Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.
All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.
The First Fleet, consisting of 11 vessels, was the largest single contingent of ships to sail into the Pacific Ocean. Its purpose was to find a convict settlement on the east coast of Australia, at Botany Bay.
The First Fleet sailed from England on 13 May 1787 and arrived at Botany Bay eight months later, on 18 January 1788. Governor Arthur Phillip rejected Botany Bay choosing instead Port Jackson, to the north, as the site for the new colony; they arrived there on 26 January 1788.
The number of convicts transported in the First Fleet is unclear; there were between 750-780 convicts and around 550 crew, soldiers and family members.
Flannery, T 1999, The birth of Sydney, Text Publishing, Melbourne.