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French interest was less sustained than that of the British. Marion Dufresne, on his 1772 voyage, concentrated upon charting and describing the less hospitable western coast and Tasmania, and later French explorers investigated Australia's southern coast. By then, however, the British had established their first settlement and had claimed the eastern half of the continent.
Even with Britain's sustained efforts, Australia's coasts were not fully explored until the 19th century. Matthew Flinders was the first to circumnavigate the continent from 1801 to 1803. He charted most of the coastline, but it was midcentury before the continent's major interior features were known.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|