Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres, it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, fifth largest by population, it has a total of 1.7 million people, its population is the second most centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are small. South Australia shares borders with all of the other mainland states, with the Northern Territory; the state comprises less than 8 percent of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the six states and two territories. The majority of its people reside in greater Metropolitan Adelaide. Most of the remainder are settled in fertile areas along River Murray; the state's colonial origins are unique in Australia as a settled, planned British province, rather than as a convict settlement.
Colonial government commenced on 28 December 1836, when the members of the council were sworn in near the Old Gum Tree. As with the rest of the continent, the region had been long occupied by Aboriginal peoples, who were organised into numerous tribes and languages; the South Australian Company established a temporary settlement at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, on 26 July 1836, five months before Adelaide was founded. The guiding principle behind settlement was that of systematic colonisation, a theory espoused by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, employed by the New Zealand Company; the goal was to establish the province as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance. Although its history is marked by economic hardship, South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant. Today, it is known for numerous cultural festivals; the state's economy is dominated by the agricultural and mining industries. Evidence of human activity in South Australia dates back as far as 20,000 years, with flint mining activity and rock art in the Koonalda Cave on the Nullarbor Plain.
In addition wooden spears and tools were made in an area now covered in peat bog in the South East. Kangaroo Island was inhabited; the first recorded European sighting of the South Australian coast was in 1627 when the Dutch ship the Gulden Zeepaert, captained by François Thijssen and mapped a section of the coastline as far east as the Nuyts Archipelago. Thijssen named the whole of the country eastward of the Leeuwin "Nuyts Land", after a distinguished passenger on board; the coastline of South Australia was first mapped by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in 1802, excepting the inlet named the Port Adelaide River, first discovered in 1831 by Captain Collet Barker and accurately charted in 1836–37 by Colonel William Light, leader of the South Australian Colonization Commissioners"First Expedition' and first Surveyor-General of South Australia. The land which now forms the state of South Australia was claimed for Britain in 1788 as part of the colony of New South Wales. Although the new colony included two-thirds of the continent, early settlements were all on the eastern coast and only a few intrepid explorers ventured this far west.
It took more than forty years before any serious proposal to establish settlements in the south-western portion of New South Wales were put forward. On 15 August 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834, which empowered His Majesty to erect and establish a province or provinces in southern Australia; the act stated that the land between 132° and 141° east longitude and from 26° south latitude to the southern ocean would be allotted to the colony, it would be convict-free. In contrast to the rest of Australia, terra nullius did not apply to the new province; the Letters Patent, which used the enabling provisions of the South Australia Act 1834 to fix the boundaries of the Province of South Australia, provided that "nothing in those our Letters Patent shall affect or be construed to affect the rights of any Aboriginal Natives of the said Province to the actual occupation and enjoyment in their own Persons or in the Persons of their Descendants of any Lands therein now occupied or enjoyed by such Natives."
Although the patent guaranteed land rights under force of law for the indigenous inhabitants it was ignored by the South Australian Company authorities and squatters. Survey was required before settlement of the province, the Colonization Commissioners for South Australia appointed William Light as the leader of its'First Expedition', tasked with examining 1500 miles of the South Australian coastline and selecting the best site for the capital, with planning and surveying the site of the city into one-acre Town Sections and its surrounds into 134-acre Country Sections. Eager to commence the establishment of their whale and seal fisheries, the South Australian Company sought, obtained, the Commissioners' permission to send Company ships to South Australia, in advance of the surveys and ahead of the Commissioners' colonists; the Company's settlement of seven vessels and 636 people was temporarily made at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, until
A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. It is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. An international organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas. While this type of national park had been proposed the United States established the first "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people", Yellowstone National Park, in 1872. Although Yellowstone was not termed a "national park" in its establishing law, it was always termed such in practice and is held to be the first and oldest national park in the world. However, the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the area surrounding Bogd Khan Uul Mountain are seen as the oldest protected areas, predating Yellowstone by nearly a century.
