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G'day! This is Laurie McArthur, photographer, adventurer and web builder from the country town of Bega on the Far South Coast of New South Wales, NSW, Australia and website administrator of Australian Explorers.
My interest in the great explorers who traveled the vast and inhospitable interior, the fertile coastal fringes and the treacherous coastline, came out of my outback photography trips and my research into areas that are way off the tourist track. I needed searchable versions of the explorer's journals and I was surprized to find that none existed.
The Australian Explorers website that you are now viewing comes from a succession of rebuilds as my vision for the site has expanded and refined and there's plenty of room for it to continue to develop. I'd appreciate feedback from users in this regard.
Website visitor statistics have a pattern suggesting that school students make up a fair proportion of visitors so it would not be out of the question to provide free webspace for the publishing of related school assignments. It would also be possible to add an explorers forum.
Camping in the campsites of John McDouall Stuart and drinking from his waterholes has been a life changing experience as I've developped an affinity with country substantially unchanged over the time of European settlement.
In the journal of his 1858 expedition Mr. Stuart writes:
Thursday, 17th June, Bottle Hill. Got on the top of Bottle Hill to take bearings, but was disappointed; could see no hill except one, which was either Mount Deception or Mount North-west; the bearing was 51 degrees 30 minutes. There is a small cone of stones on the top, and a flat stone on the top of it, with the names of Louden and Burtt. From here I saw the gum trees in the Elizabeth; course to them 325 degrees 30 minutes, seven miles to the creek. The country from the hill here is of the very worst description--nothing but sand and salt bush.
For me, the rediscovery of the remains of this small cone of stones left by the first white men in the area was indeed an exciting experience.
Many of the original hardcopy published versions of explorer's journals have been reproduced in recent times on the web. Generally, these are excessively long documents, not so easily read and not readily searchable. I have set out to provide a searchable and readable resource for students, teachers, researchers, historians and authors as well as the casual reader of great adventure stories.