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´╗┐Title: Explorations in Australia, Illustrated,
Author: Forrest, John, 1847-1918
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Explorations in Australia, Illustrated," ***

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It was during your administration of the Government of Western Australia,
and chiefly owing to your zeal and support, that most of the work of
exploration described in this volume was undertaken and carried out. Your
encouragement revived the love of exploration which had almost died out
in our colony before you arrived.

With gratitude and pleasure I ask you to accept the dedication of this
volume as an expression of my appreciation of your kindness and support.

Yours very faithfully,




Previous Expeditions into the Interior.
Attempts to Discover a Route between South and Western Australia.
Eyre's Disastrous Journey.
Leichardt, the Lost Explorer.
The Latest Explorations.



Statements made by the Natives.
An Expedition Prepared.
Leader Appointed.
Official Instructions.
The Journal.



A New Exploration suggested.
Proposal to reach Adelaide by way of the South Coast.
The experience derived from Eyre's Expedition.
Survey of Port Eucla.
Official Instructions.
The Start.
Dempster's Station near Esperance Bay.
The Schooner at Port Eucla.
Journal of the Expedition.



Departure from Gawler and Arrival at Adelaide.
Appearance of the Party.
Public Entrance.
Complimentary Banquet.
Grant by the Government of Western Australia.



Proposal to undertake a New Expedition.
Endeavour to Explore the Watershed of the Murchison.
Expeditions by South Australian Explorers.
My Journal.
Fight with the Natives.
Finding traces of Mr. Gosse's Party.
The Telegraph Line reached.
Arrival at Perth Station.



Procession and Banquet at Adelaide.
Arrival in Western Australia.
Banquet and Ball at Perth.
Results of Exploration.


Description of Plants, etc.
Report on Geological Specimens.
Note by Editor.
Governor Weld's Report (1874) on Western Australia.
Table of Imports and Exports.
Ditto of Revenue and Expenditure.
Public Debt.
List of Governors.


1. General Map of Australia, showing the Three Journeys.
2. From Perth to Longitude 123 degrees in Search of Leichardt.
3. From Perth to Adelaide, around the Great Australian Bight.
4. From Champion Bay to Adelaide.


Portrait of John Forrest.
The Horses Bogged at Lake Barlee.
Portrait of Alexander Forrest.
Arrival at the Great Australian Bight. Fresh Water found.
Public Welcome at Adelaide.
Attacked by the Natives at Weld Springs.
On the March. The Spinifex Desert.
Reaching the Overland Telegraph Line.



Previous Expeditions into the Interior.
Attempts to discover a Route between South and Western Australia.
Eyre's Disastrous Journey.
Leichardt, the Lost Explorer.
The Latest Explorations.

As the history of the principal expeditions into the interior of
Australia has been narrated by several able writers, I do not propose to
repeat what has already been so well told. But, to make the narrative of
my own journeys more intelligible, and to explain the motives for making
them, it is necessary that I should briefly sketch the expeditions
undertaken for the purpose of ascertaining the nature of the vast regions
intervening between Western and the other Australian colonies, and
determining the possibility of opening up direct overland communication.

With energetic, if at times uncertain, steps the adventurous colonists
have advanced from the settlements on the eastern and southern coasts of
the vast island into the interior. Expeditions, led by intrepid
explorers, have forced their way against all but insurmountable
difficulties into the hitherto unknown regions which lie to the north and
west of the eastern colonies. Settlements have been established on the
shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Burke and a small party crossed
Australia from south to north, enduring innumerable hardships, Burke,
with two of his associates, perishing on the return journey. About the
same time Stuart crossed farther to the west, reaching the very centre of
Australia, and telegraphic wires now almost exactly follow his line of
route, affording communication, by way of Port Darwin, between Adelaide
and the great telegraphic systems of the world.


The telegraph line divides Australia into two portions, nearly equal in
dimensions, but very different in character. To the east are the busy and
rapidly advancing settlements, fertile plains, extensive ranges of grassy
downs, broad rivers, abundant vegetation; to the west a great lone land,
a wilderness interspersed with salt marshes and lakes, barren hills, and
spinifex deserts. It is the Sahara of the south, but a Sahara with few
oases of fertility, beyond which is the thin fringe of scattered
settlements of the colony of Western Australia. To cross this desert, to
discover routes connecting the western territory with South Australia and
the line marked by the telegraph, has been the ambition of later
explorers. Mr. Gregory attempted, from the north, to ascend the Victoria
River, but only reached the upper edge of the great desert. Dr.
Leichardt, who had previously travelled from Moreton Bay, on the eastern
coast, to Port Essington on the northern, attempted to cross from the
eastern to the western shores, and has not since been heard of. Mr. Eyre
made a journey, memorable for the misfortunes which attended it, and the
sufferings he endured, from Adelaide round the head of the great bay, or
Bight of Southern Australia, to Perth, the capital of Western Australia;
and much more recently Colonel Egerton Warburton succeeded in crossing
from the telegraphic line to the western coast across the northern part
of the great wilderness, nearly touching the farthest point reached by
Mr. Gregory.


It was in the year 1840, only four years after the foundation of South
Australia, that the first great attempt to discover a route from Adelaide
to the settlements in Western Australia was made. There then resided in
South Australia a man of great energy and restless activity, Edward John
Eyre, whose name was afterwards known throughout the world in connexion
with the Jamaica outbreak of 1865, and the measures which, as Governor,
he adopted for repressing it. It was anticipated that a profitable trade
between the colonies might be carried on if sheep and other live-stock
could be transferred from one to the other in a mode less expensive than
was afforded by the sea route between Adelaide and the Swan River. Eyre
did not believe in the possibility of establishing a practicable route,
but urged, through the press, the desirability of exploring the vast
regions to the north, which he anticipated would afford a good and
profitable field for adventurous enterprise. He offered to lead an
expedition which should explore the country around the great salt lake
lying to the north-west of the settled portion of the colony, and to
which the name of Lake Torrens had been given. Very little was known of
this lake, and absolutely nothing of the country beyond. The general
supposition, in which Eyre shared, was that there existed a large space
of barren land, most probably the bed of a sea which had at one time
divided the continent into several islands; but it was hoped that no
insuperable difficulties in the way of crossing it would present
themselves, and beyond might be a fertile and valuable district, offering
an almost unbounded field for settlement, and with which permanent
communications might without great difficulty be established. Some
geographers were of opinion that an inland sea might be in existence,
and, if so, of course water communication with the northern half of
Australia could be effected.

Mr. Eyre's proposition found ready acceptance with the colonists, The
Government granted 100 pounds--a small sum indeed--but the colony was
then young, and far from being in flourishing circumstances. Friends lent
their assistance, enthusiasm was aroused, and in little more than three
weeks from the time when Eyre proposed the expedition, he started on his
journey. Five Europeans accompanied him, and two natives, black boys,
were attached to the party, which was provided with thirteen horses,
forty sheep, and provisions for three months. Lake Torrens was reached,
and then the difficulties of the expedition began. Although dignified
with the name of lake, it proved to be an enormous swamp, without surface
water, and the mud coated with a thin layer of salt. The party struggled
to effect a passage, and penetrated into the slime for six miles, until
they were in imminent danger of sinking. The lake, or rather salt swamp,
presented a barrier which Eyre considered it impossible to overcome. The
party turned in a westerly direction, and reached the sea at Port
Lincoln. Here a little open boat was obtained, and Mr. Scott, Eyre's
courageous companion, undertook to attempt to reach Adelaide and obtain
further supplies. This he successfully accomplished, returning in the
Water Witch with stores and provisions, two more men, and some kangaroo
dogs. Thus reinforced, the party reached Fowler's Bay in the great Bight
of South Australia. The map shows that a journey of more than 200 miles
must have been made before the point was reached. Thence they attempted
to make their way round the head of the Bight, but were twice baffled by
want of water. Nothing daunted, Eyre made a third attempt, and succeeded
in penetrating fifty miles beyond the head of the Bight. But the result
was achieved only at a cost which the little party could ill sustain.
Four of the best horses perished, which deprived Eyre of the means of
carrying provisions, and he had to decide between abandoning the
expedition altogether or still further reducing the number of his
companions. Mr. Scott and three men returned to Adelaide, leaving behind
a man named Baxter, who had long been in Eyre's employ as an overseer or
factotum; the two natives who had first started with him, and a boy,
Wylie, who had before been in Eyre's service, and who had been brought
back in the cutter.

Six months after Eyre had started from Adelaide, he was left with only
four companions to continue the journey. He had acquired considerable
experience of the privations to be encountered, but refused to comply
with the wishes of Colonel Gawler, the Governor, to abandon the
expedition as hopeless, and return to Adelaide. Indeed, with
characteristic inflexibility--almost approaching to obstinacy--he
resolved to attempt the western route along the shore of the Great
Bight--a journey which, only a few months before, he had himself
described as impracticable.

The cutter which had been stationed at Fowler Bay, to afford assistance
if required, departed on the 31st of January, 1841, and Eyre and his
small party were left to their fate. He had been defeated in the attempt
to push forward in a northward direction, and he resolved not to return
without having accomplished something which would justify the confidence
of the public in his energy and courageous spirit of adventure. If he
could not reach the north, he would attempt the western route, whatever
might be the result of his enterprise. After resting to recruit the
strength of his party, Eyre resolutely set out, on the 25th of February,
on what proved to be a journey attended by almost unexampled demands upon
human endurance.

Nine horses, one pony, six sheep, and a provision of flour, tea, and
sugar for nine weeks, formed the slender stores of the little party,
which resolutely set forward to track an unknown path to the west.
Accompanied by one of the blacks, Eyre went on in advance to find water.
For five days, during which time he travelled about 140 miles, no water
was obtained, and the distress endured by men and animals was extreme. It
is not necessary to dwell on every incident of this terrible journey.
Eyre's descriptions, animated by remembrances of past sufferings, possess
a graphic vigour which cannot be successfully emulated. Sometimes it was
found necessary to divide the party, so wretched was the country, and so
difficult was it to obtain sufficient water in even the most limited
supply for man and beast. Once Eyre was alone for six days, with only
three quarts of water, some of which evaporated, and more was spilt. But
his indomitable determination to accomplish the journey on which he had
resolved never failed. He knew that at least 600 miles of desert country
lay between him and the nearest settlement of Western Australia; but even
that prospect, the certain privations, the probable miserable death, did
not daunt him in the journey. The horses broke down from thirst and
fatigue; the pony died; the survivors crawled languidly about, "like
dogs, looking to their masters only for aid." After a few days, during
which no water had been obtainable, a dew fell, and Eyre collected a
little moisture with a sponge, the black boys with pieces of rag. To
their inexpressible joy, some sand-hills were reached, and, after
digging, a supply of water was obtained for their refreshment, and for
six days the party rested by the spot to recruit their strength. The
overseer and one of the natives then went back forty-seven miles to
recover the little store of provisions they had been compelled to
abandon. Two out of the three horses he took with him broke down, and
with great difficulty he succeeded in rejoining Eyre. At this time the
party were 650 miles from their destination, with only three weeks'
provisions, estimated on the most reduced scale. Baxter, the overseer,
wished to attempt to return; but, Eyre being resolute, the overseer
loyally determined to stay with him to the last. One horse was killed for
food; dysentery broke out; the natives deserted them, but came back
starving and penitent, and were permitted to remain with the white men.
Then came the tragedy which makes this narrative so conspicuously
terrible, even in the annals of Australian exploration. Two of the black
men shot the overseer, Baxter, as he slept, and then ran away, perishing,
it is supposed, miserably in the desert. Eyre, when some distance from
the place where poor Baxter rested, looking after the horses, heard the
report of the gun and hurried back, arriving just in time to receive the
pathetic look of farewell from the murdered man, who had served him so
long and so faithfully.

Wylie, the black boy, who had been with Eyre in Adelaide, now alone
remained, and it is scarcely possible to imagine a more appalling
situation than that in which Eyre then found himself. The murderers had
carried away nearly the whole of the scanty stock of provisions, leaving
only forty pounds of flour, a little tea and sugar, and four gallons of
water. They had also taken the two available guns, and nearly all the
ammunition. The body of Baxter was wrapped in a blanket--they could not
even dig a grave in the barren rock. Left with his sole companion, Eyre
sadly resumed the march, their steps tracked by the two blacks, who
probably meditated further murders; but, with only cowardly instincts,
they dared not approach the intrepid man, who at length outstripped them,
and they were never heard of more. Still no water was found for 150
miles; then a slight supply, and the two men struggled on, daily becoming
weaker, living on horse-flesh, an occasional kangaroo, and the few fish
that were to be caught--for it must be remembered that at no time were
they far from the coast.

On the 2nd of June, nearly four months after they had bidden good-bye to
the cutter at Fowler's Bay, they stood on the cliffs, looking out over
the ocean, when they saw in the distance two objects which were soon
recognized as boats, and shortly afterwards, to their unbounded joy, they
discerned the masts of a vessel on the farther side of a small rocky
island. Animated by a new life, Eyre pushed on until he reached a point
whence he succeeded in hailing the ship, and a boat was sent off. The
vessel proved to be a French whaler, the Mississippi, commanded by an
Englishman, Captain Rossiter. The worn-out travellers stayed on board for
a fortnight, experiencing the utmost kindness, and with recruited
strength and food and clothing, they bade a grateful farewell to the
captain and crew, and resumed their journey.

For twenty-three days more Eyre and his attendant Wylie pursued their
way. Rain fell heavily, and the cold was intense; but at length, on the
27th of July, they reached Albany, in Western Australia, and the journey
was accomplished.

For more than twelve months Eyre had been engaged forcing his way from
Adelaide to the Western colony; and the incidents of the journey have
been dwelt upon because afterwards I passed over the same ground, though
in the opposite direction, and the records of Eyre's expedition were of
the greatest service to me, by at least enabling me to guard against a
repetition of the terrible sufferings he endured.


It is further necessary to refer to another of the journeys of
exploration which preceded my own--that of the unfortunate Leichardt. He
endeavoured to cross the continent from east to west, starting from
Moreton Bay, Queensland, hoping to reach the Western Australian
settlements. In 1844 Leichardt had succeeded in crossing the
north-western portion of the continent from Moreton Bay to Port
Essington, and he conceived the gigantic project of reaching Western
Australia. Towards the end of 1847, accompanied by eight men, with
provisions estimated at two years' supply, he started on his journey. He
took with him an enormous number of animals--180 sheep, 270 goats, 40
bullocks, 15 horses, and 13 mules. They must have greatly encumbered his
march, and the difficulty of obtaining food necessarily much impeded his
movements. His original intention was first to steer north, following for
some distance his previous track, and then, as opportunity offered, to
strike westward and make clear across the continent. After disastrous
wanderings for seven months, in the course of which they lost the whole
of their cattle and sheep, the party returned.

Disappointed, but not discouraged, Leichardt resolved on another attempt
to achieve the task he had set himself. With great difficulty he obtained
some funds; organized a small but ill-provided party, and again started
for the interior. The last ever heard of him was a letter, dated the 3rd
of April, 1848. He was then in the Fitzroy Downs; he wrote in good
spirits, hopefully as to his prospects: "Seeing how much I have been
favoured in my present progress, I am full of hopes that our Almighty
Protector will allow me to bring my darling scheme to a successful


From that day the fate of Leichardt and his companions has been involved
in mystery. He was then on the Cogoon River, in Eastern Australia, at
least 1500 miles from the nearest station on the western side of the
continent. His last letter gives no clue to the track he intended to
pursue. If a westerly course had been struck he would have nearly
traversed the route which subsequently Warburton travelled; but no trace
of him has ever been discovered. Several expeditions were undertaken to
ascertain his fate; at various times expectations were aroused by finding
trees marked L; but Leichardt himself, on previous journeys, had met with
trees so marked, by whom is unknown. Natives found in the remote interior
were questioned; they told vague stories of the murder of white men, but
all investigations resulted in the conclusion that the statements were as
untrustworthy as those generally made to explorers who question
uninformed, ignorant natives. The white man's experience is usually that
a native only partially comprehends the question; he does not understand
what is wanted, but is anxious to please, as he expects something to eat,
and he says what he thinks is most likely to be satisfactory.

Leichardt was certainly ill-provided for an expedition of the magnitude
he contemplated, and it appears to be at the least as probable that he
succumbed to the hardships he encountered, or was swept away by a flood,
as that he was murdered by the blacks. Twenty-seven years have elapsed
since he disappeared in the interior; yet the mystery attending his fate
has not ceased to excite a desire to know the fate of so daring an
explorer, and ascertain something definite respecting his course--a
desire which was one of the principal motives that prompted my first
expedition into the unknown interior dividing the west from the east.

In 1872, Mr. Giles headed an exploring party from Melbourne, which
succeeded in making known a vast district hitherto unexplored; but his
progress was stopped, when he had reached longitude 129 degrees 40
minutes, by a large salt lake, the limits of which could not be
ascertained. In the following year Mr. Gosse, at the head of a party
equipped by the South Australian Government, started from nearly the same
point of the telegraph line, and at the same period as the Warburton
expedition, but was compelled to return after eight months' absence,
having reached longitude 126 degrees 59 minutes. Gosse found the country
generally poor and destitute of water. He was perhaps unfortunate in
experiencing an unusually dry season; but his deliberate conclusion was,
"I do not think a practicable route will ever be found between the lower
part of Western Australia and the telegraph line."


At the instance of Baron Von Mueller, and assisted by a small
subscription from the South Australian Government, Mr. Giles made a
second attempt to penetrate westward. He reached the 125th degree of east
longitude, and discovered and traversed four distinct mountain ranges, on
one of which Mr. Gosse shortly afterwards found his tracks. One of his
companions, Mr. Gibson, lost his way and perished in the desert, and
therefore Mr. Giles turned his face eastwards, and, after an absence of
twelve months, reached Adelaide. He encountered many perils, having been
nine times attacked by the natives, probably in the attempt to obtain
water; and on one occasion was severely wounded and nearly captured.

On the 20th March, 1874, Mr. Ross, with his son and another European,
three Arabs, fourteen horses, and sixteen camels, started from the
telegraph line, near the Peake station in South Australia. He was
compelled to return through want of water, although, soon after starting,
he had greatly reduced the number of his party by sending back three of
his companions, two of the horses, and twelve of the camels.

Such, in brief, have been the results of the efforts made to cross
Australia between the telegraph line and the west coast, and ascertain
the probability of establishing a practicable route. I have referred to
them to show how persistent has been the desire to achieve the exploit,
and how little daunted by repeated failures have been Australian
explorers. I now propose to relate my own experiences--the results of
three journeys of exploration, conducted by myself. The first was
undertaken in the hope of discovering some traces of Leichardt; the
second nearly retraced the route of Eyre; the third was across the desert
from Western Australia to the telegraph line in South Australia. The
first journey did not result in obtaining the information sought for; the
second and third journeys were successfully accomplished.



Statements made by the Natives.
An Expedition prepared.
Leader appointed.
Official Instructions.
The Journal.

Early in 1869, Dr. Von Mueller, of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, a
botanist of high attainments, proposed to the Government of Western
Australia that an expedition should be undertaken from the colony for the
purpose of ascertaining, if possible, the fate of the lost explorer,
Leichardt. Reports had reached Perth of natives met with in the eastern
districts, who had stated that, about twenty years before (a date
corresponding with that of the last authentic intelligence received from
Leichardt), a party of white men had been murdered. This tale was
repeated, but perhaps would not have made much impression if a gentleman,
Mr. J.H. Monger, when on a trip eastward in search of sheep-runs, had not
been told by his native guide that he had been to the very spot where the
murder was committed, and had seen the remains of the white men. His
story was very circumstantial; he described the spot, which, he said, was
near a large lake, so large that it looked like the sea, and that the
white men were attacked and killed while making a damper--bread made of
flour mixed with water, and cooked on hot ashes. So certain was he as to
the exact locality, that he offered to conduct a party to the place.

This appeared like a trustworthy confirmation of the reports which had
reached the colony, and created a great impression, so that the
Government felt it a duty incumbent on them to make an effort to
ascertain the truth of this statement, and Dr. Von Mueller's offer to
lead an expedition was accepted.

I was then, as now, an officer of the Survey Department, and employed in
a distant part of the colony. I was ordered to repair to headquarters, to
confer with the authorities on the subject, and was offered the
appointment of second in command and navigator. This was a proposition
quite in accordance with my tastes, for I had long felt a deep interest
in the subject of Australian exploration, and ardently desired to take my
share in the work. I at once arranged the equipment of the expedition,
but, while so engaged, the mail from Melbourne brought a letter from Dr.
Von Mueller, to the effect that his other engagements would not permit
him to take the lead as proposed, and I was appointed to take his place
in the expedition.


The Honourable Captain Roe, R.N., the Surveyor-General, who had himself
been a great explorer, undertook the preparation of a set of Instructions
for my guidance; and they so accurately describe the objects of the
journey, and the best modes of carrying them out, that I transcribe the
official letter:--

Survey Office, Perth,

13th April, 1869.


His Excellency the Governor having been pleased to appoint you to lead an
expedition into the interior of Western Australia for the purpose of
searching for the remains of certain white men reported by the natives to
have been killed by the aborigines some years ago, many miles beyond the
limits of our settled country, and it being deemed probable that the
white men referred to formed part of an exploring party under the command
of Dr. Leichardt, endeavouring to penetrate overland from Victoria to
this colony several years ago, I have been directed to furnish the
following instructions for your guidance on this interesting service, and
for enabling you to carry out the wishes of the Government in connexion

2. Your party will consist of six persons in the whole, well armed, and
made up of Mr. George Monger as second in command, Mr. Malcolm Hamersley
as third in command, a farrier blacksmith to be hired at Newcastle, and
two well-known and reliable natives, Tommy Windich and Jemmy, who have
already acquired considerable experience under former explorers.

3. An agreement to serve on the expedition in the above capacities has
been prepared, and should be signed by each European member of the party
previous to starting.

4. A saddle-horse has been provided for each member of the party,
together with ---- pack-horses to transport such portions of the outfit
as cannot be carried by the former. A three-horsed cart will also
accompany the expedition as far as may be found practicable through the
unsettled country, and thereby relieve the pack-horses as much as

5. All preparations for the journey being now complete, it is desirable
that you should lose no time in starting, so as to arrive at the
commencement of the unexplored country by the end of the present month,
or beginning of the expected winter rains. It has been, however, already
ascertained from native information that a considerable quantity of rain
has recently fallen over the regions to be explored, and that no
impediment may be anticipated from a scarcity of water there.

6. The route to be followed might advantageously commence at Newcastle,
where some of your party and several of your horses are to be picked up,
and thence proceed north-easterly to Goomaling, and 100 miles further in
the same general direction, passing eastward to Mounts Chunbaren and
Kenneth of Mr. Austin's, to the eastern farthest of that explorer, in 119
degrees East and 28 3/4 degrees South. Thence the general north-easterly
route of the expedition must be governed by the information afforded by
your native guides as to the locality in which they have reported the
remains of white men are to be found.

7. On arriving at that spot, the greatest care is to be taken to bring
away all such remains as may be discovered by a diligent search of the
neighbourhood. By friendly and judicious treatment of the local natives,
it is also probable that several articles of European manufacture which
are said to be still in their possession might be bartered from them, and
serve towards identifying their former owners. The prospect of obtaining
from the natives, at this remote date, anything like a journal,
note-book, or map, would indeed be small; but the greatest interest would
be attached to the smallest scrap of written or printed paper, however
much defaced, if only covered with legible characters. A more promising
mode by which the former presence of European explorers on the spot might
be detected is the marks which are generally made on the trees by
travellers to record the number or reference to a halting-place, or the
initials of some of the party. Thus the letter L has in several instances
been found by searching parties to have been legibly cut on trees in the
interior of the eastern colonies, and in localities supposed to have been
visited by the eminent explorer alluded to. It is needless to point out
that metal articles, such as axes, tomahawks, gun and pistol barrels,
iron-work of pack-saddles, and such like, would be far more likely to
have survived through the lapse of years than articles of a more
perishable nature.

8. After exhausting all conceivable means of obtaining information on the
spot, and from the nature of surrounding country, an attempt should be
made to follow back on the track of the unfortunate deceased, which is
said to have been from the eastward and towards the settled part of this
colony. Here a close and minute scrutiny of the trees might prove of
great value in clearing up existing doubts, especially at and about any
water-holes and springs near which explorers would be likely to bivouac.

9. After completing an exhaustive research and inquiry into this
interesting and important part of your duties, the remainder of the time
that may be at your disposal, with reference to your remaining stock of
provisions, should be employed in exploring the surrounding country, in
tracing any considerable or smaller stream it may be your good fortune to
discover, and generally in rendering the service entrusted to your
guidance as extensively useful and valuable to this colony as
circumstances may admit.

10. Towards effecting this object, your homeward journey should, if
possible, be over country not previously traversed by the outward route,
or by any former explorers, and should be so regulated as to expose your
party to no unnecessary risk on account of the falling short of supplies.

11. In your intercourse with the aborigines of the interior, many of whom
will have no previous personal knowledge of the white man, I need
scarcely commend to you a policy of kindness and forbearance mixed with
watchfulness and firmness, as their future bearing towards our remote
colonists may be chiefly moulded by early impressions.

12. To render the expedition as extensively useful as possible, I would
urge you, in the interests of science, to make and preserve such
specimens in natural history as may come within the reach of yourself and
party, especially in the departments of botany, geology, and zoology,
which may be greatly enriched by productions of country not yet

13. Direct reference to minor objects, and to matters of detail, is
purposely omitted, in full reliance on your judgment and discretion, and
on your personal desire to render the expedition as productive as
possible of benefit to the colony and to science in general.

14. In this spirit I may add that the brief instructions herein given for
your general guidance are by no means intended to fetter your own
judgment in carrying out the main object of the expedition in such other
and different manner as may appear to you likely to lead to beneficial
results. In the belief that such results will be achieved by the energy
and perseverance of yourself and of those who have so nobly volunteered
to join you in the enterprise, and with confident wishes for your
success, in which H.E. largely participates,

I remain, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

J.S. ROE, Surveyor-General.

John Forrest, Esquire, Leader of Exploring Expedition to the North-East.

Mr. George Monger (brother of the gentleman who gave the information),
who accompanied me as second in command, had previously been on an
expedition to the eastward, and Jemmy Mungaro was the black who said he
had seen the spot where the remains of the white men were. His
persistence in the statement encouraged me to hope that I might be the
first to announce positively the fate of the lost explorer; but I had
then to learn how little dependence can be placed on the testimony of
Australian aborigines.

On the 15th of April, 1869, I began the journey. I was well supplied with
instruments for making observations, so as to ascertain our daily
position. A knowledge of at least the leading principles of the art of
navigation is as necessary to the explorer as to the mariner on the
ocean. Our stock of provisions consisted of 800 pounds of flour, 270
pounds of pork, 135 pounds of sugar, and 17 pounds of tea; and we each
took two suits of clothes.

The party were all in good spirits. For myself I was hopeful of success,
and my white companions shared my feelings. The natives were, as they
generally are, except when food is scarce, or their anger excited, on the
best terms with everybody and everything, and Jemmy Mungaro, so far as
could be judged from his demeanour, might have been the most veracious
guide who ever led a party of white men through difficulties and dangers
on an expedition of discovery.

Day by day I noted down the incidents of the journey, and that Journal I
now submit to the reader.



In pursuance of instructions received from you, the exploring party under
my command consisted of the following persons, namely, Mr. George Monger,
as second in command; Mr. Malcolm Hamersley, as third in command;
probation prisoner, David Morgan, as shoeing smith, and two natives
(Tommy Windich and Jemmy Mungaro). The latter native gave Mr. J.H. Monger
the information respecting the murder of white men in the eastward.
Reached Newcastle on the 17th and left on Monday, 19th, with a
three-horse cart and teamster and thirteen horses, making a total of
sixteen horses. Reached Mombekine, which is about sixteen miles
East-North-East from Newcastle.

April 20th.
Continued journey to Goomalling, sixteen miles, which we reached at 1
p.m., and devoted the remainder of the afternoon to weighing and packing
rations, etc., for a final start.

Leaving Goomalling at 10.30 a.m., we travelled in a northerly direction
for nine miles, and reached Walyamurra Lake; thence about East-North-East
for seven miles, we encamped at a well on north side of Kombekine Lake.
The water was very bad from opossums being drowned in it, and there was
hardly any feed.

Hearing from a number of natives that there was no water in the direction
we intended steering, namely, to Mount Churchman, we decided on changing
our course and proceed there via Waddowring, in latitude 31 degrees south
and longitude 118 degrees east. Steering about South-South-East for eight
miles, through dense scrubby thickets, which we had great difficulty in
getting the cart through, we struck the road from Goomalling to
Waddowring, which we followed along about east for eight miles, and
camped at a well called Naaning, with hardly any feed.

Mr. George Roe (who had come from Northam to bid us farewell) and my
teamster left us this morning to return to Newcastle. Considerable delay
having occurred in collecting the horses, we did not start till twelve
o'clock, when we steered East-North-East for eight miles over scrubby
sand-plains, and camped at a well called Pingeperring, with very little
feed for our horses.

Started at 8.50 a.m. and steered about east for seven miles over scrubby,
undulating sand-plains, thence North 50 degrees East magnetic for two
miles, thence North 160 degrees for one mile, and thence about North 80
degrees East magnetic for five miles over scrubby sand-plains. We camped
at a spring called Dwartwollaking at 5 p.m. Barometer 29.45; thermometer
71 degrees.

25th (Sunday).
Did not travel to-day. Took observations for time, and corrected our
watches. Found camp to be in south latitude 31 degrees 10 minutes by
meridian altitude of sun.

Travelled in about the direction of North 73 degrees East magnetic for
twenty-eight miles. We reached Yarraging, the farthest station to the
eastward, belonging to Messrs. Ward and Adams, where we bivouacked for
the night.

Bought some rations from Ward and Co., making our supply equal to last
three months on the daily allowance of a pound and a half of flour, half
a pound of pork, a quarter of a pound of sugar, and half an ounce of tea
per man. Being unable to take the cart any further, and wishing to have
the team horses with me, I arranged with Ward and Co. to take it to
Newcastle for 2 pounds. Packed up and left Yarraging with ten pack and
six riding horses, and steering North 320 degrees East magnetic for eight
miles we reached Waddowring springs in south latitude 31 degrees and
longitude 118 degrees East.

Started this morning with Mr. Monger, Tommy Windich, and Dunbatch (a
native of this locality) in search of water in order to shift the party.
Travelling about north for eleven miles we found a native well, and by
digging it out seven feet we obtained sufficient water for ourselves and
horses. I therefore sent Mr. Monger back with instructions to bring the
party to this spot, called Cartubing. I then proceeded in a northerly
direction, and at two miles passed water in granite rocks at a spot
called Inkanyinning. Shortly afterwards we passed another native well,
called Yammaling, from which we steered towards a spot called
Beebynyinning; but, night setting in, our guide lost his way, and we were
obliged to camp for the night in a thicket without water and very little

This morning Dunbatch brought us to Beebynyinning, where we obtained a
little water by digging. After digging a well we returned to Cartubing,
where we met the party and bivouacked on a patch of green feed.

Shifted the party from Cartubing to Beebynyinning, watering our horses on
the way at Inkanyinning and Yammaling, which was fortunate, as there was
very little water at Beebynyinning.

May 1st.
Steering about North-East for eight miles over grassy country, we reached
and encamped at Danjinning, a small grassy spot, with native well, by
deepening which about ten feet we obtained a plentiful supply of water.
Mr. Austin visited Danjinning in 1854, and we could see the tracks of his
horses distinctly. Barometer 29. Every appearance of rain, which we are
in much want of.

2nd (Sunday).
Rested at Danjinning, which I found to be in south latitude 30 degrees 34
minutes by meridian altitude of the sun. Read Divine Service. Jemmy shot
six gnows and a wurrong to-day.

Steering in a northerly direction for sixteen miles, we reached
Yalburnunging, a small grassy spot, with water in a native well, which we
deepened four feet, and procured a plentiful supply. For the first nine
miles our route lay over scrubby sand-plains, after which we came into
dense thickets and stunted gums.

Steering towards Mount Churchman, or Geelabbing, for about fifteen miles,
we reached a grassy spot called Billeburring, and found water in a native
well, probably permanent. At eight miles we passed a water-hole in some
granite rocks, called Gnaragnunging. Dense acacia and cypress thickets
most of the way.

Steering in a northerly direction for about twelve miles, we reached
Mount Churchman, or Geelabbing, an immense bare granite hill, and camped,
with plenty of feed and water. At five miles passed a spring called
Coolee. Country very dense and scrubby; no feed in any of the thickets.
From the summit of Mount Churchman, Ningham of Mr. Monger, or Mount
Singleton of Mr. A.C. Gregory, bore North 312 degrees 30 minutes East
magnetic. This evening a party of nine natives (friends of our native
Jemmy) joined us, who state that a long time ago a party of white men and
horses died at a place called Bouincabbajibimar, also that a gun and a
number of other articles are there, and volunteer to accompany us to the

Left Mount Churchman in company with the nine natives, and travelled
about North-North-West for ten miles to a small water-hole called
Woodgine, thence in a northerly direction to a branch of Lake Moore,
which we crossed without difficulty, and, following along its north shore
for three miles, we bivouacked at a spring close to the lake called
Cundierring, with splendid feed around the granite rocks.

Steering in a northerly direction for eleven miles, through dense
thickets of acacia and cypress, we reached some granite rocks with water
on them, called Curroning, and bivouacked. Have fears that the
information received from the natives relates to nine of Mr. Austin's
horses that died from poison at Poison Rock. They now state they are only
horses' bones, and not men's, as first stated.

Travelling in the direction of North 30 degrees East for about ten miles,
we reached some granite rocks, with a water-hole in them, called
Coorbedar. Passed over very rough, low, quartz hills, covered with acacia
thickets, etc. At four miles passed a water-hole called Yeergolling; at
seven miles a small one called Gnurra; and another at eight miles called

9th (Sunday).
Rested our horses at Coorbedar. Found camp to be in south latitude 29
degrees 24 minutes 43 seconds by meridian altitudes of the sun and
Regulus, and in longitude 118 degrees 6 minutes East. From a quartz hill
half a mile South-West from Coorbedar, Mount Singleton bore North 268
degrees 15 minutes East. The supply of water from the rock having been
used, I went, in company with Mr. Hamersley, to a spot one mile and a
half South-South-West from Coorbedar, called Dowgooroo, where we dug a
well and procured a little water, to which I intend shifting to-morrow,
as I propose staying in this vicinity for two days, so as to give me time
to visit Warne, the large river spoken of by Jemmy.

Started this morning in company with Tommy Windich and a native boy (one
of the nine who joined us at Mount Churchman) to examine the locality
called Warne. Steering North 42 degrees East magnetic for about seven
miles, we came to a grassy flat about half a mile wide, with a stream-bed
trending south running through it. The natives state it to be dry in
summer, but at present there is abundance of water, and in wet seasons
the flat must be almost all under water. After following the flat about
seven miles we returned towards camp, about five miles, and bivouacked.

Returned this morning to Dowgooroo and found all well. Rain, which we
were much in want of, fell lightly most of the day. Barometer 28.50;
thermometer 61 degrees.

Steered this morning about North 38 degrees East magnetic for eight
miles, and camped by a shallow lake of fresh water--the bivouac of the
10th. Here we met a party of twenty-five natives (friends of my native
Jemmy and the nine who joined us at Mount Churchman) who had a grand
corroboree in honour of the expedition. They stated that at
Bouincabbajilimar there were the remains of a number of horses, but no
men's bones or guns, and pointed in the direction of Poison Rock, where
Mr. Austin lost nine horses. Being now satisfied that the natives were
alluding to the remains of Mr. Austin's horses, I resolved to steer to
the eastward, towards a spot called by the native, Jemmy, Noondie, where
he states he heard the remains of white men were.

Bidding farewell to all the natives, we steered in a south-easterly
direction for fifteen miles, and camped in a rough hollow called
Durkying; cypress and acacia thickets the whole way.

One of our horses having strayed, we did not start till 10.40 a.m., when
we steered in about a South-East direction for eight miles, and camped on
an elevated grassy spot, called Mingan, with water in the granite rocks,
probably permanent. The thickets were a little less dense than usual, but
without any grass, except at the spots mentioned. By meridian altitudes
of Mars and Regulus, we were in south latitude 29 degrees 30 minutes 30
seconds, and in longitude about 118 degrees 30 minutes east.

Steering North-East for four miles, and North-North-East for seven miles,
over sandy soil, with thickets of acacia and cypress, we bivouacked on an
elevated grassy spot, called Earroo, with water in granite rocks.

16th (Sunday).
Rested at Earroo; horses enjoying good feed. By meridian altitudes of
Regulus and Mars, camp at Earroo was in south latitude 29 degrees 23
minutes 3 seconds, and in longitude 118 degrees 35 minutes East; weather
very cloudy; barometer 29.

Started 7.50 a.m., and steered North 60 degrees East for about five
miles; thence about North 50 degrees East for eight miles; thence North
85 degrees East for five miles, to a small grassy spot called Croobenyer,
with water in granite rocks. Sandy soil, thickets of cypress, acacia,
etc., most of the way. Found camp to be in south latitude 29 degrees 12
minutes 43 seconds by meridian altitudes of Regulus and Aquilae (Altair);
barometer 28.70.

Steering North 70 degrees East for two miles and a half, we saw a low
hill called Yeeramudder, bearing North 62 degrees 30 minutes East
magnetic, distant about seventeen miles, for which we steered, and camped
to the north of it, on a fine patch of grass with a little rain-water on
some granite rocks. At eleven miles crossed a branch of a dry salt lake,
which appears to run far to the eastward.

Steering about North 85 degrees East magnetic for fourteen miles,
attempted to cross the lake we had been leaving a little to the
southward, making for a spot supposed by us to be the opposite shore, but
on arriving at which was found to be an island. As we had great
difficulty in reaching it, having to carry all the loads the last 200
yards, our horses saving themselves with difficulty, and, being late, I
resolved to leave the loads and take the horses to another island, where
there was a little feed, on reaching which we bivouacked without water,
all being very tired.

On examining this immense lake I found that it was impossible to get the
horses and loads across it; I was therefore compelled to retrace my steps
to where we first entered it, which the horses did with great difficulty
without their loads. I was very fortunate in finding water and feed about
three miles North-North-West, to which we took the horses and bivouacked,
leaving on the island all the loads, which we shall have to carry at
least half way, three quarters of a mile, the route being too boggy for
the horses.


Went over to the lake in company with Messrs. Monger, Hamersley, and
Tommy Windich, with four horses. Succeeded in getting all the loads to
the mainland, carrying them about three quarters of a mile up to our
knees in mud, from which point the lake became a little firmer, and the
horses carried the loads out. I cannot speak too highly of the manner in
which my companions assisted me on this trying occasion. Having been
obliged to work barefooted in the mud, the soles of Mr. Hamersley's feet
were in a very bad state, and he was hardly able to walk for a fortnight.
Seeing a native fire several miles to the southward, I intend sending
Tommy Windich and Jemmy in search of the tribe to-morrow, in order that I
may question them respecting the reported death of white men to the

Went over to the lake with all the horses, and brought the loads to the
camp. Started Tommy and Jemmy in search of the natives. After returning
to camp, overhauled all the pack bags, and dried and re-packed them,
ready for a fresh start on Monday morning. Also washed the mud off the
horses, who appear to be doing well, and fast recovering from the effects
of the bogging. Tommy and Jemmy returned this evening, having seen some
natives after dark, but were unable to get near them.

23rd (Sunday).
Went with Tommy Windich and Jemmy on foot to follow the tracks of the
natives seen yesterday. Seeing no chance of overtaking them, as they
appeared to be making off at a great rate, and were twelve hours in
advance of us, we returned, after following the tracks for five miles
across the lake. The camp was reached at 2 p.m., after we had walked
about fifteen miles. This spot, which I named Retreat Rock, I found to be
in south latitude 29 degrees 3 minutes 51 seconds by meridian altitudes
of Regulus and Mars, and in about longitude 119 degrees 16 minutes east.

Some of the horses having strayed, we were not able to start till 10.40
a.m., when we steered in about East-North-East direction for sixteen
miles, and camped on a piece of rising ground, with very little water.
From this bivouac, a very remarkable peaked hill, called Woolling, which
I named Mount Elain, bore North 162 degrees 15 minutes East magnetic,
distant about twenty miles; and two conspicuous hills, close together,
called Yeadie and Bulgar, bore North 105 degrees East magnetic. Dense
thickets, acacia, cypress, etc., sandy soil with spinifex, most of the


Steering for Yeadie and Bulgar for five miles, and came to some granite
rocks with water, where we gave drink to our thirsty horses. Leaving the
party to follow, I went with Jemmy in advance to look for water, which we
found in a rough stream-bed, and brought the party to it. This afternoon
went with Jemmy to the summit of Yeadie, and took a round of angles. The
local attraction was so great on this hill that the prismatic compass was
useless; luckily I had my pocket sextant with me, by which I obtained the
included angles. From the summit of Yeadie the view was very extensive.
The great lake that we had already followed for forty miles ran as far as
the eye could reach to the east and south, studded with numerous islands;
low ranges of hills in every direction. This immense lake I named Lake
Barlee, after the Colonial Secretary of Western Australia. By meridian
altitudes of Mars and Regulus, camp was in south latitude, 28 degrees 58
minutes 50 seconds, and in longitude about 119 degrees 39 minutes East,
Yeadie bearing North 172 degrees East magnetic, distant about two miles.

Moving in about a northerly direction for nine miles, we turned to the
eastward, rounded a branch of Lake Barlee, towards some loose granite
rocks, where we encamped, but could not find water. Sent Jemmy over to
another rock one mile southward, where he found a fine permanent
water-hole, to which we took the horses after dark. Distance travelled
to-day about eighteen miles. Tommy shot a fine emu, which was a great
treat to us all.

Shifted the party over to the water found last night, one mile distant,
and camped. Found camp to be in south latitude 28 degrees 53 minutes, and
in longitude about 119 degrees 50 minutes east. Marked a small tree with
the letter F. close to the waterhole.

Some of the horses having strayed, we did not start till 9.30 a.m., when
I went in advance of the party, in company with Jemmy, to look for water.
After following Lake Barlee for nine miles, it turned to the southward.
Then scouring the country in every direction for water without success,
we reached the tracks of the party (who had passed on), and, following
them over plains of spinifex and stunted gums, found them encamped with
plenty of water, which they had luckily discovered at sundown. Distance
travelled eighteen miles about true east. By meridian altitude of Bootes
(Arcturus), this bivouac is in south latitude 28 degrees 53 minutes 34
seconds, and longitude about 120 degrees 9 minutes east.


Started in company with Tommy and Jemmy to explore the country eastward,
leaving the party to take off the horses' shoes for their relief.
Travelling in an easterly direction for eight miles over sandy soil and
spinifex, we reached the summit of a high hill, supposed by Jemmy to be
Noondie, which I named Mount Alexander, from which we saw another range
about eleven miles distant, bearing North 82 degrees 15 minutes East
magnetic, to which we proceeded, and found water in some granite rocks.
None of these hills, however, agreed with the description given by Jemmy;
and the expectations were at an end that he would succeed in showing us
the spot where the remains of white men were. Returning to camp, seven
miles, bivouacked on a grassy flat, without water or food.

30th. (Sunday).
Started at dawn, with the saddles and rugs on our backs, in search of the
horses, and, after travelling a mile and a half on their tracks, found
them at a small water-hole passed by us yesterday. Saddled up and reached
camp at eleven o'clock, and found all well. Yesterday morning the dogs
caught an emu, off which we made a first-rate breakfast, not having had
anything to eat since the previous morning. Barometer 28.44.


Started this morning in company with Mr. Monger and Jemmy in search of
natives, leaving Mr. Hamersley in charge, with instructions to proceed
eastward about twenty-two miles, to where I found water on the 29th.
After starting the party we steered in a South-South-East direction
towards a high range of hills, which I named Mount Bivou, about twelve
miles distant. To the westward of the range we found a fine water-hole in
some granite rocks, where we rested an hour to allow the horses to feed.
Continuing in about the same direction for five miles, we ascended a
rough range to have a view of the country. We descried a large fire to
the westward seven miles, towards which we proceeded, in the hope of
finding natives. When we were within half a mile we could hear hallooing
and shouting; and it was very evident there was a great muster (certainly
not less than 100) of natives, corrobberying, making a dreadful noise,
the dogs joining in chorus. Having stripped Jemmy, I told him to go and
speak to them, which he started to do in very good spirits. He soon
beckoned us to follow, and asked us to keep close behind him, as the
natives were what he called like "sheep flock." He appeared very nervous,
trembling from head to foot. After reassuring him, we tied up our horses,
and advanced through the thicket towards them. When getting in sight of
them, Jemmy commenced cooeying, and was answered by the natives; after
which he advanced and showed himself. As soon as they saw him, the
bloodthirsty villains rushed at him, and threw three dowaks, which he
luckily dodged; when fortunately one of the natives recognized him
(having seen Jemmy at Mount Elain when a little boy), and called to the
others not to harm him. Seeing Jemmy running towards the horses, Mr.
Monger and I thought it was time to retire, as we saw the mistake we had
made in leaving the horses. The thickets being dense, we had difficulty
in finding the horses quickly. On reaching them Mr. Monger found he had
dropped his revolver. Had not Jemmy been recognized, I feel sure we
should have had bloodshed, and might probably have lost our lives.
Mounting the horses, we advanced towards the natives, and had a short
talk with one of them who came to speak to Jemmy. There was a guard of
eight natives, with spears stripped, and dowaks in readiness, should we
prove hostile. Although I assured them we were friends, and asked them to
put down their spears, they took no notice of what was said. One native
told us not to sleep here, but to go away and not return, or the natives
would kill and eat us, after which he turned away as if he did not wish
to have any more words with us. It being now dark, we took his advice,
and retreated towards where we had dinner, five miles off. Camped in a
thicket without water, and tied up our horses, keeping watch all night.

June 1st.
At daybreak saddled up our tired and hungry horses, and proceeded to
where we had dinner yesterday. After giving our horses two hours' grazing
and having had breakfast, started back towards the natives' camp, as I
wished to question them respecting the reported death of white men in
this neighbourhood. When we approached the natives' bivouac, we saw where
they had been following up our tracks in every direction, and Jemmy found
the place where they had picked up Mr. Monger's revolver. While Jemmy was
away looking for the revolver, Mr. Monger saw two natives following up
our trail, and within fifty yards of us. We both wheeled round and had
our guns in readiness, but soon perceived they were the same as were
friendly last night, and I called Jemmy to speak to them. At my request
they went and brought us Mr. Monger's revolver, which they stated they
had been warming near the fire! Fortunately for them, it did not go off.
On being questioned by Jemmy, they stated that the place Noondie (where
Jemmy stated he heard the remains of the white men were) was two days'
journey North-West from this spot; that there were the remains of horses,
but not of men, and they volunteered to show us the spot. Being now 1
p.m., and having to meet the party to-night at a place about twenty-three
miles distant, we started at once, leaving the natives, who did not wish
to move to-day, but who apparently sincerely promised to come to our camp
to-morrow. Reached camp at the spot arranged an hour after dark, and
found all well.


Rested our horses at the place, which I called the Two-spring Bivouac,
there being two small springs here. Re-stuffed with grass all the
pack-saddles, as some of the horses were getting sore backs. By meridian
altitude of sun found the camp to be in south latitude 28 degrees 51
minutes 45 seconds, and in longitude about 120 degrees 30 minutes east. I
was very much annoyed at the natives not putting in appearance as

No sign of the natives this morning. I decided to steer in the direction
pointed out by them, and travelling about North 306 degrees East magnetic
for fifteen miles, we found water in some granite rocks, with very good
feed around, cypress and acacia thickets, light red loamy soil, destitute
of grass.

Steering in about West-North-West direction for sixteen miles, the first
six of which were studded with granite rocks, good feed around them,
after which through poor sandy country, covered with spinifex. We
bivouacked in a thicket without water or feed, and tied up our horses.
Saw a natives' fire, but was unable to get near it. Barometer 28.52;

After travelling in a northerly direction for seven miles without finding
water, and without seeing any hill answering the description given by
Jemmy, I struck about east for sixteen miles, and camped at a fine spring
near some granite rocks, with splendid feed around them. This is the first
good spring since leaving the settled districts. At 8 p.m., barometer
28.44; thermometer 72 degrees.

6th (Sunday).
Rested at camp, which I called Depot Spring, and found to be in south
latitude 28 degrees 36 minutes 34 seconds by meridian altitude of sun.
Barometer at 8 a.m. 28.38; thermometer 57 degrees; at 5 p.m., barometer
28.30; thermometer 77 degrees.

Started this morning, in company with Mr. Hamersley and Jemmy, to explore
the country to the northward, where we had seen a peaked hill. Went in
that direction about thirty miles, the first twenty of which were studded
with granite rocks, with fine feed around them. At twenty-seven miles
crossed a salt marsh, about one mile wide, and, continuing three miles
farther, reached the peaked hill, which was composed of granite, capped
with immense blocks, giving it a very remarkable appearance. Bivouacked
on North-West side of hill, at a small water-hole.

This morning, after saddling up, we ascended the conical hill (which I
named Mount Holmes) and took a round of angles from it, after which we
struck North 81 degrees East magnetic to a granite range about eight
miles distant, where we found two fine water-holes, and rested an hour.
Thence in about a South-South-East direction for twelve miles, we
bivouacked without water on a small patch of feed. The day was very fine,
and the rainy appearance cleared off, much to our grief.

At daybreak, no sound of horses' bells, and anticipating they had made
off in search of water, we put our saddles, guns, and rugs on our backs,
and started on their tracks. After following the tracks for nine miles we
came to a water-hole and had breakfast; afterwards we succeeded in
overtaking the horses in a grassy flat, about thirteen miles
South-South-East from our last night's bivouac. The last few miles our
troublesome load became very awkward and heavy. One of the horses had
broken his hobbles. Continuing in about the same course for six miles, we
struck about West-South-West for ten miles, and reached camp, where we
found all well, at 6 p.m. Barometer 28.64; cloudy.


Started again this morning in company with Mr. Monger and Jemmy, to
explore the country to the eastward, leaving Mr. Hamersley to shift the
party to our bivouac of the 2nd instant, about twenty-four miles
South-East from here. After travelling East-North-East for six miles, we
came upon a very old native at a fire in the thicket. Jemmy could not
understand what he said, but he thought that he meant that there were a
number of armed natives about. He was very frightened, howled the whole
time we stayed, and was apparently in his dotage, hardly able to walk.
Continuing our journey, we camped at a small water-hole in some granite
rocks, with good feed around them, about sixteen miles East-North-East
from Depot Spring.

Started at sunrise, and steered about East-North-East over
lightly-grassed country; and on our way came upon a middle-aged native
with two small children. We were within twenty yards of him before he saw
us. He appeared very frightened, and trembled from head to foot. Jemmy
could understand this native a little, and ascertained from him that he
had never seen or heard anything about white men or horses being killed
or having died in this vicinity. Did not know any place named Noondie;
but pointed to water a little way eastward. Jemmy then asked him all
manner of questions, but to no purpose, as he stated he knew nothing
about the business. Jemmy asked him if he had ever heard of any horses
being eaten; he answered No, but that the natives had just eaten his
brother! I have no doubt parents have great difficulty in saving their
children from these inhuman wretches. Then the old man tried to cry, and
ended by saying he had two women at his hut, a little westward. After
travelling ten miles from our last night's bivouac, and not finding
water, we struck North 204 degrees East magnetic for about twenty miles,
through scrubby thickets, without feed, and arrived at the bivouac of the
2nd, where the party will meet us to-morrow. Reached the water at the Two
Springs half an hour after dark.

Explored the country around camp in search of a better place for feed,
but could not find water. Mr. Hamersley and party joined us at 4 p.m.,
all well. Tommy shot a red kangaroo, which was a great treat, after
living so long on salt pork. Barometer 28.60; fine; cold wind from the
east all day.

13th (Sunday).
Rested at camp. Intend taking a trip to the southward to-morrow.
Barometer 28.76.

Started this morning, in company with Morgan and Jemmy, to examine the
country to the southward. Travelled in a south-westerly direction for
twenty-five miles, and camped at the spot where we had the encounter with
the natives on May 31. We found they had left, and there was no water on
the rocks. Luckily our horses had water six miles back.


Saddled up at daybreak, and steered about South-East towards a high range
of hills about ten miles distant. I named it Mount Ida, and from the
summit I took a round of angles with my pocket sextant. On all the hills
in this neighbourhood the local attraction is so great that the prismatic
compass is useless. Found a fine spring of water on south side of Mount
Ida, in an almost inaccessible spot. After giving the horses two hours'
rest we continued our journey North 154 degrees East magnetic for eight
miles to a granite range, where, after a diligent search, I found two
water-holes, and bivouacked, with good feed around the rocks.

Saddled up at sunrise, and steered to some trap ranges, North 124 degrees
East, about seven miles distant, from which I could see an immense lake
running as far as the eye could reach to the eastward, and westerly and
northerly, most probably joining Lake Barlee. Not being able to proceed
farther southward, on account of the lake, I steered in a northerly
direction for twenty miles, but, discovering neither feed nor water,
bivouacked in a thicket, and tied up our horses.

At dawn, found that my horse Sugar, after breaking his bridle, had made
off towards our bivouac of the 15th. Placing my saddle on Jemmy's horse,
we followed on the track for six miles, when we came to a few granite
rocks, with a little water on them, from rain that had fallen during the
night. At this place Morgan was left with the horses and our guns, while
Jemmy and I followed on Sugar's tracks, taking only a revolver with us.
After travelling on the tracks for two miles we overtook him, and with a
little trouble managed to catch him. On reaching the spot where we had
left Morgan, we found him with the three double-barrelled guns on full
cock, together with his revolver, in readiness. On being asked what was
the matter, he stated "Nothing," but he was ready to give the natives
what he called "a warm attachment." After having breakfast we steered
North-North-West for about twenty miles, and reached camp at 5 p.m., and
found all well. Rained a little during the day.


