Indigenous Australians first emigrated onto the continent more than 40,000 years ago, while European influences didn’t start to show until the 17th century. With the colonization of Southeast Asia by European powers, Australia’s northern reaches were constantly visited by Dutch traders. However, the rest of Australia went largely untouched until 1770 when British explorer, Captain James Cook, navigated Australia’s east coast, naming it New South Wales under the British crown.
Australia’s modern culture has been shaped by a number of factors, including Americanization, immigration, ancient heritage, and climate. With much of the population living close to the coast, a strong beach culturedominates society. Even in major city centres, it is not uncommon to see locals wearing beach attire around town. The warm, sunny climate also permits an array of outdoor activities, happily lapped up by locals. A typical Aussie Saturday afternoon is spent at a barbecue with friends or family. Australians are very active yet laid-back people, and this certainly shows through their love of sports, whether they are participating or observing.
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