The first area to use "national park" in its creation legislation was the U. S.'s Mackinac, in 1875. Australia's Royal National Park, established in 1879, was the world's third official national park. In 1895 ownership of Mackinac National Park was transferred to the State of Michigan as a state park and national park status was lost; as a result, Australia's Royal National Park is by some considerations the second oldest national park now in existence. Canada established Parks Canada in 1911, becoming the world's first national service dedicated to protecting and presenting natural and historical treasures; the largest national park in the world meeting the IUCN definition is the Northeast Greenland National Park, established in 1974. According to the IUCN, 6,555 national parks worldwide met its criteria in 2006. IUCN is still discussing the parameters of defining a national park. National parks are always open to visitors. Most national parks provide outdoor recreation and camping opportunities as well as classes designed to educate the public on the importance of conservation and the natural wonders of the land in which the national park is located.
In 1969, the IUCN declared a national park to be a large area with the following defining characteristics: One or several ecosystems not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific and recreational interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty. In 1971, these criteria were further expanded upon leading to more clear and defined benchmarks to evaluate a national park; these include: Minimum size of 1,000 hectares within zones in which protection of nature takes precedence Statutory legal protection Budget and staff sufficient to provide sufficient effective protection Prohibition of exploitation of natural resources qualified by such activities as sport, fishing, the need for management, etc. While the term national park is now defined by the IUCN, many protected areas in many countries are called national park when they correspond to other categories of the IUCN Protected Area Management Definition, for example: Swiss National Park, Switzerland: IUCN Ia - Strict Nature Reserve Everglades National Park, United States: IUCN Ib - Wilderness Area Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe: IUCN III - National Monument Vitosha National Park, Bulgaria: IUCN IV - Habitat Management Area New Forest National Park, United Kingdom: IUCN V - Protected Landscape Etniko Ygrotopiko Parko Delta Evrou, Greece: IUCN VI - Managed Resource Protected AreaWhile national parks are understood to be administered by national governments, in Australia national parks are run by state governments and predate the Federation of Australia.
In Canada, there are both national parks operated by the federal government and provincial or territorial parks operated by the provincial and territorial governments, although nearly all are still national parks by the IUCN definition. In many countries, including Indonesia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, national parks do not adhere to the IUCN definition, while some areas which adhere to the IUCN definition are not designated as national parks. In 1810, the English poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy; the painter George Catlin, in his travels through the American West, wrote during the 1830s that the Native Americans in the United States might be preserved...in a magnificent park... A nation's Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty! The first effort by the U. S. Federal government to set aside such protected lands was on 20 April 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation that the 22nd United States Congress had enacted to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas, to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the futur
Canunda National Park
Canunda National Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located about 350 km southeast of Adelaide, on the coast about 13 km southwest of Millicent. It consists of coastal dunes, limestone cliffs, natural bushland; the beaches are popular for beach fishing and 4WD's. The national park consists of two parts - the first part being land in the gazetted localities of Southend and Canunda while the second part is located to the south in the gazetted locality of Carpenter Rocks at the headland of Cape Banks. From as far back as 10,000 years ago, members of the Boandik group of Indigenous Australians lived in temporary camps along the coast during summer, for the rest of the year they lived near inland swamps in permanent huts. Much of the national park is accessible only to walkers; the national park's office is located in the town of Southend at the northernmost end of the park. The northern end of the national park was once part of Mayurra Station; the remnants of Canunda's pastoral history can be seen at Coola Outstation.
Protected areas of South Australia Cape Banks Lighthouse Lower South East Marine Park Canunda National Park official webpage Canunda National Park webpage on protected planet
Sir Anthony Musgrave was a colonial administrator and governor. He died in office as Governor of Queensland in 1888, he was born at St John's, the third of 11 children of Anthony Musgrave and Mary Harris Sheriff. After education in Antigua and Great Britain, he was appointed private secretary to Robert James Mackintosh, governor-in-chief of the Leeward Islands in 1854, he was recognised for his "capacity and zeal", promoted, administering in turn the British West Indies territories of Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Musgrave was born to a slaveholding family, his father and uncles, were slaveholders who were compensated for their slaves upon the emancipation of slavery in the 1830s. After ten years of colonial service in the Caribbean, Musgrave was appointed governor of Newfoundland in September, 1864. Unlike his previous appointments, Newfoundland had responsible government and an active colonial assembly, he found a colony in dire economic straits, containing a destitute population.
