1887 in Australia
- Premier of New South Wales – Patrick Jenning (until 19 January), then Henry Parkes
- Premier of South Australia – John Downer (until 11 June), then Thomas Playford II
- Premier of Queensland – Samuel Griffith
- Premier of Tasmania – James Agnew (until 29 March), then Philip Fysh
- Premier of Victoria – Duncan Gillies
- Governor of the Crown Colony of Western Australia – Sir Frederick Broome
- 1 January – Clement Wragge is appointed Government Meteorologist for Queensland
- 21 January – Brisbane receives a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.
- 23 March – 81 miners are killed during a coal gas explosion at Bulli, New South Wales
- 22 April – A cyclone hits a pearling fleet off Eighty Mile Beach, 120 men drown.
- 22 June – The Fremantle Town Hall is opened.
- 26 Sept - The Celtic Club Melbourne is formed and remains today as Australia's oldest Irish Club
- 19 October – The Sydney-bound steamer SS Cheviot is wrecked near Point Nepean, Victoria, claiming 35 lives.
Science and technology
Arts and literature
- Dunlop wins the Melbourne Cup