During 1858 and 1859 the Austrian geologist Ferdinand Hochstetter visited Australia in connection with the Novara round-the-world scientific expedition. While much of significance was published as a result of Hochstetter's researches in New Zealand during 1859, the same cannot be said for his time in New South Wales and Victoria. With the aid of recently uncovered manuscript geological notebooks and contemporary material originally issued in German-language scientific journals, a preliminary assessment can be made of his visit to the Australian colonies. Aspects of the reception Hochstetter and his fellow Novara scientists received, and in turn his views on the state of scientific endeavour in Australia, are discussed. Brief excursions to the Newcastle coalfields in 1858, and the Victorian goldfields in 1859, are also highlighted.