- Category: John McDouall Stuart - First Expedition
- Written by Laurie McArthur
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John McDouall Stuart commenced his first expedition accompanied by Mr Barker.
About six days into the expedition, it seems that Mr Baker pulled out in conditions considered too dry to travel in the arid region of South Australia.
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Three weeks later Stuart recommenced the expedition, accompanied by George Forster and an unnamed Aboriginal youth.
Seven weeks into the expedition, the Aboriginal guide deserted, perhaps convinced of failure ahead.
Two and a half months after the recommencement of the expedition, Stuart and Forster struggled into Mr. Gibson's station at Streaky Bay, suffering scurvy, starvation and dehydration.
Among the key elements of this, and in fact all of Stuart's expeditions, are his ability to survive in atrocious conditions and his determination to proceed in apparently impossible environments.
Stuart and Forster traveled about 2400km over the three months of the expedition, starting and finishing in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.
They traveled north along the west coast of Lake Torrens an on to the region of Lake Eyre South, then west to present day Coober Peedy and then south to Ceduna, on the coast, before turning east, back toward the Flinders Ranges.
Indeed a remarkable feat of navigation and endurance.