The Australian Gold Rush

By Joycew
  • The First Finding

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

    The Australian Gold Rush

  • Gold in Hartley

    Gold in Hartley
    Geologists P E Strzelecki and Rev W B Clarke find gold near Hartley.
  • Transportation decreases

    Transportation decreases
    Transportation of convicts to NSW ceased.
  • Gold strikes California

    Gold strikes California
    Gold discovered in California (announced in December 1848).
  • The rush begins

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

    Mining 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.
  • Edward Hargraves

    Edward Hargraves
    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.Licence fees of 30/- a month.
  • Prospectors arrive

    Prospectors arrive
    Prospectors started arriving from overseas. Approximately 100 000 arrived in 1852. Ships' crews deserted. Women were left while their husbands went in search of gold. Australia's population went from 404 276 to 1 097 305 between
    1850 and 1860. Small gold deposits were discovered in New Zealand.
  • Licence fees drop

    Licence fees drop
    The licence fee in NSW was reduced to 10/- a month after near riots at Turon. Victoria followed suit a few months later.
  • Eureka stockade

    Eureka stockade
    Discontent with the licensing system and lack of political rights came to a head in the Eureka Stockade. An inquiry followed.
  • The miners right

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

    NSW follows VIC
    NSW adopted similar changes in licensing and voting to Victoria.
  • Gold Finds in British Columbia

    Gold Finds in British Columbia
    Gold discovered in British Columbia (25 000 prospectors).
  • A find in Fitzroy river

    A find in Fitzroy river
    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.
  • The chinese

    The chinese
    An influx of Chinese miners meant that by 1860 one fifth of all adult men in Victoria were Chinese.
  • Whites attack the chinese

    Whites attack the chinese
    Lambing Flat riots, in which whites attacked Chinese miners.
  • Gold discovered in New Zealand

    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 in WA
    Gold discovered at Coolgardie, WA.
  • Valuable gold in Gympie

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

    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.
  • Kalgoorlie joins Coolgardie

    Kalgoorlie joins Coolgardie
    Gold discovered at Kalgoorlie, WA.
  • Gold discovered in Alaska 1

    Gold discovered in Alaska 1
    Gold discovered in Alaska. 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.
  • Gold discovered in Alaska 2

    Gold discovered in Alaska 2
    This is continued from the previous one. 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.