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McKinlay's Journal of Exploration in the Interior of Australia by John McKinlay

Part 4 out of 4

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undulating stony country with low-sized trees (stunted) river bearing
northward; at seven and three-quarter miles crossed creek from south-east
by east, a little water; at nine miles crossed narrow deep creek,
bald-topped range of hills close ahead same side of river, running from
north to south. The river here sweeps round the north end of them, making
a considerable detour to north of east; we ascended the easiest of the
ridges easterly to avoid the steep gullies, and saw the river taking a
sweep south; I think it receives the Perry at its south bend. At twelve
and a half miles on an easterly bearing changed course to south by west,
or even west of that, over ridgy but good travelling and latterly flat
country, well grassed, for two and three-quarter miles and camped, one of
the camels refusing to travel, lying down occasionally. Distance
travelled about fifteen and a quarter miles. I wish our animals were now
in the same condition they were at Hayward's Creek and I would soon be at
Port Denison. I am surprised that the squatting stations are not further
advanced up this river. Our invalids are slowly recruiting. Has been a
beautiful day.

Wednesday, July 9.

Camp 31. Heavy dew last night. To give the horses a chance of doing
better last night they were let go without hobbles, and this morning they
have strayed to some distance and again caused us to be late in starting.
Started at 11.10 a.m. A number of natives must have been here on our
arrival last afternoon but must have decamped very hastily on hearing us,
leaving all their spears, cooking and cooked vegetables, food, etc. etc.;
the food they were cooking in their ovens and what was lying cooked
consisted of excellent roots of some kind or other, and a round fruit
which they roast and which is very good. We used all the roots and found
them most excellent and left in exchange a tomahawk, which no doubt will
suit their purpose as well, and suited us much better. I took the
precaution of carrying all their spears up to our camp, that in case they
might return to their camp in the night they might not molest us; it
saved us keeping watch but we neither saw nor heard anything of them
except their dogs howling. Numbers of blue mountain parrots here, and a
few ducks only. The river here is formidable and the banks rather steep
for easy access. On the south-south-easterly course; at one and
three-quarter miles crossed deep rocky creek with a little rainwater and
very steep banks; at three and a quarter miles passed a lagoon, more
lagoons off to the south-west under the low ridges; at six miles crossed
a small oak creek from south-west by west; at seven and three-quarter
miles crossed small good creek with plenty of water from south-west by
west. Halted at a couple of lagoons, nine and a quarter miles. One of the
camels we will be compelled to leave here; he has been a most useful
animal; we will in consequence have to curtail further our little effects
and leave many things behind. Our journey direct south-east and little
south today has not been more than about seven miles. The lagoons which
are deep run in a north-west by west half west course. Buried things we
left at south side of ironbark tree fifty-two paces about west 28 degrees
south of a marked tree and camp fire.

Thursday, July 10.

Camp 32. Ice in the quart pots this morning, the first we have seen
during the whole of our wanderings up to this; but I once before saw
where it had nipped off the young burnt feed before making the Burdekin.
Have called this Coppin's lagoons after our camel that is left here.
Started at 8.52 a.m. south-east about two and a half miles or so. At one
and three-quarter miles on an easterly bearing crossed a rocky and sandy
narrow deep creek from south by west with plenty of water in large holes;
good travelling till we turned easterly, then a little ridgy; at three
and a quarter miles a large creek from north-north-east joins the river
in a bend; a large mount in about that direction. The river now suddenly
turns south-east to south-south-east from east-north-east; at six and a
quarter miles crossed the River Clarke and had a tumble, horse and all,
heels over head into it; it had no stream but large sheets of water in
its bed (sandy). From south-west by west the large range on opposite side
of the Burdekin runs about east-south-east and west-north-west, splendid
bold mounts; crossed oak creek from south-west by south at nine and
three-quarter miles; from junction of this creek westerly end of mountain
range, table-topped, beyond the Burdekin bears 341 degrees; at eleven and
a quarter miles crossed small steep creek. The river, now closely
confined between steep hills, kept along the stony bottom of the range
for some time, but the camel turning over, and it being more rough ahead,
was obliged to get into and follow the bed of the river for some
distance. At twelve and three-quarter miles ascended the riverbank on
same side; at thirteen and a quarter miles crossed very steep creek with
water, and at fifteen miles halted at a small rocky creek on the ranges
with water and feed sufficient for our use. Since ascending the banks out
of the river our course has been about north 50 degrees east over a
succession of stony ridges with some spinifex.

