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Seeing Uluru or snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef is a pretty special way to travel – that we’d never deny.
But as any local will tell you, it’s Australia’s backstories that really bring its attractions to life.
In the sound, the colonist recognises the vocal cooey of the aborigines, and learns from the steps "to the birds' nests," that they then hunted the opossum, and employed that method of ascent, which, for agility and daring has never been surpassed.
Thus, during more than 150 years, this country was forgotten; and such were the limits of European knowledge, when the expedition of Cook was dispatched by Great Britain to explore this hemisphere.
They rejected with disdain the presents and freedoms of the officers, and were ordered by an elderly man to retire—a command, to which they submitted with reluctance. Anderson, the surgeon of the Resolution, describes the natives as a mild, cheerful race, with an appearance less wild than is common to savages.
He considered them devoid of activity, genius, and intelligence; their countenance, he delineates as plump and pleasing.
At first they fled from the French: an old woman they chased, took a leap which, if credible, was terrific; she dashed over a precipice forty feet high, and was lost among the rocks!
He left Europe when the dreams of Rousseau were the toys of the speculative, and before they became the phantoms of the populace.
He heard, or thought he heard, the voices of people and the sound of a trumpet: he noticed the recently cut notches, five feet asunder, on the bark of the trees, and he saw the smoke of fires.
He inferred that they possessed some unusual method of climbing, or that their stature was gigantic.
[1792.] But though later on the spot, assisted by the remarks of previous observers, Labillardière, of all, was the most assiduous and exact.
The naturalist of D'Entrecasteaux's expedition, he saw mankind with the eye of a philosopher.