Australia, formerly called New Holland, an island, classed as a continent by most geographers, lying S. E. of Asia and the Sunda islands, between the Indian and the Southern Pacific oceans, and extending from lat. 10° 43' to 39° 9' S., and from lon. 113° to 153° E. From its western extremity, Steep point, to its extreme eastern point, Cape Byron, its length is 2,500 m.; and its breadth, from Cape York, its northernmost point, to its southern extremity at Cape Wilson, is 1,900 m. Its entire coast line embraces a circuit of 8,000 m., and its area is estimated at 3,000,000 sq. m. The configuration of the Australian coast displays little irregularity; there are but two or three large peninsulas, and although small bays are found along almost the whole coast line, the gulf of Carpentaria, and the large inlet leading to Cambridge gulf and Queen's channel on the north, and Spencer and St. Vincent gulfs on the south, are the only deep indentations. A long curve of the southern coast forms the vast bay called the Great Australian bight, but this is only a portion of the open ocean. - From'the N. E. extremity of the continent, where the long, triangular peninsula of York lies between the gulf of Carpentaria and the Pacific, its northern extremity only separated from New Guinea by the narrow Torres strait, the coast trends southeastward for more than 1,400 m. to Cape Byron, where its direction suddenly changes to southwest.
Along the greater part of this N. E. stretch of coast, from Cape York nearly to the Great Sandy island, lie the Great Barrier reefs, the most extensive range of coral reefs known in the world. Frequent though often dangerous passages through this barrier permit the entrance of vessels into the sea lying between it and the mainland, a body of water varying in breadth from its southern entrance, where it is a broad open sea, the reefs lying at a great distance from the coast, to its central-point at Cape Tribulation, where it hardly affords even a passage. Further N. it again stretches away from the coast, extending across the E. end of Torres strait. Near the southern entrance of the sea thus enclosed, and a little N. of Sandy island, are numerous good harbors. The coast is here made up of high and precipitous cliff's, and this formation continues to characterize its whole extent, as far as its southern extremity, with the exception of a small portion S. of Cape Howe. Below Cape Byron, where it trends to the southwest, it contains some of the best harbors in the world, chief among them that of Port Jackson at Sydney. The S. coast, from Cape Wilson W. to the beginning of the Great Australian bight, is also celebrated for its excellent harbors; only a short strip of coast E. of Encounter bay is without good shelter.
But with the Australian bight begins a long uniform line of cliffs without refuge of any kind for vessels, steep and rugged, and continuing W. as far as the Recherche archipelago. West of this are a few safe ports. The W. and N. W. coasts are the least favorable of all to navigators; they are generally destitute of harbors, only a few really useful ones being found near the Buccaneer archipelago*. The N. W. coast is high and rocky, the western low and sandy. The N. coast, made most irregular of all by the two peninsulas of Arnhem Land and York, and by the gulf of Carpentaria, has in its western part some of the best harbors of the continent, though they are not as well known as the southern ports. The gulf of Carpentaria itself has a sandy, low, and dangerous E. coast, but its western side has numerous sheltered bays and safe navigation. That portion of the Indian ocean which washes this coast, extending between New Guinea and Australia to the Torres strait, is called the Ara-fura sea. - The interior has been only partially explored.
It seems to have the character of a table land of moderate height studded with groups of small mountains, and in the interior sometimes sinking into low swampy valleys; while on the general level of the table land itself are vast plains, sometimes fertile, but oftener sandy, or covered with the long stiff grass called spinifex. There are many swamps, but few ponds or useful watercourses. Large desert tracts, covered with stones or low shrubbery, are frequently found. Near the coasts, however, greater and sometimes luxuriant fertility prevails, and here the varied surface of the country displays some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The southeastern and eastern portions of Australia are all that have thus far been thoroughly and scientifically explored. Along the whole E. side of the continent lie ranges of mountains of considerable height, sometimes actually touching the coast, but generally in their southern portion lying at an average distance of 40 to 50 m. from it, while in the north they are still more distant. These are often considered as a single range, but are more correctly divided into several distinct portions.
