Short History of Australia

Indigenous Australia

Exploration of Australia

Covers pre settlement of Australia by Europeans as well as interior exploration after settlement

European Exploration of Australia

Jansz lands on Cape York Penisula

The Dutch Captain Willem Jansz might have made landfall on Cape York, and charted 300 kms of the coast of a new continent without realising it.

de Torres sails through Torres Strait

Luís Vaz de Torres (Portuguese) -17th century maritime explorer serving the Spanish Crown, noted for the first recorded navigation of the strait which separates the continent of Australia from the island of New Guinea, and which now bears his name (Torres Strait).

Hartog reaches Western Australia

Dutch sailor Dirk Hartog sails to the West coast of Australia in the area now known as Shark Bay. An island named after him is located here.

Carstensz maps Cape York

Tasman claims Van Diemen's Land(Tasmania) for Holland

The Batavia (Jakarta) Governor-General Van Diemen sent Abel Tasman to search for the undiscovered continent, there being 'good reasons [to suppose that] many attractive and fruitful lands are located therein' as it was in a temperate climate. He was away for ten months and accidentally came upon Tasmania which he claimed and named Van Diemen's Land. He next found and named New Zealand.

Tasman charts the north of Australia

Two years later, on another voyage, Tasman sailed along the northern coast of Australia (which became known as New Holland) from North West Cape in WA to Cape York.

Dampier is first Englishman to land on Australian Soil

British Settlement of Australia

British Settlement from First Fleet to Federation

First Fleet Arrives in Australia


Officially becomes federation of six states - Commonwealth of Australia

Commonwealth of Australia

Commonwealth of Australia formed as an independent nation under the British Empire ( later Commonwealth


White Australia Policy