1874 in Australia
- Premier of New South Wales - Sir Henry Parkes
- Premier of Queensland - Arthur Hunter Palmer until 7 January, then Arthur Macalister
- Premier of South Australia - John Hart until 10 November, then Arthur Blyth
- Premier of Tasmania - Alfred Kennerley
- Premier of Victoria - Charles Gavan Duffy until 31 July, then George Kerferd
- 8 January - Arthur Macalister becomes Premier of Queensland for the third time.
- 10 March - Ernest Giles is the first European to explore and later names (12 March) the Petermann Ranges.
- 1 April - John Forrest leads an expedition from Geraldton, Western Australia across the Gibson Desert to the Peake telegraph station in South Australia.
- 15 June - Brisbane's first Victoria Bridge opens; it is lost in the 1893 Brisbane flood.
- 31 July - George Kerferd becomes Premier of Victoria.
- 28 September - Victorian Humane Society established; it later becomes the Royal Humane Society of Australasia.
- 6 November - University of Adelaide established by act of the South Australian Parliament; it opened in 1876.
- Barker, Anthony (1996). What Happened When. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86373-986-3.