It is impossible to say who were the first discoverers of Australia, although there is evidence that the Chinese had some knowledge of the continent so far back as the 13th century.
The Portuguese also advance claims to be the first discoverers of Australia, but so far the evidence cannot be said to establish their pretensions.
Among other early Dutch discoverers were Edel; Pool, in 1629, in the Guif of Carpentaria; Nuyts, in the " Gulde Zeepaard," along the southern coast, which he called, after himself, Nuyts Land; De Witt; and Pelsaert, in the " Batavia."
Of the Dutch discoverers, Pelsaert was the only one who made any detailed observations of the character of the country inland, and it may here be remarked that his journal contains the first notice and description of the kangaroo that has come down to us.
In estimating Brewster's place among scientific discoverers the chief thing to be borne in mind is that the bent of his genius was not characteristically mathematical.