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John McDouall Stuart - Second Expedition

JOURNAL OF MR. STUART'S SECOND EXPEDITION (IN THE VICINITY OF LAKE TORRENS). APRIL TO JULY, 1859.

Thursday, 5th May, Chambers Creek.

Thursday, 5th May, Chambers Creek. Moved the camp to a better situation. Ascended a hill, got some bearings to fix it, and built a cone of stones upon it. I have had the creek, which joins this, run up for three miles to the sources to-day. There is no more permanent water. There are an immense number of small fish in the ponds, and on the banks there is a shrub growing that tastes and smells like cinnamon; we happened to stir up the sugar in a pannikin of tea with a small twig of the bush, and it left quite the flavour of it in the tea. I have had Herrgott to take sketches of some of the ponds, also of the fish and other remarkable things. It has been rather cloudy to-day, and I could not depend upon my observations. There are numerous tracks of natives about, but we have not seen any of them; we have also found some new plants in the creek.

Friday, 6th May, Chambers Creek.

Friday, 6th May, Chambers Creek. Moved further up the creek on the south side to the last water that we knew of. It is a hole of rain water, very large, and will last a long time, being well sheltered by gum-trees and other shrubs.

Saturday, 7th May, Chambers Creek.

Saturday, 7th May, Chambers Creek. Sent Muller to see if there is any more water to the west, and went myself to the top of a small hill, and built a cone of stones to connect this point with the last point. Muller returned after dark, and reported that there was no more permanent water. I shall start to the north to-morrow.

Sunday, 8th May, Chambers Creek.

Sunday, 8th May, Chambers Creek. Started to the north over the range, which is rather difficult to get the horses up and down. On the top it is very stony, with salt bush and scanty grass. Crossed the Margaret and a salt creek, in which there is water, some of which is salt and some brackish, but not unfit for the use of cattle. There is abundance of feed all round. We arrived at Hamilton Springs a little before sundown. Distance, twenty-one miles.

Monday, 9th May, Mount Hamilton.

Monday, 9th May, Mount Hamilton. Some of the horses require to be shod to-day. I shall also require to build a cone of stones upon Mount Hamilton (the one built by Major Warburton having fallen down), and get an observation of the same. Latitude, 29 degrees 27 minutes 37 seconds. The springs are certainly very remarkable, and Major Warburton gives a very good description of them.