The Australian Pyrenees and the Grampian Hills, which run parallel to the S. coast E. and W. of Melbourne, may be considered a western offshoot from the southern extremity of this system. Their summits are generally low, but in two or three places near their junction with the principal range they attain a height of between 5,500 and 6,000 ft. The first of the main chain of the E. coast, beginning at Cape Wilson, are the highest mountains of the country, the Australian Alps, hav-.ing their principal peaks, according to Peter-mann's map of 1872, in Mt. Kosciusko, 7,17(5 ft. high, the loftiest peak yet discovered in Australia, and Mt. Hotham, 6,414 ft. In the neighborhood of these mountains lies the grandest scenery of the continent. Ragged cliffs of great height, crowned with forests, hem in the fertile valley of the Murray river, which has its source in this range. These rugged Alpine features characterize the entire chain, and the smaller parallel ranges and offshoots are scarcely less picturesque. N. of the Australian Alps and W. of Sydney are the Blue mountains, the next group in the chain. They nowhere reach a greater height than 4,100 ft., but the same wild scenery prevails through their whole extent.
N. of these again lies the Liverpool range, trending toward the east, where the somewhat isolated Mt. Sea View rises to the height of 6,000 ft., and lying almost at right angles to the general direction of the system. W. of the Blue mountains are two other chains, offshoots of the main formation - the Honeysuckle range and the Canobo-las group, the latter of greater height than any peaks of the Blue mountains themselves. N. of the Liverpool range the mountains become more scattered, extending E. and W., and no longer preserving the narrow and regular line their principal peaks have heretofore kept. In this irregular mountain region the principal summit is Mt. Lindsay, S. W. of Brisbane, 5,700 ft. high. From this point the same wide and irregular formation extends to the north, at least into York peninsula, and probably even to its extremity. It appears, from such explorations as have been made, to attain its greatest height in the S. E. part of the peninsula. Along the S. coast, near the head of Spencer gulf, are low chains of mountains little more than 3,000 ft. high. The Darling, Herschel, and Victoria ranges, which have been discovered on the S. W. coast, have seldom a height of more than 2,000 ft. One peak, however.
Mt. Bruce, near King George's sound, is a little more than 3,100 ft. high. No considerable mountains have been discovered in the interior of the continent. - Very few of the rivers of Australia are navigable, and in most of them running water is only found during a small portion of the year. The most remarkable peculiarity of these streams is the suddenness with which, even when full of water, they disappear into a quicksand or marsh. Thus, although these creeks and rivers are almost innumerable, they fail to irrigate the soil. Only a few exceptions to this rule are found. Among these the chief is the Murray or Goohva, which rises in the Australian Alps, and flows about W. N. W. for more than 500 m., when, by a sharp turn in its course, called the Great Bend of the Murray, it changes direction to the S., and empties 100 m. further into Lake Alexandria, a basin connected with the sea. The Murray and its tributaries, the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan, are lasting streams; but of its other tributaries there are none which do not become partially dry in the summer. Even the Darling, a river of considerable size flowing into the Murray from the north, shares this peculiarity.
The other permanent streams of Australia are short and of comparatively little importance; the best known are those which flow from the coast ranges directly into the sea. Among them are the Hawkesbury, Hunter, Clarence, Brisbane, Fitzroy, and Burdekin, on the eastern coast; the Glenelg, Hopkins, Yarra-Yarra, and others, on the southern; the Swan, Murchison, Gascoyne, and Fortescue, on the western; and on the northern, the Victoria, Alligator, Roper, and Flinders. The lakes of Australia consist, during the greater part of the year, of swamps full of weeds and grass, or of mere beds of mud or sand. This applies even to the largest inland bodies of water yet discovered, which lie grouped together near the centre of the S. coast, N. of Spencer gulf. Here is Lake Torrens, about 140 m. in length, but very narrow, lying about 40 m. from the head of the gulf; and 50 m. further N., Eyre lake, still larger. E. of this is Lake Gregory, which might be more correctly called Gregory lakes, since it is divided into numerous parts, between which no considerable communication has been discovered.
