Australia History, A Brief Overview

Australia history has a timeline of more than 40,000 years.

Various indigenous populations have inhabited this continent and have developed unique traditions, deeply connected with the land.

However, for the rest of the world, the land of the South was unknown.

Written evidence of the history of Australia goes back to some 400 years ago. Spanish and Dutch explorers sailed along its northern coasts.

Other European voyagers or traders followed.

But it was only in 1770 that James Cook, an English captain claimed the land for the British Crown. He named the coastline New South Wales.

captain James Cook arrived in Australia in 1770 Captain Cook's monument on the Kurnell peninsula

Botany Bay - captain Cook's landing place This is how Botany Bay looks today. Captain Cook anchored his ship, "The Endeavour", here on 29 April 1770.

The Convicts - Part of the History of Australia

At the time of Cook's discovery, Britain's jails were packed with impoverished people who had committed some offence to survive.

The land Down Under was the solution to empty these jails.

11 ships, half packed with convicts, set course to the southern land. After an 8 months voyage the ships arrived in Sydney Harbour. On 26 January 1788, the fleet's captain, Arthur Philip, established the first settlement.

We now celebrate Australia Day on this date, every year.

Australian Settlements

Remarkable events in the Australian history include clearing of huge areas of land for agriculture and new settlements around Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane.

But settlements are not limited to places that will later become capital cities. Isolated towns spread in the attempt to conquer more land and survive a difficult environment.

A British settlement was established in today's Tasmania as early as 1803. British emigrants founded Western Australia in 1829.

Groups of colonists in New South Wales considered themselves as separate provinces and formed South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, and Queensland in 1859. The Northern Territory was founded in 1863 as part of the Province of South Australia.

Australia History and its Gold Rush Age

1852 was the year when immigrants flooded to Australia hoping to find gold.

The gold rush changed the history of Australia: the population increased exponentially and the economy started to boom.

The first railway and telegraphs appeared.

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