During his tenure, Musgrave dedicated most of energies towards convincing Newfoundland to remedy this by joining the negotiations with other British North American colonies towards union in what would become the Canadian Confederation. In this project, he was allied with the goals of the colonial office. Despite his efforts, what seemed like imminent success, Musgrave failed to move the colonial assembly to accepting terms of union. Canada was proclaimed on 1 July 1867—and Newfoundland would not join Confederation for eighty years. In consultation with the colonial office and the Canadian Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, it was agreed that Musgrave should redirect his energies concerning the expansion of the Canadian confederation away from the easternmost colony of British North America, to the westernmost—the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Following the death of Frederick Seymour, Musgrave took up his new responsibilities as colonial governor in August, 1869.
Musgrave found a colony in an administrative and financial mess, with a fractious assembly, long-simmering disputes between the two colonies and their capitals – Victoria and New Westminster—and general frustration with the slow pace of negotiations for the colony to enter confederation. Musgrave proved to be both a capable administrator, an able placater of the assembly's notoriously contentious members. In less than two years, in July, 1871, British Columbia joined Canada as its sixth province. Musgrave did a brief stint as governor of the South African colony of Natal. Musgrave's next posting was to South Australia; this proved to be a less taxing appointment. During his tenure, Musgrave supported the assembly in its plans to borrow a large sum for the purpose of extensive railway construction, the imposition of additional taxation, the introduction of a considerable number of immigrants into what was still a unsettled hinterland. After three and a half years in the antipodes, Musgrave returned to the Caribbean as governor of Jamaica.
He would govern the colony for the next six years, focussing much of his attention on improving its cultural life. Under his administration, the government extended the line. Musgrave initiated the Jamaica Scholarship, was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Jamaica, dedicated to fostering and encouraging the development of arts and literature; the Musgrave Medal, awarded by the institute for excellence in these fields, was named in his honour in 1897. Musgrave's last appointment was back in Australia, as governor of the colony of Queensland, where he arrived on 7 November 1883 in the Ranelagh. Like South Australia, Queensland enjoyed full responsible government, Musgrave was more of a spectator of the political scene, he travelled with premier Samuel Griffith to visit the northern parts of the colony including Cooktown, Port Douglas, Townsville, Charters Towers, Mourilyan Harbour and Bowen. During this period, he was faced with responding to the action of the colony's premier, Sir Thomas McIlwraith, in "annexing" New Guinea as part of Queensland — an action repudiated by the colonial office.
Governor Anthony Musgrave was at the point of retiring from the colonial service when he died at his desk in Brisbane on 9 October 1888 from strangulation of the bowel. His funeral was held on 10 October 1888 at St John's Cathedral, after which he was interred in Brisbane's Toowong General Cemetery on the principal slope near to the grave of Governor Blackall, the location being selected by premier Thomas McIlwraith. In May 1939, his grave was reported as overgrown with weeds, he married in 1854 to Christiana Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. Sir William Byam of Antigua. During his tenure in British Columbia, Musgrave married his second wife, Jeanie Lucinda Field, the daughter of David Dudley Field, their daughter, died in South Australia during 1874. According to article in "Air Clues" May 1995, he had three sons: Arthur David Musgrave b.1874 d.1931, Herbert Musgrave DSO RFC and RE, b.11th May 1876 in Adelaide, S. Australia, d.2nd June 1918 in German territory and Dudley Field Musgrave b.1873 d.1895 of Typhoid Fever in Bombay.
According to www.biographi.ca Sir. Anthony was 3rd of 11 children. QueenslandPort Musgrave, an embayment located on the northwestern tip of the Cape York Peninsula. Musgrave, a locality in east-central Queensland Musgrave Hill, a locality in Southport, Gold Coast The Queensland Government's steam yacht of 1884 was named Lucinda after Lady Musgrave Lucinda, Queensland, i
The tawny frogmouth is a species of frogmouth native to and found throughout the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Tawny frogmouths are big-headed, stocky birds mistaken for owls due to their nocturnal habits and similar colouring; the tawny frogmouth is sometimes incorrectly referred to as "mopoke", a common name for the Australian boobook, whose call is confused with the tawny frogmouth's. The tawny frogmouth was first described in 1801 by English naturalist John Latham, its specific epithet is derived from the Latin strix meaning "owl" and oides meaning "form". Tawny frogmouths belong to the frogmouth genus Podargus, which includes the two other species of frogmouths found within Australia, the marbled frogmouth and the Papuan frogmouth; the frogmouths form a well-defined group within the order Caprimulgiformes. Although related to owls, their closest relatives are the oilbirds, owlet-nightjars, true nightjars; the earliest fossil evidence of frogmouths is from the Eocene and implies that they diverged from their closest relatives during the early Tertiary.