W. of Lake Torrens lies the extensive Lake Gairdner, and E. of it Lake Frome. The water of this group of lakes contains a large proportion of salt, and salt also abounds in the marshes and innumerable swampy ponds which lie in this region. - The geological structure of Australia has not been thoroughly ascertained. It appears, however, that the main table land rests on tertiary sandstone, directly overlying the primary rocks, the fact that no traces of a secondary formation have been found forming one of the most remarkable features of Australian geology. The mountains rising from the table land in the interior are, on the contrary, generally of volcanic structure. In the range of the S. W. coast primary rocks are most prominent - granite, syenite, etc.; and all the greater coast ranges probably resemble these. In several of the great valleys in the S. E. part is found a limestone containing numerous fossils. Bituminous coal is abundant near Newcastle at the mouth of Hunter river in the eastern part of New South Wales, and large mines are already worked there. Rich deposits of copper are also found at Burra-Burra, Wallaroo, and Ka-punda in South Australia - that at Burra-Burra being probably the richest in the world.
The famous gold fields are in the Bathurst district and the N. W. part of Victoria. Every indication shows that only in the latest geological period has Australia risen from the sea. The recent deposits following directly on the primary rocks, the salt lakes, the whole construction of the continent, indicate this; and geologists affirm that the southern coast is still in process of imperceptible but constant upheaval. - The climate of Australia is exceedingly hot, but dry and healthy in such southern parts as are already colonized, where it appears favorable to European constitutions, and resembles in many particulars the climate of Spain. In the extreme north, beyond the tropic of Capricorn, which crosses the continent near its centre, the heat is more oppressive, and the absence of large streams gives almost the arid climate of a desert. Here, however, the tropical rainy season brings relief with unfailing regularity, lasting from November till April; while in the south the rains, though of tropical violence, are irregular, occurring at intervals between March and September, and often leaving the country exposed to long droughts.
There appears to be almost no rain in certain portions of the central corftinent, and these have become deserts, from which hot winds blow toward the coast, carrying clouds of sand. Extraordinary variations of temperature are among the most remarkable phenomena of the country. Falls in the mercury of 20° to 30° F. in half an hour are common on the coast, especially in the summer; and comparing the reading of the thermometer in the sun at noon with the same at midnight, a variation of 99° in the 12 hours has been observed. The average height of the thermometer for the year on the N. coast is about 80°; at Port Macquarie on the E. coast, 68°; at Port Jackson (Sydney), 66°; at Melbourne, on the S. coast, 61°; at Perth, on the W. coast, 64°. In summer, however, the mercury often rises to 100°, or even 120°. One traveller (William Howitt) has even stated his experience at 139°. - The animals of Australia are peculiar, not less in themselves than in their distribution. The carnivora are few, and the only really destructive beast of prey is the dingo, an animal in size between a fox and a wolf, and resembling a dog. The dingoes roam about in packs and attack sheep, killing and wounding many, but eating few. Ruminating animals and pachyderms are unknown.
But while Australia is thus deficient in the classes of animals most abundant in other parts of the world, its fauna consists very largely of a class elsewhere but sparingly represented - the mar-supialia or pouched animals. Of these the largest and perhaps the most common is the kangaroo. A smaller species of this animal is called the wallaby. The opossum, the petau-rus or flying opossum, and the dasyurus (a carnivorous pouched animal) are the other species most frequently met with. Another peculiar family inhabiting Australia are the monotre-mata, including the two curious species echidna, or porcupine ant-eater, and omithorhyn-chus. The latter species is a water animal shaped like a beaver, but has web feet, a bill like that of a duck, and in the case of the male spurs upon the hind feet. (See Mono-teemata.) There are five species of rodents, four small and insignificant, and one somewhat larger and resembling the beaver in its habits. The birds include several of the largest species of eagles, falcons, and owls. Parrots of the most brilliant plumage, birds of paradise, and orioles are abundant; while among the peculiar birds are the emu, the black swan, the ibis, and the "laughing jackass" or "bushman's clock," a large kingfisher, with a remarkable voice.
The marine animals include the dugong, found along the northern shore between More-ton bay and Cape York. Sharks abound on all the coasts. The amphibious animals are few and small. Few of the serpents are venomous, and none are of great size. The insects, however, include several species whose bite is poisonous - the scorpion centipede, and several kinds of spiders. Ants of all sizes abound;' some are found an inch long, living in immense hills, and really formidable from their swarming attack and painful bite. - It is said that nine tenths of the 8,000 species of plants found in Australia are unknown elsewhere, and are entirely unconnected with the forms of vegetation of any other division of the world. The great majority of these belong to two genera, the eucalypti (a genus of the myrtle family) and the acacias. Of the former more than 100 varieties are known, spread over the whole continent. Many of the trees of this genus attain the height of 200 ft., with a girth at the base of 30 or 40 ft. Of the acacias, too, more than 100 species have been discovered. Cedars and casuarina are the chief representatives of the conifera3. Xanthorchaeae are abundant, and near the coast grow to a height of 300 ft., the principal kind being called by the colonists the black boy or grass gum tree.
