Tasmania: History and Heritage



The Names of Tasmania




Tasmania's History: Timeline



Tasmania's History: Timeline


It is believed that the island of Tasmaina was once joined to the Australian mainland. The Furneaux Islands are visible reminders of the land bridge that connected Tasmania to mainland Australia until the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago. The strip of land connected the north east corner of Tasmania with Victoria's Wilsons Promotory, which is the remnant of this connection on the mainland.

Indigenous people


Wikipedia article: Tasmanian Aborigines

Tasmania was inhabited by an indigenous population, the Tasmanian Aborigines, and evidence indicates their presence in the territory, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago. The Aboriginal population at the time of British settlement in 1803 has been estimated at 5 000 but through persecution (see Black War and Black Line) and disease much of the population was eradicated. The impact of introduced diseases, prior to the first European estimates of the size of Tasmania's population, means that the original indigenous population could have been somewhat larger than 5,000. Until the 1970s, most people thought that the last surviving Tasmanian Aborigine was Trugernanner, who died in 1876.

European Arrival


The first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642 by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt, after his sponsor, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen's Land by the British. In 1772, a French expedition led by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne landed on the island. Captain James Cook also sighted the island in 1777, and numerous other European seafarers made landfalls, adding a colourful array to the names of topographical features.

The first settlement was by the British at Risdon Cove on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary in 1803, by a small party sent from Sydney, under Lt. John Bowen. In 1804 an alternative settlement was established by Capt. David Collins 5km to the south in Sullivans Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, later shortened to Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart. The settlement at Risdon was later abandoned.

The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict settlements were made in Van Diemens Land, including secondary prisons, such as the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the south-east and Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast. The Aboriginal resistance to this invasion was so strong, that troops were deployed across much of Tasmania to drive the Aborigines into captivity on nearby islands.

Timeline


Pre-1800

1800 - 1809


1802: French explorer Nicolas Baudin surveys Derwent during month-long visit to South-East Tasmania, on which his party makes extensive notes on Aborigines, plants and animals.


1803: Lieutenant John Bowen's 49-member party, with the ships Lady Nelson and Albion, starts first European settlement of Tasmania at Risdon Cove, naming it Hobart.


1804: Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins' 262-member party lands at Sullivans Cove in February; the settlement, which becomes known as Hobart Town, grows to 433 with arrival in June of rest of his Port Phillip party.


1804: Soldiers temporarily refuse guard duties at Risdon amid fears of convict rebellion.


1804: Aborigines killed in Risdon affray and settlement there abandoned.


1804: Church of England clergyman Robert Knopwood conducts first divine service at Sullivans Cove.


1804: Hobart's first cemetery opens, later St David's Park.


1804: Colonel William Paterson establishes Port Dalrymple (Tamar River) settlement, first at George Town, then at York Town on river's western side.


1805: After supply ships fail to arrive on time, famine forces David Collins to cut rations by one-third


1805: Collins leaves tent home to take up residence in first Government House, a wooden cottage.


1805: Harbourmaster William Collins establishes Australia's first whaling station at Ralphs Bay.


1805: First land grants include 10 acres (40,000 m2) to Robert Knopwood


1806: Colonel William Paterson begins transfer of York Town settlement to site of modern Launceston


1807: First Norfolk Island settlers arrive in Hobart in the Lady Nelson and settle at New Norfolk


1807: Lieutenant Thomas Laycock leads five-man party on first overland journey from Launceston to Hobart, taking nine days, mainly to seek supplies for the northern settlement.


1809: Deposed New South Wales Governor William Bligh arrives in Hobart and temporarily disrupts David Collins' authority as lieutenant-governor.


1809: Floods in Derwent


1810 - 1819


1810: David Collins dies suddenly, Lieutenant Edward Lord takes over and first of three administrators pending appointment of second lieutenant-governor.


1810: First church, St David's, built


1810: Colony's first flour mill built beside Rivulet between Murray St and Elizabeth St, operated by Edward Lord and William Collins


1810: Administration launches colony's first newspaper, the Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer


1810: Sealing expedition discovers Macquarie Island


1811: After arriving from Sydney, Governor Lachlan Macquarie draws up plan for Hobart streets and orders construction of public buildings and Mount Nelson signal station.


1812: Michael Howe (later bushranging gang leader) among first convicts to arrive directly from England in HMS Indefatigable


1812: Northern Tasmania's lieutenant-governorship ceases, Government House in Hobart takes control of whole island


1813: Schooner Unity not heard of again after convicts seize it in Derwen


1813: First Post Office opens in postmaster's house on corner of Argyle St and Macquarie St


1814: Work starts on Anglesea Barracks, Australia's longest continuously occupied military building


1814: Colony's first horse races believed to have taken place at New Town


1814: Lieutenant-governor's court created to deal with small personal financial disputes.


1814: Governor Lachlan Macquarie offers amnesty to bushrangers


1814: Ship Argo disappears after seizure by convicts in Derwent


1815: Michael Howe's bushranging gang kills two settlers in New Norfolk raid


1815: Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Davey declares martial law against all bushrangers, mainly escaped convicts, with some military deserters; Governor Lachlan Macquarie later revokes order.


1815: Captain James Kelly circumnavigates island in whaleboat


1815: First Van Diemen's Land wheat shipment to Sydney.


1816: First emigrant ship arrives with free settlers from England


1817: Weekly mail service begins between Hobart and Launceston


1817: Work starts on new St David's Church, replacing earlier structure blown down in storm


1817: First convict ships arrive directly from England


1817: New Government House occupied in Macquarie St, on site of present Town Hall, lower Elizabeth St and Franklin Square.


1818: Government opens flour mill in Hobart


1818: Soldiers and convict kill bushranger Michael Howe on banks of Shannon River


1818: Government establishes nucleus of Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens


1819: First proper hospital opens


1819: Hobart-New Norfolk road built


1819: St David's Church opens


1820 - 1829


In 1820, Tasmanian roads were first macadamised and carthorses began to replace bullocks. In the same year, the first substantial jail was completed on the corner of Macquarie Street and Murray Street and merino sheep arrived from John Macarthur's stud in New South Wales. 1820 also saw the first Wesleyan (Methodist) meeting in the colony. The following year marked the arrival of first Catholic clergyman, Father Phillip Conolly and on his second visit, Governor Lachlan Macquarie chooses sites for Perth, Campbell Town, Ross, Oatlands and Brighton. In 1821, officials and convicts left Port Dalrymple to establish Macquarie Harbour penal settlement at Sarah Island.


