SKU SF001446 Category


Abel Tasman’s ships Heemskirk and Zeehaen were the first Europeans to sight Tasmania in November 1642 and named it Van Diemen’s Land, in honour of the Dutch governor of the Dutch East Indies, Anthony van Diemen. The next visit to the River Derwent was by Frenchman Marion du Fresne in 1773. In 1777 James Cook described the shores of Derwent as a suitable location for resupplying and watering ships. In 1798 George Bass and Matthew Flinders circumnavigated Tasmania aboard Norfolk, being the first Europeans to prove that Tasmania was an island.

Baudin’s presence there in 1802 caused alarm at the prospect of the French establishing a rival colony and the Governor of New South Wales, Philip Gidley King, dispatched an expedition under the command of the 23-year-old Lieutenant John Boewn to establish a colony. He arrived in September 1803, thereby creating the first presence in Van Diemen’s Land for the British.

At the same time, David Collins had been dispatched from London in command of HMS Calcutta, with orders to establish a colony at Port Phillip. Collins arrived at Port Phillip in October 1803. Due to dissatisfaction with the location, he relocated the settlement to the Derwent River, arriving on 16 February 1804 and immediately taking command from Bowen. The settlement at Risdon Cove was relocated 5 miles down the river to a better site at Sullivan’s Cove in 21 February 1804. This created what was to become Hobart, making it the second oldest established colony in Australia.

Additional information



Thomas Gardiner


Paper, Watercolour