- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Saturday, 24th March, Large Gum-Tree Creek. Found it impossible to cross the Neale here; the banks were too boggy and steep. We therefore followed it round on a west course for three miles, and found that it came a little more from the north. Changed to 290 degrees, after trying in vain to cross the creek at this point. At about four or five miles south-south-west from this point there are two high peaks of a low range. The higher one I have named Mount Ben, and the range Head's Range; its general bearing is north-west to opposite this point; it turns then more to the west. I can see another spur further to the west, trending north-west. At four miles and a half after leaving we found a ford, and got the horses across all safe. I then changed to the north-west again, through a scrubby country--mulga, acacia, hakea, salt bush, and numerous others, with a plentiful supply of grass. The soil is of a red sandy nature, very loose, and does not retain water on the surface. We had great difficulty in getting through, many places being so very thick with dead mulga. We have seen no water since we left the creek. Distance, eighteen miles. I was obliged to camp without water for ourselves. As we crossed the Neale we saw fish in it of a good size, about eight inches long, from which I should say that the water is permanent. I shall have to run to the west to-morrow, for there is no appearance of this scrubby country terminating. I must have a whole day of it.