1822 was the first year Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Society held a meeting in Hobart. In 1823 the Presbyterian Church's first official ministry in Australia occurred in Hobart and the first Tasmanian bank, Bank of Van Diemen's Land, was established.


The inauguration of the Supreme Court occurred in 1824, as the did the opening of Cascade Brewery, Australia's longest continuously operating Brewery. Cannibal convict Alexander Pearce was hanged after escaping twice from Macquarie Harbour who survived by eating his companions and convict Matthew Brady begins his bushranging career after escaping from Macquarie Harbour.


On 3 December 1825, Van Diemen's Land became an independent colony from New South Wales with an appointed Executive Council, its own judicial establishment, and Legislative Council. Also in that year, the Richmond Bridge, Australia's oldest existing bridge, was opened and a party of soldiers and convicts establishes Maria Island penal settlement


In 1826, Van Diemen's Land Company launches North-West pastoral and agricultural development at Circular Head and the Tasmanian Turf Club was established. Settler John Batman, later one of Melbourne's founders, helped capture bushranger Matthew Brady near Launceston. Hobart experienced a disease epidemic which was blamed on rivulet pollution. A courthouse was built on the corner of Macquarie Street and Murray Street and street lighting with oil lamps was introduced. 1826 was also the year that the Legislative Council met formally for the first time.


1827 saw the first regatta-style events on Derwent River and Van Diemen's Land Company began settlement at Emu Bay (now Burnie). A proclamation made in 1828 by Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur excluded Aborigines from settled areas and was the year of the Cape Grim massacre.


In 1828, martial law was declared against Aborigines in settled areas after Van Diemen's Land Company shepherds killed 30 Aborigines at Cape Grim and regular mail services with Sydney began. That year also saw widespread floods. The following year a jail for women convicts ("female factory") opened at Cascades, "Protector" George Augustus Robinson starts an Aboriginal mission at Bruny Island, convicts seized the brig Cyprus at Recherche Bay and sail to China, Van Diemen's Land Scientific Society formed under patronage of Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur and a Hobart-New Norfolk coach service began.


1830 - 1839


1830: George Augustus Robinson starts reconciliation efforts with Aborigines by visiting west coast


1830: Samuel Anderson, Pioneer Settler, arrives in Hobart aboard the Lang, employed as book keeper with Van Diemens Land Co. Will go on to establish the third permanent settlement in Victoria at Westernport.


1830: Administration launches "Black Line" military campaign across most of colony to round up Aborigines; in seven weeks two are shot and two are captured


1830: Port Arthur penal settlement established


1830: Convict chain gang starts work on causeway across Derwent at Bridgewater


1831: Australia's first novel, Quintus Servinton, by Henry Savery, published in Hobart


1831: New land regulations discontinue free land grants, replacing them with sales


1832: George Augustus Robinson arrives in Hobart with Aborigines from Oyster Bay and Big River tribes, the last Aborigines removed from European-settled areas; Wybalenna, Flinders Island, chosen for Aboriginal resettlement site.


1832: Ends of martial law against Aborigines


1832: Work starts on Cascade Brewery


1832: Regular Hobart-Launceston coach service begins


1832: Maria Island penal settlement closes


1832: Derwent Light ("Iron Pot") lit for first time


1833: Robert Massie arrives in Tasmania takes up position as Engineer with Van Diemens Land Co.


1833: First professional theatrical performance in Hobart


1833: Macquarie Harbour penal settlement closes, convicts transferred to Port Arthur


1834: Convicts evacuating Macquarie Harbour capture brig Frederick and sail to Chile


1834: Stagecoaches begin daily Hobart-New Norfolk, weekly Hobart-Launceston services


1834: Daily Hobart-New Norfolk steamship trips begin


1834: Launceston "female factory" completed


1834: Point Puer boys' convict establishment opens at Port Arthur


1834: First coal shipment leaves convict mines on Tasman Peninsula


1834: Jury trial system for all civil cases begins


1834: Horse-drawn coaches begin taxi-style service


1834: Henty brothers leave Launceston for Portland Bay to make first European settlement in Victoria


1835: Nearly all remaining Tasmanian Aborigines surrender to George Augustus Robinson and are moved to Flinders Island


1835: Transport George III sinks in D'Entrecasteaux Channel with loss of 139 male convicts of 220 aboard


1835: In separate expeditions, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner leave Launceston to launch first European settlements at Port Phillip, which developed into Melbourne.


1835: Samuel Anderson leaves Launceston to establish third permanent Victorian settlement at Bass in Western Port.


1835: Colonial artist John Glover sends 35 paintings of Van Diemen's Land to London exhibition.


1835: First meeting to establish Launceston Bank for Savings.


1836: First Catholic Church was built - St John the Evangelist's Church in Richmond. It is the oldest running Catholic Church in Australia.


1836: Charles Darwin visits Hobart during round-the-world voyage in HMS Beagle


1836: Post office moves to premises on corner of Elizabeth Street and Collins Street


1836: Eleven counties, and some parishes therein, proclaimed; establishing the cadastral divisions of the colony


1837: Robert Massie leaves VDL and joins Samuel Anderson at Bass Victoria where his skills as an engineer enhance their partnership with the building of a tidal powered flour mill.


