Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 2 (of 2)
by Thomas Mitchell
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Route proposed. Equipment. List of the Men. Agreement with a native guide. Livestock. Corrobory-dance of the natives. Visit to the Limestone caves. Osseous breccia. Mount Granard, first point to be attained. Halt on a dry creek. Break a wheel. Attempt to ascend Marga. Snakes. View from Marga. Reach the Lachlan. Find its channel dry.


Continue the journey. Acacia pendula. Ascend Mount Amyot. Field's Plains. Cracks in the surface. Ascend Mount Cunningham. Mr. Oxley's tree. Rain. Goobang Creek. Large fishes. Heavy rain. Ascend Mount Allan. Natives from the Bogan. Prophecy of a Coradje. Poisoned waterhole. Ascend Hurd's Peak. Snake and bird. Ride to Mount Granard. Scarcity of water there. View from the summit. Encamp there. Ascend Bolloon, a hill beyond the Lachlan. Natives refuse to eat emu. Native dog. Kalingalungaguy. Mr. Stapylton overtakes the party. Of the plains in general. Character of the Goobang and Bogan. Cudjallagong or Regent's Lake. Nearly dry. Dead trees in it. Rocks near it. Trap and tuff. Natives there. Women. Men. Their account of the country lower down. Oolawambiloa. Gaiety of the natives. Colour light. Mr. Stapylton surveys the lake. Campbell's Lake. Piper obtains a gin. Ascend Goulburn range. View from the summit. Warranary. A new Correa.


North arm of the Lachlan. Quawys. Wallangome. Wild cattle. Ascend Moriattu. Leave the Lachlan to travel westward. No water. Natives from Warranary. Course down the Lachlan resumed. Extensive ride to the westward. Night without water. Continue westward, and south-west. Sandhills. Atriplex. Deep cracks in the earth. Search for the Lachlan. Cross various dry channels. Graves. Second night without water. Native tumulus. Reedy swamp with dead trees. Route of Mr. Oxley. Dry bed of the Lachlan. Find at length a large pool. Food of the natives discovered. Horses knock up. Scenery on the Lachlan. Character of the different kinds of trees. Return to the party. Dead body found in the water. Ascend Burradorgang. A rainy night without shelter. A new guide. Native dog. Branches of the Lachlan. A native camp. Children. A widow joins the party as guide. Horse killed. The Balyan root. How gathered. Reach the united channel of the Lachlan. No water. Natives' account of the rivers lower down. Mr. Oxley's lowest camp on the Lachlan. Slow growth of trees. A tribe of natives come to us. Mr. Oxley's bottle. Waljeers Lake. Trigonella suavissima. Barney in disgrace. A family of natives from the Murrumbidgee. Inconvenient formality of natives meeting. Rich tints on the surface. Improved appearance of the river. Inhabited tomb. Dead trees among the reeds. Visit some rising ground. View northward. Difficulties in finding either of the rivers or any water. Search for the Murrumbidgee. A night without water. Heavy fall of rain. Two men missing. Reach the Murrumbidgee. Natives on the opposite bank. They swim across. Afraid of the sheep. Their reports about the junction of the Darling. Search up the river for junction of Lachlan. Course of the Murrumbidgee. Tribe from Cudjallagong visits the camp in my absence. Caught following my steps. Piper questions them.


The Murrumbidgee compared with other rivers. Heaps of stones used in cooking. High reeds on the riverbank. Lake Weromba. Native encampment. Riverbanks of difficult access. Best horse drowned. Cross a country subject to inundations. Traverse a barren region at some distance from the river. Kangaroos there. Another horse in the river. Lagoons preferable to the river for watering cattle. High wind, dangerous in a camp under trees. Serious accident; a cartwheel passes over The Widow's child. Graves of the natives. Choose a position for the depot. My horse killed by the kick of a mare. Proceed to the Darling with a portion of the party. Reach the Murray. Its breadth at our camp. Meet with a tribe. Lake Benanee. Discover the natives to be those last seen on the Darling. Harassing night in their presence. Piper alarmed. Rockets fired to scare them away. They again advance in the morning. Men advance towards them holding up their firearms. They retire, and we continue our journey. Again followed by the natives. Danger of the party. Long march through a scrubby country. Dismal prospect. Night without water or grass. Heavy rain. Again make the Murray. Strange natives visit the camp at dusk.


