Yes we had very early Ariels out here in Australia - the earliest that I've found are tricycles that were imported by the Austral Cycle Agency in March 1898. Not the earliest motor vehicles in the country, but there were only a handful here at that time.
The attached photo appeared in The Australian Motorist in 1909 and supposedly shows one of these Ariel tricycles, with the rider claiming (in 1909) that he was "the first motorist in Victoria". Unfortunately he doesn't give a date, but let's assume 1898. If this trike is an Ariel, it pre-dates the "usual" Ariel trike, because it uses the de Dion Bouton motor mounted behind the rear axle. Unfortunately the front fork is not visible in the photo: I wonder if it has the Ariel-style brace in front of the steering head.
My question is: can anyone confirm that this trike is really an Ariel from 1897 or very early 1898? An advertisement showing or describing it would be great.
(If anyone is interested in early motor vehicles in Australia, do have a look at my on-line magazine "Serpolette's Tricycle" - http://earlymotor.com