Captain James Cook chartered and named the coast of Queensland in 1770. In 1799 additional explorations were made by Matthew Flinders around Moreton Bay and the northern coast.
A year after John Oxly discovered the Brisbane River in 1823, the British established a penal settlement at Moreton Bay but by 1839 the this settlement was abandoned and grazers began to settle in the surrounding districts. The population and economy grew quickly and strongly during the late 1850s early 1860s, being further stimulated by the discovery of gold at Gympie and throughout the state for the next couple of decades.
The western migration of many farmers in the 1860s and '70s quickly populated the interior, but droughts brought economic failure to many of these pioneers.Cotton and sugar production became important during the 1860s, relying on the Kanaka labour. Kanakas were people kidnapped from the South Pacific Islands and brought to Australia and work extremely hard and live in terrible conditions that were simply unacceptable.
In 1859 Queensland was declared a separate colony from New South Wales and in 1901 Queensland became a state of the Commonwealth of Australia.
[AUSTRALIA] - [NSW] - [NT] - [QLD] - [SA] - [TAS] - [VIC] - [WA]