The first exploration that Cook went on was in 1766. It was commissioned by the Royal Society to determine the way Venus traveled across the sun.
He was the lieutenant of this expedition and led it to Tahiti where they were able to see “the small disc travel across the sun.”
The second part of the voyage was to look for the continent Terra Australis.
In April, 1770, he observed indigenous Australians and then eventually landed in an area that he called “Stingray Bay.”
Here he met the Gweagal, an Aboriginal tribe, and then left in the Endeavour with his crew.
Soon after leaving the ship hit the Great Barrier Reef, which caused damage that took around seven weeks to repair. From here they landed on Possession Island before returning to England on July 12th, 1771.
After being promoted to commander, Cook was commissioned to command the HMS Resolution. During this voyage he was the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. He also was able to log his longitudinal position, which helped him make accurate charts of the Pacific Ocean.