- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Friday, 13th June, Purdie Ponds. Leaving Mr. Kekwick in charge of the party, started at fifteen minutes past eight with Thring and Auld, also with King and Billiatt, who were to bring back the horses carrying the water-bags. Proceeded on a north course, and at seven miles crossed what seemed to be a water-shed, seemingly running to the west of north. Halted the party, and sent Thring a short distance to see if the flow was in that direction. In a quarter of an hour he returned and informed me that it was, but only very slightly so. Changed to north-north-west to follow it. It gradually assumed the appearance of a small creek. At two miles came upon three small pools of water. I now resolve to follow it down and see where it goes to. I should think there must be more water further on. Its course is west of north. Continued to follow it down, winding and twisting about very much to almost every point of the compass. At seven miles from the pools found a little more water, but not a drop between. Allowed the horses to drink what there was, and proceeded down it. I sent Thring to follow it on one side, while I and the rest of the party kept on the other. By this we were enabled to cut off the bends and see all the creeks, so that no water could escape us. Twice it became very small, and I was afraid we were going to lose it altogether, but it commenced again and became a fine creek. Not a drop of water. At a quarter to five camped without it. Stony rises are now commencing, which are covered with gum and other trees, also a low scrub. They are very rough and running nearly west and south. The one on the west is a continuation of the one I crossed in coming to Purdie Ponds. The general flow of the creek is north. Some of the new trees are growing very large on its banks. The cabbage-tree is growing here also. This is the first time I have met with it, sometimes growing to the height of fifteen feet. All along the banks of the creek, and apparently for some distance back, is covered with an abundance of grass, but all dried up. In some places both horse and rider were completely hidden by it. Wind, south-east--few clouds. Latitude, 15 degrees 30 minutes 27 seconds.