1882 in Australia
- Governor of New South Wales – Lord Augustus Loftus
- Governor of Queensland – Arthur Edward Kennedy
- Governor of South Australia – Sir William Jervois
- Governor of Tasmania – Major Sir George Strahan
- Governor of Victoria – George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby
- Governor of Western Australia – (office first formed in 1890)
- 1 January – Bilateral conventions for the exchange of money orders come into effect between the United States of America and the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria.
- 2 February – A cyclone causes considerable damage to the town of Cardwell, Queensland.
- 8 May – Planning begins on the Working Men's College in Melbourne (now RMIT University).
- 31 May – The steamer Pretty Jane is wrecked on the Ninety Mile Beach, 30 km west of Lakes Entrance. No lives were lost.
- 9 December – Brisbane is the first city in Australia to install electric lighting.
Science and technology
Arts and literature
- 17 February – The first cricket Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground begins.
- 29 August – The Australian cricket team beats England for the first time in a test match at The Oval in London. A mock obituary appears in the next day's Sporting Times, mourning "the death of English cricket", which leads to the creation of The Ashes.
- The Assyrian wins the Melbourne Cup
- 30 December – The first Test of the 1882–83 Ashes tour begins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- 19 January – John Cain snr. (died 1957), Premier of Victoria
- 18 February – Harvey Sutton (died 1963), track and field athlete
- 24 March – Enid Derham (died 1941), poet
- 29 April – Tom Richards (died 1935), Australian rugby union player
- 5 May – Sir Douglas Mawson, geologist and explorer (born in England)
- 8 July – Percy Grainger (died 1961), composer and pianist
- 26 July – Albert Dunstan, (died 1950), Premier of Victoria
- 6 December – Warren Bardsley (died 1954), cricketer