Life in Early Australia
European explorers located Australia long after they had begun colonizing other lands. Dutch explorers were probably the first Europeans to reach Australia around 1605. Australia was not claimed by a European power, however, until the British did so in 1770. Early Australia had many groups of people with diverse interests, including a native population that had lived on the island for at least 40,000 years. On these pages you will discover the occupations, motivations, and interests of some Australians in the 17th and 18th centuries.