AUSTRALIA is famous for its Aboriginal culture, beautiful beaches and killer creatures.
But who discovered the stunning landscape we know as Australia?
When was Australia first discovered?
The first documented discovery of Australia took place in 1606, after the Dutch East India Company ship Duyfken landed 300 kilometers west of the Cape York Peninsula.
That same year, another ship of the Spanish expedition sailing in nearby waters docked in the New Hebrides, believing it to be the fabled southern continent.
However, the Spanish expedition accidentally discovered the archipelago known today as Vanuatu.
However, the 7.692 million square kilometer landmass has hosted civilizations dating back tens of thousands of years, as Aboriginal people are said to have discovered it 50,000 years ago.
Who discovered Australia?
Willem Janszoon is credited with being the first European to discover Australia on February 26, 1606.
There is some evidence that fishermen and traders from Indonesia, India and China may have visited northern Australia before Janszoon discovered it.
Historians suggest that they may have traded with local aborigines up to 5,000 before the Dutch discovered them in the 1600s.
The dingo, now known as the wild dog of Australia, is also rumored to have been introduced to Australia around 5,000 years ago.
It is thought that Portuguese sailors reached the island of Timor just 700 km from Australia in 1515.
Historians suggest that they may have sailed along Australia’s coastline, but there is no solid evidence that anyone recorded them making landfall in the country until the next century.
Janszoon didn’t realize he had discovered Australia when he landed on the mainland in 1606, thinking it was part of New Guinea.
About 20 years later, another Dutch ship was the second to discover the continent, and on 4 July 1629 the Batavia was wrecked near Geraldton, Western Australia.
There was a mutiny, and the remaining crews built a fortress to protect themselves, and it was the first structure built by Europeans.
In 1770, British Lieutenant James Cook sailed to the southern Pacific Ocean under secret British orders to find and eventually colonize the southern continent.
He named the land New Wales before changing it to the land still known as New South Wales.
Captain Cook was also the first person to visit the Great Barrier Reef after he crashed into it, nearly destroying his ship in the process.
One of the crew members, Joseph Banks, recommended that the British return to colonize the new land they believed Cook had discovered, even though the land was already occupied by Aboriginal people.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8260872/who-discovered-australia/ Who discovered Australia?