northern tip of Bernier Island
28 June 1801 The Naturaliste leaves Rottnest Island and sets sail for Shark Bay
14 July 1801 The Géographe leaves Shark Bay to make for North-West Cape
16 July 1801 The Naturaliste drops anchor east of the northern tip of Dirk Hartog Island, opposite the middle entrance to Shark Bay
22 July 1801 The Géographe sights North-West Cape then proceeds to survey the coast north-east from there
19 August 1801 With supplies dwindling, Baudin breaks off his survey of the north-west coast and heads for Timor
22 August 1801 The Géographe anchors in Kupang Bay, Timor
5 September 1801 The Naturaliste leaves Shark Bay, where it has conducted extensive surveys
21 September 1801 The Naturaliste arrives in Kupang Bay, Timor, where it is reunited with the Géographe
13 November 1801 The Géographe and the Naturaliste leave Timor bound for Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), having lost six men to dysentery in the Dutch colony, including the gardener Riedlé (21 October); several men on both ships are still suffering from dysentery and fever on departure from the island
23 December 1801 The zoologist Stanislas Levillain dies at sea from fever contracted at Timor
13 January 1802 The Géographe and the Naturaliste sail into D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Van Diemen’s Land, and anchor in Great Taylor Bay (Bruny Island)
14 January 1802 First encounter with the Aborigines of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)
19 January 1802 The two ships move their anchorage to North West Bay, opposite the northern tip of Bruny Island
2 February 1802 The geographer, Faure, reports an important correction to the chart of south-east Tasmania: “Tasman Island” was, in fact, attached by an isthmus (Eaglehawk Neck) to mainland Tasmania
16 February 1802 The ships leave D’Entrecasteaux Channel
18 February 1802 The Géographe and the Naturaliste anchor in Great Oyster Bay, on the western side of Maria Island
20 February 1802 The zoologist René Maugé dies from dysentery contracted at Timor and is buried on Maria Island
27 February 1802 The ships leave Maria Island and head north to continue the survey of the east coast of Tasmania
6 March 1802 The Géographe loses contact with a dinghy containing the geographer Boullanger, midshipman Maurouard and six sailors, sent to conduct a closer survey of the coast
8 March 1802 Baudin confined to bed with colic pains; the two ships become separated during the evening
9 March 1802 Boullanger’s boat party picked up by an English brig, the Harrington; the Naturaliste encounters an English schooner, the Endeavour, which is heading for Maria Island
10 March 1802 The Géographe encounters the Endeavour; the Naturaliste encounters the Harrington at the entrance to Banks Strait and recovers Boullanger and his boat party; Hamelin begins survey of Bass Strait while waiting for the Géographe at Banks Strait (not at the agreed rendezvous point of Waterhouse Island)
11 March 1802 The Géographe breaks off its search for the lost dinghy and heads north
18 March 1802 The Naturaliste leaves Banks Strait to search for the Géographe to the south (along the east coast of Tasmania)
19 March 1802 The Géographe sights Waterhouse Island, the rendezvous point in Banks Strait, but the Naturaliste has just departed: the two ships have passed one another in the mists
24 March 1802 After several days of stormy weather and rough seas, the Géographe heads towards Wilson’s Promontory to begin its survey of the “unknown” south coast of New Holland
27 March 1802 The Géographe sights Wilson’s Promontory
29 March 1802 The Géographe leaves Wilson’s Promontory and follows the coast in a westerly direction
3 April 1802 The Naturaliste regains Waterhouse Island after its unsuccessful search for the Géographe around Maria Island; Hamelin undertakes further survey work (Port Dalrymple)
7 April 1802 Hamelin leaves Tasmania and heads for the northern side of Bass Strait; a boat party is sent to fix the position of Wilson’s Promontory and chart the coast from there to Western Port; other boat parties are sent to examine Western Port itself
8 April 1802 The Géographe meets the Investigator, commanded by Matthew Flinders, in Encounter Bay (named by Flinders to commemorate this meeting)
9 April 1802 Flinders visits the Géographe for a second meeting with Baudin, before the ships part ways, Flinders following the coast in an easterly direction, Baudin entering Backstairs Passage to begin his survey of the north coast of Kangaroo Island and of the two gulfs north of it
18 April 1802 Hamelin leaves Bass Strait and heads for Port Jackson
21 April 1802 The Naturaliste sights Cape Howe, 32 years to the day after Cook’s first sighting
25 April 1802 The Géographe leaves the gulf waters of South Australia and heads for the Islands of St Peter and St Francis (Nuyts Archipelago), surveying the western coast of Eyre Peninsula along the way; the Naturaliste anchors inside the Heads at Port Jackson
