Excerpt from The Boy Travellers in Australasia: Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey to the Sandwich, Marquesas, Society, Samoan, and Feejee Islands, and Through the Colonies of New Zealand, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia
The first settl... ement in Australia was made in 1788; consequently the inhabitants Of the great southern continent are this year cele brating their centennial. Three millions Of people settled in five great colonies, possessing all the characteristics Of an advanced civilization, with the unity developed by a common language and a common alle giance, and the rivalry that springs from the independence Of each colony by itself, are uniting in the centennial celebration, and contrast. Ing the Australia of today with that Of one hundred years ago. Previous to the discovery Of gold in Australia, in 1851, Americans had but little knowledge Of that far-away land. The Opening Of the auriferous fields attracted the attention Of the whole civilized world to the antipodes, and many Americans joined the multitude that went thither in search Of wealth. Since that time our relations with Aus tralia have, year by year, grown more intimate. Railways across our continent and steamship lines over the broad Pacific have brought Sydney and Melbourne in juxtaposition to New York and San F ran cisco, and in this centennial Australian year we may almost regard the British colonies under the Southern Cross as our next-door neighbors. The writer Of this volume is not aware that any illustrated book descriptive of Australia and its neighboring colonies, New Zealand and Tasmania, by an American author, or from an American press, has ever yet appeared. Believing such a book desirable, he sent those youthful veterans of travel, Frank Bassett and Fred Bronson, over the route indi cated on the title-page, with instructions to make careful note Of what they saw and learned. Under the guidance Of their mentor and our Old friend Doctor Bronson they carried out their instructions to the letter, and the results Of their Observations will be found in the following pages. Trusting that the book will meet the favor that has been ao corded to previous volumes Of the Boy Traveller series, they Offer their present work as their contribution to the Australian centennial.
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