Having thus made an exhaustive search in the neighbourhood where Jemmy
expected to find the remains of the white men, by travelling over nearly
the whole of the country between latitude 28 degrees and 29 degrees 30
minutes south, and longitude 120 and 121 degrees east, I determined to
make the most of the little time at my disposal, and carry out the
instruction that I was to attempt to proceed as far eastward as possible.
Accordingly, after collecting the horses, steered about East-North-East
for nine miles, to a low quartz range, over tolerably grassy country, not
very dense. From this range I saw some bare granite rocks bearing about
North 120 degrees East magnetic. For these we steered, and luckily, after
travelling six miles over a plain, which in severe winters must be nearly
all under water, found a fine pool in a clay-pan, and bivouacked. There
was a little rain during the night.

The horses having strayed back on our tracks, we did not start till 12
o'clock, when the journey was continued towards the granite range seen
yesterday, about ten miles distant. We camped on west side of North, with
plenty of water from the recent rain on the granite rocks, but with very
little feed. At five miles crossed a dry stream-bed, eighteen yards wide,
sandy bottom; thickets most of the way, but not very dense.

20th (Sunday).
Rested at camp. Jemmy shot four rock kangaroos to-day. Took a round of
angles from a bare granite hill, North 50 degrees East magnetic, about
one mile from camp, which I found to be in south latitude 28 degrees 57
minutes by meridian altitudes of Bootes (Arcturus) and a Pegasi (Markab);
and in longitude about 120 degrees 55 minutes East. Saw a high hill
bearing North 81 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic, about twenty-five
miles distant, which I named Mount Lenora; and another bearing North 67
degrees East magnetic, about twenty-five miles distant, which I named
Mount George. Intend proceeding to Mount Lenora to-morrow. Marked a small
tree (ordnance-tree of Mr. Austin) with the letter F at our bivouac.

Steering towards Mount Lenora over some tolerably grassy country, we
reached it at sundown, and, not finding any water, camped without it,
with very good feed. In south latitude 28 degrees 53 minutes by meridian
altitudes of Lyrae (Vega) and Aquilae (Altair), and in longitude about
121 degrees 20 minutes East.

After making every search in the vicinity of the bivouac for water, and
the country ahead appearing very unpromising, I decided to return ten
miles on our tracks, where we found a fine pool of water in a brook, and
camped. Tomorrow I intend taking a flying trip in search of water.


Started this morning, in company with Tommy Windich, to explore the
country to the eastward for water, etc. After travelling three miles
towards Mount Lenora, saw a natives' fire bearing North-East about three
miles, to which we proceeded, and surprised a middle-aged native. Upon
seeing us he ran off shouting, and decamped with a number of his
companions, who were at a little distance. The horse I was
riding--Turpin, an old police-horse from Northam--evidently well
understood running down a native, and between us we soon overtook our
black friend and brought him to bay. We could not make him understand
anything we said; but, after looking at us a moment, and seeing no chance
of escape, he dropped his two dowaks and wooden dish, and climbed up a
small tree about twelve feet high. After securing the dowaks, I tried
every means to tempt him to come down; fired my revolver twice, and
showed him the effect it had on the tree. The report had the effect also
of frightening all the natives that were about, who no doubt made off at
a great rate. I began to climb up after him, but he pelted me with
sticks, and was more like a wild beast than a man. After discovering we
did not like to be hit, he became bolder and threw more sticks at us, and
one hitting Tommy, he was nearly shooting him, when I called on him to
desist. I then offered him a piece of damper, showing him it was good by
eating some myself and giving some to Tommy. He would not look at it, and
when I threw it close to him he dashed it away as if it was poison. The
only way of getting him down from the tree was force, and, after
considering a moment, I decided to leave him where he was. We accordingly
laid down his dowaks and dish, and bade him farewell in as kindly a
manner as possible. Continuing our course, passing Mount Lenora, we
steered North 81 degrees 15 minutes East magnetic to a table hill, which
I ascended and took a round of angles. This hill I named Mount Malcolm,
after my friend and companion, Mr. M. Hamersley. Saw a remarkable peak
bearing North 65 degrees East magnetic, distant about twenty miles,
towards which we proceeded, and at six miles came upon a small gully, in
which we found a little water, and bivouacked.

Started early this morning, and steered East-North-East for six miles to
some low stony ranges, lightly grassed; thence North 61 degrees 30
minutes East magnetic to the remarkable peak, which I named Mount Flora,
distant about nine miles from the stony ranges, ascending which, I
obtained a round of bearings and angles. Saw a high range bearing about
North 106 degrees 15 minutes East magnetic, apparently about sixteen
miles distant, towards which we travelled till after dark, searching for
feed and water on our way without success, and there bivouacked and tied
up our horses.


Saddled at dawn, and proceeded to the range, which bore North 93 degrees
30 minutes East magnetic, about five miles distant, on reaching which I
ascended the highest peak, and named it Mount Margaret. Took a round of
angles and bearings. From the summit of Mount Margaret the view was very
extensive. There was a large dry salt lake to the southward, as far as
the eye could reach, while to the east and north-east there were low trap
ranges, lightly grassed. A high table hill bore North 73 degrees East

Being now about sixty miles from camp, and not having had any water since
yesterday morning, I decided to return. Steering about west for eight
miles, we struck a brook trending south-east, in which we found a small
quantity of water in a clay-pan. After resting an hour, in order to make
a damper and give the horses a little of the feed, which only grew
sparingly on the banks of the brook, we continued our journey towards
camp. Passing Mount Flora, we camped about eight miles farther onwards,
near a small patch of feed, without water, about a mile north of our
outward track.

Started at dawn, and reached our bivouac of the 23rd. There obtained just
sufficient water for ourselves and the horses. Continuing, we found a
fine pool of rain-water in a brook a mile and a half west of Mount
Malcolm, and, reaching camp an hour after dark, found all well. On our
way Tommy Windich shot a red kangaroo, which we carried to camp.

27th (Sunday).
Rested at camp. Found it to be in south latitude 28 degrees 55 minutes by
meridian altitudes of sun, Aquilae (Altair), and Lyra, and in longitude
about 121 degrees 10 minutes East. Although we had great difficulty in
procuring water in our last trip, I was reluctant to return without
making another effort, especially as, from the appearance of the country
east of the farthest point, I had hope of a change, and therefore
concluded to shift the party to the water found yesterday near Mount
Malcolm, and make another attempt to proceed farther east.

Steering about North 81 degrees East magnetic, over lightly-grassed
country, thinly wooded for sixteen miles, we camped a mile and a half
west of Mount Malcolm, in south latitude 28 degrees 51 minutes 19 seconds
by meridian altitude of Aquilae (Altair), and in longitude about 121
degrees 27 minutes East.

Started this morning, in company with Tommy Windich, with seven days'
provisions, leaving instructions for Mr. Monger to shift the party back
to our last camp, where the feed was much better, in latitude 28 degrees
55 minutes South, and longitude 121 degrees 10 minutes East. Travelled
about east for thirty miles towards Mount Margaret, our farthest point
last trip. We camped in a thicket, without water, on a small patch of

Saddled up at dawn, and proceeded towards Mount Margaret, obtaining a
little water at the spot where we found water on our former trip.
Continuing, we came to a fine pool of water in a brook, and rested an
hour, Mount Margaret being north-east about two miles and a half. Hardly
any feed near the water. Resuming, we passed Mount Margaret and started
towards the table hill seen previously, bearing North 73 degrees East
magnetic, apparently about eighteen miles distant, over a series of dry
salt marshes, with sandy country and spinifex intervening. After
travelling eight miles, we bivouacked without water on a small patch of
feed. With the pocket sextant I found this spot to be in south latitude
about 28 degrees 50 minutes, and longitude about 122 degrees 11 minutes


July 1st.
After journeying towards the table hill seen yesterday for six miles,
crossed a large brook heading south-west, in which we found a small pool
of rain-water, and rested an hour to breakfast. Resuming for about six
miles, reached the table hill, which I ascended and took a round of
angles. I have since named this hill Mount Weld, being the farthest hill
seen eastward by us. Continuing about North 77 degrees East magnetic for
fifteen miles, through dense thickets--no grass except spinifex--we
bivouacked, without water or feed, and then tied up our horses. I found
this spot to be in south latitude 28 degrees 41 minutes by meridian
altitude of Bootes (Arcturus), and in longitude about 122 degrees 37
minutes East.

Started at dawn, and steered about east, searching on our way for water,
which our horses and ourselves were beginning to want much. At six miles
we found a small hole in some rocks, apparently empty, but on sounding
with a stick I found it to contain a little water. The mouth of the hole
being too small to admit a pannican, and having used my hat with very
little success, I at last thought of my gum-bucket, with which we
procured about two quarts of something between mud and water, which,
after straining through my pocket-handkerchief, we pronounced first-rate.
Continuing for six miles over clear, open sand-plains, with spinifex and
large white gums--the only large trees and clear country seen since
leaving the settled districts--we climbed up a white gum to have a view
of the country eastward. Some rough sandstone cliffs bore North 127
degrees East magnetic, about six miles distant. The country eastward was
almost level, with sandstone cliffs here and there, apparently thickly
wooded with white gums, and other trees; spinifex everywhere, but no
prospects of water. More to the north, a narrow line of samphire flats
appeared, with cypress and stunted gums on its edges--all barren and
desolate--so much so, indeed, that for the last twenty-five miles there
has been no grass seen at all save spinifex. After taking a few bearings
from the top of the tree (which I marked with the letter F on the south
side), which is in south latitude about 28 degrees 41 minutes, and
longitude about 122 degrees 50 East, I decided to return to our last
watering place, nearly thirty-one miles distant, as we were now over 100
miles from camp, and the horses had been without water or feed since
yesterday morning. Therefore, keeping a little to the north of the
outward track, we travelled nearly two hours after dark, and camped
without water or feed, and tied up the horses.


Saddled up early, and steered westerly towards our last watering-place,
about fourteen miles distant; but, after travelling nearly seven miles,
came to a small pool of water (at the head of the brook where we found
water on the 1st), and rested two hours to allow our horses to feed, as
they had neither eaten nor drunk for the last forty-eight hours. Resuming
our journey along the brook (which I named Windich Brook, after my
companion, Tommy Windich) for ten miles, in which we found several pools
of water, but destitute of feed, camped without water about two miles
east of our bivouac of the 30th June.

Travelling about West-South-West for twelve miles, we reached the pool of
water found on our outward track on the 30th June, two miles and a half
South-West from Mount Margaret. There we rested an hour. Resuming, we
travelled nearly along our outward track for eighteen miles, and camped
without water on a small patch of feed. Tommy shot two wurrongs to-day.

Started at daybreak, and, continuing nearly along our outward track for
twenty-five miles, we reached the water close to Mount Malcolm, where we
left the party, they having shifted, as instructed, seventeen miles
farther back. There we rested an hour; but, having finished our
provisions, we roasted two wurrongs and made a first-rate dinner. Tommy
also shot an emu that came to water, and which we carried to camp.
Reached there at 6 p.m. and found all well, having been absent seven
days, every night being without water, during which time we travelled
over 200 miles.

Weighed all the rations, and found we had 283 pounds flour, 31 pounds
bacon, 28 pounds sugar, and 4 pounds tea--equal to thirty-two days'
allowance of flour, ten days' bacon, nineteen days' sugar, and twenty-one
days' tea on a full ration. Thereupon concluded to return to Perth as
quickly as possible, and reduce the allowance of tea and sugar to last
thirty days--bacon to be done without. By that time I hope to reach
Clarke's homestead, Victoria Plains, and intend to return by Mount
Kenneth, Nanjajetty, Ningham, or Mount Singleton, and thence to Damparwar
and Clarke's homestead, thus fixing a few points that will be useful to
the Survey Office.


At 6.30 a.m., barometer 28 86, thermometer 34 degrees. Started on the
return, and followed along our outward tracks for sixteen miles. Camped
on east side of granite range, in south latitude 28 degrees 57 minutes,
and east longitude 120 degrees 55 minutes.

Travelling nearly along our eastward track, and passing our bivouac of
the 19th June, we reached the Two Springs bivouac.

Travelled twenty-two miles, and reached our bivouac of 30th May--129
degrees 9 minutes East.

Reached the bivouac of May 27th. On our way I ascended a very high range,
which I named Mount Alfred, and took a fine round of angles--Mount
Alexander, Mount Bivou, Mount Ida, Mount Elvire, and Yeadie and Bulgar
being visible.

11th (Sunday).
Plotted up our track.

Travelled for twenty-five miles and camped on a splendid patch of feed,
with a little water on some granite rocks about two miles west of our
bivouac of the 24th. This I found to be in south latitude 28 degrees 57
minutes 48 seconds by meridian altitudes of Bootes (Arcturus) and Pegasi
(Markab), and in longitude about 119 degrees 28 minutes east; Mount
Elvire bearing North 154 degrees East magnetic, distant about twenty-one

Leaving the party in charge of Mr. Monger, with instructions to proceed
to Retreat Rock--our bivouac of May 23rd--I started with Mr. Hamersley
and Jemmy to attempt to cross Lake Barlee, in order to explore the
country on its south side, near Mount Elvire, as well as to try and find
natives, Jemmy being acquainted with these tribes. Steering North 154
degrees East magnetic for seven miles, we came to the lake, and, entering
it, succeeded in reaching the southern shore after twelve miles of heavy
walking, sinking over our boots every step--the horses having great
difficulty in getting through. When we reached the southern shore, it was
nearly sundown. Determined to push on, and reached the range, where we
bivouacked on a patch of feed and a little water; Mount Elvire bearing
North 87 degrees East magnetic, about one mile distant; and Yeadie and
Bulgar North 8 degrees East magnetic. Rained lightly during the day.
Being wet through from the splashings of the horses while crossing the
lake, and from it raining throughout the night, and not having any
covering, our situation was not the most pleasant. Jemmy informed me
there was a fine permanent spring close to Mount Elvire; but we did not
go to see it.

This morning, after ascending a range to have a view of the country,
steered North 288 degrees East magnetic, and then, travelling six miles,
came to a branch of Lake Barlee running far to the southward, which we
attempted to cross; but after travelling a mile and a half, the horses
went down to their girths in the bog, and we had great difficulty in
getting them to return, which, however, we ultimately succeeded in doing,
and made another attempt, at a place where a series of islands appeared,
to cross it, and, passing over without much difficulty, reached the
opposite shore at sundown, where we bivouacked on a splendid grassy ride,
with abundance of water in granite rocks, Mount Elvire bearing North 108
degrees East magnetic, and Yeadie and Bulgar North 45 degrees East

Having finished our rations last night, we started at dawn, and steered
towards Retreat Rock. where we were to meet the party. After travelling
five miles, we came to that part of Lake Barlee which we attempted to
cross, without success, on May 19th (on our outward track); but, leading
our horses, we at last succeeded in crossing, and reached camp, all very
tired, at twelve o'clock, finding all well. The party were encamped one
mile north of our former bivouac, at some granite rocks with two fine

Considerable delay having occurred in collecting the horses, we did not
start till ten o'clock, when we travelled nearly along our outward
track--passing Yeeramudder Hill, from the summit of which Mount Elvire
bore North 111 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic about thirty-five miles
distant--for about twenty-one miles, and bivouacked at some granite rocks
with a little feed around them, which I found to be in south latitude 29
degrees 8 minutes 47 seconds by meridian altitudes of Bootes (Arcturus)
and Pegasi (Markab), and in longitude about 118 degrees 59 minutes East.

Started at 8.45 a.m., and, steering about west for twenty-five miles
through dense thickets without feed, we camped without water on a small
miserable patch, in south latitude 29 degrees 7 minutes 13 seconds by
meridian altitude of Bootes (Arcturus). Marked a small tree with F. 1869.
Being now in friendly country, I decided to give up keeping watch, which
had been done regularly for the last two months.

18th (Sunday).
After starting the party, went, in company with Tommy Windich, to take
bearings from a low hill, bearing North 289 degrees, distant about eight
miles, after which we struck in the direction in which we expected to
find the party; but as, for some reason or other, they had not passed by,
I anticipated they must have met with good feed and water, and camped, it
being Sunday. However this may be, we kept bearing more and more to the
southward, in hope of crossing the track, till after dark, when we
reached the Warne Flats, and bivouacked. Not expecting to be absent more
than a few days, we had neither rations nor rugs. Luckily, Tommy shot a
turkey, which we roasted in the ashes, and made a very good meal. The
night was bitterly cold, and, not having any rug, I slept with a fire on
each side of me, and, considering the circumstances, slept fairly.

Made a first-rate breakfast off the remainder of the turkey, and then
started in search of the party, making back towards where we had left
them, keeping well to the southward. After spending nearly the whole of
the day, and knocking up the horses, we found the tracks of the party
nearly where we had left them yesterday morning, and, following along
them for nine miles, found where they had bivouacked last night; and, it
being now two hours after dark, we camped also, having between us for
supper an opossum, which Tommy had luckily caught during the day. The
night was again very cold, and we had hardly anything to eat, which made
matters still worse.

Starting on the tracks at daybreak, followed them for about thirteen
miles, and then we found the party encamped on the east side of a large
bare granite rock called Meroin, Mount Kenneth bearing North 24 degrees
East magnetic, about fifteen miles distant. From a cliff, about one mile
west of the camp, took a splendid round of angles, Mount Kenneth, Mount
Singleton, and several other known points being visible. By meridian
altitudes of sun, a Bootes (Arcturus), E Bootes, and a Coronae Borealis,
camp was in south latitude 29 degrees 10 minutes 49 seconds, and
longitude about 118 degrees 14 minutes east.

At seven a.m., barometer 29.10; thermometer 35 degrees. Started at 8.15
a.m. Steered about west for fifteen miles, over country studded here and
there with granite rocks, with good feed around them--in some places rock
poison--and then camped at a spring called Pullagooroo, bearing North 189
degrees from a bare granite hill, three quarters of a mile distant, from
which hill Mount Singleton bore North 237 degrees East magnetic, by
meridian altitudes of a Bootes (Arcturus) and E Bootes. Pullagooroo is in
south latitude 29 degrees 7 minutes 46 seconds. Finished our bacon this
morning, and for the future will only have damper and tea.

Steering a little to the north of west, through dense thickets without
grass, we bivouacked at a very grassy spot called Bunnaroo, from which
Mount Singleton bore North 205 degrees East magnetic. By meridian
altitudes of a Bootes (Arcturus), E Bootes, and Coronae Borealis, camp is
in south latitude 28 degrees 58 minutes, and in longitude about 117
degrees 35 minutes east.


After starting the party with instructions to proceed straight to Mount
Singleton, distant about thirty-two miles, I went, in company with Jemmy,
to the summit of a high trap range in order to take a round of angles,
and fix Nanjajetty, which was visible. While on our way to join the
party, saw the tracks of two men and two horses, with two natives
walking, and soon after found where they had bivouacked a few days
before. Was much surprised at this discovery: suppose it to be squatters
looking for country. Continuing, we found the tracks of our party, and
overtook them, and encamped at a fine permanent spring--Mount Singleton
bearing North 146 degrees East magnetic about three miles and a half
distant. Reached the party at seven o'clock. There was a partial eclipse
of the moon this evening.

There being splendid green feed around Mount Singleton, and as the horses
were tired, I concluded to give them a day's rest. Went, in company with
Mr. Monger and Jemmy, to the summit of Mount Singleton, which took us an
hour to ascend; but, on reaching it, we were well repaid for the trouble
by the very extensive view and the many points to which I could take
bearings. Far as the eye could reach to the East and South-East were
visible Lake Moore, Mount Churchman; to the north, conspicuous high trap
ranges appeared; while to the west, within a radius of six miles, hills
covered with flowers gave the country a pretty appearance. Further to the
west a dry salt lake and a few trap hills appeared. Reached the camp at 2
p.m. On our way shot three rock kangaroos.

25th (Sunday).
Rested at camp near Mount Singleton, which I found to be in south
latitude 29 degrees 24 minutes 33 seconds by meridian altitude of sun,
and longitude about 117 degrees 20 minutes east.

Some delay having occurred in collecting the horses, did not start till 9
a.m., when we steered a little to the north of west towards Damparwar.
For the first seven miles over rough trap hills lightly grassed, when we
entered samphire and saltbush flats for four miles. Crossing a large
marsh at a point where it was only 100 yards wide, and continuing through
thickets, we camped at a spot with very little feed and no water, in
south latitude 29 degrees 21 minutes 48 seconds. From this spot Mount
Singleton bore North 113 degrees 20 minutes East magnetic, distant about
twenty miles. Here we met two natives, whom we had seen on our outward
track at the Warne Corroboree. They were of course friendly, and slept at
our camp; they had a great many dulgates and opossums, which they carried
in a net bag, made out of the inner bark of the ordnance-tree, which
makes a splendid strong cord. They informed us that a native had come
from the eastward with intelligence relating to the encounter we had with
the large tribe on May 31, adding that we had all been killed, and that
all the natives in this vicinity had cried very much on hearing the news.
This is another specimen of the narrations of natives, with whom a tale
never loses anything by being carried.

Steering a little to the north of west for eighteen miles, we reached
Damparwar Springs, a clear grassy spot of about 300 acres, on west side
of a low granite hill. The spring was dry, but by digging a few feet
obtained abundant supply. From the appearance of the country there has
hardly been any rain in this neighbourhood for many months. Took a round
of angles from a trap hill about two miles distant, Mount Singleton and
many other points being visible. Met a party of friendly natives here. By
meridian altitudes of a Bootes, a Coronae Borealis and a Lyrae (Vega),
Damparwar Spring is in south latitude 29 degrees 16 minutes 32 seconds,
and longitude about 116 degrees 47 minutes East.

Steering in a southerly direction, and following along the western margin
of a salt lake--most of the way over samphire flats, with thickets
intervening, denser than usual--we encamped on a small grassy spot, with
plenty of water in granite rocks, called Murrunggnulgo, situated close to
the west side of the lake, which I named Lake Monger. The native Jemmy,
in company with some of his friends, stayed behind to-day in order to
catch opossums, and did not join us this evening. By meridian altitudes
of E Bootes, a Coronae Borealis, a Lyrae (Vega), and Aquilae (Altair),
Murrunggnulgo is in south latitude 29 degrees 37 minutes 20 seconds.
Damparwar bearing about north magnetic.

Moving a little to the west of south for twenty miles, through dense
thickets, by far the worst we have ever encountered, and destitute of
feed, we reached Bera Bera, a grassy spot with a dry well, where water
might be procured. Continuing North 238 degrees East for about five
miles, we reached and camped at some granite rocks, with a fine well of
water called Wandanno, which I found to be in south latitude 29 degrees
57 minutes 14 seconds by meridian altitudes of Lyrae (Vega) and Aquilae
(Altair). From Bera Bera, Mount Singleton bore North 50 degrees 30
minutes East magnetic about fifty miles distant. Jemmy did not put in an
appearance to-day, but sent on a native to say he would join us in a day
or two.

Travelling about North 212 degrees East magnetic for fourteen miles, over
samphire flats, with thickets intervening, we reached a fine grassy spot,
with water in granite rocks, called Gnookadunging. Continuing about south
for two and a half miles, passed another small grassy spot called
Ginbinning; thence in about the general direction of North 210 degrees
East magnetic. For about eleven and a half miles, over an immense
sand-plain, running as far as the eye could reach to the North-West and
South-East, we camped in the centre of it at a spring called Manginie, a
sheep station belonging to Mr. James Church. Towards the end of the day
Bailey's horse Tommy fairly gave in, and we had great difficulty in
getting him to camp, which Mr. Hamersley and I did not reach until an
hour after dark. The night was cloudy, and I was unable to get any
observations, but luckily at daybreak obtained meridian altitudes of
Jupiter, which placed Manginie Spring in South latitude 30 degrees 21

Steering about South-South-West for thirteen miles, we reached Cooroo
Springs--a fine grassy spot in winter--where we camped, the horses being
very tired. For the first seven miles over scrubby sand-plains; thence to
Cooroo, over grassy country, with spearwood thickets intervening. Tommy
shot a kangaroo this afternoon, which was very acceptable, having had
only damper and tea for several days past.

August 1st (Sunday).
Rested at Cooroo Springs. All very busy putting our ragged clothes in as
good repair as possible. By meridian altitudes of sun, Lyrae (Vega), 32
degrees 15 minutes. Read Divine Service. Jemmy has not yet overtaken us,
so I conclude he has changed his mind, and does not intend following us.
We are now about nine miles from Clarke's homestead, which bears about

Travelling about South-South-East for nine miles over grassy country,
with York gums, etc., we reached the hospitable residence of Mr. Clarke,
where we were very kindly received, and stayed a short time to hear the
news. Resuming for eighteen miles along the road to Newcastle, we passed
Mr. Donald Macpherson's, where I obtained some rations, and pushed on six
miles farther, and bivouacked one mile south of Badgy-Badgy, with very
short feed for our horses.

Travelling along the road towards Newcastle for twenty-six miles, we
camped one mile past Byen, and about sixteen miles from Newcastle.

Reached Newcastle at eleven o'clock, and had just time to report the safe
return of the expedition before the mail left.

After handing over all the horses provided by the different settlers to
their respective owners, and bidding farewell to Mr. George Monger (who
intends proceeding to York), I left Newcastle in company with Mr. M.
Hamersley and Tommy Windich, leaving Morgan and remainder of equipment to
follow with the cart which had been brought to Newcastle by Ward and C.
Adams. Reached Baylup at 4 p.m.

Made an early start; reached Guildford at twelve o'clock, where we rested
an hour. Then resuming, reached Perth at 4 p.m., and reported personally
the results of the expedition, having been absent 113 days, in which time
I travelled by computation over 2000 miles.

I now beg to make a few remarks with reference to the main object of the
expedition, which was the discovery of the remains of the late Dr.
Leichardt and party.


In the first place, Mr. Frederick Roe was informed by the native
Weilbarrin, that two white men and their native companions had been
killed by the aborigines, thirteen days' journey to the northward, when
he was at a spot called Koolanobbing, which is in south latitude about 30
degrees 53 minutes, and longitude about 119 degrees 14 minutes east. Mr.
Austin lost eleven horses at Poison Rock (nine died, and two were left
nearly dead), which is in latitude 28 degrees 43 minutes 23 seconds
south, and longitude about 118 degrees 38 minutes east, or about 130
miles from Koolanobbing, and in the direction pointed to by the natives.
I therefore imagine it to be very probable that the whole story
originated from the horses lost by Mr. Austin at Poison Rock, as I am
convinced the natives will say anything they imagine will please. Again,
the account given us at Mount Churchman, on May 5th, appeared very
straightforward and truthful. It was very similar to that related to Mr.
Roe; but, on questioning the natives, they at last stated there were
neither men nor guns left, only horses' remains, and pointed towards
Poison Rock. Further, the native who gave all the information to Mr.
Monger was one of our party. His tale, as related by Mr. Monger, also
appeared very straightforward and truthful, that white men had been
killed by the natives twenty years ago; that he had seen the spot, which
was at a spring near a large lake, so large that it looked like the sea
as seen from Rottnest, eleven days' journey from Ningham or Mount
Singleton, in a fine country. The white men were rushed upon while making
a damper, and clubbed and speared. He had often seen an axe which formed
part of the plunder. All this appears feasible and truthful enough in
print; but the question is, Of what value did I find it? Upon telling
Jemmy what Mr. Monger stated he told him, he said he never told him that
he had seen things himself, but that he had heard it from a native who
had seen them, thus contradicting the whole he had formerly stated to Mr.
Monger. Moreover, the fine country he described we never saw, what a
native calls good country being where he can get a drink of water and a
wurrong; and if there is an acre of grassy land they describe it as a
very extensive grassy country! This I have generally found the case. As a
specimen of the untruthfulness of these natives, I may quote that my
native Jemmy, who was a first-rate fellow in every other respect, stated
to Mr. Monger and myself at York, that there was a large river like that
called the Avon at York, to the eastward, knowing at the time he would be
found out to be telling a falsehood. He even told Mr. George Monger,
before leaving Newcastle, to buy hooks, in order to catch the fish that
were in the river, and concluded by stating that we would have great
difficulty in crossing it, as it ran a great distance north and south.
Almost every evening I questioned and cross-questioned him respecting
this river; still he adhered to what he first stated! It may well be
imagined how disappointed we were on reaching the spot to find only a
small brook running into a salt marsh, with water in winter, but dry in

With reference to the country travelled over, I am of opinion that it is
worthless as a pastoral or agricultural district; and as to minerals I am
not sufficiently conversant with the science to offer an opinion, except
that I should think it was worth while sending geologists to examine it


It now becomes my most pleasing duty to record my entire satisfaction
with the manner in which all the members of the expedition exerted
themselves in the performance of their respective duties. To Mr. George
Monger and Mr. Malcolm Hamersley I am indebted for their co-operation and
advice on all occasions. I am also deeply indebted to Mr. Hamersley for
collecting and preserving all the botanical specimens that came within
his reach, as well as the great trouble and care taken with the store
department, placed under his immediate charge. To probation prisoner
David Morgan my best thanks are due as the shoeing smith, as well as
acting cook for the party the whole time. Of Tommy Windich (native) I
cannot speak too highly, being very useful in collecting the horses, as
well as a first-class huntsman, and really invaluable as a water finder.
Accompanying me on many trying occasions, suffering often from want of
water, he showed energy and determination deserving of the highest
praise. Jemmy Mungaro was also a first-class bushman, and invaluable as a
water finder. He was in many ways useful, and very obedient. His great
failing was that he exaggerated--no tale ever losing anything in his
charge. Nevertheless, I have many things to thank him for, and therefore
he deserves praise.

In conclusion, sir, allow me to thank you for your kindness and advice,
which has greatly supported me in this arduous undertaking. I much regret
that an expedition which was so efficiently equipped, and on which I was
left so free to act, has not resulted in more direct benefit to the
colony, to satisfy many who are not capable of appreciating the
importance of such explorations.

I have, Sir, etc.,


Leader of Expedition.

The Honourable Captain Roe, R.N., Surveyor-General.

So far as the mystery on which the fate of Leichardt is involved was
concerned, my expedition was barren of results; but the additional
knowledge gained of the character of the country between the settled
districts of Western Australia and the 123rd meridian of east longitude,
well repaid me, and those of the party, for the exertions we had


Shortly after my return I received an official communication from Mr.
Barlee, the Colonial Secretary at Perth, announcing that his Excellency
the Governor, with a view to mark his sense of the value of my services
as leader of the expedition, had sanctioned the payment to me of a
gratuity of 50 pounds. Mr. Monger and Mr. Hamersley each received 25
pounds; Morgan, the probation prisoner, who had done good service in the
expedition, especially in looking after the horses, was promised a
remission of a portion of his sentence. Tommy Windich and Jemmy Mungaro,
the natives, had each a single-barrel gun, with his name
inscribed--presents which they highly valued.

So ended the first of my expeditions; and a very short time elapsed
before I was called upon to undertake a longer, more hazardous, and more
important journey.



A new Exploration suggested.
Proposal to reach Adelaide by way of the South Coast.
The experience derived from Eyre's Expedition.
Survey of Port Eucla.
Official Instructions.
The Start.
Dempster's Station near Esperance Bay.
The Schooner at Port Eucla.
Journal of the Expedition.

Immediately on my return to Perth a new expedition was suggested by Dr.
Von Mueller, whose anxiety for the discovery of Leichardt was rather
increased than abated by the disappointment experienced. He proposed that
I should start from the upper waters of the Murchison River with a light
party and provisions for six months, and endeavour to reach Carpentaria.
He thought, not only would such an expedition almost certainly find some
traces of the lost explorer, but probably would make geographical
discoveries of the highest interest and importance. In a paper in the
Colonial Monthly he argued that:

"While those who searched after traces of the lost party did not solve
the primary objects of their mission, their labours have not been without
importance to geographical science. The course of one traveller connected
the southern interior of Queensland in a direct route with the vast
pastoral depressions about Lake Torrens; the researches of another
explorer, bent on ascertaining Leichardt's fate, unfolded to us a tract
of table country, now already occupied by herds and flocks, not less in
length than that of Sweden and Italy...We should bear fully in mind how a
line in Leichardt's intended direction would at once enable the squatters
of North-East Australia to drive their surplus of flocks and herds easily
across to the well-watered, hilly and grassy country within close
proximity to the harbour of the north-west coast."

I should have been well satisfied to undertake an expedition in the
proposed direction, starting from the head of the Murchison, and trying
to connect my route with that of Mr. A. Gregory's down Sturt Creek; but
the difficulty of obtaining funds and lack of support caused the project
to be set aside or at least delayed. Mr. Weld, then Governor of Western
Australia, who always heartily supported explorations, was in favour of
an attempt to reach Adelaide by way of the south coast, and offered me
the command of an expedition in that direction.

I readily accepted the offer, and at once busied myself with the
necessary preparations, but was far from being insensible to the
difficulties of the undertaking. Of the route nothing was known except
the disastrous experience of Mr. Eyre in 1840 and 1841. His remarkable
narrative--interesting to all concerned in the history of explorations or
in the records of energy, courage, and perseverance under the most
discouraging circumstances--might have acted as a warning to future
explorers against endeavouring to follow in his track. The fearful
privations he endured, his narrow escape from the most terrible of all
forms of death, were certainly not encouraging; but his experience might
often be of service to others, pointing out dangers to be avoided, and
suggesting methods of overcoming difficulties. At any rate, I was not
deterred from the attempt to trace once more the coast of the Great
Bight, and to reach the sister colony by that route. Eyre had not
discovered any rivers, although it was possible that he might have
crossed the sand-bars of rivers in the night. The difficulties he
laboured under in his almost solitary journey, and the sufferings he
endured, might have rendered him unable to make observations and
discoveries more practicable to a better equipped and stronger party,
while the deficiency of water on the route appeared to offer the greatest
impediment. We were not, however, deterred from the attempt, and on the
30th of March, 1870, we started from Perth on a journey which all knew to
be dangerous, but which we were sanguine enough to believe might produce
considerable results.

That we were not disappointed the result will prove. Indeed, the
difficulties were much fewer than we had been prepared to encounter; and
in five months from the date of departure from Perth we arrived safely at
Adelaide, completing a journey which Mr. Eyre had been more than twelve
months in accomplishing.


My party was thus composed: I was leader; the second in command was my
brother, Alexander Forrest, a surveyor; H. McLarty, a police constable;
and W. Osborne, a farrier and shoeing smith, these with Tommy Windich,
the native who had served me so faithfully on the previous expedition,
and another native, Billy Noongale, an intelligent young fellow,
accompanied us.

Before I enter upon the details of my journey it may be useful to state
as briefly as possible the efforts made to obtain a better acquaintance
with the vast territory popularly known as No Man's Land, which had been
traversed by Eyre, and afterwards to summarize the little knowledge which
had been obtained.

In 1860 Major Warburton--who afterwards, in 1873 and 1874, succeeded in
crossing the northern part of the great inland desert, after enduring
great privations--contrived to reach eighty-five miles beyond the head of
the Bight, and made several journeys from the coast in a north and
north-westerly direction for a distance of about sixty miles. Traces of
Eyre's expedition were then visible. The holes he had dug in search of
water twenty years before were still there, and the records of his
journey were of great value as guiding Warburton's movements. His
experience of the nature of the country amply confirmed that of the
previous explorer. He found the district to the north to be a dreary
waste, destitute of food and water. Rain seldom fell, and, when it did,
was immediately absorbed by the arid soil. Bustards and moles were the
only living creatures. To the north-west there was a little grass, but
the tract showing verdure was very small in extent, and beyond it was
again the scorched, barren, inhospitable desert.

Two years afterwards other explorations were attempted, and especially
should be noted Captain Delessier's. He was disposed to think more
favourably of the nature of the country. The enterprise of squatters
seeking for "fresh fields and pastures new," to whom square miles
represent less than acres to graziers and sheep farmers in England--is
not easily daunted. They made a few settlements; but the scanty pasturage
and the difficulty of obtaining water, by sinking wells, in some
instances to the depth of over 200 feet, have been great drawbacks.


It might naturally be inquired why no attempts were made to reach the
coast of the Great Bight by sea? Why so much suffering has been endured
when a well-equipped vessel might have landed explorers at various points
and been ready to afford them assistance? In his explorations to the
north of Western Australia, Mr. F. Gregory had a convenient base of
operations in the Dolphin, a barque which remained on the coast. It might
seem that similar aid could have been afforded to Warburton and others
who attempted to trace the south-coast line. But for hundreds of miles
along the shores of the Bight no vessel could reach the shore or lie
safely at anchor. Long ranges of perpendicular cliffs, from 300 to 400
feet high, presented a barrier effectually forbidding approach by sea.
About 1867, however, an excellent harbour was discovered about 260 miles
to the west of Fowler's Bay. The South Australian Government at once
undertook a survey of this harbour, and Captain Douglas, President of the
Marine Board, the officer entrusted with this duty, reported in the most
favourable terms. The roadstead, named Port Eucla, was found to afford
excellent natural protection for shipping. There was, however, the less
encouraging circumstance that it was situated a few miles to the west of
the boundary of the colony, and consequently Western, and not South,
Australia was entitled to the benefit of the discovery.

It was evident that Port Eucla, which Captain Douglas carefully surveyed
by taking soundings and observing bearings, was the key to the
exploration of this vast portion of the continent. But, notwithstanding
the propositions made to the Government of Western Australia by the York
Agricultural Society for equipping an exploring party, nothing was done
until the beginning of 1870, when the Governor determined on equipping an
overland party intended to make its way, keeping as far inland as
possible, to Eucla, where assistance and supplies would await them. It
was this expedition which I was selected to command. The following copy
of official instructions will show the object of the exploration and the
preparations made to insure a fair prospect of a successful result:--


Colonial Secretary's Office, Perth,

March 29th, 1870.


His Excellency the Governor, confiding in your experience, ability, and
discretion, has been pleased to entrust to your charge and leadership an
overland expedition, which has been organized for the purpose of
exploring the country between the settled portions of this colony and the
Port of Eucla, situated near its east boundary.

Your party will consist of the following six persons, well armed, and
provisioned for two months, namely, yourself as leader; Mr. Alexander
Forrest, your brother, as second in command; H. McLarty, a
police-constable, third in command; W.H. Osborne, farrier, etc.; and two
reliable natives, one of whom will be your former well-tried companion,
Windich. An agreement to serve under you on the expedition in the above
capacities will be signed by each European named previous to starting.

Ample stores and supply of provisions have been prepared for your use,
and a suitable coasting vessel (the schooner Adur) is engaged, under an
experienced commander, to convey them where required, and to be at your
disposal in aiding the operations of the expedition.

It is desirable the party should start from Perth as soon as all
arrangements have been completed, and take the most convenient route to
Esperance Bay, where men and horses can be recruited, further supplies
from the coaster laid in, and a fresh start made for Eucla so soon as the
first winter rains may lead to a prospect of the country being
sufficiently watered.

About 120 miles to the eastward of the station of Messrs. Dempster, at
the west end of Esperance Bay, lies Israelite Bay, under some islands, in
front of which there is said to be anchorage. That being the nearest
known anchorage westward of Eucla, it appears to offer a convenient spot
whence fresh supplies might be drawn from your coaster with which to
prosecute the remaining 300 miles; but this arrangement as to an
intermediate place of call will be liable to modification, after
consulting on the spot with the Messrs. Dempster, who are well acquainted
with that part of the coast.

Between Israelite Bay and Eucla the route should be as far from the coast
as circumstances and the nature of the country will admit.

At Eucla all the remaining provisions and stores that may be required
should be landed, and the coaster despatched on her return to Fremantle
with a report of your proceedings.

After recruiting at Eucla, five or six days might be employed with
advantage in exploring the country to the northward, care being taken to
place in security, by burying in casks or otherwise, such provisions,
etc., as might not be necessary for the northern excursion.

On returning to Eucla from the north, the expedition is to make a final
start overland for Adelaide, by such route as you may deem advisable. The
Surveyor-General is of opinion that via Port Lincoln, and thence to
Adelaide by steamer, would be the preferable route; but of this you will
be the best judge, after receiving information from the various
out-stations you will pass. Before leaving South Australia, you will
dispose of your horses and such remaining stores and provisions as may
not be further required, retaining all instruments and such pack-saddles
and other articles of outfit as you may deem worth preserving for future

On arriving at Adelaide you will report yourself to his Excellency the
Governor, and avail yourself of the first favourable opportunity of
returning to Perth with your party, and with the remains of your outfit,
either by any vessel about to proceed direct to the Swan, or by the
earliest mail-steamer to King George's Sound. On application to his
Excellency, Sir James Fergusson, you will be furnished with such means as
may be necessary to defray your expenses from South to Western Australia,
as well as during your stay in the former colony.

I am to impress on you the advisability of endeavouring, by every means
in your power, to cultivate friendly relations with the aboriginal
inhabitants of the country you are about to traverse.

Such are briefly the general instructions by which it is intended you
should be governed in conducting the expedition entrusted to your care
and guidance; and I may add that the fullest confidence is placed in your
energy, zeal, and discretion, for bringing it to a successful issue. The
main objects of the undertaking are alone referred to; and, although a
mode of accomplishing them is briefly alluded to, it is by no means
intended to fetter your judgment in adopting such measures of minor
details as may appear to you necessary for effectually carrying them out.

I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,



The Adur, chartered by the Government, was a vessel of thirty tons, owned
by Mr. Gabriel Adams. It gives me much pleasure to express my thanks to
him and to Mr. Waugh, the master, and to the crew of the vessel, for the
important services they performed, and the zeal they exhibited in
rendering me assistance, not only on board the vessel, but also on shore.

We started from Perth on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 30th of March,
1870. His Excellency the Governor accompanied us for about three miles on
the Albany Road. We had fifteen horses, and provisions sufficient for the
journey to Esperance Bay, a distance of about 450 miles, where, it was
arranged, further supplies would await us. By the 5th of April we had
reached Kojonup, travelling in a north-easterly direction, and then
rested four days, leaving for Jerramungup on the 9th, and reaching it on
the 13th. Our first day's journey brought us to Mr. Graham's homestead,
near which we bivouacked; thence our route lay in an easterly direction,
at first through good grassy country with jam and white gum trees and
shea oaks, by way of Etticup, Martinup (where we bivouacked on the night
of the 10th), and Nigalup, beyond which were scrubby sand-plains
extending southwards towards the Stirling range. On the following night
we camped near some granite rocks. The next day's journey extended to
Koorarkup, where we again rested. Our rate of travel was from twenty to
twenty-five miles a day, and already we began to experience inconvenience
from want of water. A little stream, the Pallinup, was salt, and there
were salt pools on the route between our last camping-place and
Koorarkup, where we were now resting.

Around Jerramungup was rich grassy country, but beyond it we passed over
scrubby undulating plains for about sixteen miles, camping, on the night
of the 14th, on a small branch of the Fitzgerald River, near some granite
rocks called Dwertup. At this spot there was water, but very little feed
for the horses. My observations showed that we were in latitude 33
degrees 1 minute 15 seconds south.

From this point the progress will be best narrated by extracts from my
Diary. A reference to the map will show that as yet we had not reached
the track of Eyre, who had followed the coast to King George's Sound; but
by the 16th of April we had reached his line of route.

April 15th.
Travelled to the north of east, and at seven miles crossed the main
branch of the Fitzgerald River; granite rocks in bed, and saltwater
pools. After travelling over stony undulating country for twenty-one
miles, camped on a small patch of feed, with water in some granite rocks,
called Coombedup.

Continuing easterly over rough stony country, crossing several brooks
with salt pools of water in them, we reached the Phillips River, and,
after a good deal of searching, found some fresh water in a small brook
near the river. The immense pools in the Phillips were as salt as sea
water. Distance travelled about twenty-five miles.


17th (Sunday).
Did not travel. Went this morning, in company with McLarty, to the summit
of a high hill in Eyre's Range, called Annie's Peak, which we reached
after one and a half hour's hard climbing. It is the steepest hill I ever
attempted to ascend. We had a splendid view of the sea--the first since
leaving Perth--and I also obtained a fine round of angles and bearings.
On our return, found Billy had shot five ducks, and Tommy soon returned
with an emu. In the evening it very suddenly came on to thunder and
lighten, and soon rained in torrents, and, as we were rather unprepared,
we did not pass a very pleasant night.

Just as we had collected the horses it commenced to rain in torrents; got
under way, however, by 9 o'clock, steering in about an easterly direction
over sandy, scrubby country, and at ten miles crossed a brook with salt
pools in it, and afterwards reached a large river of salt water, which we
followed about two miles, and then camped at a spring called Jerdacuttup.
It rained in torrents the whole day, blowing hard from the southward, so
that all were drenched when we halted.

After travelling about twenty-three miles, in an easterly direction, we
reached a salt lake, called Parriup, and camped. Procured water on some
granite rocks near camp.

Travelling nine miles, reached Mr. Campbell Taylor's station on the
Oldfield River, and rested for the remainder of the day.

After starting the party, with instructions to reach and camp on north
side of Stokes' Inlet, distant about twenty miles, I went with Mr. Taylor
to the mouth of the Oldfield River, in order to take bearings to East
Mount Barren, but was disappointed, the weather being very hazy.
Accompanied by a native of Mr. Taylor's, followed on the tracks, but,
night setting in, we made the best of our way to where I expected to find
the party, but could see nothing of them, and were obliged to camp for
the night without food, and, what was worse, without a fire, having
neither matches nor powder with us. Luckily I had a rug, by which means I
fared much better than my companion, who had only a small kangaroo skin.
As it blew and rained in torrents most of the night, our position can be
better imagined than described.

Early this morning we were looking for the tracks of the party, but
without success; finally we returned eight miles to the Margaret River,
and, after a good deal of searching, found the tracks almost obliterated
by the rain, and followed along them. Upon nearing Stokes' Inlet we met
Tommy Windich looking for us, he having seen the tracks and last night's
bivouac. He informed me that they had camped about four miles westward of
the inlet, and we had therefore passed them in the dark last night. Made
all haste to overtake the party; succeeded in doing so, after a great
deal of trouble, one hour and a half after dark. Encamped on north side
of Barker's Inlet, at a small well of water called Booeynup. We did
justice to the supper, as we had not had anything to eat for thirty-two

For the first nine miles over scrubby sand-plains, kangaroos very
numerous, when we came into and skirted a chain of salt lakes and
marshes. Continuing over generally low country, well grassed, for five
miles, we reached and camped at the old homestead of the Messrs.
Dempster, called Mainbenup.


24th (Sunday).
Left camp in company with Billy Noongale, and proceeded to Esperance Bay,
distant twenty-four miles. On getting in view of the Bay, was much
disappointed to see no schooner lying at anchor, and felt very anxious
for her safety. Was very kindly received by Mrs. Andrew Dempster; the
Messrs. Dempster being away on Mondrain Island.

Went several times up on the hill, looking out for the Adur, but was each
time disappointed. On my return in the evening, found the party had
arrived from Mainbenup, and had camped.

Rained very heavily all last night. Shifted camp over one mile west of
homestead to a sheltered spot, where there was feed and wood. No signs of
the Adur.

27th and 28th.
Rested at camp; the weather very stormy. The Messrs. Dempster returned
from Mondrain Island this evening.

Shifted camp back to the homestead, and camped in a sheltered nook near
the Head. On ascending the Look-out Hill this evening, was rejoiced to
espy the Adur near Cape Le Grand, making in for the Bay, and at 8 o'clock
went off in Messrs. Dempster's boat, and had the great pleasure of
finding all hands well. They had experienced heavy weather, but
everything was dry and safe. I cannot find words to express the joy and
relief from anxiety this evening; all fears and doubts were at an end,
and I was now in a position to attempt to carry out my instructions.

The Messrs. Dempster, whose hospitality was so welcome, are good
specimens of the enterprising settlers who are continually advancing the
frontiers of civilization, pushing forward into almost unknown regions,
and establishing homesteads which hereafter may develop into important
towns. In ten days we had journeyed 160 miles, and had enjoyed a
foretaste of the nature of the country through which we should have to
make our way. Four days' rest recruited our energies, and the arrival of
the Adur, with stores, gave all the party excellent spirits.

The last day of April was occupied with landing the stores required for
immediate use, and the following day, being Sunday, we rested, and,
observing the practice adopted in my previous expeditions, I read Divine
Service to a somewhat larger congregation than I generally had around me.

The horses had suffered from sore backs, the result of saddles being
stuffed with straw; and on the two following days we were all busy
restuffing them with wool, and I set Osborn, the farrier, to work to
widen and alter the iron-work, so as to make the saddles more comfortable
and easy to the horses. From the 3rd to the 8th of May we remained at Mr.
Dempster's, and I made a survey of his location, a tract of forty acres.
On Saturday, the 7th, Mr. William Dempster left for Perth, and I had the
opportunity of sending a report of our proceedings to that date to the
Colonial Secretary, and also of forwarding private letters.


Sunday, the 8th, being our last day in Esperance Bay, was passed quietly,
all attending Divine Service at Mr. Dempster's house; and on the
following morning we prepared to start on the second stage of our
journey. The Adur was to meet us again at Israelite Bay, about 120 miles
to the eastward; and here I resume the extracts from my Diary:--

May 9th.
After collecting the horses, we saddled up and started en route for
Israelite Bay, where I had instructed the master of the Adur to meet us.
Bidding good-bye to our kind friends at Esperance Bay, travelled along
the north shore for about eleven miles, when we left the coast and
steered towards Mount Merivale, and camped at a spring on South-East
corner of a salt sake, Mount Merivale bearing North 60 degrees East
magnetic; Frenchman's Peak North 150 degrees East magnetic, and
Remarkable Island North 196 degrees East magnetic. The country for the
last few miles is beautifully grassed, with numerous brackish streams
running through. Commenced keeping watch this evening, two hours each,
from 8 p.m. to 6 o'clock a.m. Marked a tree with the letter F. at our

Travelled nearly due East for twenty-four miles, through scrubby, sandy
country without timber. Remarkable bare granite hills studded in every
direction. Camped at a spring on South-East side of granite hills,
resembling a saddle. Passed Mount Hawes, leaving it a little to the
north. From hill near camp, Mount Hawes bore North 295 degrees East
magnetic, Mount Merivale North 278 degrees East magnetic, Frenchman's
Peak North 243 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic, and the east side of
Mondrain Island North 207 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic.

The horses having strayed back on the tracks last night, we were delayed
till 10 o'clock, when only eight of them were brought in. Sent Tommy in
search of the remainder, and, after waiting until 3 o'clock for his
return, my brother, Osborn, and Billy went with seven horses and loads;
instructed to camp at the first place where there was feed and water,
there being no feed at this camp. McLarty and myself waited until Tommy
returned, which he did at sundown, having had to go back twenty-four
miles to the bivouac of the 9th. There being scarcely any feed here, and
it being too late to follow after the party, we tied up our horses for
the night. Found it rather long hours watching, namely, about four hours
each. By meridian altitude of sun, camp is in latitude 33 degrees 90
minutes 49 seconds South.

Packed up and followed on the tracks of the party, and at ten miles found
them camped on a branch of a creek which runs into Duke of Orleans Bay.
Brackish streams plentiful: scrubby, sandy country. By meridian altitudes
of sun and Arcturus, camp is in South latitude 33 degrees 51 minutes 35


Travelled in an easterly direction towards Cape Arid, passing at five
miles a large creek, and at ten miles camped on a running brackish
stream, which I named the Alexander. Scrubby open country most of the
way. Shot a few ducks from thousands that are in these rivers.

Continuing a little to the south of East for ten miles, crossed a large
brook, and at fourteen miles reached another creek. Followed it up a mile
and camped on east side of a large salt lagoon, into which the brook
empties. Splendid green feed around camp, but no water. Went with Billy
to look for some, and, after going a mile and a half East, struck the
Thomas River, where we met two natives, quietly disposed, who showed us
the water, and, after filling our canteens, returned with us to camp.

15th (Sunday).
Shifted camp over to the Thomas River, one mile and a half, where there
was plenty of water. Rained a little during the day. Grassy piece of
country round camp--the first good feeding land seen since leaving Mount
Merivale. About half a mile west of camp, Mount Ragged bore North 43
degrees 30 minutes East magnetic, Mount Baring North 53 degrees 15
minutes East magnetic, and South-West point of Cape Arid North 140
degrees 30 minutes East. By meridian altitude of sun, camp was in south
latitude 33 degrees 50 minutes 7 seconds, and longitude about 123 degrees
East. Billy shot five ducks this afternoon.

Got an early start and steered nearly East, accompanied by the two
natives, over scrubby sand-plains for about twenty-one miles. We camped
near the sea, a few miles to the westward of Cape Pasley. Filled our
canteens about two miles back from where we camped, from which point
Mount Ragged bore North 11 degrees East magnetic, Cape Pasley North 110
degrees 30 minutes East magnetic, and South-East point of Cape Arid North
214 degrees East magnetic.

Steering in an East-North-East direction for about nineteen miles, we
camped near Point Malcolm, Mount Ragged bearing North 327 degrees East
magnetic, and Point Dempster (Israelite Bay) North 35 degrees 15 minutes
East magnetic. Hope to reach Israelite Bay to-morrow, as it is only
sixteen miles distant. There was no water at Point Malcolm, but luckily
we had filled our canteens. The wind was strong from the westward,
accompanied with light showers all day. Tommy shot a kangaroo this
evening, and the two natives who were travelling with us from the Thomas
River did ample justice to the supper, literally eating the whole night.


After starting the party, went in advance with Billy to prepare camp at
Israelite Bay. When we reached it were delighted to find the Adur lying
safely at anchor there; proceeding on board, found all well. Procured
abundance of water by digging one foot deep in the sand-hills, and good
feed a short distance from camp.

Our friends on the Adur were looking anxiously for us. We were two days
behind the appointed time, and they feared some evil had befallen us, not
taking into consideration the many delays incidental to such a journey
through strange and difficult country as we had made. We had occupied ten
days in reaching Israelite Bay since leaving Mr. Dempster's station,
going an average of about twelve miles a day, which would be a slow rate
of progress in a settled country, but which had sufficiently tried our
horses, they being now in a very reduced condition from scarcity of feed.
I resolved to stay at the camp for eight or ten days to recruit the
horses, as there was good feed in the vicinity; and we re-stuffed and
re-fitted the saddles and had the horses shod. I made a correct chart of
the route from Esperance Bay, and found that the coast-line, as laid down
in the Admiralty charts, was in many places incorrect.

