TERRA AUSTRALIS - THE BELIEF IS OUT THERE
The origin of man's belief in the existence of a "Terra Australis" can be traced back to Greece over 2000 years ago. Once it was discovered that the earth was most likely round (Aristotle 384-322 B.C.), it seemed reasonable to scholars that many unknown lands also existed.
A CHRONOLOGY OF AUSTRALIAN DISCOVERY
A number of ships found Australian shores prior to European settlement. Here is the list and story of each ship known to have landed. MORE
Meantime in England, jails (goals) are extremely over-crowded and England has gone to the dogs. In 1717, a new law is introduced to help England get rid of it's criminals, shipping them out seemed the only answer... MORE
THE FIRST FLEET SAILS
England, 1787. A decision to send convicts to "New South Wales" has been made. Capt. Arthur Phillip is selected to organise the expedition... MORE
BEGINNING A NEW COLONY
Capt. Arthur Phillip is selected as Australia's first governor. His choice of people to help ensured this mission was going to be a success. MORE
Capt. Phillip himself was a great explorer. Not so happy with Botany Bay as a port, on the very first day he explored to discover Sydney Cove... SOON
Convicts are criminals that were sentenced to social or political crimes in Britain (usually for terms of 7 to 14 years, or life) and transported to one of many penal settlements.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
On his voyages circum-navigating the continent during 1801 - 1803, explorer Matthew FLINDERS established the single identity of land masses known as New South Wales & New Holland. He suggested it be called "Australia". Sir Joseph BANKS disagreed because a similar name "Austrialia" was already given to New Hebrides. Matthew reluctantly agreed to substitute the name "Terra Australis" in his voyage accounts. It was not until 10 years after Flinders' death when in 1824, New South Wales Governor Lachlan MACQUARIE recommended the adoption of the name "Australia".
AUSTRALIA AS AN HEMP COLONY?
One of Australia's first exports was New Zealand hemp. Initial testing went well and Australia proved itself worthy to supply the King with clothing and rope. MORE
THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHRANGERS
Originally termed "bolters", early convicts often absconded to go 'walkabout' breaking the tedium of monotonous and dreadful conditions. Usually, after a short spell of freedom most would return to settlement and receive the customary 50 lashes. MORE