Journals of expeditions of discovery into Central Australia, and overland from Adelaide to King George's Sound, in the years 1840-1

To Lieut.-Colonel George Gawler, K.H. M.R.G.S. under whose auspices, as governor of South Australia, the expeditions, described in the following pages, were undertaken, these volumes are respectfully inscribed, as a tribute of gratitude for his kindness and respect for his virtues, by the author.

Origin of the expedition--Contemplated exploration to the westward--Meeting of the colonists, and subscriptions entered into for that purpose--Notes on the unfavourable nature of the country to the westward, and proposal that the northern interior should be examined instead--Make an offer to the governor to conduct such an expedition--Captain Sturt's lecture--Interview with the governor--Arrangement of plans--Preparation of outfit--Cost of expedition--Name a day for departure--Public breakfast and commencement of the undertaking

Future Plans — Reduce the Number of the Party — Send the Cutter to Adelaide — Report to the Governor — Monotonous Life at Camp — Remove to Another Locality — Geological Character of the Country — Flint Found — Again Attempt to Reach the Head of the Bight — Reach the Sand Hills, and Bury Flour — Friendly Natives — Exhausted State of the Horses — Get The Dray to the Plain — Bury Water — Send Back Dray — Proceed with Pack-Horse — Oppressive Heat — Send Back Pack-HORSE— Reach the Head of the Bight — Surprise Some Natives — Their Kind Behaviour — Yeer-Kumban Kauee — Their Account of the Interior.

First night's encampment with party--Reflections--Arrival at sheep station--Re-arrangements of loads--Method of carrying fire-arms--Complete the number of the party--Their names--Move onwards--Valley of the light--Extensive plains--Head of the gilbert--Scarcity of firewood--Grassy well-watered districts--The hill and hutt rivers--Indication of change going on in appearance and character of the country, traceable in the remains of timber in the plains and in the openings among scrubs--The broughton--Reedy watercourse--Campbell's range--Course of the broughton

Land the Stores and Send the Cutter to Denial Bay — Party Remove to Point Fowler — Leave the Party — Beds Of Lakes — Dense Scrub — Coast Sand Drifts — Fruitless Search for Water — Distress of the Horses — Turn Back — Leave a Horse — Find Water — Rejoin Party — Send for the Horse — Country Around Depot — Take a Dray to the Westward — Wretched Country — Eall in with Natives — Misunderstand Their Signs — They Leave Us — Vain Search for Water — Turn Back — Horse Knocked Up — Go Back for Water — Rejoin the Dray — Commence Return — Search for Water — Dray Surrounded by Natives — Embarrassing Situation — Bury Baggage — Three Horses Abandoned — Reach the Sand Drifts — Unsuccessful Attempts to Save the Horses — Send for Fresh Horses — Search for Water to N. E. — Recover the Dray and Stores — Rejoin the Party at Depot Near Point Fowler — Return of The Cutter.

Embark Stores — Party Leave Streaky Bay — Dense Scrue — Point Brown — Singular Well — Process of Change in Appearance of Country — Dig for Water — Friendly Natives — Extraordinary Rite — Native Guides — Leipoa’s Nest — Denial Bay — Beelimah Gaippe — Kangaroo Killed — More Natives — Berinyana Gaippe — Salt Lakes — Wademar Gaippe — Sandy and Scrubby Country — Mobeela Gaippe — Difficulty of Getting Water — More Natives — Genuine Hospitality — Singular Marks on the Abdomen — Natives Leave the Party — Fowler’s Bay — Excellent Whaling Station.

Proceed to the Westward — Cliffs of the Great Bight — Level Nature of the Interior — Flints Abound — Return to Yeer-Kumban-Kauwe — Natives Come to the Camp — Their Generous Conduct — Meet the Overseer — Return to Depot — Bad Water — Move Back to Fowler’s Bay — Arrival of the Gutter Hero — Joined by the King George’s Sound Native — Instructions Relative to the Hero — Difficulty of Fixing Upon Any Future Plan — Break Up the Expedition and Divide The Party — Mr. Scott Embarks — Final Report — The Hero Sails — Overseer and Natives Remain — Excursion to the North — A Native Joins Us — Sudden Illness in the Party — Final Preparations for Leaving the Depot.

