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Australia is a large country, roughly the size of the continental United States, spanning tropical and subtropical climates. In the 200 years since European settlement, the population has grown to over 17 million. The initial settlers were from the United Kingdom and Ireland, but now over 100 nationalities are represented in Australia.
It is believed that the first settlement of Australia took place 40 000 years ago when the original inhabitants entered Australia across a land bridge from New Guinea. Recent evidence suggests that humans may even have come to Australia as long as 80 000 years ago.
European visits started in the 15th century, when early traders trying to reach the Spice Islands (Indonesia) inadvertently discovered Australia. These navigators encountered the relatively inhospitable west coast of Australia and, accordingly, no attempts at settlement were made at that time.
In 1770, the British explorer Captain James Cook sailed up the
Cooper A. Dermatology in Australia. Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(10):1564–1565. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680090128017
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