Friday, July 11.

Camp 33. Heavy dew last night. Started at 8.15 a.m. on same bearing over
ridges till three and a quarter miles, being the point where Dr.
Leichhardt descended the steep mount close by. From this point the mount
and peak on opposite side of the river some distance off bears as
follows: south-west of table top 280 degrees, north-east peak 331 1/2
degrees. Got into the bed of the river here comparatively easily and
followed it down its rocky and sandy bed for some distance till obliged
to turn out on the opposite side. A large island of rocks in the centre
of the river and deep water on both sides, the hills precipitous into the
river. We got up the opposite side pretty easily and followed it down,
crossing a deep ravine and stony ridge, and recrossed at two and
three-quarter miles on a bearing north of east, and crossed the river
back again, very steep on the side we crossed from but good getting out,
and came over ridgy, and latterly, basalt country, on bearing of about
east-south-east, and camped on the opposite side of the river at three
miles on last bearing, where there was a suitable place in the bed of the
river for killing one of our horses which was completely knocked up. This
camp is about two miles up from where the river takes a south-east bend
and receives a river running into it at that bend. About one-quarter mile
from it and nearer our camp another large running creek joins the
Burdekin which I have called the Campbell after Dal. Campbell, Esquire,
Melbourne. The larger one below, which is about one-third the width of
the Burdekin but down which quite as great a supply of water is running,
I have taken the liberty of calling the Bowen after His Excellency Sir G.
Bowen, Governor of Queensland. The latter stream joins the Burdekin from
north by east but comes from distant mountainous ranges to the east of
north-east. The smaller stream the Campbell joins the Burdekin from north
by west, but comes from north, or a little east of that, from a
mountainous country. As seen from a hill close by to west of the Campbell
the Burdekin there comes from a little north of west, and flows to south
20 degrees east, but not visible either way far.

Saturday, July 12, Sunday, July 13, Monday, July 14, 1862.

In camp, drying horseflesh; the wind from east; dewy, and at daylight
foggy along the banks and valley of the river but soon clears off; we
have had splendid weather for drying our meat. Caught some very nice fish
but not sufficient to be of any real service. The timber is not anything
like as large or so good as it is further up the river. The bed of the
river here is from 400 to 500 yards wide. The horse Goliah has given us
fifty-two pounds dry meat. We have shot a few crows, a cormorant, and a
white eagle with blue back, to make a stew for breakfast, that with a
little salted hide and about two pounds dried meat will make a very good
meal as matters stand at present. The remainder of the dried meat and
what we may shoot I hope will last us as far as the Farming River, which
is about ninety miles from this, to which river I saw people start for
from Sydney upwards of twelve months ago, and they must certainly be
there now; perhaps we may be fortunate enough to meet them this side of
that. I have been quite disappointed at not finding the stations much
higher up the river even than where I now am.

Tuesday, July 15.

Camp 34. Dull morning; heavy dew; much sheet lightning during the night
to south and east, heavy clouds in that direction this morning. Started
at ---- a.m.; for the first half mile or more down the river bed east 8
degrees south; then crossed and on bearing of south 35 degrees east; the
river at crossing not more than 100 yards wide; first part through open
timber, and gentle ascent for one and a quarter miles to a basalt and
sandstone range, flat, well-grassed table-topped, and descended the same
at two and a quarter miles; the dip from the table-top to the slope only
a few yards; large boulders of basalt and sandstone; then well-grassed
but ridgy and occasionally scrubby country; crossed springy creek at
west-north-west (gum); at three and a quarter miles crossed fine gum
creek, running, with lots of palms (corkscrew) from west-south-west at
five miles; the country good till six miles, when it becomes more ridgy
and stony, with spinifex, but improves shortly after; at eight miles
crossed good creek; springs, etc., from south half east; close under
ranges towards the source of the creek the ridges open and apparently
well-grassed, though rather steep and stony; then over higher ranges and
stony ridges, well-grassed, and descended a very steep one, the river
close by on the left; at ten and a half miles rather rough, with ravines
at foot of the range running into the river; at eleven and a quarter
miles crossed a small creek from west-south-west with water in holes;
then rocky low ridges with but scant vegetation for a short distance;
then over rather flat travelling, well-grassed but indifferently
timbered, and a good deal of it inclined to be swampy in wet weather; a
good many poplar gums on it. The latter part rather rotten sandy ground.
Made the river at the point where it is forced by rocks on the opposite
side to this, sweeping out a very large piece of the bank on this side to
the distance of several hundred yards, making the river bed at this sweep
quite 800 yards across and well-timbered round the sweep on this side;
caught some excellent fish this afternoon, a black bream, the largest
five inches deep and fifteen to sixteen inches in length, excellent
firm-eating fish and a great help to our evening meal. Distance today
about fifteen and two-thirds miles. Rained a little during the afternoon
with first of all a strong gale from the southward accompanied with
thunder. Saw a platypus in the river this afternoon, first I have seen
during the journey. Cormorants here are numerous but difficult to be got
at and our shot is not heavy enough for them. Our crow-stew was excellent
this morning.

