List of Australian penal colonies

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The following is a list of Australian penal colonies that existed from the establishment of European presence in the 1780s and during the nineteenth century.[citation needed] The term colony had referred to settlements and larger land areas at that time.

Colony State Year opened Year closed
Cockatoo Island New South Wales 1839 1869
Rose Hill New South Wales 1787?
Sydney Cove New South Wales 1788 1840
Moreton Bay Queensland 1824
Redcliffe Queensland 1823 1824
Maria Island Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 1825 1851
Port Arthur Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)
Richmond Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)
Risdon Cove Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)
Sarah Island, part of the Macquarie Harbour Penal Station Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 1822 1833
Saltwater River Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)
Sullivan's Cove Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)
King George's Sound Western Australia 1826 1832[note 1]
Swan River Colony Western Australia 1850 1868[note 2]
Norfolk Island Other 1788 1855[note 3]


  1. ^ Convicts transferred back to Sydney
  2. ^ Last convict ship arrived 9 January 1868
  3. ^ Except for an 11-year hiatus between 15 February 1814 and 6 June 1825

See also[edit]