1837: Theatre Royal opens


1837: Lieutenant Governor Sir John Franklin founds Tasmanian Society for the Study of Natural Science


1837: Police office built on corner of Macquarie Street and Murray Street


1838 The first secular register of births, deaths and marriages in the British colonies established


1838: First annual Hobart Regatta on Derwent


1838: Work begins on old Customs House, which becomes Parliament House at start of responsible self-government in 1856


1838: Sir John Franklin establishes board of education to introduce non-denominational schools


1838: Bruny Island lighthouse completed


1840 - 1849


1840: Economic depression starts, continues until 1845


1840: Captain James Ross arrives with Antarctic expedition in HMS Erebus and HMS Terror


1840: Sir John Franklin establishes Ross Bank meteorological observatory site, named after explorer, near present Government House site


1840: Dr William Bedford founds first Hobart private hospital (in house near Theatre Royal) after dispute at government hospital


1840: Transportation from Britain to NSW ends, causing heavier influx of convicts to Tasmania


1842: Colony's first official census, population 57,471


1842: The Weekly Examiner begins publication in Launceston


1842: Hobart proclaimed a city


1842: Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, first Australian scientific journal, begins publication


1842: Peak year for convict arrivals (5329)


1842: Maria Island's Darlington penitentiary reopened


1843: Arrival of Tasmania's first Anglican bishop, Francis Russell Nixon


1843: Bushranger Martin Cash captured in Hobart, his death sentence was commuted and he was later pardoned


1844: First Catholic bishop, Robert Willson, arrives


1844: Formation of Royal Society of Tasmania, first branch outside Britain, as development of society founded in 1837 by Sir John Franklin; society branch takes over botanical gardens


1844: Norfolk Island, formerly administered by NSW, comes under Tasmanian control


1845: Emigrant ship Cataraqui wrecked near King Island, 406 lives lost


1845: Hobart Savings Bank opens


1845: Jewish community consecrates Hobart Synagogue, Australia's oldest


1845: Artist John Skinner Prout organises first known Australian exhibition of pictures in Hobart


1846: Foundation of the Hutchins School and Launceston Grammar School


1846: Lieutenant-governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot dismissed, allegedly for failure to suppress convict homosexuality


1846: Convict transportation to Tasmania suspended until 1848


1846: Tasmania becomes first Australian colony to enact legislation to protect native animals


1847: Britain orders closure of NSW convict establishment and transfer of remaining prisoners to Tasmania


1847: Big Hobart meeting petitions Queen Victoria for end to transportation


1847: Wybalenna Aboriginal settlement at Flinders Island closes and surviving 47 Aborigines move to Oyster Cove


1847: News of Sir John Franklin's death during Arctic exploration reaches Hobart


1847: Charles Davis founds hardware business


1847: Launceston doctor W. R. Pugh uses ether as general anaesthetic for first time in Tasmania


1848: Hobart peaks as whaling port, with 1046 men aboard 37 ships


1848: Colony now only place of transportation in British Empire


1849: "Young Irelanders" (Irish political prisoners), including William Smith O'Brien, arrive at Port Arthur


1849: Anti-transportation league formed after Launceston public meeting


1849: Tasmania gets first public library


1849: Tasmanian apple growers export to the United States of America and New Zealand


1850 - 1859


1850: Prisoner Patrick O'Donoghue starts publishing 'The Irish Exile', first Irish Nationalist paper in Australia.


1850: First secular high school built at Domain


1850: Constitution Dock officially opened


1851: O'Donoghue sent to a chain-gang, released, restarts his paper and sent again to a chain-gang.


1851: Black Thursday bushfires in February


1851: Influenza epidemic


1851: First election for 16 non-appointed members of Legislative Council


1851: Hobart Chamber of Commerce established


1851: Launceston host for first intercolonial cricket match (Van Diemen's Land v Port Phillip district)


1851: Maria Island's Darlington penitentiary abandoned


1852: Elections for first Hobart and Launceston municipal councils


1852: Payable gold discovered near Fingal


1853: Jubilee festival in Hobart celebrates end of convict transportation after arrival of last ship, the St Vincent


1853: First Tasmanian adhesive postage stamp issued


1854: Severe floods, fires hit city


1854: The Mercury founded as bi-weekly publication


1855: Horse-drawn buses (large carts) begin services, mainly on city - New Town route; they later become enclosed vehicles


1855: Henry Young becomes first vice-regal representative to have title of Governor


1856: Name of Van Diemen's Land officially changed to Tasmania after grant of responsible self-government


1856: New two-house Parliament opens after elections, William Champ becomes colony's first Premier


1856: Norfolk Island transferred from Tasmanian to NSW control


1857: Hobart's municipal Incorporation


1857: Hobart-Launceston telegraph line opens


1857: Hobart customers start using coal gas, streets get gas lighting


1858: First meeting of Hobarts Marine Board, Australia's oldest port authority


1858: Hobart and Launceston councils form municipal polices forces


1858: Council of Education established


1858: Hobart Savings Bank founded


1858: Parliament passes Rural Municipalities Act


1859: Worries about public health prompt Hobart Town Council to appoint health officer


1859: New Government House at Domain occupied for first time, by Governor Henry Young and Lady Young


1860 - 1869


1860: British troops sail from Hobart for Maori war in New Zealand


1860: Volunteer corps of infantry, cavalry and artillery formed


1860: Economic depression


1860: The Mercury begins daily publication


1862: Tasmania adopts Torrens title land-conveyancing and registration system


1862: Serious Derwent flooding


1862: Hobart's post office moves to rebuilt courthouse on corner of Macquarie St and Murray St


1863: Opening of Tasmanian Museum on present site


1864: First shipment of trout and salmon ova arrives from England


1866: Hobart Town Hall opened


1866: Hobart Philharmonic Society formed


1867: George Peacock launches one of Australia's first jam factories in Hobart (later operated by Henry Jones and Co under the name IXL)


1868: First royal visit, during which Prince Alfred (Duke of Edinburgh) lays foundation stone for St David's Cathedral and turns first sod for Tasmania's first railway, Launceston-Deloraine line, built by a private company.


1868: With Education Act, Tasmania becomes first Australian colony to have compulsory state education system, administered by local school boards


1869: Death of William Lanne ("King Billy"), reputedly the last full blood Tasmanian Aboriginal man; whose remains were disrespected horribly after disagreement over who should have his remains.


1869: Submarine communications cable successfully establishes link between Tasmania and Melbourne.


