How Much Do You Know About the History of Australia?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

If you travel to Australia, you will find that it has a long and rich history. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about this country's past!

Who first occupied Australia?

The Aborigines were hunter-gatherers who moved into the region tens of thousands of years ago. They are believed to have arrived after a glacial period which shortened their sea travel from the continent.


What do the Aborigines call stories that describe their creation?

The Dreaming are stories passed down by an Aborigine, or a group of Aborigines, that describe their Creation. These stories often involve dance, song, and artwork. Their word for it is Tjukurpa.


Where were the earliest human remains found in Australia?

The oldest remains from Australia date back to between 40,000 and 68,000 years ago. The remains were found alongside another cremated body, which is believed to be one of the earliest signs of cremation in the world.


Which is the first known Europeans to reach Australia?

Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon reached the coast of Australia in 1606. He accomplished this while serving as a member of the Dutch East Indies.


What did the Dutch originally call Australia?

Though they hadn't explored the interior of the continent, the Dutch named the entire region New Holland. This name was given by Abel Tasman, a Dutch seafarer.


Who claimed the east coast of Australia for Britain?

1770 marked the height of European colonization. Britain was at the forefront of this movement, and quickly claimed Australia without consent from the local population.


What was the name of the first British colony in Australia?

The New South Wales Colony existed from 1788 until 1901. Today the colony is a state of the Commonwealth of Australia.


Who was the first Governor of New South Wales?

Before serving as the Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip was a British Navy officer. He completed several expeditions and missions assigned by the British during his years in service.


For what was the New South Wales colony first used?

Britain hoped convicts would settle the land in Australia, which in turn would help boost the British economy. However, instead of using the land as a prison camp, a legal system was established and the prisoners were given rights and the ability to gain their freedom.


How were most of the Aborigines killed after the Europeans arrived?

European disease spread across Australia like wildfire, wiping out a large portion of the Aborigine population. This helped minimize war for the British, as they sought to expand their territory.


After which massacre were seven colonists hanged for killing Aborigines?

In 1838, ten unarmed Aborigines were killed by a group of convicts and freed convicts from the colonies. These men were tried, and seven of them were convicted and hanged.


Who was the first Roman Catholic bishop in Sydney?

Polding became the first bishop of Sydney in 1842, and only a few weeks later, he was ordained Archbishop of Sydney. During his time in Australia, he fought for the rights of the Aboriginal people living there.


From where were the fishermen killed during the Caledon Bay crisis?

Yolngu men, an indigenous tribe from Australia, killed Japanese fisherman who they believed raped Yolngu women. After the death of the Japanese fishermen, people began to fear the situation would escalate into a Yolngu uprising.


Who helped ease relationships with the Yolgnu after the Caledon Bay crisis?

Thomson was an anthropologist who offered to go into Yolngu territory and study the people so that the Australian government might have a better understanding of them. His efforts greatly improved relationships with the indigenous population.


Who was the police officer killed by Yolngu in 1932, while investigating the deaths of the Japanese fishermen?

McColl was in charge of investigating the murders of the Japanese fishermen who were killed by Yolngu men. However, when he handcuffed a Yolngu woman to lure them out, the men killed the police officer as well.


Who was the first Aborigine to be knighted?

Nicholis was a member of the Yorta Yorta people. He worked his way through the Australian government to eventually become Governor of South Australia.


Which office was set to protect the Aborigines?

George Robinson was the first Chief Protector. Four other protectors served under him.


From where was Philip Cunningham?

Cunningham led a rebellion in New South Wales in 1804. His goal was to capture ships and sail back to Ireland.


What happened to Philip Cunningham?

Cunningham and a few other leaders of the rebellion were executed for their crimes. Many of the other rebels were sent to the coal mines, while some were simply allowed to return to their previous jobs.


During which rebellion was the Australian government taken over?

After taking over as Governor, William Bligh set himself against the army. Unable to gain enough support, Bligh was forced to step down once he was put under house arrest.


Who led the army during the Rum Rebellion?

Before traveling to Australia, Johnston fought in the American Revolution and against the French in the East Indies under the British flag. His military career ended after the Rum Rebellion when he was removed from his position by court-martials in Britain.


Who was the Governor after William Bligh?

Macquarie was the last Governor of New South Wales with complete power over the region. Many historians credit him with turning Australia into a free settlement.


Where was the first free colony of Australia?

The push for the establishment of a free colony in South Australia was made by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a politician in Britain. He believed it would be better to sell the land in Australia and send free workers there to live and work, so the country would turn into a productive producer for the British Empire.


Where was the colony of South Australia located?

Off the coast of Australia, Kangaroo Island is the third largest island belonging to the country. Aborigines call the island Karta or Island of the Dead.


What happened to the explorers on the Burke and Wills expedition?

Robert Burke and William Wills were the first European explorers to travel the inland of Australia. However, they had little knowledge of the land and died of starvation before they could return.


Who was credited with starting the Australian Gold Rush?

Hargraves spent time in the United States during the California Gold Rush, but he was unsuccessful in his findings. However, he later invigorated​ people in Australia to search for gold after finding gold there himself.


When was the Commonwealth of Australia officially​ formed?

Before the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia, Australia was divided into territories ruled by governors of the British crown. Although these territories were unified in 1901, they still answered to Britain.


Who did Australia side with in World War I?

World War I was a major turning point for Australia as a nation. This was mainly because it was the young nation's​ first military action on the global scene.


Which famous commander was in control of the Australian Corps​ during World War I?

Monash played a huge part in defining strategy in modern warfare. He believed machinery and technology should be used to protect infantry as much as possible.


Who formed the National Labor Party in Australia?

The National Labor Party was formed mainly because of a dispute in Australia over conscription. Hughes' predecessor, Andrew Fisher, did not support conscription, but Hughes was for it.


When was the Communist Party of Australia formed?

Inspired by the Russian Revolution, socialists in Australia formed the Communist Party in 1920. Though they never became a prominent party, the members did help push for labor rights in the country.


Which Act helped Australia develop independently as a state separate​ from Britain?

The Act took away Britain's ability to pass legislation in Australia. However, it maintained that Australia would remain loyal to the Crown.


Which country sank the HMAS Sydney?

The HMAS Sydney was sunk by a German auxiliary cruiser in 1941. All of the men aboard the ship were killed.


Where did Australian forces defeat the Japanese Army for Japan's first land defeat of World War II?

Japanese forces hoped to push closer to Australia by taking Allied airfields at Milne Bay. However, Australian forces were able to defeat them and forced Japan to retreat, which was the first defeat of a Japanese land army during the war.


What happened to immigration in Australia after World War II?

Leaders in Australia knew they needed to increase the Australian population to defend the vast region they occupied. The country started promoting immigration, and many people from the war-torn Europe decided to make the voyage.


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on