Only a few palms are found. The principal Australian trees, the eucalypti and many of the acacias, have some remarkable peculiarities. Both have their leaves perpendicular to the surface of the earth - the edges of the leaves turned toward the ground instead of their flat sides. Many of the eucalypti shed their bark, but their leaves do not change, remaining green and on the tree through the whole year. Among the other curiosities of the Australian flora are the arborescent ferns, which attain the perfection of trees, putting forth branches eight to twelve feet long; the giant lily (dory-anthemum), an object of great beauty; the tea tree (leptospermum grandiflorum); and the remarkable stench plant (hydrocotyle densi-flora). In the interior of the continent the giant kangaroo grass, so high as to conceal cattle, or even a horse and rider, is found covering great plains; while the more sterile tracts are covered with the hard, sharp spini-fex (triodia pungens). The brilliant flowers of Australia have little fragrance, but the leaves of several kinds of trees are highly aromatic. - Though the continent has few indigenous fruits or useful vegetable products, nearly all those of other countries thrive in its climate.
On the N. E coast, in the Moreton Bay settlement, the Japanese loquot, the date palm, and the prickly pear, cotton, sugar, coffee, and tobacco have been naturalized; while bananas, oranges, and lemons grow here, as well as on the W. coast. In New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, the cereals flourish with unsurpassed productiveness, and G4 lbs. to the bushel has been produced in Australian wheat. All kinds of garden produce are of superior character; almonds, figs, apricots, melons, grapes, quinces, apples, pears, and plums are produced in great quantities. - The mineral wealth of Australia, even if we consider only that portion already developed, is remarkable. It has been known from very early times to possess iron and other minerals. The gold existing in pure masses does not seem to depend on stratification, but has probably been upheaved along with other matter, and washed down by surface or subterranean currents. All that can be safely predicated of the materials in company with which gold is found, is that quartz and pipe clay are very generally associated with it. The quartz is abundant, and is found from minute pebbles worn smooth by attrition to huge blocks of many tons' weight which crop out from the surface in irregular and fantastic forms.
It is usually milk-white and opaque, but occasionally attains a semi-crystalline transparency. Besides this, however, gold is found intermixed with sandstone, ironstone, and white and blue clay. The range over which gold extends is altogether undetermined. Recent accounts announce its discovery at the furthest limits of exploration. The profitable diggings have until recently been confined to the Bathurst district, in the north of New South Wales, and to the hill country in the north and northwest of Victoria; but the new diggings in Queensland, especially at Gympie, are yielding very richly. In minute portions gold has been found all over the colonies. It was at first met with in small pieces on the actual surface; as the surface supply became exhausted, it was found at a short distance down, and the diggings have increased in depth as they have decreased in general richness. At Ballarat, near Geelong, where the most valuable lumps of gold have been procured (28, 60, and 136 lbs. in weight), the shafts are sunk to a depth of more than 100 feet.
The gold has never been found otherwise than in detached pieces or particles, varying in size from minute globules to weighty masses; and where its close contiguity has assumed the character of a vein, it is only that the deposit has been washed together into a subterranean channel or gutter. The copper mines of Burra-Burra and other localities, and the coal deposits in various quarters, have already been referred to. Tin, lead, silver, and precious stones of various kinds have also been discovered in the search for gold, and passed over for the present. - The aborigines of Australia are of a distinct race from that inhabiting the Indian archipelago. They are found only in the Australian islands, in New Guinea, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Solomon islands. The New Zealanders are' akin to the inhabitants of Polynesia. The Australians are black, with some slight variety of shade from brown-black to jet. They have curly hair, but not the crisp wool of the negro. Their faces are well developed, broad at the base, their lips less protruding than those of the negro; their bodies are deficient in muscularity and strength, but capable of great endurance. They are superior in native intelligence to the Tierra del Fuegans, and they readily adopt European habits.
