Loss of human life, destruction of crops and pastures, millions of dead animals, economic retardation and denuded landscapes—all these are associated with El Niño events in the early twentieth century. What is not so widely recognised is that, while our climate is changing, El Niño events were present throughout the histories of colonial Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. In due course the colonists better understood the vagaries of their climates and developed precautionary measures. Climatic extremes were also incorporated into their cultures and adopted as shaping forces in national character and national history. Droughts, Floods and Cyclones is a most comprehensive study of this phenomenon.