1870 - 1879


1870: British troops leave


1870: Tasmanian Public Library formally constituted


1871: Opening of Launceston - Deloraine railway, Tasmania's first - (1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in))


1871: James "Philosopher" Smith discovers tin at Mount Bischoff


1872: Direct telegraphic communication begins between Tasmania and England


1873: Work begins on private operated Hobart - Launceston rail link - (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))


1873: Government takes over Launceston-Deloraine line


1874: St David's Cathedral consecrated


1874: Tasmanian Racing Club established


1874: Launceston rioters protest against rates levy for Deloraine railway


1874: First book publication of Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life, set mainly in Tasmania


1875: Hobart Hospital begins professional training of nurses


1875: Widespread flooding


1876: Truganini, described as last Tasmanian full blooded Aborigine, dies in Hobart


1876: Hobart-Launceston railway opens


1877: Port Arthur penal settlement closed


1877: Gold discovered at Beaconsfield


1878: Mount Heemskirk tin mining begins


1880 - 1889


1880: Earthquake hits Hobart


1880: Tasmania gets first telephone with line from city centre to Mount Nelson signal station


1880: Start of Derwent Sailing Boat Club (later Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania)


1880: Gold discovered at Pieman River on West Coast, Tasmania


1881: William Shoobridge organises first trial shipment of apples from Hobart to Britain


1881: Hobart officially replaces 'Hobart Town' as capital's name


1882: Married Women's Property Act allows wives to own property in their own right


1882: Silver-lead discovered at Zeehan


1882: Hobart Stock Exchange opens


1883: Typhoid and diphtheria epidemic prompt public health legislation


1883: Government opens first Hobart and Launceston telephone exchanges


1883: Trades and Labor Council formed


1883: Discovery of gold at "Iron Blow" at Mount Lyell amidst increased West Coast, Tasmania mineral prospecting


1885: Education Department created, centralising control of schools


1885: Mersey and Deloraine Railway opened


1885: Oatlands to Parattah Railway opened


1885: Formation of the Mt Lyell Prospecting Association


1886: Copper found at Mount Lyell


1886: Government takes over Tasmanian Museum and Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens


1886: Federal Council of Australasia discusses Federation at its first assembly held in Hobart


1886: Public Health Act creates local boards of health


1887: Derwent Valley railway line to New Norfolk opens, extended to Glenora within a year


1887: Establishment of The Friends School in Hobart by the Society of Friends (Quakers).


1887: Italian entrepreneur Diego Bernacchi floats company to develop Maria Island


1888: Hobart gets first technical school


1888: Reservoir water supply opened


1888: Launceston proclaimed a city


1890 - 1899


1890: University of Tasmania opens at the Domain


1890: Government takes over Hobart-Launceston railway


1890: Legislation provides for payment of Tasmanian parliamentarians


1891: Bank of Van Diemen's Land collapses, economic depression follows


1891: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery opens in Launceston


1891: Apsley Railway opened


1892: George FitzGerald founds FitzGeralds department store chain, now owned by Harris Scarfe


1893: Private company begins electric tramway in Hobart, first in an Australian capital city


1893: Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company. formed (1,067 mm - 3 ft 6 in)


1893: Government establishes Tasmanian Tourist Association


1894: Hobart international exhibition opens


1894: Government introduces flat-rate income tax system


1895: Premiers conference in Hobart discusses proposals for federal constitution and plebiscite.


1895: Launceston becomes first southern hemisphere city to get electric light after first Tasmanian hydro-electric station opens at Duck Reach on South Esk River


1895: All Tasmanian districts move to Australian Eastern Standard Time, ending different time zones in colony


1896: Entrepreneur George Adams launches Tattersalls lottery venture in Hobart; first lottery held to dispose of assets of failed Bank of Van Diemen's Land


1896: Ore smelting begins at Mount Lyell


1897: Hare-Clark voting system used on trial basis for state polls in Hobart and Launceston


1897: Formation of Southern Tasmania Football Association


1897: Serious bushfires start on New Year's Eve, end with six lives lost


1898: Tasmanians vote four to one in favour of referendum on federation with mainland colonies


1898: Municipal police forces become part of new statewide government force


1898: Electric street lighting begins in Hobart


1898: Norwegian-born Carsten Borchgrevink's Antarctic expedition arrives in Hobart on way south; Tasmanian Louis Bernacchi joins as physicist


1899: First Tasmanian troops leave for Second Boer War in South Africa


1899: Federation of Australia wins overwhelming Tasmanian approval in second referendum


1900 - 1909


1900: More Tasmanian troops leave for Second Boer War


1900: Adult male suffrage for House of Assembly adopted, with property qualifications abolished


1900: End of whaling operations from Hobart


1900: Bubonic plague scare grips Tasmania


1900: Macquarie Island becomes a Tasmanian dependency


1901: Administrator Sir John Dodds reads proclamation of Commonwealth of Australia from Tasmanian Supreme Court steps


1901: Visit by Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (future King George V and Queen Mary)


1901: First elections for Federal Parliament


1901: Zeehan conference leads to formation of Tasmanian Workers Political League (forerunner to Labor Party)


1902: Last Tasmanian troops return from the Boer War


1902: Robert Carl Sticht completes world's first successful pyritic smelting at Mount Lyell


1903: Women get House of Assembly voting right (the already had it for federal polls)


1903: Hobart-Launceston telephone line opens


1903: Two ships leave Hobart on relief expedition to free British explorer Robert Scott's Discovery from Antarctic ice


1903: Launceston smallpox epidemic forces cancellation of Tasmanian centenary celebrations, some festivities a year later


1904: Legislation allows Tasmanian women to become lawyers


1904: Formation of Tasmanian National Association (forerunner to Liberal Party)


1904: Native flora and fauna reserve declared at Schouten Island and Freycinet Peninsula


1905: Wireless telegraphy experiments between Hobart and Tasman Island and between state and mainland


1905: General Post Office building opens


1906: Marconi Co. demonstrated a wireless telegraphy service between Devonport and Queenscliff, Victoria


1906: Tasman Lighthouse first lit


1907: New public library, built with money from American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, opens in Hobart


1907: Hare-Clark voting system extended to all of Tasmania


1908: State school fees abolished


1908: Queen Alexandra Maternity Hospital opens in Hobart


1908: First Scout troops formed


1909: Guy Fawkes Day (5 November) fire destroy Hobart market, City Hall later built on site


