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James Cook is celebrated as a peerless seaman and a remarkable captain. His meticulous maps of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and the botanical work of Joseph Banks and others aboard the ship, reshaped understandings of the world.

But the land Cook charted — strange and ‘new’ to European eyes — was an ancient continent, home to First Peoples whose history stretches back more than 65,000 years. Until now, their voices have been missing from the Endeavour story.

Tracing the voyage

Travel in the ship’s wake, visiting 9 places connected to the Endeavour story and reflecting on key moments of the journey.

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Views from the ship and shore

This website contains many stories — some you probably know and others you will not have heard before. Some are about life on the Endeavour, the ‘new’ and amazing things that the voyagers saw, drew and collected, and the perils of sailing up Australia’s east coast.

Others are from the First Peoples of this land, whose ancestors witnessed the ship’s passage. The voyage set in train events that led to the British colonisation of the Australian continent and the dispossession and devastating consequences suffered by the First Peoples. For many of them, Cook is synonymous with the resulting impacts on their lands and cultures.

Colliding Worlds 4:49

Alison Page offers a different perspective on the story of James Cook and the 1770 Endeavour voyage in this film by Zakpage.

Explore more views from the ship and shore

The early voyage Learn about life on board the Endeavour and what happened before the ship sighted the Australian continent on 19 April 1770.
Sky stories See how Australia’s Indigenous peoples and the Endeavour voyagers looked at the same night sky but read different meanings into the stars.
Cook's journal See pages and read transcripts of Cook's account of the Endeavour's voyage up the east coast in 1770.

Banner image: No Blood Will Be Shed (detail), 2019, Wanda Gibson, Nugal. National Museum of Australia

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