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Australasia

Australasia encompasses the regions now known as Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand is a country of varied and beautiful landscapes--the country that is the home to the Maori people, who are thought to have arrived in New Zealand more than 1000 years ago in double-hulled waka (canoe), from islands in Eastern Polynesia (Hawaiki). Australia, the home to kangaroos and koala bears, is also geographically diverse, and the home of the Australian Aborigines people, who, some historians say, have the longest continuous cultural history in the world, extending back in time perhaps some 70,000 years. It was only in the 1700s that the English began to settle the region in earnest.

In this section you will learn about Captain Cook's voyages of discovery. You will read about one of England's first attempts at colonizing the region by using part of Australia as a prison colony. You will learn about walkabouts and didgeridoos. You will find about aout the Maori people, who celebrate their lives in song. You will read about the Dutch voyages into the region prior to the arrival of the English. Here you will find the histories of both the original inhabitants of Australasia, and the Europeans, who arrived later.

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