1876 in Australia
- Premier of New South Wales - John Robertson
- Premier of Queensland - Arthur Macalister until 5 June, then George Thorn
- Premier of South Australia - James Boucaut until 6 June, then John Colton
- Premier of Tasmania - Alfred Kennerley until 20 July, then Thomas Reibey
- Premier of Victoria - James McCulloch
- 20 February - Submarine cable between New South Wales and New Zealand completed.
- 21 March - J.V. Mulligan finds gold deposits in the Hodgkinson River in Queensland.
- 28 March - Classes commence at the University of Adelaide.
- 18 March - Luigi d'Albertis leaves Australia to explore New Guinea.
- 18–19 April - Catalpa rescue; Rescue team sent from New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA by John Devoy, rescues six escaped Fenian prisoners from Fremantle, Western Australia
- 5 June - George Thorn becomes Premier of Queensland.
- 6 June - John Colton becomes Premier of South Australia.
- 5 July - The completion of a railway bridge across the Brisbane River links Brisbane and Ipswich, Queensland.
- 20 July - Thomas Reibey becomes Premier of Tasmania
- 11 September - SS Dandenong sinks; 40 lives are lost.
- 7 November - The Melbourne Cup is run for the first time on the first Tuesday of November
- 27 November - Legislation is enacted in Queensland creating the first public fire service in Australia.
- 2 December - SS Georgette runs aground near Busselton, Western Australia; Grace Bussell becomes famous for helping to rescue the passengers.
Arts and literature
- Barker, Anthony (1996). What Happened When. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86373-986-3.