Baudin was born on the Ile-De-Re. In October 1800 he was selected to lead an expedition to map the coast of Australia. He had two ships, Le Géographe and Le Naturaliste. He reached Australia in May 1801, and in April 1802 met Matthew Flinders, also engaged in charting the coastline, in Encounter Bay. Baudin then stopped at the British colony at Sydney for supplies, before continuing north to Timor.