The ships arrived in Botany Bay after a 252-day journey of 15,000 miles. However, Captain Phillip quickly discovered that Botany Bay was a poor harbor and that the surrounding terrain was unsuitable for agricultural cultivation. He also found the local population of indigenous people were hostile toward the settlers.
Therefore, he left the colony in 1788 after only three years.
The fleet departed from England on 3 August 1787 under the command of Captain James Cook. It included three vessels: The _Endeavour_, the flagship; the _HMS Bounty_, which had been built as a replica of a 1630 Dutch vessel; and the _HMAS Borell_, an old French warship that had been captured by the British and refurbished.
After a successful three-year expedition, during which time he visited many parts of the world's oceans, including the Antarctic Peninsula, Captain Cook returned home on 13 February 1789. He had made many discoveries, including the existence of life in Antarctica, but also brought back news of conflict between the natives of New Holland (as Australia was then known) and British colonists elsewhere in the world.
Its mission was to establish a convict community on Australia's east coast, near Botany Bay. The First Fleet left England on May 13, 1787, and landed at Botany Bay eight months later, on January 18, 1788. The fleet consisted of eleven ships carrying nearly 1500 people: 925 prisoners and 250 soldiers or marines.
The people chosen for transportation were those convicted of serious crimes, but also included some who had committed less serious offenses and others who were simply in financial difficulty. Transportation itself was considered a form of punishment, since it meant leaving one's family, friends, and home country for life in a foreign land with no guarantee of good treatment.
Transportation began in Britain as a means of dealing with its prison population. Prisoners would be given a date by which they had to be back in order to be released. If they could not pay their fine or rent, they would be transported to another country where jobs were available. However, many prisoners knew someone who could help them avoid this punishment by paying their fine or lease. These prisoners would be offered a choice: travel to a distant country or serve an additional sentence in a British prison.
In Australia, transportation ended up being used as a form of social control.
The fleet traveled from England to Rio de Janeiro, then east to Cape Town and then over the Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay (Australia), arriving between the 18th and 20th of January 1788, taking 250–252 days from departure to final arrival. This is the fastest voyage that has ever been accomplished by a sailing vessel.
A group of British sailors landed at Botany Bay on January 26, 1788, and was met by Governor Arthur Phillip who gave them guns and a small amount of ammunition as well as some rice and sugar for food. The men made their way to Sydney, where they were given land allotments. This event formed the basis for the creation of New South Wales as an official British colony.
The fleet left Britain with 110 people on board, but only 70 survived after suffering extreme weather conditions, hunger and disease during their seven-month-long journey across the vast ocean. Of the whole crew, only one man died while traveling from England to Australia - his name was William Bligh.
People often wonder what life was like in the early years of Australia's history. Here are just a few things you should know about before you ask: People lived in shelters called "barracks" which were built out of wood and used hammers and nails to construct themselves. There were no tools except for those owned by the soldiers or sailors.
The trip proved difficult, with the ship travelling south towards South America before turning east at Cape Town and sailing over the Great Southern Ocean to arrive at Botany Bay. It was not until 1770 that the first group of convicts left England. They traveled in three ships - the Sarah, the William and the Charlotte - and were headed for New South Wales.
Convict transportation to Australia began in 1767 when a bill passed by Parliament sent three hundred young men to Tasmania as punishment for working against the government in England. This is how the colony of Victoria came into existence. In 1825, after years of controversy, Victoria separated from Tasmania and became its own country called Australia.
Convict transportation continued, and by 1857 there were more than 20,000 people on board British ships heading for New South Wales. Most arrived alive, but many died during the crossing, either due to disease or because the ships were hit by huge storms waves that could break away pieces of rock that would sink them.
In 1868, after many complaints from merchants who had money waiting for them in Sydney, the government put an end to the practice of transporting convicts. But by then it was too late; the damage was done.