On this day January 26, 1788

The British First Fleet, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed at Sydney Cove, establishing the first permanent European settlement in Australia.



The First Fleet is the name given to the 11 ships which sailed from Great Britain on 13 May 1787 to establish the first European colony in New South Wales.

It was a convict settlement, marking the beginnings of transportation to Australia.

On 26 January 1788, the fleet weighed anchor and by evening had entered Port Jackson. The site selected for the anchorage had deep water close to the shore, was sheltered and had a small stream flowing into it.

Phillip named it Sydney Cove, after Lord Sydney the British Home Secretary. This date is still celebrated as Australia Day, marking the beginnings of the first British settlement.

Unknown to the first European arrivals, it was to be almost two and a half years before other ships arrived with their cargo of new convicts and provisions. These were Lady Juliana, shortly followed by the storeship Justinian and the three ships of the infamous Second Fleet.

During the voyage there were 22 births (13 boys, 9 girls), while 69 people either died, were discharged, or deserted (61 males and 8 females).


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