Australian Gold Rush

Would you like to learn about the major events that took place during the Australian gold rush? Read our factual and informative guide...

The Australian gold rush marked the intense movement of people onto the country from the neighboring regions; it marked a period where the common man harnessed the dreams of becoming a millionaire in an instant. After the discovery of vast quantities of gold in Australia and other parts of the world such as Canada, United States, Brazil and South Africa; intense migration was observed into these countries.

The Australian gold rush was the richest gold rush in the world; it started around 1851. The tale began when Edward Hammond Hargraves went to the Lewis Pond creek with his guide John Lister; when the men filled and washed some pots in the pan; they found that there were small nuggets of gold in the vessels. The news spread like wild fire and everybody wanted a piece of the riches. Over the next few days several hundred people from all walks of life took to digging for dear life to find their share of the gold.

It was later disputed that it was not Hargraves but a farmer named James Tom who discovered the first few pieces of gold; however by then Hargraves was named as the Crown Land Commissioner for New South Wales. The matter was raked up again in 1899 just before the end of his life; this time the ruling was against him but at that point it did not matter.
The Australian god rush began in New South Wales and was followed by the discovery of gold in other locations such as the Clunes, Buninyong, Ballaret and Bandigo creek. Following these discoveries gold was also found in the other states of the country. The Victorian good rush was the biggest of all other Australian gold rushes and took place right after the gold rush of California The Australian gold rush was an important historical turning point because it provided the momentum needed for political and economic development and the need for social reforms in major areas of the country like Melbourne and Victoria.

Major developmental projects were put under way after the gold rush to meet the growing demand of civic facilities. Railways and telephone lines were constructed and major parts of the city were developed. Since there was a massive inflow of immigrants into the country during the gold rush, facilities were also required to house these people which added to the economic growth of the country. The trickling in of people from all countries, cultures and walks of life, gave Australia it’s multicultural society. However, this also ended the penal transportation to the colonies.