Wednesday, July 16.

Camp 35. A good shower during the night; foggy this morning, but the rain
evidently all cleared off; started at 8.3 a.m. course south by east;
crossed deep creek from north-west by west, little water; at two and a
half miles passed a swamp; at three and three-quarter miles crossed oak
creek from west-south-west; at four and a quarter miles changed course to
south 35 degrees east; crossed at one and three-quarter miles a small
creek from north-north-west, plenty of waterholes; same creek afterwards
was close on our left at five and three-quarter miles where it joins the
river, and another oak creek close by joins at nearly or at same place.
Then changed course to south 11 degrees east and passed lagoon at three
miles; passed through an end of considerable swamp; at six and a quarter
miles on our left and after going a short way saw where it had wound
round a ridge and was a large sheet of water and swampy land; before and
after this passed through several nasty thick belts of scrub with a very
fine large white tree with dark rough butt growing amongst it, Moreton
Bay ash, I imagine; made the river at nine and three-quarter miles where
some drays and sheep had crossed some time since; followed the river down
one and a quarter miles south-south-west, and crossed a fine creek from
west by north and camped about three-quarters of a mile up the creek; one
branch of it comes from north-west by north, the other and best from west
half south. Basalt ridge close to the river and south banks of creek; a
short distance down the river a cliffy precipitous tier of ranges comes
right on to the river with dark scrubby-looking tops. On the right bank
of the creek with its junction with the river is a mass of sandstone with
bullets of stones through it, and a yellow hard-looking clay perfectly
detached, the clay wall having a dip of about 45 degrees to south-west;
abundance of water up the left hand or southernmost creek. Distance
travelled twenty to twenty-one miles. I have called the creek we are now
encamped on Gibson's after ---- Gibson, Esquire, of Great Bourke Street,

Thursday, July 17.

Camp 36. Ice again this morning, very cold during the night. Started at 8
a.m.; four and a half miles on bearing of south by east along and over
basalt country, crossed rocky oak creek at three and a half miles from
west by south, swampy; continued this bearing for six and three-quarter
to seven miles and changed course to 60 degrees east of south; one and
three-quarter miles an immense swamp and lagoons, basalt ridges; close
round crossed over these ridges; bore a little more to the east; and at
five and three-quarters crossed a splendid stream from south by west with
a number of anabranches. Basalt on the flats as well as the ridges;
changed course to about east by south, horses tiring; halted at same,
strong-running stream at four and three-quarter miles; as it passes it
flows over falls in an east-south-east course along the foot of basalt
ridges and comes, as far as visible, from west and north. East of this,
apparently opposite side of the Burdekin River, are bald-topped ridges
about eight miles distant; basalt ridge on this side a considerable
distance in that direction. Distance twenty-two miles today. I have taken
the liberty of naming the stream (to all intents and purposes an
important river, though narrow compared with some streams, but down which
quite as great a supply of pure water is now running as in the Burdekin)
the River Browne after W.J. Browne, Esquire, of Booboorowie, South
Australia. Large masses of granite are here in the bed of this river and
on its banks, although the ridges close by are composed of very cellular
basalt and close-grained sandstone. No mountains visible at all close in
any direction. From the top of the heights, close to our camp, lots of
tracks of sheep and cattle. No appearance of a station; fancy they have
taken to the creeks.

Friday, July 18.