Return of Mr. Scott in the Hero — Mr. Scott Again Sails for Adelaide — Commence Journey to the Westward — Opportune Arrival at the Sand-Hills — Large Flies — Take on the Sheep — Leave the Overseer with the Horses — Reach Yeerkumban Kauwe — Joined by the Overseer — Tormenting Flies Again — Move on with the Sheep — Leave Overseer to Follow With the Horses — Character of Country Along the Bight — Scenery of the Cliffs — Leave the Sheep — Anxiety About Water — Reach the Termination of the Cliffs — Find Water.

Go Back to Meet the Overseer — Party Arrive at the Water — Long Encampment — Geological Formation of the Cliffs — Move on Again — Dig for Water — Traces of Natives — Send Back for Water — Parrots Seen — Cool Winds From North-East — Overseer Returns — Continue the Journey — Abandon Baggage — Dense Scrubs — Driven to the Beach — Meet Natives — Mode of Procuring Water From Roots.

Spring hill--An aged native deserted by his tribe--Rich and extensive plains--Surprise a party of natives--Rocky river--crystal brook--Flinders range--The deep spring--Myall ponds--Rocky water holes--Dry watercourse--Reach the depot near mount arden--Prepare for leaving the party--Black swans pass to the north--Arrival of the waterwitch

Make arrangements for getting up stores from the waterwitch—Leave the party—Salt watercourse—Mount Eyre—Aspect of the country—Lake Torrens—Return towards the hills—Native female—Saline character of the country—Mount Deception—Reach the eastern hills—Large watercourses—Water hole in a rock—Grassy but hilly country—Running stream—Ascend a range—Return homewards—Decay of trees in the watercourses—Shoot a kangaroo—Arrive at the depot—Bury stores—Make preparations for leaving—Send despatches to the vessel.

Horses Begin to Knock Up — Compelled to Follow Round the Beach — Tinor Pony Unable to Proceed — Gloomy Prospects — Overseer Begins to Despond — Two More Horses Left Behind — Fragments of Wrecks — Water All Consumed — Collect Dew — Change in Character of Country — Dig a Well — Procure Water — Native and Family Visit Us — Overseer Goes Back for Baggage — Disastrous Termination of His Journey — Situation and Prospects of the Party.

Go Back with a Native — Spear Sting-Rays — Recover the Baggage — Cold Weather — Overseer Reconnoitres the Cliffs — Unfavourable Report — Difference of Opinion As to Best Plans for the Future — Kill a Horse for Food — Injurious Effects From Meat Diet — Native Boys Become Disaffected — They Steal Provisions — Native Boys Desert the Party — They Return Almost Starved — Party Proceed Onwards to the Westward — Cliffs of the Bight — Country Behind Them — Threatening Weather — Murder of the Overseer.

Break up the encampment--Arrive at depot pool--Geological character of the country--Barometers out of order--Advance to reconnoitre--Ascend Termination Hill--Surprise native women--They abandon their children--Ineffectual search for water--Return towards Mount Deception--Broken character of the country--Find water--The Scott--Rejoin the party--Water all used at the depot--Embarrassing circumstances--Remove to the Scott--Reconnoitre in advance--Barren country--Table-topped elevations--Indications of the violent action of water--Meet natives--Reach Lake Torrens--The water salt--Obliged to return--Arrival at depot--Hostile demonstrations of the natives.

Cause of hostility of the natives—Well sunk unsuccessfully—Overseer sent to the east—The Scott examined—Rock wallabie—Overseer’s return—Another visit to lake torrens—Boggy character of its bed—Extraordinary effects of mirage and refraction—Return to the camp—Supply of water exhausted—Leave the depot—The Mundy—The Burr—Mount Serle—Lake Torrens to the east—Melancholy prospects.

