Nicholas Baudin was born in Port La Rochelle, France in 1754. As a French Naval Officer, he mapped the island of Tasmania and explored the main coasts of Australia. In the 1790s Baudin commanded voyages to numerous countries in the southern hemisphere to gather scientific information. He sailed in 1800 to explore the Australian continent and the large island of Van Diemen's land (Tasmania). The French government at the time hoped that his explorations would help to expand scientific knowledge and try to claim Tasmania.
In command of his two vessels, Baudin travelled to Timor, in the Dutch East Indies. On his way there, the crew members suffered from scurvy. He discovered Geographe Bay on the Western Australian coast. He also explored Shark Bay as well as other numerous sites of the western coast. From Timor, Baudin continued his journey around Australia, sailing in a south-easterly direction to Van Diemen's Land. He charted the coastline and scientists studied native Aborigines and collected natural specimens. Baudin then discovered Australia's southern coast where he met up with British explorer Matthew Flinders. He then journeyed to The Gulf of Carpentaria where he explored. He then set sail and returned to France. He stopped at Mauritius and Baudin died of an illness in 1803.
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