Australia’s history is fascinating because it is one the largest and most diverse countries on Earth. It is also one the oldest inhabited continents with evidence of human activity going back more than 40,000 years ️ 🇦🇺 1️⃣ 🔙 🔛 . This raises the interesting question: Who discovered Australia and how did it become a continent?
The answer to this question depends on how one defines discovery! According to the traditional definition Australia was first sighted by Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon when he arrived in Cape York Peninsula in 1606. However, evidence suggests other Europeans, Chinese, and Indonesian sailors had already discovered the continent prior to Janszoon’s voyage 🇨🇳.
Most likely the first Europeans to Australia arrived in the latter part of 16th century 🇦🇺. Spanish and Portuguese explorers were looking for new trade routes and wealth sources 🆕. They were the first to sail through South Pacific waters . Cristovao De Mendonca a Portuguese navigator likely explored a portion of the coast of modern-day Western Australia in 1520s ️ 🇩🇪 🇦🇺. Mendonca is believed to have sailed as far south at the Shark Bay Peninsula before turning around.
In the 16th century Spanish explorer Luis Vaez de Torres sighted the northern portion of the Australian continent. During his expedition of 1606 he sailed through the strait that now bears his name which separates Australia from Papua New Guinea.
It is believed that the first European to actually set foot on Australian soil was Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon. Janszoon arrived in the Cape York Peninsula in northern Australia in 1606 🇦🇺. He was sent to the region by the Dutch East India Company to explore a possible new trade route to the East Indies 🆕 ️ 🇮🇳. Janszoon is credited with being the first European to chart part of the Australian coastline 🇦🇺 💹.
Though Janszoon was the first documented European to sight Australia it is possible that other Europeans had discovered the continent prior to his arrival 🇦🇺. This is due to the fact that the Chinese and Indonesian sailors were also sailing and exploring the waters of the South Pacific during the 16th century 🇨🇳.
The Chinese admiral Zheng He is believed to have sailed as far south as the northern coast of Australia. During his voyages to the South Pacific He likely sailed along part of the Australian coastline in the early 1400s 🇦🇺. Evidence of his exploration has been found in the form of Chinese coins on the beaches of northern Australia.
The Bugis sailors’ accounts of their long-distance boat voyages along New Guinea’s south coast indicate that they may have discovered Australia as early as the 1600s and there is evidence of Indonesian exploration of Australia as well.
In conclusion it is impossible to definitively state who discovered Australia 🇦🇺. It is likely that Chinese and Indonesian sailors were the first to discover the continent while the first documented sighting of Australia was by Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon in the Cape York Peninsula in 1606 🇨🇳 🇦🇺.
While the question of who discovered Australia may never be answered definitively it is an interesting question to explore ❓ 🇦🇺. It is proof of how far exploration and discovery have come in the centuries since Janszoon’s sighting of Australia 🇦🇺. ! .
🆕 🇨🇳 ❓ ️ ⛵ 🇮🇳 🦈 💹 🇩🇪 🇦🇺 🔛 1️⃣ 🔙 🦶