The tense encounter between Mathew Flinders Investigator and Baudin's Geographe at Victor Harbour in South Australia would have mystified the onlooking Indigenous inhabitants. Even more mystifying were the place they had in global geopolitics at the time. Sadly both explorers died in the French Islands of the South Indian Ocean, and never enjoyed the rewards of their success. We know so little about this important part of our history.
If Napoleon had been victorious at Waterloo, then we may well speak French in South Australia, let alone all of Australia.
Did you know that the French published the first Map of Australia in 1811? Perhaps this explains why we have so many French place names in South Australia.
The displayed original sketches and paintings by voyage artists Charles- Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit. Complementing the artworks are several key artefacts including Baudin's chronometer, the copper plate used to print the first full map of Australia and the fair copy of Baudin's sea log. It will be the first time that Baudin's log has been on public display anywhere in the world.
The paintings and sketches are from the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre, France and in South Australia for the first time.
Great stories accompany the tour, with expert staff on hand, and several audiovisual presentations.
Kangaroo Island's pygmy Emus were extinct from the 1840's