On the 24th of May we determined to celebrate the Queen's birthday. All
hands from the Adur came ashore, and I drew them up in line under the
Union Jack, which was duly hoisted near the camp. We presented arms; sang
God Save the Queen vigorously, and fired a salute of twenty-one guns,
finishing with three cheers. I venture to record that our vocal efforts
were as sincerely and heartily made in the Australian wilderness as any
which rang that day in any part of her Majesty's wide dominions. We were
all highly delighted--not only feeling that we had done our duty as loyal
subjects, but other celebrations in more civilized places were forcibly
recalled to memory.

I had fixed the 30th as the time for our fresh start, and we had enough
to do in packing bags, and making general repairs and improvements in our
outfit. Eucla Bay, the only other point at which we should be able to
communicate with the coaster, was 350 miles to the east of Israelite Bay.
The nature of the country was quite unknown, except so far as indicated
by the not very encouraging record of Eyre's journey. We felt that we
should inevitably have to encounter considerable difficulties, and
perhaps even fail to reach Eucla. I deemed it right to give explicit
directions to Mr. Waugh, the master of the schooner, so that, in the
event of not meeting with us at the appointed place, he should have no
difficulty as to the course to pursue, and to that end I gave him in
writing the following instructions:--


Israelite Bay, 28th May, 1870.


It being my intention to start for Eucla on Monday, the 30th instant, I
have the honour to direct you will be good enough to make arrangements
for leaving this place on the 7th of June, wind and weather permitting,
and sail as direct as possible for Port Eucla, situated in south latitude
31 degrees 43 minutes, and east longitude 128 degrees 52 minutes East.

You will remain at anchor in Port Eucla until the 1st September, long
before which time I hope to reach and meet you there. No signs of myself
or party appearing by that date, you will bury in casks under the Black
Beacon, 400 pounds flour, 200 pounds pork, 100 pounds sugar, 10 pounds
tea, and four bags barley, together with the remainder of our clothing on
board. You will be careful to hide the spot of concealment as much as
possible, or by any other means that may suggest themselves. Also you
will bury a bottle containing report of your proceedings.

All these matters had better be attended to a day or two before, and on
the 2nd of September you will set sail and return with all despatch to
this place (Israelite Bay), where, if I have been obliged to return, I
will leave buried a bottle at this spot (arranged by us yesterday), which
will contain instructions as to your future proceedings.

No signs of our return being found here, you will sail for Fremantle,
calling at Esperance Bay on your way.

On arriving in Fremantle, you will immediately report your return to the
Honourable the Colonial Secretary, and forward him a report of your
proceedings, after which your charter-party will have been completed.

These arrangements are chiefly respecting your proceedings in the event
of our not reaching Eucla; and I may add that, although I have every hope
of reaching there in safety, still it is impossible to command success in
any enterprise, and I have to impress upon you the necessity of these
instructions being carried out, as nearly as possible, to the very
letter. Wishing yourself and crew a prosperous voyage, and hoping soon to
meet you in Port Eucla,

I have, etc.,


Leader of Expedition.

Mr. R.B. Waugh,

Master of Schooner Adur.


On Sunday, the 29th of May, all hands came ashore to dinner. It was
certainly a festive party under rather extraordinary circumstances, but
it was heartily enjoyed. So far as we were concerned the future was more
than usually uncertain; but there was no feeling of despondency, and we
separated in the evening with mutual good wishes and hopes for the
success of the expedition. I read Divine Service, and, situated as we
were, a small party remote from civilization, I think we all felt more
impressed than under ordinary circumstances would have been the case. We
had rested for eleven days. Good food had restored the condition of the
horses, and we rested in our camp in good spirits, ready for the work we
were to begin on the following morning. My observations showed that we
were in latitude 33 degrees 36 minutes 58 seconds South and longitude
about 123 degrees 48 minutes East, the variation of compass from a number
of azimuths being about 0 degrees 46 minutes westerly.

The narrative is now continued in extracts from my Diary:--

May 30th.
After bidding good-bye to the crew of the Adur, and to the two natives we
have had with us from the Thomas River, who were now at the end of their
country and were afraid to come any further with us, we left Israelite
Bay en route for Eucla, and steered in a northerly direction for about
fifteen miles over salt marshes and clay-pans, with dense thickets
intervening, destitute of grass. I was obliged to make for the coast,
and, following it for about eight miles, we camped close to it, without
water or feed, and tied up our horses in latitude 33 degrees 17 minutes
17 seconds by meridian altitude of Arcturus and a Bootes.

Saddled up at dawn and continued along the beach for four miles; came to
a large sand patch, and found abundance of water by digging one foot deep
in the hollows. Camped on east side of the sand-hills, with first-rate
feed for the horses. By meridian altitude of sun, camp is in latitude 33
degrees 13 minutes 46 seconds South.

June 1st.
After starting the party, went with Tommy Windich to examine the country
to the North-West, and then, travelling nine miles over salt marshes and
samphire flats, with dense scrub intervening, we reached what is named on
the Admiralty Charts The Front Bank, which, ascending, we found very
steep and rough. At last, gaining the summit, the country receded to the
north, level and thickly wooded, as far as the eye could reach. We
travelled about four miles to the North-West, from where we ascended the
range, and then climbed a tree to have a view of the country, which I
found very level and thickly wooded with mallee. I therefore determined
to turn east, and if possible, reach the party to-night. Accordingly, we
reached the sea, and, following the tracks of the party, came up with
them at about 10 p.m., encamped on North-East side of an immense
sand-patch, about twenty-five miles from our last night's bivouac. There
was abundance of water on the surface in the hollows of the sand-hills.

There being no feed near camp, saddled up and continued towards Point
Culver for four miles and camped, with only some coarse grass growing on
the white sand-hills for our very hungry horses. Found plenty of water by
digging. This is a poor place for the horses: intend making a flying trip
to the North-East to-morrow. By meridian altitude of sun and Arcturus,
camp is in latitude 32 degrees 55 minutes 30 seconds south, and longitude
124 degrees 25 minutes east.

Started with my brother and Billy to examine the country to the
North-East, and travelled in about a North-East direction for twenty-five
miles over very level country, but in many places most beautifully
grassed. We camped on a splendid flat, without water.


Started at dawn and travelled in a southerly direction for nine miles,
when we found a rock water-hole containing one gallon, and had breakfast.
Continuing for four miles, we reached the cliffs, which fell
perpendicularly into the sea, and, although grand in the extreme, were
terrible to gaze from. After looking very cautiously over the precipice,
we all ran back quite terror-stricken by the dreadful view. Turning our
course westward along the cliffs, we reached camp at 5 o'clock, and found
all well. We saw several natives' tracks during the day.

5th (Sunday).
Rested at camp. Read Divine Service. Intend making preparations to-morrow
for starting on Tuesday morning, and attempt to reach the water shown on
Mr. Eyre's track, in longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East, 150 miles
distant, by carrying thirty gallons of water with us and walking in
turns, so as to have the horses to carry the water. Intend allowing each
man one quart and each horse two quarts per day. Feel very anxious as to
the result, as it will take five or six days; but it is the only resource
left. After explaining my views to my companions, and pointing out the
great probability of our meeting with small rock water-holes, was much
relieved by the sanguine way in which they acquiesced in the plans, and
the apparent confidence they placed in me.

Filled the water-cans, and got everything ready for a start to-morrow

Started at 9 a.m., carrying over thirty gallons of water with us. One of
the drums leaked so much that we left it at camp. Travelled along our
outward tracks of the 4th, and camped at our former bivouac, with
splendid feed, but no water for our horses.

Started early, and steered about North-East through dense mallee
thickets, destitute of grass or water, for eighteen miles. We came upon a
small patch of open grassy land, and camped without water for our horses.
This is the second night our horses have been without water, but the
grass has been fresh, and they do not yet appear to have suffered much.
Marked a tree at camp, F., 1870. My brother, I am sorry to say, left his
revolver at our last night's bivouac, and did not notice it until this
evening, when it was too far to send back to look for it. By meridian
altitude of Arcturus, camp is in latitude 32 degrees 34 minutes 20
seconds south, and longitude 124 degrees 59 minutes east.


Made an early start, steering North-East, and at one mile found a rock
water-hole containing fifteen gallons, which we gave the tired, thirsty
horses, and, continuing, chiefly through dense mallee thickets, with a
few grassy flats intervening, for twenty-two miles, found another rock
water-hole holding about ten gallons, which we also gave the horses, and,
after travelling one mile from it, camped on a large grassy flat, without
water for the horses. Our horses are still very thirsty, and have yet
seventy miles to go before reaching the water in longitude 126 degrees 24
minutes East. Am very thankful for finding the little water to-day, for
if we had none, our situation would be somewhat perilous, and some of the
horses would probably show signs of distress to-morrow. Latitude of camp,
32 degrees 20 minutes 35 seconds South by Arcturus, and longitude 125
degrees 16 minutes East.

Steering East-North-East over generally open country, grassy flats, etc.,
thinly wooded, for twenty-one miles, found a small rock water-hole
containing three gallons, which we put into our canteens. After
travelling three miles further, camped on the edge of a grassy flat, and
gave our horses half a gallon each from our canteens. Our horses appear
fearfully distressed this evening. For the last ninety-six hours they
have only had two gallons each. Latitude of camp 32 degrees 11 minutes 5
seconds South, longitude 125 degrees 37 minutes East.

Found, on collecting the horses, that four were missing. Those found were
in a sad state for want of water, and there was not a moment to lose. I
therefore at once told Tommy to look for those missing, and, after
saddling up, sent the party on with my brother, with instructions to
steer easterly for nearly fifty miles, when they would reach the water in
longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East. I remained behind to await Tommy's
return, and, after an hour's awful anxiety, was rejoiced to see him
returning with the ramblers. We lost no time in following after the
party, and at two miles came to a water-hole they had emptied and given
to the horses (fifteen gallons), and at five miles overtook them. After
travelling ten miles, found another water-hole with fifteen gallons,
which we also gave our horses, they being still very thirsty. At fourteen
miles found a water-hole holding three gallons, which we transferred to
our canteens; and at fifteen miles camped on a small but very grassy
flat, close to which we found a water-hole of ten gallons, which I intend
giving the horses to-morrow morning. Although the horses are still very
thirsty, they are much relieved, and are willing to feed. We all felt
tired from long, weary, and continued walking. By meridian altitude of
Arcturus, camp is in latitude 32 degrees 13 minutes South, and longitude
125 degrees 51 minutes East.

12th (Sunday).
After giving the horses the little water found by Tommy last evening, we
struck a little to the south of east over generally grassy country,
slightly undulating for three miles, when, being in advance, walking, I
found a large water-hole with about 100 gallons of water in it. It being
Sunday, and men and horses very tired, I halted for the day, as there was
most luxuriant feed round camp. Our horses soon finished the water, and
looked much better after it. Although now without water, we are in
comparative safety, as the horses have had nearly sufficient. We are now
only thirty-two miles from the water shown on Mr. Eyre's chart, in
longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East. Latitude of camp 32 degrees 13
minutes 35 seconds South, and longitude 125 degrees 54 minutes East.


Made an early start, and steering a little to the south of east, keeping
straight for the water in longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East. At
eighteen miles got a view of the sea, and beheld the sand-hills about
fifteen miles ahead. Here we saw some natives' fires close to us.
Approaching them, we came upon an old woman, and my brother and Tommy
soon brought a man to bay. There were about twenty round us; they
appeared very frightened. After detaining them half an hour, and treating
them as kindly as possible, we bade them farewell and continued our
journey. The natives were entirely naked. After we left the natives, we
came to where the cliffs leave the sea, in longitude 126 degrees 12
minutes East. From here Point Dover was clearly visible, and I cannot
express my feelings when gazing on the scene. To the westward, those
grand precipitous cliffs, from 200 to 300 feet high, and Point Dover,
near which Mr. Eyre's overseer was murdered, could easily be discerned;
and while thinking over his hardships and miseries, we turned our faces
eastward, and there saw, within a few miles, the water we so much needed.
We then descended the cliffs and reached the sea shore, which we followed
for about twelve miles, reaching the first sand-patch at about 10 o'clock
p.m. There was good feed all around, but we could not, from the darkness,
find any water. Gave our horses all we had with us, about fifteen


This morning searched the sand-patches for water, without success; I
therefore packed up and proceeded towards another large patch, four miles
distant, going in advance with Billy. After we left, Tommy found a place
used by the natives, where water could be procured by digging. He,
however, followed after Billy and myself. On reaching the sand-patch we
saw the place where water could be procured by digging; we also found
sufficient to satisfy our horses on some sandstone flats. We were soon
joined by the party, who were overjoyed to be in perfect safety once
more, and we were all thankful to that Providence which had guarded us
over 150 miles without finding permanent water. We soon pitched camp, and
took the horses to the feed, which was excellent. Returning, we were
surprised to see a vessel making in for the land, and soon made her out
to be the Adur. Although the wind was favourable for Eucla, she made in
for the land until within about three miles, when she turned eastward,
and, although we made fires, was soon out of sight. I afterwards
ascertained that they were not sure of their longitude, having no
chronometer on board, and therefore wished to see some landmark.

Dug two wells to-day, and found good water at seven feet from the
surface. Lined them with stakes and bushes to keep them from filling in.
In the afternoon we all amused ourselves shooting wattle-birds, and
managed to kill fifteen.

Dug another well and bushed it up, the supply from the two dug yesterday
being insufficient, and obtained an ample quantity of splendid fresh
water. By a number of observations, camp is in latitude 32 degrees 14
minutes 50 seconds South, and longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East, the
variation of compass being about 1 degree 6 minutes easterly. The horses
are improving very quickly, there being splendid feed round the

Went with Tommy Windich for a walk eastward along the beach, and returned
a little inland. Passed over some patches of beautiful grassed country.
Saw a pine pole standing on one of the hummocks near the beach, probably
erected by Mr. Eyre, as I am not aware of any one else having been here.
We could not find any of his camps, however; doubtless the sand has long
since covered them.

Making preparations for a flying trip inland on Monday.

19th (Sunday).
Read Divine Service. Every appearance of rain.

Started this morning, in company with McLarty and Tommy Windich, to
explore the country to the northward. The first twelve miles north was
through very dense thickets and sandy hills, when we reached the cliffs,
which we ascended with difficulty, and steering about North-North-East
for the first three miles, through dense mallee thickets, we emerged into
a generally grassy country, and travelled over beautifully-grassed downs.
We camped at a rock water-hole of fifteen gallons, about twenty-five
miles from main camp.

Steering about north for one mile, we found a rock water-hole holding
about thirty gallons; and continuing for thirteen miles over grassy
plains, thinly wooded, the country became very clear and open, and at
twenty-five miles there was nothing but plains, gently undulating, of
grass and salt-bush in view. Far as the eye could reach to the
North-West, North, and North-East, this clear and grassy country
extended; and being now fifty miles from camp, with the prospect of
finding water diminishing as we travelled northward, I determined to
return. Accordingly struck South-West, and after travelling twelve miles
found a small water-hole of three gallons, and camped for the night. Set
watch as follows: myself 7 to 11, McLarty 11 to 3.30 a.m., and Tommy from
3.30 to 6 a.m. We found them rather long hours.

Saddled up at dawn, and steering southerly over clear, open, grassy
plains for twenty-eight miles, we reached the cliffs, and rested an hour;
after which we continued our journey and reached camp a little after
dark, finding all well.


Made preparations for a start for Eucla to-morrow, and put everything in
travelling order. During my absence, Osborn had got the horses' feet in
order, and the pack-saddles had been overhauled, and repairs generally
made. In looking round the camp, Tommy Windich found shoulder-blade of a
horse, and two small pieces of leather. They no doubt belonged to Mr.
Eyre's equipment, and, on reference to his journal, I find he was here
obliged to kill a horse for food. In his journal he writes thus: "Early
on the morning of the 16th April, 1841, I sent the overseer to kill the
unfortunate horse, which was still alive but unable to rise from the
ground, having never moved from the place where he had first been found
lying yesterday morning. The miserable animal was in the most wretched
state possible, thin and emaciated by long and continued suffering, and
labouring under some complaint that in a very few hours, at the farthest,
must have terminated its life." I cut off part of the shoulder-blade, and
have since given it, together with the pieces of leather, to his
Excellency Governor Weld.


Started at 8.30 a.m. en route for Eucla. Steering in a North-North-East
direction for fifteen miles, reached the cliffs, and after following
along them two miles, found a large rock water-hole, but in an almost
inaccessible spot. While I was examining the cliffs near, to find a place
where we could get the horses up, Tommy heard a cooey, and after
answering it a good many times, we were surprised to see two natives
walking up towards us, unarmed. I approached and met them; they did not
appear at all frightened, and at once began to eat the damper I gave
them. We could not understand anything they said. I beckoned them to come
along with us, which they at once did, and followed so closely after me
as to tramp on my spurs. They pointed to water further ahead. After
walking about a mile, four more natives were seen running after us, who,
on joining, made a great noise, singing, and appearing very pleased.
Shortly afterwards two more followed, making seven in all; all entirely
naked, and every one circumcised. We found the water alluded to on the
top of the cliffs, but, it being too late to get the horses up, we turned
off to the southward half a mile, and camped on a small grassy flat,
without water for the horses. The seven natives slept at our fire. We
gave them as much damper as they could eat. They had not the least
particle of clothing, and made pillows of each other's bodies, and
resembled pigs more than human beings.

The horses began to stray towards morning, and at 3 a.m. I roused Billy
and brought them back. After saddling up, went to the cliffs, and with
two hours' hard work in making a path and leading up the horses (two of
which fell backwards), we managed to gain the summit. The seven natives
accompanied us, and giving one of them the bag containing my rug to carry
over to the water, I was surprised to see him trotting off with it.
Calling Tommy, we soon overtook him and made him carry it back to the
party. After giving our horses as much as they required from the fine
water-holes, I motioned five of the natives to leave us and two to
accompany us, which they soon understood, and appeared satisfied.
Travelling in an East-North-East direction for twenty-one miles, over
rich grassy table-land plains, thinly wooded, we camped on a very grassy
spot, without water for our horses. By meridian altitude of Arcturus,
camp is in latitude 31 degrees 52 minutes 30 seconds south, and longitude
126 degrees 53 minutes East.

26th (Sunday).
Finding the two natives entirely useless, as we could not understand
them, and had to give them part of the little water we carried with us,
motioned them to return, which they appeared very pleased to do. Steering
in an easterly direction for two miles, over downs of most luxuriant
grass, we found a large rock water-hole holding over 100 gallons. It was
Sunday, and all being tired, we camped for the day. In every direction,
open gently undulating country, most beautifully grassed, extended. By
meridian altitude of sun, camp is in latitude 31 degrees 53 minutes
South. Read Divine Service. Tommy and Billy went for a stroll, and
returned bringing with them two small kangaroos, (the first we have shot
since leaving Israelite Bay) which proved a great treat. The natives also
found a fine water-hole about a mile from camp. Gave the horses all the
water at this place. Every appearance of rain.

Made rather a late start, owing to some of the horses straying. Steered
in an East-North-East direction, and at ten miles found a small
waterhole, and at twenty-one miles another, both of which we gave our
horses, and at twenty-four miles camped on a grassy spot, without water
for our horses. For the first fifteen miles grassy, gently undulating,
splendid feeding country extended in every direction, after which there
was a slight falling off, scrubby at intervals. By meridian altitude of
Arcturus, camp was in latitude 31 degrees 46 minutes 43 seconds South,
and longitude 127 degrees 17 minutes East.

Had some difficulty in collecting the horses, and made a late start,
steering in about an East-North-East direction for the first five miles,
over very grassy flats, etc., when it became more dense and scrubby until
twenty miles, after which it improved a little. At twenty-four miles we
camped on a grassy rise, without water, in south latitude 31 degrees 41
minutes, and longitude 127 degrees 40 minutes East. Our horses appeared
distressed for want of water, the weather being very warm.


Had to go back five miles to get the horses this morning. After saddling
up, travelled in about an easterly direction for twenty-four miles, and
camped on a grassy rise, close to a small rock water-hole. During the
day, found in small rock-holes sufficient to give each horse about three
gallons. The country was generally very grassy, although in some places
rather thickly wooded. McLarty was very foot-sore from heavy and long
walking. By meridian altitude of Arcturus, camp is in latitude 31 degrees
45 minutes South, and longitude 128 degrees 2 minutes East.

Hearing the horses make off, I roused Billy and brought them back; they
had gone two miles. Packed up, and steering in an east direction over
generally very grassy country with occasional mallee thickets, for about
twenty-two miles, we came to a splendidly-grassed rise, and found a fine
rock water-hole on it, containing about 100 gallons, which our horses
soon finished being fearfully in want, the day being very warm. We are
now only thirty miles from Eucla. For the last two days McLarty has been
so lame that I have not allowed him to walk--his boots hurting his feet.

July 1st.
Made an early start, every one being in high spirits, as I told them they
should see the sea and Eucla to-day. Travelling about east over most
beautifully-grassed country, at five miles found a large water-hole,
holding 100 gallons; but our horses, not being thirsty, did not drink
much. This is the first rock water-hole we have passed without finishing
since we left Point Culver. After ten miles reached the cliffs, or
Hampton Range, and had a splendid view of the Roe Plains, Wilson's Bluff
looming in the distance, bearing North 77 degrees 30 minutes East

Descending the cliffs with difficulty, we followed along the foot of
them, which was beautifully grassed, and, after travelling twelve miles,
beheld the Eucla sand-hills. On my pointing them out, every heart was
full of joy, and, being away some distance, I heard the long and
continued hurrahs from the party! Eucla was all the conversation! I never
before remember witnessing such joy as was evinced on this occasion by
all the party. After travelling five miles further we camped close to the
cliffs, at a small water-hole, Wilson's Bluff bearing North 85 degrees
East magnetic, and the Delissier sand-hills North 90 degrees East
magnetic. We might have reached Eucla this evening, but I preferred doing
so to-morrow, when we could have the day before us to choose camp. We are
now again in safety, Eucla being only seven miles distant, after having
travelled 166 miles without finding permanent water--in fact, over 300
miles with only one place where we procured permanent water, namely, in
longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East. I trust we all recognized with
sincerity and thankfulness the guiding and protecting Father who had
brought us through in safety. By observation, the camp was in latitude 31
degrees 42 minutes South.


Made an early start and steered straight for the anchorage, distant about
five miles, having first ascended the range to have a view of the
country, which was very extensive. Far as the eye could reach to the
westward the Roe Plains and Hampton Range were visible; while to the
eastward lay Wilson's Bluff and the Delissier sand-hills; and three miles
west of them we were delighted to behold the good schooner Adur, riding
safely at anchor in Eucla harbour, which formed by no means the least
pleasing feature of the scene to our little band of weary travellers.
Made at once for the vessel, and, on reaching her, found all well and
glad to see us. She was anchored between the Red and Black Beacons. The
latter had been blown down, but shall be re-erected. There being no water
at the anchorage, moved on to the Delissier sand-hills, where we found
water by digging two and a half feet from the surface. Camped on west
side of the sand-hills. Landed barley, etc., from the boat. There was
good feed for the horses under the Hampton Range, about a mile and a half

The next day was Sunday. The crew of the Adur came ashore and dined with
us, and, as usual, I read Divine Service. On the following morning I went
aboard the schooner and examined the log-book and charts. We painted the
Red and Black Beacons, and Mr. Adams having trimmed up a spar, we erected
a flagstaff thirty-four feet high. I occupied myself the next day with
preparing a report to be sent to the Colonial Secretary. My brother went
off to the boat and brought ashore the things we required. We were busy
on the following days packing up and shipping things not required for the
trip to Adelaide, and I gave the master of the Adur instructions to sail
with all despatch for Fremantle.

The following report, which I sent back by the Adur, describes the
progress then made with somewhat more detail than in my Journal:--

Port Eucla, 7th July, 1870.


It is with much pleasure I have the honour to report, for the information
of his Excellency the Governor, the safe arrival here of the expedition
entrusted to my guidance, as also the meeting of the schooner Adur.

Leaving Esperance Bay on the 9th of May, we travelled in an easterly
direction, over plains generally poorly grassed, to Israelite Bay
(situated in latitude 33 degrees 36 minutes 51 seconds South, and
longitude 123 degrees 48 minutes East), which we reached on the 18th May,
and met the Adur, according to instructions issued to the master. Here we
recruited our horses and had them re-shod, put the pack-saddles in good
order, packed provisions, etc., and gave the master of the Adur very
strict and detailed instructions to proceed to Eucla Harbour, and await
my arrival until the 2nd of September, when, if I did not reach there, he
was to bury provisions under the Black Beacon and sail for Fremantle, via
Israelite and Esperance Bays. Everything being in readiness, on the 30th
of May we left Israelite Bay en route for Eucla, carrying with us three
months' provisions. Keeping near the coast for sixty miles, having taken
a flying trip inland on my way, we reached the sand-patches a little to
the west of Point Culver, in latitude 32 degrees 55 minutes 34 seconds
South, and longitude 124 degrees 25 minutes East, on the 2nd of June.

On the 3rd went on a flying trip to the North-East, returning on the 4th
along the cliffs and Point Culver. I found the country entirely destitute
of permanent water, but, after leaving the coast a few miles, to be, in
places, beautifully grassed. On the coast near the cliffs it was very
rocky, and there was neither feed nor water. Finding there was no chance
of permanent water being found, that the only water in the country was in
small rocky holes--and those very scarce indeed--and the feed being very
bad at Point Culver, I determined, after very mature consideration, to
attempt at all hazards to reach the water shown on Mr. Eyre's track in
longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East, or 140 miles distant.

In accordance with these arrangements, on the 7th day of June started on
our journey, carrying over thirty gallons of water on three of our riding
horses, and taking it in turns walking. Travelled about North-East for
four days, which brought us to latitude 32 degrees 11 minutes South, and
longitude 125 degrees 37 minutes East, finding, during that time, in
rocky holes, sufficient water to give each horse two gallons. On the
fifth day we were more fortunate, and were able to give them each two
gallons more, and on the sixth day (the 12th June, Sunday) found a large
rock hole containing sufficient to give them five gallons each, which
placed us in safety, as the water in longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes
East was only thirty-two miles distant. Continuing, we reached the water
on Tuesday, June 14th, and by observation found it to be in latitude 32
degrees 14 minutes 50 seconds South, and longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes
East, the variation of the compass being about 1 degree 6 minutes

The country passed over between Point Culver and longitude 126 degrees 24
minutes East, was in many places beautifully grassed, level, without the
slightest undulation, about 300 feet above the sea, and not very thickly
wood. It improves to the northward, being clearer and more grassy, and
the horizon to the north, in every place where I could get an extensive
view, was as uniform and well-defined as that of the sea. On the route
from Point Culver to longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East, we were from
twenty to twenty-five miles from the sea.

Recruiting ourselves and horses till the 30th, I took a flying trip to
the northward. For the first twelve miles from the sea was through a
dense and almost impenetrable scrub, when we reached the cliffs, and
after ascending them we came into the same description of level country
that we travelled over from Point Culver, save that this was more open
and grassy, and became still clearer as we proceeded north, until, at our
farthest point north, in latitude 31 degrees 33 minutes South, and
longitude 126 degrees 33 minutes East, scarcely a tree was visible, and
vast plains of grass and saltbush extended as far as the eye could reach
in every direction. We found a little water for our horses in rock holes.
Returning, we reached camp on June 22nd. On the 23rd we were engaged
making preparations for a start for Eucla. In looking round camp, Tommy
Windich found the shoulder-blade of a horse and two small pieces of
leather belonging to a packsaddle. The shoulder-blade is no doubt the
remains of the horse Mr. Eyre was obliged to kill for food at this spot.

On June 24th started for Eucla, carrying, as before, over thirty gallons
of water, and walking in turns. On the 25th found on the top of the
cliffs a large rock hole, containing sufficient water to give the horses
as much as they required, and on the 26th were equally fortunate. From
the 26th to the 30th we met with scarcely any water, and our horses
appeared very distressed, more so as the weather was very warm. On the
evening of the 30th, however, we were again fortunate enough to find a
water-hole containing sufficient to give them six gallons each, and were
again in safety, Eucla water being only thirty miles distant. On the
morning of the 1st day of July we reached the cliffs, or Hampton Range
(these cliffs recede from the sea in longitude 126 degrees 12 minutes
East, and run along at the average distance of twelve or fifteen miles
from the sea until they join it again at Wilson's Bluff, in longitude 129
degrees East. They are very steep and rough, and water may generally be
found in rock holes in the gorges. I, however, wished to keep further
inland, and therefore did not follow them), and shortly afterwards we
beheld the Wilson's Bluff and the Eucla sand-hills. Camped for the night
near the Hampton Range, about five miles from Eucla Harbour, and on the
2nd July, on nearing the anchorage, discovered the schooner Adur lying
safely at anchor, which proved by no means the least pleasing feature to
our little band of weary travellers. Camped on west side of Delissier
sand-hills, and found water by digging.

The country passed over between longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East, as
a grazing country, far surpasses anything I have ever seen. There is
nothing in the settled portions of Western Australia equal to it, either
in extent or quality; but the absence of permanent water is the great
drawback, and I do not think water would be procured by sinking, except
at great depths, as the country is at least three hundred feet above the
sea, and there is nothing to indicate water being within an easy depth
from the surface. The country is very level, with scarcely any
undulation, and becomes clearer as you proceed northward.

Since leaving Cape Arid I have not seen a gully or watercourse of any
description--a distance of 400 miles.

The route from longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East to Eucla was
generally about thirty miles from the sea.

The natives met with appeared friendly and harmless; they are entirely
destitute of clothing, and I think not very numerous.

Very little game exists along the route; a few kangaroos were seen, but
no emus--an almost certain sign, I believe, of the scarcity of water.

The health of the party has been excellent; and I cannot speak too highly
of the manner in which each member of the expedition has conducted
himself, under circumstances often of privation and difficulty.

All our horses are also in splendid condition; and when I reflect how
great were the sufferings of the only other Europeans who traversed this
route, I cannot but thank Almighty God who has guarded and guided us in
safety through such a waterless region, without the loss of even a single

I am afraid I shall not be able to get far inland northward, unless we
are favoured with rain. We have not had any rain since the end of April,
and on that account our difficulties have been far greater than if it had
been an ordinary wet season.

I intend despatching the Adur for Fremantle to-morrow. The charter-party
has been carried out entirely to my satisfaction. With the assistance of
the crew of the Adur I have repainted the Red and Black Beacons. The
latter had been blown down; we, however, re-erected it firmly again. I
have also erected a flagstaff, thirty feet high, near camp on west side
of Delissier sand-hills, with a copper-plate nailed on it, with its
position, my name, and that of the colony engraved on it.

We are now within 140 miles from the nearest Adelaide station. I will
write to you as soon as I reach there. It will probably be a month from
this date.

Trusting that the foregoing brief account of my proceedings, as leader of
the expedition entrusted to my guidance, may meet with the approval of
his Excellency the Governor,

I have, etc.,


Leader of Expedition to Eucla and Adelaide.

The Honourable the Colonial Secretary,

Perth, W.A.

We had now accomplished rather more than half the distance between Perth
and Adelaide, but there was still a gap of 140 miles to be bridged over.
We bade good-bye to our friends on board the Adur, and were now thrown
entirely on our own resources. I resume the extracts from my Journal:--


July 8th.
Started in company with my brother and Billy, having three riding horses
and a pack horse, to penetrate the country to the northward. Travelled in
a northerly direction for about twenty-seven miles, over plains generally
well grassed, and then bivouacked. From the camp only plains were in
sight, not a tree visible. Did not meet with a drop of water on our way,
and, having brought none, we had to do without it. This season is too dry
to attempt to cross these vast grassy plains, and I shall return to camp
to-morrow--the attempt to get inland without rain only exhausting
ourselves and horses to no purpose.

After collecting the horses, which had strayed back on the tracks, we
steered in a South-South-West direction, and reached camp a little after
sundown. Did not find any water, except about half a gallon, during the
two days, and, the weather being warm, the horses were in a very
exhausted state when they reached camp. Found the Adur had left yesterday

10th (Sunday).
Rested at Eucla. Read Divine Service.

Osborn busy with the shoeing. Went with Billy to Wilson's Bluff, and saw
the boundary-post between South and Western Australia, placed by
Lieutenant Douglas. Returned at sundown.

Erected the flagstaff with the Union Jack flying, and nailed a copper
plate to the staff, with the following engraved on it:--

J. FORREST, JULY 12TH, 1870.

From the flagstaff, Wilson's Bluff bore North 70 degrees 15 minutes East
magnetic, and the Black Beacon North 246 degrees 20 minutes East
magnetic, and it is situated in latitude 31 degrees 41 minutes 50 seconds

There was a total eclipse of the moon in the morning. All busy preparing
for a start for the Head of the Bight to-morrow. Buried a cask eight feet
west of flagstaff, containing 100 pounds flour, 130 pounds barley, 16 new
sets of horse-shoes, shoeing nails, etc. Nailed a plate on flagstaff,
with DIG 8 FEET WEST on it. Took a ride to the Black and Red Beacons, to
examine country round Eucla.

Bidding farewell to Eucla and the Union Jack, which we left on the
flagstaff, we started for the Head of the Bight, carrying over thirty
gallons of water with us, and walking in turns. Ascended the cliffs
without difficulty, and passed the boundary of the two colonies; then
left the sea, and, steering in an East-North-East and North-East
direction until a little after dark, camped on a grassy piece of country,
without water for our horses. Distance travelled about twenty-six miles.
By observation camp is in latitude 31 degrees 30 minutes 42 seconds
South, and longitude 129 degrees 20 minutes East.


Started at daylight, and travelled East-North-East for seven miles, when
we bore East over generally level country, well grassed, but entirely
destitute of water. We camped at sundown on a grassy rise, without water
for our horses. Distance travelled, thirty-four miles. The horses have
not had any water for two days, and show signs of distress. Intend
starting before daylight, as there is a good moon.

At 1 a.m. went with Billy to bring back the horses, which had again made
off. After returning, saddled up, and at 4.50 a.m. got under way,
steering a little to the south of east in order to make the cliffs, as
there might be water in rock holes near them. At eighteen miles came to
the sea, but could find no water. At thirty miles saw a pile of stones,
and at thirty-three miles saw a staked survey line. Camped on a grassy
piece of country, two miles from the sea. This is the third day without a
drop of water for the horses, which are in a frightful state. Gave them
each four quarts from our water-drums, and I hope, by leaving a little
after midnight, to reach the Head of the Bight to-morrow evening, as it
is now only forty miles distant. By observation, camp is in latitude 31
degrees 32 minutes 27 seconds South, and longitude 130 degrees 30 minutes

Was obliged to get up twice to bring back the horses, and at four o'clock
made a start. The horses were in a very exhausted state; some having
difficulty to keep up. About noon I could descry the land turning to the
southward, and saw, with great pleasure, we were fast approaching the
Head of the Great Australian Bight. Reached the sand-patches at the
extreme Head of the Bight just as the sun was setting, and found
abundance of water by digging two feet deep in the sand. Gave the horses
as much as I considered it safe for them to have at one time. I have
never seen horses in such a state before, and hope never to do so again.
The horses, which four days ago were strong and in good condition, now
appeared only skeletons, eyes sunk, nostrils dilated, and thoroughly
exhausted. Since leaving Eucla to getting water at this spot, a period of
nearly ninety hours, they had only been allowed one gallon of water each,
which was given them from our water-drums. It is wonderful how well they
performed this journey; had they not started in good condition, they
never could have done it. We all felt very tired. During the last sixty
hours I have only had about five hours' sleep, and have been continually
in a great state of anxiety--besides which, all have had to walk a great


This is a great day in my journal and journey. After collecting the
horses we followed along the beach half a mile, when I struck North for
Peelunabie well, and at half a mile struck a cart track from Fowler's Bay
to Peelunabie. After following it one mile and a quarter, came to the
well and old sheep-yards, and camped. Found better water in the
sand-hills than in the well. There is a board nailed on a pole directing
to the best water, with the following engraved on it:

G. Mackie, April 5th, 1865, Water [finger pointing right] 120 yards.

Upon sighting the road this morning, which I had told them we should do,
a loud and continued hurrahing came from all the party, who were
overjoyed to behold signs of civilization again; while Billy, who was in
advance with me, and whom I had told to look out, as he would see a road
directly, which he immediately did, began giving me great praise for
bringing them safely through such a long journey. I certainly felt very
pleased and relieved from anxiety, and, on reviewing the long line of
march we had performed through an uncivilized country, was very sensible
of that protecting Providence which had guided us safely through the

Steered in an easterly direction along an old track towards Wearing's
well, as I intend going inland, instead of along the coast to Fowler's
Bay. Travelled for sixteen miles through a barren and thickly-wooded
country, sand-hills, etc. We camped on a small grassy flat, without
water. Being now in the settled districts I gave over keeping watch,
which we had regularly done since the 9th of May.

Continuing for fifteen miles, we reached a deserted well called
Wearing's; it was about 200 feet deep, and after joining all the
tether-ropes, girths, bridle reins, halters, etc., we managed to get up a
bucket full, but after all our trouble it was quite salt. We therefore
continued our journey South-East for Fowler's Bay, and at four miles saw
some fresh sheep tracks, and shortly afterwards saw the shepherd, named
Jack, who was very talkative. He told us he had been to Swan River, and
thought it was quite as good as this place. He also said there was a well
of good water about eight miles further on. This was a pleasant surprise,
the nearest well on my chart being sixteen miles distant: this was a new
well sunk since the survey. We therefore pushed on, although our horses
were very tired, and reached the well, where there was a substantial
stone hut; met the shepherd, whose name was Robinson. He said he knew who
we were, having heard about three months ago that we might be expected
this way. He was as kind and obliging as it was possible to be in his
circumstances. Had a difficulty in drawing water for the horses, the well
being nearly 200 feet deep, and there was not a bite for the poor
creatures to eat, except a few miles off. As it was now an hour after
dark, I turned them out, and left them to do the best they could. The old
shepherd kept talking most of the night, and said we looked more like
people just come from Fowler's Bay than having come overland from Western

The horses strayed off in many directions during the night, and they were
not all collected till after noon, when we continued our journey for four
miles, and finding a small piece of feed, we camped without water for the
horses. Many of the horses were in a very critical state, and one was
completely knocked up.

Again were delayed by the rambling of the horses until nearly noon, when
we travelled along the road towards Fowler's Bay. After ten miles,
watered the horses at a well called Waltabby, and two miles further on
camped, with scarcely any feed for the horses. One of the horses
completely gave in to-day, and we had great difficulty in getting him to
camp. By meridian altitude of Arcturus, camp is in latitude 31 degrees 34
minutes 28 seconds South.


Although the feed was short, our horses did not stray, and after saddling
up we continued along road for two and a half miles, and reached Colona,
the head station of Degraves and Co., of Victoria, where we were most
hospitably received by Mr. Maiden, the manager. At his desire camped, and
turned out the horses on a piece of feed kept for his horses, and intend
remaining over Sunday. We accepted his kind invitation to make ourselves
his guests while we remained. He informed me that the South Australian
Government had instructed the mounted trooper at Fowler's Bay to proceed
to the Head of the Bight and give us every information and assistance in
his power. I am glad we have saved him the journey.

Rested at Colona. In the afternoon was rather surprised at the arrival of
Police-trooper Richards and party, who were on their way to try and find
out our whereabouts. He handed me a circular for perusal, stating that
anything I required would be paid for by the South Australian Government.

Left Colona, accompanied by Police-trooper Richards and party. Mr. Maiden
also accompanied us a few miles, when he returned, bearing with him my
sincere thanks for his kindness to myself and party. After travelling
eleven miles, we reached the hospitable residence of Messrs. Heathcote
and Mathers, where we stayed to dinner, and, although pressed to stay,
pushed on seven miles, and camped at a well called Pintumbra.

Rested at Pintumbra, as there was good feed for our tired and hungry
horses. Police-trooper Richards and party also remained with us.


Travelled towards Fowler's Bay, and at ten miles reached Yallata, the
residence of Mr. Armstrong, where we had dinner, and afterwards reached
Fowler's Bay and put up at the Police-station.

28th to 31st.
Remained at Fowler's Bay, recruiting ourselves and horses, and wrote the
following letters to the Honourable the Colonial Secretary, Western
Australia, and to his Excellency Sir James Fergusson, Governor of South

Fowler's Bay, 29th July, 1870.


I have the honour to report, for the information of his Excellency the
Governor, the safe arrival here of the exploring expedition under my
command, and beg to give you a brief outline of our proceedings since the
departure of the schooner Adur from Port Eucla.

On the 8th of July, started on a flying trip north from Eucla, with
fourteen days' provisions, but was unable to penetrate more than thirty
miles (which was over clear open plains of grass, etc., scarcely a tree
visible), on account of the scarcity of water, not meeting with a drop of
water on the whole journey. Returned to Eucla on the 9th, and, as summer
had apparently set in, and there appeared no likelihood of rain, I
decided to at once start for Fowler's Bay and Adelaide.

On the 14th, therefore, we started, carrying with us about thirty gallons
of water. After great privation to our horses, and not meeting with a
drop of water for 135 miles, by travelling day and night we reached the
Head of the Bight on the evening of the 17th July, and found abundance of
water by digging in the sand-hills.

Our horses had been ninety hours without a drop of water, and many of us
were very weary from long marching without sleep. Many of the horses
could scarcely walk, and a few were delirious; they, however, all managed
to carry their loads. They have not, however, yet recovered, but with a
few days' rest I hope to see them well again. There being very little
feed at the Head of the Bight we continued our journey, and on the 23rd
July reached Colona (head station of Degraves and Co.), where we met
Police-trooper Richards, who was on his way to the Head of the Bight to
meet us, in accordance with instructions from his Excellency Sir James

Leaving Colona on the 25th, we reached Fowler's Bay on the 27th July, all

We are now about 600 miles from Adelaide. Our route will be through the
Gawler Ranges, skirting the south end of Lake Gairdner, and thence to
Port Augusta and Adelaide, which we shall probably reach in five or six
weeks from date.

By this mail I have written to his Excellency Sir James Fergusson,
apprising him of our safe arrival, as well as giving him a brief account
of our journey. According to present arrangements we shall, at latest, be
in Perth by the October mail.

Trusting that these proceedings may meet with the approval of his
Excellency the Governor, I have, etc.,


Leader of Expedition to Eucla and Adelaide.

The Honourable the Colonial Secretary, Perth, Western Australia.

Fowler's Bay, 29th July, 1870.


In accordance with my instructions from the Government of Western
Australia, I have the honour to report, for the information of his
Excellency Sir James Fergusson, that the exploring expedition organized
by that Government and placed under my command, has reached this place in

With his Excellency's permission, I will give a brief account of our
journey since leaving Perth.


Leaving Perth on the 30th March, we reached Esperance Bay, the station of
the Messrs. Dempster, on the 25th April, and remained to recruit our
horses until the 9th May, when we continued in an easterly direction for
about 130 miles, and reached Israelite Bay, in latitude 33 degrees 37
minutes South and longitude 123 degrees 48 minutes East, where we met a
coasting vessel with our supplies, etc.

Left Israelite Bay on May 30th, and reached the water shown on Mr. Eyre's
track in longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East on the 14th June,
depending wholly on rock water-holes during the journey. Here we
recruited and made a trip inland for fifty miles, finding the country to
be very clear and well grassed, but entirely destitute of permanent

Leaving longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East on 24th June, we reached
Eucla on the 2nd July, depending again solely on rock water-holes, our
horses often being in great want of water. At Eucla we again met the
coaster with supplies, etc.

After despatching the coaster on her return to Swan River, attempted to
get inland north of Eucla; but, owing to the scarcity of water and the
dryness of the season, was unable to get more than thirty miles inland. I
therefore concluded to continue the journey towards Adelaide, and
accordingly left Eucla on July 14th, reaching the Head of the Great
Australian Bight on the evening of the 17th, after a very hard and
fatiguing journey, without a drop of water for our horses for ninety
hours, in which time we travelled 138 miles.

Men and horses were in a very weary state when we reached the water,
which we found by digging in the sand-hills at the extreme Head of the
Bight. Continuing, we reached Fowler's Bay on the 27th July.

From longitude 124 degrees 25 minutes East to Port Eucla, in longitude
128 degrees 53 minutes East, our route was from twenty to thirty miles
from the sea, and in the whole of that distance we only procured
permanent water in one spot, namely that shown on Mr. Eyre's track in
longitude 126 degrees 24 minutes East.

On our route we passed over many millions of acres of grassy country, but
I am sorry to say I believe entirely destitute of permanent water. The
natives met with were friendly, but to us altogether unintelligible. The
health of my party has been excellent, and we have reached this place
without losing a single horse.

Before reaching Fowler's Bay, we were met by Police-trooper Richards, who
was on his way to meet us, in accordance with instructions from his
Excellency. I am truly thankful for this, as he has been of great service
to us, and has been very attentive to our requirements. I hope to reach
Adelaide in five weeks from date. My route will be through the Gawler
Ranges to Port Augusta, and thence to Adelaide.

Trusting that this short account of our journey may not be wholly
uninteresting to his Excellency, I have, etc.,


Leader of Expedition from Western Australia.

The Private Secretary, Government House, Adelaide, South Australia.

August 1st.
Left Fowler's Bay, accompanied by Police-trooper Richards, en route for
Port Augusta. Travelled fourteen miles in about an East-North-East
direction and camped. Rained lightly this evening.

Reached Pinong station. Distance travelled, thirty miles. Passed several
huts and wells. The whole journey was over most beautifully-grassed

Left Pinong, and, after travelling thirty miles, reached a spot called
Athena; then camped, leaving Charra station about seven miles to the
southward. Passed a few huts and wells during the day.

At seventeen miles reached Denial Bay, when we turned off towards Hosken
and Broadbent's stations, and at thirteen miles further camped on a very
grassy rise, with two small rock water-holes, called Merking. By meridian
altitude of a Lyrae (Vega), found it to be in latitude 32 degrees 12
minutes 36 seconds South.


After travelling eight miles, came to a deserted station of Hosken and
Broadbent's, and found abundance of water in a rock water-hole called
Chillandee. As the horses were very tired, and there was splendid feed
for them, we camped here for the remainder of the day.

Left Chillandee, and after travelling twenty-six miles, passed
Madebuckela, the homestead of Mr. Hosken, where we camped at a deserted
hut, with splendid feed and water for the horses.

Travelled towards Gawler Ranges for thirteen miles, and camped at a spot
called Conkabeena, from which the ranges were clearly visible.

Continuing in an easterly direction for twelve miles, we reached
Wollular, a granite hill with plenty of water on the rocks; after which
proceeded due east for twelve miles, through dense thickets and sandy
hills, when we came on a small patch of grassy land and camped, Mount
Centre bearing North 95 degrees East magnetic.

Continuing towards Mount Centre for eighteen miles, over a succession of
salt lakes and very sandy hills and scrub, we reached a road making a
little farther north, which was followed, and after travelling five miles
came to Narlibby, and camped on most beautiful feed.

After taking wrong roads and going a good deal out of our way, we reached
Paney station and camped at the police-station.

11th and 12th.
Rested at Paney, as the horses were very tired, and there was splendid
feed for them. Police-trooper Richards intends returning to-morrow to
Fowler's Bay. He has given us every assistance in his power, and deserves
our very sincere thanks for his kindness and attention.

13th to 17th.
Travelling towards Port Augusta, accompanied for half the distance by
Police trooper O'Shanahan, from Paney station.

Reached Port Augusta. Telegraphed to his Excellency Sir James Fergusson,
informing him of our arrival. Camped five miles from Port Augusta, at a
small township named Stirling.

Received telegram from his Excellency Sir James Fergusson, congratulating
us on our success. Camped a few miles from Mount Remarkable.

Passed through Melrose, and on the 23rd reached Clare, where I had the
pleasure of meeting Mr. John Roe, son of the Honourable Captain Roe, our
respected Surveyor-General.

On August 24th reached Riverton, and on the 25th Gawler. On the 26th we
arrived at Salisbury, twelve miles from Adelaide. Through all these towns
we have been most cordially received, and I shall never forget the
attention and kindly welcome received on the journey through South


On the 27th August we left Salisbury, and for an account of our journey
from there to Adelaide I cannot do better than insert an extract from the
South Australian Register of August 27th, 1870:--

"On Saturday morning the band of explorers from Western Australia, under
the leadership of Mr. Forrest, made their entrance into Adelaide. They
left Salisbury at half-past nine o'clock, and when within a few miles of
the city were met by Inspector Searcy and one or two other members of the
police force. Later on the route they were met by an escort of horsemen,
who had gone out to act as a volunteer escort. At Government House Gate a
crowd of persons assembled, who gave them a hearty cheer as they rode up.
The whole party at once rode up to Government House, where they were
received by his Excellency, who was introduced to all the members of the
expedition, and spent a quarter of an hour in conversation with Mr.
Forrest, and in examining with interest the horses and equipments, which
all showed signs of the long and severe journey performed. Wine having
been handed round, the party withdrew, and were again greeted at
Government Gate by hearty cheers from the crowd, which now numbered
several hundreds. They then proceeded by way of Rundle Street to the
quarters assigned them at the police barracks. The men are to remain at
the barracks, and the officers are to be entertained at the City of
Adelaide Club."

From August 28th to September 12th we remained in Adelaide, having been
most kindly received by all with whom we came in contact. We saw as much
of the country as possible. I disposed of my horses and equipment by
public auction; then left in the steamer Alexandra with the whole of my
party on the 12th, reaching King George's Sound on the 17th at 1 a.m.
Left King George's Sound on the 19th, and arrived in Perth on the 27th,
where we were most cordially welcomed by his Excellency the Governor and
the citizens of Perth, having been absent 182 days.

In the foregoing I have attempted to give a faithful and correct account
of our proceedings, and, in conclusion, beg to make a few remarks
respecting the character and the capabilities of the country travelled

In about longitude 124 degrees East the granite formation ends, at least
on and near the coast; but from longitude 124 degrees to the Head of the
Bight, a distance of over 400 miles, there is no change in the formation,
being limestone and high table land the whole distance.

The portion most suited for settlement is, I believe, between longitude
126 degrees 12 minutes East and longitude 129 degrees East, near Eucla
harbour, or, in other words, the country to the north of the Hampton
Range--the country north of the range being most beautifully grassed, and
I believe abundance of water could be procured anywhere under the range
by sinking twenty or thirty feet. There is also under the same range a
narrow strip of fine grassy country for the whole length of the range,
namely about 160 miles. I have every confidence that, should the country
be settled, it would prove a remunerative speculation, and, if water can
be procured on the table land, would be the finest pastoral district of
Western Australia.


Before I conclude, I have the pleasing duty to record my entire
appreciation of every member of the party. I need not particularize, as
one and all had the interest and welfare of the expedition at heart, and
on no occasion uttered a single murmur.

Finally, sir, my best and most sincere thanks are due to his Excellency
Governor Weld for the very efficient manner in which the expedition was
equipped. It is chiefly owing to the great zeal and desire of his
Excellency that I should have everything necessary that the success of
the enterprise is attributable.

I have, etc.,


Leader of Expedition.

The Honourable F.P. Barlee, Esquire,

Colonial Secretary, Western Australia.



Departure from Gawler and Arrival at Adelaide.
Appearance of the Party.
Public Entrance.
Complimentary Banquet.
Grant by the Government of Western Australia.


On Saturday, the 27th of August, we reached Adelaide. On the previous day
we had left Gawler for Salisbury, where we rested until the following
morning, when we started at half-past nine o'clock for Adelaide. A few
miles from there we were met by the chief inspector of police and some
troopers sent to escort us, and soon afterwards a volunteer escort of
horsemen gave us a friendly welcome. We were heartily cheered as we
entered the town and then rode to Government House, where we were
received in the most cordial manner by the Governor, Sir James Fergusson.
After a brief time spent in examining the horses (which were all the
worse for the long and arduous journey) also the equipments, and in
partaking of refreshments, we left the Government House, the people
cheering lustily, and passed through King William and Rundle Streets on
the way to the City of Adelaide Club. My brother and self stayed there
while in town, and the others at the police barracks, where man and horse
enjoyed the much-needed rest and refreshment.

It may interest the reader to quote from the South Australian Advertiser
the description of our appearance when we first entered Adelaide: "It was
a genuine Australian bush turnout, the trappings, water-drums, and other
necessaries being admirably adapted for the purpose. The horses looked
somewhat the worse for wear; but, considering the immense distance that
they have travelled, their condition was not to be complained of, and a
few weeks in the Government paddocks will put them in capital condition.
The officers and men, both white and black, look the picture of health,
and their satisfaction at having completed their long and arduous task is
beaming from their countenances."

Whatever our countenances may have expressed, I know we felt an intense
satisfaction at having been enabled to discharge the duty we had

On the evening of the 3rd of September Sir James Fergusson entertained us
at dinner, and many old colonists who, in their time, had been engaged in
exploring expeditions, were among the guests. Mr. Barlee, the Colonial
Secretary of Western Australia, who arrived in Adelaide a day or two
after we had reached it, was present with me at the luncheon on the
occasion of the inauguration of the Northern Railway Extension at
Kooringa. In replying to the toast of The Visitors, he took the
opportunity of thanking the South Australian people and the Government
for the courtesy and kindness extended to me and the members of my party,
who, he said, had carried out the instructions so successfully and in a
manner which made him proud of the colony to which he belonged. He hoped
that the line of communication that had been opened might soon lead to
much better and closer intercommunication between the colonies.

With characteristic consideration and kindness Governor Weld, immediately
on receiving my report from Eucla, addressed a private letter to my
father, congratulating him on my success.


Anxious to lose no time in reporting myself to my Government, I only
remained in South Australia about a fortnight, and then left for Perth in
the Branch mail steamer, and arrived there on Tuesday, the 27th of
September. The City Council determined to give us a public reception and
present an address. A four-in-hand drag was despatched to bring us into
the city, and a procession, consisting of several private carriages, a
number of the citizens on horseback, and the volunteer band, escorted us.
The city flag was flying at the Town Hall, and there was a liberal
display of similar tokens from private dwellings. The Governor and his
aide-de-camp came out five miles to meet us, and accompanied us to the
beginning of the city, where he handed us over to the Council, meeting us
again at the Government offices. A crowd had collected in front of the
Government offices, where we were to alight, and amid cheering and
general hand-shaking we entered the enclosure.

