- This document is a short extract from the log book (diary) of Captain
Cook's voyage to Australia.
- This extract shows one small example of the hundreds of pages he wrote
about the plants, animals, geography and people of the continent.
- In this particular extract he is describing the Aborigines - the people
living in Australia (New Holland). He lists a number of words and their
equivalent in a local language. Cook was a scientist as much as a captain
and his writings show he was intensely interested in everything he saw.
- Cook sailed in his ship Endeavour in 1769 and reached Australia in
1770. Although he was a navy captain in a Royal Navy ship, most of his
instructions came from the Royal Society. The Society's main aim was
to advance scientific knowledge and understanding. The instructions
were top secret.
- Cook did not discover Australia. Aboriginal people had already settled
Australia long before. Also Europeans knew Australia existed because
the western half of the continent had already been mapped and called
- However, no Europeans had sailed to the other side of Australia. This
was Cook's achievement. His main priorities were to map the land and
to claim it for Britain if possible (if it was uninhabited or if the
local people agreed).
- Cook spent April 1770 to August 1770 sailing along the Australian