Duyfken (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdœyfkən]; Little Dove), also
spelled Duifken or Duijfken, was a small ship built in the Dutch
Republic. She was a fast, lightly armed ship probably intended for
shallow water, small valuable cargoes, bringing messages, sending
provisions, or privateering. The tonnage of
Duyfken has been given
as 25-30 lasten (50-60 tons).
In 1606, during a voyage of discovery from Bantam (Banten), Java,
captained by Willem Janszoon, she encountered the Australian mainland.
Janszoon is credited with the first authenticated European discovery
of Australia. In 1608, the ship was damaged beyond repair.
A reproduction of
Duyfken was built in Australia and launched in 1999.
4 Further reading
5 External links
In 1596, a ship named
Duyfken sailed in the first expedition to
Bantam, the crew was captured by the islanders on Pulau Enggano. On
23 April 1601,
Duyfken sailed from
Texel as the jacht, or scout, under
skipper Willem Cornelisz Schouten to the Spice Islands. After reaching
Bantam, the "Moluccan Fleet", consisting of five ships including the
Duyfken under admiral Wolphert Harmensz, encountered a blockading
fleet of Portuguese ships totalling eight galleons and twenty-two
galleys. They engaged this fleet in intermittent battle, driving them
away on New Year's Day 1602. Thus, the undisputed dominance of the
Iberians (Portuguese and Spanish) in the spice trade to Europe was
The fleet received a warm welcome in Bantam, repairs were carried out
to damage caused in the battle, and a survey of
Jakarta Bay was
undertaken, where the Dutch would later build Batavia, their capital
in the Indies. Then, sailing by way of Tuban, East Java to the Spice
Island of Ternate, cloves were loaded on board and the ship returned
to Banda for a cargo of nutmeg.
A 19th-century illustration depicting the
Duyfken in the Gulf of
Duyfken was then sent on a voyage of exploration to the east when
the newly formed United
Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company (VOC) was granted a
monopoly on trade to the Spice Islands by the Dutch government. On the
voyage home from the Indies the
Duyfken was separated from the larger
ships in a storm off Cape Agulhas, southern Africa and reached
Flushing in April 1603, two months ahead of the larger ships.
On 18 December 1603, the Duyfken, with
Willem Janszoon as skipper, set
out on a second voyage to the Indies in the VOC fleet of Steven van
der Haghen. The VOC fleet captured a Portuguese ship in Mozambique
Channel and sailed to the Spice Islands via Goa, Calicut,
finally reaching Bantam, Java on New Year's Eve 1604.
In 1605, the
Duyfken was in the fleet that recaptured the fort of Van
Verre at Ambon in the Spice Islands, from the Portuguese. She was then
sent to Bantam, Java for urgently needed provisions.
In 1605, the
Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company (VOC) sent the Duyfken,
captained by Willem Janszoon, to search for trade opportunities in the
"south and east lands" beyond the furthest reaches of their known
Willem Janszoon took the ship southeast from Banda to the Kei
Islands, then along the south coast of New Guinea, skirting south of
the shallow waters around False Cape (Irian Jaya) and then continuing
A 1670 copy of a map drawn on board the
Duyfken during her voyage of
discovery along the Australian coast in 1606 from the Atlas Van der
In early 1606, Janszoon encountered and then charted the shores of
Australia's Cape York Peninsula. The ship made landfall at the
Pennefather River in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This was the first
authenticated landing on Australian soil and for the first time all
the inhabited continents of the world were known to the European
science of geography. Janszoon is thus credited with the first
authenticated European discovery of Australia. The ship sailed back to
In 1607, the
Duyfken may have made a second voyage east to Australia.
Later in the year, she was sent to Java to get supplies for the
beleaguered Dutch fortress on Ternate. In February or March 1608, the
Duyfken was involved in hunting Chinese junks north of Ternate.
In May 1608, the ship was engaged in a five-hour battle with three
Spanish galleys. In June, she was sent with larger ships to capture
the fortress of Taffaso on Makian Island. A month later, she was
brought inside the reef at
Ternate for repairs. It seems that she was
hauled on her side to repair the bottom but this caused further
damage, and the ship was condemned as beyond repair.
The 1999 replica of
Duyfken under sail in c. 2006
Duyfken Replica Project founder was Dutch-born Australian
historian Michael John Young who became aware of
Duyfken as early
as 1976 and lobbied extensively for a new replica project after the
launch of the Endeavour replica in Fremantle, Australia in the
Duyfken Replica committee was established in 1995 with Michael
Young and the late Dr. Kees de Heer and late journalist James
Henderson. This led to the establishment of the 'Friends of the
Duyfken' group then ultimately with John Longley's support, the
Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation'. The Foundation was initially
chaired by the dynamic late entrepreneur Michael G. Kailis of Perth,
who led the charge in raising the $3.5 million building budget.
On 27 March 1997, Dutch Crown Prince William-Alexander laid the
Duyfken Replica's Keel at the
Duyfken Replica Ship Yard in front of
the Fremantle Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Decorated stern of the
Duyfken replica in Cooktown harbour in 2009
A full size reproduction of the
Duyfken was built by the "
Replica Foundation" jointly with the Maritime Museum of Western
Australia and launched on 24 January 1999 in Fremantle. She then
undertook goodwill tours to Sydney, Queensland, Indonesia, Sri Lanka,
Mauritius, South Africa, and finally
Texel in the Netherlands. While
in the Netherlands, the floor of the hold was replaced by antique
For a period in 2005, the
Duyfken was berthed alongside the Old Swan
Brewery on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. The replica was
open for visits by the public.
Western Australia played a big role in the 400th anniversary
of the original Duyfken's visit to Australia and a national group,
Australia on the Map: 1606–2006, was formed to commemorate the
arrival of the
Duyfken and to mark this important milestone in
Australia's history, by also giving recognition to all who followed
her and contributed to the mapping of the Australian coast.
Duyfken was berthed at the
Queensland Maritime Museum in
Queensland until early 2011, when she was then
placed on display at the
Australian National Maritime Museum
Australian National Maritime Museum in
Sydney. In September 2012 the Western Australian Government committed
funds for 10 years to see the "Duyfken" stay in Perth.
^ The first expedition to the Dutch Indies
^ a b Mutch, T. D. (1942). The First Discovery of Australia. Sydney:
Mutch, Project Gutenberg of Australia. p. 14.
^ Opstall, M.E. van (1972), p. 311-312 De reis van de vloot van Pieter
Willemsz Verhoeff naar Azië 1607–1612, deel 1. 's-Gravenhage:
Martinus Nijhoff, 1972. (Werken uitgegeven door de
Linschoten-Vereeniging; no. 73) ISBN 90-247-1287-4.
^ Now the "Australia on the Map Division of the Australasian
Sent Forth a Dove: Discovery of the Duyfken. (1999) James Henderson.
Western Australia Press. ISBN 1-876268-25-5.
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Duyfken (ship, 1595) and
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