Here his Excellency the Governor received us with warm congratulations,
and the City Council presented the address, which was read by the
chairman, Mr. Glyde. He said:--

"Mr. Forrest,

In the name of the citizens I have the very great pleasure to bid you a
cordial welcome on your safe return to Perth. We sincerely congratulate
yourself and party on the success which has attended your adventurous
expedition overland to Adelaide. It must have been gratifying to you to
have been selected to lead this expedition, and to follow such explorers
as Captain Roe, Gregory, Austin, and others, of whom West Australia may
well be proud. Your expedition, however, has an additional interest from
the fact that its leader and members were born in the colony. I trust,
sir, that at no distant date you may have the satisfaction to see the
advantages realized which the route opened by your expedition is
calculated to effect."

I had had no reason to expect such a marked official reception, and could
only express the pleasure I experienced in knowing that the colonists so
fully appreciated my efforts to carry out successfully the task confided
to me.

The Governor also offered his congratulations, and three cheers having
been given the party, and three more for the Governor, we left for our
quarters highly gratified with the reception. His Excellency gave a large
dinner-party to celebrate our return, and on Monday, the 24th of October,
a public demonstration of welcome was afforded by a banquet to which we
were invited by the citizens. The following is a report from the Perth


On Monday evening last a Complimentary Banquet was given to Mr. Forrest,
the explorer, at the Horse and Groom tavern. About seventy sat down to
dinner, among whom were his Excellency the Governor, the Private
Secretary, the Colonial Secretary, the Surveyor-General, Captain Roe, and
many of the leading inhabitants of Perth and Fremantle. The chair was
taken by Captain Roe. On his right was his Excellency the Governor, and
on his left the guest of the evening--Mr. Forrest. The vice-chair was
filled by Mr. Landor. After the cloth had been removed, the chairman,
Captain Roe, rose and proposed the Queen, a lady whom the people could
not consider without being proud of the sovereign by whom they were

The Chairman said he rose to propose another toast, which, he trusted,
was not always given as a matter of course, but with heartfelt
satisfaction. It was the health of the Heir Apparent to the Throne.
(Cheers). The Prince of Wales will, it is hoped, one day fill the throne
of his illustrious mother--may that day be far distant!--but, when that
day does arrive, may he display the exemplary virtues of his illustrious
mother and the sterling qualities that distinguished his great father!

The Chairman, in proposing the next toast, His Excellency the Governor,
said he had some difficulty in doing so, particularly as the subject of
it was on his right hand that evening; yet he considered the gratitude of
the colonists was due to her Majesty's Government for selecting a
gentleman who was so well qualified to benefit the colony. He believed
his Excellency was the man to drag the colony out of the hole (cheers);
and he believed his Excellency was the man to attain for us that
prosperity we so much desired (hear, hear); but we must do our utmost to
support him in the effort to secure it. It was impossible for any man to
perform one hundredth part of what was wanted of him; yet he believed his
Excellency would do all in his power to benefit the colony in every way.
Let every one give his Excellency that strenuous support necessary to
attain prosperity, and we would attain success. He trusted that when the
term of his Excellency's sojourn amongst us had arrived, he would
remember with pleasure the days he had spent in Western Australia. The
toast was drunk with cheers and enthusiasm.

His Excellency the Governor, who was received most cordially, rose to
thank them for the very kind manner in which they had received the toast
which had been proposed by the worthy chairman. The chairman was right in
saying that they might rely upon his doing his best for the benefit of
the country, but they must not be disappointed; he could not do
everything, but they might depend upon it he would do what he considered
right for the people and the colony, without the fear or favour of any.
But "many men of many minds," as the old school copy says. People thought
widely different, but he would do his best for the welfare of the colony.
(Cheers). He did not, however, rise to speak of himself; the toast that
evening was in honour of Mr. Forrest, and at the present moment, viewing
the state of Europe, looking at the fact that at this very time two of
the largest nations in the world are carrying on a deadly strife; that on
either side deeds of daring have been done, which we all admire, and by
which we are all fascinated--and why? Because the human mind admired
daring and enterprise. But war devastated the world--war meant misery,
destitution, widows, orphans, and destruction, yet we behold all these
with a species of fascination. But not only in time of war, but at a
period of peace, are the highest feelings of human nature and the noblest
instincts of mankind brought out. It was in a spirit of daring, of
self-sacrifice, of love of fame and science, that induced the gentleman,
whose health will be duly proposed to you this evening, to undertake the
task he has so successfully completed. The same motives, no doubt, led
the warrior into the battle-field, as the explorer into a new and unknown
country. He, like the warrior, combated dangers regardless to self.
Peace, then, has triumphs as well as war. Mr. Forrest and his party well
deserve the triumphs they have secured in their successful journey from
this colony to Adelaide. The benefits conferred on the colony can best be
appreciated by those who have the greatest capacity of looking into
futurity, and as long as Australia has a history, the names of Mr.
Forrest and his companions will be borne down with honour. To himself it
will be a source of pleasure to know that the first year of his
administration will be rendered memorable by the exertion, zeal, and
enterprise of Mr. Forrest. His Excellency resumed his seat amidst loud
and continued applause.

Captain Roe said a very pleasing duty now devolved upon him; it was to
recognize services well done and faithfully performed. It was always
satisfactory to have our services recognized, and the leader of the
expedition over a distance of more than 2000 miles, from Perth to
Adelaide, so successfully, was deserving of esteem. That expedition had
brought the colony into note, and the good results from it would soon be
apparent. He personally felt more than he could say on the subject. He
felt more in his heart than he could express in words. He trusted that
the success of Forrest and his party would be a solace to him in his
latest day, and that in their latter days they would look back with pride
to the energy and pluck they displayed in their younger. He called upon
them to drink The health and success of Mr. Forrest and his companions
during life. (Loud and continued cheering.)

Mr. Barlee: One more cheer for the absentees--Mr. Forrest's companions.
(Immense cheering.)

A Voice: One cheer more for the black fellows. (Applause.)

Mr. Forrest, who was received with enthusiasm, said he felt quite unequal
to the task of responding to the toast which had been so ably and
feelingly proposed by Captain Roe, and so kindly received by his
fellow-colonists. He was extremely gratified to find that his services
had been so highly appreciated, and were so pleasing to his friends and
fellow-colonists. He was much flattered at the kind way in which himself
and his party had been received by his Excellency Governor Fergusson and
the people of South Australia; but he must say he was much better pleased
at the reception he received from his Excellency Governor Weld and the
citizens of Perth on his return. He was sorry he did not see round the
table his companions of the expedition--some had gone out of town--but he
must say that during the whole of their long and severe march, oftentimes
without water, not one refused to do his duty or flinched in the least
for a single moment. On the part of himself and his companions, he
sincerely thanked them for the very kind manner in which they had drunk
their health. (Great applause.)

Mr. Landor rose and said he had a toast to propose--it was the Members of
the Legislative Council--and in doing so he would like to make a few
observations upon the old. That evening  they had had the pleasure of
hearing one of the oldest of the Council, one who had seen more trial and
suffering than any other, and to whom the grateful task fell that evening
of introducing to you one who was new in travel; and, while admiring that
act, he could not but call to mind the hardships that that gentleman had
endured in former days. In times gone by parties were not so well
provisioned as they were now, and he remembered the time when Captain
Roe, short of provisions, discovered a nest of turkey's eggs, and, to his
consternation, on placing them in the pan found chickens therein. But
things have altered. Captain Roe belonged to an old Council, and it is of
the new he proposed speaking. From the new Council great things are
expected, and of the men who have been selected a good deal might be
hoped. We all wanted progress. We talked of progress; but progress, like
the philosopher's stone, could not be easily attained. He hoped and
believed the gentlemen who had been elected would do their best to try to
push the colony along. He trusted the gentlemen going into Council would
not, like the French, get the colony into a hole; but, if they did, he
trusted they would do their best to get it out of the hole. What the
colony looked for was, that every man who went into the Council would do
his duty. He had much pleasure in proposing the new members of Council
with three times three.

Mr. Carr begged to express his thanks for the very flattering manner in
which the toast of the new Council had been proposed and seconded. As a
proof of the confidence reposed in them by their constituents, he could
assure them that they would faithfully discharge their duties to them in
Parliament, and work for the good of the colony generally. (Cheers.)
Again thanking them for the honour done the members of the new Council,
Mr. Carr resumed his seat amidst great applause.

Mr. Leake (who, on rising, was supposed to follow Mr. Carr) said his
rising was not important. As the next toast fell to his lot, he would ask
them to charge their glasses. The toast that was placed in his hands was
to propose the health of his friend, Mr. Barlee, the Colonial Secretary.
He trusted they would join him in giving Mr. Barlee a hearty welcome
after his travels in foreign parts. Mr. Barlee started on his journey
with the approval of the entire colony, and that the acts of the
Government had always the approval of the colonists was more than could
be said at all times. (Laughter.) Mr. Barlee's visit to the other
colonies must have been beneficial, and he trusted Mr. Barlee would that
evening give them his experience of the other colonies. We have not had
an opportunity of hearing of Mr. Barlee, or what he has done since he was
in Adelaide. In Adelaide Sir J. Morphett, the Speaker of the House of
Assembly, had said that Mr. Barlee was a hard-working man, and that was a
good deal to say for a man in this part of the world. (Loud laughter.)
Mr. Barlee, no doubt, would that evening give them a history of his
travels, and tell them what he had done in Adelaide, Melbourne, and
Sydney. Mr. Barlee was a proven friend of the colonists and of West
Australia. He would ask them to join him in drinking the health of Mr.
Barlee with three hearty cheers. (Drunk with enthusiasm.)

Mr. Barlee, who on rising was received with unbounded applause, said it
would be impossible for him to conceal the fact that he was much pleased
at the hearty manner in which his health had been proposed and received
that evening. He did not require to leave the colony to know the good
feeling of his fellow-colonists for him, nor to acquire testimony as to
his quality as a public officer. There was one matter, however, he very
much regretted, and that was that he was not present at the ovation given
by the people of South Australia to Mr. Forrest and his party. Mr.
Forrest had passed through Adelaide one day before his arrival. Mr.
Forrest and his party had attracted attention not only in South
Australia, but also, as he found, in all the other Australian colonies.
Having done so much, we were expected to do more in the way of opening up
the large tract of country that had been discovered. It was our duty to
assure the other colonies that the country would carry stock, and stock
would be forthcoming. If Mr. Forrest in former days established his fame
as an explorer, his late expedition only proves that he must commence de
novo. Of the modesty and bearing of Mr. Forrest and his party in South
Australia he could not speak too highly. There was, however, one
exception, and that was his friend Windich (native). He was the man who
had done everything; he was the man who had brought Mr. Forrest to
Adelaide, and not Mr. Forrest him. He (Mr. Barlee) was in his estimation
below par to come by a steamer, and he walked across (laughter); and it
was an act of condescension that Windich even looked upon him. (Great
laughter.) He was quite aware Mr. Leake, in asking him to give an account
of his travels in foreign parts, never seriously intended it. If he did,
he would only keep them until to-morrow morning. He would say that his
was a trip of business, and not pleasure, and hard work he had. Morning
and night was he at work, and he trusted he would be spared to see the
results of some of his efforts to benefit West Australia. (Loud cheers.)
He considered, what with our lead and copper-mines, our Jarrah
coal-mines, and the prospect of an auriferous country being found, a new
era was dawning on the colony. (Cheers.) For the first time in the last
sixteen years he had the pleasure of drinking that evening the health of
the members of the Legislative Assembly. He was not yet a member of that
Council, but it was probable he would be a member, and have important
duties to discharge therein. He was proud to learn the quiet and orderly
manner in which the elections had been conducted, and the good feeling
and harmony that existed on all sides, and to learn that the defeated
candidates were the first to congratulate the successful ones on their
nomination. He sincerely trusted that the same quiet good feeling and
harmony would remain and guide the Council in their deliberations

Other complimentary toasts having been duly honoured, the company broke

While the citizens of Perth were thus exhibiting encouraging approval of
our exertions, official recognition, in a practical form, was not
wanting. On the 6th of October, Captain Roe forwarded to me the following

Surveyor-General's Office, Perth,

6th October, 1870.


Having submitted to the Governor your report of the safe return to
head-quarters of the overland expedition to Eucla and Adelaide, entrusted
to your leadership, I have much pleasure in forwarding to you a copy of a
minute in which his Excellency has been pleased to convey his full
appreciation of your proceedings, and of the judgment and perseverance
displayed in your successful conduct of the enterprise.

In these sentiments I cordially participate, and, in accordance with the
wish expressed in the minute, I beg you will convey to the other members
of the expedition the thanks of his Excellency for their co-operation and
general conduct.


As a further recognition of the services of the party, his Excellency has
been pleased to direct that the sum of Two Hundred Pounds be distributed
amongst them, in the following proportions, payable at the Treasury,

To the Leader of the expedition...75 pounds.

To the Second in command...50 pounds.

To H. McLarty and R. Osborne, 25 pounds each...50 pounds.

To the Aborigines, Windich and Billy, 12 pounds 10 shillings....25

Total 200 pounds.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

J.S. ROE, Surveyor-General.

John Forrest, Esquire,

Leader of Expedition, etc., etc.

The following is the minute referred to in the above:--


I beg that you will convey to Mr. John Forrest, leader of the Eucla
expedition, the expression of my appreciation of the zeal, judgment, and
perseverance which he has displayed in the successful conduct of the
enterprise committed to his charge. Great credit is also due to the
second in command, and to every member of the party. All have done their
duty well, and to them also I desire to render my thanks.

It is with much pleasure that, with the advice of my Executive Council, I
authorize a gratuity of 200 pounds, to be divided in the proportions you
have submitted to me.

(Signed) FRED. A. WELD.

1st October, 1870.

It will be remembered that the York Agricultural Society had previously
proposed an overland expedition, but had not succeeded in obtaining
official sanction, it being then believed that Eucla could be best
approached from the sea. After my return the Society held a meeting, at
which his Excellency the Governor was present, when my report of the
expedition was received with every mark of approval of my labours.



Proposal to undertake a New Expedition.
Endeavour to explore the Watershed of the Murchison.
Expeditions by South Australian Explorers.
My Journal.
Fight with the Natives.
Finding traces of Mr. Gosse's Party.
The Telegraph Line reached.
Arrival at Perth Station.

The success which had attended my previous expeditions, and the great
encouragement received from the Government and public of each colony,
made me wish to undertake another journey for the purpose of ascertaining
whether a route from Western Australia to the advanced settlements of the
Southern colony was practicable. I also hoped to contribute, if possible,
towards the solution of the problem, What is the nature of the interior?
My first journey, when I succeeded in penetrating for about 600 miles
into the unknown desert of Central Australia, had convinced me that,
although there might, and doubtless would, be considerable difficulties
to be encountered, there were no insuperable obstacles except a probable
failure in the supply of water. That certainly was the most formidable of
all the difficulties that would no doubt have to be encountered; but on
the previous journey the scarcity of water had been endured, not without
privation and suffering, but without any very serious result. At any
rate, the expedition I desired to undertake appeared to be of an
extremely interesting character. It might contribute to the knowledge of
an immense tract of country of which hardly anything was known; it might
also be the means of opening up new districts, and attaining results of
immense importance to the colonies. Perhaps, too, I was animated by a
spirit of adventure--not altogether inexcusable--and, having been
successful in my previous journeys, was not unnaturally desirous of
carrying on the work of exploration.


In 1871 an expedition went out to the eastward of Perth under command of
my brother, Mr. A. Forrest, in search of fresh pastoral country. It was a
very good season, but the expedition was too late in starting. It
succeeded in reaching latitude 31 degrees South, longitude 123 degrees 37
minutes East, and afterwards struck South-South-East towards the coast;
then, with considerable difficulty, it reached Mount Ragged and the
Thomas River, and, continuing westerly, got as far as Esperance Bay, the
homestead of the Messrs. Dempster. This expedition discovered a
considerable tract of good country, some of which has been taken up and
stocked. It was equipped on very economical principles, and did not cost
more than 300 pounds.

The leader had been previously with me as second in command on the
journey to Adelaide in 1870, and afterwards accompanied me in 1874 from
the west coast through the centre of the western part of Australia to the
telegraph line between Adelaide and Port Darwin.

He received great credit from the Government for the energy and
perseverance displayed on this expedition--a character borne out by
future services as second in command with me.

In July, 1872, I addressed the following letter to the Honourable Malcolm
Fraser, the Surveyor-General:--

Western Australia, Perth,

July 12th, 1872.


I have the honour to lay before you, for the consideration of his
Excellency the Governor, a project I have in view for the further
exploration of Western Australia.

My wish is to undertake an expedition, to start early next year from
Champion Bay, follow the Murchison to its source, and then continue in an
east and north-east direction to the telegraph line now nearly completed
between Adelaide and Port Darwin; after this we would either proceed
north to Port Darwin or south to Adelaide.

The party would consist of four white and two black men, with twenty
horses, well armed and provisioned for at least six months.

The total cost of the expedition would be about 600 pounds, of which sum
I hope to be able to raise, by subscriptions, about 200 pounds.

The horses will be furnished by the settlers, many having already been
promised me.

The geographical results of such an expedition would necessarily be very
great; it would be the finishing stroke of Australian discovery; would be
sure to open new pastoral country; and, if we are to place any weight in
the opinions of geographers (among whom I may mention the Reverend
Tenison Woods), the existence of a large river running inland from the
watershed of the Murchison is nearly certain.

Referring to the map of Australia you will observe that the proposed
route is a very gigantic, hazardous, and long one; but, after careful
consideration, I have every confidence that, should I be allowed to
undertake it, there are reasonable hopes of my being able to succeed.

Minor details are purposely omitted; but, should his Excellency
favourably entertain this proposition, I will be too glad, as far as I am
able, to give further information on the subject.

Trusting you will be able to concur in the foregoing suggestions.

I have, etc.,


To this letter the Governor appended the following memorandum:--

Mr. J. Forrest, in a most public spirited manner, proposes to embark in
an undertaking, the dangers of which, though not by any means
inconsiderable, would be outweighed by the advantages which might accrue
to this colony, and which would certainly result in a great extension of
our geographical knowledge. Should he succeed in this journey, his name
will fitly go down to posterity as that of the man who solved the last
remaining problem in the Australian continent; and, whatever may come
after him, he will have been the last (and certainly, when the means at
his disposal and the difficulties of the undertaking are considered, by
no means the least) of the great Australian explorers.

The honour to be gained by him, and most of the advantages, will
ultimately fall to this colony, which is his birth-place; and for my own
part I shall be very proud that such a design should be carried out
during my term of office. I wish that the means of the colony were
sufficient to warrant the Government in proposing to defray the entire
cost of the expedition, and I think it would be a disgrace to the colony
if it did not at least afford some aid from public funds.

These papers will be laid before the Legislature, and the Government will
support a vote in aid, should the Legislature concur.


July 20th, 1872.

This memorandum showed that his Excellency thoroughly sympathized with my
reason for desiring to undertake the expedition. The proposition,
supported by official approval, was acceded to by the Legislative
Council, which voted the 400 pounds stated to be required in addition to
the 200 pounds which I hoped to be able to raise by subscription.

Just at this time, however, South Australia was making great efforts to
solve the problem I had undertaken to attempt, preparations being made
for the departure of three expeditions. Stuart's great feat of crossing
the continent from south to north had been followed by other successful
efforts in the same direction. Another result was the establishing a line
of telegraph from Adelaide to Port Darwin. This might therefore be
considered the eastern boundary of the unknown districts, and moreover
was the point of departure for the South Australian expeditions in a
westerly direction. It was also the limit I desired to reach, and,
reaching it, I should achieve the object I had so much at heart. Of the
South Australian expeditions, only one was successful in getting to the
western colony, and that one, led by Colonel Warburton, involved much
suffering and was comparatively barren of practical results. Besides, as
we afterwards knew, the route selected by him was so far to the north as
not to interfere with my project.

The following letter to me expresses the official estimate of the result
of Colonel Warburton's expedition:--

Surveyor-General's Office, Perth,

March 27th, 1874.

The gist of the information I have from Colonel Warburton may be summed
up in a few words. From the MacDermot Ranges in South Australia to the
head of the Oakoon River (about 150 miles from the coast), keeping
between the parallels of 20 and 22 degrees south latitude, he traversed a
sterile country, in which he states horses could not possibly exist--they
would starve, as they could not live on the stunted scrub and herbage
which the camels managed to keep alive on.

The general character of the country seen was that of a high, waterless,
slightly undulating, sandy table-land, with in some parts sand deserts in
ridges most harassing to traverse. There was nothing visible in the way
of water courses in which water could be retained; but they were
successful in finding, at long distances, sufficient to maintain
themselves and their camels as they fled, as it were for their lives,
westward over the Sahara, which appears to be in a great part a desolate
wilderness, devoid of life, or of anything life sustaining. Though this
is a grim picture put before you, yet I would not have you daunted. Your
task is a different one, and one which all the colony is looking forward
to see successfully completed by you.

I have, etc.,

(Signed) MALCOLM FRASER, Surveyor-General.

Governor Weld, however, decided that it might be better to postpone my
expedition, as it would not be advisable to appear to enter into
competition with the other colony; besides which it might be of
considerable advantage to wait and avail ourselves of the results of any
discoveries that might be made by the South Australian explorers. Another
reason for delay was that I was required to conduct a survey of
considerable importance, which it was desirable should be completed
before undertaking the new expedition.

It may assist my readers to understand the references in the latter part
of my Journal if I state that in April, 1873, Mr. Gosse, one of the South
Australian explorers, quitted the telegraph line about forty miles south
of Mount Stuart; that the farthest point in a westerly direction reached
by him was in longitude 126 degrees 59 minutes East; and that Mr. Giles,
a Victorian explorer, had reached longitude 125 degrees, but had been
unable to penetrate farther.

Some records of these expeditions, and a copy of the chart made by Mr.
Gosse, were in my possession, when at length, in March, 1874, I set to
work on the preliminary arrangements for the expedition. Before leaving
Perth I received from the Surveyor-General the following outline of
instructions for my general guidance:--


Western Australia, Surveyor-General's Office,

Perth, 17th March, 1874.


The arrangements connected with the party organized for the purpose of
proceeding on an exploratory expedition to the north-eastern division of
this territory having now been completed, I am directed to instruct and
advise you generally in the objects and the intention of the Government
in regard to it.

The chief object of the expedition is to obtain information concerning
the immense tract of country from which flow the Murchison, Gascoigne,
Ashburton, DeGrey, Fitzroy, and other rivers falling into the sea on the
western and northern shores of this territory, as there are many good and
reasonable grounds for a belief that those rivers outflow from districts
neither barren nor badly watered.

Mr. A.C. Gregory, coming from the northwards by Sturt's Creek, discovered
the Denison Plains, and it may be that from the head of the Murchison
River going northwards there are to be found, near the heads of the
rivers above alluded to, many such grassy oases; and, looking at the
success which has already attended the stocking of the country to the
eastward of Champion Bay, and between the heads of the Greenough River
and Murchison, it will be most fortunate for our sheep farmers if you
discover any considerable addition to the present known pasture grounds
of the colony; and by this means no doubt the mineral resources of the
interior will be brought eventually to light. Every opinion of value that
has been given on the subject tells one that the head of the Murchison
lies in a district which may prove another land of Ophir.

In tracing up this river from Mount Gould to its source, and in tracing
other rivers to and from their head waters, detours must be made, but
generally your course will be north-east until you are within the
tropics; it will then be discretionary with you to decide on your route,
of which there is certainly a choice of three, besides the retracing of
your steps for the purpose, perhaps, of making a further inspection of
the good country you may have found.

Firstly, There is to choose whether you will go westward, and fall back
on the settlements at Nicol Bay or the De Grey River, on the north-west

Secondly, To consider whether you might advantageously push up Sturt's
Creek, keeping to the westward of Gregory's track.

Thirdly, To decide whether or not you will go eastward to the South
Australian telegraph line.

Possibly this latter course may be the most desirable and most feasible
to accomplish, as the telegraph stations, taking either Watson's Creek or
Daly Waters, are not more than 300 miles from the known water supply on
Sturt's Creek, and, supposing you do this successfully, the remaining
distance down the telegraph line to Port Darwin is a mere bagatelle,
provided an arrangement can be made with the South Australian Government
to have a supply of provisions at Daly Waters.

In the event of your going to Port Darwin, the plan probably will be to
sell your equipment and horses, returning with your party by sea, but in
this and in other matters of detail there is no desire to fetter you, or
to prevent the proper use of your judgment, as I am fully aware that your
sole object is in common with that of the Government--the carrying to a
satisfactory result the work to be done.

I hope that before you individually leave we shall have the pleasure of
welcoming Colonel Warburton, and I have no doubt will be able to obtain
some valuable information from him.

Having now dwelt generally on the objects of the expedition, I will go
more into details.

Your party will consist of yourself as leader, Mr. Alexander Forrest as
surveyor and second in command, James Sweeney (farrier), police-constable
James Kennedy, and two natives, Tommy Windich and Tommy Pierre, making
six in number and twenty horses. The party will be well armed; but by
every means in your power you will endeavour to cultivate and keep on
friendly relations with all the aborigines you may fall in with, and
avoid, if possible, any collision with them.

The provisions and other supplies already arranged for are calculated to
serve the party for eight months. The expedition will start from Champion
Bay, to which you will at once despatch by sea the stores to be obtained
here; and the men and horses should proceed overland without delay. You
will be probably able to charter carts or drays to take most of your
impedimenta from Geraldton to Mr. Burges's farthest out-station on the
Murchison; this will save you 200 miles of packing, and husband the
strength of your horses for that distance.

Having the assistance of Mr. Alexander Forrest as surveyor to the party,
you will do as much reconnaissance work in connexion with the colonial
survey as it may be possible; and also, by taking celestial observations
at all convenient times, and by sketching the natural features of the
country you pass over, add much to our geographical knowledge. All
geological and natural history specimens you can collect and preserve
will be most valuable in perfecting information concerning the physical
formation of the interior.

You will be good enough to get the agreement, forwarded with this, signed
by the whole of the party.

I am, etc.,




On the 18th of March, 1874, the expedition quitted Perth. Colonel
Harvest, the Acting-Governor, wished us a hearty God-speed, which was
warmly echoed by our friends and the public generally. The
Surveyor-General and a party accompanied us for some distance along the
road. Ten days afterwards we reached Champion Bay, where we intended to
remain for three days, having settled to commence our journey on the 1st
of April. We had enough to do in preparing stores, shoeing horses, and
starting a team with our heaviest baggage to a spot about fifty miles
inland. On the 31st March we were entertained at dinner by Mr. Crowther
(Member of the Legislative Council for the district) at the Geraldton
Hotel. It was from that point we considered the expedition really
commenced, and my Journal will show that we numbered our camps from that
place. Our final start was not effected without some trouble. The horses,
happily ignorant of the troubles which awaited them, were fresh and
lively, kicking, plunging, and running away, so that it was noon before
we were fairly on the move. Our first day's journey brought us to a place
named Knockbrack, the hospitable residence of Mr. Thomas Burges, where we
remained two days, the 3rd being Good Friday. On the 4th we were again on
our way--a party of friends, Messrs. E. and F. Wittenoom, Mr. Lacy, and
others, accompanying us as far as Allen Nolba. We camped that night at a
well known as Wandanoe, where, however, there was scarcely any feed for
the horses, who appeared very dissatisfied with their entertainment, for
they wandered away, and several hours were spent on the following morning
in getting them together.

Our route lay by way of Kolonaday, North Spring, Tinderlong, and Bilyera
to Yuin, Mr. Burges's principal station, which we reached on the 9th, and
remained until Monday the 13th. Then we started on a route
east-north-east, and camped that night at a rock water-hole called
Beetinggnow, where we found good feed and water. My brother and Kennedy
went on in advance to Poondarrie, to dig water-holes, and we rejoined
them there on the 14th. This place is situated in latitude 27 degrees 48
minutes 39 seconds South, and longitude 116 degrees 16 minutes 11 seconds

On the following day we were very busy packing up the rations, for I had
arranged to send back the cart, gone on in advance. We had eight months'
provisions, besides general baggage, and I certainly experienced some
difficulty in arranging how to carry such a tremendously heavy load, even
with the aid of eighteen pack-horses, and a dozen natives who accompanied
us. I intended to start on the 16th, but one of the horses was missing,
and, although Pierre and I tracked him for five miles, we were compelled
to give up the search for that night, as darkness came on, and return to
camp. On the following day, however, we followed up the tracks, and
caught the horse after a chase of twenty miles. He had started on the
return journey, and was only a mile from Yuin when we overtook him.


By half-past nine on the morning of the 18th we had made a fair start.
The day was intensely hot, and as we had only three riding-horses, half
of the party were compelled to walk. We travelled in a north-easterly
direction for eleven miles, and reached a spring called Wallala, which we
dug out, and so obtained sufficient water for our horses. I may mention
here that Colonel Warburton and other explorers who endeavoured to cross
the great inland desert from the east had the advantage of being provided
with camels--a very great advantage indeed in a country where the water
supply is so scanty and uncertain as in Central Australia. As we
ascertained by painful experience, a horse requires water at least once
in twelve hours, and suffers greatly if that period of abstinence is
exceeded. A camel, however, will go for ten or twelve days without drink,
without being much distressed. This fact should be remembered, because
the necessity of obtaining water for the horses entailed upon us many
wearying deviations from the main route and frequent disappointments,
besides great privation and inconvenience to man and beast.

The 19th was Sunday, and, according to practice, we rested. Every Sunday
throughout the journey I read Divine Service, and, except making the
daily observations, only work absolutely necessary was done. Whenever
possible, we rested on Sunday, taking, if we could, a pigeon, a parrot,
or such other game as might come in our way as special fare. Sunday's
dinner was an institution for which, even in those inhospitable wilds, we
had a great respect. This day, the 19th, ascertained, by meridian
altitude of the sun, that we were in latitude 27 degrees 40 minutes 6
seconds South. We had several pigeons and parrots, which, unfortunately
for them, but most fortunately for us, had come within range of our guns.
While thus resting, Police constable Haydon arrived from Champion Bay,
bringing letters and a thermometer (broken on the journey), also a
barometer. When he left we bade good-bye to the last white man we were
destined to see for nearly six months.

After the usual difficulty with the horses, which had again wandered, we
started on Monday, the 20th, at half-past ten, and steering about 30
degrees East of north for seven miles, came to a spring called Bullardo,
and seven miles farther we camped at Warrorang, where there was scarcely
any water or feed. We were now in latitude 27 degrees 33 minutes 21
seconds South, Cheangwa Hill being North 340 degrees East magnetic.

I now take up the narrative in the words of my Journal, which will show
the reason for ultimately adopting the third of the routes which the
letter of instructions left to my discretion.

April 21st.
Continued on North 340 degrees East to Cheangwa Hill four miles; thence
northerly, passing Koonbun, and on to a place called Pingie, on the
Sandford River. From camp to Pingie, Barloweery Peaks bore North 322
degrees East magnetic, Cheangwa Hill North 207 degrees East, latitude 27
degrees 19 minutes 33 seconds. Found water by digging. Rather warm;
barometer rising. Clear flats along water-courses; otherwise dense


Continued northerly; at twelve miles crossed the dividing range between
the Sandford and other creeks flowing into the Murchison. Camped at a
granite hill called Bia, with a fine spring on its north side. Got a view
of Mount Murchison, which bore North 7 degrees East magnetic from camp.
Fine grassy granite country for the first eight miles to-day. Splendid
feed at this camp. Travelled about fifteen miles. Latitude by meridian
altitude of Regulus 27 degrees 7 minutes South. Walking in turns every

Steering a little west of north over level country for six miles, with a
few water-courses with white gums in them, we came into granite country
with bare hills in every direction. Kept on till we came to a brook with
pools of fresh water, where we camped about one mile from the Murchison
River. Latitude 26 degrees 52 minutes 38 seconds, Mount Murchison bearing
North 50 degrees East. Went with Pierre to a peak of granite North 50
degrees East, about one mile and a half from camp, from which I took a
round of angles and bearings. Travelled about eighteen miles to-day.

At one mile reached the Murchison River, and followed along up it. Fine
grassy flats, good loamy soil, with white gums in bed and on flats.
Travelled about fourteen miles, and camped. Rather brackish water in the
pools. Latitude of camp 26 degrees 42 minutes 43 seconds by Regulus. Shot
seven ducks and eight cockatoos. Saw several kangaroos and emus. Rain
much required. Mount Murchison bears from camp North 122 degrees East,
and Mount Narryer North 14 degrees East magnetic.

Continued up river for about nine miles, and camped at a fine spring in
the bed of river, of fresh water, which I named Elizabeth Spring; it is
surrounded by salt water, and is quite fresh. Mount Narryer bore from
camp North 4 degrees East magnetic, and Mount Murchison North 168 degrees
30 minutes East magnetic. Windich shot an emu, and some ducks were also
shot. Fine grassy country along river; white gums in flats; large salt
pools. Very hot weather; thermometer 90 degrees in pack-saddle.

26th (Sunday).
Did not travel to-day. Plotted up track and took observations for time
and longitude. Barometer 29.18; thermometer 83 degrees at 6 p.m. Latitude
of camp 26 degrees 35 minutes 8 seconds South by Regulus.

Travelled up river for about sixteen miles; camped at a fine fresh pool
in latitude 26 degrees 24 minutes 52 seconds South, Mount Narryer bearing
North 238 degrees East, and Mount Dugel North 334 degrees East magnetic.
Fine grassy country along river. Shot six ducks; great numbers were in
the river, also white cockatoos. Very warm mid-day; cloudy in evening.
Marked a tree F on the right bank of river.


Followed up the river. Fine pools for the first six miles, with numbers
of ducks in them. After travelling about twenty miles we lost the river
from keeping too far to the east, and following branches instead of the
main branch--in fact, the river spreads out over beautifully-grassed
plains for many miles. Fearing we should be without water, I pushed
ahead, and after following a flat for about six miles, got to the main
river, where there were large pools of brackish water. As it was getting
late, returned in all haste, but could not find the party, they having
struck westward. I got on the tracks after dark, and, after following
them two miles, had to give it up and camp for the night, tying up my
horse alongside. Neither food nor water, and no rug.

I anxiously awaited daylight, and then followed on the tracks and
overtook the party, encamped on the main branch of the river, with
abundance of brackish water in the pools. Shot several cockatoos. From
camp Mount Narryer bore North 211 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic, and
Mount Dugel 225 degrees 15 minutes East magnetic. Camp is in latitude 26
degrees 6 minutes 12 seconds. Marked a tree with the letter F on right
bank of river.

Two of the horses could not be found till half-past twelve. After this we
continued up the river over well-grassed country for about ten miles.
Camped at a small pool of fresh water, in latitude 26 degrees 2 minutes
52 seconds, which we luckily found by tracking up natives. Large pools of
salt water in river. Three walking and three riding every day. Set watch
to-night, two hours each.

May 1st.
Followed up river, keeping a little to the south of it for about fifteen
miles. We camped on a splendid grassy flat, with a fine large pool of
fresh water in it. Shot several ducks. This is the best camp we have
had---plenty of grass and water--and I was very rejoiced to find the
month commence so auspiciously. Barometer 29.10; thermometer 78 degrees
at 5.30 p.m.; latitude 26 degrees 0 minutes 52 seconds South. Sighted
Mount Gould, which bore North 58 degrees East magnetic. Marked a white
gum-tree F 20, being 20th camp from Geraldton.


Steered straight for Mount Gould, North 58 degrees East, for sixteen
miles, when I found I had made an error, and that we had unknowingly
crossed the river this morning. After examining the chart, I steered
South-East towards Mount Hale and, striking the river, we followed along
it a short distance and camped at some brackish water, Mount Hale bearing
North 178 degrees East, and Mount Gould North 28 degrees East. Barometer
28.96; thermometer 77 degrees at 5.30 p.m. As Pierre was walking along,
he suddenly turned round and saw four or five natives following. Being
rather surprised, he frightened them by roughly saying, "What the devil
you want here?" when they quickly made off. Windich and I then tried to
speak to them, but could not find them. Latitude 25 degrees 57 minutes 32
seconds South; longitude about 117 degrees 20 minutes East.

3rd (Sunday).
Went to summit of Mount Hale in company with Pierre, and after an hour's
hard work reached it. It was very rough and difficult to ascend. The
rocks were very magnetic; the view was extensive; indeed, the whole
country was an extended plain. To the east, plains for at least thirty
miles, when broken ranges were visible. Mount Gould to the
North-North-East showed very remarkably. Mount Narryer range was visible.
To the south, only one hill or range could be seen, while to the
South-East broken ranges of granite were seen about thirty miles distant.
Mount Hale is very lofty and rugged, and is composed of micaceous iron
ore, with brown hematite; being magnetic, the compass was rendered
useless. Returned about one o'clock. Windich and the others had been out
searching for fresh water, and the former had seen three natives and had
a talk with them. They did not appear frightened, but he could not make
anything out of them. They found some good water. Barometer, at 6.30
p.m., 28.88; thermometer 76 degrees. Took observations for time and
longitude. We are much in want of rain, and thought we should have had
some, but the barometer is rising this evening. To-morrow we enter on
country entirely unknown.

Started at nine o'clock, and, travelling North-East for three miles, came
to junction of river from Mount Gould, when we got some fresh water, also
met two natives who were friendly, and they accompanied us. We took the
south or main branch of river, and, steering a little south of east for
about nine miles, over splendidly-grassed country, we camped on a small
pool of fresh water on one of the courses of the river, Mount Gould
bearing North 334 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic, and Mount Hale North
228 degrees 30 minutes East magnetic. Barometer 28.90; thermometer 76
degrees at 6 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 54 minutes 37 seconds by Regulus.
Marked a tree F 22, being 22nd camp from Geraldton.


We travelled up easterly along the river, which spreads out and has
several channels, sometimes running for miles separately, then joining
again. There were many fine fresh pools for the first four miles, after
which they were all salt, and the river divided into so many channels
that it was difficult to know the main river. After travelling about
sixteen miles over fine grassy plains and flats, we were joined by seven
natives, who had returned with the two who had left us this morning. They
told us that there was no fresh water on the branch we were following,
and we therefore followed them North 30 degrees East for seven miles
(leaving the river to the southward), when they brought us to a small
pool in a brook, where we camped, Mount Gould bearing North 285 degrees
30 minutes East magnetic, Mount Hale North 250 degrees East magnetic.
Latitude 25 degrees 52 minutes from mean of two observations. Barometer
28.78; thermometer 77 degrees at 6 P.M.

Three of the natives accompanied us to-day. We travelled east for six
miles, when I ascended a rise and could see a river to the north and
south; the one to the north the natives say has fresh water. As the
natives say there is plenty of water ahead, North 70 degrees East, we
continued onwards to a hill, which I named Mount Maitland. After about
twenty miles we reached it, but found the spring to be bad, and after
digging no water came. For our relief I tied up the horses for some time
before letting them go. Ascending the hill close to the camp, I saw a
very extensive range, and took a fine round of angles. The compass is
useless on these hills, as they are composed of micaceous iron ore, with
brown hematite, which is very magnetic. To the east a line of high,
remarkable ranges extend, running eastwards, which I have named the
Robinson Range, after his Excellency Governor Robinson. One of the
highest points I named Mount Fraser, after the Honourable Commissioner of
Crown Lands, from whom I received much assistance and consideration, and
who has aided the expedition in every possible way; the other highest
point, Mount Padbury, after Mr. W. Padbury, a contributor to the
Expedition Fund. The river could be traced for thirty miles by the line
of white gums, while to the south long lines of white gums could also be
seen. I am not sure which is the main branch, but I intend following the
one to the north, as it looks the largest and the natives say it has
fresh water. Barometer 28.45; thermometer 69 degrees at 6 p.m.; latitude
25 degrees 46 minutes South. The last thirty-five miles over fine grassy
plains, well adapted for sheep-runs; and water could, I think, be easily
procured by digging, as well as from the river.

The three natives ran away this morning, or at least left us without
asking leave. We had to keep watch all last night over the horses to keep
them from rambling. Got an early start, and steering North 70 degrees
East for about twelve miles, we reached the river, and camped at a fresh
pool of splendid water. This is a fine large branch; it is fresh, and I
believe, if not the main, is one of the largest branches. The country is
now more undulating and splendidly grassed, and would carry sheep well.
The whole bed of the river, or valley, is admirably adapted for pastoral
purposes, and will no doubt ere long be stocked. Latitude 25 degrees 42
minutes 12 seconds South, and longitude about 118 degrees 9 minutes East.
Barometer 28.57; thermometer 75 degrees at 5.30 p.m. Marked a white gum
on right bank of river F 25, being the 25th camp from Champion Bay.

Continued up the river for about fifteen miles, the stream gradually
getting smaller, many small creeks coming into it; wide bed and flat.
Fine grassy country on each side, and some permanent pools in river.
Camped at a small pool of fresh water, and rode up to a low ridge to the
North-East, from which I got a fine view to the eastward. I do not think
the river we are following goes much farther; low ranges and a few hills
alone visible. Barometer 28.48; thermometer 70 degrees at 6 o'clock p.m.;
latitude 25 degrees 47 minutes 53 seconds by meridian altitude of

Continued along river, which is gradually getting smaller, for about
thirteen miles over most beautiful grassy country, the best we have seen.
White gums along bed. I believe the river does not go more than twenty
miles from here, it being now very small. Found a nice pool of water and
camped. Barometer 28.48; thermometer 68 degrees at half-past five


10th (Sunday).
Went with Windich south about eight miles to a low range, which I rightly
anticipated would be a watershed. Could see a long line of white gums;
believe there may be a river to the south, or it may be the salt branch
of the Murchison. Returned to camp at two o'clock; plotted up track.
Barometer 28.52; thermometer 69 degrees at 6 p.m. Mount Fraser bears
North 328 degrees East magnetic from camp, which is in latitude 25
degrees 51 minutes 46 seconds, longitude about 118 degrees 30 minutes
East. The country is very dry indeed; in fact, we could not be more
unfortunate in the season thus far. I only trust we may be blessed with
abundance of rain shortly, otherwise we shall not be able to move

Continued up river, which is getting very small, over beautifully-grassed
country, and at seven miles came to a fine flat and splendid pool of
permanent water. Although a delightful spot, I did not halt, as we had
come such a short distance. Here we met six native women, who were very
frightened at first, but soon found sufficient confidence to talk and to
tell us there was plenty of water ahead. As they always say this, I do
not put any faith in it. We continued on about east for eight miles to a
high flat-topped hill, when we got a view of the country ahead and turned
about North-East towards some flats, and at about eight miles camped on a
grassy plain, with some small clay-pans of water. Splendid feeding
country all along this valley--I may say for the last 100 miles. Heard a
number of natives cooeying above our camp, but did not see them.
Barometer 28.37; thermometer 68 degrees at six o'clock p.m.; latitude 25
degrees 51 minutes South by meridian altitude of Jupiter.

Started East-North-East for four miles, then north three miles to the
range, where we searched over an hour for water without success. We then
travelled South-East for five miles and south one mile and a half to a
water-hole in a brook, by digging out which we got abundance of water.
About a quarter of a mile farther down the brook found a large pool of
water and shot six ducks. As soon as we unloaded, it commenced to rain,
and kept on steadily till midnight. I am indeed pleased to get this rain
at last, as the country is very dry. Splendid open feeding country all
to-day, and the camp is a beautifully-grassed spot. Marked a white
gum-tree F 29, close to the pool or spring on the right bank of this


Continued on, steering about south-east, as the flat we have been
following the last week is now nearly at an end. Afterwards determined to
bear southward, in order to see where the south branch of the river goes
to. For the first six miles over most magnificent grassed country.
Ascended a low range to get a view of the country. The prospect ahead,
however, not cheering. Took round of bearings. A very conspicuous range
bore about south, which I named Glengarry Range, in honour of Mr.
Maitland Brown, a great supporter of the expedition; while to the
south-east only one solitary hill could be seen, distant about twenty
miles. We, however, continued for about ten miles over most miserable
country, thickets and spinifex, when we reached some granitic rocks and a
low rise of granite, on which we found sufficient water to camp.
Barometer 28.12; thermometer 60 degrees at 5.30 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees
57 minutes 11 seconds South by Regulus.

Steered South-East for about fourteen miles to a stony low range, thence
East-North-East and east and south for six miles, turning and twisting,
looking for water. Windich found some in a gully and we camped. Spinifex
for the first fourteen miles, and miserable country. The prospect ahead
not very promising. Barometer 28.06; thermometer 83 degrees at 5 p.m.
Every appearance of rain. Latitude 26 degrees 8 minutes 31 seconds South,
longitude about 119 degrees 18 minutes East.

Raining lightly this morning. I did not proceed, but gave the horses

Continued east for five miles, when we found three of the horses were
missing; returned with Windich, and found them near camp, having never
started at all. Seeing white gums to the south-east, we followed for five
miles down a fine brook (which I named Negri Creek, after Commander
Negri, founder of the Geographical Society of Italy), with fine grassy
country on each side. Afterwards it joined another brook, and went
south-east for about three miles, where it lost itself in open flats.
Struck south for two miles to some large white gums, but found no water.
After long looking about I found water in a gully and camped. Distance
travelled about twenty miles. Spinifex and grassy openings the first five
miles to-day. Barometer 28.20; thermometer 67 degrees at 6 o'clock p.m.;
latitude 26 degrees 16 minutes 8 seconds by Jupiter. Windich shot a


17th (Sunday).
The horses rambled far away, and it was noon before they were all
collected. Shifted three and a half miles north, where there was better
feed and water. Went on to a low hill on the north of our last night's
camp, and got a fine view of the country to the south and south-east. Two
remarkable flat-topped hills bore South-East, which I named Mount Bartle
and Mount Russell, after the distinguished President and Foreign
Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society. Saw a long line of white
gums (colalyas) running East and West about ten miles distant, looking
very much like a river. To the east and north the view was intercepted by
long stony rises, apparently covered with spinifex. Large white gum
clumps studded the plains in every direction. Evidences of heavy rainfall
at certain times to be seen everywhere. Barometer 28.28; thermometer 72
degrees at 5 p.m.; latitude 26 degrees 13 minutes 4 seconds South.

Steered South-South-East for four miles, then South-East generally,
towards the flat-topped hills seen yesterday, and which bore 144 degrees
East magnetic from Spinifex Hill. At six miles crossed a low range
covered with spinifex, after which we passed over country generally well
grassed, some of it most beautifully, and white gums very large in clumps
were studded all over the plains. At about twenty-two miles reached the
flat-topped hills, and camped, finding some water in a clay-pan. The line
of white gums I find are only large clumps studded over extensive plains
of splendidly-grassed country. No large water-course was crossed, but
several small creeks form here and there, and afterwards run out into the
plains, finally finding their way into the Murchison. It was sundown when
we camped. Walked over twenty miles myself to-day. Barometer 28.38;
thermometer 60 degrees at six o'clock; latitude 26 degrees 27 minutes 38
seconds South, longitude about 119 degrees 42 minutes East.

Continued in a north-easterly direction for about eight miles over fine
grassy plains, and camped at some water in a small gully with fine feed.
I camped early in order to give the backs of the horses a good washing,
and to refit some of the pack-saddles. Passed several clay-pans with
water. We have not seen any permanent water for the last eighty miles. I
much wish to find some, as it is very risky going on without the means of
falling back. The country seems very deficient of permanent water,
although I believe plenty could be procured by sinking. Barometer 28.46;
thermometer 63 degrees at 5 p.m.; latitude 26 degrees 23 minutes 39
seconds South. Left a pack-saddle frame and two pack-bags hanging on a


Steering North-East for five miles over fine grassy plains, came to a low
stony range, ascending which we saw, a little to the south, a line of
(colalya) white gums, to which we proceeded. Then following up a large
brook for about five miles North-East, we camped at a small water-hole in
the brook. In the afternoon I went with Pierre about one mile North-East
of camp to the summit of a rough range and watershed, which I believe is
the easterly watershed of the Murchison River. All the creeks to the west
of this range (which I named Kimberley Range, after the Right Honourable
Lord Kimberley, the Secretary of State for the Colonies) trend towards
the Murchison, and finally empty into the main river. From this range we
could see a long way to the eastward. The country is very level, with low
ranges, but no conspicuous hills. Not a promising country for water, but
still looks good feeding country. This range is composed of brown
hematite, decomposing to yellow (tertiary), and is very magnetic, the
compass being useless. Bituminous pitch found oozing out of the
rocks--probably the result of the decomposition of the excrement of bats.
It contains fragments of the wing cases of insects, and gives reactions
similar to the bituminous mineral or substance found in Victoria.
Barometer 28.285; thermometer 63 degrees at 5 p.m. On summit of
watershed, barometer 28.15; thermometer 69 degrees; latitude 26 degrees
17 minutes 12 seconds, longitude about 119 degrees 54 minutes East.

Continued on North-East, and, travelling over the watershed of the
Murchison, we followed along a gully running North-East; then, passing
some water-holes, travelled on and ascended a small range, from which we
beheld a very extensive clear plain just before us. Thinking it was a
fine grassy plain we quickly descended, when, to our disgust, we found it
was spinifex that had been burnt. We continued till three o'clock, with
nothing but spinifex plains in sight. I despatched Windich towards a
range in the distance, and followed after as quickly as possible. When we
reached the range we heard the welcoming gunshot, and, continuing on, we
met Tommy, who had found abundance of water and feed on some granite
rocks. We soon unloaded, and were all rejoiced to be in safety, the
prospect this afternoon having been anything but cheering. Distance
travelled about thirty miles. Barometer 28.22; thermometer 56 degrees at
6 p.m. Cold easterly wind all day. About eighteen miles of spinifex
plains. Latitude 26 degrees 0 minutes 53 seconds by Arcturus and e

Did not travel to-day, the horses being tired, and the country ahead did
not seem very inviting. Windich found a native spring about a mile to the
North-East. This is a very nice spot, surrounded as it is by spinifex.
Variation 2 degrees 40 minutes West by observation.

Continued on North-East for about twelve miles over spinifex plains and
sandy ridges. Went on ahead with Windich, and came to a gorge and some
granite rocks with abundance of water, and were soon joined by the party.
Barometer 28.30; thermometer 60 degrees at 6 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 53
minutes 52 seconds by Altair.

24th (Sunday).
We rested at camp. I was all day calculating lunar observations.
Barometer 28.22; thermometer 64 degrees at 5.30 p.m.


Travelled onwards about North 40 degrees East for eight miles, passing a
low granite range at six miles. Came to a fine brook trending a little
south of east, which we followed downwards seven miles, running nearly
east. This brook was full of water, some of the pools being eight or ten
feet deep, ten yards wide, and sixty yards long. It flowed out into a
large flat, and finally runs into a salt lake. I named this brook Sweeney
Creek, after my companion and farrier, James Sweeney. Leaving the flat,
we struck North-North-East for four miles, and came to a salt marsh about
half a mile wide, which we crossed. Following along, came into some high
ranges, which I named the Frere Ranges, after Sir Bartle Frere, the
distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society. Found a small
rock water-hole in a gully and camped. Water appears exceedingly scarce
in these ranges. It is very remarkable that there should have been such
heavy rain twelve miles back, and none at all here. Rough feed for
horses. Distance travelled about twenty-seven miles. These ranges run
east and west, and are the highest we have seen. The marsh appears to
follow along the south side of the range. Barometer 28.38; thermometer 70
degrees at 5.30 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 43 minutes 44 seconds by

Ascended the Frere Ranges and got a fine view to the north and east. Fine
high hills and ranges to the north; a salt marsh and low ranges to the
east and South-East. Continued on North-East for four miles, then
North-North-West for three miles, passing plenty of water in clay-holes
and clay-pans in bed of marsh, we camped at a fine pool in a large brook
that runs into the marsh, which I called Kennedy Creek, after my
companion James Kennedy. The prospect ahead is very cheering, and I hope
to find plenty of water and feed for the next 100 miles. Latitude 25
degrees 38 minutes 44 seconds South; barometer 28.42; thermometer 41
degrees at 10 p.m. Marked a white gumtree F 40 close to camp in bed of
river. The banks of the brook at this spot are composed of purple-brown
slate (Silurian).

Followed up the Kennedy Creek, bearing North-North-East and North for
about seven miles, passing a number of shallow pools, when we came to
some splendid springs, which I named the Windich Springs, after my old
and well-tried companion Tommy Windich, who has now been on three
exploring expeditions with me. They are the best springs I have ever
seen--flags in the bed of the river, and pools twelve feet deep and
twenty chains long--a splendid place for water. We therefore camped, and
found another spot equally good a quarter of a mile west of camp in
another branch. There is a most magnificent supply of water and
feed--almost unlimited and permanent. A fine range of hills bore
north-west from the springs, which I named Carnarvon Range, after the
Right Honourable the present Secretary of State for the Colonies. The
hills looked very remarkable, being covered with spinifex almost to their
very summit. We shot five ducks and got three opossums this afternoon,
besides doing some shoeing. There is an immense clump of white gums at
head of spring. Barometer 28.34; thermometer 46 degrees at 11 p.m. Marked
a large white gum-tree F 41 on west side close to right bank of river,
being our 41st camp from Geraldton. Latitude 25 degrees 22 minutes 26
seconds South, longitude about 120 degrees 42 minutes East.


Steering North 30 degrees East for eleven miles, we came to a rough hill,
which I ascended, camped on north side of it, and found water in a gully.
The view was very extensive but not promising--spinifex being in every
direction. A bold hill bore North 31 degrees East magnetic, about seven
miles distant to the North-North-West, which I named Mount Salvado, after
Bishop Salvado, of Victoria Plains, a contributor to the Expedition Fund.
The Carnarvon Ranges looked very remarkable. To the East and North-East
spinifex and low ranges for fifteen miles, when the view was intercepted
by spinifex rises--altogether very unpromising. Barometer 28.26;
thermometer 70 degrees at 5 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 24 minutes 11
seconds South.

Steered East-North-East for seven miles, when we came to some fine water
in a gully, which we did not camp at, owing to my being ahead with
Windich, and my brother not seeing a note I left telling him to remain
there while I went on to get a view ahead. Passing this at ten miles, we
reached a low spinifex hill capped with rock, from which a remarkable
hill was visible, which I named Mount Davis, after my friend Mr. J.S.
Davis, who was a contributor to the Expedition Fund. Mount Salvado was
also visible. Spinifex in every direction, and the country very miserable
and unpromising. I went ahead with Windich. Steering about North 15
degrees East for about eight miles over spinifex sand-hills, we found a
spring in a small flat, which I named Pierre Spring, after my companion
Tommy Pierre. It was surrounded by the most miserable spinifex country,
and is quite a diamond in the desert. We cleared it out and got
sufficient water for our horses. To the North, South, and East nothing
but spinifex sand-hills in sight. Barometer 28.44; thermometer 70 degrees
at 5 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 14 minutes 34 seconds South by Altair.