1909: First statewide use of Hare-Clark voting system elects first Labor government, led by John Earle; government lasts only one week, with return of conservatives


1909: Irish blight wipes out potato crop


1910 - 1919


1910: Carters' wage strike paralyses Hobart for a week, ends with win for workers


1910: Legislation sets maximum 48-hour working week and minimum wages in several trades


1910: Great Lake hydro-electric project starts


1911: Douglas Mawson's ship Aurora docks in Hobart on way to Antarctic


1911: Philip Smith teachers' college opens at Domain, Electric trams begin running in Launceston


1912: Mount Lyell fire traps miners underground, 42 die


1912: Norwegian Roald Amundsen, first man to reach South Pole, arrives in Hobart on return from Antarctic expedition


1912: Hobart City Council takes over tramway service


1912: First Tasmanian Girl Guide company formed


1913: First government high schools open in Hobart and Launceston


1913: Hobart City Council buys tram service


1913: Term "free by servitude" referring to ex-convicts, appears for last time in official documents, after use for more than 100 years


1914: A. Delfosse Badgery makes Tasmania's first flight from Elwick in a plane he built himself


1914: First Tasmanian troops leave to fight in World War I


1914: The town of Bismarck is renamed Collinsvale due to anti-German sentiment inflamed by the war


1914: State government buys hydro-electric company


1915: Tasmanian legislation establishes Australia's first special authority to create and manage parks and reserves


1915: Serious bushfires


1916: In Tasmania's worse rail disaster, driver and six passengers die, 31 survive injuries, after Launceston-Hobart express crashes near Campania


1916: First all-Tasmanian battalion (the 40th) leaves for World War I


1916: Opening of Great Lakes hydro scheme's first stage, Waddamana power station


1916: State's first national parks declared at Mount Field and Freycinet


1916: Daylight saving time first introduced as temporary wartime measure


1917: Electrolytic Zinc Company works at Risdon and Australian Commonwealth Carbide's plant at Electrona established


1917: Ridgeway reservoir completed


1919: Worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic reaches Tasmania, affecting one-third of the population and claiming 171 lives


1919: Ex-World War I airman A. L. Long makes first flight over Bass Strait


1919: Frozen Tasmanian meat exported for the first time


1920 - 1929


1920: Visit by Prince of Wales, future King Edward VIII


1920: Miena dam completed


1920: Launceston-born Hudson Fysh helps found Qantas


1922: Legislation enables women to stand in state elections


1922: Legacy movement starts with founding of Remembrance Club in Hobart by Major-General Sir John Gellibrand


1922: Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park proclaimed


1923: First concert by Hobart Symphony Orchestra


1923: Severe flooding in Hobart


1923: Labor's Joseph Lyons, a future prime minister, becomes state premier


1924: Private company starts first Tasmanian radio station, 7ZL (now part of ABC), with regular broadcasts from The Mercury building


1924: Electrolytic Zinc Co makes first superphosphate at Risdon


1925: Workmen open David Collins' grave during conversion of old St David's Cemetery into St David's Park


1925: Osmiridium fields discovered at Adamsfield in south-west


1927: Inquiry into proposed bridge linking Hobart city with eastern shore


1927: Visit by Duke and Duchess of York (future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth)


1928: Cadbury's Claremont factory makes first chocolate


1928: Voting in Tasmanian state elections becomes compulsory (federal voting became compulsory in 1924)


1929: Disastrous floods, mainly in Northern Tasmania, take 22 lives; dam burst damages Derby township and tin mines


1929: Hobart gets automatic telephone system


1929: Great Depression begins


1929: Legislation creates Hydro-Electric Commission, replacing government department


1930 - 1939


1931: Tasmanian Harold Gatty and American Wiley Post make record round-the-world flight (eight days, 15 hours)


1932: Ivan and Victor Holyman start air service between Launceston and Flinders Island


1932: Lyell Highway opens, linking Hobart with West Coast


1932: Former premier Joseph Lyons becomes prime minister, only Tasmanian to hold that office


1933: Commonwealth Grants Commission appointed to inquire into affairs of claimant states, including Tasmania


1934: Holyman Airways (a forerunner of Ansett Airlines) launches Launceston-Melbourne service, within months, company plane Miss Hobart disappears over Bass Strait with loss of 12 people, including proprietor Victor Holyman


1934: Election of government led by Albert Ogilvie starts 35 years of continuous Labor governments


1935: Five die when Holyman Airways plane Loina crashes off Flinders Island.


1935: Hobart gets first electric trolley buses


1935: Legislation for three-year state parliament terms


1936: SS Paringa sinks in Bass Strait while towing tanker, 31 die


1936: ABC forms what is today the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra


1936 (7 September): Last known Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) dies at Hobart's Beaumaris Zoo


1936: First commercial flights use federal aerodrome at Cambridge


1936: Submarine telephone cable service begins between Tasmania and Victoria via King Island


1936: First two area schools (renamed district schools in 1973) open at Sheffield and Hagley


1937: Open of Mount Wellington summit road, built as Depression relief work project


1937: Poliomyelitis epidemic


1937: Five-year state parliamentary terms return


1938: Production starts at APPM's Burnie mill


1938: Work begins on floating arch bridge across Derwent in Hobart


1939: World War II begins


1939: Death in office of prime minister Joseph Lyons


1939: Royal Hobart Hospital opens on present site


1940 - 1949


1940: Tasmanian soldiers leave for North African campaign with Australian 6th Division


1940: German naval raiders Pinguin and Atlantis lay mines off Hobart and other Australian areas. Hobart closed to shipping because of mine threat; Bass Strait closed after mine sinks British steamer Cambridge.


1941: Tasmanian soldiers leave for Malaya with Australian 8th Division


1941: Australian Newsprint Mills' Boyer plant becomes first in world to produce newsprint from hardwood


1942 (January - March): daylight saving time introduced as wartime measure


1942: Women 18 to 30 called up for war work


1943: Floating-arch pontoon bridge Hobart Bridge opens


1943: Enid Lyons (later Dame Enid), widow of Joseph Lyons, elected first woman member of House of Representatives, winning seat of Darwin (now Braddon).


