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It is not known whether the Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Australia, but they certainly weren't the first to land on the continent. The Aborigines made it to Australia anywhere between 6,000 and 50,000 years ago. No written records exist, so one can only speculate on when they first arrived, but it was certainly before the Portuguese.

The Asian people also visited the northern coast regularly for hundreds of years before Europeans set foot on the continent, to collect sea-slugs (trepang), a valued delicacy in Asia.

It is believed that the Portuguese were the first to sight the Australian continent, but there are no records within Portugal itself to substantiate the claim, or whether they landed on the shore. The sources for this claim are the Dieppe Maps, which date between 1542 and 1587, and which were drawn up by a group of French cartographers using a Portuguese source. These maps name a large land mass believed to be the Australian continent as Java-la-Grande. There is some speculation that the maps, not being to scale, actually represent an exaggerated western Java, possibly even Vietnam.

Willem Jansz/Janszoon was a Dutchman who was seeking new trade routes and trade associates. Commanding the Duyfken, he became the first recorded European to step foot on Australia's shores on the western shore of Cape York Peninsula, on 26 February 1606. However, he believed the Cape to be part of New Guinea, from whence he crossed the Arafura Sea, so he did not record Australia as being a separate, new continent.

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Q: Were the Portuguese the first to land in Australia?
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Related questions

What if the Portuguese found Australia first?

then we speak portuguese instead of English

The discoverer of Australia claimed it for?

First the Portuguese, then the Dutch, the Great Britain.

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How long did the Portuguese live in Australia?

Although the Portuguese are believed to be the first Europeans to discover Australia, they did not settle any part of it or live here prior to Britain colonising the continent.

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Who was the first to land on Australia?

Aborigines were the first to land in Australia. After them, the next people were the Macassan traders who sought sea slugs off the northern coast of Australia. The first known European to land in Australia was Willem Jansz, also known as Willem Janszoon.

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It is believed that the first explorers to discover Australia were Portuguese, but no records still exist.The first recorded explorer on Australia's shores was Dutch (Willem Jansz).

What nation first claimed Australia and what did they use it for?

Britain was the first to claim Australia, although the Dutch, Portuguese and French had explored parts of the continent's coast. Australia was first used as a penal colony for England's excess prisoners.

What were the first portugese trying to find?

The first Portuguese were trying to find new land. This was mostly in Africa.

Who was the first European to land on the west coast of Australia?

It was Dirk Hartog who was the first European to land on the west coast of Australia.

Where did cook first land in australia?

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Which country was thought to have discovered Australia 200 years before England?

The Dutch were the first known Europeans to discover Australia, but it is believed that the Portuguese actually arrived first; unfortunately, their records were all lost. The man who is credited with the discovery of New Zealand and Van Diemen`s Land (now Tasmania) was Dutchman Abel Janszoon Tasman between 1642 and1645. However, he believed that they were part of the same land. The first known Dutchman to reach Australia's shores was Dirk Hartog, who did so in 1616.