Steering East-North-East over spinifex red sand-hills for nine miles, we
came to a valley and followed down a gully running North-North-East for
two miles, when it lost itself on the flat, which was wooded and grassy.
About a mile farther on we found a clay-pan with water, and camped, with
excellent feed. The country is very dry, and I should think there has not
been any rain for several months. The appearance of the country ahead is
better than it looked yesterday. I went onwards with Windich to-day, and
found the water. Barometer 28.46; thermometer 66 degrees at 5.30 p.m.;
latitude 25 degrees 10 minutes 32 seconds.

31st. (Sunday).
Rested at camp. Took observations for time. Left two pack-saddle bags
hanging on a tree.

June 1st.
Barometer 28.38; thermometer 45 degrees at 8 a.m. In collecting the
horses we came on an old native camp, and found the skull of a native,
much charred, evidently the remains of one who had been eaten. Continued
on about North-East along a grassy flat, and at five miles passed some
clay-pans of water, after which we encountered spinifex, which continued
for fifteen miles, when we got to a rocky range, covered with more
spinifex. Myself and Windich were in advance, and after reaching the
range we followed down a flat about North for six miles, when it joined
another large water-course, both trending North-North-West and
North-West. We followed down this river for about seven miles, in hopes
of finding water, without success. Night was fast approaching, and I
struck north for four miles to a range, on reaching which the prospect
was very poor; it proved to be a succession of spinifex sand-hills, and
no better country was in view to the North-East and East. It was just
sundown when we reached the range; we then turned east for two miles, and
south, following along all the gullies we came across, but could find no
water. It was full moon, so that we could see clearly. We turned more to
the westward and struck our outward tracks, and, following back along
them, we met the party encamped at the junction of the two branches
mentioned before. We kept watch over the horses to keep them from
straying. Mine and Windich's horses were nearly knocked up, and Windich
himself was very ill all night. Latitude 24 degrees 55 minutes 19 seconds


Early this morning went with Pierre to look for water, while my brother
and Windich went on the same errand. We followed up the brook about south
for seven miles, when we left it and followed another branch about
South-South-East, ascending which, Pierre drew my attention to swarms of
birds, parroquets, etc., about half a mile ahead. We hastened on, and to
our delight found one of the best springs in the colony. It ran down the
gully for twenty chains, and is as clear and fresh as possible, while the
supply is unlimited. Overjoyed at our good fortune, we hastened back,
and, finding that my brother and Windich had not returned, packed up and
shifted over to the springs, leaving a note telling them the good news.
After reaching the springs we were soon joined by them. They had only
found sufficient water to give their own horses a drink; they also
rejoiced to find so fine a spot. Named the springs the Weld Springs,
after his Excellency Governor Weld, who has always taken such great
interest in exploration, and without whose influence and assistance this
expedition would not have been organized. There is splendid feed all
around. I intend giving the horses a week's rest here, as they are much
in want of it, and are getting very poor and tired. Barometer 28.24;
thermometer 71 degrees at 5 p.m. Shot a kangaroo.

Rested at Weld Springs. Light rain this morning. The horses doing well,
and will improve very fast. Towards evening the weather cleared, which I
was sorry for, as good rains are what we are much in need of. Did some
shoeing. Barometer 28.13; thermometer 61 degrees at 5 p.m.

Barometer 28.16; thermometer 53 degrees at 8 a.m. Rested at Weld Springs.
Shod some of the horses. Repairing saddles. Rating chronometer. Windich
shot an emu. Horses doing first-rate, and fast improving.

Barometer 28.28; thermometer 53 degrees at 6 p.m. Rested at Weld Springs.
Shoeing and saddle-stuffing. Ten emus came to water; shot twice with
rifle at them, but missed. Rated chronometer.

Rested at Weld Springs. Took three sets of lunars. Pierre shot a
kangaroo. Marked a tree F 46 on the east side of the spring at our
bivouac, which is in latitude 25 degrees 0 minutes 46 seconds South,
longitude about 121 degrees 21 minutes East. Mended saddles. Horses much
improved, and some of them getting very fresh.

7th (Sunday).
Pierre shot an emu, and the others shot several pigeons. This is a
splendid spot; emus and kangaroos numerous, pigeons and birds
innumerable, literally covering the entire surface all round the place in
the evenings. We have been living on game ever since we have been here.
Intend taking a flying trip to-morrow; party to follow on our tracks on
Tuesday. Read Divine Service. Barometer 28.38; thermometer 55 degrees at
7 p.m.

Started with Tommy Pierre to explore the country East-North-East for
water, leaving instructions for my brother to follow after us to-morrow
with the party. We travelled generally East-North-East for twenty miles
over spinifex and undulating sand-hills, without seeing any water. We
turned east for ten miles to a range, which we found to be covered with
spinifex. Everywhere nothing else was to be seen; no feed, destitute of
water; while a few small gullies ran out of the low range, but all were
dry. Another range about twenty-four miles distant was the extent of our
view, to which we bore. At twenty miles, over red sandy hills covered
with spinifex and of the most miserable nature, we came to a narrow
samphire flat, following which south for two miles, we camped without
water and scarcely any feed. Our horses were knocked up, having come over
heavy ground more than fifty miles. The whole of the country passed over
to-day is covered with spinifex, and is a barren worthless desert.


At daybreak continued east about four miles to the range seen yesterday,
which we found to be a low stony rise, covered with spinifex. The view
was extensive and very gloomy. Far to the north and east, spinifex
country, level, and no appearance of hills or water-courses. To the south
were seen a few low ranges, covered also with spinifex; in fact, nothing
but spinifex in sight, and no chance of water. Therefore I was obliged to
turn back, as our horses were done up. Travelling south for five miles,
we then turned West-North-West until we caught our outward tracks, and,
following them, we met the party at 3 o'clock, coming on, about twenty
miles from the Weld Springs. Our horses were completely done up. We had
not had water for thirty-one hours. We all turned back, retreating
towards the springs, and continued on till 10 o'clock, when we camped in
the spinifex and tied up the horses.

We travelled on to the springs, which were only about three miles from
where we slept last night, and camped. I intend staying here for some
time, until I find water ahead or we get some rain. We are very fortunate
in having such a good depot, as the feed is very good. We found that
about a dozen natives had been to the springs while we were away. They
had collected some of the emu feathers, which were lying all about.
Natives appear to be very numerous, and I have no doubt that there are
springs in the spinifex or valleys close to it. Barometer 28.08;
thermometer 62 degrees at 5.30 p.m.

Rested at the Weld Springs. Shot an emu; about a dozen came to water. My
brother and Windich intend going a flying trip East-South-East in search
of water to-morrow. Barometer 28.15; thermometer 60 degrees at 5 p.m.

My brother and Windich started in search of water; myself and Pierre
accompanied them about twelve miles with water to give their horses a
drink. About ten o'clock we left them and returned to camp.


About one o'clock Pierre saw a flock of emus coming to water, and went
off to get a shot. Kennedy followed with the rifle. I climbed up on a
small tree to watch them. I was surprised to hear natives' voices, and,
looking towards the hill, I saw from forty to sixty natives running
towards the camp, all plumed up and armed with spears and shields. I was
cool, and told Sweeney to bring out the revolvers; descended from the
tree and got my gun and cooeyed to Pierre and Kennedy, who came running.
By this time they were within sixty yards, and halted. One advanced to
meet me and stood twenty yards off; I made friendly signs; he did not
appear very hostile. All at once one from behind (probably a chief) came
rushing forward, and made many feints to throw spears. He went through
many manoeuvres, and gave a signal, when the whole number made a rush
towards us, yelling and shouting, with their spears shipped. When within
thirty yards I gave the word to fire: we all fired as one man, only one
report being heard. I think the natives got a few shots, but they all ran
up the hill and there stood, talking and haranguing and appearing very
angry. We re-loaded our guns, and got everything ready for a second
attack, which I was sure they would make. We were not long left in
suspense. They all descended from the hill and came on slowly towards us.
When they were about 150 yards off I fired my rifle, and we saw one of
them fall, but he got up again and was assisted away. On examining the
spot we found the ball had cut in two the two spears he was carrying; he
also dropped his wommera, which was covered with blood. We could follow
the blood-drops for a long way over the stones. I am afraid he got a
severe wound. My brother and Windich being away we were short-handed. The
natives seem determined to take our lives, and therefore I shall not
hesitate to fire on them should they attack us again. I thus decide and
write in all humility, considering it a necessity, as the only way of
saving our lives. I write this at 4 p.m., just after the occurrence, so
that, should anything happen to us, my brother will know how and when it

5 p.m. The natives appear to have made off. We intend sleeping in the
thicket close to camp, and keeping a strict watch, so as to be ready for
them should they return to the attack this evening. At 7.30 my brother
and Windich returned, and were surprised to hear of our adventure. They
had been over fifty miles from camp East-South-East, and had passed over
some good feeding country, but had not found a drop of water. They and
their horses had been over thirty hours without water.

14th (Sunday).
The natives did not return to the attack last night. In looking round
camp we found the traces of blood, where one of the natives had been
lying down. This must have been the foremost man, who was in the act of
throwing his spear, and who urged the others on. Two therefore, at least,
are wounded, and will have cause to remember the time they made their
murderous attack upon us. We worked all day putting up a stone hut, ten
by nine feet, and seven feet high, thatched with boughs. We finished it;
it will make us safe at night. Being a very fair hut, it will be a great
source of defence. Barometer 28.09; thermometer 68 degrees at 5 p.m. Hope
to have rain, as without it we cannot proceed.

Finished the hut, pugging it at the ends, and making the roof better. Now
it is in good order, and we are quite safe from attack at night, should
they attempt it again, which I think is doubtful, as they got too warm a
reception last time. I intend going with Windich to-morrow easterly in
search of water. Barometer 29.09 at 5 p.m.; thermometer 62 degrees.

Left the Weld Springs with Windich and a pack-horse carrying fourteen
gallons of water. Steered South-East for twelve miles over spinifex,
after which we got into a grassy ravine, which we followed along three
miles, passing some fine clay-holes which would hold plenty of water if
it rained. We then turned East-North-East for twelve miles over spinifex,
miserable country, when we struck the tracks of my brother and Windich on
their return, June 13th. We followed along them South-East for four
miles, and then South-East to a bluff range about eighteen miles, which
we reached at sundown. Spinifex generally, a few grassy patches
intervening, on which were numbers of kangaroos. We camped close to the
bluff, and gave the horses one gallon of water each out of the cans. Just
when the pannicans were boiled, heard noises which we thought were
natives shouting. We instantly put out the fire and had our supper in the
dark, keeping a sharp look-out for two hours, when we were convinced it
must have been a native dog, as there were hundreds all round us, barking
and howling. The weather is heavy and cloudy, and I hope to get some rain
shortly. We slept without any fire, but it was not very cold.

As the horses did not ramble far, we got off early and followed along and
through the ranges East-South-East about, the distance being eighteen
miles. Passed some splendid clay-pans quite dry. The flats around the
ranges are very grassy, and look promising eastwards, but we cannot find
any water. Kangaroos and birds are numerous. Being about seventy miles
from camp, we cannot go any farther, or our horses will not carry us
back. We therefore turned, keeping to the south of our outward track, and
at about eleven miles found some water in some clay-holes, and camped at
about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. There is sufficient water to last the
party about a week, but not more. The weather is dark and threatening,
and I believe there will be rain to-night, which will be a great boon,
and will enable us to travel along easily. It is in circumstances such as
I am at present placed that we are sure to implore help and assistance
from the hand of the Creator; but when we have received all we desire,
how often we forget to give Him praise!

Rained lightly last night, and we had a nice shower this morning. Yet did
not get very wet, as we had our waterproofs. Fearing that the rain would
obliterate the tracks and the party be unable to follow them, I decided
to return towards Weld Springs. Therefore followed along our outward
track, but found, to our sorrow, that there had been no rain west of our
last night's camp. We pushed along and got within eighteen miles of Weld
Springs and camped without water, having left the cans behind, thinking
we should find plenty of rain-water.

We had to go about two miles for our horses this morning; after which, we
made all haste towards Weld Springs, as I knew the party would be coming
on along our tracks to-day. When we were within six miles of the spring
we met the party, but, being obliged to take our horses to water, I
decided that all should return and make a fresh start to-morrow. The
natives had not returned to the attack during our absence, so I conclude
they do not intend to interfere with us further. On our way to-day we
passed some fine rock holes, but all were quite dry. Rain is very much
required in this country.

Started at 9.30 a.m., and steering South-East towards the water found on
the 17th for twenty-four miles; thence East-South-East for eight miles,
and camped without water on a small patch of feed. The last ten miles was
over clear spinifex country of the most wretched description. The country
all the way, in fact, is most miserable and intolerable. Barometer 28.50;
thermometer 56 degrees at 8 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 13 minutes 36
seconds South by meridian altitude of Arcturus. Left the rum-keg and a
pair of farrier's pincers in the stone hut at Weld Springs.

21st (Sunday).
Got an early start, and continued on East-South-East. At about three
miles reached a spring on a small patch of feed in the spinifex and
camped, but found, after digging it out, that scarcely any water came in.
I have no doubt that it will fill up a good deal in the night; but, our
horses being thirsty, I re-saddled and pushed on to the water about
sixteen miles ahead, which we reached at 4 p.m. There is not more than a
week's supply here, therefore I intend going ahead with Pierre to-morrow
in search of more. The country ahead seems promising, but there is a
great deal of spinifex almost everywhere. From Weld Spring to our present
camp is all spinifex, with the exception of a few flats along short
gullies. Latitude 25 degrees 22 minutes 50 seconds South, longitude about
121 degrees 57 minutes East. Barometer 28.50; thermometer 62 degrees at 5

Left camp in company with Tommy Pierre, with a pack-horse carrying
fifteen gallons of water. Steered South-East for four miles, then east
for about eight miles over fine grassy country, then South-East towards a
high range about twenty-five miles distant. After going about three
miles, struck a flat trending South-South-East, which we followed down
about four miles, passing two small clay-holes with water in them; then
we struck South-East for four miles, and came to a large brook trending
South-East, which we followed along until it lost itself on the plain
about six miles. Fine grassy country all the way, and game abundant.
There were a few gallons of water here and there in the brook, but none
large enough to camp at. I then turned east, and at about seven miles
reached the hill seen this morning, which I named Mount Moore, after Mr.
W.D. Moore, of Fremantle, a subscriber to the Expedition Fund. Ascending
the hill we had an extensive view to the South-West, South, and
South-East. Fine grassy country all round and very little spinifex. To
the south about nine miles we saw a lake, and farther off a remarkable
red-faced range, which I named Timperley Range, after my friend Mr. W.H.
Timperley, Inspector of Police, from whom I received a great deal of
assistance before leaving Champion Bay. A remarkable peak, with a reddish
top, bore South-South-East, which I named Mount Hosken, after Mr. M.
Hosken, of Geraldton, a contributor to the expedition. I made south
towards the lake, and at one mile and a half came on to a gully in the
grassy plain, in which we found abundance of water, sufficient to last
for months. We therefore camped for the night, with beautiful feed for
the horses. I was very thankful to find so much water and such fine
grassy country, for, if we had not found any this trip, we should have
been obliged to retreat towards Weld Springs, the water where I left the
party being only sufficient to last a few days. The country passed over
to-day was very grassy, with only a little spinifex, and it looks
promising ahead. Distance from camp about thirty-five miles.


Steering south for about eight miles, we reached the lake, which I named
Lake Augusta. The water is salt, and about five miles in circumference.
Grassy country in the flat; red sand-hills along the shore. It appeared
deep, and swarmed with ducks and swans. Pierre shot two ducks, after
which we pushed on North-East for about twelve miles to a low rocky
bluff, which we ascended and got a view of the country ahead--rough
broken ranges to the east and south. We continued on east for six miles,
when, on approaching a rocky face of a range, we saw some natives on top
of it, watching us. Approaching nearer, we heard them haranguing and
shouting, and soon afterward came within thirty yards of one who was
stooping down, looking intently and amazedly at us. I made friendly
signs, but he ran off shouting, and apparently much afraid. He and
several others ran up and joined the natives on the cliff summit, and
then all made off. We turned, and steering East-North-East for six miles,
and then east for about fourteen miles, the last few miles being
miserable spinifex country, we camped, with poor feed, amongst some
spinifex ranges. A good deal of grassy country the first part of the day.
Kangaroos very numerous, and emus also. Evidences of the natives being in
great numbers.

Ascended a red-topped peak close to our bivouac and got a view ahead. A
salt lake was visible a few miles to the east, towards which we
proceeded. Passing along samphire flats and over red sand-hills, we got
within a mile of the lake. The country close to it not looking promising,
I determined to turn our faces westward towards the party. Steering a
little south of west for three miles, we struck a large brook trending
North-East into the lake, and, following it up a mile, found a fine pool
of fresh water, with splendid feed. This is very fortunate, as it is a
good place to bring the party to. Elated with our success, we continued
on westerly, passing some fine rock water-holes, half full of water, and
at twenty miles from the pool we found a springy hole, with plenty of
water in it, within a few hundred yards of our outward track. We had
missed it going out; it is in the centre of a very fine grassy plain.
Kangaroos and emus numerous, also natives. Giving the horses water, we
pushed on for twelve miles and camped on some fine grassy flats. Every
appearance of rain.


Having finished all our rations last night, I shot two kangaroos while out
for the horses, and brought the hind quarters with us. Continuing westerly
for about ten miles, we reached the water, our bivouac on the 22nd. I
awaited the arrival of the party, which should reach here this morning. At
two o'clock heard gunshots, and saw my brother and Windich walking towards
us. Found that they had missed our tracks and were camped about a mile
higher up the gully, at some small clay-holes. We got our horses and
accompanied them back. Rained this evening more than we have had before.
Very cloudy. Barometer 28.18, but inclined to rise. Everything had gone on
well during my absence.

Did not travel to-day, as there was good feed and water at this camp. My
brother, Windich, and Pierre rode over to Lake Augusta to get some
shooting, and returned in the afternoon with a swan and two ducks. On
their way out they saw a native and gave him chase. He climbed up a small
tree, and, although Windich expended all his knowledge of the languages
of Australia to get him to talk, he would not open his lips, but remained
silent; they therefore left him to get down from the tree at his leisure.
Re-stuffed some of the pack-saddles. Marked a tree F 50, being our 50th
camp from Geraldton. Barometer 28.40; thermometer 50 degrees at 6 p.m.;
weather cleared off and fine night. Latitude 25 degrees 37 minutes 38
seconds South; longitude about 122 degrees 22 minutes East.

Erected a cairn of stones on South-East point of Mount Moore, after which
continued on and reached the spring found by me on the 24th; distance
fifteen miles. The last six miles poor spinifex country. Fine and grassy
round spring. Barometer 28.54; thermometer 56 degrees at 7 p.m.; latitude
25 degrees 37 minutes 53 seconds by Arcturus. Marked a tree F 51, being
the 51st camp from Geraldton.

28th (Sunday).
Rested at spring. Found the variations to be 1 degree 52 minutes West by

Reached the pool found by me on the 24th; distance seventeen miles.
Latitude 25 degrees 41 minutes 22 seconds South; longitude about 122
degrees 53 minutes East. Splendid feed round camp. Marked a tree F 52,
being the 52nd from Geraldton. About two miles west of camp I ascended a
remarkable hill and took a round of bearings, naming it Mount Bates,
after the Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society.


Left camp F 52 in company with Tommy Windich, taking one pack-horse, to
find water ahead eastward. Steered East-North-East over salt marshes and
spinifex sand-hills, and at about eleven miles found water in some
clay-pans, and left a note telling my brother to camp here to-morrow
night. Continued on and found several more fine water-pans and fine
grassy patches. Ascended a range to get a view ahead. In every direction
spinifex, more especially to the north; to the east some low ranges were
visible, about twenty miles distant, towards which we proceeded. On our
way we surprised an emu on its nest and found several eggs; we buried
four with a note stuck over them, for the party to get when they came
along, and took three with us. Soon after this the horse Windich was
riding (Mission) gave in, and we had great difficulty in getting him
along. I was much surprised at this, for I considered him the best horse
we had. We reached the range and found water in some of the gorges, but
no feed; spinifex everywhere. We continued on till dark, passing some
natives' fire, which we did not approach, then camped with scarcely any
feed. I hope to have better luck to-morrow. We have found plenty of
water, but no feed; this is better than having no water and plenty of
feed. We had one wurrung, four chockalotts, and three emu eggs, besides
bread and bacon, for tea to-night, so we fared sumptuously.

July 1st.
Got off early and continued easterly to a low stony range three miles
off, over spinifex sandy country. Found a rock water-hole and gave our
horses a drink. Continuing about east to other ranges, which we followed
along and through, and from range to range, spinifex intervening
everywhere, and no feed, a few little drops of water in the gullies, but
not sufficient for the party to camp at. When we had travelled about
fifteen miles, we turned north for three miles, and again east, through
and over some ranges. No feed and scarcely any water. Saw a range about
twenty-five miles farther east--spinifex all the way to it. Mission being
again knocked up, although carrying only a few pounds, we camped about
three o'clock at a small hole of water in a gully--only large enough to
serve the party one night--the first to-day that would even do that. The
last forty miles was over the most wretched country I have ever seen; not
a bit of grass, and no water, except after rain; spinifex everywhere. We
are very fortunate to have a little rain-water, or we could not get

Steered towards the range seen yesterday a little south of east, and,
after going twelve miles, my horse completely gave in, Mission doing the
same also. I had hard work to get them along, and at last they would not
walk. I gave them a rest and then drove them before me, following Windich
till we reached the range. Found a little water in a gully, but no feed.
Spinifex all the way to-day; most wretched country. We ascended the
range, and the country ahead looks first-rate; high ranges to the
North-East, and apparently not so much spinifex. We continued North-East,
and after going four miles camped on a patch of feed, the first seen for
the last sixty miles. I was very tired, having walked nearly twenty
miles, and having to drive two knocked-up horses. I have good hopes of
getting both feed and water to-morrow, for, if we do not, we shall be in
a very awkward position.

Soon after starting, found a little water in a gully and gave our horses
a drink. Ascended a spur of the range and had a good view ahead, and was
very pleased with the prospect. Steering North-East towards a large range
about fifteen miles off, we found a great deal of spinifex, although the
country generally was thickly wooded. I rode Mission, who went along
pretty well for about twelve miles, when Williams gave in again, and
Mission soon did the same. For the next six miles to the range we had
awful work, but managed, with leading and driving, to reach the range;
spinifex all the way, and also on the top of it. I was very nearly
knocked up myself, but ascended the range and had a very extensive view.
Far to the north and east the horizon was as level and uniform as that of
the sea; apparently spinifex everywhere; no hills or ranges could be seen
for a distance of quite thirty miles. The prospect was very cheerless and
disheartening. Windich went on the only horse not knocked up, in order to
find water for the horses. I followed after his tracks, leading the two
poor done-up horses. With difficulty I could get them to walk. Over and
through the rough range I managed to pull them along, and found
sufficient water to give them a good drink, and camped on a small patch
of rough grass in one of the gorges. Spinifex everywhere; it is a most
fearful country. We cannot proceed farther in this direction, and must
return and meet the party, which I hope to do to-morrow night. We can
only crawl along, having to walk and lead the horses, or at least drag
them. The party have been following us, only getting a little water from
gullies, and there is very little to fall back on for over fifty miles. I
will leave what I intend doing until I meet them. I am nearly knocked up
again to-night; my boots have hurt my feet, but I am not yet

We travelled back towards the party, keeping a little to the west of our
outward track; and after going five miles found some water in clay-holes,
sufficient to last the party about one night. Two of our horses being
knocked up, I made up my mind to let the party meet us here, although I
scarcely know what to do when they do arrive. To go forward looks very
unpromising, and to retreat we have quite seventy miles with scarcely any
water and no feed at all. The prospect is very cheerless, and what I
shall do depends on the state of the horses, when they reach here. It is
very discouraging to have to retreat, as Mr. Gosse's farthest point west
is only 200 miles from us. We finished all our rations this morning, and
we have been hunting for game ever since twelve o'clock, and managed to
get a wurrung and an opossum, the only living creatures seen, and which
Windich was fortunate to capture.


5th (Sunday).
Early this morning Windich and I went in search of more water. Having
nothing to eat, it did not take us long to have a little drink of water
for our breakfast. Went a few miles to the North-West and looked all
round, but only found a small rock water-hole. Windich got an opossum out
of a tree. We returned about twelve o'clock and then ate the opossum. At
about one o'clock we saddled up and made back towards the party, which I
thought should have arrived by this time. When about two miles we met
them coming on; they had been obliged to leave two horses on the way,
knocked up, one named Fame, about twenty-four miles away, and Little
Padbury about eight miles back; all the others were in pretty good trim,
although very hungry and tired. We returned to the little water, which
they soon finished. I was glad to meet the party again, although we were
in a bad position. Intend returning to-morrow to the range left by the
party this morning, where there is enough water for half a day, and
search that range more thoroughly. The horses will have a good night's
feed and I have every confidence that, if the worst comes, we shall be
able to retreat to a place of safety. Found my brother in good spirits.
We soon felt quite happy and viewed the future hopefully. I was sorry to
lose the horses, but we cannot expect to get on through such a country
without some giving in. The country is so dry; the season altogether dry,
otherwise we could go ahead easily. A good shower of rain is what is
required. It has been very warm the last three days, and I hope much for
a change. Read Divine Service. Latitude 25 degrees 31 minutes 45 seconds
South, longitude about 124 degrees 17 minutes East. Barometer 28.62 at 4

Retreated back to the water left by the party in the range fourteen miles
South-West. At one mile we gave the horses as much water as they required
from some rock holes. After reaching the water and having dinner, Pierre
and myself, and my brother and Windich, started off on foot to examine
the range for water, but could find only a few gallons. I think there
will be sufficient water to last us here to-morrow, and we will give the
country a good searching. If we fail, there must be a retreat westwards
at least seventy miles. Barometer 28.53; thermometer 64 degrees at 5 p.m.


Early this morning Pierre and I and my brother and Windich started off in
search of water, as there was scarcely any left at camp. Unless we are
fortunate enough to find some, retreat is inevitable. Pierre and myself
searched the range we were camped in, while Windich and my brother went
further south towards another range. We searched all round and over the
rough ranges without success, and reached camp at one o'clock. To our
relief and joy learnt that my brother and Windich had found water about
five miles South-South-East, sufficient to last two or three weeks. This
was good news; so after dinner we packed up and went over to the water.
The feed was not very good, but I am truly thankful to have found it, as
a retreat of seventy miles over most wretched country was anything but
cheering. Barometer 28.52; thermometer 70 degrees at 5 p.m.; latitude 25
degrees 43 minutes 8 seconds by Arcturus.

Rested at camp. Devoted the day to taking sets of lunar observations.
There is very little feed about this water, and to-morrow my brother and
Pierre go on a flying trip ahead. It is very warm to-day, and has been
for the last week. Barometer 28.59; thermometer 79 degrees at 5 p.m.

Very cloudy this morning, although the barometer is rising. My brother and
Pierre started on the flying trip; intend following on their tracks on
Saturday. Could not take another set of lunars on account of the cloudy
weather. Was very busy all day repairing pack-saddles and putting
everything in good order. Did away with one pack-saddle, and repaired the
others with the wool. Shall leave here with twelve pack-horses, and three
running loose and two riding, besides the two that are on flying trip.
Barometer 28.59 thermometer 69 degrees at 5 p.m.

Finished repairs and got everything ready for a good start to-morrow
morning, when we will follow my brother's and Pierre's tracks. Cloudy
day, but barometer does not fall. Marked a tree F 59, being our 59th
bivouac from Geraldton. Hung up on the same tree four pack-bags and one
pack-saddle frame. Barometer 28.56; thermometer 74 degrees at 5 p.m.
Tommy Windich shot a red kangaroo this afternoon, and also found a fine
rock water-hole about one mile North-East of camp.

Followed on the tracks of my brother and Pierre, south seven miles to a
rough broken range--spinifex and rough grass all the way. Thence we
turned South-East for three miles; then North-East and East over most
wretched spinifex plains for nine miles, when we got on to a narrow
grassy flat, and, following it along about four miles, came to some water
in a clay-pan, sufficient for the night, and camped. With the exception
of this narrow flat the country passed over to-day is most miserable and
worthless, and very dusty. Another hot day. Barometer 28.70; thermometer
67 degrees at 5 p.m.; latitude 25 degrees 52 minutes 30 seconds South.

12th (Sunday.).
Our horses finished all the water. We got off early, and, steering east,
followed my brother's and Pierre's tracks for eight miles, when we
reached a low rise, and a fine rock water-hole holding over a hundred
gallons of water. While we were watering our horses we heard gunshots,
and soon beheld my brother and Pierre returning. They had good news for
us, having found some springs about twenty-five miles to the eastward.
They had seen many natives; but for an account of their proceedings I
insert a copy of his journal. Barometer 28.60; thermometer 60 degrees. We
camped for the day. Latitude 25 degrees 53 minutes 23 seconds South. Read
Divine Service.


July 10th.
Steered east from the rock hole for the first fifteen miles, over clear
open sand-plains and red sand-hills covered with spinifex; then
South-South-East for ten miles over similar country to a rough range;
after going nearly all round it only found about one gallon of water. As
my horse was very tired, I almost gave up all hopes of finding any, as it
would take us all our time to get back; however, I went South-East for
seven miles further, and found about fifty gallons in a rock hole, but
not a blade of grass near it. As it was nearly dark, and no feed near, I
bore south for a low range about five miles distant, and found a little
feed but no water, and camped. My horse completely gave in; I had great
difficulty in getting him to the range.

Again bore west on our return to meet the party. After going seven miles
we saw a beautiful piece of feeding country--the first we had seen for
the last 130 miles--and after looking for water, and our fondest hopes
beginning to fail, we at last followed what seemed to be the largest
gully to its head, when we were gratified in beholding abundance of
water, with several springs, and good feed in the flats below. My horse
was completely knocked up, and I was glad to be able to give him a rest.
After being an hour here, Pierre, who is always on the look-out, saw two
natives, fully armed and in war costume, making for us. I was soon on my
legs and made towards them, but as soon as they saw us they began to move
off, and were soon out of sight in the thicket. At two o'clock continued
on West-North-West for twelve miles, camped in a thicket, and, after
taking off our saddles and making a fire, were very much surprised to
find a party of eight or nine natives going to camp close to us, and a
number more coming down the hill. As it was just dark we thought it best
to move on a few miles, which we did after dark. I believe, myself, they
intend attacking us after dark.


Steering straight for the water found by my brother, about
East-South-East for twenty-five miles, over most miserable spinifex
country, without a break. Just before we got to the water Windich shot an
emu. We saw two natives, who made off. Many fires in every direction.
Latitude 26 degrees 5 minutes 10 seconds South, longitude about 124
degrees 46 minutes East. Fine water at this place. I have no doubt water
is always here. I named it the Alexander Spring, after my brother, who
discovered it. Abundance of water also in rock holes.

Rested at Alexander Spring. Eating emu was our chief occupation to-day, I
think. Weather cloudy. Barometer 28.75; thermometer 60 degrees at 5 p.m.


Rested at Alexander Spring. Went for a walk to a flat-topped hill about
South-South-East 50 chains from camp, which I have since named Mount
Allott, and placed a cairn on it; another hill close by I named Mount
Worsnop, after respectively the Mayor and Town Clerk of Adelaide. Found
two natives' graves close to camp; they were apparently about two feet
deep, and covered with boughs and wood; they are the first I have ever
seen in all my travels to the eastward in Australia, and Windich says he
has never come across one before either. We also found about a dozen
pieces of wood, some six feet long and three to seven inches wide, and
carved and trimmed up. All around were stones put up in the forked trees.
I believe it is the place where the rite of circumcision is performed.
Barometer 28.84; thermometer 60 degrees at 5 p.m.

Left Alexander Spring, in company with Windich, to look for water ahead.
Steered east for twelve miles, over spinifex sand-hills with some
salt-marsh flats intervening. We then turned South-East for seven miles
to some cliffs, and followed them along east about one mile and a half,
when we saw a clear patch a little to the North-East, on reaching which
we found a fine rock water-hole holding over 100 gallons of water. We had
a pannican of tea, and gave our horses an hour and a half's rest. Left a
note for my brother, advising him to camp here the first night. We
continued on a little to the south of east for about fifteen miles over
spinifex plains, when we camped on a small patch of feed. Saw a fire
about three quarters of a mile south of our camp, and supposed that
natives were camped there.

Early this morning we proceeded to where we saw the fire last night, but
could not find any natives: it must have been some spinifex burning. We
continued about east for two miles; found a rock water-hole holding about
fifty gallons, and had breakfast. After this, continued on a little south
of east for twelve miles, when we turned more to the north, searching
every spinifex rise that had a rocky face, first North and then
North-West and West, all over the country, but not over any great extent,
as my horse (Brick) was knocked up. About one o'clock we found enough to
give the horses a drink, and to make some tea for ourselves. We saw some
low cliffs to the north, and proceeding towards them we saw ahead about
North-North-East a remarkable high cliff. I therefore decided to make for
it. I had to walk and drive my horse before me, and before we reached the
cliff we had hard work to get him to move. When we got close we were
rejoiced to see cliffs and gorges without end, and descending the first
hollow found a fine rock hole containing at least 250 gallons. We
therefore camped, as it was just sundown. I am very sanguine of finding
more water to-morrow, as our horses will soon finish this hole. There was
very little feed about the water.


This morning we began searching the ranges for water. First tried
westerly, and searched some fine gullies and gorges, but without success.
My horse soon gave in again, and I left him on a patch of feed and
continued the search on foot. I had not walked a quarter of a mile before
I found about 200 gallons in a gully, and, following down the gully, we
found a fine pool in a sandy bed, enough to last a month. We were
rejoiced at our good fortune, and, returning to where we left the horse,
camped for the remainder of the day. There is not much feed anywhere
about these cliffs and gullies, but as long as there is plenty of water
the horses will do very well. To-morrow I intend going back to meet the
party, as the way we came was very crooked, and I hope to save them many
miles. It is certainly a wretched country we have been travelling through
for the last two months, and, what makes it worse, the season is an
exceptionally dry one; it is quite summer weather. However, we are now
within 100 miles of Mr. Gosse's farthest west, and I hope soon to see a
change for the better. We have been most fortunate in finding water, and
I am indeed very thankful for it.

19th (Sunday).
Started back to meet the party, leaving old Brick hobbled, and my saddle,
rug, etc., hidden in a tree. After travelling about twenty miles, met the
party coming all right. Everything had gone on well during my absence.
They had slept last night at the rock hole, where we stayed on the 16th,
and found sufficient water for the horses in it. The note I left had been
taken away by the natives, who were very numerous about there. Many
tracks were seen, following mine and Windich's for several miles. The
party had not, however, seen any of them. They were rejoiced to hear of
the water ahead, and we steered for it, keeping to the west of our return
route to search some cliffs on the way for water. After travelling nine
miles we camped without water, on a grassy flat close to some cliffs;
most miserable spinifex country all day; this is the first grass seen.
Walked over twenty miles to-day myself.

Steered North-East straight for the water found on the 18th for fourteen
miles; reached it and camped. Found the horse Brick I left behind, and
saddle, rug, etc., as we left them. Horses were very thirsty, but there
is plenty of water for them. Feed is rather scarce. I named this creek
and pool after the Honourable Arthur Blyth, Chief Secretary of South

Rested at camp. I took observations for time, intending to take several
sets of lunars, but the day was cloudy, and I only managed to get one.
Intend going ahead to-morrow in search of water.

Started in company with Pierre to look for water ahead, steered a little
north of east for about twelve miles to the points of the cliffs, and
ascended a peak to get a view ahead. The line of cliff country ran
North-East, and to the east, spinifex undulating country; nevertheless,
as I wished to get a view of some of the hills shown on Mr. Gosse's map,
I bore East and East-South-East for over thirty miles, but could not find
a drop of water all day, and we had come nearly fifty miles. Camped on a
small patch of feed. Very undulating spinifex country, and no place that
would hold water, even after rain, for more than a day or two.

Decided not to go any further, although I much wished to get a view
further to the east, but our horses would have enough to do to carry us
back. Steered north for a few miles, and then North-West for twenty
miles, thence West-South-West to camp, which we reached after dark, not
having had any water for ourselves or horses since we left it yesterday
morning. The weather was very warm, and our horses were done up when they
reached camp. On our return we got a fine view to the North-East, which
looks more promising. My brother and Windich intend going to-morrow in
that direction in search of water.

My brother and Windich started in search of water. We rested at camp.
Took lunar observations, but did not get results which I care much to
rely on, owing to the distances being too great.

Rested at camp. My brother and Windich did not return, so I have good
hopes that they have found water ahead. Took several sets of lunars this
evening. Barometer 28.80 at 5 p.m.; warm weather.

26th (Sunday).
Rested at camp. My brother and Windich returned late this evening, having
been over sixty miles to the East-North-East, and having found only one
small rock water-hole with water in it. Many rock holes had been seen,
but all dry. They had met several natives. One woman and child they had
caught and talked to. She did not seem frightened, and ate readily the
damper and sugar given her. The country appears more parched than it has
been, which I had thought scarcely possible. A range and flat-topped hill
were seen about fifteen miles to the east of their farthest point, but
they were unable to reach it. Barometer 28.70; fine.

Rested at Blyth Pool. Intend going a flying trip to-morrow. Worked out
several lunar observations, and the position of Blyth Pool is in latitude
26 degrees 1 minute, 50 seconds South, longitude 125 degrees 27 minutes
East. Barometer 28.72; thermometer 67 degrees at 5 p.m.

Left camp in company with Windich to look for water ahead, taking a
pack-horse and ten gallons of water, besides two small tins for our own
use. Steered North-East nearly along my brother's tracks for twenty
miles, and reached the water in the rock hole seen by him, and had
dinner. In the afternoon continued on a little south of east for about
seven miles. Camped without water for the horses on a small patch of old
feed. The weather is dark and cloudy, and there is much thunder about. I
expect rain this evening; if it comes it will be a great boon, and will
enable us to travel on easily.


Rained lightly during the night; my rug got wet. Thinking we could get
plenty of water ahead, I left the drums and water, as the horses would
not drink. We steered about east over miserable spinifex country, and cut
my brother's return tracks. Passed a rock hole seen by him, and found
only a few pints of water in it, proving to us that very little rain had
fallen. We sighted the range and hill seen by my brother, and reached it
at sundown. I have named it the Todd Range, and the highest hill, which
is table-topped, I have named Mount Charles, after Mr. C. Todd, C.M.G.,
Postmaster-General of South Australia. No sign of water, and apparently
very little rain has fallen here last night. Found an old natives'
encampment, and two splendid rock holes quite dry; if full they would
hold 700 or 800 gallons. Was very disappointed at this, and it being now
after dark we camped without water for the horses, having travelled over
forty miles. Before we reached the range we had most miserable spinifex
sand-hills. Scarcely any feed in the range, and spinifex everywhere. What
grass there is must be over two years old.

Very thick fog this morning. We bore north for four or five miles, and
then South-East for about five miles, when we got a fine view to the
east, and could see some hills, which are no doubt near Mr. Gosse's
farthest west. They bore South-East about eighteen miles distant. I could
not go on to them, as I was afraid the party would be following us, on
the strength of the little rain we had the night before last.
Reluctantly, therefore, we turned westward, and soon after came to an old
native encampment with a rock hole quite dry, which would hold 1000
gallons if full. It must be a long while since there has been rain, or it
would not have been dry. We continued on, searching up and down and
through the Todd Ranges, finding enough for our horses from the rain.
Late in the afternoon we found another camping-place with four rock holes
quite empty, which, if full, would hold 3000 or 4000 gallons at least.
This was very disheartening, and we felt it very much. It appeared to us
that there was no water in this country at this season, and we felt it
was useless looking for it. We now decided to make back towards the
party; but being uncertain that my brother would not follow, on the
strength of the rain, determined to bear South-West until we struck our
outward tracks. After going six miles, camped without water, and nothing
but some old coarse scrub for the horses. One good shower of rain would
enable us to get over this country easily; but in this season, without
rain, it is quite impossible to move a number of horses.


Steering about South-East towards our outward tracks, came across a
native with his wife and two children, the youngest about two years old.
As soon as they saw us, the man, who had a handful of spears, began
talking at us and then ran off (the eldest child following him), leaving
his wife and the youngest child to take care of themselves. The child was
carried on its mother's back, and hung on without any assistance. Thus
encumbered, the woman could not get away. She evidently preferred facing
any danger to parting with her child. Windich spoke to her, and she
talked away quietly, and did not seem much afraid. We could not
understand anything she said, so allowed her to follow her husband, who
certainly did not come up to our standard of gallantry. We continued on
until we reached our outward tracks, and I was much relieved to find that
the party had not gone on. We found a little water in a small rock hole,
and rested two hours, as our pack-horse (Little Brown) was knocked up. We
continued on about five miles, and camped on a patch of feed in a range,
without water. Little Brown was so knocked up that we had great
difficulty in getting him to walk.

August 1st.
Steering westerly for about eight miles, reached our bivouac of the 28th,
and gave our horses the water from the drums. Continued on, making
straight for camp; stayed two hours to give the horses a rest, and when
within fifteen miles of camp found a rock hole with about 100 gallons of
water in it. Little Brown completely gave in, and we were obliged to
leave him. Pushed on and reached the party a little after dark, and found
all well, having been absent five days, in which time we had travelled
about 200 miles.

2nd (Sunday).
My brother and Pierre went on a flying trip to the South-East in search
of water. Kennedy and myself went and brought Little Brown and
pack-saddle, etc., to camp. Windich shot an emu; saw about twenty.
Thermometer 95 degrees in sun during the day; barometer 28.62 at 5 p.m.


I now began to be much troubled about our position, although I did not
communicate my fears to any but my brother. We felt confident we could
return if the worst came, although we were over 1000 miles from the
settled districts of Western Australia. The water at our camp was fast
drying up, and would not last more than a fortnight. The next water was
sixty miles back, and there seemed no probability of getting eastward. I
knew we were now in the very country that had driven Mr. Gosse back. I
have since found it did the same for Mr. Giles. No time was to be lost. I
was determined to make the best use of it if only the water would last,
and to keep on searching. (Even now, months after the time, sitting down
writing this journal, I cannot but recall my feelings of anxiety at this
camp.) Just when the goal of my ambition and my hopes for years past was
almost within reach, it appeared that I might not even now be able to
grasp it. The thought of having to return, however, brought every feeling
of energy and determination to my rescue, and I felt that, with God's
help, I would even now succeed. I gave instructions to allowance the
party, so that the stores should last at least four months, and made
every preparation for a last desperate struggle.

Rested at camp. My brother and Pierre did not return this evening, so I
concluded they must have found some water for their horses. Barometer
falling slowly; getting cloudy towards evening.

A light shower of rain this morning. Rested at camp. My brother and
Pierre returned this evening, having found a few small rock water-holes,
but not sufficient to shift on. They had been about fifty miles
East-South-East, and had passed over most miserable spinifex country the
whole way. They had not had any rain, not even the light shower we had
this morning. They had seen four natives, but did not get near enough to
talk to them. I intend going with Windich ahead to-morrow, in the hope
that rain may have fallen last night to the East-North-East. The weather,
which had looked threatening all day, cleared off this evening. Barometer


Thinking that rain might have fallen to the North-East, I left camp with
Windich to ascertain, instructing my brother to follow on the 7th; before
leaving to bury some flour and everything that could be dispensed with,
and to carry all the drums full of water. He has since informed me that
he buried on left bank of brook, seven yards north of a small tree with a
tin plate nailed on it, on which is written, DIG 7 yds. N., two
pack-bags, containing 135 pounds flour, six leather water-bottles, two
tomahawks, one pick, one water canteen, one broken telescope, three emu
eggs, some girths and straps, one shoeing hammer, one pound of candles,
and left a lantern hanging on a tree. A bottle was also buried, with a
letter in it, giving the latitude and longitude of the camp, and a brief
outline of our former and future intended movements. We reached the rock
holes about North-East twenty miles, and were delighted to see them full,
besides plenty on the rocks. This was very encouraging, and after resting
two hours we pushed on East-North-East, to a range visited by my brother
on his last flying trip, and which I named the Baker Range, and the
highest point Mount Samuel, after Sir Samuel Baker, the great African
Explorer, and could see that lately rain had fallen, although much more
in some places than in others. Travelled till after dark through and over
spinifex plains, wooded with acacia and mulga scrub, and camped without
water and only a little scrub for the horses, having travelled nearly
forty miles.

Our horses strayed during the night. After we had found them we proceeded
to the Baker Range and found water in a gully on some rocks, and the rock
holes seen by my brother and Windich on their former trip had also a good
deal in them. I was greatly delighted at this; there must have been a
good shower or two here. Before reaching water Windich shot a turkey,
which we roasted and ate for breakfast, not having had any tea last
night. We rested here about two hours. Continuing on East-North-East for
about sixteen miles, came to the four large rock holes seen by Windich
and myself on our former trip. They were quite dry, but, as we suspected,
there was a good deal of water in a rocky gully close by. About two miles
before we reached here we passed a rock hole full of water, about sixty
gallons. I left a note telling my brother to camp here on Sunday night,
and to follow on our tracks on Monday. We continued on about five miles,
and camped not far from Mount Charles, without water for the horses; but
they were not thirsty. So far we have been most fortunate, although there
is very little to fall back on should we be unable to proceed; in fact,
as soon as the surface water dries up it will be impossible. We are,
however, three days in advance of the party, and if we can get enough for
our two riding-horses we shall be able to stop them before there is any
great danger, although we may lose some of the horses.

Steered South-South-East for about four miles to two large rock holes
seen by Windich and myself on our former trip, but found them quite dry,
as before. Continued on South-East towards the hills seen by us formerly,
and, after travelling about ten miles, got a fine view of the country,
which looked splendid. High hills and ranges as far as could be seen to
the south and east, and we thought all our troubles were over. We pushed
on about East-South-East to a high hill about ten miles off, over red
sand-hills covered with spinifex. Country of the most miserable
description. We reached the hill, which I named Mount Harvest, after
Colonel Harvest, the Acting-Governor of Western Australia at the time of
our departure, and who took a great interest in the expedition. We
ascended the hill; more ranges and hills were seen--in fact, the whole
country was one mass of hills and ranges to the south, South-East, and
east. We followed down gullies and over hills, passing two rock holes
dry, until after dark, but could not find any water. The country is most
beautifully grassed, and is a great relief after travelling over so many
hundreds of miles of spinifex; but the season is very dry, and all the
gullies are dry. We camped for the night without water for ourselves or
horses. I have since learnt that these ranges were seen by Mr. Giles, and
were named the Warburton Ranges.


Early this morning Windich and I went on foot to search the hills and
gullies close around, as our horses were knocked up for want of water. We
returned unsuccessful about 8 o'clock. Close to where we found our horses
we found a tree with the bark cut off one side of it with an AXE which
was sharp. We were sure it was done by a white man, as the axe, even if
possessed by a native (which is very improbable), would be blunt. We are
now in the country traversed by Mr. Gosse, although I am unable to
distinguish any of the features of the country, not having a map with me,
and not knowing the latitude. Should we find water, and the party reach
here, there will no doubt be little difficulty in distinguishing the
hills. The country certainly does not answer the description given of his
farther westward. However, I will leave our position geographically for
the present, and treat of what is of much more importance to us, namely,
the finding of water. We saddled our horses and continued our search
about South-East, over hills and along valleys--the distance or direction
I am unable to give--our horses scarcely moving, and ourselves parched
with thirst. The sun was very hot. At about noon we found some water in a
gully by scratching a hole, but it was quite salt. As our horses would
not drink it, it can be imagined how salt it was. We drank about a pint
of it, and Windich said it was the first time he ever had to drink salt
water. I washed myself in it, which refreshed me a little. Our horses
could not go much further without water, but we crawled along about
north, and shortly afterwards found a small rock hole in the side of a
large rough granite hill, with about five gallons of good water in it. We
had a good drink ourselves, put half a gallon into a canteen, and gave
the rest to the horses. From here our usual good fortune returned. We had
not gone far when Windich called me back and said he had found horses'
tracks, and sure enough there were the tracks of horses coming from the
westward. Windich took some of the old dung with him to convince our
companions that we had seen them. We followed westward along the tracks
for half a mile, when we found two or three small rock holes with water
in them, which our horses drank. Still bearing to the north we kept
finding little drops in the granite rocks--our old friend the granite
rock has returned to us again, after having been absent for several
hundred miles. We satisfied our horses, and rested a short time to have
something to eat, not having had anything for forty-eight hours. We bore
North-West, and soon afterwards found a fine rock hole of water in
granite rocks, sufficient to last the party a day. Plenty of water on
rocks, also, from recent rain here. We were rejoiced, as we now had a
place to bring the party to. But our good fortune did not end here:
continuing on westerly or a little north of it, we came on a summer
encampment of the natives, and found a native well or spring, which I
believe would give water if dug out. This may make a good depot if we
require to stay long in this neighbourhood. We were overjoyed; and I need
not add I was very thankful for this good fortune. When everything looked
at its worst, then all seemed to change for our benefit. We camped two
miles from the water.

9th (Sunday).
Took the horses back to the water, and on our way there found a clay-pan
with a few hundred gallons of water in it. Started back to meet the
party, intending to await their arrival at the first range we came to on
our outward track. Steering a little north of west for fourteen miles, we
camped on west side of Mount Harvest, not having seen a drop of water on
our way. Luckily we brought nearly half a gallon with us, so shall be
able to manage until the party overtake us to-morrow. Our horses will be
very thirsty, but I will give them five gallons each out of the drums.
Shot a wurrung on our way, which we had for dinner. Found two fine rock
holes quite empty. There appears to have been no rain here, although
fifteen miles east there has been a good deal. I hope the change of moon
on the 11th will bring us some rain, as we shall then be able to travel
along easily. My personal appearance contrasts most strikingly with town
life--very dirty, and I may say ragged. I scarcely think my friends would
know me. Washing, or brushing one's hair is out of the question, unless
when resting at camp.

We stayed at our last night's bivouac until 12 o'clock, when we saddled
up and followed back along our outward tracks to meet the party, which we
expected to find this afternoon. About 3 o'clock met them coming on, all
well. They were all rejoiced to hear of the water ahead. We gave the
horses water out of the drums, and turned eastward with them. We reached
Mount Harvest by sundown, the party having travelled thirty miles, and
camped on grassy flat without water for the horses. Latitude 25 degrees
55 minutes 43 seconds South by Altair, longitude 126 degrees 32 minutes
East. Everything had gone on first-rate with the party. They had nearly
finished all the water at Mount Samuel, and in the Todd Range, so that we
cannot now turn back, even if we wished, unless with the risk of having
to go ninety or a hundred miles without water.


Continued on to the water found ahead, and on our way saw some clay-holes
with water and satisfied the horses. When near the spring, saw natives'
tracks, and shortly afterwards a fire with a whole kangaroo roasting in
it. The natives had made off when they saw us, leaving their game
cooking. Continuing on, and passing the native well, we reached the
granite rocks, two miles from the spring, and camped. While having dinner
we saw two natives about a quarter of a mile from us, watching us; we
beckoned to them, and Windich and I approached them. As we neared them
they began talking and moving off slowly; we could not get close to them,
although they did not appear to be afraid of us. Some fine ranges are
visible from here South-East. Latitude of camp 25 degrees 54 minutes 53
seconds South, by meridian altitude of Altair. Marked a tree F 70, being
the 70th camp from Geraldton. Barometer 28.26 at 5 p.m. We are not in the
latitude of Mr. Gosse's track by fifteen miles, yet there are tracks only
about two miles south of us! I cannot account for this. The tracks may be
Mr. Giles's, as I cannot think Mr. Gosse could be out in his latitude.

Left camp with Tommy Windich to find water ahead, instructing my brother
to follow on to-morrow. We bore East-South-East for a few miles over
grassy flats towards some high hills, but, seeing what we supposed a good
spot for water, we turned east towards it, over miserable spinifex
sand-hills, and found some splendid granite rocks and holes, but not much
water--enough, however, to give the horses a drink. If there was rain,
there would be enough water here for a month or more. Near these rocks
found a tree resembling the figtree (Ficus Platypoda), with ripe fruit
about the size of a bullet, which tasted very much like a fig. I ate some
of the fruit, which was very good. Fine hills and ranges to the eastward,
and country very promising, and in many places beautifully grassed. After
resting two hours we pushed on about east, and, after going five miles
over spinifex sand-hills, came to a granite range and found two fine rock
holes, sufficient to satisfy the horses. Continuing on, we camped close
to a peaked granite hill, which I named Mount Elvire. No water for the
horses. Found the old horse-tracks, just before we camped, coming from
eastward. I cannot make them out to be Mr. Gosse's; they must be Mr.
Giles's. There appears to be a great number of horses', but am uncertain
if there are any camel-tracks.


Found a rock hole with about forty gallons of water in it close to camp.
After watering our horses we followed along the old tracks, going nearly
North-East, and passed a gnow's nest, where they had apparently got out
eggs. Shortly afterwards found where the party had camped without water,
and continued on to some high hills and ranges; then we left them to
follow some emu tracks, which, after following up a gully and over a
hill, brought us to a fine spring of good water in a gully. We camped
here, and intend waiting for our party, which will reach here to-morrow.
We watched at the water for emus, and after waiting about four hours saw
two coming, one of which Windich shot. Fine grass, although old and dry,
down this gully. Ranges in every direction. The country contrasts
strikingly with what we have been travelling through for the last three
months. The party whose tracks we followed this morning have not been to
this spring, so they must have missed it. All my troubles were now over,
inasmuch as I felt sure we would accomplish our journey and reach the
settled districts of South Australia; although, as it afterwards proved,
we had many days of hard work and some privation yet to endure. Still the
country was much improved, and not altogether unknown. I then gave out
publicly to the party that we were now in safety, and in all human
probability in five or six weeks would reach the telegraph line. I need
not add how pleased all were at having at last bridged over that awful,
desolate spinifex desert.

