An organised European immigration to Australia was initiated in 1788. Most of the early emigrants were deported from Britain to the "Penal Colony". The most famous was probably Knud Geelmuyden Bull (1811 - 1889), from Bergen, a painter and forger of coins who was deported to Hobart, Tasmania.
However, free settlers flocked to Australia when the gold rush began in 1851, perhaps including as many as 5000 Norwegians, with as many as half remaining in around 1860. Many of these had previously tried their luck in California, and many returned to America.
Organised emigration began with a single person in 1867, two the next year and 15 emigrants in 1869. There was a strong percentage growth, with 50 in 1870, 221 in 1871, 784 in 1872, 354 in 1873, 36 in 1874, 76 in 1875 and 42 in 1876, about 1500 in total. In 1880, a further 595 Norwegians emigrated to Australia.