These are a series of islands and reefs which are still uninhabited and are still disputed between Australia and Indonesia. Cartier was discovered by Captain Nash in 1800 and in fact was named after his ship. Samuel Ashmoreon HMS Hibernia discovered Ashmore island in 1811 - no prizes for how he came up with the name of this island! It was used by whalers and mined for phosphate throughout the nineteenth century.
In 1878 Ashmore was annexed by the British. In 1888 an Iron barge named the Ann Millicent ran aground on Cartier island - its remains are still there. It wasn't until 1909 that Cartier was also annexed. In 1931 they were transferred to the Australians who made them a part of the Northern Territories in 1938. Ashmore island is now a nature reserve and Cartier island is an exercise area for the Australian armed forces.