The First Fleet:

a timeline of the journey

 13 May 1787 : sailed from Portsmouth, England. There were eleven small ships in the First Fleet: two naval ships, six convict ships and three storeships for supplies.Captain Arthur Phillip was in charge of the fleet
Onboard were about 1500 people: 722 convicts including 17 child convicts, the soldiers who were to guard them, soldiers' wives, sailors, and ship's officers.

3 June 1787 : arrived at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, stayed a week and took on supplies of fresh food

5 July 1787: crossed the Equator

7 August 1787: arrived at Rio de Janeiro, stayed for a month repairing sails, collecting plants and seeds to be grown in New South Wales.

13 October 1787: reached Table Bay (now CapeTown), Cape of Good Hope after surviving tremendous storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Stayed a month, and took on livestock (horses, sheep, goats).

25 December 1787: the Fleet was in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

 1 January 1788: Adventure Bay, Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania)

18 January 1788 : arrived at Botany Bay after sailing south of Van Diemen's Land, then north to New South Wales. It was decided that Botany Bay was not a suitable site for the settlement because water supply and soils were poor. The Fleet sailed on.

26 January 1788 : The members of the First Fleet went ashore at Port Jackson to start a settlement. Arthur Phillip named the place of landing Sydney Cove, after Lord Sydney, an official who had helped to organise th voyage.

Go here to see a list of the livestock and provisions carried by the First Fleet

Life onboard the convict ships
Conditions were crowded and cramped for the convicts who were housed, for long periods of time, behind bars and often chained. For parts of the journey conditions below decks were hot and humid. Diseases such as dysentery and scurvy broke out. About 40 convicts died during the voyage.

Click here to find a map of the journey taken by the First Fleet:

Ships of the First Feet

Here are some links to other sites about the First Fleet:

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, Ron & Sydenham, Shirley. Timeline:The journey of the First Fleet. [Online] (2011)

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May 2011