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Tasmania

Tasmania History Timeline

BC - 1700s
  • (35,000 BC) Mouheneener band of Tasmanian Aboriginals settled in what is now Hobart area
  • (1642) Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted Tasmanian mainland
  • (1793) French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux surveyed Derwent area, named it Riviere du Nord
  • (1793) John Hayes, unaware of French visit, sailed up the river, which he named Derwent
1800s
  • (1803) First European settlement of Tasmania at Risdon Cove established, named Hobart
  • (1804) Soldiers refused guard duties at Risdon due to fear of convict rebellion; Aborigines mistakenly killed by soldiers in Risdon, settlement abandoned
  • (1804) Colonel William Paterson established Port Dalrymple (Tamar River) settlement, first at George Town, then at York Town
  • (1805) Supply ships failed to arrive on time, resulting famine forced rationing
  • (1806) Colonel William Paterson transferred York Town settlement to site of modern Launceston
  • (1807) Thomas Laycock led five-man party on first overland journey from Launceston to Hobart
  • (1809) Deposed New South Wales Governor William Bligh arrived in Hobart, temporarily disrupted David Collins' authority as lieutenant-governor
  • (1811) Governor Lachlan Macquarie designed plan for Hobart streets, ordered construction of public buildings and Mount Nelson signal station
  • (1812) First convicts arrived from England
  • (1814) Argo Ship disappeared after being seized by convicts in Derwent
  • (1815) Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Davey declared martial law against all bushrangers
  • (1816) First emigrant ship arrived with free settlers from England
  • (1824) Australia's longest continuously operating brewery, Cascade Brewery, opened
  • (1825) Tasmania separated from New South Wales as an independent colony
  • (1825) Richmond Bridge, Australia's oldest existing bridge, opened
  • (1828) Cape Grim massacre occurred when four shepherds ambushed 30 Aborigines
  • (1830) Port Arthur penal settlement established
  • (1832) End of martial law against Aborigines
  • (1836) Charles Darwin visited Hobart during round-the-world voyage
  • (1836) Eleven counties, and some parishes proclaimed
  • (1838) Bruny Island lighthouse completed
  • (1840) Economic depression began
  • (1842) Hobart proclaimed a city
  • (1851) Influenza epidemic swept through Tasmania
  • (1851) Hobart Chamber of Commerce established
1800s continued
  • (1852) Gold discovered near Fingal
  • (1854) Severe floods, fires ravaged Tasmania
  • (1874) Launceston rioters protested against rates levy for Deloraine railway
  • (1876) Hobart-Launceston railway opened
  • (1878) Mount Heemskirk tin mining began
  • (1882) Silver lead ore discovered at Zeehan
  • (1882) Hobart Stock Exchange opened
  • (1883) Typhoid and diphtheria epidemic prompted public health legislation
  • (1886) Copper found at Mount Lyell
  • (1888) Launceston proclaimed a city
  • (1894) Government introduced flat-rate income tax system
  • (1895) Tasmanian districts moved to Australian Eastern Standard Time
  • (1897) Bushfires started on New Year's Eve, six killed
1900s
  • (1900) Macquarie Island became Tasmanian dependency
  • (1901) Tasmania became State of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • (1901) First elections for Federal Parliament held
  • (1903) Women granted voting rights
  • (1912) Mount Lyell fire trapped miners underground, 42 killed
  • (1914-1918) World War I
  • (1916) Worst rail disaster in Tasmania occurred after Launceston-Hobart express crashed near Campania, driver and six passengers killed
  • (1916) State's first national parks declared at Mount Field and Freycinet

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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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.