Captain Cook was from Yorkshire, from a poor family of farmers, he went to work on a coal ship, then joined the Navy. He worked his way up to Lieutenant. He was sent on a voyage to see Venus travel over the Sun in Tahiti, on the ship he captained, The Endeavour.
Captain Cook had secret orders to find the southern lands, Mr Banks paid a lot of money to fund the voyage, he went along too.
In 1769 Captain Cook landed at what is now called Gisborne. ‘Young Nick’ was the first person to sight land on the HMAS Endeavour, so a cliff is named after him. When the Endeavour got to land the Maori did a meeting dance, Captain Cook thought it was a challenge and shot 6 Maori. He named this are Poverty Bay as he couldn’t get any fresh supplies because he’d shot the Maori.
This statue of Young Nick is in Gisborne.
From then on he mapped New Zealand from the sea. In 1770 Captain Cook landed in. Byron Bay, Australia, then in a town called 1770 further up the coast in the same year (1770 was once called Roundhill but changed their name for the 200 year anniversary of Captain Cook landing). When Captain Cook returned to England he was promoted to Captain in the Navy.
He did two more voyages, circumnavigating the Southern Hemisphere on a ship called HMS Resolution, sailing to places like. Christmas Island, Vancouver Island, The Antarctic Circle, Cape Horn, Hawaiin Islands – twice, on the second time he was killed by the locals who misunderstood him.