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This Day in History

Australian Explorers

Tuesday, April 22, 1788. :   Governor Arthur Phillip sets out to explore Sydney Harbour.

     Captain Arthur Phillip was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, the first settlement of Europeans on Australian soil. Phillip was a practical man who suggested that convicts with experience in farming, building and crafts be included in the First Fleet, but his proposal was rejected. Thus, he faced many obstacles in his attempts to establish the new colony, including the fact that British farming methods, seeds and implements were unsuitable for use in the different climate and soil.

On 22 April 1788, less than three months after the arrival of the First Fleet to Australia, Phillip set out to explore Sydney Harbour, in search of more land suitable for settlement. Together with eleven men and enough provisions for six days, Phillip travelled as far as he could by boat up Sydney Harbour, tracing the Parramatta River to the point where Parramatta itself would be established six months later, as Rose Hill. The party then spent four days travelling overland towards the Blue Mountains. Further progress was halted by ravines and untraversible countryside, and insufficient supplies, and Phillip returned to Sydney Cove determined to send out further exploration parties.

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