In 1886 great excitement was experienced throughout Australia with the announcement that the Kimberley gold rush in northern Western Australia had commenced. Gold seekers from the eastern Australian goldfields made the trip across the continent by steamer or horseback – often a combination of both. The Kimberley rushes were not particularly successful in terms of gold yield, but were the first significant finds in either the Northern Territory or Western Australia. They ‘began a lightning run of finds that in seven years stretched on in a long arc one and a half thousand miles from the Timor Sea to the Great Australian Bight’. No other large mining region of the world was opened up so rapidly.