Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918.
Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.


An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The series of 60 photographs that comprise the series was issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Physical description

Views of Victoria (General Series) No.23 / ‘Waterfall scene on the Coliban River, near Elphinstone’ / Albumen silver photograph mounted on board

Inscriptions & markings

On reverse:
‘The scene this illustration presents is but one of the many that exist along the course of this shallow River, which, like its parent the Campaspe, abounds with rocky and romantic scenery. The fall of the River at this place is over one hundred feet, but is broken by a long course of rocks to the lower bed; the actual fall as seen is about forty feet. The Coliban, though only a branch of the Campaspe, derives its name from the fact that its course runs through the Coliban Park. Gold is found in considerable quantities along the banks and in the stream, but at the present time these diggings are worked only by Chinamen.’