Very cold during the night, but beautiful morning. This river runs
parallel to the Burdekin for some distance and at only a very short
distance between. Started at 8.20 a.m. over the basalt ridges for the
sake of better travelling than we are likely to have in the Burdekin, for
some distance at least. South for one mile, then east-south-east through
open forest with basalt blocks occasionally, and rather swampy-inclined
land for two and three-quarter miles. Crossed a small sandy creek, vast
numbers of young palms, from south, then the land of granite formation
and stony; drainage to north and east. At three and one quarter miles
crossed large sandy creek with water and a number of large palms and
gums, from south-west, immediately after crossing, undulations of quite
sandy country but commencing with but little scrub; but at about three
miles from the creek obliged to turn out of it in a north-north-east
course or all our packs would have been torn off; the scrub was full of
game. On the last course we went about one and a half miles till we got
to the edge of the scrub, then about east by north for about one and a
half miles on to the south-west side of the large creek last crossed, now
in immense, large, deep, and long waterholes running in about an
east-south-east course, about parallel with the Burdekin, which creek we
followed on its right side, the scrub coming often to the banks. Very
fine stone fruit got here of a purple colour, quite an ornamental tree
about twenty-five to thirty feet high, fruit in clusters, about the size
of a large plum and very good boiled or roasted. At four miles on this
course crossed an oak creek from south half east, with water coming from
west side of stony ridges; then about three-quarter mile further to river
in a course east 15 degrees south, then followed down the river for about
one and a quarter miles and camped; distance travelled about sixteen and
one quarter miles. I have called this the Kissock after W. Kissock,
Esquire, Great Bourke Street, Melbourne. One of the horses completely
knocked up, and as we can observe no recent traces of stock on the river
made up my mind to kill him, spell a day, and carry as much of his flesh,
boiled, with us as will last a couple of days. The river is very broad
here, forming small falls with large blocks of granite-looking rocks, of
a light and some of a yellow colour, across its bed for some distance.

Saturday, July 19.

Spelled. Very cold night, beautiful morning, and throughout the day the
same weather.

Sunday, July 20.

Camp 38. Very cold night, beautiful morning. Proceed down the river.
Started at 8.37 a.m., our course for a short distance about south-east
then east-south-east; at one and a half miles crossed rocky creek, easily
passable for drays, from west-south-west; crossed sandy oak creek from
south-east by south (dry). At three miles crossed sandy palm creek (dry)
from south-south-east; at six and a quarter miles undulating nice
country; at eleven miles struck the river; a high point in a considerable
range on opposite side of river bears 88 degrees east from this point of
river. The river now runs in a south-west by south direction for about
one and three-quarter miles, and in that distance crossed two oak creeks,
one from west-north-west, the other from north-west by west; the river
then runs about south for about one and a half to one and three-quarter
miles, and suddenly takes a large bend to east or north of east, at which
bend a very large oak creek joins river from south-south-west; a range of
hills a short distance off on that same bearing. Camped in bed of creek;
lot of young oaks in bed of creek just sprouting. This creek I have taken
the liberty of calling the McKeachin after Alexander McKeachin, Esquire,
of Delagato, Manaroo, New South Wales. The timber here is neither so
abundant or so good for building purposes as higher up the river; the
latter is from 700 to 800 yards broad here, and a strong running stream
on right side.

Monday, July 21.

Camp 39. Hoar frost last night with ice on the ground again this morning
but beautiful weather. Started at 8.40 a.m. south-east by east to clear
creek and range, then south-east by south. Crossed sandy oak creek from
south half east. At half a mile crossed several sandy creeks near
together from west of south. At three miles crossed two sandy creeks from
west-south-west; when united will form a considerable one. At six miles
crossed large creek from south-west by south. Gums, palms, and the
paper-bark trees at six and three-quarter miles. Crossed at seven and a
half miles large creek with oaks, gums, paper-bark trees. From south by
west a very fine creek and excellent timber. No water at crossing but
abundance of reeds on banks. At ten and three-quarter miles considerably
ridgy, and passed large masses and cliffy hill, apparently of limestone.
Close on the right from the top of one of the ridges is seen to the right
a fine valley coming considerably from north of west and bearing off
round some high dark-looking hills ahead, with cliffy and rugged tops, no
doubt the valley of the Fanning River. Kept above course till at fourteen
and a quarter miles rough hills being close ahead, and the Fanning being
too much off to south and east, followed a small creek north-east for one
and a quarter miles and camped at a little water. The country here has
all been burned. Distance travelled about sixteen and a quarter miles.