Went to a hill close to camp, the highest in this neighbourhood, and
erected a pile of stones. About 1 o'clock the party arrived all safe.
They reported having seen three natives the day we left, and had induced
them to come to camp, and had given them damper and sugar and a red
handkerchief each; they did not remain long. Each had two spears, very
long and thick, and made out of three pieces spliced together, with large
barbs on them. The party had finished all the water on their way, the
horses yesterday having drank over ten gallons each. This afternoon I
took a round of angles and bearings from a pile of stones on the hill.
Marked a tree F 72, near spring, which I named Barlee Spring, after the
Honourable F.P. Barlee, Colonial Secretary of Western Australia, from
whom I have ever received much kindness and assistance, and who took a
great interest in this expedition. A remarkable hill bore
South-South-West from spring, which I named Mount Palgrave. Barlee Spring
is in longitude about 127 degrees 22 minutes East. Unable to get
latitude: too cloudy.

Left camp with Windich to look for water ahead, instructing my brother to
follow to-morrow. Steered East along the South side of a rocky range for
ten miles, when we ascended a hill to get a view ahead. About thirty
miles to east fine bold ranges are visible, also broken ranges from
North-East and round to South-East; they are no doubt the Cavanagh Ranges
of Mr. Gosse. About five miles ahead we saw some granite rocks, to which
we proceeded, and found a tremendous rock hole full of water; it was in
between two large rocks and completely shaded from the sun. As the
country east to the ranges appears to be all spinifex and red sand-hills,
I decided to remain here to-night and continue on in the morning. Left a
note telling my brother to camp here on Sunday night. In the afternoon
got a fine round of angles from granite rocks. The country passed over
to-day was along and through ranges which are no doubt the Barrow Ranges
of Mr. Gosse. The flats are very grassy, but the hills are covered with
spinifex. My brother marked a tree at this camp F 73, and observed the
latitude to be about 26 degrees 4 minutes, but was unable to get very
good observation on account of clouds. The Ficus Platypoda was also found
here, loaded with ripe fruit.


16th (Sunday).
Steering about East-North-East towards the ranges, we passed over very
miserable spinifex plains and red sand-hills the whole way, about thirty
miles. After reaching the ranges we followed up a fine grassy wide flat,
splendidly grassed, although old; and on the flat were innumerable
horse-tracks--unmistakable evidence of horses being camped for months in
this neighbourhood. Kept on up the gully and flat for about a mile and a
half, when Windich found a gum-tree marked E. GILES OCT. 7, 73. My former
suspicions that Mr. Giles must have been in this neighbourhood were now
confirmed. Soon after we came on a cart-track, which rather astonished
us, and soon found that it must have belonged to Mr. Gosse, who also
camped close here. A deep, well-beaten track went along up the gully,
which we followed, knowing it was the daily track of the horses to the
water, and soon after found their old camp at a beautiful spring running
down the gully a quarter of a mile. A stock-yard had been built, and
gardens made, besides a large bush hut to shelter the party from the sun
as well as rain. Trenches were dug round the hut and tent, so that they
must have had rain. I should say Mr. Giles must have been camped here for
two or three months at least. We camped half a mile down the gully from
the spring. Mr. Gosse and Mr. Giles were within a few miles of each other
at the same time, and did not meet.

Went for a walk to examine the cart-tracks; found two tracks going east
and west. This convinced me that the cart belonged to Mr. Gosse, who I
knew had returned. Went to the top of a high hill to take angles, while
Windich tried to shoot a kangaroo. After a hard climb I reached the
summit, and had just commenced taking angles when I heard three shots,
and shortly after Windich cooeying. Looking round, I saw a native running
along about 300 yards from me. He disappeared in a hollow. Fearing that
Windich had been attacked by the natives I descended towards him as
quickly as possible, but could not see him. I looked about, keeping a
sharp look-out, expecting to be attacked, but could not find Windich. Sat
down a short time and finally made my way back to the horses, and, after
finding them, saddled one and started back to look for Windich. Found him
coming along with a kangaroo on his back, having shot three, but had not
seen any natives; he had been waiting for me a good while. After dinner I
went back to get my coat and a compass left at the foot of the hill, and
then again ascended the hill and got a fine round of angles. The rock is
very magnetic, and the compass is quite useless. Could see the dust from
the party coming across the spinifex sand-hills, and, descending, met
them just before sundown.


They reported having had an encounter with the natives on the 16th, and
having been followed by a number of armed natives for a long way. Finally
they had been compelled to fire on them, but had not killed any. They
were glad to hear of the spring found, and, continuing on, reached it
about half-past 6 o'clock. The spring is Fort Mueller of Mr. Giles, where
he was camped for a long while, and his most westerly permanent water. By
observation Fort Mueller is in latitude 26 degrees 11 minutes 30 seconds
South, and longitude by lunar observation 128 degrees East, the variation
being about 1 degree 25 minutes East by azimuths.

Rested at spring. Marked a tree sixty yards south of camp F 74, being
74th camp from Geraldton. Also erected a pile of stones on peak, thirty
chains West-South-West of camp, with a pole in centre, on which is


Took four sets of lunars, which place spring in longitude 128 degrees
East of Greenwich.

Steering East-South-East along Mr. Gosse's track for about thirty-five
miles, over most miserable sandy hills and plains of spinifex, with the
exception of a few miles at first, along a grassy flat. Two rock holes
passed were quite dry. Camped without water on a grassy flat not far from
the ranges; hope to find water early to-morrow, as our horses are too
poor to go long without it. Was obliged to abandon police-horse Brick
to-day, as he was completely done up. Nothing but downright poverty is
the cause of his giving in; and the same in the case of Fame and Little
Padbury, which we abandoned over a month ago. They were poor when they
left, and have only had very dry grass ever since. It is a wonder to me
they all do not give in, as many are mere skeletons. Poor old Brick held
up as long as he could, but was forced to give in, and we had to leave
him to his solitary fate; he will probably go back to the spring (Fort
Mueller). Barometer 28.30; latitude 26 degrees 22 minutes 30 seconds

Got a very early start, and continued on. At one mile found a sandy soak
in a gully, and by digging it out got sufficient water for all our
horses. Still proceeding onwards, following a gully for two miles, came
to Mr. Gosse's depot Number 13, at Skirmish Hill. A bullock had been
killed here, and the flesh jerked. Found a large white gum-tree marked
GOS. 13 at camp. All the water was gone. I, however, camped, and took our
horses to a place a mile west, where, by digging in the sand, we got
enough for them. Went with Pierre to the summit of Skirmish Hill, and
took angles. To the south, nothing but sand-hills and spinifex; to the
North-East the Tomkinson Ranges showed up and looked very remarkable and
promising. Marked a tree F 76, being 76th camp from Geraldton. Camp is in
latitude 26 degrees 23 minutes 28 seconds, longitude about 128 degrees 32
minutes East.


Left camp at Skirmish Hill in company with Windich, instructing my
brother to follow to-morrow. Found a fine rock hole two miles from camp,
and followed along Mr. Gosse's track for twenty miles to the Tomkinson
Ranges, over most miserable sandy ridges, covered with spinifex. Fine
grassy flats along and through the ranges. We left the track to examine a
gully to the north, but could not find any water. Got on the track just
before dark and followed it along a few miles. Camped without water for
our horses on a fine flat of very old grass. Windich's horse completely
knocked up, and we had to walk and drive him before us this afternoon.
The day was excessively hot, and the horses are very thirsty. We have
only about a quart ourselves.


Early this morning we continued on, Windich's horse scarcely able to
walk. After about ten miles, found a rock hole with three gallons of
water in it, which we gave to our horses. Followed Mr. Gosse's track to
see if there was any water about his depot Number 12, but we either
missed it or had not reached it. About noon Windich's horse could go no
farther, and mine was not much better. What was to be done? We nearly
finished what water we had with us. The party were coming on to-day, and
were depending on us to find water. I determined not to follow the track
any farther, but to search for water ourselves. The horses were unable to
move; we therefore decided to leave them and go for a search on foot.
Windich said he had seen emu tracks, and he thought they were making
south. We therefore started on foot. The sun's heat was excessive. About
3 o'clock returned unsuccessful, and finished what water we had with us.
What next to do was the question; no time was to be lost. Mr. Gosse's map
showed some gullies ahead, but whether there was any water in them was
questionable; he states, "Nearly all the waters discovered in the Mann
and Tomkinson Ranges were running when left, and from a considerable
height." It must have been a good season, and not like this. We decided
to go on foot to a gully about two miles north, which had white gums in
it. We started off and saw more emu tracks going and coming, also
natives' tracks. Windich shot a wurrung, which he said had lately drunk
water. When we reached the gully, many tracks were seen ascending it, and
we felt sure we should find water, and surely enough we soon reached a
most splendid spring, running down the gully half a mile. We were elated
and very thankful. Windich got a shot at an emu, but missed it. After
having a good drink we went back and got our horses, reaching the spring
with them after dark. They were very thirsty and completely done up. Mr.
Gosse missed this spring; probably there was water on the flats when he
was here, and he did not look much. Although his track is easily
followed, we had nearly got into serious difficulty by following it. Had
we not found this spring our position would be very critical, not having
any water for ourselves or horses, and the party in the same predicament.
I will be careful not to follow the track too far in future, but to trust
to our own resources and look for ourselves. We feel sure we passed water
this morning, as in one place we saw emu tracks and pigeons. The party
will reach here to-morrow, and I feel very thankful and relieved to have
such a fine spring to bring them to. The feed is good a mile down from
the spring, although it is very old and dry. There has not been any rain
to speak of since Mr. Gosse was here, nearly twelve months ago, as can be
seen by the cart-tracks crossing the gullies. I named this spring the
Elder Springs, after my friend the Honourable Thomas Elder, who has been
such a great supporter of exploration, and from whom I received a great
deal of kindness and attention.

23rd (Sunday).
Awaited the arrival of the party. Shot an emu; and, while skinning it,
heard a gun-shot, and soon after saw Kennedy coming on, walking. Found
that the party were only half a mile off. They had been very distressed
for water, and had left 120 pounds of flour and a pack-saddle five miles
back, Taylor's mare about three miles back, and Burges and his saddle two
miles back. When they saw my note, directing them to the water, they had
gone back and got Burges, and with great difficulty got him close to
camp, when he lay down and they left him. Windich and I started back on
foot at once with two buckets of water, and met Burges within a quarter
of a mile of camp, crawling along; we gave him the water and he then went
on to the spring. We went back and found Taylor's mare, and brought her
slowly to camp. We are now safe again, and I must give the horses a few
days' rest. The weather has been hot, and if we had not found this
spring, not more than five horses would have lasted out the day. I will
send back and get the flour, as it is only five miles off. The party were
all very glad to see such a fine spring, as their position was very
dangerous, having only three gallons of water with them altogether.

Rested at Elder Spring. Found the barometer had got broken, which I was
very sorry for. Worked out several lunars taken on the 11th at Giles's

Worked out the remainder of the lunars. Marked a large white gum-tree
close to camp, on left bank of Elder Springs, F 78, being the 78th camp
from Geraldton. Found camp to be in south latitude 26 degrees 15 minutes
10 seconds and longitude about 129 degrees 9 minutes East. My brother and
Pierre went back and brought up the flour left five miles back on the


Went with Pierre to a high peak, which I named Mount Jane, about four
miles South-South-East from camp, and got a round of angles, and a fine
view of the country. To the east high ranges and grassy flats, but to the
south, and from South-East to west, nothing but level country with a few
low rises here and there, apparently sand-hills covered with
spinifex--most miserable country.

Left camp with Tommy Windich to look for water ahead, instructing my
brother to follow to-morrow. Steered east for four miles, when we struck
Mr. Gosse's cart-track. Followed along it a few miles, when we bore more
to the north; then in the direction of emu tracks, and passed along a
fine grassy flat with hundreds of kangaroos in every direction; also many
emu tracks. We were sure we were getting close to water. A little farther
on saw about twenty-five emus, and soon reached a spring in the brook,
and camped for dinner. Concluded to remain here the remainder of the day.
Went for a walk higher up the brook and found another spring, about one
mile from the first. Returned and took our horses up to it, as there was
better feed there. Left a note, telling the party to camp there also. In
a good season these flats must look magnificent; at this time they are
very dry, but there is a good deal of old grass on them. My brother
marked a tree at spring F 79, which he found to be in latitude 26 degrees
13 minutes. I named this spring Wilkie Spring, after the Honourable Dr.
Wilkie, the honorary treasurer of the Burke and Wills Exploration Fund,
who took such a lively interest in Australian Exploration.

Continued on eastward and soon struck Mr. Gosse's cart-track. Followed it
along about seven miles, passing Mount Davies, when we bore more to the
south. Following the direction of some natives' tracks, and after going
about two miles, found a native well in a gully, where water could be
procured by digging. Left a note telling my brother to dig it out and see
if he could get enough for the horses. We continued on about
East-North-East, and soon after shot a kangaroo and rested an hour for
dinner, after which we bore about North-East towards a gully and white
gums, and found it to be Nilens Gully of Mr. Gosse. Found his camp and a
white gum marked with a broad arrow, but no water. We followed along and
through the ranges, twisting and turning about, and at last found a
number of natives' tracks, making towards a gap, and, following along
them, found they led to a gorge and white gum gully, ascending which we
found water in some little springs. After watering our horses we returned
towards the party three miles and camped, intending to bring the party to
the spring to-morrow.


Returned about five miles and met the party coming on all right. They
reported having met about twenty natives yesterday, who were friendly,
and who came to them, first of all laying down their spears. They had
given them damper and a handkerchief. Pierre gave them two kylies. They
had three kangaroos roasting in their fire. When we were passing Nilens
gully I saw a native running, and, calling Windich, we went over and saw
five natives sitting on some rocks watching us. I went towards them; at
first they appeared hostile, but after talking at them and making signs
they began to be friendly and came down close to us. They were all armed
with spears. One of them gave me his spear, which was very blunt, and I
sharpened it for him. He made signs for me to give him the knife, but I
could not, as we were very short of knives. They were afraid at first
when I showed them how a horse could gallop, but soon were very pleased
and laughed heartily. Windich shot a chockalott and gave it to them. They
were amazed at seeing the bird drop, and were very pleased when it was
given to them, as they much prize the feathers of these birds. After this
we left them and continued on to the spring found yesterday, and camped.
Got plenty of water by digging a few holes in the springy places. Marked
a tree F 80 in gorge close to spring. Found spring to be in latitude 26
degrees 7 minutes 28 seconds South, longitude about 129 degrees 39
minutes east.


30th (Sunday).
Rested at spring. Took bearings from hill close to spring, Mount Hardy
bearing north 117 degrees east magnetic, and Mount Davies north 253
degrees east magnetic. The Mann Ranges were also clearly visible about
ten miles off. In the afternoon Windich found a fine spring in a gully
about half a mile north of camp, at which he shot an emu. I named these
springs the Crowther Springs, after my friend Mr. Charles Crowther, of
Geraldton. Emus and kangaroos very numerous in these ranges.

Got an early start and took the horses to the water found by Windich
yesterday, where they could help themselves. Steered East-North-East
about, over level country; spinifex generally, studded with desert oaks,
with limestone and snail-shells on surface for about twenty miles.
Reached the Mann Ranges. Before we reached the ranges we struck Mr.
Gosse's track, and followed it along, and shortly came to a very large
and recent encampment of the natives. There must have been a hundred
camped here about a week ago. Found two small springs not far off, but
not strong enough to water all our horses; but we soon found some fine
springy pools in a gully about half a mile further on, where Mr. Gosse
also had been camped, and marked a tree with a broad arrow. I marked on
the same tree F 81, being our 81st camp from Geraldton. Mr. Gosse's
return track leaves his outward track at this spot. I intend following
his return track and make in to the telegraph line, down the Alberga, and
on to the Peake. There is abundance of water at this place, which I have
no doubt is permanent, as there are four springs within half a mile of
one another, but three are very small. Took bearings from a very high
range close by; Mount Davies, Mount Edwin, and Mount Hardy being visible.
The Mann Ranges are very high and rough, and are composed of reddish
granite. They are the highest ranges met with since leaving Mount Hale
and Mount Gould, on the Murchison. Found camp F 81 to be in latitude 26
degrees 3 minutes 20 seconds South by meridian altitude of Altair and
Vega, and longitude about 129 degrees 53 minutes East.

September 1st.
Continuing about east along the foot of the Mann Ranges for about fifteen
miles, came to Mr. Gosse's bivouac of October 11th, but could find no
water; a well that had been dug in the sand was dry. Followed up the
gully about a mile, and came to a small spring, and camped. After
draining it out, found there was no supply, but were fortunate enough to
find some large rock holes with water--no doubt soakages from the
rocks--but they were in an almost inaccessible spot, and it was with
great difficulty we managed to water the horses. One horse fell and
nearly lost his life. Country passed over to-day was poorly grassed, and
spinifex patches here and there. Large and recent native encampments seen
in two places to-day. Latitude 26 degrees 4 minutes 45 seconds South.
Marked a tree F 82, close to our bivouac in bed of gully.

Followed along south side of Mann Ranges over country pretty well grassed
for about sixteen miles, and reached Mr. Gosse's bivouac of October 12th.
Found a little water in a sandy hole, and a small spring about half a
mile higher up the gully. We had to carry the water from the spring in
drums, which was slow and hard work. When we had watered half of the
horses, Windich came, having found great pools of water in a large rocky
gully about a mile west; we therefore packed up again and went over to
the water. It was a very rough and rocky gully, and the horses had hard
work in getting up to it, but there was abundance when they reached it.
Pools of water, rock bottom; in fact, rock reservoirs, and fed by
springs. It was nearly night when we had finished watering. Windich shot
four ducks. Found camp to be in latitude 28 degrees 8 minutes South.
Marked a tree F 83, being 83rd camp from Geraldton.


Got a late start, owing to the horses rambling. We continued on easterly
and reached Day's Gully, Mr. Gosse's Number 15 depot. The water was all
gone, and we had to proceed. Followed his track along two miles, when
Windich and I went in search of water, the party waiting our return.
After searching a gully to the west without success, we went east to a
bare granite hill and, passing through a gorge, emerged into a small
flat, and saw about 100 natives, all sitting down eating kangaroos. As
soon as they saw us they all rose and shouted, and many ran towards us
with their spears. One spear came close to me, and stuck fast in the
ground. Windich and I fired our revolvers at them several times, and
chased them up the hill. After this they appeared more friendly, and some
came towards us and followed us back towards the party, keeping about 200
yards behind. We reached them and went back to the natives; they were
perched all over the hills, more than twenty on one rock. They were
friendly now, and about thirty came to us who talked away and seemed very
pleased. They were much afraid of the horses, and would not come near
them. We made the natives understand we wanted water, and about forty
conducted us to a rock hole with nearly fifty gallons in it, which we
gave the horses. The natives laughed heartily when they saw us watering
the horses, but much more when we hit them to drive them away. They were
also delighted that Windich and Pierre were black, and marked about the
body, and also at Pierre having his nose bored. They would not come with
us further, and pointed towards water westward. We did not follow their
direction, and continuing on easterly, camped without water, and only
very old dried grass for our horses. We were obliged to abandon the mare
supplied by Mr. John Taylor to-day, together with about 150 pounds of
flour, also the pack-saddle. She is very near foaling, and is very weak;
she has carried only the empty bags for some time, and has been gradually
failing. She is a fine mare, and I am sorry to lose her, but we cannot
help it. We have more flour than we require, so I decided to leave 150
pounds, as our horses are not able to carry it easily. We have over 3
hundredweight still, which will be quite sufficient. Tomorrow I intend
pushing on to try and reach the spring in the Musgrave Range shown on Mr.
Gosse's chart. It is about forty miles from here, and I have no doubt the
horses will go there, although they are very weak. The natives met to-day
were all circumcised; they had long hair and beards, which were all
clotted and in strands. The strands were covered with filth and dirt for
six inches from the end, and looked like greased rope; it was as hard as
rope, and dangled about their necks, looking most disgustingly filthy.
The men were generally fine-looking fellows. The natives are very
numerous in this country, as fires and camps are seen in many places,
besides well-beaten tracks. Pierre dropped his powder-flask, and one of
them picked it up and gave it to him. They were very friendly and
pleased, and I think, after the first surprise was over, only a few were
hostile. They were much amused at my watch ticking, and all wanted to put
their ears to hear it.


The horses would not feed last night, and had to be watched. At 4 o'clock
we got up and collected them, and got under way by half-past 5 o'clock,
following on towards the Musgrave Ranges. The morning was cool, and the
horses went along very well. After travelling about twenty miles Padbury
and Butcher began to show signs of giving in. We still pushed on, in hope
of finding water in Lungley's Gully; the sun shone out very hot in the
afternoon. Passed a remarkable high peak, which I named Mount Mary. My
brother, Sweeney, and Pierre were behind with the knocked-up horses,
trying to get them along. Windich went on Hosken, the only horse that was
strong enough, to the north to scour some valleys. Kennedy and I pushed
along slowly with the main lot of horses. If we halted a minute, many of
the horses lay down, and we had great difficulty in getting them up
again. After travelling about thirty-one miles we reached a gully which I
supposed was Lungley's, and I left Kennedy with the horses while I
ascended it on foot. I soon saw many emu tracks, and therefore was
positive water was a little higher up. Found Windich was about 100 yards
in advance of me, having crossed over into the same gully. I soon heard
him shout that there was abundance of water, and fired the welcome
gun-shots to acquaint the party. Returned, and after lifting up some of
the horses that had lain down, and met my brother with the knocked-up
ones, we all proceeded up to the water, which we found to be a beautiful
spring running down the gully about thirty chains. We were all rejoiced
at this good fortune, as we never before wanted water more than at the
present time. Mr. Gosse had camped here, his depot Number 16, and I
wonder he does not show such a fine spring on his map. We are now in
perfect safety, and I will give the horses two days' rest.

Rested at spring. Windich and Pierre shot three emus; a great many came
to water. Being nearly out of meat, we are glad to get them.

6th (Sunday).
Took bearings from a hill about a mile east of camp, from which there was
a very extensive view. Far as the eye could reach to south, level plains
extended, with low hills rising abruptly out of them here and there; to
the west the Deering Hills and Mann Ranges; while to the east the high
Musgrave Ranges soon stopped the view. The whole country is level, the
ranges rising abruptly out of the plains, and is not like the hilly
country in the settled districts of Western Australia. Marked a tree
close to the camp F 85, being 85th camp from Geraldton. Found camp to be
in latitude 26 degrees 13 minutes 25 seconds by meridian altitude of
Altair, and longitude about 131 degrees 3 minutes east.


Left spring, and steering about east for seven miles along foot of
Musgrave Ranges, when we turned North-North-East for four miles, and east
one mile to Mr. Gosse's depot Number 17, found spring in a brook, large
white gums in gully; a very fine spring, but not running; any quantity of
water. First-rate feed in gully and on flat. Weather cloudy. Intend
resting here to-morrow, as one of our horses is very lame, and there is
everything we want.

Rested at camp. Rained lightly last night, and very stormy. Blew a
hurricane towards morning. Rained lightly until noon; more rain than we
have had on the whole trip. We have not had a drop of rain since the
light shower on the 4th August. Marked a tree F 86, being the 86th camp
from Geraldton. Shod two horses. Finished all our meat. We have now only
flour enough for the remainder of our journey. As my friend Mr. Gosse did
not name this splendid place, I take the liberty of naming it Gosse's
Spring, as that is the name we always gave it in referring to it.

The horses rambled away last night, and were not collected till late. It
was nearly eleven o'clock when we started. We travelled about fourteen
miles over fine grassy country, and camped on a fine flat with a little
water in a gully which appears springy; good feed, although chiefly old,
all round camp. One of our horses is very lame, and we have a little
trouble in getting him along. It rained again last night. Latitude 26
degrees 15 minutes 23 seconds south.

Steered North-North-East for five miles, and then North-East and east to
Beare's Creek, Mr. Gosse's depot Number 18, where we found a most
beautiful spring running strong down the gully for half a mile. I wonder
he did not mark it permanent water on his map, as it is one of the best
springs I have ever seen. Poor place for feed. The horses inclined to
ramble. Shot two ducks which were in one of the pools, and two wurrungs,
which were very acceptable, being now altogether without meat. Latitude
26 degrees 9 minutes 50 seconds. Grassy gorge on our route to-day.

We got up long before daylight, intending to get an early start, and
reach Whittell's Creek, but two of the horses were missing, and it was
after eight o'clock when Windich returned with them. We, however,
started, and steering easterly through dense acacia thickets without
grass for about thirty miles, we reached the creek, and found plenty of
water by digging in the sand. Rough low granite hills all along our
route, but very little feed. Passed many clay-pans with water in them.
The country was sandy and stony, and is thickly wooded. Mount Woodroffe
bears north 208 degrees east magnetic from our camp, and a remarkable
granite hill bore north, which I named Mount Elizabeth. Latitude 26
degrees 13 minutes south. Marked a tree F 89, being 89th camp from


Continued onwards about North-East for ten miles, over saltbush flats
with water in clay-pans in places, to the north part of a range, from
which I got a view of Mount Connor, which rose abruptly out of the ocean
of scrub. Rounding the mount, bore South-East towards Harry's Reservoir,
reaching which we camped. It is at the head of a rocky gully; it is very
rough to reach, and no feed within a mile and a half of it. There was
plenty of water in the hole, which is about six feet deep. A white
gum-tree close to the pool is marked GOS, 19, and I marked under it, on
same tree, F 90, being 90th camp from Geraldton. This being such a rough
place, and no feed near, I will move on to-morrow towards or to Figtree
Gully. Weather dark and cloudy.

13th (Sunday).
Continued on towards Figtree Gully, having to go a long way north in
order to get round and through the ranges. Most beautifully-grassed
country all the way; by far the best-grassed country we have seen for
months. After travelling about nineteen miles we found water on some
granite rocks, and camped on a very fine grassy flat. Windich shot a
large kangaroo, which was very acceptable.

About 2 o'clock this afternoon we collected the horses, and travelled on
to Figtree Gully about four miles, our horses first finishing all the
water on the granite rocks. We got enough at Figtree Gully to satisfy
them, although there is not a great supply. There is a small soakage from
the rocks; we filled the drums to-night, so as to have sufficient for
them in the morning, as the water does not come in quickly. The view to
the east is not very interesting. A few low hills, and generally level
country--apparently thickly wooded with mulga and acacia.


Got an early start, and steering about east for six miles, crossed the
Gum Creek, and followed it along about a mile and a half, when we steered
more to the east, until we struck the head of the Marryatt, which we
followed down North-East and east, until we reached the salt native well
marked on Mr. Gosse's map. We camped here, and dug out the well, which
was very brackish; yet the horses drank it. There was a very poor supply
of water, and we kept bailing it out into the drums all night, and
managed to get out about sixty gallons. We travelled about thirty miles
to-day; our horses were very thirsty, the weather oppressive. I found a
small water-hole, with about twenty gallons in it, about one mile north,
to which we will take the horses to-morrow morning.

Went over to the rock hole and gave our horses the water--about one
bucket apiece, after which we struck South-East to the river, and found
two rock holes with sufficient water in them to satisfy all the horses.
Continued on and reached Mr. Gosse's camp, where he marks on his map
"Water-hole dug." Found it quite dry; but after going a few hundred yards
we found a nice clay-pan with water in it, and camped. There has been a
little rain here a few weeks ago, and it has not all dried up yet. If it
was not for the rain-water we should have much difficulty in getting down
this river, as all the old native wells dug in the sand are dry.

Followed down the Marryatt, and at six miles passed a native well, which
was quite dry. We continued on, and at about eight miles found a number
of rock water-holes, all nearly full of water, about a quarter of a mile
south of the river, and camped. Shod some of the horses. Took a set of
lunar observations.

Two of the horses rambled away during the night, and delayed our start.
At eight o'clock we got under way, and followed along the river. The day
was excessively hot, and we had to walk in turns. At two o'clock crossed
the gum creek shown on Mr. Gosse's map, and searched for the large
clay-pan shown a short distance beyond it; hundreds of natives' tracks
seen all along. Towards evening we found a rock water-hole with about two
gallons in it, which refreshed us, as we were all very thirsty. Here we
were obliged to abandon police-horse Champion, he being completely
knocked up; he has had a very bad back for a long time, and has been
running loose without any load. We pushed on, and I sent Windich to look
for water. We travelled until eight o'clock, when we camped for the night
without water. Shortly after we had camped, Windich overtook us, and
reported having found some clay-pans about six miles back. After having
something to eat I decided to return to the clay-pans, and therefore
packed up three of the horses, and let the others go loose, leaving the
packs until our return. Reached the water by midnight, and the horses
finished it all, and were not half satisfied. I thought there was more,
or would not have come back for it. We hobbled them out, and had a few
hours' rest.


Early this morning we searched the flat for water, and found a rock
water-hole with about fifty gallons in it, but could not find any more
clay-pans. We therefore gave the horses the fifty gallons, and pushed on
towards "Water near Table-Land" shown on Mr. Gosse's map, about
twenty-one miles distant. The day was excessively hot again, and walking
was most fatiguing. Men and horses moved along very slowly, but did not
give in. Towards noon a hot wind began to blow. Onwards still we pressed,
and crossed the large creek coming into the Alberga about two miles from
the water. I told the party we were now close, and showed them the low
table-land just ahead. Before we reached it we found a clay-hole with
water, and gave the horses a good drink, after which we moved on a mile
and camped at Mr. Gosse's depot Number 20, where we got plenty of water
by digging in the sandy bed of the river. I was very glad to reach here,
for the horses were getting very weary, and Sweeney was also done up, and
looked very ill and swollen up about the head. The walking was most
harassing, for, besides the ground being soft, the sun was overpowering,
and most excessively hot. We are now in safety again, and to-morrow being
Sunday we will rest.

20th (Sunday).
Rested to-day. Windich shot an emu. Worked out lunar observations. Marked
a tree F 97, being 97th camp from Geraldton. Latitude 26 degrees 44
minutes 19 seconds, longitude about 133 degrees 47 minutes East.

Continued down the Alberga about South-East for about twenty miles, over
sandy country thickly wooded with mulga and acacia, to Mr. Gosse's
bivouac of December 1st, but there was scarcely any water by digging. We
therefore pushed on and found a native well, from which, by digging out
about five feet, we procured abundance of water. Sweeney still very
unwell, unable to walk; others walking in turns. Distance twenty-five

The horses rambled back on the tracks about three miles, and it was eight
o'clock before we got started. We followed down the Alberga over stony
plains, poorly grassed and thickly wooded, for about eighteen miles.
Found sufficient water by digging in the sand; there was only a very poor
supply, and it took us a good while to water all the horses. The river
bed is more than a quarter of a mile wide and very shallow, and spreads
out over the plains for many miles in heavy winters.

Watering the horses delayed us a little this morning, as there was a very
poor supply coming into the well. We followed down the river, and after
travelling about nine miles heard a native shouting, and soon saw him
running after us. He was quite friendly, but could not speak any English;
he came along with us, and shortly afterwards we found a native well with
sufficient water by digging, then camped, as our horses were very weak,
and required a rest. We finished all our tea and sugar to-day, and have
now only flour left; we will therefore have bread and water for the next
week, until we reach the Peake. The native ate heartily of damper given
to him, and remained all day, and slept at our camp. Distance ten miles.


Travelled down river, the native still accompanying us, and at about six
miles met a very old native, and a woman and a little girl. They were
quite friendly, and showed us water; and the woman and girl came with us
to Appatinna, Mr. Gosse's depot 21, where we camped at a fine pool of
water under right bank of river. Windich shot three emus that were coming
to the water, and we all had plenty of them to eat. The natives were very
pleased, and went back and brought up the old man and another woman and
child. There were now six with us. They have seen the telegraph line, as
can be seen by signs they make, but they cannot speak English.

The horses rambled off miles, and it was nearly ten o'clock before we got
under way. There was no feed at all for them. We followed down the
Alberga for about fifteen miles, about east generally, and camped, with
very little old dried-up grass for our horses. About half an hour after
we left Appatinna this morning we had a very heavy shower of rain, and,
although it only lasted about a quarter of an hour, it literally flooded
the whole country, making it boggy. It was the heaviest thunderstorm I
have ever seen. We shall have no difficulty in procuring water now all
the way to the telegraph line, which is not more than forty miles from
here. The natives stayed at Appatinna, as they had too much emu to leave.
We did not want them, and were just as well pleased they did not come on.
Mr. Gosse's track went North-North-East to the Hamilton River from

Got off early and followed the river about two miles, when it took a bend
to the north, and as it was rather boggy near it we left it, and steered
about east and East-North-East for twenty miles over most miserable
country without any grass. We camped on a small gully with a little water
in it, and some old dry grass in a flat. The horses were very tired, not
having had anything to eat for the last two or three days, and some
showed signs of giving in; in fact, all weak and knocked-up, and we have
to handle them very carefully. For the first thirteen miles we passed
many clay-pans full of water--water nearly everywhere--after which there
was very little; and the rain does not appear to have been heavy to the
east. The river is about a mile and a half north of us, and we have not
seen it for some miles. Latitude 27 degrees 9 minutes south. Hope to
reach the telegraph line to-morrow.

27th (Sunday).
Continuing East-North-East for two miles, came to the Alberga, and
following along its right bank over many clay-pans with water, about east
for twelve miles, and then East-North-East for three miles, and reached
the telegraph line between Adelaide and Port Darwin, and camped. Long and
continued cheers came from our little band as they beheld at last the
goal to which we have been travelling for so long. I felt rejoiced and
relieved from anxiety; and on reflecting on the long line of travel we
had performed through an unknown country, almost a wilderness, felt very
thankful to that good Providence that had guarded and guided us so safely
through it.

The telegraph line is most substantially put up, and well wired, and is
very creditable at this spot; large poles of bush timber, often rather
crooked, and iron ones here and there. I now gave up keeping watch,
having kept it regularly for the last six months. Marked a tree F 104,
being 104th camp from Geraldton. We had not much to refresh the inner man
with, only damper and water, but we have been used to it now more than a
month, and do not much feel it. The horses are all very tired, and many
of them have sore backs. I hope to reach the Peake on Wednesday night,
where we shall be able to get something to eat. We find making the damper
with boiling water makes it much lighter and softer, and is a great
improvement. Latitude 27 degrees 7 minutes 50 seconds south.

We travelled down the telegraph line for about twenty-one miles, and
camped on a branch of the Neales River, with a little grass. Level plains
and small rocky rises all the way; very stony country; many clay-pans
with water. A well-beaten road goes along near the telegraph line. We did
not get on it till we had travelled along the line about fifteen miles.
It crosses the Alberga east of the line.

When we were nearly ready to start, police-horse Butcher lay down and
died in a few seconds; he appeared all right when we brought him in, and
was saddled as usual. Old age, very severe hard work, and continual
travelling, is no doubt the cause of death: we took off his shoes, and
left him where he died. I was sorry for the poor old horse; he had been
rather weak for a good while, but had borne up well to the very last. We
only had four horses to ride to-day, and Sweeney being still lame really
made but three horses between five of us. We travelled down the road for
about thirty-three miles over stony plains; many clay-pans with water,
but no feed. Camped on a gully with some old feed in the flat, in
latitude 27 degrees 49 minutes. Miserable country for grass all day, but
plenty of water from recent rains everywhere. Hope to reach the Peake by
mid-day to-morrow. Damper and water as usual.

Got off early as usual, all in high glee at the prospect of meeting
civilized habitations again. Travelled along the road and saw cattle, and
shortly afterwards reached the Peake, and rather surprised the people.
Mr. Bagot, the owner of the cattle station, was the first I met; and
after telling him who we were, he said he had surmised it was so. He soon
told us that Mr. Giles had returned, and also Mr. Ross, who had been
despatched by the Honourable Thomas Elder with camels and a good
equipment to find an overland route to Perth, but was unable to get over
to Western Australia. We were soon introduced to Mr. Blood, the officer
in charge of the telegraph station, and, after unloading, were soon
engaged at dinner, the roast beef and plum pudding being a striking
contrast to our fare lately! Both Mr. and Mrs. Blood, as well as Mr.
Bagot, did all they could to make us comfortable during our four days'


Immediately on reaching Peake, I despatched a telegram to his Excellency
Mr. Musgrave, Governor of South Australia, at Adelaide, informing him of
the safe arrival of the party, and received the following reply from the
private secretary:--

His Excellency has received your message with great satisfaction, and
congratulates you heartily on your safe arrival.

This telegram was accompanied by another from the Honourable Arthur
Blyth, the Chief Secretary of the Colony:

Is there anything you want? Mail leaves on October 10th. Shall be happy
to facilitate any despatch you may wish forwarded to your Government.
Superintendent of Telegraphs has given instructions for every assistance
to be rendered you at the various telegraph stations on your road down.

The instructions sent by Mr. Todd, the Superintendent of Telegraphs, to
Mr. Blood, the officer in charge at Peake station, were to the following

Please give my hearty congratulations to Mr. Forrest on the successful
completion of his great feat, which I have communicated to the Government
and press; also Baron Von Mueller, who sends his congratulations. I shall
be glad to have a few particulars as to route followed, if convenient to
Mr. Forrest to supply them. Render his party every attention.

Mr. Ernest Giles, the explorer, also telegraphed, and I also received
messages from the editors of the Register and Advertiser, Adelaide
newspapers, congratulating me, and asking for a few particulars for
publication in their papers. I complied with the request immediately,
forwarding a brief narrative of the more remarkable incidents of our
journey. On the 15th of October, the day after our arrival at Peake, I
wrote, for the information of Governor Musgrave, a short account of the
journey, and this, accompanied by a more detailed narrative, addressed to
the Honourable Malcolm Fraser, Commissioner of Crown Lands at Perth, was,
together with several private telegrams, forwarded free of charge by the
South Australian Government, which also provided us with fresh horses and
everything we required for our journey to Adelaide.

We left the Peake on the 4th of October, greatly refreshed by the rest
and the kind treatment we had received from Mr. and Mrs. Blood, and Mr.
Bagot, the owner of the cattle station.

Before I record the details of our journey and the receptions given us at
every place on the route, I will quote the concluding remarks of my
journal relative to the expedition:--


I now beg to make a few remarks with reference to the character and
capability of the country traversed; and through the kindness and
courtesy of Baron Von Mueller, C.M.G., etc., Government Botanist of
Victoria, and of Mr. R. Brough Smyth, Secretary for Mines of Victoria, I
am enabled to annex reports upon the botanical and geological specimens
collected on our journey.

The whole of the country, from the settled districts near Champion Bay to
the head of the Murchison, is admirably suited for pastoral settlement,
and in a very short time will be taken up and stocked; indeed, some
already has been occupied.

From the head of the Murchison to the 129th meridian, the boundary of our
colony, I do not think will ever be settled. Of course there are many
grassy patches, such as at Windich Springs, the Weld Springs, all round
Mount Moore, and other places; but they are so isolated, and of such
extent, that it would never pay to stock them. The general character of
this immense tract is a gently undulating spinifex desert--Festuca
(Triodia) irritans, the spinifex of the desert explorers, but not the
spinifex of science. It is lightly wooded with acacia and other small
trees, and, except in a few creeks, there is a great absence of any large

The prevailing rock, which crops out on the rises and often forms low
cliffs, in which are receptacles for holding water, is LIGHT RED
SANDSTONE (desert sandstone, tertiary). The only game found in the
spinifex is a kangaroo rat, commonly called the wirrup; but in the grassy
openings there are many kangaroos, and often emus, also a rat known as
the wurrung. These animals are very good eating, and formed a valuable
addition to our store department. At the permanent waters there were
always myriads of bronze-winged pigeons, and also the white cockatoo with
scarlet crest, called the chockalott; also the beaccoo, or slate-coloured
parrot. Generally, however, with the exception of the crow and hawk,
birds were not very numerous except round water. Whenever a sheet of
water was found we found ducks, and in Lake Augusta swans and ducks were

In bringing this report to a close it is not necessary to refer much to
the reasons that induced me to keep more to the south than I originally
intended. It will readily be seen, after perusing this journal, that it
was a necessity, and that we could not get further north. It is a marvel
to me that we got through at all; the season was an exceptionally dry
one--in fact, a drought--our horses were of a very ordinary kind, and the
country most wretched.

When it is remembered that a horse in poor condition and in warm weather
cannot go much over a day without water, and when the sterility of the
country is considered, it will be readily seen what a disadvantage one
labours under without camels, which can go ten days without water. Well
can I sympathize with Mr. Giles when he states in his journal: "All I
coveted from my brother explorers was their camels, for what is a horse
in such a region as this? He is not physically capable of enduring the
terrors of this country." And so it is; horses are the noblest and most
useful animals in the world, but they must have food and water regularly.
The camel, on the other hand, is physically formed to travel over these
desolate regions, and in Australia has been known to go twelve and
fourteen days without water, carrying 300 pounds, and sometimes 400
pounds weight.

From these few remarks it will be seen what a great disadvantage Mr.
Giles and myself laboured under compared with Major Warburton and Mr.
Gosse; and what in similar circumstances might have been easily performed
by them was quite impossible in our circumstances.

In reading this journal, it may be wondered why we followed so much along
Mr. Gosse's track, when a new route for ourselves might have been chosen
more to the south. The reason is, I had intended, as soon as I reached the
129th meridian (the boundary of our colony), to make a long trip to the
south, near to Eucla, and thus map that important locality; but on
reaching there I was prevented by the following causes: The weather was
excessively warm; the country to the south seemed most uninviting
--sand-hills as far as could be seen, covered with spinifex; our horses
were very poor; our rations were running short, the meat and tea and
sugar being nearly gone; water was very scarce, and I could clearly see
that, although Mr. Gosse had travelled the route last year, it did not
follow that we should be able to do it easily this, as all the water
thus far where he had camped was gone. I felt we were altogether on our
own resources for water, and I concluded to push on towards the
telegraph line as quickly as possible. It turned out, although we had
considerable difficulty, that we reached the line sooner than I could
have anticipated.


I have the very pleasant duty to record my thorough appreciation of the
services of my companions. To my brother, Mr. Alexander Forrest, I am
especially indebted for his assistance and advice on many occasions, also
for his indomitable energy and perseverance. Every service entrusted to
him was admirably carried out. He never disappointed me. When absent for
a week, I knew to a few minutes when we should meet again. Whether horses
or loads had to be abandoned, it mattered not to him, he always carried
out the service; and I attribute much of the success to being supported
by such an able and hopeful second in command. In addition to this, he
bestowed great care on the stores of the expedition; collected all the
botanical specimens, besides taking observations for laying down our
route on many occasions during my absence.

To Tommy Windich (native) I am much indebted for his services as a
bushman, and his experience generally. Accompanying me on many occasions,
often in circumstances of difficulty and privation, I ever found him a
good, honest companion.

To James Kennedy, James Sweeney, and Tommy Pierre I am thankful for the
ready obedience and entire confidence they placed in me. They ever
conducted themselves in a proper manner, and on no occasion uttered a
single murmur.

I take this opportunity of thanking all those gentlemen who so kindly
subscribed to the Expedition Fund.

In conclusion, sir, I beg you will convey to his Excellency Governor Weld
my sincere thanks for the kindness and support he has given me in this
arduous enterprise. I can truthfully state, if it had not been for his
zeal and assistance, I should not have been able to undertake and
accomplish this exploration.

I have also to thank the Honourable F.P. Barlee, Colonial Secretary, and
yourself, for your kind attention and consideration, and your desire that
I should have everything that was necessary to bring the expedition to a
successful termination.



Procession and Banquet at Adelaide.
Arrival in Western Australia.
Banquet and Ball at Perth.
Results of Exploration.

We reached Beltana on the 18th, where we were joined by Mr. Henry Gosse,
brother and companion of the explorer, and arrived at Jamestown on the
28th of October. This was the first township on the route, and the
inhabitants, although somewhat taken by surprise by our appearance, would
not let the opportunity pass for giving us a warm welcome. On the
following morning there was a good muster of the principal residents at
Jureit's Hotel, and an address was presented to me. Our healths were then
drunk and duly responded to, and we had every reason to be highly
gratified with our first formal reception.


The next day we reached Kooringa, on the Burra, and there too our arrival
excited considerable enthusiasm, and we were invited to a complimentary
dinner at the Burra Hotel Assembly Rooms, Mr. Philip Lane, the Chairman
of the District Council, presiding. An address was presented, and, my
health having been proposed by Mr. W.H. Rosoman, Manager of the National
Bank, in replying, I took the opportunity of expressing my thanks to my
associates in the expedition for their unfailing co-operation under
occasionally great difficulties and privations.

On Saturday, the 31st, having witnessed a cricket-match at Farrell's
Flat, we visited the Burra Burra Mines, and there we received an address
from the manager, accountant, captain, chief engineer, and storekeeper.
We remained at Burra the next day (Sunday), and on Monday morning started
by train for Salisbury with our fifteen horses in horse-boxes. Eleven of
these were the survivors of the expedition, and we were desirous that our
faithful and hard-worked four-footed companions should have their share
of the attention of our South Australian friends. At Gawler we were
received by a crowd of people, and flags were flying to do us honour. The
Town Clerk and a considerable number of the principal residents were
waiting for us in an open space near the railway station, and presented
an address on behalf of the municipality. We were then invited to a
luncheon at the Criterion Hotel, the chair being filled, in the absence
of the Mayor, who was unwell, by Mr. James Morton. Here again I was
called on to respond for my health being proposed; but I need not weary
the reader by endeavouring to repeat all I said upon that and other
similar occasions. I acknowledged and deeply felt the personal kindness
of the receptions my party had experienced; and I fully shared with those
who signed the addresses I received, or proposed my health at dinners,
the hearty desire that the successful issue of my expedition might be the
means of uniting still more closely the two colonies in bonds of mutual
good-feeling and sympathy. I had been similarly welcomed at Gawler and
other places in South Australia on the occasion of my previous visit, and
I was, I trust, not unjustifiably proud and pleased that my old friends
had recognized my recent services.


At Salisbury, which we reached on the 2nd of November, a very hearty
reception awaited us, and we were entertained at a dinner given at the
Salisbury Hotel under the presidency of the Reverend J.R. Ferguson. After
dinner the chairman read a brief address, signed by the Chairman of the
District Council; and as the speeches referred not only to my own
expedition, but were interesting in relation to other explorations and
the method of conducting them, I may be pardoned for quoting a portion of
the report of the proceedings which appeared in the local newspapers:--

The Chairman then said he wished to express the great pleasure it was to
him to meet Mr. Forrest, his brother, and party, after their triumphant
accomplishment of the daring and arduous undertaking of crossing from the
Australian shores of the Indian Ocean to the very interior of South
Australia. We at all times felt constrained to value and honour men who
in any way contributed to the progress and welfare of mankind. We
esteemed those men whose lives were devoted to the explorations of
science, and whose discoveries were rendered serviceable to the comfort
and advancement of the race; and what were the achievements of travellers
but contributions to the advancement and welfare of the
race--contributions in which were involved the most magnificent heroism
in penetrating the regions which had hitherto been untrodden by the foot
of the white man? They obtained their contributions to the advancement
and welfare of men by the manifestation of high moral endurance, which
enabled them to submit to privations and discomforts of the most trying
character; while withal they showed dauntless courage in going forward
and meeting dangers of every possible kind, even to the loss of life
itself. He was disposed to rank the achievements of their guests with
those of the foremost of travellers of whom we read. He had sat enchanted
with the perusal of the travels of John Franklin in the Arctic Regions;
and, by the way, John Franklin accompanied Captain Flinders in his
expedition in the year 1800, which was sent out for the purpose of
surveying the south coast of Australia. He had perused with intense
interest the travels of Samuel Baker in the interior of Africa along the
source of that wondrous Nile, as also those of Speke, Grant, Stanley, and
that prince of men, the late Dr. Livingstone; and the name of their guest
was entitled to rank along with such. (Cheers.) Let now our stockholders
and men of capital take advantage of Mr. Forrest's explorations--let his
well-earned honours be bestowed upon him--and let all representatives of
intelligence and enterprise hail him. We who were here as Australians
were proud of him and rejoiced over him, and would seek to send him back
to his own home with our loud plaudits and our heartiest gratitude.

The Vice-Chairman, in proposing The Health of Mr. John Forrest, the
Leader of the Expedition, said he was sure they were all extremely glad
to see Mr. Forrest and his party in their midst. When Mr. Forrest was
amongst them before they all thought he was a fine, jolly young fellow,
and thought none the less of him on that occasion. (Applause.) At any
rate, he was stouter than when he appeared on his first visit. He thought
the country would feel grateful to Mr. Forrest and his companions for the
benefits which would result from their achievement. (Applause.)

Mr. John Forrest, who was received with loud cheers, said he thanked them
very heartily for the enthusiastic way in which they had drunk his
health, and for the very handsome address they had presented to him. He
felt altogether unable to respond in the way he could wish to the many
remarks that had been made by their worthy chairman. If he could only
make himself believe that he was worthy of being placed in the rank of
the men whom he had mentioned, he certainly would feel very proud indeed.
It had always given him the greatest pleasure to read the accounts of the
travels of these great men. He remembered being closely connected with
Captain Flinders's researches upon the south coast of Australia, and,
after his journey from Perth to Eucla, Mr. Eyre, the late Governor of
Jamaica, wrote to him that he risked his life upon the accuracy of
Captain Flinders's observations, and in no case had he the least cause to
regret it. Exploration in other parts of the world, as in Africa, was
carried on in a very different style to the exploration in Australia.
Even in the early times, exploration here was carried on in a very
different way to what it was at the present time. Large equipages, many
waggons, and that sort of thing were used in the time of Captain Sturt
and other early explorers, until Mr. Eyre took a light equipment, with
very few horses and very few men. Since then the work had had to be done
with very light turn-outs. In Western Australia a good deal of
exploration was done before his time, and expeditions had been very
common. They generally cost very little indeed. The horses were generally
given by the settlers, the Government contributed a few hundred pounds,
and young settlers volunteered for the service. The cost was sometimes
400 or 500 pounds; and upon his expedition, up to the time they left the
settled districts of Western Australia, they had only spent about 330
pounds. He did not know that he could say anything more. He had spoken
several times on his journey down, and it seemed to him that he had said
the same thing over and over again. His forte was not in public speaking,
but he hoped they would take the will for the deed. They never could
forget the very kind and hearty reception they had received in every
place they had visited in South Australia. (Cheers.)

The Reverend J.G. Wright proposed The health of Mr. Alexander Forrest and
the remainder of the Party. He remarked that they had heard a great deal
about Mr. Forrest, the leader of the party, and whilst he had manifested
a great deal of courage and perseverance, and they all felt indebted to
him as the leader of the party, yet there was much praise due to his
brother and the rest of his companions. He was gratified at having the
opportunity of meeting them before they went down to the metropolis, and
he was sure it was no small matter to Salisbury to have such a band
remaining with them for a short time. It would be a source of pleasure to
colonists generally to see them, and he trusted that the work which had
been so nobly performed, and what had followed after it, would tend to
link the colonies more closely together. He was glad to see that original
holders of the land in their western colony--the natives--had been
employed in the work of exploration and opening up the country. (Hear,
hear.) They were expected to do honour to generals and warriors who had
distinguished themselves and placed their names high on the roll of fame,
but he thought that such could not claim greater honours than the
explorer. His work was not one of bloodshed, but one which was undertaken
in the interests and for the benefit of humanity. Civilization,
agriculture, art, and science followed the explorations of those noble
men who had taken their lives in their hands and faced difficulties and
dangers for the advancement of their fellow-men. He proposed with the
heartiest feelings the toast of Mr. Alexander Forrest and his companions.

The toast was very cordially drunk.

Mr. Alex. Forrest, on rising to respond, was greeted with hearty and
continued cheering. He said he thanked the company most heartily for the
manner in which they had drunk his health and that of his companions. He
could assure them they felt highly flattered at the reception which had
been accorded them. It was more than they expected. When here four years
ago, it was on a small trip compared with what they had accomplished this
time. It would not be necessary for him to go over the same ground that
his brother had remarked upon--in fact, his brother had quite taken the
wind out of his sails; and public speaking certainly not being his forte,
although he was quite at home round the camp-fire, he must ask them to
excuse him making a lengthy speech. He could assure them they all thanked
them very sincerely for their kindness, and deeply appreciated the honour
which had been done them. (Cheers.)

Tommy Pierre, one of the aboriginals attached to the expedition, being
called upon to respond, after some hesitation, said, "Well, gentlemen, I
am not in good humour to-night. (Laughter.) I am very glad I got through.
We got a capital gaffer that leaded us through; but it wasn't him that
got us through, it isn't ourselves, but God who brought us through the
place, and we ought to be very thankful to God for getting us through.
(Laughter and cheers.) I am not in good humour to-night to speak
(laughter), but I will speak when I get in Adelaide." (Prolonged

Tommy Windich, the other aboriginal attached to the expedition, was also
asked to respond, but he could not muster courage enough to do so.


The preparations for our reception at Adelaide were most elaborate. It
seems to have been resolved that the capital of South Australia should
appear as the representative of the satisfaction felt throughout the
colony at the successful completion of an adventure, the result of which
was so deeply interesting, and which had been several times attempted by
explorers, not less ardent and determined, but less fortunate than
ourselves. At an early hour on the morning of the 3rd of November, on
which day it was known our party would arrive, the streets through which
we were to pass were thronged with thousands eager to bid us welcome. Not
only the city itself, but the suburban districts contributed to swell the
crowd. Balconies and housetops were thronged, and all along the line of
route were flags and decorations of flowers and evergreens, streamers
with inscriptions of welcome, and arches adorned with large pictures
representing incidents of bush life. The bells, too, rang out merry
peals, and the day was observed as a general holiday at Adelaide.

