The Colonies

Episode 17: The Rum Rebellion

On January 26, 1808, a group of thirsty settlers marched up the drive to Government House, calling for William Bligh to resign as governor. The events leading up to this night were known as the Great Rebellion, until someone decided it was all over Bligh’s attempts to stop the soldiers using rum as a bartering tool…


Episode 35: Port Arthur Part 1 – The Colony (1833-1877)

In the early days of Tasmania’s history, Port Arthur was known as a prison colony that catered for secondary offenders – people who committed crimes once brought to Australia were sent to Port Arthur to see out their sentences. Touted as being escape-proof, the prison was surrounded by bush, bugs and sharks. The prison itself was no picnic – history tells us that a third of the people sent to Port Arthur went mad within its cells. Why did such a phenomena occur?


Episode 67: The Frederick Escape 

Escapology was a way of life for some convicts sent to Australia. For some, the thrill of the breakout was its own reward. For others, it was reuniting with their family on the outside.

These 10 convicts put most escapes to shame. Join Holly and Matthew as they examine the theft of the Frederick – and the convicts’ adventure on the high seas.


Episode 86: The Legend of Fisher’s Ghost Part 1

Episode 87: The Legend of Fisher’s Ghost Part 2

In the 1820s, when the Australian colony was only a blip on the timeline of the British Empire, a single convict vanished from the settlement of Campbell Town, in the south-west of Sydney. Shortly after, his neighbour began selling the man’s wares, claiming the convict gave them to him.

A few weeks later, a man on his way home saw a ghastly sight, of the convict sitting on a bridge rail. After a few seconds, the ghostly man pointed down the creek and vanished.

And so began the legend of Fisher’s Ghost, arguably one of Australia’s first and most enduring ghost stories…


Episode 93: Eureka! Part 1: The Death of James Scobie

Episode 94: Eureka! Part 2: The Burning of the Eureka Hotel

Episode 95: Eureka! Part 3: The Battle of the Eureka Stockade

Episode 96: Eureka! Part 4: The Aftermath

In the 1850s, gold was struck to the west of Port Phillip, VIC, near a town called Ballarat. Before long, the goldfields were full of immigrants and Australians alike, each seeking their fortune.

However, where there is gold, there is government. The Victorian government, on behalf of the British, was quick to impose a license and fee on the diggers, seeking to make as much money as they could from the fields.

But, over time, the government got greedy. The price went from half a pound per month to three pounds a month – almost $500 today. For families seeking their fortune and finding nothing but rock, this was becoming a bad joke. As in other gold fields, the diggers got talking, and their woes were shared and spread…


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