The arrival of Europeans

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, European sailors explored the world. The Dutch, English, Spanish and French visited the Pacific, driven by a thirst for knowledge, but also by imperial ambition and the quest for resources. These explorers often charted lands new to them.

In 1770, a British expedition landed on what is now known as the east coast of Australia. It was commanded by Lieutenant James Cook in the HMB Endeavour. In all, Cook made three epic Pacific voyages between 1768 and his death in Hawaii in 1779.  

Where the Wild Flowers Once Grew - painting showing dense forest with thick undergrowth of flowers. The predominant colours in the painting and for the flowers is blue.
Gordon Syron, Where the wild flowers once grew, 2005. From the Australian National Maritime Museum. Click here to view this item digitally in Trove.