Tuesday, July 22.

Camp 40. Neither dew or frost. Started at 7.52 a.m. north by east,
crossing two oak creeks from left to right, joining the one we camped on
last night. Made Burdekin River at eight miles. Highest point of Mount
Razorback bears from that point a little east of east-north-east. It has
been raining here lately. Then on bearing of east 15 degrees south at
three-quarters of a mile an oak creek joins the river from south, the
river then bears much away to east, or even north of east. Still on
bearing of east 15 degrees south. At two and a quarter miles crossed
small oak creek from south by west. At four and three-quarter miles
crossed fine large oak creek from south-south-west, sandy bed and reedy
banks. Open forest. Saw some natives and heard others who were much
alarmed. At eight and a half miles crossed sandy oak creek from
south-west, very zigzag in its course. Country very ridgy and inclined to
be lightly scrubby. Made the river at fourteen miles. Latter part very
ridgy and many precipitous creeks from the slopes, but otherwise
well-grassed. The greater part of the country travelled over today was of
granite formation with veins of quartz here and there, and lots of loose
quartz scattered about. A large hill opposite side of river here that I
take to be ---- Range, and another down the river about one and a half
miles bearing about south by west. The river here comes from north for
some distance, and after it has passed this on to the range about one and
a half miles down the river that appears to come right on it it bears off
suddenly to the north of east. No traces of stock or drays seen on the
river, and as another of our worst horses has become done up I will kill
him here and spell the other horses a day; boil as much of his flesh as
we can to take on with us and feast ourselves on the head, feet, and
bones for a day, taking his shoes off as usual in case some of the others
may require them. It perfectly astonishes me not meeting any settlers ere
this. Distance today about twenty-two miles. Splendid weather. Timber
indifferent here and not very abundant.

Wednesday, July 23.

Camp 41. Wind cold from north by west; neither dew nor frost.

Thursday, July 24.

Camp 41. Wind from same quarter or a little more west; neither dew or
frost but very cold during the night. Crossed the river here to save a
considerable sweep first to south between one and a half to two miles,
then to north of east. Started at 8.20 a.m. This is now the sixth horse
we have been compelled to kill for food, I trust it may be the last; went
across the river yesterday and saw the tracks of a few head of cattle and
from what I could judge not very old; hope to get to a station during the
day. From our camp here a fine peak on left side of river, between main
range and river, bears 48 degrees east of north. At the bend on right
bank of river, below our camp quite two miles distant, the end of a large
hill comes on to the river bearing 195 degrees; a very rugged peak east
of it on same side bears 183 1/2 degrees. Only two packhorses and one
camel now. Bearing east 33 1/2 degrees south over stony granite ridges;
made the river at a southerly bend at eight miles. A deep creek joins at
this bend. Then bearing south-east by south for a peak ahead, at two and
a half miles crossed large oak creek and several smaller ones before
that; at four and a quarter miles at peak changed course to south 2
degrees west; at five miles made river, crossing in our course several
creeks from eastward. Mount McConnell from this bears a little east of
south-south-east; instead of altering our course to south 2 degrees west
from the peak, a good road avoiding some rugged ranges could be had by
keeping right on course of south 23 1/2 degrees east. The river
immediately below this passes in an easterly direction between two ranges
that come right on to it. The peak on the left bank I have called
Foster's Peak after A.W. Foster, Esquire, of the Murray River, New South
Wales. The bluff on the right bank and a little nearer than the peak I
have called the McLeod after James McLeod, Esquire, of the Darling River,
New South Wales. A fine long leading range some distance from right bank
of river, running north and south, and apparently table-topped, I have
called the Fletcher after G.B. Fletcher, Esquire, Tapio, Darling River,
New South Wales.

Friday, July 25.

