On April 28 1770, the Endeavour dropped anchor in a pleasant bay, 'tollerably well sheltered from all winds', on the east coast of Australia. Two Aborigines in white warpaint hurled spears at the first landing parties until one was shot and wounded. Banks mistook the boomerangs carried by other natives for 'scmitars' - it was to provide the first of many surprises.By chance, the Endeavour had sailed into one of the most pleasant parts of that great southern land. For two weeks Banks and his party landed each day and roamed through the countryside, collecting strange flowers, plants and animals previously unknown to Europeans. It is not difficult to imagine the rising excitement as they examined the specimens in the great cabin on board the Endeavour. This one region alone had yielded numerous different species of plants; and it was only natural that Cook, in deference to his colleagues, should eventually commemorate their haul by naming the place Botany Bay.
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A facsimile of the manuscript held in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. With reproductions of paintings and drawings by Endeavour artists Buchan, Parkinson and Sporing.
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