During the sixteenth century, the Portuguese were the principal traders in the East Indies. By 1600, however, their place had been taken by the Dutch who, sailing via the Cape of Good Hope, set up a powerful base on the island of Batavia. Soon their ships were seeking new lands in order to open up more trade. In 1606 a Dutch ship called the Duyken, ‘the Dove’, anchored off northern Australia and some of the crew went ashore – the first Europeans to do so. They were refilling their water casks when they were driven off by fierce natives. The Duyfken sailed away again without exploring any other part of the vast Australian continent.
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