The Endeavour will sail around Australia to mark 250 years since James Cook on the original Endeavour arrived on the east coast of Australia. It is an opportunity to learn more about maritime technologies from the past, to discover what life would have been like for the sailors and crew and the significance of the ship and the actions of James Cook in mapping Australia. Students will learn about the explorers and traders who encountered our shores and the maps that were made showing to the world the location of Australia.
Key inquiry question
What can we learn from a visit to Endeavour?
Explorers to Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived in Australia for over 65,000 years. Our geography, an island surrounded by water meant visitors in the past needed to arrive by sea. The first recorded visitors were by European explorers and Makassan traders in the 1600s. They travelled on sailing vessels in search of knowledge, trade and wealth. European explorers recorded the places they went on maps.
Examine the map Mare del Sud - Mare Pacifico I Vincenzo Maria Coronelli1696 from the museum Collections.
Compare our current map with that of the Mare del Sud map and extract information to develop inquiry questions. Sample questions may include; Who created the map? When was it created? Why was it created? What parts of Australia can be seen? What is missing and why?
View the video Mapping Australia (Vimeo 4:46min) by the State Library of New South Wales to follow the sequence of events that led to the mapping of Australia.
View the video for a second time. Use a map of Australia to colour in the sections of the map that were drawn by each of the explorers at different times in history. Use the completed map to develop a timeline of European explorers who visited our shores and the areas they visited and mapped.
James Cook in the Endeavour mapped the east coast of Australia.
These maps and his encounters with Aboriginal people were instrumental in Britain establishing a penal colony in 1788 which led to the British colonisation of Australia and the taking over of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ homelands. Explain how the maps created by Cook helped the British in establishing a colony.
Exploring the Endeavour
The replica HMB Endeavour is an important and significant site as it is a place for us to learn about the past and as it represents a significant event in Australian history.
HMB Endeavour is a tall ship. It is a replica of the original HMB Endeavour, the ship that sailed into the Pacific Ocean on a voyage of exploration between 1768-1771. The Captain, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew wanted to explore new places and wanted to learn new things. The ship is one of the world's most accurate maritime replica vessels, constructed from the original Endeavour plans. It encompasses 30 kilometres of rigging, 750 wooden blocks and 28 sails. It provides visitors a chance to explore the past, to see what life was like on a tall ship in the 1700s.
Engage students with their upcoming visit to Endeavour in the video A walk-through on board HMB Endeavour.
Encourage students to observe the many features and objects on board and generate questions about what we can learn from our visit. What objects are you curious about? The replica Endeavour is a working vessel and modern safety equipment and crew quarters have been added to allow the vessel to sail. Can you identify modern sailing equipment? What makes you think that?
Take a virtual tour of Endeavour and select a number of objects for examination.
Generate a set of questions to guide students in analysing the sources and how we can learn about the past. Sample questions may include; What is it? How was it used? Who used it? How is it similar or different to objects we use today?
- Identify objects that were used by different people on board. What does this tell you about the different roles? What was the role of the Captain, the scientists, the marines and the seamen? How would roles on modern vessels be similar or different?
- Record your answers in a graphic organiser and explain how it provides information on the lives of people on Endeavour 250 years ago. Compare your life with those onboard Endeavour. Do you think you will successfully find these objects when you visit the Endeavour? How will you find your way?
Main image: Mare Del Sud detto altrimenti Mare Pacifico, 1696, ANMM Collection 00050669