Cook and his successors completed the chart of the continent's coastline and marvelled at the strange new creatures they saw - 'unlike anything encountered before!'
He and his crew navigated in unknown treacherous waters, where the ship was holed on a coral reef, and then had to be beached and repaired. The voyage however led to the choice of Botany Bay as the site of a new colony, starting a trail of immense change throughout Australasia.
This year marks the bicentenary of the publication of the entire coastline, completed by Matthew Flinders in 1814. Flinders was the last of the 'Cook school of Navigators' and there are some important pieces relating to his circumnavigation of the continent. The paintings of birds, plants and animals by Ferdinand Bauer, one of the offical artists on the expedition, are especially appealing.
Top - Rainbow Lorrikeets, Natural History Museum, London