Three subspecies of the tawny frogmouth are recognised: P. s. phalaenoides is found throughout Northern Australia southwards to the Great Sandy Desert, Barkly Tableland, the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland. P. s. brachypterus is found in Western Australia northwards to the Great Sandy Desert, north-eastwards to the Channel Country of Queensland, south-eastwards to the Murray Mallee in Victoria. P. s. strigoides is found in Eastern and South Eastern Australia from north of Cooktown, westwards to the inland fringes of the Great Dividing Range, in Tasmania. Tawny frogmouths are big-headed birds that can measure from 34 to 53 cm long. Weights have been recorded up to 680 g in the wild. In the nominate race, 55 males were found to weigh a mean of 354 g, while 39 females weighed a mean of 297 g, with a range between both of 157 to 555 g. Among the subspecies P. s. brachypterus, 20 unsexed birds were found to average 278 g with a range of 185 to 416 g. In P. s. phalaenoides, a weight range of 205 to 364 g was reported.
Thus, in terms of average if not maximal body mass, the tawny is a bit smaller than its relative, the Papuan frogmouth. Tawny frogmouths are compact with rounded wings and short legs, they have wide, olive-grey to blackish bills that are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts of bristles. Their eyes are large and yellow, a trait shared by owls; however they are not forward facing like an owls. Tawny frogmouths have three distinct colour morphs, grey being the most common in both sexes. Males of this morph have silver-grey upperparts with black streaks and paler underparts with white barring and brown to rufous mottling. Females of this morph are darker with more rufous mottling. Females of the subspecies P. s. strigoides have a chestnut morph and females of the subspecies P. s. phalaenoides have a rufous morph. Leucistic or albinistic all-white aberrant plumage for this species has been documented. One of the best examples of cryptic plumage and mimicry in Australian birds is seen in the tawny frogmouth which perch low on tree branches during the day camouflaged as part of the tree.
Their silvery-grey plumage patterned with white and brown streaks and mottles allows them to freeze into the form of a broken tree branch and become invisible in broad daylight. The tawny frogmouth chooses a broken part of a tree branch and perches upon it with its head thrust upwards at an acute angle using its large, broad beak to emphasise the resemblance. A pair sits together and points their heads upwards, only breaking cover if approached to take flight or warn off predators; when threatened, adult tawny frogmouths make an alarm call that signals to chicks to remain silent and immobile, ensuring that the natural camouflage provided by the plumage is not broken. Tawny frogmouths and owls both have mottled patterns, wide eyes, anisodactyl feet. However, owls possess strong legs, powerful talons, toes with a unique flexible joint they use to catch prey. Tawny frogmouths prefer to catch their prey with their beaks and have weak feet, they roost out in the open, relying on camouflage for defence, build their nests in tree forks, whereas owls roost hidden in thick foliage and build their nests in tree hollows.
Tawny frogmouths have wide, forward-facing beaks for catching insects, whereas owls have narrow, downwards-facing beaks used to tear prey apart. The eyes of tawny frogmouths are to the side of the face, while the eyes of owls are forward on the face. Furthermore, owls have full or partial face discs and large, asymmetrical ears, while tawny frogmouths do not. Tawny frogmouths are found throughout most of the Australian mainland except in far western Queensland, the central Northern Territory, most of the Nullabor Plain. In Tasmania, they are common throughout the eastern parts of the state, they can be found in any habitat type, including forests and woodlands and heathland vegetation, savannahs. However, they are seen in heavy rainforests and treeless deserts, they are seen in large numbers in areas populated with many river gums and casuarinas, can be found along river courses if these areas are timbered. Tawny frogmouths are common in suburbs, they have been reported nesting in gardens with trees.