Camp 42. Started at 8.35 a.m.; first over stony ridge, then good open
forest on a bearing of east by south; at five miles struck a river from
north-north-west which, immediately after crossing, went about east half
north. This river I have called the Foster after A.W. Foster, Esquire, of
the Murray, New South Wales; followed it in its course for two and
three-quarter miles, it then suddenly turns south-east; had to follow it
a quarter of a mile. Large mountain lying right across my course and
running about north by west and south by east; which I have called Mount
Buchanan after Alexander Buchanan, Esquire, of Anlaby, South Australia,
from whom the whole of this party met with the utmost kindness and
consideration. I then crossed over and went on a bearing of east by north
through open country, till at one and three-quarter miles crossed a fine
river from north by west which I have called the Scott after E.B. Scott,
Esquire, of Moorno on the Murray River, New South Wales. Went on this
course about two and a half miles; ascended a peak here and found Mount
McConnell to bear 225 degrees. Another large conspicuous mount from seven
to eight miles off bears 340 degrees; west and south of Mount Buchanan
bears 261 degrees. Changed course here to south one-quarter west, an
immense mountain being ahead in the easterly course, I should like to be
able to go, which I have called Mount Middleton after our right hand man,
one of the party, whose attention to his difficult duties and the good
example he showed to the rest of the party would entitle him to the
esteem of anyone in my situation. One and a quarter miles south
one-quarter west, then east half-south; immediately after the river
changing eastwardly the Foster River joins it; about two and a quarter
miles on last course and camped; the camel about done up and the country
next to impassable; before getting to camp had to ascend a long stony and
steep range, and no sooner up than down again in another place, and which
did not advance us half a mile on our course. We had a hard frost last
night; very difficult country. Mount McConnell bears 238 1/2 degrees.

Saturday, July 26.

Camp 43. A dewless and frostless night. Camel very much done up. Started
at 7.53, followed the River Scott. On the left bank is a high precipitous
mountain which I have called the Frederick, and on the right hand another
high mount which I have called the Phillip, after the two brothers
Fletcher of Melbourne. Just as the river takes a south-east course the
Scott joins the Burdekin as it comes from south-south-west, flowing to
north-north-east. In its whole width a perfect mass of slippery rocks and
deep water, and where we struck it no apparent current; although when it
contracts more and runs through more narrow rocks there is a strong and
rapid stream. After getting about one and a quarter miles along its bank
in a north-north-west direction was compelled to halt; perfectly
impracticable and will be a most intricate crossing. Mount McConnell
bears from this crossing-place about 241 1/2 degrees. This is a fearful
country and now that I see it I am not the least surprised at not finding
the Upper Burdekin peopled and stocked. A man has difficulty in getting
along on foot, much more so with quadrupeds; as for vehicles of any kind
quite out of the question anywhere in this quarter. I am at present at a
loss to conjecture how the dray, or drays and stock, found their way up
the river so far, unless they went up west of Mount McConnell or found
some more practicable route lower down the Burdekin, which latter I very
much doubt. The hill just opposite our encampment I have called the Poole
after R.T. Poole, Esquire, of South Australia. We are encamped by a large
gum tree, as the river takes an east by south course for some distance.
The most rugged country a man would ever wish to behold; and to add to
our difficulties in swimming across numbers of huge alligators are here
close to the camp. I ascended the hill just behind our camp with much
difficulty to view the country ahead and about me. It was exceedingly
stony and rocky. From it an extensive view, but much higher hills were in
the distance in various directions. It is about three-quarters of a mile
distant from our camp and bears from it 240 degrees; Mount McConnell
bears 242 1/2 degrees. A conspicuous dark mount, from eight to ten miles
off, bears 34 1/2, round the north end of which the Burdekin passes. The
furthest point of the Burdekin seen along its course, about four miles
off, at which place it suddenly runs to the northward 63 1/2 degrees. A
considerable sweep of the river between this and Mount McConnell bears
216 1/2 degrees from five to six miles distant. A high peak, and close by
it a high mountain in the same line of ranges about seven to eight miles
off across the river, bear respectively 93 1/2 and 104 1/2 degrees.
Beyond the north end (distant) of the above range is to be seen another
dark mountain bearing 76 1/2 degrees. Killed another unfortunate horse
(poor old Joseph Buggins). The hill on which I now stand I have called
Mount Bertram after Alexander Bertram, Esquire, of Sandhurst, Victoria.
The mount that bears 104 1/2 degrees from this, beyond the river, I have
called Mount Haverfield after ---- Haverfield, Esquire, of Melbourne. The
peak that bears 93 1/2 degrees I have called the Grierson after R.
Grierson, Esquire, of Great Bourke Street West, Melbourne. The
conspicuous mountain that bears 34 1/2 degrees I have called Mount
Roberts after G. Roberts, Esquire, of the Murray, New South Wales.