26 April 1802 The Naturaliste shifts anchorage to Sydney Cove
8 May 1802 Baudin breaks off his survey of the south coast, having been unable to round the Islands of St Peter and St Francis due to unfavourable weather; he decides to head for Port Jackson, via D’Entrecasteaux Channel (Tasmania)
9 May 1802 Matthew Flinders arrives at Port Jackson in the Investigator
18 May 1802 The Naturaliste leaves Port Jackson, bound for the Ile de France (Mauritius); Hamelin’s first lieutenant, Milius, is sick and remains in Sydney
20 May 1802 Weather prevents Baudin from entering D’Entrecasteaux Channel; he anchors instead in Adventure Bay, on the eastern side of Bruny Island
22 May 1802 The Géographe leaves Adventure Bay and makes for the east coast of Tasmania, from Cape Tourville northwards, en route for Port Jackson
4 June 1802 Baudin breaks off his survey of Tasmania’s east coast and heads for Port Jackson
8 June 1802 Hamelin, having been unable to round the southern point of Tasmania, turns the Naturaliste round and heads back to Port Jackson
20 June 1802 The Géographe arrives in Port Jackson
28 June 1802 The Naturaliste enters Port Jackson, but does not reach its mooring till 3 July due to calms and contrary winds
22 July 1802 Flinders leaves Port Jackson in the Investigator to complete his circumnavigation of Australia; he is accompanied by the Lady Nelson, under the command of Lieutenant John Murray; the Lady Nelson will be sent back to Port Jackson on 18 October, after a series of mishaps on the north-east coast of Queensland
22 September 1802 The French commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Republic; differing protocols regarding flags lead to a misunderstanding with the English colonists, who wrongly accuse the French of slighting their government
4 October 1802 Baudin writes to the governor, Philip Gidley King, to defend his men against accusations that they re-sold spirits purchased from the cargo of the Atlas, in contravention of regulations; King promptly absolves the French officers of blame and secures a formal apology from the principal accuser, Captain Kemp
18 November 1802 The Géographe leaves Port Jackson accompanied by the Naturaliste, which is to sail back to France carrying the natural history collection, and the Casuarina, a schooner purchased in Sydney to conduct closer coastal surveys under the command of Louis Freycinet
6 December 1802 Running in for King Island, Baudin bids farewell to the Naturaliste but Hamelin is soon forced back by contrary winds; the three ships anchor in Sea Elephant Bay
7 December 1802 Louis Freycinet, in the Casuarina, is sent to survey the Hunter Islands, off the north-west tip of Tasmania; the geographer Faure is sent in a boat to circumnavigate and chart King Island (the first circumnavigation of the island)
8 December 1802 Baudin visits the Naturaliste for a farewell dinner with Hamelin; as the Naturaliste is preparing to leave, she is boarded by Captain Charles Robbins and surveyor Grimes, who have just arrived in the Cumberland, sent by Governor King to forestall any plans the French might have for a settlement in Tasmania; Grimes informs Hamelin that he has been sent to prepare for the establishment of a settlement in D’Entrecasteaux Channel; Hamelin leaves without consulting Baudin on this matter
9 December 1802 Robbins and Grimes visit Baudin on the Géographe
12 December 1802 Bad weather forces Baudin to weigh anchor and move out to sea for the night
13 December 1802 The Géographe anchors once more in Sea Elephant Bay
15 December 1802 The Géographe, having been forced during the night to leave its anchorage a second time, loses its longboat which it was towing
23 December 1802 The Géographe is finally able to anchor again in Sea Elephant Bay and retrieve the scientists who have been left on the island; the Casuarina has not yet returned from its survey of the Hunter Islands
24 December 1802 The Géographe leaves King Island at six o’clock in the evening and heads towards the Hunter Islands hoping to meet the Casuarina
27 December 1802 Returning to Sea Elephant Bay, the Géographe is finally reunited with the Casuarina
2 January 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina sight Kangaroo Island and begin their survey of it, starting with the previously uncharted south coast
6 January 1803 The Géographe anchors inside Kangaroo Head, in Eastern Cove, near present-day Penneshaw; the Casuarinaarrives the following morning
10 January 1803 Baudin sends the Casuarina to conduct a close survey of St Vincent’s and Spencer Gulfs; the men of the Géographe remain on Kangaroo Island, collecting specimens, looking for water and constructing a new longboat
31 January 1803(?) The Naturaliste calls in at the Ile de France on its journey home
1 February 1803 The Géographe weighs anchor and leaves Eastern Cove, heading west; the Casuarina, whose return is overdue, is sighted at two in the afternoon running in an easterly direction but Freycinet does not tack to follow Baudin and the two ships are separated
