Christmas in Australia
How Christmas is celebrated in Australia

An Australian Timeline

This Timeline is intended to display notable historic events since Europeans first discovered the continent in 1606.
This Timeline is designed to emphasis the following:-
1. Australia is a young country it is only 215 years since European settlement.
2. Australia was the last of the habitable continents to be colonised by Europeans. Lying half a world away from Britain, its flora , fauna, geography and indigenous people were almost entirely unknown.
3. The remoteness of the colony from England, and the slow development of communication by:-

  • sailing ship,
  • steam driven ships,
  • telegraph,
  • telephone,
  • airplane and
  • television.
4. Australia is a land peopled by migrants:-
  • Transportation brought 160,000 convicts between 1788 and 1868
  • The gold rush of the 1850's
  • The immigration system set up after the second World War still brings 100,000 people each year
1620 November The Mayflower carrying the settlers who went to the New World (America) had arrived on the coast of Massachusetts, USA.
This entry is included in the Australian Timeline, to emphasise how recent the settlement of Australia is compared to the rest of the world.
1770 April 20   Captain Cook sighted Point Hicks, NSW. Australia
Christmas 1787 The First Fleet left Capetown, South Africa on 12 November 1787 and where half way across the Indian Ocean on Christmas Day 1787.
1788 Jan The First Fleet of eleven ships arrived and Sydney was settled with over 1,000 convicts and military.
1790 June The Second Fleet arrived.
1791 July - Sep The Third Fleet arrived.
1798 October Bass & Flinders circumnavigated Tasmania.
1801 - 1803   Matthew Flinders circumnavigated Australia.
1803 August Lieutenant Bowen settled at Risdon, Tasmania. The following year the settlement moved to Sullivans Cove and became Hobart.
1813The Blue Mountains were crossed. It took 25 years to cross these mountains. Today people travel from the top of the Blue Mountains to work in central Sydney. Travel time one hour.
1824 SeptA penal settlement was established in Moreton Bay, Queensland.
1829 JuneCaptain James Stirling arrived as Lieutenant-Governor of the Swan River, Western Australia colony, with the first settlers.
1835 JuneJohn Batman 'bought' some land near Melbourne and in August 1835 he founded Port Phillip, Victoria.
1836 Dec 28The first settlers arrived in South Australia.
1840 After 1840 large-scale transportation of convicts to NSW was abolished
1851 April 6 The first official finding of gold in Australia was by Edward Hargraves at Lewis Ponds, Ophir (near Bathurst, NSW). It triggered off  Australia's gold rush.
1853 May The last consignment of convicts arrived in Tasmania.
1854 Dec 3 Eureka Stockade uprising at Ballarat goldfields.
1861 June Robert O'Hara Burke, William John Wills and Charles Grey died on the return journey from the Gulf of Carpentaria after the first crossing the continent from south to north.
1868 Jan 9 The last consignment of convicts arrived in Western Australia, thus ending the Transportation System which had brought 160,000 convicts to Australia in the period 1788 to 1868.
1880 June 28 The first telephone exchange was opened in Melbourne.
1901 Jan 1 The Commonwealth of Australia was inaugurated.
1919 Dec 10 The first flight from Britain to Australia ended when Ross and Keith Smith landed in Darwin.
1930 April 30 The first telephone call made between Australia and Britain.
1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge completed.
1973 Oct 20Sydney Opera House opened.
1975 MarchColour television introduced to Australia.
1978 July 1The Northern Territory was granted self-government.
2013 SeptemberThis Timeline created.
Email your suggestions for this page to Tom Wills