Sunday, July 27.

No passage over the ridge or mountains practicable. A raft constructed of
such materials as we can get here floated but indifferently with our
canteens, one leaky air pillow, and our boiling vessels inverted, some of
which were not air-tight, is ready for crossing tomorrow, the things and
the men that swim but indifferently; many of the alligators close by in
the same reach.

Monday, July 28.

After much swimming by Middleton and Hodgkinson we managed to cross all
the things and the camel. The horses we could not get to cross so left
them with the men to look after them till tomorrow when we shall try them
again and hope for better success; it is a most difficult, intricate, and
dangerous place; if they all cross in safety it is more than I expect.

Tuesday, July 29.

Camp 45. By much perseverance and difficulty got the horses and remainder
of the men safe across; by 4 p.m. packed up and started down the river
east by south, very rough, walking nearly all the way for about one mile,
at which place we take to the ranges; in the morning, on our way at about
three-quarters of a mile, two considerable running creeks join the river;
another running creek joins the river at camp. I shall take the camel on
and our only packhorse-load of stuff shall leave behind here till it can
be sent for; it consists chiefly of seeds which I should be sorry to
lose. I had intended to leave the camel here also, but after thought it
best to try and take him on over the ranges one stage and kill him, and
by doing so save a horse.

Wednesday, July 30.

Camp 46. Buried the things safely and securely from wet, and should not
the natives find them and dig them up they will be perfectly secure till
we can send back for them. Obliged to shoe one of the horses which lost
his shoe in crossing yesterday on the rocks. Started at 10.15 and at once
tackled the range, up a steep hill, down again in a north-east by north
direction, crossed a deep ravine, and ascended the first of a series of
steep stony hills in a north-east by east course; from the summit Mount
McConnell bears 246 degrees. The conspicuous mount round the north side
of which the Burdekin passes bears 23 degrees; followed the river in that
direction for about five and a half miles to a creek, the north and east
drainage of the large range under the western side of which we were
latterly travelling, and round the termination of them we camped at a
running creek of excellent water coming from east of south-east. We are
here very reluctantly obliged to kill our good and faithful companion the
last remaining camel (Siva) that was with us in all our reconnoiterings
and other journeys; he was indeed a splendid animal but now quite unfit
to travel beyond this. I hope to get sufficient of his flesh to carry us
into a station, or if the country is at all passable to Port Denison. We
are encamped under some splendid shady large-leafed tree in the bed of
the creek, leaves about ten inches broad and twelve to fifteen inches
long; some of the men found that the leaves dry were a good substitute
for tobacco and were soon puffing a cloud.

Thursday, July 31.

Spelled here today to boil down camel. Mild night, day warm, many recent
traces of natives here under the shade of these trees, they are firing
the grass in various directions around us but we never see anything of
them. The remnants of a broken gourd we found here, it has been used as a
vessel for carrying water; it was the size of a large coconut with a neck
about six inches long, through one side of which they had drilled a hole
for a cord for slinging on their arms.

Friday, August 1.

In Camp. Boiling down the camel's meat. Poole unwell with a slight attack
of fever and ague. We made a fine breakfast this morning off the camel
tripe and feet. I went out onto the top of a very high hill to have a
look at the country in front of us. We shall start tomorrow; I hope
shortly to find a station, if not we shall have to kill another horse,
and shall have to walk and ride alternately; I hope we shall not come to
that as the whole party will be obliged to be kept back on account of
having to keep pace with the pedestrian.

Saturday, August 2.

Started at 8.53 a.m., course east by north, each man taking with him a
certain weight of the boiled camel before him, as we are now reduced to
eleven horses, one alone with pack-bags. After travelling for some nine
or ten miles we came upon the tracks of bullocks, quite fresh, and
shortly after were gratified by the sight of the bullocks themselves with
two white men tailing them. We soon now were pitching into roast beef and
damper and, don't let me forget, potatoes and mustard. The station
belongs to Messrs. Harvey and Somers and is situated on the River Bowen,
a stream that flows northward into the Burdekin. Mr. Somers was not in on
our arrival; he soon however came in, and we were most hospitably
received by him. The flour during the night and for some few days after
had the most astonishing effect on all of us from the fact that our
digestive organs could not digest the bread, being so accustomed to the
easily digested meat; we were most of us in great pain and our legs and
feet swelled very much.

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