1944: University of Tasmania begins transfer to Sandy Bay site


1944: State Library established


1945: Rani wins first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race


1946: Australian National Airways plane crashes at Seven Mile Beach, killing 25


1946: Last horse-drawn Hobart cab ceases operation


1946: Poliomyelitis epidemic


1947: War-affected migrants begin arriving from Europe to work for Hydro-Electric Commission


1947: Edward Brooker takes over as Labor premier after Robert Cosgrove's resignation to face corruption and bribery charges


1947: Major flooding in south of state


1948: Margaret McIntyre wins Legislative Council seat in May, becoming the first woman member of Tasmanian Parliament; airliner crash in NSW in September kills her and 12 others.


1948: Robert Cosgrove resumes premiership after acquittal on corruption and bribery charges


1948: ABC forms Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra on permanent basis


1948: Fire destroys Ocean Pier


1948: Antarctic research station established on Macquarie Island


1949: Poliomyelitis epidemic


1949: Government introduces compulsory X-rays in fight against tuberculosis


1949: Tasmanian politician Dame Enid Lyons, widow of former prime minister Joseph Lyons, becomes first woman to reach federal ministry rank, as Executive Council vice-president


1949: Government buys Theatre Royal


1950 - 1959


1951: Brighton army camp gets first intake of national service trainees


1951: Hartz Mountains National Park proclaimed


1951: Tasmanian Historical Research Association commences


1951: Serious bushfires


1951: Italian and German migrants arrive to work under contract for Hydro-Electric Commission


1952: First woman elected to Hobart City Council


1952: Severe floods


1952: Government ends free hospital scheme


1952: Single state licensing body formed for hotels and clubs


1953: Tasman Limited diesel train service begins between Hobart and northern towns


1953: Housing Department created to manage public housing


1953: Beaconsfield becomes first Australian centre to get fluoridated water


1954: Queen Elizabeth II becomes first reigning monarch to visit state, accompanied by Prince Phillip. As part of 150th anniversary celebrations, she unveils monument to pioneer British settlers


1954: Hobart Rivulet area damaged as severe floods affect southern and eastern Tasmania


1954: Metropolitan Transport Trust formed


1954: Tattersalls Lotteries moves headquarters from Hobart to Melbourne


1954: Spouses of property owners get right to vote in Legislative Council elections


1955: Royal commission appointed to inquire into University of Tasmania after request by Professor Sydney Orr


1955: House of Assembly gets first two women members, Liberals Mabel Miller and Amelia Best


1955: Hobart becomes first the Australian city to get parking meters


1955: Proclamation of Lake Pedder National Park (later extended to form Southwest National Park).


1955: First ingot poured at Bell Bay aluminium refinery


1955: Labor Party's federal conference in Hobart brings Australian Labor Party split over industrial groups to head, leading to formation of Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist), later Democratic Labor Party


1955: Lactos cheese factory opens at Burnie


1956: University of Tasmania Council dismisses Professor Sydney Orr, alleging improper conduct by him with female student; Orr launches unsuccessful court action against university for wrongful dismissal


1956: Tasmania gets first woman mayor, Dorothy Edwards of Launceston


1957: Water Act establishes Rivers and Water Supply Commission


1958: Hobart waterside works block two Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) members, father Frank Hursey and son Denis, from working in dispute over their objection to paying union levy that would partly go to ALP; police guard Hurseys after court order; Supreme Court awards them damages


1959: MG Car Club of Tasmania formed


1959: Princess of Tasmania becomes first roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry on Bass Strait run


1959: High Court verdict in Hursey case upholds unions' right to levy members for political purposes, expel those who refuse to pay


1959: Federal Government reduces claimant states to two, Tasmania and Western Australia


1960 - 1969


1960: Severe floods in Derwent Valley and Hobart, with business basements under water and houses washed away


1960: Television stations ABT-2 (ABC) and TVT-6 (now WIN) start programs from Mount Wellington transmitters


1960: New jail opens at Risdon


1960: Hobart trams cease, succeeded by electric trolley buses


1960: First meeting of Inland Fisheries Commission


1960: Opening of new State Library headquarters


1960: First city parking station opens in Argyle Street


1961: Construction of Hobart-Sydney ferry terminal begins


1962: Australian Paper Makers Ltd's Port Huon mill opens


1962: TEMCO's Bell Bay ferro-manganese plant begins production


1962: Government subsidises municipal fluoridation schemes


1963: University of Tasmania completes move to Sandy Bay site; Universities Commission recommends medical school


1964: Tasman Bridge opens for traffic, old pontoon bridge towed away


1964: Hobart's water supply fluoridated


1964: Glenorchy proclaimed city


1965: First Tasmanians leave for Vietnam War under national service scheme


1965: Ferry Empress of Australia makes first Sydney-Hobart voyage


1965: Official opening of Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music


1965: Bass Strait oil drilling begins


1966: Huge copper reserves found in Mount Lyell area


1966: Savage River iron ore agreements involving $62 million signed


1967 (February): Black Tuesday bushfires claim 62 lives - 53 in Hobart area and destroy more than 1300 homes


1967: Tasmanian joins other states in approving full constitutional rights for Aborigines


1967: Hydro-Electric Commission tables plans in State Parliament to dam Lake Pedder in South-West


1967: Daylight saving time and breathalyser tests introduced


1968: Full adult franchise introduced for Legislative Council elections


1968: Hobart trolley buses cease, replaced by diesel vehicles


1968: State abolishes death penalty


1968: Savage River iron ore project officially opens


1968: Batman Bridge across lower Tamar River opens


1969: Tasmanians vote Labor Party out after 35 years in office, Liberal-Centre Party forms coalition government


1969: Worst floods in 40 years hit Launceston


1970 - 1979


1970: Parliament legislates for permanent daylight saving time


1970: State marine research laboratories at Taroona open


1970: Electrolytic Zinc Company opens $6 million residue treatment plant


1971: First woodchip shipment leaves Tasmanian Pulp and Forest Holdings' mill at Triabunna


