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A Brief History of Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is Victoria’s capital with close to 4 million people that live in the state. It’s the second-highest populated state in Australia with Sydney as the first highest populated state.

How and When Was Melbourne Founded?

The state of Melbourne originated in 1835 near the Yarra River. The founding took place after an abortive bid occurred in 1803 that attempted to make a settlement for the Europeans in Port Phillip Bay nearby Sorrento. Free settlers and convicted individuals inhabited this colony from 1803 to 1804 before they migrated to Van Diemen’s Land. It wasn’t until 31 years afterwards that Melbourne was established.

Eventually, the Phillips Port District became independent in 1850 of New South Wales’ rules. Because of its independence, Melbourne succeeded well in the gold rush of the 1850s because of the Victoria gold rush’s success.

Captain William Lonsdale came to Melbourne from Sydney to lead the new colony. While higher-ups of New South Wales tried to cease settlement into Victoria and Melbourne, these attempts were futile as now Victoria was an independent colony from New South Wales’ control.

Melbourne’s Gold Rush of the 1850s

The city streets of Melbourne were empty except for the miners who were searching for gold throughout Melbourne’s wharves.

Hence, the gold rush made Melbourne more successful in raising the population and the value of imported goods. The population rose from 80,000 people to 300,000 people during the time of the gold rush. 20,000 people of the 80,000 population in Victoria had lived in Melbourne before the gold rush increased the population. The value of imported goods increased to 18 million euros because what miners needed, whether mining supplies or food, was being directly shipped to Melbourne.

Just in the Melbourne colony alone, about 100 million euros worth of gold was discovered by the time their gold rush ended.

What is Melbourne Known for Today?

When you visit Melbourne today, you can go to the state’s most famous attraction, the National Gallery of Victoria. It’s the most historical Australian public art gallery and more state inhabitants and tourists visit this art gallery than any other in Australia.

More than 70,000 pieces of art are featured at the National Gallery of Victoria. The art comes from Oceanic, Asian, European, and American influences. The highlight of the gallery is the Great Hall where patrons can lay on the floor and peer up at the stained glass on the ceiling.

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