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Gold rush: level 2


Dig for gold on the Ballarat goldfields in 1865. Try your luck at alluvial or shaft mining. Buy a miner's permit, tools and enough supplies to last a month. Discover how hard life was on the goldfields. Explore a map showing the countries migrants left to join the gold rush in Australia. Find out which towns developed due to the discovery of gold. Look at an illustrated timeline to find out how the gold rush led to a boom in the Australian economy and rural development. This learning object is the more complex in a series of two learning objects that differ in complexity of navigation and basic calculations.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students recognise that gold was discovered in many parts of Australia between 1850 and 1900.
  • Students recognise the importance of the Gold Rush era in shaping Australia's population during the mid to late 1800s.
  • Students understand that the Gold Rush era introduced new skills into Australia and caused a boom in the economy and population growth.
Educational value
  • Illustrates the impact of the Gold Rush on late 19th-century Australia's population growth, ethnic make-up and economic prosperity, and on Australia's Indigenous peoples.
  • Simulates the life and hardships of a miner on the Victorian goldfields.
  • Provides timelines of the gold rush period marking key dates, events and gold mining towns, and a world map showing gold rush routes.
  • Features a currency converter to help students to trade in the authentic currency of the 19th century.
  • Evokes the egalitarian spirit of the era and describes the impact of the Eureka uprising on democracy in Australia.
  • Features a child mentor character to engage interest.
  • Includes authentic sound effects and music of the Gold Rush era.
  • Features authentic photographs of mining life and legal documents.
  • Rewards task completion with a printable mining permit including the student's name.
Year level

5; 6

Learning area
  • studies of society and environment;
  • history
  • History/Historical skills
    • Studies of society and environment/Australian history
    • Studies of society and environment/Social impact
    • Studies of society and environment/Migrants
    • Studies of society and environment/Population distribution
    • Studies of society and environment/Economic impact
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Games;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Subject matter expert
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 17 Sep 2012
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    • Copyright holder
    • Organisation: National Library of Australia
    • Remarks: The painting by Edwin Stocqueler of 'Australian gold diggings' has been reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an2273979.
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    Learning resource type
    • Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)
    • any - minimum version: Microsoft Edge (Windows); Default Android Browser
    • Google Chrome - minimum version: 35+ (Windows, macOS, Android)
    • Firefox - minimum version: 45+ (Windows & Mac)
    • ms-internet explorer - minimum version: 10+ (Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 7+ (Mac); Safari for iOS 9+ (iOS)
    Operating systems
    • ms-windows - minimum version: Vista+
    • macos - minimum version: 10.9+
    • ios - minimum version: 9+
    • android - minimum version: 5+
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2016, except where indicated under Acknowledgements. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence