On this day, 21st August 1770- Captain Cook declares the Australian East Coast for Britain

Yorkshire explorer, Captain James Cook declared Eastern Australia for Britain and called this territory New South Wales. Although many voyages had been taken place to “Terra Australis” by fleets from several European nations, it was Cook who sailed into Botany Bay and formally declared the East coast for Blighty on this day in 1770.

New South Wales became a penal colony and home to both convicts and mariners, with one of the major aboriginal settlements, Port Jackson becoming known as Sydney.

August 21st Australia
A map of the Australian east coast around Port Jackson around the time of Captain Cook’s declaration. Picture credit: wikipedia public domain