Tawny frogmouths are carnivorous and are considered to be among Australia's most effective pest-control birds, as their diet consists of species regarded as vermin or pests in houses
Richard Graves MacDonnell
Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell was an Anglo-Irish lawyer and colonial governor. His posts as governor included Governor of the British Settlements in West Africa, Governor of Saint Vincent, Governor of South Australia, Governor of Nova Scotia and Governor of Hong Kong. Several places around the world are named for him including MacDonnell Road in Hong Kong. Richard Graves MacDonnell was born in Dublin, 8 September 1814, the second son of Richard MacDonnell, the Provost of Trinity College and Jane Graves, second daughter of Richard Graves, Dean of Ardagh, he was the brother of Major-General Arthur Robert MacDonnell. His first cousins included Lady Valentine Blake of Menlough, Sir William Collis Meredith, Edmund Allen Meredith, John Dawson Mayne and Francis Brinkley. MacDonnell entered Trinity College, Dublin in 1830, was elected a scholar in 1833, graduated B. A. M. A. LL. B. and LL. D.. MacDonnell was called to the Irish bar in 1838, to the English bar, at Lincoln’s Inn, 25 January 1841. On 20 July 1843, he was appointed to the new post of Chief Justice of the Gambia.
After four years there, amidst long breaks for his health travelling through the United States and Canada, he intended to hand in his resignation to Henry Grey, 3rd Earl Grey and resume practice at the English bar. But, on 1 October 1847, Grey persuaded him otherwise and appointed him Governor of the British settlements in Gambia, a post he held for a further four years. While in Gambia, MacDonnell spent much of his time indulging his passion for exploration, organising punitive campaigns against unruly native tribes, his expeditions opened up the interior of Africa from the Gambia River to the Senegal River. The military expeditions which he accompanied against native tribes who had long oppressed the traders of the river were a success and extended the limits of British commerce in the region. On one visit to a native king an ambush was laid for him, he narrowly avoided being assassinated. In return, the British government sent four hundred men to inflict a summary chastisement, with MacDonnell acting as Captain of one of the volunteer companies.
In 1852, he was nominated as Lieutenant Governor of St. Lucia, but without taking up the post he was sent, 10 January 1853, to become administrator and Captain General of the island of St. Vincent, he was Lieutenant General of St Vincent from 1853 to 1854. Described as a'dominant personality' and having gained a reputation for forthrightness and intolerance, MacDonnell was appointed the sixth Governor of South Australia, arriving 9 June 1855, taking over from Boyle Travers Finniss, acting since the departure of Sir Henry Young. Shortly before leaving for Australia, in 1856 he was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace. Arriving in Australia, MacDonnell was soon involved in heated debate over the composition of the legislature. A two-house system prevailed, although the Upper House had a property franchise. Difficulties between MacDonnell and his officials led to several changes of government, he extended railway and telegraph communications within the colony and opened up valuable copper mines on the Yorke Peninsula, while increasing the progress in agricultural and pastoral pursuits.
MacDonnell showed little concern for the Australian working class, claiming that charity fostered sloth and pauperism. He was impressed with the settlers from Germany, he predicted that the colony had a great future for producing wine. In his seven-year term the acreage under wheat doubled in South Australia and he argued that farmers with capital would succeed as long as their methods did not rob the soil. MacDonnell's passion for exploration aided in opening up the interior of Australia, in particular the Murray River, he developed many of the natural resources of the colony, he travelled in the colony and in 1859 led a small party to investigate country around the northern lakes and claypans, riding 1800 miles in three months. He maintained that Charles Sturt and Edward John Eyre were overrated as explorers as they seemed "generally to have a knack of getting into the most dismal places and finding barrenness from Dan to Beersheba", he instead urged the colonists to support the efforts of John McDouall Stuart to cross the continent.
MacDonnell was regarded in Australia as both'powerful and hospitable'. He was an enthusiastic member of local rifle and archery clubs and keenly interested in the volunteer defence movement, he identified himself with most of the literary and philanthropic organizations. He saw himself as a leader and innovator, though genial, at times his bustling energy dismayed Adelaide society; as a patron of South Australian culture he encouraged students who could not travel abroad to continue their post-primary schooling, with his customary dash examined candidates and donated prizes, but his plan collapsed after he left the colony. He left 4 March 1862, for a holiday in Ireland before taking up his next post. On the recommendation of his predecessor, George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby, MacDonnell was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia from 28 May 1864, until October 1865, taking up residence at Gove