The name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern".

The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent was by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula on an unknown date in early 1606. On 26 February 1606, he made landfall at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York, near the modern town of Weipa.

In 1770 James Cook maps the east coast of Australia.

On the 26th January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip begins a British settlement at Sydney Cove..


1494 Treaty of Tordesillas divides the New World
between Spain and Portugal. Under it Portugal lays
claim to the Moluccas, but the greater part of the
still unexplored Pacific falls to Spain.

1513 Vasco Nunez de Balboa becomes the first European to
sight the Pacific Ocean.

1520 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovers the
strait which now bears his name.

1565 Alonso de Arellano completes the first west to east
crossing of the Pacific in his ship the San Lucas.

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