The Australian Gold Rush

  • First gold found

    First gold found
    First official reports of the finding of gold in Australia by J McBrien. The information was suppressed.
  • Period: to

    Gold Rushes

  • Gold found near Hartley

    Geologists P E Strzelecki and Rev W B Clarke find gold near Hartley.
  • Convicts' arrival in NSW ceased

    Transportation of convicts to NSW ceased.
  • Gold discovered in California

    Gold discovered and announced in California.
  • Californian Gold Rush

    Californian Gold Rush
    Californian gold rush. A great many Australians sailed for California.
  • Mining for mineral resources approved

    Governor Fitzroy approached the Colonial Office, advocating a policy for the exploitation of mineral resources. He requested a geologist, which led to the appointment of Samuel Stutchbury. This gave approval for the mining of mineral resources.
  • Australian Gold Rush began

    Australian Gold Rush began
    Edward Hargraves returned from California and washed gold at Summer Hill Creek, Ophir. Although he showed little skill in discovering new fields, he received recognition and financial rewards. The early rush to the NSW fields led to a serious decline in the population in Victoria, so a reward was offered for the discovery of gold in that region. Several claimants came forward, and by the end of 1851 the incredibly rich Ballarat and Bendigo fields were in production.
  • License fee deduction

    License fee deduction
    The licence fee in NSW was reduced to 10 pounds a month after near riots at Turon.
    Victoria followed suit a few months later.
  • Eureaka Stockade

    Eureaka Stockade
    Eureka Stockade DocumentaryDiscontent with the licensing system and lack of political rights came to a head in the Eureka Stockade. An inquiry followed.
  • Change in license fee and voting rights

    In Victoria, the licence was replaced with the `Miner's Right', costing 1 pound per annum and carrying the right to vote. An export duty of 2s 6d per ounce was placed on gold instead.
  • NSW changing like Victoria

    NSW adopted similar changes in licensing and voting to Victoria.
  • Gold discovered in British Columbia

    Gold discovered in British Columbia (25 000 prospectors).
  • Gold discovered in north Queensland

    A small deposit of gold was discovered north of Fitzroy River in north Queensland. The few acres were soon exhausted by the arrivals. 5000-6000 footsore and penniless diggers had to be helped to return to Victoria or to the inland NSW goldfields.
  • Arrival of the Chinese

    Arrival of the Chinese
    An influx of Chinese miners meant that by 1860 one fifth of all adult men in Victoria were Chinese.
  • Racism on the goldfields

    Bendigo's Chinese HistoryLambing Flat riots, in which whites attacked Chinese miners.
  • Gold discovered in New Zealand

    Workable gold discovered in New Zealand. Between 1861 and 1863, 64 000 people travelled to Otago from Australia, while only 8600 arrived from Britain.
  • Gold in WA

    Gold discovered at Coolgardie, WA.
  • Gold in QLD

    A valuable gold field discovered in Gympie, Queensland.
  • Gold in South Africa

    Valuable deposits of very deep gold discovered on the Rand, South Africa. It took money and machinery to extract this gold.
  • Gold in WA

    Gold discovered at Kalgoorlie, WA.
  • Gold in Alaska

    Gold discovered in Alaska.
  • Additional Details Pt 1

    The first goldfields were alluvial or surface goldfields, where the gold could be washed or winnowed from the soil. The life of these goldfields was short. In Victoria in 1852, it was estimated that the value of gold found by diggers was an
    average of 324 oz per head. By 1856 it had fallen to 103 oz and it further declined to 78 oz in 1865. In Victoria in 1856, there were 115 000 prospectors (or alluvial diggers.) By 1865, the number had declined to 80 000.
  • Additional Details Pt 2

    Of the Australians who went to the goldfields, many had hoped to gain a stake to establish a farm or a business. Many found employment with the mining companies, operating
    quartz-crushing machines or working on steam power generation. Others returned home or moved to other fields in Australia, New Zealand or America.