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On this day …….. 28th of June 1836

Regular snow in Australia is restricted to the Snowy Mountains and high country of the southern states. Snowfalls have occurred during unusual weather patterns in southwest Western Australia and southern Queensland, but given the size of the continent, snow is very limited. Of all Australia’s capital cities, the one most likely to receive snowfalls is Canberra. While snow is not uncommon in the Blue Mountains and west to Orange, it rarely hits the New South Wales capital. Sydney recorded its first and only significant snow event on the morning of 28 June 1836. On this day, snow began around 6:00 am and continued through to mid-morning, coating the hills in white. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “the terrified state of the natives indicated the rare nature of such a visitation”. Snow fell again to a lesser degree on 2 July and 5 July, as it was a particularly cold winter.

ON THIS DAY…… 1st November 1791

Escaped convicts tried to walk to China

On the 1st of November 1791, a group of 20 male convicts and one pregnant female convict escaped from the gaol at Parramatta, New South Wales in an attempt to reach China overland. They took with them rations, tools and clothes. Whilst some of the convicts were recaptured, many simply died in the unfamiliar bushland of New South Wales. Many convicts believed that China lay beyond the Blue Mountains.

 

On this day …….. 28th of June 1836

Regular snow in Australia is restricted to the Snowy Mountains and high country of the southern states. Snowfalls have occurred during unusual weather patterns in southwest Western Australia and southern Queensland, but given the size of the continent, snow is very limited. Of all Australia’s capital cities, the one most likely to receive snowfalls is Canberra. While snow is not uncommon in the Blue Mountains and west to Orange, it rarely hits the New South Wales capital. Sydney recorded its first and only significant snow event on the morning of 28 June 1836. On this day, snow began around 6:00 am and continued through to mid-morning, coating the hills in white. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “the terrified state of the natives indicated the rare nature of such a visitation”. Snow fell again to a lesser degree on 2 July and 5 July, as it was a particularly cold winter.

On this day …….. 11th May 1813

When the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales in 1788, all efforts concentrated on developing farmland and a food supply to support the convict colony. Free settlers also began to arrive, lured by the promise of a better life in the new, young country. This placed considerable strain on New South Wales’s resources, and farmers began to see the need for expansion beyond the Blue Mountains, which had provided an impassable barrier to the west. Many attempts were made to find a path through the Blue Mountains, but their attempts had all focused on following the rivers, which invariably ended up against sheer cliff faces or mazes of impassable gorges. Gregory Blaxland was a wealthy grazier who had come to Australia in 1806. He stood to gain much by finding a route to new grasslands. Blaxland approached Governor Macquarie about funding an expedition to cross the Blue Mountains. Though Macquarie found Blaxland to be troublesome and discontented, and felt he should be growing grain to feed the colony, he granted approval for the expedition. Blaxland took along two other men: William Lawson, who had arrived in Sydney as an ensign with the New South Wales Corps in 1800, and was a landholder and magistrate with surveying experience; and William Wentworth, the first Australian-born explorer, being the son of a convict mother and an Irish father, a surgeon who had been convicted of highway robbery. Wentworth was to become one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth departed South Creek, Sydney Cove, on the 11th of May 1813 with four servants, five dogs and four horses. The route they traversed is essentially still the one used by travellers today. On 31 May they reached Mount Blaxland from where they could see the plains to the west. Beyond the mountains the explorers found a great expanse of open country, which they surveyed. Their exploration was significant for opening up the grazing lands of inland New South Wales.

ON THIS DAY…… 1st November 1791

Escaped convicts tried to walk to China

On the 1st of November 1791, a group of 20 male convicts and one pregnant female convict escaped from the gaol at Parramatta, New South Wales in an attempt to reach China overland. They took with them rations, tools and clothes. Whilst some of the convicts were recaptured, many simply died in the unfamiliar bushland of New South Wales. Many convicts believed that China lay beyond the Blue Mountains.

 

On this day …….. 28th of June 1836

Regular snow in Australia is restricted to the Snowy Mountains and high country of the southern states. Snowfalls have occurred during unusual weather patterns in southwest Western Australia and southern Queensland, but given the size of the continent, snow is very limited. Of all Australia’s capital cities, the one most likely to receive snowfalls is Canberra. While snow is not uncommon in the Blue Mountains and west to Orange, it rarely hits the New South Wales capital. Sydney recorded its first and only significant snow event on the morning of 28 June 1836. On this day, snow began around 6:00 am and continued through to mid-morning, coating the hills in white. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “the terrified state of the natives indicated the rare nature of such a visitation”. Snow fell again to a lesser degree on 2 July and 5 July, as it was a particularly cold winter.

On this day …….. 11th May 1813

When the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales in 1788, all efforts concentrated on developing farmland and a food supply to support the convict colony. Free settlers also began to arrive, lured by the promise of a better life in the new, young country. This placed considerable strain on New South Wales’s resources, and farmers began to see the need for expansion beyond the Blue Mountains, which had provided an impassable barrier to the west. Many attempts were made to find a path through the Blue Mountains, but their attempts had all focused on following the rivers, which invariably ended up against sheer cliff faces or mazes of impassable gorges. Gregory Blaxland was a wealthy grazier who had come to Australia in 1806. He stood to gain much by finding a route to new grasslands. Blaxland approached Governor Macquarie about funding an expedition to cross the Blue Mountains. Though Macquarie found Blaxland to be troublesome and discontented, and felt he should be growing grain to feed the colony, he granted approval for the expedition. Blaxland took along two other men: William Lawson, who had arrived in Sydney as an ensign with the New South Wales Corps in 1800, and was a landholder and magistrate with surveying experience; and William Wentworth, the first Australian-born explorer, being the son of a convict mother and an Irish father, a surgeon who had been convicted of highway robbery. Wentworth was to become one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth departed South Creek, Sydney Cove, on the 11th of May 1813 with four servants, five dogs and four horses. The route they traversed is essentially still the one used by travellers today. On 31 May they reached Mount Blaxland from where they could see the plains to the west. Beyond the mountains the explorers found a great expanse of open country, which they surveyed. Their exploration was significant for opening up the grazing lands of inland New South Wales.