This was the year that the NSW gold rush got its mojo back. After a heady start in 1851, things in NSW had quickly gone into decline as the remarkable finds from Victoria attracted both the mass of public attention and miners to boot.
With numbers few and far between on the NSW diggings things were hence in the doldrums there for a few years. All this was to change though in 1856 with a new series of exciting discoveries on the western goldfields.
As NSW surged back as a re-emerging gold prospect, an influx of Chinese miners were amongst those who headed off to the diggings. This upsurge coincided with Victorian initiatives to discourage new Chinese immigration onto their fields via a £10 “Chinese” entry tax amongst other measures. This in turn made Sydney a desirable entry point to the colonies for Chinese miners.
Left: “Chinese Miners on their way to the Diggings – Charles Lyall, 1854
Reproduced courtesy State Library of Victoria H87.63/2/4