They seldom build huts or other fixed dwellings, but content themselves with a strip of bark or a large bough as a shelter from the wind. Whether they knew the use of fire is uncertain; they now kindle fires by rubbing two dry sticks together. But they frequently eat their food raw, and their cooking is performed by making a hole in the ground, lighting a fire in it, putting in the slain animal, and covering it with earth until the fire is out, when it is considered sufficiently cooked. In the wild districts they go entirely nuked; in the vicinity of settlements they wear sheepskins, or the blankets and clothing distributed to them by the settlers. They have not the use of the bow, but are expert with the spear, which they fling TO or 80 yards with the greatest nicety. They use the club or waddy; and they have the boomerang, a peculiar missile, resembling a double-edged wooden sword, bent to an ellipse; on being thrown into the air it strikes the ground at a distance and rebounds toward the thrower. The several tribes are engaged in frequent feuds with each other, but are not usually courageous in the presence of the whites. In the early times of the colony, however, they frequently exhibited great pertinacity in their attacks on out-stations. Their temper is generally pacific and friendly.
Their numbers are very limited; the highest recent estimate is 50,000, and even this is probably much over the mark. The use of ardent spirits has made great ravages among them. They are subject to cutaneous diseases, attributable to their extremely filthy habits. They are polygamists, and their marriages are entirely without ceremony, the bridegroom merely carrying away the bride, with or without her consent. Their burials, on the contrary, are accompanied by certain superstitious observances; the dead are buried in the exact places in which they died, and these spots are never inhabited again by members of the dead men's tribe. The names of the dead are never pronounced, and those bearing the same names are obliged to change them. Their religious opinions are simple; they believe in a good and a bad spirit. They believe that white men are the reanimated souls of blacks. Many efforts for their conversion to Christianity have been made, but without permanent success. All the colonial governments keep up native schools. In New South Wales a black police was at one time formed, whose services were very valuable in tracking depredators, from their native skill in following a trail.
Some few of the blacks are occasionally employed as stockmen or shepherds; but they are, like all savages, averse to regular labor of any kind. They are rapidly decreasing in number, and in a few decades will probably be almost extinct. - The political divisions of Australia, the dates of their official organization as colonies, their areas (chiefly estimated), and their population in 1871, are as follows:
Australian Man and Woman. (From Photographs).
Date of Orpani-zation.
Area in square miles.
Population in 1871.
New South Wales......
Northern Territory (not yet organized)..............
The rapid growth of the colonies may be seen from the fact that New South Wales in 1821 only numbered 29,783 inhabitants; Victoria in 1836, 224; South Australia in 1838, 6,000. The majority of the inhabitants of each colony are of British descent; the number of natives of Germany is 9,000 in New South Wales, with a smaller number in the other colonies. The number of Chinese is about 70,000 (17,000 in Victoria), and it is steadily increasing. The largest cities and towns of Australia are Melbourne (Victoria), pop. 190,000; Sydney (New South Wales), 135,000; Ballarat (Victoria), 74,000; Sandhurst (Victoria), 34,000; Adelaide (South Australia), 27,000; and Geelong (Victoria), 22,000. - In the early days of the Australian colonies clergymen were merely chaplains to the convict establishments. Subsequently an act was passed for the support of Episcopal churches and schools, to which one seventh of the crown lands was to be devoted. Sir Richard Bourke prevailed upon the English government to assist all denominations of Christians in building places of worship and supporting their ministers. In Queensland an act was passed in 1860 abolishing state aid to religion altogether, and the other colonies are likewise more or less approaching the voluntary system.
Thus the most populous colony, Victoria, has reduced the state aid to an annual subsidy of £50,000. The number of Roman Catholics in 1871 was estimated at 250, 000; of Jews, 5,500; of Mohammedans and pagans, about 42,000. A few thousand belong to no religion; the remainder are Protestants, more than one half being connected with the church of England. This church has nine bishops, namely, of Sydney, Newcastle, Bath-urst, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Goulburn, and Grafton and Armidale. The Roman Catholic church in 1871 had one archbishop (in Sydney) and ten bishops. - The causs of education has made great progress. Each of the colonies has its board or council of education, consisting of a number of members appointed by the government. The system of public education is more or less assimilated to the national system in Ireland. The government provides, under conditions which differ in the several colonies, for the establishment of common schools, and also grants aid to schools not established by the government on their complyinii; with certain regulations. The state also assists the formation and maintenance of educational establishments of a more advanced character. In several colonies education has been made compulsory.
