Imagine stumbling across a forgotten continent, a place like nowhere else on Earth. A place inhabited by strange hopping mammals, venomous snakes, and Aborigines who hurl spears at your approach.
You made it across vast, treacherous oceans, surviving on stale, fast diminishing provisions, and now that you've discovered the fabled Great Southern Land, you have to record its riches before you risk the long journey home.
Although most nations knew of Australia from the 1600s at least, it took until 1788 for Europeans to settle it. The reason for that was mostly that the Europeans who saw New Holland thought the land dismal, uninspiring and lacking in riches. It might not have been settled at all if it hadn't been that Britain eventually decided the desolate, remote island would make a great prison!
Learn about the first Europeans to discover the coastline of Australia, as well as the more glamorous explorers who headed into the continent's rugged, mysterious interior.
The life of an overland explorer was far from glamorous. Men battled thirst, starvation, flies and mosquitoes, as well as illness and injury, in their quest to add their names to maps or history books.