Monday, 1st July, Tomkinson Creek.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition
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Monday, 1st July, Tomkinson Creek. Started at 8.10 a.m., course 54 degrees, with Thring, Woodforde, and Masters. At 11.20 (eleven miles), top of a high hill, which I named Mount Hawker, after the Honourable George C. Hawker, Speaker of the House of Assembly, S.A. At 12.45, four miles, struck a large creek; its course a little east of north, which I have named McKinlay Creek, after John McKinlay, Esquire. The first part of the journey was over stony undulations, gradually rising until we reached the top of Mount Hawker, the view from which was not very extensive on our course, being intercepted by stony spurs of the range nearly the same height, about eight hundred feet, and very rocky and precipitous. They are composed of sandstone, quartz, iron, limestone, and hard white flinty rocks. The sandstone predominates. We descended with great difficulty, crossed McKinlay Creek, and at five miles ascended another high hill, which I have named Mount Hall, after the Honourable George Hall, M.L.C. From this our view is most extensive, over a complete sea of white grassy plains. At about fifteen or twenty miles south-east are the terminations of other spurs of this range; beyond them nothing is visible on the horizon but white grassy plains. To the east and north-east the same. To the north apparently a strip of dense scrub and forest, which seems to end about north-east, beyond which, in the far distance, we can see the large grassy plain I turned back from on the 21st of May and 15th of June. No rising ground visible except the hills of Ashburton range to north-west and south-east. Descended towards the plains over stony rises, with gum-tree, lancewood, and other scrub and spinifex. At five miles reached the plain. It is of the same description as the other parts I have been over. No appearance of water. It is hopeless to proceed further; it will only be rendering my return more difficult, by reducing the strength of my horses, without the slightest hope of success. All hope of gaining the Gulf without wells is now gone. I have therefore turned back to a small plain (four miles), searched round it, and in one of the small creeks found a little rain water, at which I have camped. Wind, south.