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At the end of the 18th century there was only one remaining mystery to the great sea-fairing nations of the world, the unknown south-east coast of New Holland. What flora & fauna were there? Was there an in-land sea? Was this huge continent separated by a strait?


Un-discovered, un-charted and effectively unclaimed by any nation, this region soon sparked the interest of two nations with an extensive history of combat; the English and the French. Matthew Flinders’ circumnavigation of the continent is well known to many Australians, but how many know the story of the many French expeditions to New Holland, despite the many French names on Kangaroo Island, the South-East including the the Fleurieu Peninsula?


The exploits of all of these two remarkable explorers literally put Australia onto the world map, with the final piece of this international puzzle uniquely shared by Captain’s Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in April, 1802. Despite their two nations being in conflict, these two men shared their information & discoveries with each other.


The Encounter Celebrations Organisation strives to share and promote the amazing story of the two expeditions and celebrate the extraordinary circumstances that led them to be at the same place, at the same time, just off the south coast of S.A. and complete the mapping of the continent. If you find this story fascinating and are interested in promoting this unique part of SA history, then welcome aboard.


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The bicentenary of the Encounter was celebrated in Victor Harbor in 2002. Dignitaries from the French and Australia governments attended. Regular flag raising ceremonies to commemorate the Encounter have been held on or near 8-9 April every year since. In 2013, it was decided to formally establish the Encounter Celebration Organisation Victor Harbor Inc. to ensure this historical event is not forgotten.

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