“Australia on the Map” (AOTM) is the history and heritage division of the Australasian Hydrographic Society (AHS). This website consequently focusses on important themes in Australian hydrographic history and heritage. This includes maritime exploration and the mapping of Australia, and where relevant, New Zealand.
As an educational resource this website, which is compiled and maintained by volunteers, is constantly being upgraded and incorporating new features. It has some documents and databases relevant to the unveiling of Australia and New Zealand to the world , the charting of its coasts and their appearance on maps from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It also provides access to some of the research and writings of AOTM’s members and news on relevant events.

Welcome to Australia on the Map

Mission & Vision

The AOTM Division has a special focus on the early maritime contact history of Australasia, including the many fascinating aspects which are not that well known.

The broad aim is to promote the  knowledge, understanding and awareness of their early cartographic and maritime history and heritage.

More specifically, the aims of the  Australia on the Map are to:

  • Focus on the period of sailing ships and earlier means of taking people to our shores, the hydrographic evidence of those arrivals and the related history of hydrography and cartography.
  • Highlight the original Australians’ contacts with the early mariners of before the first fleet, as well as the historical and cultural implications of those contacts.
  • Give due recognition to all relevant navigators’ contribution of all nationalities in the mapping of the Australasian coasts, until the time the whole coast was basically charted.
  • Be outward looking, including aiming at community involvement, engaging, where relevant, with all Australians, regardless of age, creed, gender, socio-economic group or ethnicity and with kindred organisations.
  • Foster promotion of Australasia’s early history internationally, where it overlaps with that of other countries.
  • Help promote heritage tourism opportunities related to maritime history.
  • Maintain an active body where maritime history enthusiasts, specialists and amateurs alike, can find encouragement and relevant responses.

”Australia On the Map” is a continuation of the “Australia on the map 1606-2006” initiative that saw Australia commemorate a 400 year documented maritime contact history in 2006 with events around the nation. The National Steering Committee of the former organisation resolved to merge with the Australasian Hydrographic Society at its invitation, to become a part of an established and larger entity so they could sustain their focus on the broader vision and contribute to the AHS.