The first gold rush in Australia began in 1851 when prospector Edward Hargraves claimed the discovery of payable gold near Bathurst , New South Wales at a site he called Ophir . [ 1 ] Eight months later, gold was found in Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria causing large influxes of prospectors . Australia's total population more than tripled from 430,000 in 1851 to 1.7 million in 1871. [ 2 ]
The transportation of convicts to Australia was phased out between 1840 and 1868. By 1860, the continent of Australia had been divided into FIVE separate colonies (not officially states yet, mate but seperation away from New South Wales), each not seeing eye-to-eye and exhibiting more loyalty to London to each other. A major force within the colonies was the “squatocracy” – the rich officers and settlers a.k.a. opportunists who had followed the explorers into fertile hinterlands.
The bonanza in California was only the beginning. An Australian named Edward Hammond Hargraves, who had been there, was certain that the same geological features were to be found in his own country. Returning on the boat from California late in 1850, he predicted that he would find gold within a week.
Australian Gold Rush
Gold was first discovered in South Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia in 1846 at the Victoria mine near Castambul , City of Adelaide. The 12 ounce nugget was dug up by J. Richards.
Australian History: Turn Back Time
Era: 1840 - 1900 Cultural background: Chinese , English Collection: Powerhouse Museum Theme: Gold Government Labour Movement Miners Riots Settlement
Sailing to California at the beginning of the Gold Rush
The first major mineral discovery - gold - was a watershed (a turning point or landmark) for Australian society. The initial stages of the gold rush were responsible for tremendous changes in the community, bringing Australia's first great waves of immigration from countries other than England and Ireland.
Gold! Gold is found in rocks and in the ground. People came to look for gold in Australia.
The gold diggings
The Eureka Flag based on the constellation of the Southern Cross.