5 February 1803 The Casuarina is abeam of St Francis Island
6 February 1803 The Géographe makes landfall near Streaky Bay
7 February 1803 The Géographe anchors in Denial Bay; the area is carefully surveyed and more specimens are collected
10 February 1803 The Naturaliste leaves the Ile de France and heads home
11 February 1803 The Géographe leaves Denial Bay
13 February 1803 The Casuarina arrives at King George Sound
17 February 1803 The Géographe anchors in King George Sound and the two ships are reunited
20 February 1803 On a surveying excursion, sub-lieutenant Ransonnet encounters an American sealer, the Union, under the command of Isaac Pendleton, in Two People Bay (so named in commemoration of this meeting)
23 February 1803 Captain Pendleton visits Baudin in King George Sound; he dines with Baudin on the Géographe the next day
1 March 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina leave King George Sound
8 March 1803 Baudin, having lost sight of the Casuarina two days earlier, decides to move on to the rendezvous point of Rottnest Island
9 March 1803 The Géographe sights Cape Leeuwin and St Allouarn Island
13 March 1803 Baudin finds the Casuarina anchored at Rottnest Island and the two ships head for Shark Bay
16 March 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina anchor in Shark Bay, off the north-western tip of Peron Peninsula
23 March 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina leave Shark Bay and begin their survey of the coast from North-West Cape to the Bonaparte Archipelago
31 March 1803 Matthew Flinders in the Investigator anchors in Kupang Bay, Timor, after his survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria
8 April 1803 Flinders leaves Timor and heads for Port Jackson
25 April 1803 Near Cassini Island, the French encounter some Malay fishermen on an expedition to fish for trepang (sea cucumbers)
29 April 1803 Baudin breaks off his survey of the north-west coast of New Holland and heads for Timor; his health has seriously deteriorated
6 May 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina arrive at Timor and anchor in Kupang Bay
3 June 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina leave Timor to survey the north coast of New Holland, including the Gulf of Carpentaria
5 June 1803 The astronomer Bernier dies at sea from fever contracted at Timor
7 June 1803 The Naturaliste completes its return journey, arriving at Le Havre, having been briefly detained by the English in Portsmouth
9 June 1803 Flinders arrives at Port Jackson, thereby completing his circumnavigation of New Holland
7 July 1803 Baudin breaks off his survey of the north coast of New Holland at a point just east of Melville Island and decides to head home, via the Ile de France (Mauritius)
24 July 1803 The Géographe and the Casuarina are separated during the night of the 24th-25th in rough seas and stormy weather
7 August 1803 The Géographe arrives at the Ile de France (Mauritius)
10 August 1803 Flinders leaves Port Jackson in the Porpoise, accompanied by the Cato and the Bridgewater, bound for England
12 August 1803 The Casuarina arrives at the Ile de France (Mauritius)
17 August 1803 The Porpoise, carrying Matthew Flinders, and the Cato strike a coral reef north-east of Hervey Bay, now known as Wreck Reef; on the 26th, Flinders leaves for Port Jackson in a cutter to arrange a rescue
8 September 1803 Flinders arrives in Port Jackson
16 September 1803 Baudin finally succumbs to his illness and is buried next day at the Ile de France (Mauritius); Milius is subsequently given command of the Géographe for the remainder of the homeward journey
21 September 1803 Flinders leaves Port Jackson in command of the Cumberland, accompanied by the Rolla and the Francis, to rescue those stranded on Wreck Reef
7 October 1803 Flinders and his rescue party reach Wreck Reef; four days later, the Francis returns to Sydney, the Rolla leaves for Canton and the Cumberland, with Flinders still in command, sets sail for England
15 December 1803 Flinders arrives at the Ile de France and anchors in the Baie du Cap
16 December 1803 The Géographe sets sail from Port Louis (Ile de France), leaving the Casuarina in the colony
17 December 1803 Flinders, in the Cumberland, is piloted from the Baie du Cap to Port Louis for an interview with the Governor of the Ile de France, General Decaen; his passport being for the Investigator, and war having again been declared between France and England, Flinders is arrested; he will remain in detention on the island until June 1810
3 January 1804 The Géographe anchors in Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope
24 January 1804 Departure of the Géographe from the Cape of Good Hope
24 March 1804 The Géographe drops anchor in front of the Ile de Groix, a few kilometres off the coast of Lorient in Brittany; it anchors next day in the roadstead of Lorient