Excursion to the north–east—Trace down the Frome—Water becomes salt—Pass beyond the ranges—Cockatoos seen—Heavy rains—Dry water–courses—Mount Distance—Brine springs—Mount Hopeless—Termination of Flinders range—Lake Torrens to the north and to the east—All further advance hopeless—Young emus caught—Rejoin party—Move back towards Mount Arden—Loss of a horse—Arrive at the depot—Plans for the future—Take up stores—Prepare for leaving.

The Camp Plundered — Night of Horrors — Proceed on to the Westward — The Boys Follow Us — They Are Left Behind — Forced Marches — Desert Country — Banksias Met with — Traces of Natives — Termination of the Cliffs — Find Water.

Proceed to the westward—channel of communication between lake torrens and spencer’s gulf—Baxter’s range—Divide the party—Route towards Port Lincoln—Scrub—Fruitless search for water—Send dray back for water—Plundered by the natives—Return of dray—Dense scrub—Refuge rocks—Dense scrub—Salt creek—Mount Hill—Dense scrub—Large watercourse—Arrive at a station—Rich and grassy valleys—Character of Port Lincoln Peninsula—Unable to procure supplies—Engage a boat to send over to Adelaide—Buy sheep.

Reflections Upon Situation — Watch for the Arrival of the Native Boys — Their Probable Fate — Proceed on The Journey — Facility of Obtaining Water — Kill a Horse for Food — Silver-Bark Tea-Tree — Intense Cold — First Hills Seen — Good Grass — Appetite of a Native — Injurious Effects of Unwholesome Diet — Change in the Character of the Country — Granite Forms the Low Water Level — Tree Washed on Shore — Indisposition.

Boy Speared by the Natives — Anomalous State of Our Relations with the Aborigines — Mr. Scott Sails for Adelaide — Dog Bought — Mr. Scott’s Return — Cutter Waterwitch Sent to Co-Operate — Send Her to Streaky Bay — Leave Port Lincoln with the Dray — Level Sandy Country Clothed with Brush and Shrubs — Salt Lakes — Mount Hope — Lake Hamilton — Stony Country — Lose a Dog — Better Country — Wedge-Hill — Lake Newland — A Boat Harbour — Mount Hall — Rejoin Party at Streaky Bay — Singular Spring — Character of Country — Beds of Oysters.

Heavy Road — A Young Kangaroo Shot — Grassy Country — Point Malcolm — Traces of Its Having Been Visited by Europeans — Grass Trees Met with — A Kangaroo Killed — Catch Fish — Get Another Kangaroo — Crab Hunting — Renew the Journey — Casuarinae Met with — Cross the Level Bank — Low Country Behind It — Cape Arid — Salt Water Creek — Xamia Seen — Cabbage Tree of the Sound — Fresh Water Lake — More Salt Streams — Opossums Caught — Flag Reeds Found — Fresh Water Streams — Boats Seen — Meet with a Whaler.

Go on Board the Mississippi — Wet Weather — Visit Lucky Bay — Interview with Natives — Wylie Understands Their Language — Get the Horses Shod — Prepare to Leave the Vessel — Kindness and Liberality of Captain Rossiter — Renew Journey to the Westward — Fossil Formation Still Continues — Salt Water Streams and Lakes — A Large Salt River — Character Of the Country.

Country Between Streaky Bay and Baxter’s Range — Its Scrubby Character — Gawler Range — Mount Sturt — Ascend a Peak — Salt Lakes — Beautiful Flower — Ascend Another Hill — Mount Brown Seen — Extensive View to the North — Lake Gilles — Baxter’s Range.

Large Watercourse — Lake of Fresh Water — Heavy Rains — Reach Mount Barren — Salt Lakes and Streams — Barren Scrubby Country — Ranges Behind King George’s Sound Are Seen — Brackish Ponds — Pass Cape Riche — A Large Salt River — Chains of Ponds — Good Land — Heavily Timbered Country — Cold Weather — Fresh Lake — The Candiup River — King’s River — Excessive Rains — Arrival at King George’s Sound and Termination of the Expedition — Reception of Wylie by the Natives.

Concluding Remarks.