In 1871 the number of schools under the control of the government boards amounted to about 3,640, with 255,000 pupils under 6,600 teachers. Nearly all the colleges, of which there are many, bear a denominational character. Sydney and Melbourne have universities. - The revenues of the colonies are chiefly derived from duties, public lands, the post office, railroads and telegraphs, stamp duties, and licenses. The public debts have been chiefly contracted for the establishment of railroads, ports, and other public works. The foregoing table exhibits the revenue, expenditures, and public debt of each of the colonies in 1870. - Gold still constitutes the chief article of export. The aggregate value of precious metals exported from Australia amounted in 1869 to £10,870,000. Next to gold the most important article of export is wool, the value of which in 1869 was estimated at £8,161,000. South x\ustralia exports large quantities of wheat (£866,870 in 1869) and copper (£622,681). The breeding of cattle has become an important occupation of the colonists. The colonies had in 1871 about 22,100,000 sheep, 2,600,000 horned cattle, and 732,000 horses.
The following table exhibits the imports and exports of the colonies in 1870:
New South Wales..
10 385 900*
New South Wales...........
The merchant navy of the colonies consisted on Jan. 1, 1871, of 1,192 vessels, with an aggregate of 169,000 tons. The entries and clearances in the Australian ports in 1869 rep-sented an aggregate of 3,774,909 tons. All the colonies had railroads at the close of 1871, with the exception of Western Australia, where their introduction was expected at an early date. The greatest progress in this respect has been made in New South Wales, which in 1871 had 431 m. of railroads. The aggregate length of the Australian railroads at the close of 1871 was about 1,110 m., and a very considerable extension of the railroad system was about taking place in several colonies. The electric telegraph has been introduced into each of the colonies. The length of the wires | in 1871 was 5,053 m. in New South Wales, 3,368 in Victoria, and about 13,400 in all the colonies. All the colonies except Western Aus-tralia are connected with each other by tele-graph, and since 1869 by a submarine cable with Tasmania. Telegraphic connection between Australia and England, by means of a submarine cable connecting Java and Port Darwin, was nearly completed at the beginning of 1872. The government in each colony consists of a governor appointed in England, a legislative council, and a legislative assembly elected by universal suffrage. - Australia first became known to Europeans in the beginning of the 17th century.
Though a vague outline of land in this portion of the southern ocean appears upon the map of some Portuguese navigators dated 1542, the first real discovery was probably made by the Dutch in 1606, when the captain of the yacht Dnyfken, sent out from Bantam to explore a part of the coast of New Guinea, saw the northern shore of the continent at a distance. In the same year Torres strait was named from a Portuguese navigator who sailed through it. In 1616 Hartog, a Dutch captain, came upon the W. coast of Australia and called it Endracht's Land, from the name of his ship. From this time other parts of the W. coast were discovered. In 1622 the Leeuwin discovered the S. coast at Cape Leeuwin, and shortly after Van Nuyts sailed from that cape on the S. coast to Spencer's gulf. De Witt's Land and Carpentaria, in North Australia, were also discovered by Dutch traders. Capt. Cook in 1770 discovered New South Wales and Botany Bay, which was so called by Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist of the expedition, from the wonderful floral display which its plains afforded. In 1788 the first English colony was established in New South Wales, at first as a penal settlement.
The original design of the British government was to make this penal station at Botany Bay itself; but a better locality was found at Sydney, and Capt. Phillip was sent out with a squadron having on board 850 convicts and a guard of 200 men and officers. In this convict colony, placed as it was under the absolute control of a governor with almost unlimited power, every kind of abuse and vice grew up; and of these the free colonists who afterward began to settle in the district felt the effects in many ways. A conflict grew up between them and the government on the question of abolishing the transportation system; and after endeavoring, under a long succession of governors, to devise some means of keeping up the two plans of a convict colony and a free colony together, the government was obliged to yield, principally by the efforts of the "Anti-Transportation League" formed against its measures, and to issue an order in council in 1837 abolishing transportation to New South Wales, and restricting it to Van Diemen's Land; even here it was abolished in 1853. From this time the attention of the English was more and more attracted toward Australia, and explorations of the other coasts and even of the interior followed in rapid succession.
