August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

August 20, 2014 In Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW), the longtime Hampden Bridge in the city of Wagga Wagga was demolished with an induced collapse method involving explosives. The Wagga Wagga City Council had voted to get rid of the bridge because of what was deemed to be the too-high costs for maintaining... Continue Reading →

July 31, 1865 In the northeastern section of Australia, the inaugural train run of the world’s first narrow-gauge mainline railway occurred on a Monday morning in the colony (present-day state) of Queensland. A large number of people gathered to witness the record-setting railway’s formal debut, which took place on what the Queensland Times called a... Continue Reading →

July 18, 1914 French pilot Maurice Guillaux achieved a major aviation record by completing the first official airmail flight in Australia. Guillaux began the Sydney-bound flight aboard a Bleriot XI monoplane on July 16 at 9:12 a.m., taking to the skies from the showgrounds in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington. Guillaux made landings at Seymour and... Continue Reading →

June 25, 1954 In southeastern Australia, the final section of the Walhalla railway line in the Gippsland region of the state of Victoria was closed. This shutdown took place just over 44 years after the Walhalla railway -- one of a few narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways (the operator of most of the... Continue Reading →

May 15, 1928 The pioneering non-profit Australian Inland Mission (AIM) Aerial Medical Service was established in the town of Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia. Reverend John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister, launched this use of aircraft as ambulances in the Australian Outback as a “mantle of safety” for those living in remote, underserved areas and lacking ready transportation... Continue Reading →

May 1, 1862 In Australia, the Point Stephens Light went into service in the colony (now state) of New South Wales (NSW). This lighthouse was built on Point Stephens, a point on a headland along the shore of Fingal Bay. The lighthouse is located 2.64 miles (4.25 kilometers) south of the entrance to Port Stephens,... Continue Reading →

November 16, 1920 Arrival at Longreach of the Armstrong Whitworth FK8 with the first bag of air mail on the inaugural flight of the first Qantas air service from Charleville to Cloncurry, 22 November 1922 The longtime airline Quantas was established as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited at the Gresham Hotel in the... Continue Reading →

September 19, 1919 Construction officially began on a major road along Australia’s southeastern coast. At the time, this region of the Australian state of Victoria was mostly accessible to the outside world only by sea. The building of the Great Ocean Road was seen as an opportunity to better connect isolated settlements in the area... Continue Reading →

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