A Plan of New South Wales.

Rare date (1803) map of the three harbours of Botany Bay, Port Jackson and Broken Bay, based on Captain John Hunter’s large scale chart issued in 1793. Hunter’s chart was the first to show the three harbours of Botany Bay, … Read Full Description


S/N: BTHONSW-MAP-001–227460
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Full Title:

A Plan of New South Wales.




Slight soiling otherwise in good condition, with folds as issued.


Copper engraving with original hand colouring.

Image Size: 

x 80mm

Paper Size: 

x 200mm
A Plan of New South Wales. - Antique Map from 1803

Genuine antique



Rare date (1803) map of the three harbours of Botany Bay, Port Jackson and Broken Bay, based on Captain John Hunter’s large scale chart issued in 1793.

Hunter’s chart was the first to show the three harbours of Botany Bay, Port Jackson and Broken Bay and the became the template for later mapping of the interior as surveyed. Note this is the very large issue of the chart.

Hunter’s surveys of Botany Bay, Broken Bay and the coastlines that linked them, resulted in this crucial chart that provided the framework for all future mapping of the inland areas. Dotted lines indicate sections of Broken Bay and Botany Bay that are from ‘eye sketches’. The chart builds on Hunter’s Plan of Port Jackson New South Wales 1788, issued in Governor Phillip’s 1789 published account of the infant colony. Phillip had made three exploratory trips to Broken Bay in an attempt to locate adequate fresh water for the infant colony.

On the first trip (2 March 1788) Phillip and his crew (not including Hunter), discovered and explored: Brisbane Waters, Cowan Creek (South West Arm), Pittwater, Patonga Creek and camped on Dangar Island (Mullet Island). As supplies were running low, Phillip decided to head back to Port Jackson and although he had discovered tracts of fertile land, Phillip had not found his ‘large river’. Three months later Phillip assembled another party which included Hunter, to explore Broken Bay, leaving 6 June 1789. After further exploration of Brisbane Water, the party camped on Dangar Island for a second time. On 11 June they explored Mullet Creek and Mooney Mooney Creek and on the following day, Phillip and Hunter explored near Long Island and found themselves almost by accident, at what appeared to be an extensive inlet. They explored further upstream, reaching the Junction of the Macdonald River, noticing the water becoming increasingly fresher. Again finding their supplies were running low, they decided to return to Port Jackson to replenish.

On their third and final trip, 26 June 1789, they headed directly to their previous point on the Macdonald River and set up camp. On the following day they rowed up the Hawkesbury River to Richmond Hill. Phillip had succeeded in finding a significant freshwater river, together with large tracts of arable land.

Phillip later stated ‘The River, which I named, Hawkesbury, after Lord Hawkesbury, is laid on the Chart, from an eye-sketch made by Captain Hunter, as we rowed up it’.

Ferguson, J. A. Bibliography of Australia Volumes 1-8, Canberra 1976 : 345.
Abbey, J.R. Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860. London 1972: 565.

National Library Australia: Bib ID:1295656
State Library New South Wales: Record Identifier 74Vv7J3Nx6BA
State Library Victoria: RARELT 994.402 B27H
State Library South Australia: 994.402 B276

John Hunter (1737 - 1821)

Hunter was an admiral and the second governor of New South Wales. In May 1754 he became captain's servant to Thomas Knackston in H.M.S. Grampus. In 1755 he was enrolled as an able seaman in the Centaur, after fifteen months became a midshipman, transferred to the Union and then to the Neptune, successive flagships of Vice-Admiral Charles Knowles, and in 1757 took part in the unsuccessful assault on Rochefort. In 1759, still in the Neptune, in which John Jervis, later Earl St Vincent, was serving as a lieutenant, he was present at the reduction of Quebec. In February 1760 Hunter passed examinations in navigation and astronomy and qualified for promotion as a lieutenant, but he remained without a commission until 1780. Hunter obtained his first commission in 1780 as lieutenant in the Berwick through Admiral Rodney. When the arrangements which resulted in the sending of the First Fleet to Australia were being made in 1786, H.M.S. Sirius was detailed to convoy it. Hunter was appointed second captain of the vessel under Governor Arthur Phillip with the naval rank of captain. He was also granted a dormant commission as successor to Phillip in the case of his death or absence. In Phillip's instructions, 25 April 1787, it was hoped that when the settlement was in order it might be possible to send the Sirius back to England under Hunter's command. On the outward journey, soon after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Phillip transferred to the tender Supply, hoping to make an advance survey of their destination at Botany Bay; he placed Hunter in the Sirius in command of the main convoy, though in the result the entire fleet of eleven ships made Botany Bay within the three days 18 to 20 January 1788. When Phillip felt doubtful about Botany Bay as the site of the first settlement, he took Hunter with him on the survey which decided that the landing should be on the shores of Port Jackson. Hunter was chiefly employed on surveying and other seaman's business, as well as sitting both in the Court of Criminal Judicature, which met for the first time on 11 February, and as a justice of the peace, the oaths of which office he took on 12 February.

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