Timeline Gold Rush



  • Government Surveyor James McBrien discovers traces of gold in the Fish River, east of Bathurst.


  • Explorer and geologist Paul discovers small amounts of gold in silicate near Hartley in the Blue Mountains. On hearing of the find, New South Wales Governor George Gipps officially requests that no mentions are made of it in his reports.

the 1840's

Early gold discoveries were treated with fear.Members of the governing class were afraid that the news of gold discoveries would encourage convicts and free settlers to abandon the cities and newly established townships in their search for gold.


William Branwhite Clarke discovers traces of gold at Hassan's Wells, near Lithgow.

The 1850's

The 1850s saw the beginnings of the great Australian gold rush. Large gold deposits were discovered in various parts of Australia, particularly in the eastern States. A significant development at this time was the establishment of the Sydney Mint. This was the first Royal Mint to be established outside of England. Between 1851 and 1861, Australia produced one third of the world's gold.


  • First payable gold discovered at Ophir in NSW which started the beginning of the great Australian gold rush.


  • Gold miners searched at Eureka in Victoria, in protest at the conditions imposed by the 'Miner's Licence'. The rebellion order led to the bad laws of the Miner's Licence.


  • British Secretary of State gave permission for the establishment of the Sydney Mint. This was the first Royal Mint to be established outside of England.

the 1860's

One memorable find during this decade was the Welcome Stranger nugget, by Richard Oates and John Deason in Moliagul, Victoria.


  • Gold discovered in Queensland, at Rockhampton.


A golden nugget was discovered by John Deason and Richard Oates in Moliagul, Victoria. It is the world's largest nugget found in the world.

The 1870's

The 1870s saw the discoveries of gold in South Australia and Queensland. Interest in these colonies intensified as people started moving to the scenes of gold discoveries in the hopes of striking it rich.


  • Rich gold deposits found in North Queensland.

  • First gold discovered in SA at Birdwood.


World's largest piece of gold-bearing material, the Holtermann Nugget (a mixture of slate and gold weighing 235 kg) was found by William Holtermann at Hill End NSW.


The 1880s was a boom time for Western Australia. In 1862 the Western Australian Government had offered £5000 to anyone who could find payable gold deposits. As a result, gold was found in large deposits in several parts of the State. These discoveries led to greater success in material terms for many.


  • First WA gold discoveries at Halls Creek.It Triggered gold rush in WA.


  • Large amounts of gold found at the Murchison goldfields at WA.

The 1890's

With the discovery of major gold deposits in WA, moves were made towards combining the colonies into one nation.Made from the discoveries,at WA. The government of WA had been ok to join the other colonies as they felt they would have little influence on any decisions made by a Federal Government. With the new found wealth that the gold brought, they decided to become part of the Commonwealth.


  • Bayley and Ford discovered large gold deposits at Coolgardie in WA.


  • Hannan's discovery at Kalgoorlie,was the last and most important at the early goldfield stage.


  • The Perth Mint was set up at Kalgoorlie.