Start of the Australian Gold Rush

February 12, 2018

12 February marks the start of the Australian Gold Rush, an event that propelled our nation into greatness. A former convict colony became a prime destination for investment and migration due to the opening up of the nation’s mineral wealth. Celebrate a major Australian historical milestone and the blessing of our mineral resources today with our Action Plan.

On this day 12 February 1851, prospector Edward Hargreaves discovered gold at Ophir, near Bathurst, NSW. Hargreaves had fallen out of luck at the booming Californian gold rush and was trying his luck in Australia – and struck gold. Global prospectors soon turned their attention to Australia, beginning our first major gold rush. Within months, legend had it, half of Sydney headed for the gold fields. Australia’s population doubled in 10 years and trebled to 1.7 million within 20 years. Victoria’s population swelled from 76,000 to 540,000 in ten years with an estimated 2% of the British population migrating to Victoria. Throughout the next 30 years of the Gold Rush, Australia became one of the wealthiest nations – per capita – in the world.

Celebrate the economic foundational moment for Australia – the great Gold Rush – this 12 February by:

  • Sharing this Action Plan on Facebook or Twitter
  • Plan a visit to Bathurst NSW, or Ballarat or Bendigo Victoria, to learn with your loved ones, children or grandchildren the mineral discovery that transformed our nation
  • Buy a gift featuring gold for your loved one this Valentine’s Day
  • Discover the origins and meaning of the word ‘Eureka’, used often in the Californian and Australian goldfields – and add it to your vocabulary

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