When the aborigines first saw the ships of the "First Fleet" enter Botany Bay in 1778 with so many white skinned people they thought they were the spirits of their dead ancestors (after all they were so white). In actual fact these were the first European settlers led by Captain Arthur Phillip.
In 1770 an expedition from England lead by Captain James Cook sailed to the south pacific. They were supposed to make astronomical observations. But Captain Cook also had secret orders from the British Admiralty to find the southern continent.