The history of Australia is longer than you might imagine. Although the country was only discovered and colonized by Europeans in the 17th century, there have been inhabitants living in the country for tens of thousands of years previously.
Australia is one of the largest countries on Earth but forms part of the smallest continents. With just under 26 million inhabitants, it’s not a densely populated country at all.
But how was the country found, and what do we know about the aborigines that have lived there for many centuries?
In this article, we’ll take a trip through the mists of time and explore the history of Australia.
The History of Australia
The first inhabitants of Australia, the aboriginal people were believed to have arrived in Australia between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. They arrived by sea from Southeast Asia.
The traditions and cultures that they established are some of the oldest in human civilization.
When Was Australia Discovered?
For centuries, the country was only inhabited by aborigines. It wasn’t until 1606 when Europeans first landed in the country did the rest of the world come to learn about Australia.
The first known landing in Australia by anyone from the west was by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. A further 29 Dutch navigators would visit the country, which was originally called New Holland.
James Cook headed to Australia in 1770 and scouted out Botany Bay as a great place to colonize on behalf of the United Kingdom. Britain subsequently laid claim to the country and used it as a penal colony.
Conflicts and diseases brought by the colonizers caused the indigenous population to start dying off.
Gold rushes followed and the country began to prosper greatly.
Facts About Australia
Australia is situated in the Southern Hemisphere between the Indian and Pacific oceans.
The capital of Australia is Canberra. Canberra is located between the much larger cities of Melbourne and Sydney in the southeast of the country.
Australia forms part of the commonwealth- a group of countries that were formally owned by the British Empire.
Australia is big. It stretches 4,000 km from the Cape York Peninsula in the northeast across to Wilson’s Promontory in the Southeast. Running north to south, the country is nearly 2,000 km.
Australia’s jurisdiction includes the island of Tasmania.
Things to Do in Australia
Australia is a modern country with plenty to do. From visiting Ayres Rock through to spending time in the cultural and economic hubs of Sydney and Melbourne, there’s something for everyone.
It’s also a popular holiday destination with people traveling to Australia from all over the world. With famous beaches such as Bondi Beach, the country is popular today with tourists hoping to soak up some of the all-year-round sunshine.
Look here for more information about taking a holiday in the country.
Visit Australia to Learn More
A lot more could be said about the history of Australia, including how its isolation from the rest of the world has made it a haven for unique fauna and wildlife. One of the best ways to learn about the country is to visit it.
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