- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Friday, 27th April, East Side of Mount Denison. Sent Kekwick to the south-west to a remarkable hill which I hope may yield some water, with orders to return immediately if he should find any nearer, so that we might get some for the horses. I waited till past 12, but he did not return, so I started, intending to go to the top of the mount. On getting to the north-east side of the ranges, I liked the appearance of the country for water, and seeing that the top of the mount was still some distance off, and that it would make it too late to return, I set to work myself to look for water. After an hour's search I was successful, finding some rain water in a gum creek coming from the hills. The natives must have been there quite recently, as their fires were still warm; and, as I had left the camp and provisions with only one man, I hurried back, had the horses saddled and packed, and brought them down to the water, leaving a note for Kekwick to follow in a west-north-west direction to a gum creek about three miles distant. Kekwick's search was also successful; he found permanent water under the high peak to which I sent him, and which I have named Mount Leichardt, in memory of that unfortunate explorer, whose fate is still a mystery. I have seen no trace of his having passed to the westward. Kekwick describes the water he has found as abundant and beautifully clear, springing out of conglomerate rock much resembling marble; its length is upwards of a quarter of a mile, falling into natural basins in the solid rock, some six feet in depth and of considerable capacity. The country round the base of the range is covered with the most luxuriant grass and vegetation. Mount Leichardt and the range are composed, at their base, of a soft conglomerate rock in immense irregular masses, heaped one on the other; the higher part where the spring appears is of the same conglomerate, but broad and solid, having smooth faces, which makes the ascent very difficult.