In 1700, William Dampier discovered New Britain, which is an island off the coast of New Guinea. He was the first European to visit the large island.
Captain Dampier sailed the H.M.S. Roebuck from England in 1699. While sailing the north coast of New Guinea, the expedition sighted and named the large island off the coast. The ship's condition prevented Dampier from continuing, and the expedition returned home. Dampier was more successful as an author, and his literary works inspired other adventurers to explore the Southern Hemisphere. Through his writing Dampier encouraged the exploration of Australia that resulted in the settlement of eastern Australia.