First gold findingFirst official reports of the finding of gold in Australia by J McBrien. The
information was suppressed.
Major Gold Rush Findings
Gold near HartleyGeologists P E Strzelecki and Rev W B Clarke find gold near Hartley.
Transportation stoppedTransportation of convicts to NSW ceased.
Gold discovery at CaliforniaGold was found in California (announced in December 1848).
Governor FitzroyGovernor 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
Rush to CaliforniaCalifornian gold rush. A great many Australians sailed for California.
Edward HargravesEdward 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 endof 1851 the incredibly rich Ballarat and Bendigo fields were in production.
Licence fees of 30/- a month
Travelling for goldProspectors 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 fee reductionThe licence fee in NSW was reduced to 10/- a month after near riots at Turon.
Victoria followed suit a few months later.
Dissatisfaction with licensesNot much satissfaction with the licensing system and lack of political rights came to a head in
the Eureka Stockade. An inquiry followed.
Miner's RightIn 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 changes to licensing and votingNSW adopted similar changes in licensing and voting to Victoria.
Gold in British ColumbiaGold discovered in British Columbia (25 000 prospectors).
Small deposit in FitzroyA 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.
Chinese on GolfieldsAn influx of Chinese miners meant that by 1860 one fifth of all adult men in
Victoria were Chinese.
Fight with Chinese1860-1861
Lambing Flat riots, in which whites attacked Chinese miners.
Travelling to Otago1861
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 CoolgardieGold discovered at Coolgardie, WA.
Gold field in GympieA valuable gold field discovered in Gympie, Queensland.
Large depositsValuable deposits of very deep gold discovered on the Rand, South Africa. It took
money and machinery to extract this gold.
Gold at KalgoorlieGold discovered at Kalgoorlie, WA.
Lots of gold!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. Of th