- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Tuesday, 15th July, Billiatt Springs. I have named these springs in token of my approbation of Billiatt's thoughtful, generous, and unselfish conduct throughout the expedition. I started at 7.40 this morning, course north-west. Crossed granite and quartz rises, with broad valleys between, both splendidly grassed. At three miles crossed a small creek with water; at another mile the same creek again; one also to my line on the south-west side, and immediately went off to the south-west. At six miles the river came close to the line, and immediately went off to the west. Continued on my course through granite and quartz country, splendidly grassed, and timbered with stringy-bark and gums, pines, palms, nut-trees, and a wattle bush, which in some places was rather thick, but not at all difficult to get through. At ten miles again struck the river; it is now apparently running to the north. Changed to that course, but it soon left me. At three miles and a half on the north course struck another creek running from the range north-east; it has an abundance of water, and is rather boggy. King's horse fell with him in it, but did no further injury than giving him a wetting. A few of the other horses stumbled and rolled about in it for a short time, but we got them all across without accident. Changed to west of north; at half a mile reached a saddle between two hills, and ascended the one to the west, the river now running between ranges to the west; they seemed a good deal broken, with some high points to the north-west. There is a higher one, seemingly running north and south, with apparently a plain between about four miles broad, on which are four or five lines of dark trees; this leads me to suppose that the river is divided. The plain being very thickly timbered, I could not see distinctly which was the main channel. Descended, and proceeded on a north-west course. At one mile and a half struck the river, again running north; changed to that, and at two miles and a half camped. The country is now all burnt. I am obliged to stop where I can get feed for the horses. One of the channels comes close to the bank, east side, about six yards wide and two feet deep; bed sandy. The main channel must be in the middle of the plain. The hill I ascended to-day has been under the influence of fire; it is composed of quartz, and a hard dark-coloured stone; the quartz runs in veins throughout it, in places crystalline, and formed into spiral and many-sided figures; in places there is a crust of iron, as if it had been run between the stones, that is also crystalline. Wind, south-east. Latitude, 13 degrees 17 minutes 22 seconds.