Until the 1600s, the continent of Australia was unknown to most Europeans. It is on the other side of the world from Europe. Europeans could only guess at what lay “down under.” But in the 1600s and 1700s, Dutch and English sailors began exploring Australia’s coasts. In 1788 British ships sailed into a sheltered part of the southeastern coast. There they established the town of Sydney.
For more than fifty years, Great Britain used Sydney as a place to send prisoners from overcrowded British jails. Sydney has come a long way since its days as a prison town. Modern-