Duyfken

The Duyfken ("little dove" in English) was a small Dutch ship that sailed from the Indonesian island of Banda in 1606 in search of gold and trade opportunities on Nova Guinea (now Papua New Guinea). In the course of that voyage, it encountered the Australian mainland and is thus credited as being that of the first European discovery of Australia.

The ship was built in 1595, probably in the North Sea Island of Texel for the Dutch East India Company

On it's first voyage in 1601 to the Spice Islands under the command of Willem Schouten it discovered and named Cape Horn after the city of Hoorn. On arrival at Banten in western Java, it encountered a Portugese blockade. A subsequent battle ensued from which it escaped. It returned to the Netherlands in 1603.

In 1603 she left on another voyage to the Spice Islands under the command of Willem Janszoon in which they explored and mapped areas around Papua New Guinea. In this voyage, the Australian mainland was discovered.

A full size replica of the Duyfken was built by the "Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation" jointly with the Maritime Museum of Western Australia and launched on January 24 1999 in Fremantle. After goodwill tours to Sydney, Queensland, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, South Africa, and finally Texel in Netherlands the Duyfken is now in a mothballed state due to lack of funding.


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