Australia is a large island nation in Oceania, consisting of mainland Australia, the island of Tasmania, and several other external territories.

Aboriginal History[edit | edit source]

Aboriginal Australians, who have lived on the continent for more than 4,000 years, are believed to have sailed from South-East Asia, back when Australia was still connected to the region. The Aboriginals were divided into hundreds of nations, such as Eora, Gunditjmara and Ngaro, to name a few, and each nation kept to its own territory.

The Aboriginal Australians are credited with the inventions of the boomerang (curved stick that returns to its thrower) and the didgeridoo (long wooden instrument), as well as their rock art that can be viewed across the continent, and their own designs for spears and canoes.

European contact[edit | edit source]

In 1606, Dutch explorer William Janszoon, aboard the Duyfken, sailed from the Dutch East Indies (today known as Indonesia) into the Gulf of Carpentaria, landing on the Cape York Peninsula near the modern-day town of Weipa. He named the discovered land 'Nieu Zeland' after the Dutch province of Zeeland. The name was never adopted, and instead used by Abel Tasman when he discovered New Zealand.

Not long after Janszoon's expedition, Tasman landed in Tasmania, which he then named as Van Dieman's Land.

On August 22 1770, Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay, now in Sydney, New South Wales. He then sailed up the east coast to the Cape York Peninsula, where he identified Aboriginal Australians. He later returned to England to tell of his journey.

The First Fleet[edit | edit source]

On 26 January 1788, the British Empire's First Fleet landed in Botany Bay, full of convicts. The Cadigal people of Eora witnessed the landing. Six days later, two French ships under La Perouse sailed into the bay. The fleet relocated to Sydney Cove where they encountered the Bidjigal clan.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.