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Australia History Timeline

Australia's Information

Flag of Australia
Land Area 7,682,300 km2
Water Area 58,920 km2
Total Area 7,741,220km2 (#6)
Population 22,992,654 (#56)
Population Density 2.99/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Democracy (Federal Parliament) Under A Constitutional Monarchy; A Commonwealth Realm
GDP (PPP) $1,190.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $48,800
Currency Dollar (AUD)
More Information Australia
Largest Cities

About Australia

BCs - 1700s
  • (40,000 BC) First Aborigines arrived from southeast Asia
  • (20,000 BC) Aborigines' settlements spread throughout the mainland and Tasmania
  • (1606) Capt. Willem Janszoon, in Duke of York's ship, the Duyfken, explored western coast of Cape York Peninsula - first European to land in Australia
  • (1606) Portuguese explorer, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, claimed Australia for Spain, named it "La Australia del Espiritu Santo" (the southern land of the Holy Spirit)
  • (1606) Louis Vaez de Torres sailed through Torres Strait
  • (1616) Dutch Captain Dirk Hartog made second landing by a European on western coast
  • (1642) Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, made journey to Australia, discovered there were four coasts
  • (1696) Flemish explorer, Willem de Vlamingh, charted southwestern coast of Australia; made landfall at present-day Perth
  • (1770) James Cook of England charted eastern coast, claimed it for British Crown
  • (1788) First Fleet from England arrived led by Arthur Phillip, established first penal colony at Sydney
  • (1788) English settlement founded at Norfolk Island
  • (1803) Matthew Flinders circumnavigated continent
  • (1804) Castle Hill Rebellion (Irish Rebellion) occurred, Irish convicts rebelled against British colonial authority, marshall law declared for over a week, dozens killed
  • (1808) During Rum Rebellion in New South Wales, military corps arrested; Capt. William Bligh, governor of convict colony was deposed
  • (1824) Penal colony founded at Moreton Bay (present-day Brisbane )
  • (1825) Tasmania seceded from New South Wales
  • (1829) Colony of Western Australia established at Perth by Capt. James Stirling
  • (1829) All of Australia claimed as British territory
  • (1836) South Australia established, Adelaide chosen as capital
  • (1842) Copper discovered in South Australia
  • (1845) Cataraqui, a ship carrying emigrants from England, wrecked in Bass Strait, 406 died
  • (1850) Western Australia became penal colony
  • (1851) Victoria seceded from New South Wales
  • (1851) Victorian gold rush began
  • (1851) Forest Creek Monster Meeting held by miners to demand political representation, reasonable taxation
  • (1853) Bendigo Petition circulated by miners to demand political representation, reasonable taxation, over 23,000 signatures gathered
  • (1856) Australia first country to introduce secret ballot for elections
  • (1859) Australian football rules finalized, Melbourne Football Club formed
  • (1859) Queensland separated from New South Wales
  • (1863) Northern Territory annexed by South Australia
  • (1867) Gold discovered in Queensland
  • (1875) SS Gothenburg struck Old Reef during storm, sunk, 102 died
1800s continued
  • (1877) Australia and England played inaugural cricket test match in Melbourne
  • (1879) First congress of trade unions held
  • (1883) Silver discovered at Broken Hill
  • (1887) Australian cricket team established
  • (1889) Railroad network linking Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney completed
  • (1891) National Australian Convention met, agreed to adopt name "The Commonwealth of Australia"
  • (1891) The Great Crash - a decade-long depression caused high unemployment, ruined businesses, drove down wages
  • (1898) Final constitution draft passed in Australia
  • (1900) Parliament of the United Kingdom passed Australian constitution
  • (1901) Australia became federation (States of: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia)
  • (1901) First parliament met in Melbourne
  • (1901) Immigration Restriction Act put halt on non-white immigration
  • (1902) Franchise Act gave women right to vote in federal elections, excluded Aboriginal people
  • (1906) Australia took control of New Guinea
  • (1908) Canberra chosen for national capital
  • (1914 - 1918) World War I: Australia committed hundreds of thousands of troops to the British war effort
  • (1915) Gallipoli Campaign (Battle) in Turkey caused many Australian casualties
  • (1920) Qantas Airline founded
  • (1921) Edith Cowan first woman elected to parliament
  • (1932) Sydney Harbor Bridge opened
  • (1939 - 1945) World War II
  • (1939) Australia followed Britain in declaring war on Nazi Germany
  • (1939) Victoria devastated by bushfires, 4,942,000 acres burned, 71 people died, 3,700 buildings destroyed

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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Australia territories, states & their capitals

Region Capital Quick Reference
Australian Capital Territory Canberra Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales Sydney New South Wales
Northern Territory Darwin Northern Territory
Queensland Brisbane Queensland
South Australia Adelaide South Australia
Tasmania Hobart Tasmania
Victoria Melbourne Victoria
Western Australia Perth Western Australia

Australia Trivia

What is the Biggest State and Territory in Australia?

The biggest territory in Australia is Western Australia, which has a land area of 2.5 square kilometers. Queensland is the largest state with a land area of 1.7 square kilometers.

Australian States and Territories By Population

What is the Official Language of Australia?

English is the de facto national language of Australia.

What Languages Are Spoken In Australia?

What Are the Major Ethnic Backgrounds of Australians?

67.4% of Australians cite British heritage. 8.7% of Australians claim Irish ancestry, 3.8% claim Italian, and 3.7% claim German. Australians of Chinese heritage represent 3.6% of the population, while Aboriginal Australians account for 3% of the population.

Demographics and Ethnic Groups of Australia

What are the Major Industries in Australia?

The service industry comprises of over 70% of the Australia GDP. It dominates the economy, which employs over 79% of the labor force. Other major industries include tourism, healthcare, media, finance, and mining.

What Are The Biggest Industries In Australia?

What are Australia's Main Agricultural Exports?

The main agricultural exports of Australia include beef, wheat, meat, and wool.

Top 10 Agricultural Exports Of Australia

What is the Largest Desert in Australia?

With an area of 348,750 square km, the Great Victoria Desert is Australia's largest desert.

The Largest Deserts In Australia

States & Territories of Australia