1971: APPM Ltd's Wesley Vale paper plant opens


1971: First state Aboriginal conference held in Launceston


1972: Conservationists lose battle to prevent flooding of Lake Pedder in South-West for hydro-electric scheme


1972: Liberal-Centre Party coalition government collapses


1972: Tasmanian College of Advanced Education opens in Hobart


1972: Ferry Princess of Tasmania makes last Tasmanian voyage


1972: Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre opens at Tasmanian Aboriginal Information Centre


1973: Coastal freighter Blythe Star sinks with loss of three men, seven survivors spend eight days adrift in lifeboat before coming ashore on Forestier Peninsula


1973: Australia's first legal casino opens at Wrest Point Hotel Casino


1973: Sir Stanley Burbury, formerly chief justice, becomes first Australian-born governor of Tasmania


1974: Three die when boiler explosion demolishes laundry at Mt St Canice Convent, Sandy Bay


1974: Tasmanian workers under state wages board awards get four weeks annual leave; woman awarded equal pay


1974: Hobart suburban rail services cease


1975: Freighter MV Lake Illawarra crashes into Tasman Bridge, causing 12 deaths and bringing down part of bridge; temporary Bailey bridge put across Derwent


1975: Police academy completed at Rokeby


1975: Hotels allowed to open for Sunday trading


1975: Totalizator Agency Board begins operating


1976: Members of Aboriginal community ritually cremate Truganini's remains, scatter ashes in D'Entrecasteaux Channel


1976: Tasmanian Wilderness Society formed


1976: Freight equalisation scheme subsidises sea cargo to and from state


1977: Repaired Tasman Bridge reopens to traffic


1977: Royal visit, during which Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell presents the Queen with land rights claim


1977: Tasmanian Film Corporation launched


1978: Australian National Railways takes over Tasmanian rail system; Tasman Limited ceases operations, ending regular passenger train services in state


1978: Hydro-Electric Commission proposes power scheme involving Gordon, Franklin and King rivers


1979: Tasmanian College of Advanced Education moves to Launceston


1979: State's first ombudsman begins duties


1979: Hobart gets increased Saturday morning shopping


1979: Government expands South-West conservation area to more than one-fifth of state's total area


1980 - 1989


1980: Australian Antarctic Division headquarters completed at Kingston


1980: Labor MHA Gillian James becomes first woman to become State Government minister


1980: Australian Maritime College opens at Beauty Point


1980: Australian Heritage Commission includes Tasmania on National Estate register


1981: Plebiscite on preferred new hydro-electric power development scheme shows 47% of voters favour Gordon-below-Franklin development, 8% prefer Gordon-above-Olga, with 45% casting informal votes, including 'no dams' write-ins.


1981: Devonport proclaimed city


1981: Bushfires destroy 40 Zeehan homes


1982: Proclamation of Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, including South-West, Franklin-Lower Gordon Wild Rivers and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair national parks; conservationists blockade Gordon-below-Franklin hydro-electric dam work


1982: Tasmanians elect Liberals as government in their own right for first time in state's history


1983: Federal regulations block Franklin Dam construction; High Court rules in favour of federal sovereignty, ending the proposed Gordon-below-Franklin scheme


1983: Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council established


1983: Visit by The Prince and Princess of Wales


1984: Official opening of Bowen Bridge


1984: Official opening of Wrest Point Convention Centre


1984: Fire damages Theatre Royal


1984: Atlantic salmon eggs introduced to Tasmania


1985: Four-day cremation ceremony at Oyster Cove, south of Hobart, for Aboriginal remains recovered from museums


1985: CSIRO Marine Laboratories open in Hobart


1985: Last voyage by ferry Empress of Australia before replacement by Abel Tasman


1985: Last Tasmanian drive-in theatres close in Hobart and Launceston


1985: Municipal rationalisation advances with Launceston taking over St Leonards and Lilydale


1986: Pope John Paul II holds mass for 32,000 people at Elwick racecourse during Hobart visit


1986: Archaeologists discover Aboriginal rock paintings in South-West believed to be 20,000 years old


1987: Launching of Lady Nelson replica ship


1987: High Court decision bans logging in Lemonthyme, southern forests


1987: Antarctic supply ship Nella Dan sinks off Macquarie Island


1988: International fleet of about 200 sailing, cruise and naval ships from about 20 countries calls at Hobart as part of Australian Bicentennial celebrations; more than 150 leave on race to Sydney


1988: Clarence and Burnie proclaimed cities


1988: Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame opens


1989: State election ends with Labor-Green accord involving five independents; their no-confidence vote in Robin Gray's minority Liberal government gives Labor's Michael Field premiership


1990 - 1999


1990: Sea Cat Tasmania, built in Hobart by InCat, begins summer crossings of Bass Strait


1990: King Island scheelite mine closes


1990: World Rowing Championships held on Lake Barrington, near Sheffield


1991: Savings Bank of Tasmania and Tasmanian Bank amalgamate as Trust Bank


1991: Port Huon paper mill, Electrona silicon smelter, Renison tin mine and Devonport Ovaltine factory closes


1992: Aborigines occupy Risdon Cove in protest over land claims


1992: Royal Hobart Hospital nursing school closes, ending hospital-based nursing training in Tasmania


1992: Seven women ordained as Anglican priests at St David's Cathedral


1992: State's unemployment rate reaches 12.2% as jobs decline in public and private sectors; rallies of angry workers force temporary closure of House of Assembly


1993: Christine Milne (Tasmanian Greens) becomes first female leader of a Tasmanian political party


1993: Spirit of Tasmania replaces Abel Tasman on Bass Strait ferry service


1993: Tasmania's unemployment rate reaches 13.4%


1993: State Government reduces total of municipalities from 46 to 29, number of departments from 17 to 12


1994: End to 80 years of dam building as state's last power station, Tribute, opens near Tullah


1994: HMAS Huon naval base decommissioned


1995: All-day Saturday shop trading begins


1995: Government announces legislation to transfer 38 km2 of culturally significant land to Aboriginal community, including Risdon Cove and Oyster Cove


1995: States unemployment rate falls to 9.6% as number of Tasmanians in work sets record


1996 (28 April): Gunman Martin Bryant kills 35 people and injures 20 more in shooting rampage at Port Arthur historic site; Supreme Court sentences him to life imprisonment


1996: Former federal Liberal minister Peter Nixon heads Commonwealth state inquiry into Tasmanian economy


1997: Tasmania becomes first state to formally apologise to Aboriginal community for past actions connected with the 'stolen generation'.


