Australia's First People

Victorian Aborigines Arrival

Scientists believe that during the last Ice Age, Aborigines migrated to Australia. As the term "Ice Age" suggests large amounts of the Earth's water was trapped in huge ice sheets. This water would have normally have been in the seas that surround the continents. As sea levels dropped land bridges and islands appeared making travel possible between many places. Australia was now within reach of the adventurous people living in South East Asia.

It is not clear what path was taken by Aborigines in their migration to Australia. Evidence of this path might now be underwater. On the map below many paths could be suggested.

The reasons for Aborigines making the journey is unknown. They might have been fishing offshore and been swept by wind and wave to their new land. It might have been the smoke from distant bush fires that enticed them to travel across the sea. They might have been a seafaring people looking to discover new lands.

The first Australians may have been the world's earliest ocean voyagers. Two possible routes they might have used are:
1. Via a series of island from Sulawesi to the Sahul shelf near north-western New Guinea. This journey would be made up of eight stages, none greater than seventy kilometres.
2. Via Timor. This journey consisted of seven stages all less than 30 kilometres with an eight stage of eighty seven kilometres from Timor of the Kimberley coast.
The material used to build their means of travel is unknown. They may have used bamboo as other type of timber might have become waterlogged.