European maritime exploration of Australia

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**Early European Exploration of Australia**:
– Portuguese and Spanish theories of early sightings of Australia in the 16th century.
– Dutch exploration by Willem Janszoon and Pedro Fernández de Quiros in the 17th century.
– British exploration by James Cook and Matthew Flinders in the late 18th century.
– French contributions to mapping Australia’s coastlines in the 18th century.
– Indigenous interactions and impacts on European exploration.

**Dutch Exploration of Australia**:
– Gerritsz, Thijssen, and other Dutch explorers’ mapping of Australia’s coast.
– Discovery of Tasmania and New Holland by Abel Tasman in the 17th century.
– Geographical representation of Australia on maps by Dutch cartographers.
– Significance of Dutch exploration in understanding Australia’s geography.
– Legacy of Dutch exploration and its influence on territorial claims.

**Explorers and Expeditions**:
– William Dampier’s exploration of Australia in the late 17th century.
– Louis Antoine de Bougainville and James Cook’s expeditions in the 18th century.
– French expeditions to Australia by Dufresne, St Aloüarn, and Furneaux.
– Contribution of European explorers like Cook, Banks, and Furneaux.
– Baudin and Flinders expeditions in the early 19th century.

**European Colonization Efforts**:
– Establishment of British colonies in Australia in the late 18th century.
– La Pérouse and British expeditions to secure interests in Australia.
– British response to French colonial ambitions in New Holland.
– Scientific contributions of La Pérouse, Baudin, and Flinders.
– British efforts in Van Diemens Land and Port Phillip to counter French influence.

**Scientific Contributions and Exploration Impact**:
– Geological and scientific observations by early explorers like La Pérouse.
– Description of new species and naming of places by Baudin’s expedition.
– Flinders’ detailed charts and collaboration with Baudin.
– Naming of Australian plant genera after expedition members.
– Influence of scientific contributions on further exploration and understanding of Australia.

The maritime European exploration of Australia consisted of several waves of European seafarers who sailed the edges of the Australian continent. Dutch navigators were the first Europeans known to have explored and mapped the Australian coastline. The first documented encounter was that of Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, in 1606. Dutch seafarers also visited the west and north coasts of the continent, as did French explorers.

Selected voyages of exploration by Europeans to 1812
  1616 Dirk Hartog
  1642 Abel Tasman
  1770 James Cook
  1797–1799 George Bass
  1801–1803 Matthew Flinders

The most famous expedition was that of Royal Navy Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook 164 years after Janszoon's sighting. After an assignment to make observations of the 1769 Transit of Venus, Cook followed Admiralty instructions to explore the south Pacific for the reported Terra Australis and on 19 April 1770 sighted the south-eastern coast of Australia and became the first recorded European to explore the eastern coastline. Explorers by land and sea continued to survey the continent for some years after settlement.

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