In 1798 and 1799 Flinders and Bass, two Englishmen, carefully surveyed the S. and E. coasts. In 1800-'l Grant and Murray explored the western part of the S. coast, and their work was continued both to the eastward and northward during the ne::t three years by Baudin, Frey-cinet, and Flinders. During the period from 1788 to 1791, explorations in the interior were also undertaken by Phillip, Tench, and Dawes. In 1796 Hunter penetrated to the mountains called by his name. In 1813 Wentworth, Blaxland, and Lawson crossed the Blue mountain and discovered the Bathurst plains, which in 1815 became the seat of a branch colony. In the same year Evans explored the valley of the Lachlan. In the succeeding five years Jefferies, Kelly, and King completed the survey of the coasts. Oxley, who travelled through the eastern mountain system in 1818, Hovell and Hume, who explored the region of the Australian Alps from 1818 to 1824, and Cunningham, who spent the six years from 1823 to 1829 in the northern part of the same district, were the next noteworthy explorers. In 1828 and the years following Sturt made several expeditions of importance, and in 1829 he discovered the Darling river.
In 1829 also was founded the second of the chief colonies - that which still bears the name of Western Australia. The first settlement was at Perth. In 1832 Bennett, and in 1835 and the succeeding year Major Mitchel, explored southern Australia, and the latter followed the Darling to its confluence with the Murray, besides discovering the Grampian hills, and making other noteworthy additions to the knowledge of the interior. In 1835 also the first settlement in the future colony of Victoria was made at Port Phillip. In the mean time several attempts to colonize other parts of the coast had failed; a settlement had been made in Arnhem's Land in 1824, and several others in subsequent years on the W. side of the island, but none of these endured more than a few years. In 1836, however, a successful colony was begun in South Australia, at Adelaide. In 1839 and ness of all kinds was momentarily suspended. Agriculture was for that year almost abandoned. Every article of food and clothing was imported from Europe, labor and merchandise advanced to prices to which there seemed to be no probability of a limit, and much time was required to bring Australian atfairs into their ordinary channel. Among the industries which have grown up, the raising of sheep has the most prominent place.
The great sheep runs, occupying immense tracts of land, have become a principal feature of the country. Merino and other fine breeds, imported early into the colonies, have increased with great rapidity - in Queensland alone from three to nine million head in the last ten years - and the statistics show the extraordinary amount of wool annually yielded, and nearly all exported. - The recent progress of the country has been uninterrupted and rapid. The era of speculation seems to have nearly passed away, and the affairs of the colonies are gradually assuming the settled aspect of those of older states. Explorations are constantly made in the interior, and the large tracts still unsettled near the coast are attracting a considerable immigration, which, now that the resources of the continent are properly developed, is not likely to be discontinued. - For more specific information, see the articles on the different colonies.
J the three following years Stokes made a series of important exploring expeditions along the coast. The interior, chiefly between the Pacific and the gulfs of Carpentaria and Spencer, was explored in the following three decades by those of Eyre, Leichhardt, Sturt, the brothers Gregory and Helpman, Kennedy, Austin, Stuart, Babbage, the brothers Dempster, Burke and Wills, Landsborough, McKin-lay, Lefroy, Mclntyre, Forrest, Brown, and others, several of whom became the victims of their zeal and boldness. Emigration to the newly founded colonies was very slow; large numbers of discouraged settlers left Australia for the South American coast or for other countries; and in 1850, after all the attempts made during GO years of colonization, the European population was estimated at only 50,000.
An event now occurred which suddenly changed the whole condition and prospects of the continent. This was the discoverv of add in 1851, in the Bathurst district of New South Wales, by a gentleman returned from California, Mr. Ilargreaves. Count Strzelecki had previously announced the existence of gold in Australia, and Sir Roderick Murchison, examining a piece of Australian quartz, had inferred it from his knowledge of the gold washings in the Ural mountains. The discovery of gold in quantities on the Turon river, in New South Wales, early in the year, first drew a number of diggers to that district. In the latter end of 1851, however, diggings of far greater value were discovered in Victoria, and then commenced an influx of immigrants which, as in the case of California, produced results that set all foresight and calculation at defiance. In a year after the discovery the population was 250,-000, notwithstanding the distance from Europe and the expense of the voyage. Ordinary busi-