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It is a common misconception that Captain James Cook (or Lieutenant, as he was then) of England discovered Australia. He did not. Australia was actually formally discovered by Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog in 1616. British explorer Captain Cook was the first to sight and chart Australia's eastern coast.

However, Captain Cook did discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he originally called the Sandwich Islands.

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No British explorer "discovered" Australia. Popular belief is that Captain James Cook of England was the discoverer of Australia. However, Cook by no means discovered Australia, nor was he even the first Englishman to land on its shores. That was done by William Dampier in 1688, and his opinions of Australia ("New Holland" as it was then known) were less than complimentary. Willem Jansz/Janszoon was a Dutchman who was seeking new trade routes and trade associates. 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, and did not record his landing as being part of another continent. In 1616, Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog sailed too far whilst trying out Henderik Brouwer's recently discovered route from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia, via the Roaring Forties. Reaching the western coast of Australia, he landed at Cape Inscription on 25 October 1616. His is the first known record of a European visiting Western Australia's shores.

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Q: What famous British explorer discovered Australia and the Hawaiian islands?
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