On the 13th May 1777 eleven ships departed Great Britain on a fine day with calm seas ahead of them.
The vessels Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and Scarborough all carried passenger cargo.
The fleet was lead by the ships' HMS Sirius and HMS Supply.
Transports Golden Grove, Fishburn and Borrowdale carried supplies for the fleet.
A few men planned a mutiny which was quickly squashed but as the journey continued the fleet faced vermin, illness, food and water shortages and violent storms. Despite all the hardships the death rate was only 3%, less then half the 2004 Australian average of 6.4%.
252 days later the fleet arrived in New Holland but found the bay less suited for colonisation then anticipated. After a little exploration a more suitable site was located. On the 26 January the fleet relocated to the new site, planted the British Flag and named the port Sydney Cove.
Today we celebrate that momentous occasion with an annual public holiday. We call it Australia Day. Why?
Why don't we call it New Holland Day? That's thanks to the explorer Matthew Flinders who circumnavigated our vast island in 1803.
Traditional Australia Day celebrations include BBQ and beer. The esky is a regular feature at such celebrations.
A dress code is not enforced but the footwear of choice is easily discernible.
All other paraphernalia is optional.