How much do you know about Australia’s epic story?


Our timeline maps Australian prehistory, from 130,000 years ago to the present.

We’ve marked ten important events on the timeline.

Can you work out what they represent? Use the icons to help you.

How did you go?

Check your answers below:

1: It’s hot and wet, sea level 5m higher than now with coastal flooding.
130,000 years ago.
2: Sea level dropping, Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea joined by land bridges to form Sahul.
100,000 years ago
3: Biggest volcanic super-eruption in the last million years spreads ash around the world.
74,000 years ago
4: People first arrive in Australia.
65,000 years ago
5: Megafauna (giant marsupials) go extinct.
42,000 years ago
6: Maximum Ice Age – ice caps grow in Australia and New Guinea, temperatures down 5˚C, sea level down 120 metres.
20,000 years ago
7: Sea level going up more than half a metre a year, climate warming fast.
15,000 years ago
8: Oldest rock art showing the ‘Rainbow Serpent’ in Arnhem Land.
6,000 years ago
9: Dingoes first arrive in Australia.
3,500 years ago
10: Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon arrived in Australia.
400 years ago

Getting to the bottom of 200,000 years of history at Girraween Lagoon.
Mapping the journeys of Australia's first people.

Revealing Australia’s Epic Story

Australia has been shaped as a nation by its natural, historic and Indigenous heritage. To adapt successfully to future changes, we must dramatically improve our understanding of Australia’s past.

At CABAH, we bring together expertise from diverse disciplines to answer fundamental questions about who we are and what our place is in the world.

We are undertaking research that will safeguard our national heritage, transform research culture, connect with communities and inform policy.

Learn more about our research projects here.


Watch more of our videos here

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