We left Salisbury at twelve o'clock, escorted by a considerable number of
the inhabitants. Before reaching Adelaide we were met by carriages
containing the Mayors of Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Kensington, and
Norwood, the town clerks, and members of the different corporations. A
very interesting and characteristic compliment was paid to us by the
presence of members of various exploring expeditions, who, from their own
experience, could best estimate the value of the results we had achieved,
and the difficulties we had encountered. Following the official
personages, on horseback, was Mr. John Chambers, who, with his brother,
the late Mr. James Chambers, and the late Mr. Finke, sent out in 1860 the
parties under the leadership of the intrepid Mr. John McDouall Stuart, to
explore the interior lying between South Australia and the northern
shores of the continent. Three members of this party--Messrs. A.J.
Lawrence, D. Thompson, and John Wall--followed on horseback, carrying
standards marked with the dates January, 1862, and July 25, 1862, when
Stuart departed from Adelaide, and when he planted his flag on the
northern shores. Then came representatives of the various exploring
parties--Messrs. F.G. Waterhouse, F. Thring, W.P. Auld, S. King, J.W.
Billiatt, and H. Nash, of Stuart's party; Mr. R.E. Warburton, Mr. Dennis
White, and Charley, the native boy, of Colonel Warburton's expedition;
Mr. William Gosse (leader), and Mr. Harry Gosse, of the Gosse expedition;
and Mr. Ernest Giles, leader of the Giles expedition.

The reception committee and representatives of the Oddfellows, Foresters,
Druids, Rechabites, Good Templars, German, and other friendly societies,
followed, after which came our party. We wore the rough, weather-beaten,
and, it may be added, shockingly dilapidated garments in which we had
been clothed during our expedition, and were mounted on the horses which
had served us so well. It was wished that we should represent to the
Adelaide public, as realistically as we could, the actual appearance of
our party while engaged on the long journey, so we slung our rifles at
our sides, and each of us led a pack-horse carrying the kegs we had used
for the conveyance of water. In one respect, no doubt, we failed to
realize adequately the appearance of our party when struggling through
the spinifex desert, or anxiously searching for rock holes and springs.
The month of great hospitality we had experienced since reaching Peake
station had considerably improved our own personal appearance, and the
horses were very unlike the wretched, half-dying animals we had such
difficulty to keep alive and moving. After us came, in long procession,
bands of music, and the members of the various orders, the German Club,
the Bushmen's Club, and a goodly number of horsemen and carriages. The
bands played inspiring strains, the crowd shouted and cheered, and my
brother and I were perpetually bowing acknowledgments. As for the two
natives, Tommy Windich and Tommy Pierre, they appeared to be perfectly
amazed by the novelty of the spectacle, and the enthusiasm of the vast
throng which lined the streets.

On our arrival at the town hall we were received by the Ministry, the
Honourable W. Milne (President of the Legislative Council), Sir G.S.
Kingston (the Speaker), several members of both Houses of Parliament, and
other gentlemen. Having alighted, we were conducted to a platform, and
addresses were presented to us by the Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of
Adelaide; from the Odd Fellows, the Foresters, the Rechabites, the Good
Templars, and four German societies. In replying to these I did my best,
but very inadequately, to express my feelings of gratitude for the
reception we had met with, and of thanks for the generous manner in which
our endeavours to successfully perform an arduous task had been
recognized. The Mayors of Kensington, Norwood, and Port Adelaide, also
offered a few words of congratulation to our party.

By particular request, we showed ourselves on the balcony, and bowed our
acknowledgments for the very hearty welcome we received. Then we
remounted our horses, and took them to the police paddocks, after which
my brother and I were introduced to the Adelaide Club.

I have mentioned that several distinguished Australian explorers took
part in the reception, and I may add that among them were the whole of
Stuart's last party, except the gallant leader and Mr. Kekwick, who were
dead, Mr. Few, who was in a distant part of the colony, and the farrier,
who had gone no one knew whither. It was also appropriate to the occasion
that two horses, who were memorably connected with explorations, should
be associated with the animals who had served one so well. The horse
which had carried poor Burke on his ill-fated expedition from Melbourne
was ridden by Mr. F.G. Waterhouse, and Mr. F. Thring was mounted on a
horse which had crossed the continent with Stuart.


In the evening we were entertained at a banquet in the town hall, the
chair being occupied by the Honourable Arthur Blyth, the Premier of the
colony. The proceedings were fully reported in the newspapers on the
following day; and as so many explorers were present, and addressed the
company, I may be permitted, apart from personal considerations, to quote
the principal speeches delivered on the occasion.

The chairman rose to propose the toast of the evening, and was received
with cheers. He said, "I think, for the last two or three days, that
there has been a general feeling that South Australians were not very
good at receptions and getting up processions; but at all events to-day
we have showed that we can manage such things as well as people of more
importance probably than ourselves--at all events quite as well as
countries much more thickly populated than our own. (Cheers.) We have all
of us read something about the old Roman triumphs--how the conquerors,
when they went forth and were successful, were granted a triumph, and in
this triumph were accompanied by the most beautiful of their captives,
and the most wonderful and singular of the animals they had taken, and
passed through the cities of which they were citizens, and received the
plaudits of their inhabitants. To-day we have granted a triumph, not to a
warrior who has killed thousands of his fellows, or added much to the
landed property of the country, but to one who has been a warrior
nevertheless, fighting many difficulties that many warriors had not to
contend with, and carrying his life in his hands, as warriors have done
of old, in leading those who are associated with him in the triumph here
to-day. (Cheers.) There was no beautiful captive in his train, and no
curious animals, as in the old Roman triumphs. All that we saw were some
dusty pack-horses, and some well-worn packsaddles; yet with these the
explorer has to proceed on his journey, and conquer the difficulties of
the desert, knowing that with such slender things to rely upon he must
hope to overcome the dangers, and endure to the end. (Cheers.) Gentlemen,
in the page of Australian Exploration, which is the sentiment attached to
my toast--in its pages there are to be read too many tragic stories. We
cannot think of the history of exploration without thinking with regret
of some of the names connected with it. What an extraordinary page is
that of Leichardt, of whom it has been said no man

'--knows his place of rest
Far in the cedar shade.'

"And yet so great is the interest which is taken in his fate that the
wildest stories of a convict in the gaols of a neighbouring colony have
been of interest to us, and have caused some of our fellow Australians to
send out a party to see if something could not still be heard of that
explorer. Then think of Burke and Wills, and what a tragic tale was
theirs--so nearly saved, so closely arrived to a place of safety, and yet
to miss it after all! I daresay there are hundreds here who, like myself,
saw their remains taken through our streets in the gloomy hearse on the
road to that colony which they had served so well; and we know that now
the country where they laid down their lives is brought under the hand of
pastoral settlement. They were the heroes of other lands; but have we not
heroes also of our own? (Loud cheering.) Have we not here the likeness of
a man who knew not what fear was, because he never saw fear who carried
out the thorough principle of the Briton in that he always persevered to
the end? And then, coming nearer to our own time, speaking by weeks and
months, had we not our opportunity of entertaining in the city the leader
of an expedition that successfully passed its way through the desert to
the shores of Western Australia? I refer to Colonel Warburton. When
speaking, upon that occasion, of the noble way in which the people of
Western Australia had received our explorer, I ventured to hope that
before many months we should have an opportunity of welcoming some
explorer from that colony. Gentlemen, the hour has come, and the man.
(Loud cheering.) For West Australia, though the least of the colonies in
population, has its exploring heroes too. (Cheers.) I have no doubt you
have read, within the last few days, all about the battle that Mr.
Forrest has had to fight with the spinifex desert, with unknown regions,
and hostile natives. While giving all praise to those Australian
explorers connected with this Australian Empire that is to be, I ask you
to join with me in drinking the health of the last and not the least, and
I now give you the toast of Australian Exploration, coupled with the name
of Mr. John Forrest." (Cheers.)

The toast was enthusiastically received, and three hearty cheers given.

Band: The Song of Australia.

Mr. John Forrest, who was received with loud cheers, said, "Mr. Chairman
and Gentlemen, I feel very proud that my name should be coupled with the
toast of Australian Exploration. I assure you I feel altogether unequal
to the toast so aptly proposed by our worthy chairman, my forte not being
public speaking; still, I will try to do as well as I can. (Cheers.)
Since I arrived at years of discretion, I have always taken a very deep
interest in exploration, and for the last five years I have been what is
generally termed in Western Australia The Young Explorer, as I have
conducted all the explorations that have been undertaken by our
Government. In the year 1869 I was instructed to accompany an expedition
as navigator, which was intended to be commanded by Dr. Mueller, of
Melbourne, to search for the remains of the late Dr. Leichardt, who
started from near Moreton Bay in 1848, I think. Dr. Mueller not having
arrived to take command as was anticipated, and the expedition having
been got ready, I was deputed to the command, and we went out about 500
miles to the eastward of the settled districts of our colony, in order to
find out whether the statements of the natives relative to the existence
of white men or their remains in the locality were correct or not. We
were out about five months. Although we did not suffer very much, as we
had sufficient water and sufficient provisions, still it was a very dry
season. We came back and settled that there were no remains--that, in
fact, the reports of the natives were unfounded, and that they referred
to the remains of horses lost by an explorer of our colony, Mr. Austin,
not many miles to the eastward. This was the first attempt at exploration
I had made, and, although I had been brought up to bush life, I knew very
little about exploration, as I found when I went out. I was made aware of
many things that I did not know about before, and I must say that I was a
much better second than a commander. After this I undertook to conduct an
exploration north-east from our colony to Sturt's Creek, where Mr. A.
Gregory came down about 1855, and down the Victoria River. This fell to
the ground; but our present Governor, Mr. Weld, had a great idea that we
should organize an expedition to come to this colony overland along the
coast--along the course which was previously taken by Mr. Eyre, I think
in 1841--and he requested me to take command. Of course I readily
acquiesced in his suggestion, and in 1870 we started on our journey; and
although we did not experience the difficulties Mr. Eyre experienced,
still we had some little difficulty, and we would have had a great deal
more, I have no doubt, if we had not had Mr. Eyre's experience to guide
us. Many people--in our colony, I mean--thought it was a very little
thing indeed we had done, as we had only travelled along another man's
tracks, although they gave us a very hearty and enthusiastic reception.
We reported that there was good country along the coast, and I am glad to
say that in the course of a year a telegraph line will be run across the
route we travelled. (Cheers.) I hope it will tend to unite more closely
than they are at present united the whole of the Australian colonies, and
especially this colony with our own. (Cheers.) There is a very great deal
of good country inland from the south coast; and if only water can be
procured, I am quite certain it will be the finest pastoral district of
West Australia. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt the establishment of
telegraphic communication will tend to the settlement of that part of the
country, and I am very glad indeed that the Government of South Australia
have acted so liberally as to join with our Government in erecting the
line. (Cheers.) After this my exploration experience still increased, and
I tried very hard to get up another expedition; but, not being a wealthy
man, I had to depend upon others. I often represented that I would like
to go, and people talked about the matter, and then I thought I would
make an offer to the Government, which they might accept or not as they
liked. We have the good fortune to have in our colony a Governor--who, I
am sorry to say, is leaving shortly--who takes a great interest in
exploration. He had been an explorer himself, having, as he has often
told me, travelled across New Zealand with his swag on his back.
(Cheers.) He has always been a great supporter of mine, and done all he
could to forward exploration; and about two years ago I laid before him,
through the Commissioner of Crown Lands, a project which I was willing to
accomplish if he would recommend the granting of the necessary funds. In
a very complimentary reply he quite acquiesced with what I suggested, and
promised to lay it before the Legislative Council with the support of the
Government; and in 1873 the matter was brought before the Council. All I
asked was that the Government of West Australia would grant me some 400
pounds, and I would from my own private purse, and those of others who
had agreed to assist me, stand the remainder of the cost. (Cheers.) If
they granted me that sum, I was willing to undertake an exploration from
Champion Bay up to the Murchison, the head of which we did not know, and
strike the telegraph line for Port Darwin, it being left to my discretion
which course should be pursued. Four hundred pounds seems a paltry sum,
but there was some bitter opposition to its being granted, although by
the aid of the Government and other members it was voted. Last year was
the year when I should have undertaken the exploration, and I was, of
course, quite prepared to do so; but in the meantime a whole host of
expeditions from South Australia had come into the field. Mr. Giles, I
saw, had started from some part of the telegraph line westward, and I
heard afterwards that he had through some misunderstanding--I do not know
what it was; I only know by what I read in the papers--returned to
Adelaide. Then we heard that the South Australian Government had
despatched Mr. Gosse, and that the Honourable Thomas Elder--whom I have
the pleasure of meeting to-day--had despatched Colonel Warburton
(cheers)--to explore towards the same direction--as we judged from the
despatches and newspapers--that I intended to start from. I belong to the
Survey Department of West Australia, and was requested by the
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Surveyor-General, the Honourable Malcolm
Fraser, to superintend some surveys he specially wished undertaken that
season. I had an interview with the Governor, and he said very wisely he
did not wish to order me in any way; that it was no use running a race
with South Australia, and that as they were first in the field, although
we were the first to suggest the exploration, we should wait till the
next year, when, if the South Australian explorers were fortunate enough
to reach this colony, we should have no necessity to send an expedition,
and that if they did not, we should certainly profit by their experience.
I, being engaged in another service in which I took great interest, was
willing to wait for another year; and if, as Mr. Weld said, the South
Australians did not succeed, I would undertake it the next year, and
benefit by their experience. As it turned out, the expedition undertaken
by the Government, commanded by Mr. Gosse, did not succeed in reaching
the colony of Western Australia, and the expedition undertaken by Colonel
Warburton, under the auspices of my recent friend, the Honourable Thomas
Elder, reached our colony, but so far north that it did not add to the
knowledge of the route we had laid out for ourselves. He came out between
the 20th and 22nd degrees of latitude, whereas we started from the 26th,
and did not intend to go more north than that. After we heard--his
Excellency the Governor was away on a visit to New Zealand at the
time--that Mr. Gosse had turned back, although he had succeeded in
reaching a very great distance from the telegraph line, I had
instructions from the Colonial Secretary to equip an expedition at once.
If Mr. Gosse had succeeded, I am sure I would not have been here to-day;
but, as he did not succeed, I had orders to equip an expedition, and as I
was starting news arrived from the north-west coast by a coaster that
Colonel Warburton and his party had arrived. (Cheers.) This, of course,
gave us very great pleasure, and steps were at once taken to give him a
reception in Perth. (Cheers.) As soon as we heard that he had arrived,
our whole colony rose up to give him a welcome; and although what we did
did not come up with what you have given to us to-day--for our colony is
only a small one, with little over 30,000 inhabitants--still I am sure
that Colonel Warburton told you it was a kind reception. (Cheers.) I am
sorry to say that I was not able to be present when he was received,
though I waited some time in order to have that opportunity. The
opportunities for transport from our north-west settlements to the
capital are very few at a certain time of the year, and that was the time
when Colonel Warburton arrived in our settlements; so that in a matter of
700 or 800 miles, from Nicol Bay to Perth, he delayed unfortunately three
or four months. It was a very great pity that he should have been delayed
so long. After receiving addresses at Roeburne and Fremantle, the colonel
arrived just in time to be forwarded 250 miles to catch the mail, and
therefore he had not time, I know, to receive the reception that would
have been given him by the people of West Australia had he remained in
our colony a little longer. (Cheers.) All I can say is, that though what
has been done for Colonel Warburton cannot compare with what has been
done for us to-day, it was done in the same spirit, and we did our best.
(Cheers.) I am sure that I would have been very much pleased to have met
Colonel Warburton here this evening; but I understand that he is gone
upon a tour to his native land, and so I am deprived of the opportunity.
I have, however, had the pleasure of meeting other explorers, and I must
congratulate South Australia upon possessing so many explorers. I had no
idea that she could assemble so many, and that so young a man as myself
should be able to meet so many, all young men. I have read a great deal
of early explorations, and could tell you a good deal about them; but I
have no doubt you are just as well acquainted with their histories as I
am. I have only gleaned their history from books written by able men on
exploration; and I therefore need say little upon that subject, and will
content myself with a short reference to explorations of recent date. I
have already referred to Colonel Warburton. Mr. Gosse's is of more recent
date. I have never been able to read his journal to this day; but I hope
to be able to do so now. Through the kindness of Mr. Phillipson, of
Beltana, I was able to see his map of the country he passed over, with
which I am very well pleased; and, in spite of what some people have
said, I think that Mr. Gosse's exploration will be found of considerable
benefit to the colony, and that his action was one for which he deserved
very much credit. He travelled for some time in bad country, but, going
on, he got into good country; and that which he has described as the
Musgrave and Mann and Tomkinson Ranges I hope to see next year stocked
with South Australian sheep and cattle. (Cheers.) The country which Mr.
Gosse found is country abounding with any quantity of grass, with many
springs; and there are, perhaps, many more than I saw, for I kept along
Mr. Gosse's track; but I will say that I always found water where he said
that it would be found. (Cheers.) There is but one fault that I have to
find with him, and that is, that he did not say that water would be found
where I sometimes found it; but doubtless this arose from a very laudable
caution in an explorer, for had he stated that water would be found where
it failed it might have cost men their lives. One place he marked
springs, and if he had been mistaken there, we would have lost our lives;
but I am glad to say that we found there a very good spring indeed,
(cheers) enough to last all the sheep of South Australia, or at any rate
a good spring; and I am glad on this occasion to be able to thank him for
being so careful to mark permanent water where permanent water really
existed. Mr. Giles's exploration would have been as useful to me as Mr.
Gosse's, but unfortunately he did not return before I left the settled
districts of West Australia, and therefore I did not benefit by his work.
I am sure that my companions and myself feel very much the hearty
reception you have given us on this occasion. I cannot find words to
express my feelings on that point at all. I feel very deeply thankful,
and that is about all that I can say. (Loud cheers.) Six weary
travellers, travelling through the spinifex desert with about fifteen or
sixteen nearly knocked-up horses, not knowing whether they should find
water, or whether their lives were safe or not, I am sure that we could
not imagine that, after all our travels were over, we should receive such
a reception as we have received to-day. (Cheers.) I am sure that if any
stimulus is required to induce persons to become explorers, those who
witness our reception to-day ought to feel content. I am very proud of
the hearty and enthusiastic reception my companions and myself have met
with. I hope you will take the will for the deed, and in the absence of
better speaking on my part, consider that we are deeply thankful." (Loud

Sir H. Ayers, K.C.M.G., had much pleasure in proposing a toast that had
been allotted to him, and made no doubt that the company would have equal
pleasure in responding to it. The toast was Early Explorers, and he had
been requested to associate with it the name of Mr. John Chambers.
(Cheers.) It seemed to be the lot of poor human nature that whenever we
met for rejoicing there was always sure to be some little mournful
circumstance attending it, and we could scarcely think of the early
explorers without remembering with regret the noble leaders and brave
members of former expeditions who have now passed to their eternal rest.
There was the name of Sturt that came first in the list of our old
explorers. There was the name and the likeness of a man far more familiar
to many of them. There was Kekwick, and more recently poor McKinlay--all
gone to their last account. But still he was proud to see, and he was
sure it formed a source of gratification to that company, and especially
so to our guest, so many brave men at the table who had been companions
of those leaders and others in the early expeditions of this country.
(Cheers.) He said it with pride, that in no other Australian colony could
be seen such a group as sat at that table who had gone through the
hardships and dangers of exploration; for with one or two exceptions all
of them in the row were explorers. It was hardly possible for us to
estimate how much we had benefited by those who had opened up the country
for us. We were few in numbers and could not appreciate the work of the
explorer; but generations yet unborn would bless the names of those men
who had carried it out. (Cheers). He thought that it was doing only a
just tribute to associate the name of Mr. John Chambers with this toast,
because it might not be known to all present that Mr. Chambers, with his
late brother James and Mr. W. Finke, enabled Mr. Stuart to accomplish the
journeys that he made throughout the continent. (Cheers.) It was their
capital and his great skill, for in the face of so many explorers he was
not ashamed to say that Mr. McDouall Stuart was the greatest explorer
that ever lived. It was their capital that had enabled him to perform the
work which he had done, and for which his name would remain as a monument
for ever in the memories of South Australians. For not only were we
indebted to Stuart for the most valuable discoveries he had made, but he
thought Mr. Todd would say that his indications had proved the most
accurate. But he had also done a great thing for exploration in changing
the modus operandi. He had been one of Sturt's party that went out with
bullock-drays; but he had had genius, and had changed all that, starting
upon exploring with light parties, and thus being able to accomplish so
much, and he was glad to say that explorers since had followed up the
same plan with great success. (Cheers.) And they were still further
indebted to the Messrs. Chambers. They had not only assisted in
discovering far-off country, but had been the first to invest their
capital in stocking it and making it useful. He was sorry to see that
there were not more Messrs. Chambers to go and do likewise; but he
thought he saw signs of the spread of settlement further, for the toe of
the agriculturist was very near upon the heel of the sheep-farmer, and if
the sheep-farmers did not look out and get fresh fields and pastures new,
they would soon find that the agriculturist was all too near. That was a
question that he enlarged upon, especially in another place; but as
brevity seemed to be the order of the night, he would only ask them to
drink the health of The Early Explorers, coupled with the name of Mr.
John Chambers.

The toast was received with three cheers.

Band: Auld lang syne.

Mr. J. Chambers rose amid cheers, and said that he was proud to say that
he had been connected with the earliest of our explorations, having been
associated with the gallant Captain Sturt in his exploration of the
Murray. After his arrival in the colony he had first travelled with him
and the then Governor, the late Colonel Gawler, in exploring the south.
They had had no difficulties and dangers to encounter then that some of
the explorers of the present had to go through, and, although they
travelled with heavy bullock-drays, managed to have plenty of water and
food. Their principal difficulty lay in getting through the ranges to the
south, and the interminable creeks and gullies which they got into and
had to retrace their steps from. This was a small matter of exploration,
and might at the present day appear absurd; but then there were doubts
where the Angas was, and whether the Onkaparinga in Mount Barker District
was not the Angas, and when beyond the hills they did not know whether
Mount Barker was not Mount Lofty, and whether Mount Lofty was not some
other mount. It was, however, done, and, having settled these matters by
observation, they returned to Adelaide after an exploration of three
weeks. They were on their return made small lions of, although they had
not had to fight the natives, and had had bullock-drays with them, while
their horses were in rather better condition than when they went out.
There was no doubt that the subject of exploration was one of the most
important to be considered by those who in the future would have to do
with the country, as it was always well to have information beforehand;
and, if Governor Gawler and Captain Sturt had known more, there would
have been a different result to their exploration journey up the Murray.
The gallant Captain Sturt had made Cooper's Creek his depot, and that
place twelve months ago had been looked upon as a home by persons in
search of country with a view of stocking it. His youngest son had been
round there for five months, and had penetrated the country far and wide,
and had often to retrace his steps there for water. They had heard from
the young explorer, Mr. Forrest, how it was said when he came here before
that he had only traversed the tracks of Mr. Eyre. So be it, and often
was it said that Mr. Eyre did no good because he kept to the coast; but
they had heard from Mr. Forrest that the tracks and descriptions of Mr.
Eyre were of vast assistance to him. (Cheers.) Therefore no man could
tell what good he might do; the finding of a spring in a desert might
eventually become of great service to the descendants of those who lived
at the time. There were some whom he wished could have been there, but
Providence had ordained the contrary, and therefore he stood before them
to say that it was for no purpose of self-aggrandizement, but for the
purpose of good to the nation, that the early expeditions were promoted
and conducted (cheers) and that the object of James Chambers, Finke,
Stuart, and himself was to span this colony for the purpose of allowing a
telegraph line to be laid. (Cheers.) When we read of the many times that
Stuart was driven back by the force of circumstances, it could easily be
conceived that he possessed a very energetic spirit. It was not once or
twice that Stuart was driven back, but he was determined to penetrate the
continent for the purpose, he was proud to know, of paving the way for
telegraphic communication; and had it not been for his brother, Mr.
Stuart, and himself, he was proud to say, we should not this day have had
the telegraph. It was often said that there never would be a telegraph
line, but their answer was always "yes." (Cheers). He thanked them
heartily for the position in which they had placed him and Mr. Stuart's
companions, and which they all appreciated. (Cheers).

Mr. J.W. Billiat, who was imperfectly heard, also responded. He said that
when he went out with Mr. Stuart he was only a new chum; but he went out
and came back again, and there he was. He could not say much about Mr.
Stuart's explorations, as all that needed to be said had been so ably put
by Sir Henry Ayers. There was no country in the world that had so tried
the endurance and perseverance of the men on exploring expeditions as
South Australia had done, and explorers should receive all the credit
that could be given. He knew the difficulty of travelling country like
that Mr. Forrest had come across, as several of Mr. Stuart's party had
travelled upon it trying to strike the Victoria River. If Mr. John
Chambers's liberality were known, and the way he had entered into the
question of exploration generally were known, his name would be brought
into more prominence than it had. He had sat in the background, but he
had found both money and energy.

The Honourable W. Everard (Commissioner of Crown Lands) said the toast he
had to give was The Government and People of Western Australia. Owing to a
variety of circumstances, our relations with Western Australia had not
been so intimate or close as those with the eastern colonies. That would
be readily understood, because Western Australia, being a small colony,
and self-reliant and independent, had troubled us very little
--occasionally for a few tons of flour or a cargo of notions. Another reason
was that it had not had telegraphic communication with us or the rest of
the world, and it was separated from us by a large extent of country which
till lately was considered little better than a howling wilderness. He was
happy to say that by the enterprise of Western Australia the magic wire
which annihilated time and distance would be laid between the two colonies
before long; and he was happy to say the Legislature here had agreed to
construct the South Australian part of the line, so that Western Australia
would be placed in communication, not only with South Australia, but the
world. (Cheers.) And again, with reference to that large tract of hitherto
supposed desert country which lay between the two colonies, the experience
of the gallant men he saw around him, and not only of the Messrs. Forrest,
but of Warburton, Gosse, and Giles, had shown that it contained grassy
valleys, mountain ranges, and permanent waters, and he believed that
before long it would be occupied by squatters. We must remember that, in
South Australia, close upon the heels of the explorer came the squatter
with his flocks and herds, and he even was not long left in quiet
enjoyment; and if his runs were good they were soon taken from him for
agricultural purposes. Considering the progress that we were making in
agriculture, it was high time we sought to enlarge our borders. Although
it was true that the band of explorers who were now before them had only
made a line through the country, we must remember that it would be a
base-line for future operations. Their work was very different to making
a forced march of two or three days when it was known there was permanent
water ahead. The explorer had carefully and deliberately to feel his way
into unknown country, and if he went a mile or two too far he could not
retrace his steps, and we could not attach too much importance to the
services of those individuals who had risked their lives in that way. It
was said, when Edward John Eyre made that wonderful journey of his along
the coast of Western Australia, that he had done nothing but gone along
the coast; but along that very line there would be a telegraph to connect
this colony with Western Australia. (Cheers.) It was true that Western
Australia was the smallest of the Australian group, and she had not
perhaps been so favoured as South Australia, as her country was not so
good; but he believed, from the enterprise of her Government, and the
courage, perseverance, and endurance shown by some of her sons, that she
would yet take her place among the Australian group, and that at some
future date she would be one of the provinces which would form one united
Australia. (Cheers.)

The toast was drunk with cheers.

Mr. Alexander Forrest responded. He said he thanked them most cordially
for having associated his name with that of the Government and people of
Western Australia. He had had the honour for the last four years of being
employed in the service of the Western Australian Government, and he
could assure them that they had a very good Government. They had
representative government, although not responsible government; but since
they had been on their trip they had heard that it was proposed to
establish constitutional government. He did not believe it would make
much difference, but personally he was glad to see it. The people would
have the management of their own money, and that he considered a good
thing, for they were never satisfied till they had the control over it.
When the party left, all the people of Western Australia were longing to
do honour to and entertain Colonel Warburton; and, although they were a
small people, they did their best, and what they did they did heartily.
(Cheers.) If Mr. Gosse had got over they would have given him also a good
reception. He had not expected to see as many people as he had seen that
day. The streets were crowded, and, wherever he looked, some one seemed
to be looking in that direction. (Laughter.) The toast included the
people of Western Australia, and he could assure them that, as he had
travelled through the length and breadth of the land, he knew every man
in it, every squatter, every farmer, every rich man, every poor man, and
every magistrate. This was not the first time that he had been exploring,
as he accompanied his brother to this colony four years ago, and in 1871
the Government sent him out in command of a party to find new land, when
he went out about 600 miles. He thanked them for the very kind way in
which they had spoken of his companions. Since they came to this colony
they had been fed and clothed, and no one would take any money. (Cheers.)
In the city he expected something great, but in the Burra, Gawler, and
other places where they did not expect it, they had met with a hearty
reception. He saw a great improvement in Adelaide. When he came here four
years ago, the colony was not in such a good state, and a great many men
were out of work; but now everything was in good order, and he believed
South Australia would be one of the first colonies of Australia.

Mr. William Gosse rose, and was received with loud cheers. He said he
felt honoured by being invited on the present occasion, and had much
pleasure in taking part in the reception of Mr. John Forrest and party.
He would take that opportunity of making a few remarks. His instructions,
when he was sent out, were to find a route as nearly as possible in a
direct line from his starting-point upon the telegraph line to Perth,
only deviating when obliged to do so for water. He had to feel his way as
he advanced, form depots to secure his retreat if necessary, and
accurately fix all points on his track. The last words the Honourable T.
Reynolds had said to him were, "You fully understand that Perth is your
destination, and not any other point on the western coast," or words to
that effect. They would see by that, that had he been fortunate enough to
discover the country by which Mr. Forrest got across, he should scarcely
have been justified in proceeding. His farthest point west was between
500 and 600 miles from the explored portion of the Murchison, and 360
miles from the sources of the same. Copies of his diary and map had been
forwarded to Mr. Forrest by Mr. Goyder on the 27th of February, 1874, the
originals of which had been ready for publication on his arrival on the
telegraph line, and had not been compiled after their return to Adelaide,
as some people supposed from the delay in their publication. He made
these statements partly in self-defence, as remarks had been made by
members in the House to the effect that the Government had fitted out an
expedition at an enormous expense which had done comparatively nothing,
though his map showed 50,000 square miles of country.

Sir John Morphett had been asked to propose the toast of The Australian
Colonies. It was a very large toast indeed at the present time even, and
what it might be in the future it was impossible to say. He hoped that it
would be something wonderful. (Cheers.) At the present time the immense
country was occupied by 2,000,000 people, and we could not with that
number get on. What we wanted was more population. What were the products
which Australia could produce? First of all was wheat--the best in the
world. Then there were wine and wool, and lead, and gold, and copper,
tin, and sugar. These were all products that the world wanted, and all
that we required to make our production of these a success was
federation. We should have greater individual strength and prosperity,
and greater universal strength and prosperity if we were federated, and
we would in time become what we wanted to be--a nation. (Cheers.) Let
them come to West Australia, which was the birth-place of their esteemed
and energetic friend Mr. Forrest. He was glad to see that she had at last
freed herself from the shackles of that curse of convictism, and could
now go hand in hand with the other colonies in the march of progress. He
gave them the toast of the Colonies of Australia, coupling with it the
name of Mr. Ernest Giles.

The toast having been duly honoured, Mr. Ernest Giles rose to respond,
and was met with cheers. He had been called upon to respond to this
toast, which, as Sir John Morphett had told them, was a very
comprehensive one--so comprehensive that he was sure that he would fail
to do it justice. What he had to say therefore on the subject would not
detain them long. Sir John Morphett had touched upon the progress and
prosperity of the colonies, and there was no doubt that at the present
time the colonies were in a far more prosperous state than they had ever
been in before. With regard to federation, a gentleman high in the
service here, speaking to him, had said that if that was carried out
exploration should not be forgotten, but that fresh lines should be taken
with the co-operation of all the colonies. The splendid success which had
attended Mr. Forrest would, he had no doubt, tend greatly to promote the
ultimate prosperity of the colonies. (Applause.)

Mr. John Forrest, in a few complimentary words, proposed the health of
the Chairman, which was well received and acknowledged.


A few days afterwards I was honoured by an invitation from Gawler to lay
the first stone of a monument to commemorate the achievements of the late
Mr. John McKinlay, the leader of the Burke Relief Expedition, and the
explorer, under great difficulties, of the northern territory. Mr.
McKinlay died at Gawler in December, 1874, and it was resolved to
perpetuate his memory by the erection of an obelisk in the cemetery. The
14th of November was the day appointed for the ceremony, and after I had
laid the stone with the customary forms, there was a luncheon, presided
over by Mr. W.F. Wincey, the Mayor of Gawler. He delivered a really
eloquent address, describing the character and heroic labours of the
distinguished explorer, whose achievements we were celebrating. My own
health and that of my brother was proposed, and in responding (my brother
not being present) I once more took occasion to express the deep sense,
on the part of all my associates, of the kindness with which we had been

After this my brother and I paid a flying visit to Melbourne, where we
remained a few days, and received much attention from the Governor, Sir
George Bowen, the Mayor of Melbourne, and others; and then, on the 5th of
December, we bade farewell to our South Australian friends and started on
our homeward voyage. On the 10th we reached King George's Sound, where we
were heartily welcomed and presented with a congratulatory address. At
Banbury and Fremantle we were received with kindness and enthusiastic
demonstrations. At Banbury we met Mr. Weld. He was on his way to King
George's Sound, en route for his new Government in Tasmania. He welcomed
us very heartily, and expressed his regret that he was unable to receive
us at Perth. The popular air, When Johnny comes marching home again, was
selected as extremely appropriate to the occasion, and after a champagne
breakfast at the residence of the Chairman of the Municipal Council, Mr.
Marmion, at Fremantle, we left for Perth in a carriage and six, Tommy
Windich and Tommy Pierre riding on gaily-decked horses immediately behind

On reaching Perth we were met by the Commandant, Colonel Harvest, the
chairman and members of the Reception Committee, and representatives of
the Friendly Societies. The streets were crowded, and on our way to the
Town Hall we were enthusiastically cheered. Mr. Randell, the Chairman of
the Perth Municipality, read an address of welcome. I need not repeat
what I said in reply; my words were but the expression of what has been
felt ever since our perilous journey was completed--thankfulness that I
had been preserved and strengthened to do my duty, and that I had been so
well supported by brave and faithful companions. But I will quote the
characteristic speech of Tommy Pierre, who returned thanks on behalf of
the party--Windich was called on, but could not summon courage to say a
word. Tommy said, "Well, gentlemen, I am very thankful to come back to
Swan River, and Banbury, Fremantle, and Perth. I thought we was never to
get back. (Laughter.) Many a time I go into camp in the morning, going
through desert place, and swear and curse and say, 'Master, where the
deuce are you going to take us?' I say to him, 'I'll give you a pound to
take us back.' (Cheers and laughter.) Master say, 'Hush! what are you
talking about? I will take you all right through to Adelaide;' and I
always obey him. Gentlemen, I am thankful to you that I am in the Town
Hall. That's all I got to say." (Cheers.)

No doubt we all shared Tommy's thankfulness, and I am sure his homely
language very fairly expressed the spirit in which all my associates had
shown their confidence in me during our long journey.

A banquet and ball were given in the Town Hall. Mr. Randell presided at
the former, supported by the Bishop of Perth; Sir Archibald P. Burt, the
Chief Justice; the Honourable the Commandant; Mr. L.S. Leake, Speaker of
the Legislative Council; the Honourable A. O'Grady Lefroy, Colonial
Treasurer, and other gentlemen of high position. The newspapers published
the following report of the principal speeches delivered:--

The Chairman gave His Excellency the Governor, whose unavoidable absence
he, in common with every one present, deeply regretted, knowing full well
the deep interest his Excellency had always evinced in connexion with
exploration, and especially in connexion with the expedition so
successfully carried through by their guests that evening.

The toast was drunk amid loud cheering.

The Chairman next gave The Army, Navy, and Volunteers, which was duly

The Honourable the Commandant, in responding for the Army and the Navy,
heartily thanked the assembly for the loyal manner in which the toast had
been received. The toast of the British Army and Navy, always appropriate
at a banquet where Britons were assembled, was particularly appropriate
on the present occasion, gathered together as they were to do honour to
valour. (Cheers.) It was needless for him to state that--all knew
it--British soldiers, well equipped, properly provided in every way, and
properly led, would go anywhere, and face any mortal thing; and so, it
appeared, would West Australians, true sons of Great Britain. The other
day, at the presentation of the address given to Mr. Forrest by the
citizens of Perth, he (the Commandant), alluding to the young explorer's
gallant and truly heroic services in the field of exploration, had said
that, were he a soldier, the distinguished feat he had accomplished would
have entitled him to be decorated with the soldier's most honourable mark
of distinction--the Victoria Cross. (Cheers.) Now he had no desire to
accord Mr. Forrest the least particle of credit beyond what he honestly
believed he was entitled to, but he meant to say this--that Mr. Forrest
had displayed all the noblest characteristics of a British soldier under
circumstances by no means as favourable for arousing a spirit of
intrepidity, and for stimulating bravery, as was in operation on a
battle-field, amidst the all-powerful excitement of an engagement with
the enemy, urged on to deeds of valour by the examples of comrades. Who
or what had Mr. Forrest and his little band of followers to cheer them
on; to urge them forward on their perilous and dreary enterprise? What
surrounding circumstances encouraged them to face unknown dangers? He
should think that many a wearisome day and night in crossing the arid,
trackless desert-path he was traversing, he would, on laying down his
head to rest, say, "Would for bedtime in Perth, and all well!" Nothing
daunted, however, by perils, privations, and difficulties, he carried his
enterprise successfully through; and although there were no Victoria
Crosses for distinguished services of that nature, there, nevertheless,
was an order of merit for rewarding exploits such as Mr. Forrest had
performed, and he most heartily and sincerely trusted that the decoration
of honour conferred upon the gallant Warburton would be likewise
conferred on Mr. Forrest. (Applause.)

Captain Birch briefly responded on behalf of the Volunteers.

The Chairman then said the pleasing duty devolved upon him to propose the
toast which was in reality the toast of the evening, and to ask them to
drink with him The Health and Prosperity of Mr. John Forrest and his
Party. (Cheers.) Nine months ago, within a day, they had undertaken a
perilous journey across an unknown country, to accomplish what was
believed by many to be an impossible task on account of the terrible
nature of that country. What dangers, what difficulties, what privations
they had suffered in carrying out their daring enterprise, and what the
result of their arduous labours had been, was already known to most if
not all of those now present, a succinct chronicle of their journey
having been published in the South Australian and in the local
newspapers. To-night they were amongst them safe and sound, having been
saved by Almighty Providence from dangers which they could not have
contended with, and surmounted difficulties which but for such Divine
help must have been insuperable. All honour to them; all honour to the
brave men who had assisted to achieve such a victory, of which even Mr.
Forrest and his companions might well be proud, and the advantages of
which he felt that we could not yet fully appreciate. (Cheers.) The
Honourable the Commandant had spoken so ably of their victory that little
remained for him to add. He, however, ventured to differ from the gallant
Commandant on one point, namely, that, when compassed on all sides by
difficulties, far from aid, succour, or assistance of any kind, Mr.
Forrest must have wished himself back in Perth, all well. He (Mr.
Randell) did not believe that such a thought ever entered Mr. Forrest's
head, fully determined as he was to cross the continent, or perish in the
attempt. He was sure that not even the golden reward offered by Tommy
Pierre, for turning back, exerted any influence on his gallant leader's
mind; on the contrary, they found him quietly rebuking Tommy's failing
courage with a "hush" and a promise to take him right through to
Adelaide. Mr. Forrest's courage never failed him on the way, nor had they
any reason to believe that the courage of any member of his party had
really failed in the face of the terrible difficulties they had
encountered, and, by God's help, surmounted. (Applause.) They all had
read of the Olympic games of the ancient Greeks, and the kindred sports
indulged in by the Romans of old. Their athletic contests being conducted
in the presence of immense crowds of spectators naturally stimulated the
athletes to distinguish themselves; the applause of their fellow-citizens
urged them on to strive with might and main to win the crown of laurel or
ivy leaves with which the brow of the victor was decked. He well
remembered an incident recorded in Grecian history, where two brothers
had been engaged in an athletic contest and been victorious. When they
came forth to receive the crown which rewarded their victory, their aged
father--who himself, in his younger days, had been an athlete--was
present, and the sons placed their crown on his venerable head. He was
sorry that the father of the young heroes whom they were then
entertaining was not present to witness the reward freely bestowed upon
his sons by their fellow-countrymen. (Cheers.) Our South Australian
neighbours, in their magnificent reception of Mr. Forrest and his party,
had given us a good example of how to appreciate and reward noble deeds,
and it must be pleasing to every Western Australian to reflect on the
cordiality of that reception. (Applause.) He thought the colony would be
neglecting its duty if it did not, as one man, recognize the extreme
kindness which had been shown our gallant explorers by the people and by
the Government of our sister colony--South Australia. (Cheers.) It was a
pleasing trait in Mr. Forrest's character that he had not been at all
spoilt by the enthusiastic and really splendid ovation he and his party
had received at the hands of our southern neighbours; nothing could be
more admirable than his unaffected modesty and unassuming deportment in
the face of such a reception. The life of a lion did not spoil their
young hero, nor, as the Inquirer had said that morning, did he think it
would suit him long; for however tempting it might be to some people to
live upon laurels well earned, such men as Mr. Forrest had no difficulty
in overcoming the temptation to ease and repose, however deserving and
indisputable his claims thereto. (Cheers.) He believed with the Inquirer
that it was Mr. Forrest's natural instinct to lead a hard life in the
cause of exploration. He belonged--not by birth it was true, but through
his parents--to a country that had produced such men as Mungo Park;
Bruce, who explored the sources of the Nile; and Campbell, who, labouring
in the same cause, traversed the wilds of Africa; and that greatest and
noblest of all explorers, the dead but immortal Livingstone. (Cheers.)
Mr. Forrest's achievements had entitled his name to stand side by side in
the page of history with men of that stamp and others who had placed the
human family under such great obligations by their undaunted and
self-denying efforts in the cause of exploration. (Cheers.) It would not
perhaps be right on his part to refer to the pecuniary reward which the
Legislature had voted as an honorarium to Mr. Forrest and his party, but
he would say this much--and he believed every one in the colony would be
in accord with him--that the public would not have grumbled, on the
contrary, would have been glad if the grant had been 1000 pounds and not
500 pounds. (Hear, hear.) He did not think for a moment that the
Legislative Council thought that 500 pounds was the measure of the value
of Mr. Forrest's services; they were rather influenced by the extent of
the public revenue and the ability of the country to pay a larger amount;
nevertheless, he would have been pleased, and the public would have been
pleased, had the vote been more commensurate with the value of those
services. (Cheers.) In asking the present assembly to join him in
drinking the toast of Mr. Forrest's health and that of his party, he
considered it was as if he moved a vote of thanks on behalf of the colony
for the labours in which they had been associated, for the honour they
had conferred on their country, and he would ask them to join him in
heartily drinking the toast. (Cheers.)

The toast was received with several rounds of cheering.

The Commandant rose in explanation, and said he never for a moment meant
to infer that in the midst of his greatest difficulties Mr. Forrest ever
thought of giving up his task. What he said was that he must have often,
in lying down his head after a wearisome day's journey, wished himself at
home in Perth all well, with his enterprise accomplished, but not
otherwise (cheers). He did not believe that Mr. Forrest ever winced at
danger, ever swerved from the path he had laid out for himself to

Mr. John Forrest, on rising, was received with applause, which rose to
ringing cheers. Upon the subsiding of the applause, Mr. Forrest said,
"Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I feel that I ought to say a great deal on
this occasion, but I really hardly know what to say. I can, of course,
say that I sincerely thank you for your kindness in inviting myself and
companions to this great banquet, and when I say that, I trust you will
give me credit for saying what I feel in my heart of hearts. But I feel I
have much more than this to say this evening, knowing as I do that I
would disappoint you if I did not address you at some length. I will
endeavour to muster the words and the courage to do so; as you know,
public speaking is not my forte, and if I fail in satisfying your
expectations, you must accept the will for the deed (cheers). When I had
the honour of being entertained at a public banquet at Adelaide, I had a
good deal to say there of my career up to the present; but here I need
not say a word about my antecedents, for most of you have known me from
my childhood (cheers). For the last few years you all know I have had
some little to do with exploration, and for me to tell you anything of my
past experience would be simply waste of time and waste of words. You
will, however, expect me to say something of our latest enterprise. I had
been for some time animated by a desire to explore the untrodden interior
of our island continent. I had, as you know, been twice before in the
field; once in an eastward direction, and once along the south sea-board
to Adelaide--the latter, I was told, being considered a very small
undertaking, quite a coasting trip, and one on account of which we could
not lay claim to much credit. I therefore was desirous of penetrating the
mystery that shrouded the interior, and, with that object in view, I used
my utmost endeavours to organize an expedition in that direction. Without
the support and co-operation of one who I am sorry not to see here this
evening, he having quitted the metropolis--his Excellency Governor
Weld--my endeavours, I may safely say, would not have resulted in the
organization of the expedition I had at heart, and I should not have been
here to-night, occupying the proud position which I do. (Cheers.) My
proposition to his Excellency, through the Commissioner of Crown Lands,
was warmly received, and cordially espoused by the Executive. Any one can
see it on application, together with his Excellency's minute, which was
very complimentary to me. The proposition was carried through the
Legislative Council, and a small sum of money was voted for the
expedition, without which it could not probably have been organized and
fitted out. I am happy to say that our trip is not likely to cost much
more than the amount voted (400 pounds). Possibly the expense may reach
600 pounds or so; if it does, I have no doubt the Legislature will
willingly vote the extra amount. (Hear, hear.) If it does not, of course
we keep to the original proposition, and we shall only ask for the 400
pounds. I am quite prepared to abide by the original arrangement; but I
think that every man in the colony is satisfied that the expedition was
conducted at the least possible expense, and that we all tried to do our
very best. (Cheers.) I scarcely think it is necessary for me to enter
into any details of our journey; I have already given the most salient
points in my published telegraphic despatch to the Government. We
experienced some difficulties, no doubt, and some few privations, but I
can assure you none of us ever thought of turning back. (Cheers.) On one
occasion, I admit, the thought did enter my head that, possibly, we might
have to turn back, but I did not tell any member of the party a word
about it. The thought haunted me at night, and I could not sleep; and had
we to carry it into execution we should have probably found ourselves
coming out somewhere near Victoria Plains, and it struck me that I should
be greeted with such expressions as "Well, old man, I am glad to see you
back, but I am sorry you could not get through." I knew people would be
glad to see us back, but their satisfaction at our safe return would be
alloyed with regret at our failure to get right across; so I said to
myself, "I never can face that; I must try again," and try again we did,
and you know the result. (Cheers.) I candidly tell you that the thought
struck me that if we were baffled in our efforts to penetrate through, it
might be all the better for this colony, inasmuch as there would be a
saving of expense thereby, although the credit due to me would be
considerably diminished. But I did not care so much for that. When,
however, I reached the settled portions of South Australia, I was very
anxious to get right through to the telegraph line, just to show our
neighbours that we could get across. From the date of our arrival at
Peake Station, you know how cordially we were received throughout the
rest of our journey, and with what kindness we were treated. Probably all
of you have read of our enthusiastic reception at Adelaide. I never saw
so many people in my life before, nor such a demonstration. They say
there were 20,000 persons present. I thought there were 100,000 present.
(Laughter.) As for my brother, he seemed enchanted with the sight, and
especially with the ladies. He has said he thought they were all looking
at him. On the contrary, gentlemen, I thought they were all looking at
me. (Laughter.) Every one we came in contact with, both high and low,
treated us most kindly. The same again in Melbourne. (Cheers.) Now, I
must say a word or two about my first impressions on visiting Melbourne.
The first object of interest that caught my attention was the splendid
monument erected to the memory of the gallant explorers, Burke and Wills.
Baron von Mueller kindly met me on the jetty when we landed, and I
accompanied him in a cab to have an interview with the Governor. When we
came in sight of this monument I asked the Baron to stop while I alighted
to inspect it. He courteously did so. Gentlemen, a thrilling feeling came
over me on looking on that memorial of two brave men who sacrificed their
lives in the cause of exploration. The monument represents poor Burke
standing over Wills, who is kneeling down. The first relief represents
the party leaving Melbourne, and the popular demonstration accorded them;
in the next place the return from Carpentaria is depicted, and the
discovery of a depot where some provisions had been deposited. There is
King in the act of holding a candle, Burke reading a letter, and Wills's
head is peering over his shoulder. Further on there is a relief
representing the death of the brave leader with his revolver grasped in
his hand. On the other side there is Howitt and his party finding King,
the sole survivor of Burke's party, among a number of black fellows, with
whom he had been living for several weeks--the black fellows looking
aghast at the relief party. Several times afterwards, during my stay in
Melbourne, I went to look at this monument, and it always sent a thrill
through my very soul. (Cheers.) Gentlemen, in conclusion, I must again
express my gratitude for the kind manner in which you have received me
and the members of my party back amongst you. My only consolation, in the
face of the ovations I have received, is that we all tried to do our very
best. (Cheers.) As to the vote of the Legislature, alluded to by your
chairman, while I thank him heartily for his liberal spirit, I assure you
I am very well satisfied indeed. (Applause.) When I started on the
expedition I never expected one farthing of honorarium from the public
funds; but though I am modest I am not altogether unselfish, and I did
expect what I think every Briton expects from his countrymen when he does
his best--but what he does not always get--the thanks of my
fellow-colonists. (Cheers.) That I HAVE received most abundantly, and I
am quite satisfied with it, and so I think are all the members of my
party. We are also quite content with, and thankful for, the provision
made for us by the Legislative Council. I don't know whether I shall
again appear before you as an explorer, or whether I shall rest on my
laurels, as the Inquirer said to-day. I can only say that if my services
are required I shall be found ready and willing. (Cheers.) In the toast
you have so enthusiastically drank my companions are very properly
associated with myself, for I am much indebted to them for their hearty
co-operation. They always endeavoured to do what I desired, and the most
friendly feelings existed amongst us throughout the journey. (Cheers.) I
never withheld from them any information as to our whereabouts or our
movements; the maps, route, and the observations taken during the
expedition were always open for their inspection, so that they could see
our exact position from day to day. I had no secrets from them (hear,
hear), and this confidence was reciprocated on their part. I never had
occasion to check or to use an angry word to one of my party. They one
and all always showed readiness and willingness to obey my
instructions--in fact, I seldom had any occasion to instruct them; and I
gladly avail myself of this opportunity to thank them publicly for their
exemplary conduct. (Cheers.) On their behalf, as well as on my own
behalf, I once more also thank you most sincerely for the honour you have
done us and the kindness you have shown us. I hope that our future career
will show that we are not altogether unworthy of that kindness." (Loud

Tommy Pierre, one of the aboriginals attached to the expedition, then
stepped forward, and, addressing the assembly, said: I only black fellow,
you know; nothing at all but just a few words. I ought to give you good
lecture. (Laughter.) Well, gentlemen, I am very thankful that I got into
the city of Perth; that people give me welcome and everything. I am
always thankful to any person that brought me into city of Perth.
(Laughter.) When I speak so of city of Perth I don't speak wrong at all,
what I speak is true and true. Well, gentlemen, I am very thankful to the
people in Perth at the Town Hall; I am very thankful to every one that
welcome me. I am always very glad to see white fellows around me. In
Bunbury, Governor Weld spoke to me and say he left me a present in city
of Perth, and I hope I will get it too. (Cheers and laughter.) Governor
Weld is a splendid fellow; splendid governor. Well, gentlemen, I am all
thankful; my last word is--I am thankful to you all. (Cheers.)

Mr. Randell: In consequence of the absence of the Surveyor-General--from
what cause I am unable to state--his lordship Bishop Hale has kindly
consented to propose the next toast. (Cheers.)

His Lordship, on rising, was received most cordially. He said that the
toast which had just been entrusted to him was one that would have been
better proposed by the Surveyor-General. The sentiment was Australian
Exploration. It so happened that ever since he had arrived in Australia
he had been very much interested in exploration, and much mixed up with
persons engaged in that work. He had known the veteran explorer Sturt,
the discoverer of South Australia; and he had also been acquainted with
his brave companion, John McDouall Stuart, who had marked out the route
subsequently followed by the trans-continental telegraph line from
Adelaide to Port Darwin, for, wonderful to say, no better route could
afterwards be discovered; the map of Stuart's journey and the map of the
telegraph line were almost identical. With regard to Mr. Forrest's
exploratory labours, referred to with unaffected and characteristic
modesty by the young explorer himself, his lordship believed that great
and practical results would follow, and that, even as Stuart's track from
south to north of the continent had become the line of communication
between those two extreme points, so would the path traversed by Mr.
Forrest become, some day or other, the line of communication through the
central portion of the continent from West to South Australia. (Cheers.)
With respect to the necessity for exploration, no doubt it was a very
essential work to be carried out. Whenever he had gone to distant and
sequestered parts of the colony in the exercise of his ecclesiastical
functions, and was called upon to console people so situated as to be cut
off from the blessings of regular ministration, he was in the habit of
saying to them, "Although you are at present cut off, yet you may believe
that God in His providence has designed that His world shall be
inhabited, and ordained that pioneers shall go forth into desert places
in order to accomplish that end." Explorers, therefore, like Mr. Forrest,
might well feel that in devoting themselves to the work of exploration
they were doing their duty to God and to their country in seeking to
discover new fields, likely to be of practical use as new settlements for
the ever-increasing human family. Their efforts in that direction, often
purchased with much suffering and privation, entitled explorers to be
classed in the front rank of benefactors to mankind. (Applause.) The
population of the world was continuously increasing, and new settlements
became a necessity. In London alone it was said there was a birth every
five minutes. What, then, must be the population of the British empire if
the increase in one city was at that rate? It was but due to Mr. Forrest
and to all such explorers that they should receive the thanks of their
fellow-men for devoting their lives to so desirable a work as the
discovery of new country, fitted for the habitation of civilized men.
(Applause.) He would not trespass any further on the patience of the
assembly: he was present in order to join in that general feeling of
admiration which Mr. Forrest's exploit had evoked. Cooler courage and
greater heroism could not be displayed under any circumstances than were
displayed by his young friend on his right, circumstanced as he had been
on divers occasions during his journey, with his life and the lives of
his brave companions frequently in imminent peril. (Cheers.) Mr. Forrest
had just told them that he did not think it necessary to enter into the
details of that journey, inasmuch as the most important particulars
connected therewith had already appeared in his telegraphic despatch to
the Government, published in the local newspapers. That telegram was
certainly one of the most explicit and distinct records of the kind that
his lordship had ever perused. He had paid but a moderate degree of
attention to it, but had experienced no difficulty whatever in pricking
out Mr. Forrest's track on a map, and in forming a distinct conception of
his journey. (Cheers.) It only remained for his lordship to ask them to
join him in drinking the sentiment of Australian Exploration, and at the
same time to drink the health of Mr. Alexander Forrest, whose name was
coupled with it. (Cheers.)

