European exploration of Australia

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The European exploration of Australia began at least as early as 1605–1606, when seafarers first explored and mapped the Australian coastline. The first documented encounter was that of Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, in 1606. Dutch seafarers also visited the west and north coasts of the continent, as did French explorers. The most famous expedition was that of Royal Navy Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook 164 years after Janszoon's sighting, who after an assignment to make observations of the 1769 Venus Transit, followed Admiralty instructions to explore the south Pacific for the reported Terra Australis and on 19 April 1770 sighted the south-eastern coast of Australia and became the first recorded European to explore the eastern coastline. Explorers by land and sea continued to survey the continent for some years after settlement. These efforts consisted of: