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Explorations in Australia, The Journals of John McDouall Stuart by John McDouall Stuart

Part 2 out of 7

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with a strong wind from the south-west, from which quarter the clouds are
coming. The country is a little stony, but well grassed.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Tuesday, 10th May, Mount Hamilton. Started for the Beresford Springs.
Arrived at Mount Hugh at 11 o'clock, seven miles distant from Mount
Hamilton, and, as I anticipated, found a number of splendid springs,
giving out a fine stream of water, not the least brackish. The hill from
which this stream issues is one hundred feet above the level of the
plain, the water coming from the very top. My horse got bogged on the
top, and I had some difficulty in getting him out, but I did so at last
without injuring him. Started from the mount at 12.30, and, after three
miles and a half, arrived at Beresford Springs. The Beresford Springs are
nothing in comparison to the others; there are only two that are running,
but they are very good. The country travelled over to-day has been very
well grassed, with salt bush; take it altogether I have not seen better
runs in the colony, and in the driest summer the furthest distance from
water will not be above five miles at the most, but the feed is so
abundant that they would not require to go so far. On that account they
will feed double and treble the number of stock that the runs down the
country do. At two miles on this side of the Hugh Springs discovered
another batch of springs with plenty of water running from them; there
are about eight or nine of them very good; those springs have not been
visited by Major Warburton. We examined all round, but could find no
tracks. I have named them the Elizabeth Springs. There is enough water
running to drive a flour-mill in two or three places. They are really
remarkable springs--such a height above the level of the plain; I saw
them from a hill on Chambers Creek (the Twins). From whence do they
derive their supply of water, to cause them to rise to such a height? It
must be from some high ranges to the north-west, or a large body of fresh
water lying on elevated ground. This is another strange feature of the
mysterious interior of Australia. I shall remain here until after 12
to-morrow, to get an observation of the sun to fix this hill. I shall
return to Mount Hamilton, and proceed to examine the country west of
North Lake Torrens, for one of the east runs, which will complete my
survey of them, and I shall despatch thence a messenger to Oratunga.

Wednesday, 11th May, Elizabeth Springs. Latitude, 29 degrees 17 minutes
43 seconds. I omitted to mention yesterday that, two miles before we
reached Beresford Hill, we crossed Pasley Ponds and saw one of the
Major's camps. The water is brackish, but not bad. The white deposit
round these springs, and also round the Elizabeth, is soda. In returning,
I examined the Coward Springs; the water is good, and running. There is a
plentiful supply. It was dark when I arrived at Mount Hamilton. Saw four
natives to-day, but they gave us a wide berth; they do not like to come
near us.

Thursday, 12th May, Mount Hamilton. Some of the horses require shoeing,
and I wish to get another observation of the sun. I shall remain here
to-day, and examine the country to the north-east. About seven miles in
that direction is the salt creek of Major Warburton. The country is of a
light sandy soil covered with grass.

Friday, May 13th, Mount Hamilton. Started to the eastward, to complete
the survey of the runs, and see if there are any more springs. To the
south of east, about four miles, we discovered four springs not seen by
the Major; there is a plentiful supply of water, and would be more if
they were opened. One is choked up with reeds, but the other two are
running. Saw some natives; they seemed frightened at first, but were
induced to come close up: they were very much amused at our equipments.
Two had seen or heard of whites before; they knew the name of horse, but
no more; they call water courie, and some of their words very much
resemble those of the natives in Port Lincoln. We could make nothing of
them--they repeat every word of the question we ask them. They followed
us over to the Margaret, and took us to some fresh-water springs in the
creek, the water of which is very good. There is a quantity of reeds
growing round them, also tea-tree. From this we followed the creek to the
north, thence north-east towards the lake, but the water being too
brackish, I returned to the springs, the natives walking with us all the
time; they seemed very inoffensive. In following down the creek, another
native joined us from the creek, carrying a net in which were some small
fish; the net was a hoop one, well made.

Saturday, May 14th, The Margaret Creek. The morning very cloudy; every
appearance of rain. Saddled and proceeded in search of Emerald Spring, on
a north course. At seven miles made Mr. Babbage's old camp on a sand
hill. Camped a little way from it. I did not know the position of the
spring, but Herrgott informed me that it was three miles to the west. It
commenced raining before we started, has rained all the way up, and is
still doing so; it is a very light rain, but the wind is very strong and
cold from the south-west. Intended to have brought up my plan, but the
rain and wind prevent me.

Sunday, 15th May, Mr. Babbage's Old Camp. It cleared off during the
night, but the clouds have come up again this morning and look very
threatening. Sent Herrgott to find the spring. The wind is still from the
same quarter, and too strong for me to do anything to the plan, which is
a great annoyance. I will finish the survey of the runs from this place,
and send Campbell back to Oratunga with the plan. Herrgott did not return
until after sundown: he could not find the spring.

Monday, 16th May, Same Place. Sent Muller to the west; he returned at 10
o'clock, having found the spring about two miles and a half distant from
the camp; it is not hot, but a little warmer than milk-warm. There is a
good stream running from it, and the water is excellent; to me it has a
mineral taste, very good. There were some small fish lying dead on the
bank, near the mouth; they seemed to have been left there by the retiring
of the flood--they were quite dried up. I intended to have taken some
with me, but they were too dry--nothing but skin and bone. The creek
empties itself into the lake, about a mile north from where Chambers
Creek goes into it.

Tuesday, 17th May, Same Place. Again very cloudy, with a little rain.
Busy finishing the survey. Could not obtain an observation of the sun.
Wind still very strong.

Wednesday, 18th May, Same Place. Weather clearing up. Engaged with

Thursday, 19th May, Same Place. Finishing tracings, etc.

Friday, 20th May, Same Place. At sunrise started Campbell for Oratunga
with tracings, letter, etc., with orders to proceed to Finniss Springs,
thence to Herrgott Springs, thence to St. A'Becket's Pool, thence to
Mount Glenns, thence to Mount Stuart, and thence to Oratunga, taking six
days to perform the journey. Preparing my other plans for a start
to-morrow for the north-west, to see what the Davenport range is.
Latitude, 29 degrees 23 minutes 20 seconds.

Saturday, 21st May, Same Place. Started at 8 o'clock on a bearing of 310
degrees for the Davenport range. At twenty-two miles changed our course
to examine a large lagoon to the south-west of us, bearing 238 degrees.
At two miles reached the lagoon, which we examined for springs, but found
none. I suppose it receives Major Warburton's salt creek. It is caked
with a crust of salt, and is dry; it is seven miles long by three broad,
running north-west and south-west. On the south-west side it is bounded
by steep cliffs, and high sand hills on the top. Changed to 310 degrees,
our original course. Came upon some rain water at four miles, and camped
for the night. Distance to-day, twenty-eight miles.

Sunday, 22nd May, Rain Water. Sent Herrgott to examine the south-west
side of the lagoon which we passed last night, with orders to overtake me
by 11.30, so that I may get an observation of the sun at noon. The horses
having strayed some distance during the night, our start was delayed
until 9.15. Started on the same bearing as yesterday, 310 degrees.
Stopped at 11.20 for Herrgott to come with the instruments, but he did
not come up until 1.15, so that I lost my observation. I had told him, if
there was no appearance of springs not to go far, but to return
immediately; instead of which he went round the lagoon. Camped on a stony
rise, with a little wood. Distance to-day, twenty-one miles.

Monday, 23rd May, Stony Rise. Started towards the Davenport range. The
sand hills again commenced with beautiful feed upon them--low, with broad
valleys; they continued for five miles, when the stony plain again
commenced. The highest part of the range seems to be at the north-eastern
point, which has the appearance of a detached hill. At three miles and a
quarter from the last of the sand hills we saw the Douglas, and changed
our bearing to 328 degrees 30 minutes. At one mile and a quarter struck
the creek, but found no water in it. There were a number of gums, but not
very large, also plenty of myalls there. The bed of the creek is bad, and
will not retain water. We followed it down for three miles to see if
there was water; but no sign of it, the creek still continuing broad and
sandy. I was obliged to return to where I struck it, because it was
nearly sundown, and I had found a little rain water about a mile to the
south, which would do for the horses in the morning.

Tuesday, 24th May, The Douglas. Herrgott's horse in want of shoes. Could
not get a start until late. Found a little more rain water in a clay-pan.
If I can find no water near the range, I shall have to fall back upon
Strangway Springs. I am anxious to see what is on the other side of the
range, or I would run this creek down. There are numerous tracks of
natives about the creek; we have also seen three fires three or four days
old. Latitude, 28 degrees 45 minutes 4 seconds. Started at 12.30 on a
bearing of 313 degrees for the highest point of the range east, over
stony table land. The creek runs in the same direction for four miles, it
then turns to the westward, and is lost sight of among some hills. At ten
miles struck a stony box-tree creek; its bed was sand and gravel, but no
water. At 11.30 descended from the table land, and camped at a gum creek
at sundown; the bed the same as the last, and no water. There were
numerous native foot-tracks here also. I am sorry I could not reach the
range to-night, but we had some very bad ground to travel over, and no

Wednesday, 25th May, Dry Gum Creek. Examined the creek for water, but
found none. Started on the same course as yesterday, 313 degrees, for the
north-east highest point, which I suppose to be the Mount Margaret of
Major Warburton. Native tracks seen in the creek. There may be water some
distance down the creek, but here it is too sandy to retain it. At four
miles struck another gum creek in turning round the south side of the
range; it was of the same description as the others, too sandy to hold
water. Proceeded towards the highest point of the range, and obtained an
observation of the sun within a mile and a half of the mount. Left the
horses in charge of Muller and ascended the mount, which was very
difficult; it took us an hour to go up, and three-quarters of an hour to
come down. The hill is composed of a greenish slate, lying horizontally
at the base, and courses of quartz and granite, with ironstone; but I can
see nothing of Major Warburton's quartz cliffs; they must be more to the
south-west. The range has a very peculiar appearance from a short
distance off; it seems to be an immense number of rugged conical hills
all thrown together. From the top, the view to the north-west was hidden
by a higher point of the range. To the north-north-west there is another
range, about twenty miles distant, apparently higher than this, running
south-west and north-east. To the north is another far-distant range; to
the east, broken hill and stony plain, with a number of clay-pans. A
number of creeks run to the eastward from this range; they become gum
creeks further down, but in and close to the range they have myall
bushes, and other shrubs. No water to be obtained in this range. Changed
my course to the north-east to examine a white clay-pan that I thought
might contain some fresh water. At three miles came upon it, and was very
much disappointed to find it salt. This being the second day that the
horses have been without water, I must give up the search for springs and
return to one mile south of the Douglas, where we had found a little rain
water. It being nearly sundown, I made for the last large gum creek,
striking it lower down, also cutting the other creeks between, hoping to
find water in some, but there was none. Made the large gum creek at 10
o'clock. Camped for the night. Horses very much done up, in consequence
of the ground that we have been travelling over being so rotten and
stony. The country is not good, nor the range; but at three miles to the
east it becomes less stony and better grassed. No water.

Thursday, 26th May, Large Gum Creek. Started at daylight for beyond the
Douglas. At 3 o'clock arrived at water. Horses so much done up that I
shall require to give them two days' rest, if the water will hold so
long, and then I must return to the Strangway Springs, as we know that to
be permanent water. There are some heavy clouds coming up from the
south-west, which I hope will bring rain.

Friday, 27th May, The Douglas. Rain all gone after a slight shower, which
did not assist me much. Very sorry for it.

Saturday, 28th May, The Douglas. Horses looking better this morning, so I
will give them this day also. I have sent Muller down the creek to the
eastward, to see if there is any water in it. I should have gone again
to-day to the Davenport range, to see if I could find the quartz reefs by
striking it more to the south-west, but it would be too much for the
horses, which are my mainstay, and this water will not last longer than
to-day; it is going very fast. I do wish to goodness it would rain, for I
do hate going back. Muller returned at sundown. He has been about twelve
miles down the creek, but can find no water. It still continued sandy. He
shot three new parrots.

Sunday, 29th May, The Douglas. Not being satisfied with my hurried
examination of the range, I shall make another attempt to-day, and
endeavour to find water. If we do not succeed we must fall back upon the
springs. Started on a course of west-north-west. Crossed the Douglas
three times. It turned to the south-west, but I continued my course, over
low hills and valleys, with plenty of feed, with quartz, ironstone, and
granite. At fifteen miles changed a little more to the north towards a
rise. The country becomes very broken and rough, but still plenty of
grass. At twenty miles crossed the upper part of the gum creek that I
camped on on the 25th instant. The banks are nearly perpendicular cliffs
of slate. Followed it up for two miles, but no water. I continued my
course for the rising ground. At six miles I found that I was getting
upon high table land; so, as the sun was nearly down, I returned to the
creek, where there is some green feed for the horses, as they will be
without water to-night. It was after sundown before I reached the creek
and camped. I have named this creek Davenport Creek, after the Honourable
Mr. Davenport, M.L.C.

Monday, 30th May, Davenport Creek. Started at sunrise determined to
follow down the creek, for I think there must be water somewhere before
it enters the plain. The flow is to the east. At five miles came upon a
beautiful spring in the bed of the creek, for which I am truly thankful.
I have named this The Spring of Hope. It is a little brackish, not from
salt, but soda, and runs a good stream of water. I have lived upon far
worse water than this: to me it is of the utmost importance, and keeps my
retreat open. I can go from here to Adelaide at any time of the year, and
in any sort of season. Camped for the rest of the day. Latitude, 28
degrees 33 minutes 34 seconds.

Tuesday, 31st May, The Spring of Hope. Shoeing horses, and repairing
various things.

Wednesday, 1st June, The Spring of Hope. Not being satisfied with my
hurried view of the salt clay-pan that I visited on the 25th ultimo, I
have sent Muller to-day to examine it for springs, before I proceed to
the north-west. On a further examination of this water, I find a very
large portion of magnesia in it, and also salt, but very little. Muller
has returned, having been down the creek, and, as I expected, has found a
small spring of very good water on the banks of the salt creek. I expect
there will be others. I shall move down there to-morrow and examine it. I
expect we have fallen upon the line of springs again, which I hope will
continue towards the north. No rain seems to have fallen here for a long

Thursday, 2nd June, The Spring of Hope. Started at 9 o'clock for the
springs, and arrived there in the afternoon. Travelled over a stony but
very good feeding country, which became better as we approached the
springs. There is a creek with a large water hole, and around the small
hills are numerous springs. On the banks of the creek and round the
springs an immense quantity of rushes, bulrushes, and other water-plants
are growing. The quantity of land they cover is very great, amounting to
several square miles. Some of the springs are choked up, others are
running, though not so active as those further to the south. Round about
them there is a thin crust of saltpetre, magnesia, and salt. The water of
these springs is very good, but that of the creek is a little brackish,
but will do very well for cattle. Some of the holes in the creek are
rather salt. There is enough of good water for the largest station in the
colony. Round the small hill, where I am now camped, there are twelve
springs, and the water is first-rate. I have named them Hawker Springs,
after G.C. Hawker, Esquire, M.L.A.* (* Now the Honourable G.C. Hawker,
Speaker of the House of Assembly at Adelaide.) The hills are composed of
slate, mica, quartz (resembling those of the gold country), and
ironstone. Latitude, 28 degrees 24 minutes 17 seconds. One of the horses
seems to be very unwell to-day; he has endeavoured to lie down two or
three times during the journey, but I hope he will be better by the

Friday, 3rd June, Hawker Springs. I find that the horse is too unwell to
proceed. I shall give him another day, for fear I should lose him
altogether. I sent Muller to see if there are any springs round the hill
about six miles to the east. He states that the creek flows past that
hill, and on towards other hills of the same kind. The springs continue
to within half a mile of the hill, where he found two large springs
running over, covered with long reeds. I do not doubt but that they still
continue on towards the lake, (wherever that may be), which I intend to
examine on my return.

Saturday, 4th June, Hawker Springs. This morning the horse does not look
much better, but still I must push on. Started at 8 towards the highest
point of the next range. At one mile struck a gum creek coming from the
Davenport range, and running to the north of east; the bed sandy and
grassy. At four miles another gum creek of the same description, with the
gum-trees stunted. At eight miles and a half struck three creeks joining
at about a quarter of a mile to the east; the centre one is gum, and the
other two myall. At twelve miles changed my course to 29 degrees to
examine three dark-coloured hills, where I think there will be springs.
At a mile and a quarter came upon a small batch of springs round the
north side of the hills in a broad grassy valley, with plenty of good
water. Changed my course again to 318 degrees towards the highest point
of the range. At one mile a myall and gum creek; at three miles another
gum creek; at seven miles a very large and broad gum creek, spread out
into numerous channels. I have not the least doubt but there is water
above and below, judging from the number of tracks of natives and emus
that have been up and down the creek. As this is the largest creek that I
have passed, and is likely to become as good as Chambers Creek, which it
very much resembles, I have called it The Blyth, after the Honourable
Arthur Blyth. I have named the range to the east The Hanson Range, after
the Honourable R.D. Hanson. At nine miles and a half attained the highest
point of the range, and built a cone of stones thereon, and have named it
Mount Younghusband, after the Honourable William Younghusband. From it I
had a good view of the surrounding country, which seems to be plentifully
supplied with springs. To the north-west is another isolated range like
this; I should think it is about seven hundred feet high. I have named it
Mount Kingston, after the Honourable G.S. Kingston, Speaker of the House
of Assembly. To the north the broken ranges continue, and in the distance
there is a long flat-topped range, broken in some places. It seems to be
closing upon my course on the last bearing. I cannot judge of the
distance, the mirage being so great. Descended from the mount, and
proceeded on a bearing of 336 degrees towards a spring that I saw from
the top. As we were rounding the mount to the east, we found eight
springs before we halted, in a distance of three miles; some were
running, and others were choked up, but soft and boggy. At dark arrived
at another batch of springs--not those that I intended going to--they are
on the banks of a small creek, close to and coming from the range; they
are not so active as the others, and taste a little brackish; they are
coated with soda, saltpetre, and salt. The horse seems to be very ill; he
has again attempted to lie down two or three times. I cannot imagine what
is the matter with him.

Sunday, 5th June, Mount Younghusband. I must remain where I am to-day;
the horse is so bad that he cannot proceed; he neither eats nor drinks. I
have sent Muller to the west side of the mount to see the extent of the
springs; they are on the banks of a creek which has brackish water in it,
large and deep, and a great quantity of rushes. The water comes from the
limestone banks which are covered with soda. He rode round the mount: it
is all the same, and the feed is splendid right to the top of the mount.
It is a wonderful country, scarcely to be believed. I have had one of the
springs opened to-day, and the water to-night tastes excellent; it could
not be better. Native tracks about; I am surprised we see none of them;
we are passing old fires constantly. Latitude, 28 degrees 1 minute 32

Monday, 6th June, Mount Younghusband. The horses being some distance off,
and my horse requiring a shoe, I was unable to make a start until 10
o'clock, on a bearing of 307 degrees 45 minutes, passing Mount Kingston
on the south-west side. At three-quarters of a mile came upon the springs
that I intended to have camped at on Saturday night: they are flowing in
a stream strong enough to supply any number of cattle. I named them The
Barrow Springs, after J.U. Barrow, Esquire, M.L.A. At four miles and a
half struck a large broad valley, in which are the largest springs I have
yet seen. The flow of water from them is immense, coming in numerous
streams, and the country around is beautiful. I have named these The
Freeling Springs, after the Honourable Major Freeling, M.L.C. After
leaving the springs I ascended a rough stony hill, to have a view of
them, but I could not see them all, their extent is so great. They extend
to under the Kingston range, and how much further I do not know. From
this point I changed my course to 322 degrees. I can just see the top of
a distant range, for which I will go on that bearing. At one mile and a
half crossed a broad gum salt creek, coming from the west, with a
quantity of salt water in it. I have named this Peake Creek, after C.J.
Peake, Esquire, M.L.A. After crossing this, we travelled over low rises
with quartz, ironstone, and slate; the quartz predominating. Herrgott and
Muller, who have both been long in the Victoria gold diggings, say that
they have not seen any place that resembles those diggings so much as
this does. The country seems as if it were covered with snow, from the
quantity of quartz. At eleven miles passed a brackish water creek and
salt lagoon; searched for springs but could find none, although reeds and
rushes abound, but no water on the surface. I thence proceeded
three-quarters of a mile, and struck a gum creek with a number of
channels and very long water holes, but the water is brackish; it might
do for cattle. This I have named The Neale, after J.B. Neale, Esquire,
M.L.A. I think by following it down, there will be a large quantity of
water, and good, and that it will become a very important creek. No
person could wish for a better country for feed than that we have passed
over to-day; it resembles the country about Chambers Creek.

Tuesday, 7th June, The Neale. At 8 o'clock started on a bearing of 180
degrees for the northernmost of the isolated hills, to see if there are
springs round it. At four miles ascended it, but could see no springs.
This I have named Mount Harvey, after J. Harvey, Esquire, M.L.A. from
Mount Kingston it bears 47 degrees 45 minutes. Thence I started for the
other mount, which I have named Mount Dutton, after the Honourable F.T.
Dutton; four miles and a half to the top. The Hanson range is closing
upon my course, and I think to-morrow's journey will cut it. On the north
side are a few springs, some of them a little brackish, and some very
good. We cleared out one, and found it very good. Here I camped for the
night. From south-west to north-west it seems to be an immense plain,
stony on the surface, with salt bush and grass. Mount Dutton is well
grassed to the top; it is composed of the same rock as the others.

Wednesday, 8th June, Mount Dutton. at 9.15 started on a course of 310
degrees. At three-quarters of a mile passed another batch of springs,
some of them brackish, and some very good indeed. Leaving them we passed
over a good feeding country, crossing several gum and myall creeks, one
with polyganum, all coming from Hanson range and flowing into the Neale.
At nine miles crossed the top of Hanson range. From it I could see, about
fifteen miles to the west of north, a high point of this range, which I
have named Mount O'Halloran (after the Honourable Major O'Halloran), on
the west side of which there appears to be a large creek coming from the
north-west. We then proceeded on a course of 324 degrees towards Mount
O'Halloran. At four miles and a half struck a large gum creek coming from
the range and running for about four miles north-west on our course;
examined it for water, but found none. It divides itself into numerous
channels, and when full must retain a large quantity of water for a long
time. The gum-trees are large and numerous, and numbers of pigeons
frequent its banks. At a mile further came upon some rain water in a
stony flat, where we camped for the night between low sand rises covered
with grass.

Thursday, 9th June, Stony Flat. This country must be examined today for
springs. I have therefore sent Muller down the creek to search that,
whilst I must remain and get an observation of the sun. My party is far
too small to examine the country well. I cannot go myself and leave the
camp with the provisions to one man; the natives might attack him, and
destroy the lot, there seem to be a great many tracks about. Three
o'clock. Muller has returned; he has run the creek down until it joined
another very large gum creek coming from the north-west--the one that I
saw from the top of the range. The gum-trees were large; from one of them
the natives had cut a large sheet of bark, evidently for a canoe. He also
saw two large water holes, one hundred yards wide and a quarter of a mile
long, with very high and steep banks. It seems to be the same creek as
the Neale. Can it be Cooper's Creek? the country very much resembles it.
My course will strike it more to the north-west to-morrow.

Friday, 10th June, Same Place. I have been very unwell during the night
with cramp in the stomach, but hope I shall get better as I go on.
Started at 8 o'clock on a bearing of 32 degrees 4 minutes. At four miles
went to the top of Mount O'Halloran. The creek is about three miles to
the west; it breaks through the Hanson range. Changed my course to 317
degrees to get away from the stones, which are very rough close to the
hill. At six miles changed my course to 270 degrees to examine an
isolated hill for springs, but found none. The creek winds round this
hill, and spreads out into numerous channels, covering a space of two
miles; but there is no water here, nor for three miles further up the
creek. We have, however, found some rain water; and, as I feel so unwell
that I am unable to ride, I have camped here for the night, and sent
Muller to examine the creek for water. He has been unsuccessful.

Saturday, 11th June, Rain Water. I feel a little better this morning.
Started at 9.20 on a bearing of 317 degrees. Crossed the creek, which is
about a mile wide. For five miles it ran parallel to my course, and then
turned more to the west. There is a beautiful plain along the bank, about
three miles wide, and completely covered with grass. At nine miles and a
half, on a small rise, changed my course to 318 degrees 30 minutes, to a
distant hill. Travelled for nine miles and a half over another large and
well-grassed plain of the same description; thence over some low stony
hills to a myall flat, the soil beautiful, of a red colour, covered with
grass; after four miles it became sandy. Camped for the night, after
having gone thirty-one miles. The country of to-day surpasses all that I
have yet travelled over for the abundance of feed. We have passed a
number of native tracks, but only one or two are fresh. We have found no
water to-day, except some little rain water, which is nearly all mud. I
have no doubt but there is plenty towards the east.

Sunday, 12th June, Myall Flat. I feel still very unwell. We are now come
to our last set of shoes for the horses, and, having experienced the
misery of being without them in my previous journey, I am, though with
great reluctance, forced to turn back. My party is also too small to make
a proper examination of such splendid country. Started back, keeping more
to the east to examine a high hill in search of water. If I can find
water, I shall endeavour to reach the north boundary. At 11.40 arrived at
the hill. Latitude, 27 degrees 12 minutes 30 seconds. Can see no
appearance of water, although the country seems good all round. Ten
degrees to the east of north is a large dark-coloured hill, which I saw
from last night's camp, from fifteen to twenty miles distant. I should
like to go to it, but can find no water. I have named it Mount Browne,
after Mr. J.H. Browne, of Port Gawler, my companion in Captain Sturt's
expedition. I dare not risk the horses another night without water, the
grass is so very dry; had there been green grass, I would not have
hesitated a moment. Turned towards the Neale by a different course to try
and find water; was unsuccessful until within an hour of sundown, when we
struck some muddy water. As I expected, the horses were very thirsty and
devoured the lot. Reached the creek after dark.

Monday, 13th June, The Neale. Found some rain water on the bank of the
creek, and, two of the horses requiring shoes, I stopped for the day. At
noon sent Muller up the creek to see if he could find any water holes,
but he saw none. At six miles another creek coming from the south-west
joins this. I am afraid I shall not have enough shoes to carry me into
the settled districts. The creek does not seem to have been running for a
number of years. The water has, some time or other, been ten feet high.
The breadth of the plain where the channels flow is a mile and a half,
and the quantity of water must be immense. It drains a very large extent
of country. After examining the country during the next two or three
days, I shall endeavour to follow this creek down, and learn where it
empties itself.

Tuesday, 14th June, The Neale. Started at 9 o'clock. Running the creek
down. At eight miles crossed another branch of the creek coming from the
south of west. We found no water. At twelve miles changed my bearing to
south. At three miles and a half camped at the two water holes that
Muller found when I sent him to examine the creek on the 9th instant. I
can not with certainty say they are permanent, there are neither reeds
nor rushes round them; they are very large and very deep, and, when
filled with rain, must hold a large quantity of water for a long time.
There are ducks upon them. The water does not taste like rain water,
which leads me to think that it may be permanent and supplied by springs
from below.

Wednesday, 15th June, Water Holes found by Muller on the 9th. Started at
9.15 a.m. Following the creek down. As we approached Hanson range, where
it broke through, we came upon two nice water holes with ducks upon them.
They are long, wide, and deep, with clay banks, and about three feet of
water in the middle. There are no reeds nor rushes round them, and it is
doubtful whether they are permanent. At seven miles and a half the creek
winds a little more to the west. Shortly afterwards we struck (in the
gap) two very long and large water holes a quarter of a mile long, and
between forty and fifty yards wide, and very deep. These I may safely say
are permanent. After getting through the range, the creek spreads out
over a large plain in numerous courses, bearing towards the south-east.
At four miles and a half changed my course. At six miles, going more to
the east, changed again, and at eight miles camped for the night, without
water. We have found no water since leaving the last water hole, although
I do not doubt of there being some. It would have taken us too long a
time to examine it more than I have done, my party being so small. We
have passed several winter worleys of the natives, built with mud in the
shape of a large beehive, with a small hole as the entrance. Numerous
tracks all about the creek, but we see no natives. We are now approaching
the spring country again.

Thursday, 16th June, The Neale. Started at 11.15. Still following the
creek, which continues to spread widely over the plain. At five miles I
observed some white patches of ground on the south-west side of Mount
Dutton, resembling a batch of springs. I changed my course and steered
for them, crossing the Neale at two miles and three-quarters. On the
south-west side of the Neale the country is rather stony, and for about a
mile from it the feed is not very good, in consequence of its being
subject to inundation, but beyond that the feed is beautiful. At three
miles and a half made the white patches, and found them to be springs
covering a large extent of country, but not so active as those already
described. Leaving the springs at two miles, crossed the Neale at a place
where it becomes narrower and the channel much deeper, with long sheets
of salt and brackish water. I shall now leave the creek. In the time of a
flood an immense body of water must come down it. At the widest part,
where it spreads itself out in the plain, the drift stuff is from
fourteen to fifteen feet up in the trees. Camped at 4 p.m.

Friday, 17th June, The Neale. Discovered another large quantity of water
supplied by springs. This country is a wonderful place for them. There is
an immense quantity of water running now.

Saturday, 18th June, The Neale. Started early in the morning to examine
the country. Found large quantities of quartz, samples of which I brought
with me. Still well watered, but without any timber.

Sunday, 19th June, The Neale. Water in abundance, with large quantities
of quartz. The course the quartz seems to take is from the south-west to
the north-east. The plain we examined to-day is a large basin, surrounded
by the hills from Mount Younghusband and Mount Kingston, with the creek
running through the centre. To-morrow I shall have a look along the
north-east side of Mount Kingston, for I see the quartz apparently goes
through the range and breaks out again on the north-east side, which is
very white.

Monday, 20th June, Mount Kingston. Started at 8 o'clock a.m. to examine
the quartz on the east side of Mount Kingston. Crossed the creek, and at
three miles struck a quartz reef. The Freeling Springs still continue,
but seem inclined to run more to the eastward. Changed my course to a
peak in a low range which has a white appearance. At eight miles reached
the peak; the quartz ceases altogether, and the country is stony from
here. I can see the line of the Neale running eastward; it spreads out
over the plain. It was my intention to follow it until it reached the
lake, but I find the ground too stony for me to do so. Being reduced to
my last set of shoes, and some of them pretty well worn out, I am obliged
to retreat. Changed my course at seven miles across the bed of the creek,
three miles broad, with a number of brackish water holes in it, some very
salt. At this point the trees cease. I can see nothing of the lake.
Camped on a gum creek without water. The latter part of our course was
over a very barren and rotten plain, surrounded by cliffs of gypsum,
quite destitute of vegetation. It has evidently been the bed of a small
lake at some time. There is no salt about it.

Tuesday, 21st June, Dry Gum Creek. At 7.40 started on the same course as
last night, and after various changes of bearings arrived at the hill,
whither I had sent Muller, and where he found two springs. Instead of
two, they are numerous all round the hill; some are without water on the
surface, and others have plenty. It is a perfect bed of springs. A little
more east they are stronger, surrounded with green reeds and rushes.

Wednesday, 22nd June, Mount Younghusband. Started at 8.40. At three miles
and a half came to a large bed of springs with reeds and rushes, water
running and good, with numerous other small springs all round. They are a
continuation of those we camped at last night, with an abundant supply of
excellent water. At four miles crossed the salt creek coming from Hawker
Springs. At eight miles crossed three salt and soda lagoons, surrounded
by lime and gypsum mounds, in which are numerous springs up to the foot
of the hills (ten miles and a half) and all round them. I have named
these hills Parry Hills, after Samuel Parry, Esquire. It was my intention
to have gone to the east from this, but the horses' shoes will not admit
of it. To the south-east I observed three conical hills, for which I will
now steer. At seven miles crossed a gum creek, in which are large water
holes, where water had been lately, but there is now only mud. There must
be water either up or down the creek, for there are numerous native
tracks leading both ways. At ten miles crossed a large gum (stunted)
creek with abundant springs of rather brackish water. At nineteen miles
and a half camped on a broad creek, but no water. The country good.

Thursday, 23rd June, Dry Creek. Started at 8.30 on the same course for
one of the conical hills. At three miles ascended it, and found it to be
flat-topped. I can see nothing of any lake to the east. The view is
interrupted by a flat-topped range. From this I changed my course, and at
three miles and a half observed a peculiar-looking spot to the
south-west, which had the appearance of springs. Changed my course for
it, and at six miles came upon a hill of springs surrounded by a number
of smaller ones, with an ample supply of first-rate water. The hill is
covered with reeds and rushes; it is situated at the west side of a large
plain, and is bounded by stony table land on the east side, which has an
abrupt descent of about thirty feet into the plain. On the west side are
a number of broken hills, and a small range composed of gypsum and lime,
having the surface covered with fragments of quartz and ironstone, and a
number of other pebbles. On the hill where the springs are we have found
lava. There are numerous small creeks coming from the hill, and running
in every direction. They seem to be all in confusion. The plain is about
five miles wide. These I have named the Louden Springs.

Friday, 24th June, Louden Springs. I must remain here to-day, and put the
last of the shoes upon some of the horses which are getting rather lame.
I have been making them go without as long as I can.

Saturday, 25th June, Louden Springs. Started at 7.50. At 8.45 (three
miles) crossed a gum creek, and at 12 o'clock (eleven miles) crossed the
Douglas, but no water. The channel still broad and sandy.

Sunday, 26th June, The Douglas. Started at 8.25, on a bearing of 217
degrees. Crossed the lagoon, which was rather boggy in some places. It is
now more than two miles broad, with a white crust on the top, composed of
soda and salt, but mostly salt. It must be supplied by springs. At three
miles crossed a salt creek, with salt water. It empties itself into the
lagoon, and is the same that passes by the Strangway Springs. I can see
nothing of any springs at this part of the creek. Steered upon the same
course to intersect my outward tracks. Saw some natives walking along a
valley. They did not observe us. I hailed them, and an old man came up to
us. He was rather frightened, and trembled a good deal. He seemed to
wonder and be pleased at my smoking a pipe of tobacco. I gave one to him
and a piece of tobacco, but he did not know how to manage the cutting,
filling, and lighting operations. I did these for him. In the first
attempt he put the wrong end into his mouth, which he found rather hot,
and quickly took it out. I then showed him the right end. He managed a
whiff or two, but he did not fancy it. He seemed very much pleased with
the pipe, which he kept. I then made him understand that I wanted water.
He pointed the same course that I was steering. In a short time another
made his appearance in the distance. By a little persuasion from the old
fellow, he was induced to come up, and in a short time became very
talkative, and very anxious to show us the water. In a few minutes a
third made his appearance, and came up. He was the youngest--a stout,
able-bodied fellow, about twenty-four years old. The others were much
older, but were very powerful men, and all three in excellent condition.
The women did not come up, but remained in the flat. I expected they were
going to take us to some springs, and was disappointed when they showed
us some rain water in a deep hole. They were quite surprised to see our
horses drink it all. They would go no further with us, nor show us any
more, and, in a short time after, left us. We struck our outward tracks,
and steered for the Elizabeth Springs, where we arrived after dark.

Monday, 27th June, Elizabeth Springs. Gave the horses a half-day, and
made the Mount Hamilton Springs in the afternoon.

Tuesday, 28th June, Hamilton Springs. Started for Chambers Creek to my
first encampment. Arrived there in the afternoon. Distance, eighteen

Wednesday, 29th June, Chambers Creek. Resting the horses and preparing
for a trip down on the west side of Mount North-west, to see if I can
find a road and water that way.

Friday, 1st July, Chambers Creek. Started at 8 a.m. on a bearing of 120
degrees. At twenty-four miles camped on a water hole in Gregory Creek,
where it comes out of the hills. There are three remarkable peaks north
of the water, one in particular having a white face to the east, with a
course of black stones on the summit, distant about one mile. The first
five miles was over a well-grassed country, with stones on the surface,
slightly undulating, with a number of good valleys, very broad, emptying
themselves into Gregory Creek. At twenty-two miles crossed the main
channel of the creek. It is divided into a number of courses, with some
very deep holes in them. When they are filled, they must retain water for
a great length of time. There are a great many native encampments all
about the creek. The gums are dwarf.

Saturday, 2nd July, Gregory Creek. Started at 10.8. Course, 120 degrees.
At three miles, opposite a long permanent water hole, with rushes growing
round it. At seven miles, crossed the upper part of the Gregory; eight
miles and a half, top of dividing range; thirteen miles, crossed a creek
with rain water; fourteen miles, crossed another deep channel. Camped at
twenty-three miles, within twelve miles of Termination Hill. The country
for ten miles before we halted was very good.

Sunday, 3rd July. Rounded Termination Hill, and arrived at Mr. Glen's


Friday, 4th November, 1859. Started from Chambers Creek for the Emerald
Spring. At ten miles crossed nine fresh horse-tracks going eastward; I
supposed them to be those of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief. I have
not as yet seen his outward track. Arrived at the spring before sundown.

Saturday, 5th November, Emerald Spring. Started at 7.30 on a course of
340 degrees. At seven miles and a half changed to 38 degrees, for three
miles to a high sand hill, from which I could see two salt lagoons, one
to the south and the other to the north; examined them, but could find no
springs. Next bearing, 18 degrees, to clear the lagoon, two miles and a
half sandy, with salt bush and grass. Changed to our first bearing, 340
degrees, for six miles, and then to 350 degrees, for five miles, when we
reached the top of a high hill, from which we could see the lake lying to
the north of us about three miles distant. Changed to 315 degrees for
three miles and a half to get a good view of the lake. This is a large
bay; from north-east to north-west there is nothing visible but the dark,
deep blue line of the horizon. To the north-north-east there is an island
very much resembling Boston Island (Port Lincoln) in shape; to the east
of it there is a point of land coming from the mainland. To the
north-north-west are, apparently, two small islands. A short distance to
the east of the horn of the bay there seems to be much white sand or salt
for two or three miles from the beach towards the blue water (on this
side of which there is a white line as if it were surf): this again
appears at the shores of the island, and also at the horn of the bay.
From the south shore to the island the distance is great; I should say
about twenty-five miles, but it is very difficult to judge correctly. At
three miles and a half camped at sundown, without water.

Sunday, 6th November, Lake Eyre. Got up before daybreak to get the first
glimpse of the lake, to see if there is any land on the horizon, and,
with a powerful telescope, can see none. It has the same appearance as I
described last night. I watched it for some time after sunrise, and it
still continued the same. After breakfast went to examine the shore:
course north, two miles and a half; found it to be caked with salt, with
ironstone and lime gravel. When flooded, at about fifty yards from the
hard beach, the water will be about three feet deep. I tried to ride to
the water, but found it too soft, so I dismounted and tried it on foot.
At about a quarter of a mile I came upon a number of small fish, all
dried and caked in salt; they seem to have been left on the receding of
the waters, or driven on shore by a heavy storm; they were scattered over
a surface of twelve yards in breadth all along the shore; very few,
especially of the larger ones, were perfect. I succeeded in obtaining
three as nearly perfect as possible; one measured eight inches by three,
one six inches by two and a half, and another five inches by two. They
resemble the bream. I should think this a sufficient proof of the depth
of the water. I then proceeded towards the water, but the ground became
soft, and the clay was so very tenacious and my feet so heavy, that it
was with difficulty I could move them, and so I was obliged to return.
The salt is about three inches thick, and underneath it is clay. I would
have tried it in some other places, but as my horses were without water
(and as I intend to visit this place again), I think it more prudent to
search for water for them, and, if I cannot find any, to return to the
camp. Started on a south course to examine the country for springs. At
six miles found we were running parallel to sand ridges, and no chance of
water. Changed to 160 degrees, crossed a number of sand ridges, but no
water, except a little rain water that we found in a hole. Proceeded to
the camp, and arrived there about sundown.

Monday, 7th November, Emerald Springs. Finding that the weevil is at work
with my dried beef, I must remain to-day and put it to rights. Prepared a
package with the fish, etc., to be left for Mr. Barker when he comes
here, to be sent to town. There are fish in this spring about three
inches long. We have also found a cold-water spring among the warm ones.

Tuesday, 8th November, Emerald Springs. Not being satisfied about one of
the lagoons I saw yesterday, I have sent Kekwick and Muller to see if
there are any springs, while I and the others proceed to the Beresford
Springs; they are to overtake me. Arrived at the springs at 3 p.m. We
could find no fresh water on our way, but plenty of salt and brackish in
the creek which we first struck at six miles from the Emerald Springs.
Sundown: the two men have not come up; they must have found something to
detain them; they had only to do about eight miles more than I had. I
expect they will arrive during the night.

Wednesday, 9th November, Beresford Springs. No signs of the two men; they
must have stopped at some water during the night. It is very tiresome to
be delayed in this way: what can they be about? At 12 noon they arrived;
they had passed my tracks and gone on to Mount Hugh instead of coming on
here. I will give their horses an hour's rest and go on to the Strangway
Springs. The Paisley Ponds are dry, but there is salt and brackish water
three miles lower down the creek. Started at 2 p.m., and at 5 p.m.
arrived at the springs, which are about ten miles from the Beresford.
They are upon a high hill about one hundred feet above the level of the
plains; there are a great number of them, and abundance of water, but
very much impregnated with salt and soda. My eyes are very bad.

Thursday, 10th November, Strangway Springs. Suffering very much from bad
eyes and the effects of the water of these springs; cannot help it, but
must go and examine the country to north-west and west. Sent Muller to
the east in search of springs, with instructions to strike my former
tracks and examine all the country between. Started at 7 a.m. with one
man, on a course of 315 degrees, and at one mile crossed a salt creek
with water; at three miles the sand hills commenced, crossing our course
at right angles. At 2 p.m. struck a large lagoon (salt) about two miles
broad and five miles long, running north-east and south-west, narrowing
at the ends; distance, fourteen miles; tried to cross it but found it too
boggy; rounded it on the south-west point, where we discovered a spring;
no surface water, but soft, and the same all round for about two acres
square, covered with grass reeds of a very dark colour and very thick,
showing the presence of water underneath. Proceeded round the lagoon to a
high hill, which seemed to have reeds upon the top of it; after a good
deal of bogging and crossing the bends of the lagoon, we arrived at the
hill, and found it to be very remarkable. Its colour is dark-green from
the reeds and rushes and water-grass which cover it. It is upwards of one
hundred feet high, the lower part red sand; but a little higher up is a
course of limestone. On the top is a black soil, sand and clay, through
and over which the water trickles, and then filters through the sand into
the lagoon. Where the water is, on the top, it is upwards of one hundred
feet long. Immense numbers of tracks of emus and wild dogs, also some
native tracks, all fresh. On the north-west side there is one solitary
gum-tree, and about half a mile in the same direction is another bed of
reeds, and a spring with water in it. All the banks round the lagoon are
of a spongy nature. I am very glad I have found this; it will be another
day's stage with water nearer to the Spring of Hope. We can now make that
in one day, if we can get an early start. By the discovery of springs on
this trip, the road can now be travelled to the furthest water that I saw
on my last trip from Adelaide, and not be a night without water for the
horses. The country to the south and south-east of the last springs
(which I have named the William Springs, after the youngest son of John
Chambers, Esquire), is sand hills and valleys, rich in grass and other
food for cattle. Thence I proceeded to hill bearing 10 degrees south of
north, distant three miles, from the top of which I could see no rising
ground to the westward, nothing but sand hills. Changed my course to
south, to a white place under some stony hills; at ten miles reached it,
and found it to be a salt creek, but no springs. The last ten miles were
through hills not so high as those I crossed on my way out, but more
broken, with plenty of feed. It is my intention to push for the Strangway
Springs tonight, so as to get an early start in the morning. Arrived at
10 p.m., found that one of the horses had not been seen all day;
something always does go wrong when I am away; I shall have to make a
search for him in the morning. My eyes very bad from the effects of the
glare of the sun on the sand hills, and the heat reflected from them, and
that everlasting torment, the flies.

Friday, 11th November, Strangway Springs. My eyes so bad I cannot see;
unable to go myself in search of the missing horse; despatched two of the
men at daybreak to circuit the spring, and cut her tracks if she has left
them. They have returned, but can see no tracks leaving the spring; she
must be concealed among the reeds; sent three men to examine them. They
found her at 1 p.m. Started at 2 p.m., and arrived at William Springs at
sundown. Distance, fourteen miles. By keeping a little more to the east,
the sand hills can nearly be avoided, and a good road over stony country,
with good feed, can be had to this spring.

Saturday, 12th November, William Springs. Very unwell, unable to move
to-day; I am almost blind and suffering greatly from the effects of the
water at Strangway Springs. As I wished to examine round this spring, I
remained here to-day; and, as I could not go myself, sent two of the men
in different directions. At sundown they returned, and reported that
there are no springs for ten miles distant from east-south-east to north.
To the east about three miles there is another lagoon resembling this
one, but not so large, and no springs; plenty of grass about a mile from
the lagoon. Saw two natives at a distance, but could not get near them.

Sunday, 13th November, William Springs. I feel a little better to-day,
but suffer very much from the eyes. I hope I shall be able to travel
to-morrow, for it is misery to remain in camp in the hot weather.
Latitude, 28 degrees 57 minutes 24 seconds. Variation, 4 degrees 47
minutes east.

Monday, 14th November, William Springs. Started on a course of 317
degrees for the Hope Springs, and arrived at 5 p.m. I kept to the west in
order to see what the country was in that direction, in the hope of
finding some more springs. At twenty-one miles crossed the Douglas,
coming from north-north-west; the country from it to the north-west and
north looked quite white with quartz, and showed signs of being
auriferous. From the Douglas to north-west the feed was not quite so
plentiful, salt bush with grass, the salt bush predominating; but as we
approached the Spring of Hope it improved, and became good as we neared
the creek. Distance, thirty miles.

Tuesday, 15th November, Spring of Hope. The spring is still good,
yielding a plentiful supply of water. Sent one of the men to the east and
south-east to examine some white patches of country that I saw on our
journey up here, while I, with one man and two days' provisions, started
south-west to a high and prominent hill in the range. At 11 a.m. arrived
at the top, from which I had a good view of the country all round. It is
a table-topped hill, standing on high table land, which is intersected
with numerous small watercourses, flowing towards the Douglas on the
south and west sides of the mount, which I have named Mount Anna. It is
compound of ironstone, quartz, granite, and a chalky substance, also an
immense quantity of conglomerate quartz and ironstone, which has the
appearance of having been run together in a smelting works. There are
also numerous courses of slate of different descriptions and colours; the
quartz, which exists in white patches, predominates, and gives the
country the appearance of numerous springs. These patches have deceived
me two or three times to-day. At twenty miles the sand hills begin again;
the country being rather poor, with a number of isolated hills, and also
some white chalky cliffs of twenty feet high and upwards. No water nor
appearance of any to the west for a considerable distance. Changed to the
north-west to look at some more white country. I am again disappointed;
it turns out to be quartz with low chalky cliffs, and a large quantity of
igneous stone. Country the same, with salt bush and a little grass in
places. I can see no inducement for me to go further, so I shall return
to the camp. Arrived after dark. My eyes are still very bad, and I suffer
dreadfully from them. To-day has been hot, and the reflection from the
white quartz and the heated stones was almost insufferable: what a relief
it was when the sun went down! Distance, forty-five miles.

Wednesday, 16th November, Spring of Hope. Still very ill, and unable to
go out myself. Sent Muller to examine the creek nearer Mount Margaret for
water; if he finds any near the mount, I shall move there, as it will be
nearer, for building the cone of stones on the top of the mount, than
Hawker Springs. Shod our horses, and built a small cone of stones on a
reef of rocks that runs along the top of a hill about half a mile
west-north-west from the spring, to which it will act as a land mark.
Muller has returned, and reports having found water in the other creek,
about five miles north-north-west from this; the water is in the centre
of the creek, in three or four holes, some of which are brackish, but one
of them is very good. A number of natives were camped about it, but took
to flight the moment they saw him; he tried to induce them to come near
him, but they would not; they appeared to be very much frightened, and
climbed up the cliffs to get out of his way. Plenty of feed between the
two waters; through the hills there is an abundance. I find the water
discovered to-day (which I have named The George Creek, after G.
Davenport, Esquire), will be of no advantage to me when building the cone
of stones; I shall therefore move to the Hawker Springs to-morrow.

Thursday, 17th November, Spring of Hope. Arrived at the Hawker Springs at
noon, and commenced the survey. Springs still good; some of them at this
point will require to be opened. We have opened one, and the water is
beautiful. Immense quantities of reeds and rushes. Built a cone of stones
on the hill at the westernmost spring.

Friday, 18th November, Hawker Springs. Building a cone of stones on the
top of Mount Margaret, and making other preparations for the survey.
To-day very hot, wind south-east; a great deal of lightning to the south.
Obtained bearings of the following points from the hill at Hawker
Springs--namely, Mount Margaret, Mount Younghusband, hill at Parry
Springs, Mount Charles, and Mount Stevenson.

Saturday, 19th November, Hawker Springs. Sent the party on to Fanny
Springs, where I intend to lay down my base-line. Went with Kekwick to
the top of Mount Margaret. This hill is composed of grey and red granite,
quartz, and ironstone; on the lower hill is a blue and brown stratum. I
then proceeded to examine the creeks running to the east; in following
one of them down we came upon another spring of water, running and very
good. The creek is bounded on both sides for about a mile by nearly
perpendicular cliffs, which appeared to get much lower and broken to the
west. It is situated about one mile north of Mount Margaret, and runs
into the Hawker Springs valley. Could see no more higher up. Followed the
creek down to the opening. Proceeded about half a mile, entered another
gorge, and rode up it about three-quarters of a mile; came upon another
spring, running also, water excellent. Numerous native camps in the
creek. Country the same as in the other creek; cliffs slate and not so
high, but more broken, with watercourses between them, through which
cattle could find their way to the tops of the hills, where there appears
to be plenty of grass; there is also an abundance at the mouth of the
gorge and on the plains. This creek also runs into the valley of the
Hawker Springs. Distance from Mount Margaret, two miles and a half, 8
degrees east of north. As it was getting towards sunset I found I must
make for the camp, which was about twelve miles off. Arrived after dark.
Springs still as good as when I first saw them. Very tired, having had a
very long day of it.

Sunday, 20th November, Fanny Springs. Got up at daybreak, and went to the
top of Mount Charles, on which I had ordered the men to build a cone of
stones after their arrival here yesterday. On my return to the camp the
men informed me that Smith had absconded during the night. He generally
made a practice of sleeping some little distance from the others, when I
did not see him lie down; I had checked him for it several times. It did
not appear that he had gone to sleep, but waited an opportunity to steal
away, taking with him the mare which he used to ride, and harness, etc.,
also some provisions. As I had started very early to walk to Mount
Charles, his absence was not observed until some time after I had left,
and being detained some hours on the top of the hill, in consequence of
the atmosphere being so thick that I could not obtain my observations, it
was 7 a.m. before I heard of his departure. That moment I sent Kekwick
for my own horse (he being the swiftest), and ordered him to saddle,
mount, pursue, overtake, and bring Smith back; but during the time he was
preparing, I had time to think the matter over, and decided upon not
following him, as it would only knock up my horse and detain me three or
four days. Smith must have started about midnight, for I was up taking
observations from 12.30 a.m. until daybreak, and neither saw nor heard
any one during that time. I could ill afford to lose the time in pursuing
him, situated as I was in the midst of my survey, and he being a lazy,
insolent, good-for-nothing man, and, worse than all, an incorrigible
liar, I could place no dependence upon him. We are better without him; he
has been a very great annoyance and trouble to me from the beginning
throughout the journey. What could have caused him to take such a step I
am at a loss to imagine; he has had no cause to complain of bad treatment
or anything of that sort; he never mentioned such a thing to the other
men, nor was he heard to complain of anything. Such conduct on an
expedition like ours deserves the severest punishment: there is no
knowing what fatal consequences may follow such a cowardly action. Had he
not stolen the mare, I should have cared little about his running away,
but I am short of riding horses and have a great deal for them to do
during the time I am surveying and examining the country. The vagabond
went off just as the heavy work was beginning, and it was principally for
that work that I engaged him. He put on a pair of new boots, leaving
those he had been wearing, evidently intending to push the mare as far as
she would go, expecting he would be pursued, and then leave her and walk
the rest. I expect, when he reaches the settled districts, he will tell
some abominable lie about the matter. If such conduct is not severely
dealt with, no confidence can be placed in any man engaged in future

Monday, 21st November, Fanny Springs. Kekwick and I commenced chaining
the base-line from the top of Mount Charles, bearing 131 degrees.
Distance chained, four miles thirty chains. I ordered H. Strong to come
to me with two horses, which he did about 1.30 p.m.; we had finished the
line, and were waiting for him. I had seen some country that looked very
much like springs, to the north-east, a mile or so from the line; went to
examine it, and found some splendid springs--one in particular is a very
large fountain, about twenty yards in diameter, quite circular and
apparently very deep, from which there is running a large stream of water
of the very finest description; it is one of the largest reservoirs I
have yet seen, three times the size of the one at the Hamilton Springs,
with abundance of water for any amount of cattle; the water is running a
mile below it.

Tuesday, 22nd November, Fanny Springs. Engaged chaining the base-line to
north-west. Saw some more springs a mile or two to the east; too tired to
examine them to-day. It is dreadfully hot. Returned to the camp at

Wednesday, 23rd November, Fanny Springs. Finished the remaining part of
base-line. The line is ten miles and forty chains long, crossing the top
of Mount Charles.

Thursday, 24th November, Fanny Springs. Fixing the angles of runs. Found
another batch of springs close to north-west boundary of large run,
covering four or five acres of ground, with an immense quantity of reeds;
they are not so active as the others. The ground round about is very
soft, and the water is most excellent. After fixing the north-east
corner, I proceeded to examine the country beyond the boundaries of the
runs in search of springs. Having gone several miles north, I saw the
appearance of a lagoon north-east, for which I started, but on my arrival
found no springs round it. Still continued on the same course for a
considerable distance further to a high sand hill, from which we could
see the Neale winding through a broad valley. One part of the creek being
much greener than the other, I went to examine it, and found the green
appearance to be caused by fresh gum-trees, young saplings, rushes, and
other fresh-water plants and bushes. The creek spreads over the plain in
numerous channels, four miles wide, but the main channel has only
gum-trees, with a chain of water holes, some salt, some brackish. By
scratching on the bank where the rushes were growing we got some
beautiful water in the gravel, a few inches below the surface. There was
plenty of feed, and the wild currant, or rather grape, grew in great
abundance, and was very superior to any I had tasted before. There were
two kinds; one grew upon a dark-green bush, and had a tart and saltish
taste, the other grew upon a bush of a much lighter colour, the fruit
round and plump and much superior to the former; in taste it very much
resembled some species of dark grape, only a little more acid. From this
I went in a north-east direction to a mound I had seen on my former
journey, and found it to be hot springs with a large stream of warm water
flowing from them nearly as large as the Emerald Springs, and, as it
seemed to me, warmer. It was a very hot day, and I had been riding fast.
It was as much as I could bear to keep my hand in the spring for a few
minutes, six inches below the surface. I put in a staff about four feet
long, but could find no bottom--nothing but very soft mud; the staff came
up quite hot. It is a very remarkable hill. From the west side it would
be taken for a very high sand hill with scrub growing on it--in fact it
is so. The springs are not seen until the top is reached. From them all
the east side is covered with green reeds to the base of the hill. The
hot springs are near the top, and cold ones on one side to the south;
some at the bottom and some half-way up. There is a large lagoon to the
east, which I will examine when I move the party up to this, for I have
no time to-day. Returned towards the camp and fixed the north-west corner
of the second run; I am obliged to drive pickets into the ground to show
them. I would have built cones of stones, but could get none large enough
to do it with. Arrived at the camp very late; fourteen hours on

Friday, 25th November, Fanny Springs. Started shortly after sunrise to
mark the other two corners of the two runs. On approaching the south-west
angle of the second run (Parry Spring run), I discovered three other
springs close to the boundary of the first run. Two of them are outside,
and one inside, or rather on the boundary. The latter is a large spring,
having seven streams of water coming from it, one large, the others
smaller. The other two have abundance of water, covered with reeds.
Proceeded and marked the other corners, but, having no stones, was
obliged to put down pickets. Returned to camp, keeping outside the south
boundary in search of springs, but found none. Crossed over table land,
salt bush and grass, with stones on the surface. Arrived at the camp a
little before sundown.

Saturday, 26th November, Fanny Springs. Started for Parry Springs. In the
evening commenced putting up a cone of stones on the northernmost hill.
The day was excessively hot. One great thing here is that the nights are
very cool, so that we are obliged to have a good fire on all night. We
have had one or two warm nights since I have been out this time. I
suppose the reason must be that a large body of water exists in the lake
not far distant from us, the wind coming from north-east. From north-west
to south-south-east the winds are generally cool. It is so cold in the
morning that the men are wearing their top-coats; the day does not get
hot until the sun is a considerable height.

Sunday, 27th November, Parry Springs. Cold wind this morning from the
east. In the afternoon the sky became overcast, the clouds coming from
the south-east.

Monday, 28th November, Parry Springs. Building a cone of stones on the
northernmost of the hills, fixing the south-east corner of run Number 2,
and moving to the hot springs. Arrived at sundown. Saw a number of holes
where the natives had been digging for water. Cleaned out one, and found
water at two feet from the surface, above the water in the creek. It is
very good. On examining this spring, I find there is a great deal more
water coming from it than from the Emerald Springs. The hot springs are
on the top of the sand hill, and the cold ones at the foot. There are
large quantities of the wild grape growing here, both red and white. They
are very good indeed, and, if cultivated, would, I think, become a very
nice fruit.

Tuesday, 29th November, Primrose springs. Surveying run. Sent Muller to
the north to a distant range, and Strong to the north-east to look for
springs. Towards evening both returned without being successful. They
passed over plenty of good feeding country, but the range is high and
stony, with very little grass, only salt bush. It is a continuation of
Hanson range, all table land.

Wednesday, 30th November, Primrose springs. Surveying, etc. North-east
corner of run Number 2 is about two miles west of the Neale. I scratched
a few inches deep from the surface in the gravel, and found very good
water. The wild grape is in abundance here, and grows as large as the
cultivated one. I have obtained some choice seeds.

Thursday, 1st December, Primrose springs. At daybreak started with
Kekwick to find the lake on an easterly course, keeping to south of east,
to avoid a soft lagoon. Travelled over a fair salt-bush and grass
country, with stones on the surface. In places the grass is abundant,
though dry. At seven miles the sand hills commenced; they are low, with
broad valleys between, covered with stone. On the sand hills there was
plenty of grass, and numerous native and emu tracks going towards the
Neale, which is to the south of us. At fourteen miles struck a gum creek
with salt water. Searched for springs, but could find none with
fresh-water. Continued on a course east over sand hills and stony plain,
and at twenty miles crossed the Neale. It is very broad, with numerous
channels. In the main one there was plenty of water, but it was very
brackish. We scratched a hole on the bank about two feet from the salt
water, and found plenty of good water at six inches from the surface, of
which our horses drank very readily. This seems to be the mode in which
the natives obtain good water in a dry season like this. The emus and
other birds also adopt the same plan. An immense quantity of water must
come down this creek at times. The drift stuff was upwards of thirteen
feet high in the gum-trees. A number of native tracks all about the
creek, quite fresh, but we could not see any one. After giving our horses
as much water as they would drink, we crossed the creek, which now runs
north, and proceeded, still on our easterly course, over stony plains for
four miles, then over sand hills, which continued to the lake, which we
struck at thirty-five miles. The atmosphere is so thick, it is impossible
to say what it is like to-night. Camped without water under a high sand
hill, so that I may have a good view of the lake in the morning. I like
not the appearance of it to-night; I am afraid we are going to lose it.

Friday, 2nd December, Lake Torrens. Got up at the first peep of day and
ascended the sand hill. I fear my conjecture of last night is too true. I
can see a small dark line of low land all round the horizon. The line of
blue water is very small. So ends Lake Torrens! Started on a course of 30
degrees west of north to where the Neale empties itself into the lake. At
seven miles struck it; found plenty of water, but very salt, with
pelicans and other water-birds upon it. Traversed the creek to the
south-west in search of water for the horses. At five miles came upon a
number of water-bushes growing on the banks of a large brackish water
hole. Scraped a hole about two feet from the bad water, and got good
water six inches from the surface for ourselves and horses. Gave them an
hour's rest and started on a west course for the camp, where we arrived
at 9.30 p.m. The country was similar to that on our outward route; feed
more abundant. At sundown we crossed the broad channel of a creek, with
moisture in the centre. Having neither time nor light to examine it
to-night, I must do so to-morrow, as I think there must be springs to
supply the moisture.

Saturday, 3rd December, Primrose Springs. Sent Kekwick to examine the
creek we crossed last night. I cannot go myself, for my eyes are so very
bad I can scarcely see anything. This is the first time I have had such a
long continuance of this complaint. I am trying every remedy I can
imagine, but each seems to have very little or no effect. At sundown
Kekwick returned, and reported having found the springs which supply the
creek, but they are salter than the sea, or the strongest brine that ever
was made. He brought in a fine sample of crystal of salt, which he got
from under the water, attached to the branch of a bush which had blown
into it. The creek is the upper part of the first gum creek crossed
yesterday, and flows into the Neale, which accounts for the water being
so salt at the mouth of it. No fresh-water springs to be seen round

Sunday, 4th December, Primrose Springs. Examining the Neale for
fresh-water springs. The water holes are abundant, but all more or less
brackish; plenty of rushes on the banks, where fresh water can be had by
scratching a little below the surface. I have not the least doubt but
there will be plenty of fresh water on the surface for a long time after
the creek comes down and sweeps all the soda and salt into the lake. It
is the rapid evaporation that causes it to be so brackish, and I should
think the consumption by stock would make a great improvement in it;
there would not be so much of it exposed to the sun, and the evaporation
would be much less. After considering the matter of having seen the
northern boundary of Lake Torrens, I am inclined to think I have been in
error. What I have taken for the lake may have been a large lagoon, which
receives the waters of the Neale before going into the large lake: I must
examine it again. After my surveys are completed, I shall move my party
down the creek to where we found the good water, and from there see what
it really is. I cannot bring my mind to think it is the northern boundary
of the lake.

Monday, 5th December, Primrose Springs. Moved the party down to the South
Parry Springs. My eyes are still very bad.

Tuesday, 6th December, South Parry Springs. Shortly after daybreak
started for Louden Springs, taking different courses, in search of more
springs, but can find none. Examined the George Creek, where the small
run is to be laid off; found some good water by scratching in the creek,
where there are plenty of rushes. A little before sundown we arrived at
the springs. I did not observe before that the higher springs on the top
of the hill are warm, but not nearly so hot as the others; the lower ones
are cold. Some other party has been here; we have seen their fresh tracks
and the place where they have camped; they seem to have been wandering
about a good deal before they found these springs.

Wednesday, 7th December, Louden Springs. Went to the top of Mount
Stevenson, built a cone of stones, and obtained bearings to fix it. No
appearance of any springs to the east of this, nor of the lake.

Thursday, 8th December, Louden Springs. Surveying and building
trigonometrical station on a light-coloured hill to the south of this. My
eyes very bad; can scarcely see; can do nothing.

Friday, 9th December, Louden Springs. Nearly blind; dreadful pain; can do
nothing to-day; no sleep last night.

Saturday, 10th December, Louden Springs. All yesterday the wind was hot
and strong from west and north-west; heavy clouds from south and
south-west. In the evening the wind changed to south. This morning still
the same; heavy clouds from same direction. My eyes are a little better,
so that I shall be able to do something. The sky being overcast I shall
put up some of the corners of this run.

Sunday, 11th December, Louden Springs. Still cloudy, but no rain.

Monday, 12th December, Louden Springs. Still very cloudy; wind south;
heavy clouds to north-west; no rain. Finishing the east boundary of
Number 3 run. Can find no more springs in or about this run. At sundown
still very cloudy, but no rain.

Tuesday, 13th December, Louden Springs. Started at 7.15 a.m. to find the
lake on an east course. The horses being a long distance off, it was late
before they came up. At nine miles crossed the gum creek running north,
spread out in a broad valley into numerous courses rich in food for
cattle. At twelve miles sand hills commenced, and continued to the shores
of the lake, with broad stony plains between, and plenty of grass. At
twenty miles crossed the Douglas, running north through sand hills in a
broad valley divided into numerous courses, with dwarf gum-trees, mallee,
tea-tree, and numerous other bushes; the bed sandy, and no water. At
thirty-five miles struck the lake where the Douglas joins it. The country
travelled over to-day has been stony plain (undulating), and low sand
hills, with abundance of feed, but no water. There is some water at the
mouth of the Douglas, but it is salter than the sea. The water in the
lake seems to be a long distance off, but the mirage is so very strong
that I can form no opinion of it to-night. This seems also a bay I have
got into. There is a point of land to the south bearing 25 degrees east
of south, and the other bearing 25 degrees east of north. Searched about
for water, but could find none. Camped in the creek without any. The
country at this part is very low, and nearly on a level with the lake.
The only sand hill I shall be able to get a view from is not above thirty
feet high. At sundown I got on the top of the sand hill, but could see
nothing distinctly; must wait until morning. This creek seems to be very
little frequented by natives; can see very few tracks and no worleys.

Wednesday, 14th December, Lake Torrens. At the first dawn of day I got to
the top of the hill, and remained there some time after sunrise. To the
south-east there is the appearance of a point of land, which I suppose to
be the island which I saw when I first struck the lake. There is the
appearance of water between. A little more to the eastward I can see
nothing but horizon. To the east there is again the appearance of very
low distant land--a mere dark line when seen through a powerful
telescope. To the north of that there is nothing visible but the horizon,
with a blue and white streak between. To the north-north-east beyond the
point, a little low land is to be seen running out from the point, with
water in the far distance. Rode down to the beach to see what that was
composed of; found it to be sand, mud and gravel; firm ground next the
shore. Tried a little distance with the horses, but found it too soft to
proceed with them. I then dismounted, and tried it on foot, but could
only get about two miles; it became so soft, that I was sinking to the
ankles, and the clay was so very tenacious that it completely tired me
before I got back to the horses. The quantity of salt was not so great
here as at the first place I examined. What I thought was a point of land
bearing north-north-east turns out to be an island, which I can see from
here. The point of the bay is north from where I took the bearings.
Between the island and the point I can see nothing but horizon; too low
to see any water. Traced the creek up for seven miles in search of water
or springs, but could see none, nor any indications. Had breakfast, and
started on a course of 20 degrees north of west in search of water or
springs. Crossed the Davenport and ascended a low range, but still could
not see any indications of water; the country similar to that passed over
yesterday. Changed my bearing towards the camp, and arrived there a
little before sundown. The horses were very thirsty, and drank an awful
quantity of water, but being hot it will do them no harm. It is
remarkable that to east of the hot springs I can find no others. This is
the third time I have tried it, and been unsuccessful. I am almost afraid
that the next time I try the lake I shall not find the north boundary of
it. Where can all this water drain to? It is a mystery.

Thursday, 15th December, Louden Springs. Surveyed run Number 4, and sent
Kekwick to correct observations from Mount Stevenson.

Friday, 16th December, Louden Springs. Finished Number 4 run. To-day we
have discovered a large fresh-water hole in a creek joining the George
and coming from the south-west. The water seems to be permanent; it is
half a mile long and seems to be deep. On the banks a number of natives
have been encamped; round about their fires were large quantities of the
shells of the fresh-water mussel, the fish from which they had been
eating: I should think this a very good proof of the water being
permanent. After finishing the survey I followed the creek up for a
number of miles in search of more water, but could find none. It spread
into a number of courses over a large plain, on which there was splendid

Saturday, 17th December, Louden Springs. Started for the springs under
Mount Margaret to finish the western boundary of Number 1 run. Arrived
towards sundown. Found the creek occupied by natives, who, as soon as
they caught sight of us, bolted to the hill and got upon the top of a
high cliff, and there remained for some time, having a good view of us. I
did everything in my power to induce them to come down to us, but they
would not, and beckoned us to be off back the road we came. At night they
had fires round us, but at some distance off.

Sunday, 18th December, Mount Margaret. About 9 a.m. the natives made
their appearance on the hill, and made signs for us to be off; they were
eight in number. I found that we had camped close to a large quantity of
acacia seed that they had been preparing when we arrived, but had no time
to carry it away before we were on them. One old fellow was very
talkative. I went towards them to try and make friends with them, but
they all took to the hills. By signs I induced the old fellow to stop,
and in a short time got him to come a little nearer. When I came to the
steep bank of the creek he made signs for me to come no further. I showed
him I had no arms with me, and wished him to come up. I could understand
him so far that he wished us to go away, that they might get their seed.
I thought it as well not to aggravate them, but to show them that we came
as friends; and as I had completed all I had to do here, I moved the camp
towards the Freeling Springs, at which they seemed very glad, and made
signs for us to come back at sundown. They seemed to be a larger race
than those down below; the men are tall and muscular, the females are low
in stature and thin. I examined the Mount Margaret range in going along;
there are a number of gum creeks coming from the north side which flow
into the Neale. We searched them up and down, but could find no water.
The number of channels that join them in the range is so great that it
would take weeks to examine them minutely for water. We camped in one of
them without water, although the country promises well for it.

Monday, 19th December, Gum Creek. Started on a north-west course to
examine the country between this and the Mount Younghusband range. We
could see no springs until we reached the Blyth, in which there is water,
but a little brackish; it will do well for cattle. Rode through the
middle of the range, and came upon some horse-tracks, not very old; saw
where the party had camped, and a cairn of stones they had erected on the
top of one of the hills. Followed their tracks some distance down the
gully; they seemed to be going to the Burrow Springs; they appear,
however, to have gone back again. Left the tracks, and proceeded to the
Freeling Springs. Arrived there in the afternoon. No one has been here
since I was, as far as I can see. The country we have passed over
yesterday and to-day has been really splendid for feed. The springs
continue the same, running in a strong stream and of the finest quality.

Tuesday, 20th December, Freeling Springs. Sent Kekwick and one of the men
to examine the goldfield, and to select a place for sinking to-morrow
morning. My eyes were so bad that I was unable to go. They returned in
the afternoon, bringing with them samples from the quartz reefs, in which
there was the appearance of gold. Kekwick said he had not seen such good
quartz since he left the diggings in Victoria. There was every indication
of gold, and I determined to give the place a good trial before leaving

Wednesday, 21st December, Freeling Springs. Commenced digging, but found
the rocks too near. Surface indications were very slight here, but I
found another place which seemed to promise better, so began sinking
there, and at four feet came upon some large boulders, round which was
very good-looking stuff for washing; took some of it to camp and washed
it. No gold, but good indications; a quantity of black sand and emery,
also other good signs. I shall continue the hole, and see what is in the
bottom. Thunderstorm this afternoon; south-west hot wind.

Thursday, 22nd December, Freeling Springs. Occupied in sinking, but made
little progress in consequence of the stones being so large, and the want
of proper tools, crowbar, etc. Washed some more stuff from round about
the boulders; the produce same as yesterday; no gold.

Friday, December 23rd, Freeling Springs. Found that we could do nothing
with the stones with the tools we have. Examined the country round about,
and found another place, which will be commenced to-morrow. Examined a
quartz reef which had every indication of gold. I regretted that I had
not another man, so that I might be able to examine the country for some
distance round. It is necessary to have two men at the camp, which cannot
be moved to where we are sinking, as there is no water within two miles.
It would not be safe to leave the camp with one man only, and two
digging, which is all our strength. Heavy thunderstorm from the
south-west, but very little rain. The wind blew my tent in two. At
sundown it passed over and cleared up, which I regretted to see, as I
expected heavy rains at this season, to enable me to make for the north
or north-west.

Saturday, 24th December, Freeling Springs. Sank upwards of six feet
through gravel, shingle, stones, and quartz. Wind south-west. Heavy
clouds; wind hot.

Sunday, 25th December, Freeling Springs. Wind south; heavy clouds, but no
rain; towards evening changed to south-east. Cool.

Monday, 26th December, Freeling Springs. Got to the bottom of the hole;
washed the stuff, but no gold. Commenced another hole by the side of the
quartz reef, which looks well. In the morning the wind was from the
north; at 10 a.m. it suddenly changed to south, and blew a perfect
hurricane during the whole day, with heavy clouds; but no rain has

Tuesday, 27th December, Freeling Springs. The storm continued during the
night, until about 3 o'clock this morning, when a few drops of rain fell,
but not enough to be of any service to me. Bottomed the hole by the side
of the quartz reef: no gold, and I think we shall not be able to sink any
more; our tools are getting worn out. For the rest of the day examined
the quartz reef, in which there is every appearance of gold; I shall stop
the search for it and proceed to the north-east to-morrow, for I think
some rain has fallen in that direction, which will enable me to examine
the country and see if the lake still continues.

Wednesday, 28th December, Freeling Springs. At 7 a.m. started with
Kekwick on a north-east course. At seven miles crossed the Neale, spread
over a large grassy plain four miles broad, and ascended a low ridge of
table-topped hills, stony, with salt-bush and grassed. Crossed another
creek, at twenty miles, with myall and stunted gums running over a plain
in numerous courses. Plenty of grass but no water. After crossing it,
ascended a high peak, which I supposed to be the top of the Hanson range,
but found another long table-topped hill, higher, about three miles
distant. Ascended that, but could see nothing but more table-topped
ranges in the distance. This hill is thirty-five miles from Freeling
Springs. Searched for water, and after some time found a little water in
one of the creeks, where we camped, it being after sundown. The country
from the last creek is not so good, and very stony, so much so that it
has lamed my horse, and nearly worn his shoes through at the tips. The
horses have drunk all the water, and left none for the morning.

Thursday, 29th December, Hanson Range. Started at 6 a.m. on the same
course for another part of the range. At six miles crossed a grassy creek
of several channels, with myall and gum, but no water, running to
north-east, nearly along our line. At seventeen miles struck the same
creek again where it is joined with several others coming from the
west-north-west and north. They are spread over a large broad plain
covered with grass. Searched for water, but could not find any. Crossed
the plains and creeks to a white hill on a north course, and at three
miles reached the top; it was a low chalky cliff on the banks of the
creek. Changed our course to the first hill I had taken. At seven miles
and a half reached the top, which I found very stony. To the north can be
seen the points of three other table-topped hills; to the north-east is a
large stony plain about ten miles broad, beyond which are high sand
hills, and beyond them again, in the far distance, is the luminous
appearance of water. Not being on the highest part of the range I
proceeded two miles to the south-east to get a better view. From here we
could see the creek, winding in a south-east direction, until it reached
the lake, which seemed to be about twenty-five miles off. We could not
distinctly see it, the mirage and sand hills obscuring our view. My horse
having lost both his fore shoes and there being no prospect of water
further on, I was reluctantly obliged to return to the camp. We had seen
a little rain water on the plain, about seven miles back, at which we
decided to camp to-night. Arrived there a little before sundown. My horse
very lame, scarcely able to walk along the stones. I am disappointed that
there is not more rain water; there seems only to have been a slight

Friday, 30th December, Hanson Range. The horses having strayed some
distance, we did not get a start till half-past seven on a course of 323
degrees, to a white hill, to see whether there are any springs on the
other side; at one mile and a half reached it, but no springs. Changed
our course to a very prominent hill (which I have named Mount Arthur)
bearing 275 degrees, and after crossing two small myall creeks and a
stony plain with salt bush and grass, at ten miles we struck a large
myall and gum creek, coming from the north-west, with some very deep
channels. We went some miles up it, but could find no water, the courses
for the water being too sandy and gravelly to retain it. At twenty-four
miles from the last hill arrived at the summit of Mount Arthur. Changed
course to 195 degrees. At ten miles struck another myall and gum creek of
the same description as the others, coming from the range; no water.
Camped. My horse is nearly done up; I am almost afraid he will not be
able to reach the camp to-morrow.

Saturday, 31st December, Hanson Range. Started shortly after daybreak for
the camp. At fifteen miles struck another myall and gum creek running
into the Neale, and at twenty miles came upon the Neale, which is here
three miles broad. Here we saw some recent native tracks and places where
fires had been. Arrived at the camp at sundown; horses quite done up. I
am sorry that I have been unable to make the lake on this journey; I
could have done it, but should most likely have had to leave my horse; he
never could have done it. I should then have been obliged to walk the
distance back, with all the water dried up. Had I seen the least
indication of water on ahead, I should have gone.

Sunday, 1st January, 1860, Freeling Springs. In the afternoon it became
cloudy. Wind north. No rain.

Monday, 2nd January, Freeling Springs. Having observed a hill on Saturday
that seemed to me a spring, where the Neale comes through the range, I
sent Kekwick to examine it, my eyes being too bad. Sent Muller to examine
some more quartz reefs in which I think gold exists. Towards sundown he
returned with two good specimens, in which I am almost sure there is
gold. The reef is twelve feet wide. Shortly after, Kekwick returned and
reported springs and two large water holes, and numerous smaller ones,
with abundance of permanent water, although slightly brackish. I shall
move up and fix their position as soon as I am satisfied with the search
for gold.

Tuesday, 3rd January, Freeling Springs. Sent Kekwick and Muller to get
some more specimens of quartz. They returned with some in which there
were very good indications of gold. It was useless for us to try any
more, our tools being of no use. The reefs would require to be blasted. I
am afraid there will be no surfacing here. I have done all that lies in
my power to get at the gold; but without proper tools we can do nothing,
so I shall be obliged to give it up, and start to-morrow for the Neale,
to where I sent Kekwick yesterday.

Wednesday, 4th January, Freeling Springs. Started at 8 a.m., and arrived
in about thirteen miles. The large water hole is upwards of a mile long,
with fully forty yards of water: in width, from bank to bank, it is
seventy yards, and upwards of fifteen feet deep; there are large mussel
shells on the banks, and plenty of good feed. All round to the south
there are low sand hills covered with grass. To the east, in some places,
it is stony, with salt-bush, and many broad well-grassed valleys coming
from the Mount Kingston range. About a quarter of a mile to the west of
the large hole there is a course of springs coming from the Kingston
Hills and sand hills, and emptying themselves into the creek. The water
is delicious, and plentiful, and, if opened, these springs will yield an
ample supply for all purposes. To the west are hills, with the creek
coming through them, with water all the way up to where I crossed it in
my return last trip. To the north are stony undulating rises, with
salt-bush and grass.

Thursday, 5th January, The Neale. Examining the country round to the
north and round Mount Harvey. It is poor and stony. On the eastern and
northern sides it becomes bad at three miles from the creek. The country
in the other directions is good, and will make a first-rate run. This, in
connexion with the Mildred and McEllister Springs, will feed any number
of cattle.

Friday, January 6th, The Neale. As my rations are now drawing to a close
(for we started with provisions only for three months, and have been out
now for three months and more), I must sound a retreat to get another
supply at Chambers Creek. It was my intention to have sent two men down
for them, but I am sorry to say that I have lost confidence in all except
Kekwick. I cannot trust them to be sent far, nor dare I leave them with
our equipment and horses while Kekwick and I go for the provisions.
Situated as I am with them, I must take all the horses down; and if I can
get men to replace them at Chambers Creek, I will send them about their
business. They have been a constant source of annoyance to me from the
very beginning of my journey. The man that I had out with me on my last
journey has been the worst of the two. They seem to have made up their
minds to do as little as possible, and that in the most slovenly and lazy
manner imaginable. They appear to take no interest in the success of the
expedition. I have talked to them until I am completely wearied out;
indeed, I am surprised that I have endured it so long. Many a one would
have discharged them, and sent them back walking to Adelaide; in fact, I
had almost made up my mind to do so from here, and to run the chance of
getting others at Mr. Barker's. Although they have behaved so badly, and
so richly deserve to be punished (for they have taken advantage of me
when I could get no others to supply their places), I could not find in
my heart to do it. Kekwick is everything I could wish a man to be. He is
active, pushing, and persevering. At any time, and at any moment, he is
always ready, and takes a pleasure in doing all that lies in his power to
forward the expedition. Would that the two others were like him! I should
then have no trouble at all. Started at 7 a.m. on my return on a
south-east course, and camped at a small spring on the east side of Mount
Younghusband. Distance, twenty miles.

Saturday, 7th January, Mount Younghusband. Started at 7 a.m. for the
Milne Springs, where I shall remain for a day or two to get all the
horses fresh shod, and leave what things I do not require, intending to
get them on my return. Arrived there at 11 o'clock. Found the water much
the same as it was when I first saw it.

Sunday, 8th January, Milne Springs. Severe attack of lumbago. Sun hot;
but cool breeze from south-east.

Monday, 9th January, Milne Springs. Unable to ride, so I was obliged to
send Kekwick and one of the men to the westward. This was a great
disappointment to me, as I should like to have seen the country myself to
have connected it with my farthest north-west point on my first journey.
The other man was shoeing the horses. Sun hot. Cool breeze from
south-east. Very cold night and morning.

Tuesday, 10th January, Milne Springs. Latitude, 28 degrees 15 minutes 45
seconds. Shoeing horses. Flies a great trouble; can do nothing for them.
If they are allowed to remain a moment on the eye, it swells up
immediately, and is very painful. Kekwick and the other man returned at 9
o'clock p.m. They report having found two springs, one about nine miles
west, and the other about thirty miles, in a large spring country, which
they had not time to examine well. Although I am so unwell, I must start
to-morrow and see what it is. Judging from their description, there must
be something good; and I cannot leave without seeing it, although my
provisions are nearly done.

Wednesday, 11th January, Milne Springs. Shortly after sunrise started
with Kekwick on a west course for the larger spring country, leaving the
near one until our return. At eleven miles and a half crossed the Blyth,
coming from the south. At twenty-eight miles reached the spring country.
Changed to 150 degrees, and at two miles camped at the spring. The
springy place has the appearance of a large salt lagoon, three miles
broad and upwards of eight miles long. At the south end of it is a creek
with brackish water, and on its banks are the springs, the water from
which is very good; they are not running.

Thursday, 12th January, West Springs. There are a number of natives at
these springs. We have seen their smoke, and both old and recent tracks.
Started on a south course. At four miles and a half came upon a creek,
with reeds and brackish water, running a little to the west of north.
Traced it down for upwards of a mile and a half. Saw that it ran into the
swamp west of where we struck it. Could see no springs upon its banks.
Returned to the place where we first struck it, and proceeded a mile on a
course of 120 degrees to three large patches of very green reeds, which
turned out to be eight feet high. Could find no surface water except what
was brackish. The country was moist all round. Thence on the same bearing
for two miles. Sent Kekwick to examine some places that looked like
springs. They were in the middle of a large salt lagoon, having a crust
of limestone, under which the water was, and if broken open, in many
places where there was no sign of water, a beautiful supply could be
obtained. Changed to 245 degrees, and, at about fifteen miles, changed to
90 degrees, through sand hills. We have seen many places where water can
be obtained at a few inches below the surface. Camped at the spring. Feel
very ill; can scarcely sit on my horse.

Friday, 13th January, West Springs. Being anxious to see the nature of
the country between this and the Mount Margaret range, I started at 6.30
on a course of 110 degrees over occasional sand hills and stony places,
with splendid feed. At ten miles and a half reached a stony rise, and
changed my course to 76 degrees, for five miles, to a black hill composed
of ironstone. Changed to 105 degrees, for one mile, to examine a white
place coming down from the range, which had the appearance of springs,
but found it to be composed of white quartz. Changed again to 50 degrees
to a rough hill, which had also the appearance of springs. At two miles
crossed the bed of the Blyth, which takes its rise in the range. No water
in it, but loose sand and gravel. At seven miles reached the rough hill,
after crossing three small tributaries; was disappointed in not finding
water. Ascended the hill, from which we had a good view of the
surrounding country, but see no indications of water. I must now make for
the second spring found by my men three days ago. Course north, over
stony hills and table land, in which I crossed my former tracks going to
the Freeling Springs. Arrived at the spring at 7.30 p.m. All of us, men
and horses, very tired.

Saturday, 14th January, Springs South of Mount Younghusband. Examined the
spring, and found it to be a very good one; it is situated near the banks
of the Blyth, on the same spongy ground that I discovered last time, and
which was marked off as a run. Searched about, and found two more good
springs. There was plenty of water in the creek, but the dry season had
made it brackish. Discovered a spring in one of the creeks that runs east
from Mount Margaret. The natives had cleared it out, and the water, which
was very good, was about two feet from the surface. In the other two
creeks we also found springs which only required opening. I then made for
the camp, where I found everything all right.

Sunday, 15th January, Milne Springs. Preparing for a start to-morrow for
Chambers Creek, by way of Louden Springs; I must endeavour to find some
more springs, for I am not quite satisfied yet about that country. Very
much annoyed by the misconduct of the two men I left behind at the camp;
they have had the impertinence to open my plan-case, and have so damaged
my principal plan with their hot moist hands, that I know not what to do
with it. This is not the first time they have done it.

Monday, 16th January, Milne Springs. Started at 7.10 a.m. on a bearing of
138 degrees 30 minutes. At about twenty-two miles struck four other
springs, beyond the Messrs. Levi's boundary; from one of them there is a
strong stream of water flowing. They are almost completely hidden, and
one cannot see them until almost on the top of them. I have taken
bearings to fix them, and have named them Kekwick Springs. Five o'clock
p.m. Arrived at Louden Springs. Distance, thirty-one miles.

Tuesday, 17th January, Louden Springs. Started shortly after daybreak, on
a course of 110 degrees, over as fine a grass country as I have yet
travelled over. At sixteen miles crossed the Douglas, running through
sand hills covered with grass, but no water, nor any signs of springs.
Proceeded in the same direction for eight miles, when we were stopped by
a lagoon. Changed my course to south-south-west to a hill that had the
appearance of water, but found beyond it another large dry lagoon, on the
banks of which we saw the tracks of a single horse crossing the end of
the lagoon, and steering for Lake Torrens; they seemed to be about two
months old. Can they be the tracks of that infatuated man who left me on
the 20th of November? In all probability he has lost my downward track
and himself also. They are only about two miles to the east of mine.
Camped without water on a sand hill.

Wednesday, 18th January, Sand Hill. Started shortly after daybreak on a
south-south-east course, still in search of springs (crossing my outward
track of last journey), at a place where I thought it most likely for
them, but was unsuccessful. If I could have found one here, I should have
gone direct to the Emerald Springs, but the horses would suffer very much
if they were to be another night without water; the food is so dry, and
the weather so hot, they cannot endure more than two days and one night
without it. Changed my course to Strangway Spring. Arrived there at 2.30.
Some of the horses very much done up. Camped, and gave them the rest of
the day to recruit.

Thursday, 19th January, Strangway Springs. Started for the Beresford
Springs. At nine miles and a half arrived there; and, at eight miles
beyond, made the Hamilton Springs, where we camped for the night.

Friday, 20th January, Hamilton Springs. Started by way of the Emerald
Springs, to see if Mr. Barker's party is there, or if any person had been
there and got the parcel, and forwarded it to Mr. Chambers. Arrived at
the springs, and found that some one had got it. Mr. B.'s party had gone.
Went on to Chambers Creek, and found them there.

Saturday, 21st January, Chambers Creek. Here we found provisions awaiting
us, as we expected; but the two men still exhibit a spirit of
non-compliance, and refuse to proceed again to the north-west; they are
bent upon leaving me and returning to Adelaide although they know that
there are no men here to supply their places. They have demanded their
wages and a discharge, which, under all the circumstances of the case,
and considering how badly they have served me, I feel myself justified in
withholding. I shall therefore be compelled to send Kekwick down as far
as Mr. Chambers' station with my despatches, etc., and to procure other
assistance. This will be a great loss of time and expense, which the
wages these men have forfeited by not fulfilling their agreements will
ill repay. Here we heard of the man Smith, who, it seems, left the mare,
whether dead or alive we know not at present. He was lost for four days
without water (according to his own account), and, after various
adventures, and picking up sundry trifles from different travelling
parties, who relieved him out of compassion, reached the settled
districts in a most forlorn condition. Mr. Barker had left his station
some three weeks before we arrived.


Friday, 2nd March, 1860, Chambers Creek. Left the creek for the
north-west, with thirteen horses and two men. The grey horse being too
weak to travel was left behind. Camped at Hamilton Springs.

Saturday, 3rd March, Mount Hamilton. Camped at the Beresford Springs,
where it was evident that the natives, whose camp is a little way from
this, had had a fight. There were the remains of a body of a very tall
native lying on his back. The skull was broken in three or four places,
the flesh nearly all devoured by the crows and native dogs, and both feet
and hands were gone. There were three worleys on the rising ground, with
waddies, boomerangs, spears, and a number of broken dishes scattered
round them. The natives seemed to have run away and left them, or to have
been driven away by a hostile tribe. Between two of the worleys we
observed a handful of hair, apparently torn from the skull of the dead
man, and a handful of emu feathers placed close together, the feathers to
the north-west, the hair to the south-east. They were between two pieces
of charred wood, which had been extinguished before the feathers and hair
were placed there. It seemed to be a mark of some description.

Sunday, 4th March, Beresford Springs. Night and morning cold; day very
hot. Wind south-west.

Monday, 5th March, Beresford Springs. Wind changed to the east during the
night. Morning very cold. Arrived at the Strangway Springs. Day very hot.
Wind variable.

Tuesday, 6th March, Strangway Springs. Very hot during the night. Made
William Springs and camped. The day exceedingly hot, wind south-west, in
which direction a heavy bank of clouds arose about noon; in the evening
there was a great deal of lightning, and apparently much rain falling
there, but none came down our way.

Wednesday, 7th March, William Springs. The night very hot and cloudy,
with the wind from the west, but without rain. Started for Louden Spa,*
(* The Louden Springs of the two last expeditions.) the first few miles
being over low sand rises and broad valleys of light sandy soil, with
abundance of dry grass; by keeping a little more to the north-west the
sand rises can be avoided. At seven miles we struck a swamp, but could
see no springs. On approaching the Douglas the country becomes more
stony, and continues so to the Spa, where we camped.

Thursday, 8th March, Louden Spa. Cold wind this morning from the
south-east; the clouds are gone. Camped at Hawker Springs.

Friday, 9th March, Hawker Springs. Very cold last night. Wind from the
south. During the day it changed to the south-east, and the sun was very
hot. Camped at the Milne Springs, and found the articles we had left*
there all right (* See last expedition.); the natives had opened the
place where we had put them, but had taken nothing.

Saturday, 10th March, Milne Springs. At half past 11 last night it began
to rain, and continued doing so nearly all day. Wind south-east.

Sunday, 11th March, Milne Springs. About 10 o'clock last night we were
flooded with water, although upon rising ground, and were obliged to move
our camp to the top of a small hill. It rained all night and morning, but
there are signs of a break in the clouds. During the day it has rained at
intervals. The creek is coming down very rapidly, covering all the valley
with a sheet of water.

Monday, 12th March, Milne Springs. A few heavy showers during the night,
but now there seems a chance of a fine day, which will enable us to get
our provisions dried again. The country is so boggy that I cannot proceed
to-day, but if it continues fair I shall attempt it to-morrow morning.
This rain is a great boon to me, as it will give me both feed and water
for my horses, and if it has gone to the north-west it will save me a
great deal of time looking for water.

Tuesday, 13th March, Milne Springs. Started for Freeling Springs. The
country in some places is very soft, but the travelling is better than I
expected. As we approached the Denison ranges the rain did not seem to
have been so heavy, but when we came to the Peake, we found it running
bank high, and very boggy. Impossible to cross it here, so I shall follow
it up in a west-south-west direction. Camped at Freeling Springs.

Wednesday, 14th March, Freeling Springs. Started on a course a little to
the south of west, to try and find a crossing-place. At two miles it
turned a little to the north of west, but at ten miles it turned to the
south-west, and was running very rapidly, about five miles an hour. I was
obliged to stop at this point, as I could not cross the creek, the banks
being so boggy. I have discovered another spring at eleven miles on the
same bearing as the Freeling Springs, but I cannot get to it. From here
it has the appearance of being very good; a hill covered with reeds at
the top, the creek running round the east side of it. I shall endeavour
to cross to-morrow and examine it.

Thursday, 15th March, The Peake. The creek being still impassable, I
remained here another day. Yesterday the horse that was carrying my
instruments broke away from the man who was leading him, burst the
girths, and threw the saddlebags on the ground. The instruments were very
much injured, in fact very nearly ruined; the sextant being put out of
adjustment, has taken me all day to repair, and I am not sure now whether
it is correct or not. It is a great misfortune. Wind north; clouds

Friday, 16th March, The Peake. Saddled and started to cross the Peake
about three miles to the south-west, but had a fearful job in doing so,
the banks being so boggy, and the current so strong. The horses could
hardly keep on their feet, and most of them were up to their
saddle-flaps, and some under water altogether. One poor old fellow we
were obliged to leave in it, as he was unable to get out, and we were
unable to help him, although we tried for hours. He is of very little use
to me, for he has never recovered his trip to Moolloodoo and back. He has
had nothing to carry since we started, and seemed to be improving every
day. I wish now that I had left him at Chambers Creek along with the
grey, but as he looked in better condition, I thought he would mend on
the journey, and I intended him to bring the horses in every morning,
when we got further out. We have been from 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. in
getting across, including the time spent in trying to extricate Billy. I
cannot proceed further to-day, and have therefore camped on the west side
of the springs that we saw from the last encampment, which I named
Kekwick Springs. There are six springs. The largest one will require to
be opened; the reeds on it are very thick, and from ten to twelve feet in
height. We tried again to get the horse on shore, but could not manage
it; the more we try to extricate him, the worse he gets. I have left him;
I do not think he will survive the night. It is now sundown, and raining
heavily; the night looks very black and stormy. Wind from the south-west.

Saturday, 17th March, Kekwick Springs. About 8 o'clock last evening the
wind changed to the north-west, and we had some very heavy rain, which
lasted the greater part of the night. Early in the morning the wind
changed again to the south-east, with occasional showers. At sunrise it
looked very stormy. I must be off as soon as possible out of this boggy
place. The old horse is still alive, but very weak. The water has lowered
during the night. If no more rain falls to the south-west it will soon be
dry, when he may have a chance of getting out. I cannot remain longer to
assist him; it would only be putting the rest of my horses in danger. I
would have remained here to-day to have dried my provisions, but the
appearance of the weather will not allow me. They must take their chance.
Started on a north-west course for the Neale. At fifteen miles struck it,
and changed to the west to a creek coming south from the stony rises. The
banks of the Neale are very boggy. The first four miles to-day were along
the top of a sandy rise, with swampy flats on each side, with a number of
reeds growing in them, also rushes and water-grass. At four miles was a
strong rise, but before we arrived at it we had to cross one of the
swamps, in which we encountered great difficulty. After many turnings and
twistings, and being bogged up to the shoulders, we managed to get
through all safe. It was fearfully hard work. For three miles, on the top
of a stony rise, the country is poor (stones on the top of gypsum
deposit), but after that it gradually improves, and towards the creek it
becomes a good salt-bush country. Wind from the south-east; still very

Sunday, 18th March, Neale River. Wind south-east; heavy clouds. I
observed a bulbous plant growing in this creek resembling the Egyptian
arum; it was just springing. I will endeavour to get some of the seed, if
I can. I hoped we should have got our provisions dried to-day, but it was
so showery we could not get it done. The creek is so boggy that we cannot
cross it, and must follow it round to-morrow. A sad accident has happened
to my plans. There was a small hole in the case that contains them, which
I did not observe, and in crossing the Peake the water gained admittance
and completely saturated them; it is a great misfortune. Sundown: still
raining; wind same direction.

Monday, 19th March, Neale River. Rained during the night, and looks very
stormy this morning. Followed the Neale round to where it goes through
the gap in Hanson range; in places it was rather boggy, but good
travelling in this wet weather--firmer than I expected. We had much
difficulty in crossing some of the side creeks. Camped on the south side
of the gap. Wind south-east; cloudy, with little rain.

Tuesday, 20th March, Neale River Gap, Hanson Range. Wind south-east; a
few showers during the night. Still no chance of getting my provisions
dried. It cleared off about noon, and became a fine day. Followed the
Neale round, and camped on one of the side creeks coming from the south
of west. Ground still soft. Wind south-east. Saw some smoke in the hills
this morning, but no natives. Good country along both sides of the range
on the west side of the Neale.

Wednesday, 21st March, Neale River. Beautiful sunshine. Shall remain here
to-day, in order to dry my provisions. On examining them I find that a
quantity of our dried meat is quite spoiled, which is a great
loss--another wet day, and we should have lost the half of it.

Thursday, 22nd March, Side Creek of the Neale River. Wind south-west;
clear sky. I intended to have gone north-west from this point, but, in
attempting to cross the creek, we found it impassable. My horse got
bogged at the first start, and we had some difficulty in getting him out.
We were obliged to follow the creek westward for seven miles, where it
passes between two high hills connected with the range. We managed at
last, with great labour and difficulty, to get across without accident.
At this place four creeks join the main one, and spread over a mile in
breadth, with upwards of twenty boggy water-courses; water running. It
has taken us five hours, from the time we started, to cross it. The
principal creek comes from the south-west. I ascended the two hills to
get a view of the surrounding country, and I could see the creek coming
from a long way off in that direction. At this point the range seems
broken or detached into numerous small ranges and isolated hills. I now
changed my course to north-west, over table land of a light-brown colour,
with stones on the surface; the vegetation was springing all over it and
looking beautifully green. At six miles on this course camped on a myall
creek. The work for the horses has been so very severe to-day that I have
been induced to camp sooner than I intended. Wind south.

Friday, 23rd March, Myall Creek. Wind south. Started on the same course,
north-west. At three miles crossed another tributary--gum and myall. The
country, before we struck the creek, was good salt-bush country, with a
plentiful supply of grass. The soil was of a light-brown colour, gypsum
underneath, and stones on the surface, grass and herbs growing all round
them. After crossing the creek, which was boggy, we again ascended a low
table land of the same description. At ten miles came upon a few low sand
rises, about a mile in breadth. We then struck a creek, another
tributary, spread over a large plain, very boggy, with here and there
patches of quicksand. We had great difficulty in getting over it, but at
last succeeded without any mishap. We then entered a thick scrubby
country of mulga and other shrubs; the soil now changed to a dark red,
covered splendidly with grass. After the first mile the scrub became much
thinner; ground slightly undulating. After crossing this good country, at
twenty miles we struck a large creek running very rapidly at five miles
per hour; breadth of water one hundred feet, with gum-trees on the bank.
From bank to bank it was forty-four yards wide. This seemed to be only
one of the courses. There were other gum-trees on the opposite side, and
apparently other channels. Wind south. A few clouds from the north-west.

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

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