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Australian gold rushes

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Looking for gold in Queensland,1870

The Australian gold rush was a large number of gold discoveries in Australia. Thousands of people came to Australia in the hope of finding a lot of gold and becoming rich. The rush started in 1851 when gold was found near Bathurst, New South Wales and ended with the last rush in 1893 to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. At each place gold was easily found in rivers and creeks. This was known as alluvial gold and could be found by individual miners using very basic equipment such as a spade and a dish. In most places this alluvial gold was taken in the first few months. To get at the gold that was buried deeper in the ground meant that the miners needed to work together to dig tunnels. Eventually large companies were formed to raise money so that deep gold mines could be built.

The gold rushes happened when alluvial gold was found. Miners would quickly move there in the hope of being the first to find the surface gold. For example, miners rushing to Clunes, Victoria in August 1851, quickly changed their minds and went to Buninyong when they heard of a new gold discovery. Weeks later gold was found at Ballarat a few miles to the north and within six weeks there were more than 10,000 people digging. But by 1852 most miners had left Ballarat and rushed to the new goldfields at Bendigo.[1]: 48  In 1854, miners in Ballarat were angry and upset at paying for gold licences. They burned their licences and raised the Eureka Stockade flag in protest. The miners fought soldiers and police officers to protect their rights. This was called the Eureka Stockade. Many people died, but afterwards the miners didn't have to pay for their licences anymore.

The gold rush finished at the end of the 1850s, but gold was still found throughout Australia up until the 1890s.

Before the gold rush

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Gold had been found in Australia before the 1851 gold rush. At first people would not believe the stories. A convict who found gold near Bathurst in 1823 was given 150 lashes with a whip as it was believed he must have stolen it.[1]: 37  The explorer Count Paul Strzelecki found gold in the Australian Alps in 1839. The government kept it a secret as they did not want to lose control of the convicts if they went rushing off to search for gold.[1]: 38  Gold was also found at:

Gold rushes in New South Wales

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The first gold rush was in New South Wales. There were many others during the next 30 years.

Gold rushes in Victoria

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Site of the first gold discovery, Poverty Point, Ballarat

Gold rushes in South Australia

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Gold rushes in Western Australia

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Gold rushes in Queensland

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Gold rushes in the Northern Territory

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  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 Hocking, Geoff (2000). To the diggings. Melbourne, Victoria: Thomas C. Lothian Pty. Ltd. ISBN 0-7344-0114-0.
  2. "Hill End, NSW - Place - Electronic Encyclopedia of Gold in Australia". egold.net.au. 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  3. "History of Young". young.nsw.gov.au. 2010. Archived from the original on 30 October 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  4. "Forbes, NSW - Place - Electronic Encyclopedia of Gold in Australia". egold.net.au. 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  5. "Early History Of Parkes". library.parkes.nsw.gov.au. 2006. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  6. "Gulgong Golden History p.1". mudgeehistory.com.au. 2011. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  7. "West Wyalong : About New South Wales". about.nsw.gov.au. 2011. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 Coupe, Robert (2000). Australia's gold rushes. Sydney, Australia: New Holland. ISBN 1-86436-547-1.