On the west the Darling Range faces the Indian Ocean, and extends from Point D'Entrecasteaux to the Murchison river.
In September 1791 Captain Antoine d'Entrecasteaux sailed from Brest with two vessels to seek for tidings.
D'Entrecasteaux died on board his ship on the 10th of July 1793, without ascertaining the fate of La Perouse.
In 1884 attention was drawn in a special degree to the Queensland traffic in Pacific Islanders by the " Hopeful " trials, and a government commission was appointed to inquire into the methods followed by labour ships in recruiting the natives of New Guinea, the Louisiade Archipelago, and the D'Entrecasteaux group of islands.
He touched at the haven of Balade (the original name of the island) near the north-western extremity, as did d'Entrecasteaux in 1793, who closely explored the coast and surrounding seas.
Off its coast-line, on the parallel of 6° S., lies the vast Bismarck Archipelago, of which New Pomerania (Neu Pommern) is the most important member; and, on the parallel of io, the d'Entrecasteaux Islands, with the Marshall Bennett group to their north-east; while stretching out from the south-east promontory of the mainland is the Louisiade Archipelago.
The volcanic d'Entrecasteaux Islands are mostly larger, more elevated (the highest being 8000 ft.), and stand in deeper water than the Louisiade group. To the east of Kiriwina (Trobriand) lies a small group of uniquely formed islets, each of which is completely surrounded by a steep forest-clad marginal rampart of coral 300 to 400 ft.
The Louisiade and the d'Entrecasteaux Islands consist of the same slates and schists as form the main axis of the eastern peninsula, and they are auriferous.
Earthquakes are rare on the mainland, but not infrequent in Bismarck and d'Entrecasteaux archipelagos.
They are absent from the Louisiades, but species occur in the d'Entrecasteaux Islands which have not been seen on the mainland opposite.
D'Entrecasteaux (1793) and Dumont d'Urville (1827-1840), the eastern coasts were surveyed by Captains F.P. Blackwood (1835).
In1792-1793Joseph Antoine d'Entrecasteaux, searching for traces of La Perouse, ranged the islands west of Tonga.
In the same year, and in 1793, d'Entrecasteaux surveyed portions of the coast-line of the large islands.
Another governor was D'Entrecasteaux, whose name is kept in remembrance by a group of islands east of New Guinea.