The toast was enthusiastically honoured, the band playing The Song of

Mr. A. Forrest, on rising, was received with applause. He was
indistinctly heard at the reporter's table, owing to the distance which
separated him from it, and the constant hum of conversation, which by
this time was becoming general. He was understood to express the proud
satisfaction he felt at being present that evening, and more especially
as his name had been associated with the toast of Australian Exploration.
The sentiment was a wide one, and they need not suppose that he was going
to enter into the history of all Australian explorations that had taken
place. He was sure that time would not admit of his making even cursory
remarks upon these events. Mr. Forrest then alluded to the exploratory
labours of Stuart--perhaps the greatest of Australian explorers--of
McKinlay, of Burke and Wills, of Captain Roe, and the Gregorys, and of
the veteran Warburton. The hospitality shown by this colony to the
last-named gallant explorer had produced a lasting feeling of gratitude
throughout South Australia. The manner in which our southern neighbours
spoke of the kind treatment extended by the inhabitants of this colony to
that aged explorer, from the day he reached our north-west settlements to
the hour he embarked on board steamer for Adelaide, reflected honourably
upon the hospitable nature of West Australian people. Mr. Elder, one of
the enterprising gentlemen at whose expense the expedition was organized
and equipped, had told him (Mr. Forrest) that he never heard of such
kindness. The South Australians, however, were not long before an
opportunity was afforded them of returning that hospitality, and they
certainly had not neglected the opportunity. Than the treatment which the
party to which he had the honour of belonging had received at the hands
of the people of South Australia nothing could be kinder--nothing could
possibly be more hospitable. Every house was thrown open to them; their
horses were fed free of charge; it did not cost them a single penny in
travelling; everywhere they were met with the most cordial reception.
Their triumphal entry into Adelaide was a demonstration worthy of a
prince. (Cheers.) Having thanked his fellow-colonists for the very hearty
reception accorded them on their return, Mr. Forrest spoke in very
complimentary terms of the other members of the expedition. The two
natives were first-rate fellows, and, as for Sweeney and Kennedy, he
would never wish to have better companions in the bush. They were always
for going ahead; no thought of turning back ever entered their heads; in
their greatest privations not a murmur escaped their lips. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. L.S. Leake said: "The toast I have to propose is South Australia and
the Sister Colonies--a sentiment which I think might most appropriately
have immediately followed on the speech of my noble friend, Mr. John
Forrest, who by his remarks paved the way to the few words I have to say.
Why South Australia should be placed before the other colonies on this
occasion it is not difficult to conjecture. She has, above all others,
gained our affection by her kind and hospitable treatment of our
fellow-colonists, our respected guests this evening who were received in
Adelaide with even greater honour than the son of our beloved Queen.
(Cheers.) With reference to Mr. Forrest himself, Western Australia should
be proud of having produced such a man; and I only wish I had arrived in
the colony four years and a half earlier, so that I might lay claim to
having been born here.  Many of those around me are natives of Western
Australia; and although I am proud of Old England, my native country, I
should have been glad to boast of having been born in the same colony as
John Forrest. All of his fellow-colonists should be proud that Mr.
Forrest has accomplished a feat which the whole civilized world must
admire. (Cheers.) I did think that the Surveyor-General would have
considered it worthy of his coming here to-night to join us in doing
honour to Mr. Forrest, and that he would have introduced you to a
gentleman connected with the Government of Victoria, now in this
colony--Mr. Wardell, the Inspector-General of Public Works, for whose
services we are under deep obligation. I believe him to be an excellent
engineer, and in examining our harbour at Fremantle he will be the right
man in the right place. Had he, however, been in his right place
to-night, he would have been here amongst us, introduced by the
Surveyor-General, and we should thus have an opportunity of publicly
thanking the Victorian Government for granting us the benefit of his
services. (Hear, hear.) But, though Victoria is not represented at this
festive gathering, South Australia is, and that by a gentleman whose name
it affords me great pleasure to connect with the toast which has been
entrusted to me. This colony was established in the year 1829, and in
1830 there arrived amongst us one of our pioneer settlers, a good,
worthy, honest--I cannot say English, but Scotch--gentleman, Mr. Walter
Boyd Andrews, than whom a more upright man never landed on our shores. He
is represented here to night by his eldest son, with whom I spent the
greater portion of my younger days, and who for the last ten years has
been Registrar-General of the colony of South Australia. I have,
therefore, much pleasure in associating his name with the toast which I
now ask you to join me in drinking, Prosperity to South Australia and the
Sister Colonies." (Cheers.)

The toast was drunk with loud cheering, the band playing Pull, pull

Mr. Andrews, in response, said: "Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I rise at
once to return thanks, because I always fancy that words spoken on the
spur of the moment come from the very heart. I will first of all dispose
of myself, having been taken completely by surprise in finding my name
associated with the sentiment proposed by my old friend, Mr. Leake. I
thank you most heartily for the honour you have done me, and the kind
manner in which you have responded to the toast. As regards South
Australia and the Sister Colonies, you have done South Australia the
proud honour of giving her precedence over her sisters of the group,
thereby showing, as Mr. Leake has said, the warmth of your affection
towards her, which kindly feeling, I sincerely believe, is reciprocated
on her part. The cordial reception accorded to your gallant explorers is
an earnest of that feeling, and I think I may venture to say that the
colony which I have the honour to serve will at all times extend a hearty
welcome to any West Australian colonist. There is, I assure you, a very
affectionate feeling entertained by South Australians towards this
colony--a feeling that has been in existence for a long time, and which
is growing deeper and deeper every day. She is not only willing to extend
the right hand of friendship to you, but, as you know, has expressed her
readiness to meet you half way across the desert that separates you from
each other by means of the telegraph. (Cheers.) She does not feel jealous
that you should receive telegraphic intelligence from the outside world
earlier than she does; on the contrary, she is anxious that you should be
placed in the same advantageous position as regards telegraphic
communication as your other sisters are. (Applause.) Gentlemen, on her
behalf, and on my own behalf, I thank you most heartily for the kind
manner in which this toast has been received."


Since then, in the summer of 1875, I have visited Europe and received
many proofs of the interest felt by Englishmen in Australian exploration.
In the colonies, too, I find that the spirit of adventure which
stimulates settlers to follow eagerly in the steps of the pioneer has
been active. Already stations are being advanced on each side along the
shores of the Great Bight, and a telegraph line is being constructed from
King George's Sound to Adelaide, along my route of 1870, which will
connect Western Australia with the telegraph systems of the world.
Farther north, towards the head waters of the Murchison, advances have
been made, and I and other explorers must feel a gratification, which
gives ample reward for all our toil, in knowing that we have made some
advance at least towards a more complete knowledge of the interior of
vast and wonderful Australia.






CAMP 21.
Latitude 25 degrees 57 minutes 32 seconds South; longitude 117 degrees 20
minutes East:--
Cassia desolata. Trichodesma Zeilonicum. Stylobasium spatulatum. Psoralea
Cucantha. Scaevola spiniscens. Sida petrophila. Codonocarpus
cotinifolius. Adriana tomentosa. Salsola Kali.

CAMP 31.
Latitude 26 degrees 8 minutes 31 seconds South; longitude 119 degrees 18
minutes East:--
Acacia aneura. Oeschynomene Indica. Eremophila longifola. Cassia Sturtii.
Plectronia latifolia.

CAMP 33.
Latitude 26 degrees 13 minutes South; longitude 119 degrees 32 minutes
Santalum Preissianum. Plectronia latifolia.

CAMP 36.
Latitude 26 degrees 17 minutes 12 seconds South; longitude 119 degrees 53
minutes East:--
Brachychiton Gregorii. Dodonaea petiolaris. Cassia artemisioides.
Eremophila latifolia. Hakea lorea. Acacia aneura. Eremophila longifolia.

CAMP 40.
Latitude 25 degrees 38 minutes 44 seconds South; longitude 120 degrees 38
minutes East:--
Cassia eremophila. Eremophila longifolia.

CAMP 46.
Latitude 25 degrees 0 minutes 46 seconds South; longitude 121 degrees 22
minutes East:--
Stemodia viscosa. Eremophila longifolia. Sida petrophila. Adriana
tomentosa. Convolvulus erubescens. Cassia Sturtii. Hakea lorea.

Camp 48.
Latitude 25 degrees 22 minutes 50 seconds South; longitude 121 degrees 57
minutes East:--
Acacia aneura. Eremophila longifolia. Cassia eremophila. Cassia desolata.
Eremophila Brownii. Loranthus Exocarpi.

CAMP 52.
Latitude 25 degrees 41 minutes 23 seconds South; longitude 122 degrees 53
minutes East:--
Pappophorum commune. Cassia eremophila. Acacia salicina. Santalum
lanceolatum. Senecio lantus. Eremophila Duttoni. Ptilotus alopecuroides.
Brunonia Australis. Hakea lorea. Cassia eremophila. Eremophila

CAMP 59.
Latitude 25 degrees 43 minutes 8 seconds South; longitude 124 degrees 10
minutes East:--
Cassia notabilis. Cassia artemisioides.

CAMP 61.
Latitude 25 degrees 53 minutes 23 seconds South; longitude 124 degrees 31
minutes East:--
Eremophila Latrobei. Dodonaea petiolaris.

CAMP 62.
Latitude 26 degrees 5 minutes 10 seconds South; longitude 124 degrees 46
minutes East:--
Crotalaria Cunninghami. Indigofera brevidens. Sida petrophila. Acacia
salicina. Dodonaea petriolaris. Condonocarpus cotinifolius. Cassia
Sturtii. Cassia artemisioides. Kochia Brownii. Eremophila longifolia.
Loranthus Exocarpi.

CAMP 70.
Latitude 25 degrees 54 minutes 53 seconds South; longitude 126 degrees 48
minutes East:--
Hakea lorea. Cassia desolata. Eremophila longifolia. Abutilon Fraseri.
Acacia salicina. Cassia platypoda. Ficus platypoda (the native fig).

CAMP 71.
Latitude 26 degrees 1 minute South; longitude 127 degrees 7 minutes East.
Crotolaria Cunninghami. Indigofera brevidens. Cassia Eremophila.
Trichodesma Zeilanicum. Cassia artemisioides.

CAMP 72.
Latitude 26 degrees 2 minutes South; longitude 127 degrees 22 minutes
Abutilon Fraseri. Trichodesma Zeilanicum. Acacia salicina.

CAMP 78.
Latitude 26 degrees 15 minutes 10 seconds South; longitude 122 degrees 9
minutes East:--
Gossypium Sturtii. Hibiscus Farragei. Pterocaulon Sphacelatus. Salsola
Kali. Condonocarpus cotinifolius. Heliotropium undulatum. Scaevola
spiniscens. Stylobasium spatulatum. Adriana tomentosa. Tecoma Australis.
Ficus platypoda. Trichodesma Zeilanicum. Sida virgata. Dodonaea viscosa.
Helichrysum apiculatum. Jasminum lineare. Adriana tomentosa. Indigofera
Australis. Petalostylis labicheoides. Scaevola Aemula. Pterocaulon
Sphacelatus. Santalum Preissianum. Festuca (Triodia) irritans.

The Santalum Preissianum, the so-called native peach, with edible fruit,
is found generally on the whole route.

The Spinifex so often mentioned is the Festuca (Triodia) irritans, the
Spinifex of the Desert Explorers, but not of Science.

Latitude 25 degrees 46 minutes South; longitude 118 degrees East:--
Marsdenia Leichardti, the climber with edible pods and milky sap, the
seeds with a downy top, called by the natives Carcular.

Latitude 26 degrees 4 minutes South; longitude 129 degrees 50 minutes
The Casuarina Decaisneana, the Shea-oak or Desert Oak peculiar to Central






Latitude 26 degrees South, Longitude 117 degrees 20 minutes East : Taken
from Mount Hale on the Murchison River. This formation extends to
longitude 120 degrees East, and is very magnetic, also very heavy. There
must be a great deal of iron in it. The hills are very high, and the echo
very remarkable. I have seen the same kinds of hills in latitude 29
degrees, longitude 120 degrees. Bare granite rocks sometimes in the
vicinity, though not attached. (May 4th.) : Two small specimens of
Micaceous Iron-ore with brown Haematite. Impossible to state the age.
Similar ore occurs in Victoria, in Elvans in Porphyry, but it also occurs
in Tertiary rocks.

Latitude 26 degrees 17 minutes South, Longitude 119 degrees 54 minutes
East : The water shed of the Murchison, after crossing which we entered
the Triodia desert. Found oozing out of rock in the water-shed of the
Murchison. : Brown Haematite, decomposing to yellow. (Tertiary.)
Bituminous material. Mr. Cosmo Newbery reports that it is probably the
result of the decomposition of the excrement of bats. It contains
fragments of the wing cases of insects, and gives reactions similar to
the bituminous mineral or substance found in Victoria.

Latitude 25 degrees 14 minutes South, Longitude 121 degrees East : Peaks
rising out of sandy Triodia desert. (May 29th.) : 5, Quartz; 6,
Chalcedony; 7, Quartz; 8, Silky Shale (Silurian); 9, very Micaceous
Schist (Silurian).

Latitude 25 degrees 40 minutes South, Longitude 120 degrees 35 minutes
East : Found in the Frere Ranges. : 10, Ferruginous rock (Tertiary); 11,
portion of a seam or joint of a rock; 12, very fine soft purple slightly
micaceous rock (Silurian); 13, white micaceous slaty sandstone

Latitude 25 degrees 39 minutes South, Longitude 120 degrees 40 minutes
East : This rock was broken off the face of the side of a bank of brook.
It is rather soft, and would split; it is all in layers. I cut my
initials in it with a chisel. : Purple brown slate (Silurian).

Latitude 25 degrees 40 minutes South, Longitude 122 degrees 20 minutes
East, Mount Moore : Many ranges and some grassy country running from
longitude 122 to longitude 124 degrees, generally composed of this
description of rock. : 15, Rough quartzite (conglomeritic) Tertiary; 16,
rough quartzite with white band, brown and purple (Tertiary).

Latitude 25 degrees 32 minutes South, Longitude 124 degrees 17 minutes
East : Taken from rough range rising out of gently undulating desert.
(July 5th.) : White flinty rock; consists in the main of Silica, with
Magnesia and Alumina; it also contains water and traces of the Alkalies.
It is probably derived from the decomposition of granite. The "rough
ranges" are perhaps granitic.

Latitude 26 degrees 6 minutes South, Longitude 124 degrees 46 minutes
East : From a low table hill (Alexander Spring). : Translucent greenish
quartz. Impossible to state the probable age.

Latitude 26 degrees 2 minutes South, Longitude 125 degrees 27 minutes
East : This sandstone is the usual rock found in all the country from
longitude 122 degrees to 126 degrees 30 minutes. In it are receptacles
for water, and all the rising ground is composed of it. Very often one
side of the rise forms a cliff. Where this is taken from there is a long
line of cliffs with many creeks running from them, and low cliff-hills
all about. : Light red sandstone (desert sandstone, Tertiary).

Latitude 26 degrees South, Longitude 126 degrees 30 minutes East : From
the farthest ranges westward from telegraph line; good grassy country in
flats. The dark piece from a salt gully. (August 8th.) : 20, Silico
felspathic rock impregnated with Micaceous iron (probably from a dyke);
21, 22, green schist (Silurian).

Latitude 26 degrees 12 minutes South, Longitude 128 degrees East : In the
Cavanagh Ranges. Many ranges. (August 17th.) : Greenstone (Diabase ?).

Latitude 26 degrees 18 minutes South, Longitude 129 degrees 9 minutes
East : Tomkinson Ranges. Many ranges running East and West, and grassy
flats between them. (August 26th.) Mount Jane. : Aphanite.


The publication of the preceding Journal affords an appropriate occasion
for inviting attention to the remarkable progress of Western Australia
within the last few years. Mr. John Forrest is proud to acknowledge
himself as belonging to that colony--indeed native-born--and his
fellow-colonists have invariably supported and encouraged his
explorations. Belonging to the public service, he has recognized as his
main object the discovery of new and good country with the view of
extending colonization, while within his ideas of duty there has been a
steadfast regard for those objects which promote the welfare of young
settlements. It has long been observed that Western Australia requires to
be thoroughly understood in its great capacities for carrying a large
population. There are vast resources yet to be developed, and what has
been accomplished in sheep and cattle stations, in copper and lead
mining, in wine-growing, in pearl fisheries, besides other important
operations, prove that the country has scarcely been tapped, and will be
sure to reward those who have the enterprise and industry to become
settlers. It is only necessary to substantiate these statements by
official documents, and, in the hope that this volume will do good
service to Western Australia, the following papers are reprinted.


Government House, Perth,

September 30, 1874.


It has appeared to me that your lordship may think it desirable that,
before I leave, I should, so far as the limits of a despatch may enable
me to do so, place before you the present state of this colony, review
the progress it has made within the last five years, and indicate its
future prospects.

2. When I was appointed to the Government of Western Australia I was
aware that from various causes the colony had made but little progress;
and on my arrival in September, 1869, I found chronic despondency and
discontent, heightened by failure of the wheat crop, by the prospect of
the gradual reduction of convict expenditure and labour on which the
settlers had been accustomed to depend, by the refusal of the Home
Government to continue to send out free immigrants, and by that vague
dread of being thrown on their own resources so natural to men who have
been accustomed to take no part in their own affairs, and who have
consequently learned to rely entirely upon the Government, and not at all
upon themselves. One healthy symptom there was, and that was a desire,
not very strong perhaps, or even generally founded upon a just
appreciation of the past, or political foresight of the future; but still
a very wide-spread desire, and to many a reasonable and intelligent
desire, for a form of representative institutions which might give the
colonists some real voice in the management of their own affairs.

3. At the earliest possible moment I commenced work by travelling over as
much as possible of the settled and partially settled districts of the
colony; an old colonist bushman and explorer myself, travelling on
horseback and camping out were but natural to me, and I wished to judge
for myself of the capabilities of the colony; and before I had been six
months in the country I had ridden considerably over two thousand miles,
some part of the distance unfortunately, owing to an accident, with a
fractured rib and other injuries. I had made acquaintance with settlers
of all classes, and was able to form an opinion so accurate, both of the
people and of the country I have since had to deal with, and of their
capabilities, that I have never altered that opinion, nor have my many
subsequent journeys done more than supplement the knowledge I then

4. My first political aim was to promote local self-government in local
affairs by establishing or giving real power to road boards and
municipalities (a policy I afterwards carried into effect with school
boards also); and, so soon as I had obtained the sanction of her
Majesty's Government, I introduced that modified form of representative
institutions provided by 13 and 14 Vic., chap. 59, and then passed the
Municipal Acts I have mentioned above. This policy has fulfilled not only
my expectations but my hopes, and should the Council that is about to
meet wish to take the ultimate step of entering into complete
self-government by adopting the responsible system, the preparation
afforded by the last five years will admittedly be of the greatest value.

5. It fell to me to carry into effect the ecclesiastical policy indicated
by Lord Granville in a despatch, Number 80, of July 10, 1869, held over
for my arrival, in which his lordship suggested that grants (regard being
had to the number in the community of each denomination) should be equal
in substance and alike in form, and asked if there were any difficulties
in applying to Western Australia "that principle of religious equality
which had long been recognized in the Australian Colonies." Lord
Kimberley, in an enclosure to his despatch, Number 78, of December 19,
1870, expressed similar views. To this on March 1, 1871, in my despatch,
Number 37, I was enabled to reply that I had already carried the policy
recommended into practice, that the grants had been equalized by
"levelling up," that the vote for the Church of England was "now handed
over to the Bishop of Perth, the Government reserving the right to
satisfy itself that it is applied to those purposes of religious
ministration and instruction for which it is voted, and that all vested
interests are maintained intact and claims on the Government respected."
Since then I have supported such measures as were thought desirable to
promote self-organization, and I have moreover made liberal grants of
land for glebes, churches, schools, and institutions to the various
religious bodies in proportion to their numbers. I have reason to know
that on all sides satisfaction is felt at the position in which I shall
leave ecclesiastical affairs so far as the action of Government may
effect them.

6. The elementary educational question, on my arrival, was a source of
much contention and ill-feeling, which came prominently into play, when
in the second session of 1871 I caused a Bill, drafted by myself, and the
general provisions of which I was subsequently informed were "entirely
approved of" by your lordship's predecessor, to be introduced into the
Legislature, and carried it--not, however, quite in its original form.
Though the alterations are unquestionably defects, and may somewhat mar
its success, it has hitherto worked very well, and has proved itself not
only effective but economical: it has received praise from its former
opponents and from the most opposite quarters, and old bitternesses are
now (I hope for ever) things of the past.

7. I have not failed to give the utmost support in my power--a support
unfortunately much needed in a colony like this--to the Chief Justice,
and it has been a great gratification to me that, on my recommendation,
the long and valuable services of Sir Archibald Paull Burt have been
recognized by her Majesty, and that he has received the honour of
knighthood--a rank which none of her Majesty's servants will more fitly
adorn. I have suggested to the Legislature that a small increase of
salary should be given to uphold the dignity of the Supreme Court; and
the question, to which I have already drawn the attention of the
Legislature, of the appointment of two Puisne Judges and constitution of
a Court of Appeal ought to be taken into consideration at no distant
period. One new resident magistracy has been established in a district
where it was very much needed, and two Local Courts have been
constituted. There is some difficulty in finding a sufficiency of fit
persons for the commission of the peace who are willing to exert
themselves, and the pay of the resident magistrates is in too many cases
insufficient to enable them properly to support their position as
representatives of the Government in their districts.

8. In the Military Department I have enabled successive commandments to
make reductions in the enrolled Pensioner Force. By withdrawing the guard
from Rottnest Island, and by concurring in the reductions at
out-stations, a very considerable saving has thus been effected. I have
given all the encouragement in my power to the Volunteer movement, and I
may confidently state that the Volunteer Force was never before in so
good a state, either so far as regards numbers or efficiency. To this
result the efforts of successive commandants and liberality of the
Legislature have mainly contributed.

9. It has been for me to preside over the latter stages of the existence
of the Imperial convict establishment in Western Australia, as a large
and important department; henceforth it will be confined in narrow
limits, and I may state with confidence that the great reductions and
concentrations that it has been my duty to effect have not been attended
with those disastrous effects to the colony that were so confidently
predicted, and also that although the residue of convicts are, many of
them, men of the doubly reconvicted class and long-sentence men,
discipline is well kept, serious prison offences are rare, the health of
the men is excellent, whilst severe punishments are seldom needful. I
here beg leave to make favourable mention of Mr. W.R. Fauntleroy, Acting
Comptroller-General of Convicts, who has proved himself to be my most
valuable officer.

10. Much remains to be done in the Survey and Lands Department. When Mr.
Fraser in December, 1870, took charge of the department, the greatest
economy was needed to make the revenue of the colony meet the
expenditure, and consequently it was necessary to reduce and lay upon our
oars; Mr. Fraser reorganized his department, putting it on a new system,
letting out work by contract instead of keeping up a large permanent
staff, and thereby effected a considerable annual saving; at the same
time he has been steadily working, as time and means have permitted,
towards certain definite objects, namely, in the direction of a
trigonometrical survey, by fixing points, by making sketch and
reconnaissance surveys of new and important districts, and by accurately
fixing by survey main lines of road: this will give a connexion to the
records in the Survey Office which has been hitherto wanting, and will
contribute to enable him to construct that great desideratum--a large and
accurate map of Western Australia, so far as it is settled or partially
settled. I concur with Mr. Fraser in thinking that, so soon as means will
admit, a considerably increased annual expenditure should be devoted to

11. The joint survey of the coast will also aid in this work. The
Admiralty, in assenting to my proposal to undertake a joint coast survey,
which has been placed under a highly meritorious officer, Navigating
Lieutenant Archdeacon, R.N., have conferred a great benefit on this
colony, and promoted the interests of British commerce and navigation,
much valuable work having already been done.

12. In close connexion with the Survey and Lands Department is the topic
of exploration. So soon as possible after my first arrival, I took upon
myself to send Mr. John Forrest overland to Adelaide, along the shores of
the Great Bight, nearly on the line of Mr. Eyre's route in 1841. I did
this before the introduction of representative government, and it is
right to say that I knew that I could not have got a vote for it. I felt
that this was the last act of an expiring autocratic regime, and I
believe it was one of the least popular of my acts; but certainly no
small sum of public money has been expended with greater results--for, as
I hoped, Mr. Forrest's expedition has bridged the gap that separated West
Australia from the other colonies, has led to settlement on the shores of
the Great Bight, and to the connexion of this colony with the rest of the
world by electric telegraph. I never doubted of the future of West
Australia from the day when the news of Mr. Forrest's success reached
Perth. Since then more interest has been taken in exploration. A second
expedition was sent out to the eastward under Mr. Alexander Forrest in
1871, with the support of the Legislature and some of the settlers, and
at present under the same auspices Mr. John Forrest is again exploring to
the northward and eastward. His route will be guided by circumstances,
but it is not improbable that he may aim for the Central Australian
telegraph line, and I am already anxiously expecting tidings of him.

13. In 1870, with a vote I obtained from the Council, I engaged Mr. Henry
Y. Brown as Government Geologist. His geological sketch map and his
researches, which he pushed in one instance far into the interior, have
been of the greatest value; and it was with much regret that in 1872,
owing to the disinclination evinced in the Legislature in the then
straitened circumstances of the colony to expend money on a scientific
department, that I was obliged to forego my desire of making it a
permanent part of the establishment.

14. As Colonel Warburton's journey from the Central South Australian
telegraph line to our north-west coast was set on foot and its expenses
defrayed by private colonists of South Australia, I only allude to it to
acknowledge the obligation that this colony lies under to those
public-spirited gentlemen and to the gallant leader and his followers.
Parties headed by Mr. Gosse, by Mr. Giles, and by Mr. Ross have all
within the last two years penetrated from the eastern colonies to within
the boundary of our unexplored territory, but, beyond a certain extension
of geographical knowledge, without effecting any material results.

15. Under the head of Survey and Lands Department, it will be proper to
glance at the alterations in the Land and Mineral Regulations, which have
offered increased inducements and facilities for cultivation and
occupation, and which have considerably promoted mining enterprise. Gold
Mining Regulations have been also prepared and are ready for issue,
should occasion, as is likely, render them requisite. I willingly
acknowledge the assistance I have received from Mr. M. Fraser, the
Surveyor-General and Commissioner of Crown Lands, who has had much
experience in New Zealand, for the services he has rendered in all these

16. The mineral riches of this colony are very great. I have never
doubted but that they would ultimately become a main source of its
advancement. All the different kinds of auriferous quartz known in other
colonies are found abundantly in various parts of this--the question of
payable gold is, as I have long since reported, simply a question of
time. After many efforts, I at last, in 1873, obtained a vote for
prospecting, and the results are most promising, the fact of the
existence of rich auriferous quartz being now established. We shall
immediately be in a position to crush specimen consignments of quartz by
a Government steam-crusher, and I doubt not but that, if followed up, the
results will be most important. But gold is not the only nor perhaps the
most important of the minerals possessed by West Australia. The colony is
extraordinarily rich in lead, silver, copper, iron, plumbago, and many
other minerals are found in various localities, and indications of coal
and petroleum are not wanting--what IS wanting, is energy and enterprise
to develop these riches, and that energy and enterprise is being
attracted chiefly from Victoria, first by means of concessions that I was
enabled to make, and now by the reports of the new comers to their
friends. I made a small concession to a smelting company: and another,
and also an iron mining company, is in the field.

17. When on my arrival I turned around me to see what was to be looked
for to supply the place of Imperial expenditure, only second to our
minerals, our forests attracted my attention. They could not fail to do
so, because just before I came there was an outcry for the development of
this industry by Government aid. With Lord Granville's assent I made
liberal concessions, and thereby induced a pioneer company, shortly
followed by others from Victoria, to embark capital in the enterprise.
The public ardour here had, however, cooled, and an ignorant cry was
raised against foreigners, and the prospects of the trade were
systematically decried. Several causes besides this militated against it,
but it is surmounting them, and at the present moment not only are the
companies largely employing labour and expending money, but their own
success is becoming an established fact, and the export is enormously
increasing, and with good management must continue to increase
indefinitely. Whilst on this subject I may allude to the question of the
preservation of our forests, but as I am treating it more fully in a
separate despatch I will only say that this and the kindred question of
planting ought, at no distant period, to occupy the attention of our

18. The pearl shell and pearl fishery may be said to have sprung into
existence within the last few years. It employs a fleet of cutters and
schooners, chiefly of small size, on the north-west coast, Port Cossack
being the head-quarters. At Sharks Bay also there are a number of smaller
boats. A licence fee on boats and a tax on shells has been imposed by the
Legislature; laws for the protection of aboriginal divers and Malays have
been enacted. I shall immediately have a Government cutter on the
north-west coast for police and customs purposes, which will also be
useful in cases of shipwreck amongst the islands and inlets, and in
searching for and reporting the position of reefs, of anchorages, and of
new banks of pearl oysters. It will probably hereafter become advisable
to let areas for pearling under certain regulations as in Ceylon, but
this could not well be done with our present means and knowledge.

19. To turn now to the more settled industries, first in importance is
that of agriculture. It is chiefly in the hands of men of little capital,
and is carried on in a very slovenly way by the greater part of them. Bad
seasons, an over-great reliance on cereals, which have for several
successive years been seriously affected by the red rust, and a neglect
of other products suitable to the soil and climate, added in too many
cases to careless and intemperate habits, have until lately rendered the
position of many of the small farmers a very precarious one. Last year,
however, was more favourable, and they to a great extent recovered
themselves. The lesson of the past has not been altogether lost; they
have also been much assisted by the new Land Regulations, and a few
prosperous seasons will, I sincerely trust, put this class, which ought
to be a mainstay of the colony, into a really prosperous condition.

20. The cultivation of the vine is a profitable pursuit, and the quantity
of land fitted for that purpose is very great; both soil and climate are
eminently favourable to the growth of the grape. Recent legislation has
given some encouragement to wine-growers by facilitating the sale of
home-grown pure wine. The quantity of land laid down in vineyards is
slightly increased, but the class of settlers that are most numerous in
Western Australia do not readily take to industries that are new to them,
however profitable they may be, nor can they afford to wait for returns,
nor have many of them the knowledge necessary to make good wine: still
this industry will become one of the most important in the colony.

21. The pastoral interest is the pioneer interest of a new colony.
Western Australia has been somewhat less favoured than some other parts
of Australia in its pastoral lands, but it has, nevertheless, a good deal
of very good pastoral country, and under the extremely liberal
concessions lately offered to those who will devote capital to the
eradication of poison plants much more may be made available, whilst
fresh country is being largely occupied inland.

The progress, however, of the pastoral interest, considering the age of
the colony, though latterly great, is not SO great as might have been
expected; the comparatively good prices obtainable and anticipated for
meat have kept down the increase of stock, and consequently the yield of
wool; and as yet very little or nothing has been done to supplement
natural resources by growing artificial grasses and fodder plants. No
country presents greater capabilities for horse breeding, and cattle do
exceeding well and are very profitable.

22. The sandal-wood trade is in a flourishing condition, and has brought
money into the colony, and enabled many of the poorer classes to obtain a
livelihood by cutting that aromatic wood for export. It is, however,
doubted by some whether the labour employed in this trade does not
withdraw many from more steady and permanently useful labour on their
farms and small holdings.

23. In the matter of minor industries, sericulture holds a first rank. I
look to it in the future as a source of employment for paupers on the
hands of the Government, and also for women and children. I have taken
much interest in this pursuit, and have caused a mulberry plantation to
be made and plants distributed, and have published much information on
the subject. The Report of the Chamber of Commerce of Como (Italy),
alluded to in my despatch, Number 61, of 20th May, 1873, conclusively
shows that this colony is remarkably well adapted for the cultivation of
silk. The cultivation of the olive and the castor-oil plant are
industries for which this soil and climate are extraordinarily well
adapted. Tobacco, hops, and dried and preserved fruits might largely add
to the riches of the colony. In great part at my own expense, I have
introduced and distributed hop plants and various kinds of fruits of
great utility, and have, in fact, in the absence of any botanic garden
(in which I have vainly endeavoured to get the settlers to take an active
interest), made my own garden a kind of nursery for acclimatization and
distribution of useful and ornamental plants, and I have also given a
small concession for the cultivation of the cocoa-nut on the north-west
coast, where, in the absence of vegetables, it would be invaluable. And,
thanks to the Government of the Mauritius, I have been able to introduce
various kinds of sugar-cane, for which part of this territory is well
adapted. The growth of coffee has been also attempted on a Government
plantation, but without success. Cotton had already been proved to thrive
admirably, and to be excellent in quality, but is not considered likely
to pay without cheap labour. I may here note that, with an eye to the
future, I have made reserves for the purposes of public parks and
recreation grounds in several places.

Deer, Angora goats, hares, and trout have been also introduced.

24. I will now proceed to another branch of my subject--public works and
undertakings; and first in the category of public works and undertakings
I put those which relate to communications, and under that subdivision
immeasurably the most important are such means of communication as, by
terminating the isolation which has been the great bar to the advancement
of this colony, may make it a living part of the system of life and
progress which has been growing and prospering around it.

On this end was my mind set when I was appointed to the Governorship, to
this end have I worked steadily ever since, and this end is partially
accomplished, and its complete fulfilment is not distant.

The vote for the construction of the telegraph line via Eucla to South
Australia, passed last session, and the proposal of Messrs. Siemens
Brothers regarding a submarine cable to Madras, fitly close an
administration which found Western Australia within twelve miles, and has
already placed her in possession of a complete telegraphic system,
consisting of about nine hundred miles of wire, worked at a remarkably
small cost, in efficient order, already remunerative, and affording the
greatest advantages both to the public service and to private business.
It is noteworthy that four or five years ago there was a strong feeling
that the construction of telegraph lines was a waste of public money, and
only a few months ago a prominent member of the Legislature publicly
objected to the line which is to connect this colony with the rest of the
world, that it would only benefit a few individuals! Such ideas, however,
are rapidly becoming obsolete even in Western Australia.

I will here note that, under a power given me by law to fix and alter
rates, I, in January, 1873, reduced the charges to a uniform rate of one
shilling per ten words, and one penny for each additional word (press
messages at quarter price), and was the first to do so in the Australian

25. After much and persistent opposition, the Legislature was at length
induced to vote a subsidy for steam on the coast, connecting our western
ports and all this part of the colony with Albany, King George's Sound,
the port of call of the Royal mail steamers from Europe and the eastern
colonies. This has done much to throw open this colony, rendering access
to it no longer difficult and uncertain, and greatly facilitating
intercommunication. A very Chinese objection to steam communication has
been publicly made by the same gentleman to whose opinion on telegraphic
communication I have already alluded; namely, that it enabled people to
LEAVE the colony. I am, on the contrary, of opinion that it is certainly
conducing to progress and the promotion of commerce.

The steamer we have at present is, however, insufficient, but I doubt not
but that a second and more powerful boat will shortly be procured, as it
is already required: I understand, however, that no West Australian
capital is as yet forthcoming for the purpose, nor for steam
communication with India, than which nothing could be more important, as
it would render available the magnificent geographical position of the
colony, and open a market close at hand for its products. I have long ago
and frequently stated my willingness to give all possible Government
support to such an undertaking.

26. I am immediately about, by invitation, to proceed to Champion Bay,
and to cut the first sod of the first West Australian railway, on the
Geraldton and Northampton line. I have already fully indicated the
advantage that there is good reason to anticipate will result from the
opening of that line, which will, I do not hesitate to say, be the parent
of future and greater undertakings.

When the colony arrives at a position safely to borrow a million or a
million and a quarter, a railway from Fremantle and Perth, probably up
the Helena valley, into the York district, and thence down the country
eastward of the present Sound road, to the fine harbour of King George's
Sound, would do more than anything else to give an outlet to the
resources of the country and supply its wants; such a line would
ultimately be extended through the eastern districts and Victoria plains
northward to the Irwin, Greenough, and Geraldton.

But I will recall myself from these and other speculations of the yet
more distant future, and look back upon the modest past. Two tramways
with locomotives now bring timber to the coast from the Jarrah forests,
and there are also two other tramways for the same purpose, of less
extent, but still of some importance. I have made concessions to the
companies constructing them.

27. With regard to ordinary roads, I can very confidently say that,
considering the extent of the country and its scattered population, no
colony that I have ever seen is in a better position regarding roads.
Occasionally, owing to the loss of convict labour, the scarcity of free
labour, the disinclination of the people to tax themselves locally, and
the great extent of the roads themselves, parts of the roads already made
fall out of repair whilst other parts are being formed; but on the whole,
having perhaps traversed more of Western Australia than any one man in
the colony, I very confidently assert that, taking all in all throughout
the country, the roads are in a better condition than they have ever been
before. Large bridges have been constructed over the Upper Swan, Moore
River, Blackwood, Capel, and Preston, besides twelve smaller bridges, and
a large one completed at the Upper Canning.

28. Bushing the Geraldton sand-hills has been a very useful and
successful work; the experiment was first tried by Lieutenant-Colonel
Bruce. Part of the work has been done by convict labour, and part by
farmers and settlers in payment for a loan advanced to them for
seed-wheat before my arrival. It is not too much to say that this work
has saved the town of Geraldton and its harbour from destruction by sand.

29. A little has been done in the way of improving the Swan River
navigation by means of a dredge imported by Governor Hampton, and worked
by prison labour and by an appropriation in the Loan Act of 1872. A work
has also been constructed, from funds provided out of the same loan, at
Mandurah, by which the entrance to the Murray River has been improved.

30. Harbour improvements have occupied much of the attention of
Government. A fine and substantial open-piled jetty at Fremantle, seven
hundred and fifty feet long, has been constructed, and answers all the
purposes for which it was designed; but the larger and extremely
difficult question of the construction of a really safe harbour at or
near Fremantle is yet undecided. Various plans have been proposed, and
great pressure has been put on the Government to commence works hastily
and without engineering advice. At one time one scheme has found favour,
and another at another, and the merits of the rival schemes of our
amateurs have been popularly judged upon the principle of opposing most
strongly anything that was supposed to find favour with the Government.
Last session a strong wish to do SOMETHING caused the Legislature to
advocate a scheme which many persons think would cause the mouth of the
River Swan to silt up, and expose the town of Fremantle to danger, lest
the river in flood should burst out (as no doubt it did formerly) into
the South Bay over the town site. The question, however, is referred to
the Victorian Government engineer, and the Melbourne Government have been
asked to allow him to visit this colony, but I fear that the people will
not accept his decision; and unless the members of the new Legislature
will agree to do so, or, in the event of his not coming, do what I have
long since recommended, namely, ask your Lordship to refer the whole
question to the decision of Sir John Coode, or some other great
authority, and undertake beforehand to abide by it, I see no chance of
anything being carried into effect until the warmth and personal feeling
which, strangely enough, is always evoked by this question, shall be
succeeded by a more reasonable and business-like mood. One of my first
acts on reaching this colony was, in accordance with the previously
expressed wish of the Council and colonists, to send for an engineer of
high repute to report. His report only raised a tempest of objurgations,
and I must frankly confess failure in my efforts to leave Fremantle with
a harbour; and, indeed, I am far from being convinced that anything under
an enormous outlay will avail to give an anchorage and approaches, safe
in all weathers, for large ships, though I, with the Melbourne engineers,
think that the plan of cutting a ship channel into Freshwater Bay, in the
Swan River, advocated by the Reverend Charles Grenfel Nicholay, is worthy
of consideration. Jetties at Albany, King George's Sound, the Vasse,
Bunbury, and Geraldton, have been lengthened, one at Dongarra
constructed, and money has been voted for the construction of one at Port
Cossack. Moorings have been procured from England, and are being laid
down at Fremantle and other ports.

31. With respect to public buildings, the Perth Town Hall--a very large
and conspicuous building, commenced by Governor Hampton--was completed
not long after my arrival, and handed over by me to the City Council and
Municipality on June 1, 1870; attached to it I caused the Legislative
Chamber to be built, and so arranged that at no great cost this colony
possesses a council-room more convenient and in better taste than many I
have seen of far greater pretensions. It is, however, proposed hereafter
to build legislative chambers in the new block of Government buildings,
of which the Registration Offices now about to be commenced will form a
wing, for which the contract is 2,502 pounds. The public offices at
Albany were finished shortly after my arrival. I may mention, among a
number of less important buildings, the harbour-master's house, Albany;
school-houses there and in various other places; large addition to
Government Boys' School, Fremantle; court-house and police-station, and
post and telegraphic offices at Greenough and at Dongarra;
police-station, Gingin; addition to court-house, York; post and
telegraphic offices at Guildford, York; and Northam Bonded Store,
Government offices, and police-station, Roebourne. Considerable additions
have been made, which add to the convenience and capabilities of the
Fremantle Lunatic Asylum, and alterations and adaptations and additions
have been made to several other buildings; for instance, at Albany a
resident magistrate's house and also a convenient prison have been formed
at no great outlay. At Perth a building has been erected to which I call
attention, the Government printing-house; this new department has been of
immense service during the four years in which it has been in
existence--in fact, it would have been impossible to have gone on without
it; and the Government printing work is most creditably done at a very
reasonable cost. A handsome stone sea-wall has been commenced by convict
labour at the new jetty at Fremantle, which will reclaim much valuable
land, and greatly improve the appearance of the place. Harbour lights
have been erected at several places. A large lighthouse is in the course
of erection at Point Moore, at Geraldton, which will be of much
importance; and it is proposed, with the co-operation of other colonies,
to erect one near Cape Leeuwin, as recommended at an
intercolonial conference on that subject.

32. Postal facilities have been increased, several new offices opened,
and postages (under powers vested in me by law) considerably reduced, on
both letters to the colonies and newspapers, from the tariff I found in
force. In this a step in advance of some of our neighbours was taken.

33. I have reduced several police-stations on the recommendation of
Captain Smith, the superintendent, which appeared to be no longer
necessary; but, on the other hand, I have extended police protection into
outlying districts, both for the benefit of European settlers and of the
aboriginal inhabitants. These latter have gained little and lost much by
the occupation of their country by settlement. I have fought their battle
against cruel wrong and oppression, holding, I trust, the hand of justice
with an even balance, and I rejoice to say not without effect and benefit
to both races. Their services as stockmen, shepherds, and pearlers are
invaluable; and when they die out, as shortly no doubt they will, their
disappearance will be universally acknowledged as a great loss to the

34. The Legislature, I am happy to say, have latterly seconded my efforts
by encouraging industrial institutions for their benefit. Similarly they
have in the last session turned their attention to the condition of the
destitute and criminal children of our own race; and, in my own sphere, I
have done what was possible for the encouragement of the (denominational)
orphanages which have been long established and are in full working
order. This colony is, for its size and means, well supplied with
hospitals, asylums, and establishments for paupers, in which I have taken
great personal interest.

35. In legislation I have endeavoured to avoid over-legislation and
premature legislation. I have considered that free-trade principles are
especially in place in a colony situated as this is. The ad valorem duty,
and that on wines, spirits, and a few other articles, has been raised for
revenue purposes; some others have been put on the free list. I
successfully resisted the imposition of a duty on flour; I should have
simplified the tariff still further than I have done, and admitted free
many more articles--some of food, others used in our industries--had the
Legislature not objected; the tariff as it stands is inconsistent. The
English bankruptcy system has been introduced, and an Act passed
regarding fraudulent debtors; distillation has been permitted under
proper safeguards; Sunday closing of public-houses has been rendered
compulsory with good effect; a Lunacy Bill on the English model has
become law; the Torrens Land Registration system has been adopted, and
will shortly be put into force. Many equally important measures are
alluded to in their places in the pages of this despatch, and I will not
inflict upon your lordship a list of many minor Acts, some not
unimportant, which have proved beneficial in their degree.

36. Among lesser but not unimportant matters, I may mention that I have
extended the system of taking security from Government officers in
receipt of public moneys.

The commencement of a law and parliamentary library has been made.

37. Immigration from England has, on a small scale, been set on foot
lately, and families are now expected from neighbouring colonies, but our
population from obvious causes has increased but slightly during the last
five years; on my arrival it was said to be actually decreasing, and
there were many reasons why such an opinion was not
unreasonable--reduction of the convict establishment threw some out of
employment, expirees also desired to quit a country which to them had
been a land of bondage, and the prospects of the country were gloomy; now
there is a great want of labour, any that comes is at once absorbed, and
every effort should be made to attract a constant stream of immigrants.

38. It will be observed that when the whole authorized loan is raised,
the colony will be only in debt to the extent of a little over one year's
income, or 5 pounds 16 shillings 5 1/4 pence a head, whilst Victoria is
indebted 15 pounds 14 shillings 10 3/4 pence, New South Wales 19 pounds 7
shillings, South Australia 10 pounds 19 shillings 5 pence, Queensland 32
pounds 12 shillings 7 3/4 pence, Tasmania 14 pounds 3 shillings 6 3/4
pence, New Zealand 40 pounds 5 shillings 11 pence. I beg also to call
your lordship's attention to the fact that Western Australia has only yet
spent the 35,000 pound loan, and has now only begun to spend that of
100,000 pounds. I also would point out that the last annual increase of
revenue has about equalled the whole capital amount which has been
expended out of loans.

39. I have caused the following statistics to be furnished me from the
Treasury and Customs Departments for six years, ending on the 30th
September of each year. The first year given, that ending on the 30th
September, 1869, is the year immediately preceding my arrival, I having
been sworn in on that very day.


COLUMN 2: 1869.
COLUMN 3: 1870.
COLUMN 4: 1871.
COLUMN 5: 1872.
COLUMN 6: 1873.
COLUMN 7: 1874.

*Imports : 232,830/0/11 : 232,590/18/8 : 201,070/3/4 : 224,396/10/0 :
253,680/16/2 : 367,417/15/0.

**Exports : 178,860/15/2 : 204,447/2/2 : 194,934/9/3 : 228,807/12/9 :
278,502/16/0 : 398,900/8/6.

***Customs duties : 48,157/8/9 : 45,270/14/6 : 43,464/2/3 : 53,556/4/5 :
60,022/1/1 : 82,016/12/0.

****Revenue : 108,600/1/0 : 109,978/6/3 : 102,128/3/4 : 107,828/5/10 :
120,937/14/8 : 161,443/8/10.

****Expenditure : 107,213/1/10 : 119,478/8/4 : 112,285/10/7 :
103,205/16/0 : 120,259/11/9 : 131,334/18/5.


*Ships now expected will greatly swell the items of Imports and Customs.

**This is exclusive of RE-exported articles, and the valuations are very
moderate. In round numbers, the Exports may be said to be over 400,000

***Part of the increase of Customs duties is owing to increase of duties
on spirits, wines, and some other items; and ad valorem, on the other
hand, credit should be given for some articles which have been admitted
free. Taking the balance as the amount accruing from increase of duties,
it may be put at 12,000 pounds on the last year.

****It will be observed that for some time, until better seasons returned
and measures bore fruit, I had to a slight extent to rely on the surplus
found in the chest to make Revenue and Expenditure meet. To have starved
the Expenditure at that time would have been to have damaged the future
progress of the colony, and the Legislative Council opposed several
reductions that I thought might have been effected.

On the 30th September, 1874, there was a sum of 36,616 pounds 3 shillings
5 pence in the chest, and something like this sum will be at the disposal
of the Legislature at their meeting, beyond current revenue.

40. I need hardly say that the commercial state of the colony is
admittedly sound, and I am informed in a more prosperous condition than
at any previous period of its existence. Landed property, especially
about Perth, has lately risen immensely in value, and the rise is, I
hope, spreading and will reach the outlying districts. Perth has lost its
dilapidated appearance, and neat cottages and houses are springing up in
all directions, and the same progress to some extent is noticeable in
Fremantle and elsewhere.

41. I will not conclude this Report without recalling the success which
attended the efforts made by the Government, to which my private
secretary Mr. Henry Weld Blundell largely contributed, to represent the
products of Western Australia at the Sydney Exhibition of 1873. Much of
this success was attributable to the exertions of Mr. F.P. Barlee,
Colonial Secretary, then representing at Sydney this colony in the
intercolonial conference.

In that conference, the first to which a representative of this colony
was admitted, and which therefore marked an epoch in its political
existence, Mr. F.P. Barlee took a prominent part, ably upheld the trust I
placed in him, and received a most marked and cordial reception from our
colonists on his return.

41. I have further to express my obligations to that officer for the
assistance he has ever given me; were it not for his fearless and loyal
support, for the confidence which is placed in him by the very great
majority of the colonists, and for his fidelity in following my
instructions and carrying out my policy, it would have been impossible
for me, under a form of government most difficult to work, to have
carried to a successful issue the trust that has been imposed upon me,
and to have left this colony prosperous and self-reliant.

42. Should your lordship, considering the position in which I found
Western Australia--the reduction of imperial expenditure it has been my
duty to effect, the failure of the wheat crop for four successive seasons
and consequent depression, the inexperience of a new Legislature, the
absence of any propositions for the benefit of the colony from the
opposition, the obstacles thrown at first in the way of all measures
which have eventuated in good--should you, considering these things and
the present state of the colony, be of opinion that the administration of
its affairs during the last five years has not been unsatisfactory or
unfruitful, I beg that you will award a due share of credit to the
Colonial Secretary, who, as my mouthpiece in the Legislature, has carried
on single-handed all parliamentary business, and also to those gentlemen
who are now, or have at various times been, members of my executive, and
who have ever united to support me; to the nominated members of the
Legislature who have steadily voted for all the measures which have led
to the present progress of the colony, and whose merits the
constituencies have fully recognized by electing them as representatives
on vacancies in every case where they have stood; to the elected members,
who every session have given me increased support, and who, forming
two-thirds of the Legislature, had it in their power entirely to have
reversed my policy; and lastly, to the people of Western Australia, who
on each election have increased my strength, on whose ultimate good
sense, I--knowing colonists, myself an old colonist--put my reliance, a
reliance which has not been disappointed.

I have, etc.,

(Signed) FRED. A. WELD,


The Earl of Carnarvon,

etc. etc. etc.




1861 : 147,912 : 95,789.
1862 : 172,991 : 119,313.
1863 : 157,136 : 143,105.
1864 : 169,856 : 132,738.
1865 : 168,413 : 178,487.
1866 : 251,907 : 150,066.
1867 : 204,613 : 174,080.
1868 : 225,614 : 192,636.
1869 : 127,977 : 101,359.
1870 : 213,258 : 200,984.
1871 : 198,011 : 199,288.
1872 : 226,656 : 209,107.
1873 : 297,328 : 265,217.



United Kingdom : 188,243/10/8 : 268,726/4/0.

British Colonies:
 Victoria : 75,588/7/0 : 8,038/1/0.
 South Australia : 44,021/9/2 : 41,004/11/0.
 New South Wales : 1,236/4/9.
 New Zealand : 2,065/1/6 : 12,768/6/0.
 Mauritius : 23,247/7/4 : 3,435/1/0.
 Singapore : 11,346/19/2 : 53,648/16/0.
 Ceylon : 1,135/2/0 : 437/0/0.
 British India : 20/10/0 : 1,345/0/0.
 All other British Possessions : 20/10/0 : 130/3/7.

Foreign Countries
 China : 11,461/18/0 : 36,133/17/0.
 Java : 5,646/2/6 : 2,934/19/6.
 Timor : 246/14/4.
 U.S. of America : 3/15/0 : 101/0/0.
 Macassar : - : 118/0/0.
 Whaling Ground : - : 16/0/0.

Total : 364,262/15/0 : 428,836/19/1.


1861 : 67,261 : 81,087.
1862 : 69,406 : 72,267.
1863 : 71,708 : 71,073.
1864 : 71,910 : 70,714.
1865 : 77,942 : 74,985.
1866 : 89,382 : 84,652.
1867 : 90,430 : 89,501.
1868 : 99,496 : 89,726.
1869 : 103,661 : 103,124.
1870 : 98,131 : 113,046.
1871 : 97,606 : 107,146.
1872 : 105,301 : 98,248.
1873 : 134,832 : 114,270.


Customs : 82,275/7/3.
Land Sales : 7,679/2/4.
Land Revenue : 19,806/0/5.
Money Orders : 5,888/12/0.
Telegrams : 1,784/17/8.
Fines, Forfeitures, and Fees of Court : 2,022/13/3.
Reimbursements in aid of expenses incurred : 1,482/12/3.
Special Revenue (North District) : 2,133/12/0.
Miscellaneous Revenues : 11,152/18/11.

Total Revenue : 134,225/16/1.

Civil Establishment : 58,745/9/9.
Miscellaneous Disbursements : 53,111/8/6.
Parliamentary Salaries : 3,910/15/8.
Judicial Establishment : 6,098/18/10.
Customs Establishment : 2,045/1/3.
Police Establishment : 12,923/16/2.
Medical Establishment : 2,377/3/4.
Postal and Telegraph Department : 4,053/13/3.

Total Expenditure : 143,266/6/8.

PUBLIC DEBT : 100,000 pounds.


1850 : 5,886.
1853 : 9,334.
1856 : 13,391.
1859 : 14,837.
1862 : 17,246.
1865 : 20,260.
1868 : 22,733.
1871 : 25,724.
1874 : 26,209.


Captain James Stirling, Lieutenant-Governor. June, 1829. September 1832.
Captain Irwin, Acting Lieutenant-Governor. September 1832. September
Captain Daniell, Acting Lieutenant-Governor. September 1833. May 11,
Captain Beete, Acting Lieutenant-Governor. May 11, 1834. May 24, 1834.
Sir James Stirling (formerly Captain Stirling), Governor. August 1834.
December 1838.
John Hutt, Esquire, Governor. January 1839. December 1845.
Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke, Governor. February 1846. February 1847.
Lieutenant-Colonel Irwin (formerly Captain Irwin), Governor. February
1847. July 1848.
Captain Charles Fitzgerald, Governor. August 1848. June 1855.
A.E. Kennedy, Esquire, Governor. June, 1855. February 1862.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Bruce, Acting Governor. February 17, 1862.
February 27, 1862.
J.S. Hampton, Esquire, Governor. February 27, 1862. November 1868.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Bruce, Acting Governor. November 1868. September
F.A. Weld, Esquire, Governor. September 1869. September 1874.
W.C.F. Robinson, Esquire, C.M.G. September 1874.



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