How did White Explorers View the Australian landscape?

Essay by sufi12345University, Bachelor'sB-, March 2007

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Throughout this essay I will discuss the impact the Australian landscape had on early white explorers and what were their first impressions of the Australian landscape. I will begin by discussing some of the reasons early white explorers faced hardships in adapting to the land and cultivating what they found in this strange new continent. I then will describe the landscape its topography and the climate. I will proceed to demonstrate the harshness of the land through accurate accounts of early settlers and explorers; I will prove through their accounts that indeed the land was very inhospitable. I will discuss these attitudes the early white explorers had towards the landscape and how they endeavored to combat the challenges it forced upon whoever ventured into it. Finally it will be shown that European attitudes towards the Australian landscape are a manifestation of the White man's industrial age.

The European men who discovered and explored Australia belonged to the Industrial Age.

Long before the true nature of Australia was discovered and its outline charted, 'Europeans had great expectations of the riches and splendid civilizations that would be found in the Southern Continent.' As Dutch and British sailors began to reach Australian shores in the 17th Century, disappointing reports were sent back to Europe.

'Vlamingh was unimpressed, Dampier was vehemently critical of the barren, wild and waterless shoreline'.

Since the earliest landings and sightings of Australia occurred on the barest parts of Western Australia's coast, it is not surprising that the first impressions were unfavourable. The state has a coastline of some 12,500 kilometers long. Capes break the monotony between Wyndham and Broome and between Port Headland and Shark Bay, but most of the coast is featureless. Even today it still seems rugged and uninviting; there is not much vegetation, high temperatures and...