On the 3rd of December 1854, in the midst of the Victorian Gold Rush, Ballarat became the sight of a 20-minute battle prompted by the digger’s opposition of miners’ licenses. Known as the Eureka Stockade, the event is regarded as significant in the formation of Australian democracy. Sovereign Hill outdoor museum commemorates the uprising in their nightly multi-million-dollar sound-and-light show ‘Blood on the Southern Cross.’ You can also see the original Eureka Flag at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat.
On the 29th of April 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and the HMS Endeavour landed at Kurnell in Botany Bay. He and his crew spent eight days in the now heritage-listed area known as Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Less than an hour south of Sydney, the landing place is marked with a commemorative obelisk and plaque.
Built by the survivors of the Batavia shipwreck and mutiny, Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort is the oldest European building in Australia. The Batavia set sail on her maiden voyage from Holland in 1629 with 322 people on board, but after striking Morning Reef and sinking in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands off Western Australia, mutineers massacred many stranded men, women and children. The Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort was built on West Wallabi Island by Wiebbe Hayes and his soldiers who fought against the mutineers. Artefacts can be found at the Western Australian Museum in Fremantle.
On Sunday, 27th of June 1880, the notorious Kelly Gang descended on Glenrowan, 236 kilometres north-east of Melbourne. The four outlaws held 60 townsfolk hostage at Anne Jones’s Glenrowan Inn, where they had their last stand. The following day, Joe Byrne was shot by police, and Dan Kelly and Steve Hart died in the fire police set in an attempt to drive the gang out of the hotel. An injured Ned Kelly surrendered nearby, falling to his knees at approximately 7:45am on Monday, 28th of June.
The Royal Exhibition Building was built in 1880 to host the Melbourne International Exhibition and the Centennial Exhibition in 1888, which attracted approximately 2 million visitors. The building also held the first Australian Federal Parliament on the 9th of May 1901 in the western annex, served as a hospital during the 1919 influenza pandemic and later as a wrestling venue during the 1956 Olympics. In 2004, it became the first building in Australia to receive UNESCO World Heritage status.
Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC, Australia, +61 3 9270 5000
Elizabeth Farm is the historic estate of prominent military couple John and Elizabeth Macarthur. Built in 1793, the farmhouse is one of the oldest homes in Australia and is Heritage Listed. The estate also has significant importance to Australian wool, as pastoralist John Macarthur was a pioneer of this industry, which flourished in the 19th century. Today, the farmhouse is an access-all-areas museum and is managed by Sydney Living Museums.
Elizabeth Farm, 70 Alice St, Rosehill NSW, Australia, +61 2 9635 9488
Sitting atop a hill, Fremantle Prison in Western Australia was built by convicts between 1852 and 1859. The Convict Establishment, as it was known until 1867, played a part in the European Settlement of Western Australia and in 2010 was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1991, the prison was decommissioned. Today, it is a major tourist attraction with guided prison tours, touring exhibitions, a prison gallery and a visitors’ centre that includes artefacts, footage of prison life and an interactive Convict Database.
Fremantle Prison, 1 The Terrace, Fremantle WA, Australia, +61 8 9336 9200