1997: Hobart Ports Corporation succeeds marine board


1997: State Parliament repeals two century-old laws that together made all male homosexual activity criminal


1997: Royal Hobart Hospital announces part privatisation


1997: Official opening of Hobart's Aquatic Centre


1997: Nixon report recommendations include single chamber State Parliament with 27 members, government asset sales


1997: About 800 gaming machines introduced into 55 Tasmanian hotels and clubs amid predictions of major social problems


1998: Federal Government sells Hobart and Launceston airports


1998: Subsidiary Kendell Airlines takes over Ansett's Tasmanian services


1998: Parliament reduced from 54 members to 40 - 25 Members of the House of Assembly and 15 Members of the Legislative Council


1998: Legislation passed to separate Hydro-Electric Commission into three bodies: Aurora Energy, Transend Networks and Hydro Tasmania.


1998: Bushfires destroy six houses in Hobart suburbs, burn out 30 km2


1998 (December): torms and massive seas claim six lives in Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race


1999: Wild winds and heavy rain caused chaos across Tasmania, one casualty being the Ferris Wheel at the Royal Hobart Regatta which blew over onto the Gee Whizzer ride. 113 km/h winds in Hobart, 158 km/h winds on Mount Wellington.


1999: Tasmanian cricketer David Boon announced his retirement from Sheffield Shield cricket


March 1999: Tasmania is almost booked out for the millennium New Year's Eve party, a once-in-1000-year event for Tasmania's key resorts, hotels, motels and restaurants


1999: Albanian refugees from Kosovo housed at Brighton military camp, renamed Tasmanian Peace Haven


1999: Legislation passed to give Aboriginal community control of Wybalenna, Flinders Island


1999: Colonial State Bank of NSW takes over Trust Bank


1999: Official opening of Port Arthur Visitor Centre


1999: Queen Alexandra Hospital building leased to private operators


1999 (25 October): Labor part stalwart Eric Reece, hailed as Tasmania's greatest premier, died in Hobart, aged 90


1999: Proclamation of Tasmanian Seamounts Marine Reserve, Australia's first deep-sea reserve


1999: Tasmania voted the best temperate island in the world by the world's largest travel magazine, Conde Nast Traveler


2000 - 2011


2000 (1 January): Tasmania beamed to 43 television networks around the world to herald the new millennium


2000: Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia visits Hobart


2000: Tasmania hosts its first Sorry Day at Risdon Cove


2000: Olympic Torch comes to Tasmania


2000: New Federation Concert Hall opens in Hobart


2001 (10 May): Centenary of Federation celebrated


2001: For the first time in 120 years, Tasmanian Australian rules football clubs take the national stage playing home and away VFL games


2001: Tasmanian company Gunns clinches $335 million deal to become one of the giants of the Australian forestry industry


2001: Impulse Airlines begins, cutting one way Hobart-Melbourne fares to $40, but is subsumed by Qantas


2001: 10 Days on the Island begins. It is Tasmania's biggest cultural festival in a century


2001: State Government announces $53 million jail to replace the old Risdon Jail


2001: New traffic laws introduced, drivers face automatic disqualification if travelling 38 km/h over the limit


2001: Meningoccocal hits Tasmania with the first of many deaths


2002: House and land boom begins with East Coast blocks selling for almost three times the town's previous record


2002 (May): : Tasmania's suburban street speed limit dropped to 50 km/h in a bid to increase road safety


2002: Tasmania hit by drought


2002 (16 May): Death of Australia's last ANZAC, Tasmania's Alec Campbell, aged 103.


2002 (3 August): Tasmanian boxer Daniel Geale wins Tasmania's only gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.


2002: Virgin Blue begins operating in Tasmania offering introductory $66 one-way fares to Melbourne


2002 (1 September): Tasmania's fast ferries Spirit of Tasmania I and II begin operation


2002 (12 October): Tasmanian Tim Hawkins killed in Bali bombing


2002: Deregulated shop trading hours begin


2003 (January): People urged by Tasmanian Fire Service to abandon their Australia Day long-weekend plans and prepare their homes for a potential firestorm as a number of fires pose the worst fire threat in 30 years


2003: Official opening of the restored Queenstown to Regatta Point railway line West Coast Wilderness Railway. (1,067 mm - 3 ft 6 in)


2003: Attempted hijack of a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Launceston


2003: Federal Hotels gets exclusive control of state's gaming machines for 15 years with a further 5-year option


2003: Richard Butler becomes Tasmania's new governor


2003: Regina Bird wins reality-TV show Big Brother, becomes first Tasmanian to do so


2003: Tasmania passed some of the most progressive relationship laws in the world including same-sex adoptions and registration of 'significant' relationships


2003: Engagement of Tasmania's Mary Donaldson to Denmark's Prince Frederik


2004 (13 January): Spirit of Tasmania III makes its first voyage from Sydney to Devonport


2004: State Government announces legislation to legalise brothels; leading to a back flip in 2005 when the government chose to ban brothels altogether.


2004 (14 May): Wedding of Tasmania's Mary Donaldson to Denmark's Prince Frederik in Copenhagen.


2004 (20 May): Premier Jim Bacon dies in Hobart of lung cancer


2004 (8 August): Tasmanian governor Richard Butler resigns at the request the premier, who agreed to pay "compensation" of $600,000 in lost salary


2005 (15 October): Tasmanian Mary Donaldson and Prince Frederik give birth to a male infant Prince Christian who will be in the line of succession to the Danish throne


2006 (26 April): Beaconsfield mine collapse - One miner killed, two trapped underground for a fortnight.


2006 (27 August): Final crossing of the Spirit of Tasmania III from Sydney to Devonport


2011 (22 January) : The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opens to the public.