Australia travel guide


Tasmania Travel Guide

History of Tasmania

The land where now is Tasmania was once occupied by aboriginal people approximately 35 000 years ago, europeans arrived in 1642 at the command of explorer Abel Tasman. The first British settlement was at Risdon Cove in 1803 and other one in 1804 in Sulllivan's Cove, later this settlement passed to be known as Hobart and the settlement in Risdon was abandoned.

At first Tasmania was known as Van Diemens Land because of Tasman's sponsor, Anthoonij van Diemenslandt, and the first settlers were convicts who arrived here for hard working, and were constructed prisons such as Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast and in the south-east Port Arthur. On December, 1825 Van Diemens Land was finally proclaimed as a separate colony from New South Wales.


1642 - Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, arrived to the island and named it Van Diemenís Land after the governor of Batavia.

1772 - Europeans settlers arrive with a French expedition under the command of explorer Marion du Fresne at Marion Bay on the east coast.

1803 - The first european settlement is placed in the River Derwent at the south-east by the british soldier Lieutenant John Bowen. In 1804 this settlement was moved by Lieutenant-governor David Collins and Hobart was founded.

1804 - Another european settlement near the River Tamar on the north coast. The settlement was moved in 1806 and Launceston was founded.

1815 - A martial law was proclaimed by Governor Davey against the criminal and thiefs who lived in the wild area which used to terrorised settlers, stole farm stock and held up travellers.

1822 - Takes place the first Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Society meeting in Hobart and is established the Sarah Island penal in Macquarie Harbour on the west coast.

1825 - Van Diemenís Land is proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales.

1830 - A cruel military plan to round up the aboriginal people in the area was started, it was called the Black Line, there was a man who has as his mission the protection of these people and took some of them to Flinders Island.

1834 - The city of Melbourne was founded by John Batman who sailed from Launceston to Port Phillip in Victoria.

1842 - Hobart town became a city. The arrival of convicts was the highest.

1851 - There was an Influenza epidemic, the same year was the first election for Legislative Council members and was stablished the Hobart Chamber of Commerce.

1856 - The Van Diemen's Land was officially changed to Tasmania, after election two-house Parliament opens and the colony's first premier was William Champ, Norfolk Island passed under New South Wales control.

1876 - The last Tasmanian full blooded Aborigine named Truganini dies in Hobart and the Hobart-Launeston railway begins to give transport service.

1877 - One of the first prisons constructed, the Port Arthur penal closed this year. In Beaconsfield there is a new gold discovery.

1888 - The first technical school was opened in Hobart and Launceston is proclaimed a city.

1916 - First Tasmanian battalion goes for fighting in World War I. Mt Field and Freycinet were declared State's first national parks.

1932 - Australian politician Joseph Lyons becomes the tenth Prime Minister of Australia.

1936 - The last thylacine, known as the Tasmanian Tiger, dies at Hobart's Beaumaris Zoo.

1964 - Tasman Bridge begins to provide the main traffic route from the CBD to the eastern shore since August 18 of this year.

1975 - Disaster into Tasman Bridge causes 12 deaths and a part of the bridge comes down, the reconstruction begins the same year.

1996 - Martin John Bryant murder 35 people and injures another 37 in the Porth Arthur massacre, he has a sentence of 35 years in prison.

2002 - Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II ferries begin to operate. Virgin Blue airline begin operating in Tasmania.

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