The first ice in Sydney arrived in 1839. It had been harvested from North American lakes and carried through the tropics in a heavily insulated sailing ship, the Tartar. The ice trade was conducted by American and Norwegian entrepreneurs. Merchants in Australia, India, the West Indies and elsewhere built ice houses, where this precious commodity could be preserved and sold to the public. More
Although some reports indicate that the first pineapples were brought to Australia by German missionaries who had travelled to Australia via India, The Australian reported in 1826 that several pineapple plants from South America had been received into the Government garden. Pineapples were widespread in the tropics by that time. They were distributed by Spanish navigators after Colombus first encountered them in Guadeloupe in 1493. More
Although the Henty brothers planted the first vines in Victoria at Portland, Yering Station in the Yarra Valley was the site of Victoria’s first commercial vineyard. It was planted by the Scottish-born Ryrie brothers, but the property remained primarily a cattle station until Paul de Castella took ownership in 1850. The current cellar door building dates to 1859. More
In November 1834, six months before Melbourne was first settled, Edward Henty arrived at Portland Bay on the south coast of what was then known as the Port Phillip District. Just two weeks after his arrival, his workman Robert Crowley began to till the soil for Victoria’s first crop of potatoes. The plough that was used to begin the first colonial farming venture in Victoria still exists and is in a museum in Portland. More
James Busby(1801-71) was a pioneer of viticulture in New South Wales, emigrating with his family from Britain in 1824. He had studied viticulture in France and took up property in the Hunter Valley. He published several works that were influential in the development of the wine industry in the new colony and in 1833, after a tour of Europe, donated a collection of vine cuttings to the colonial government. He became British Resident in New Zealand in 1833, where he was involved in drafting the Treaty of Waitangi. More
The Cascade Brewery was built by Peter Degraves, who originally founded the estate as a saw milling operation. Degraves arrived in Hobart Town in 1824 and spent five of his first seven years in the colony in prison for debt. Nevertheless, his beer became the most popular in Tasmania and the Cascade Brewery is the oldest in Australia.
The first grape vines in Western Australia were planted near Fremantle soon after the first colonists arrived in 1829. By 1832, Thomas Waters of Olive Farm near Guildford was selling wine by the gallon – the first Western Australian wine. While it has not operated continuously as a commercial vineyard, Olive Farm Wines was revived in 1934 when the property was purchased by Yugoslavian immigrant Ivan Yurisich. More