New and remarkable shrub. Darling tribe again. Their dispersion by the party. Cross a tract intersected by deep lagoons. Huts over tombs. Another division of the Darling tribe. Barren sands and the Eucalyptus dumosa. Plants which grow on the sand and bind it down. Fish caught. Aspect of the country to the northward. Strange natives from beyond the Murray. They decamp during the night. Reach the Darling and surprise a numerous tribe of natives. Piper and his gin explain. Search for the junction with the Murray. Return by night. Followed by the natives. Horses take fright. Break loose and run back. Narrow escape of some men from natives. Failure of their intended attack. Different modes of interment. Reduced appearance of the Darling. Desert character of the country. Rainy morning. Return of the party. Surprise the females of the tribe. Junction of the Darling and Murray. Effect of alternate floods there.


Return along the bank of the Murray. Mount Lookout. Appearance of rain. Chance of being cut off from the depot by the river floods. A savage man at home. Tributaries of the Murray. A storm in the night. Traverse the land of lagoons before the floods come down. Traces of many naked feet along our old track. Camp of 400 natives. Narrow escape from the floods of the river. Piper overtakes two youths fishing in Lake Benanee. Description of the lake. Great rise in the waters of the Murray. Security of the depot. Surrounded by inundations. Cross to it in a bark canoe made by Tommy Came-last. Search for the junction of the Murrumbidgee and Murray. Mr. Stapylton reaches the junction of the rivers. Reception by the natives of the left bank. Passage of the Murray. Heavy rains set in. Row up the Murray to the junction of the Murrumbidgee. Commence the journey upwards, along the left bank. Strange animal. Picturesque scenery on the river. Kangaroos numerous. Country improves as we ascend the river. A region of reeds. The water inaccessible from soft and muddy banks. Habits of our native guides. Natives very shy. Piper speaks to natives on the river. Good land on the Murray. Wood and water scarce. Junction of two branches. Swan Hill.


Exploring through a fog. Lakes. Circular Lake of Boga. Clear grassy hills. Natives on the lake. Scarcity of fuel on the bank of a deep river. Different character of two rivers. Unfortunate result of Piper's interview with the natives of the lake. Discovery of the Jerboa in Australia. Different habits of the savage and civilized. A range visible in the south. Peculiarities in the surface of the country near the river. Water of the lakes brackish, or salt. Natives fly at our approach. Arrival in the dark, on the bank of a watercourse. Dead saplings of ten years growth in the ponds. Discovery of Mount Hope. Enter a much better country. Limestone. Curious character of an original surface. Native weirs for fish. Their nets for catching ducks. Remarkable character of the lakes. Mr. Stapylton's excursion in search of the main stream. My ride to Mount Hope. White Anguillaria. View from Mount Hope. Return of Mr. Stapylton.


The Party quits the Murray. Pyramid Hill. Beautiful country seen from it. Discovery of the river Yarrayne. A bridge made across it. Covered by a sudden rise of the river. Then cross it in boats. Useful assistance of Piper. Our female guide departs. Enter a hilly country. Ascend Barrabungalo. Rainy weather. Excursion southward. The widow returns to the party. Natives of Tarray. Their description of the country. Discover the Loddon. The woods. Cross a range. Kangaroos numerous. The earth becomes soft and impassable, even on the sides of hills. Discover a noble range of mountains. Cross another stream. Another. General character of the country. Proposed excursion to the mountains. Richardson's creek. Cross a fine stream flowing in three separate channels. A ridge of poor sandy soil. Cross another stream. Trap-hills and good soil. Ascend the mountain. Clouds cover it. A night on the summit. No fuel. View from it at sunrise. Descend with difficulty. Men taken ill. New plants found there. Repose in the valley. Night's rest. Natives at the camp during my absence.


Plains of stiff clay. The Wimmera. Difficult passage of its five branches. Ascend Mount Zero. Circular lake, brackish water. The Wimmera in a united channel. Lose this river. Ascend Mount Arapiles. Mr. Stapylton's excursion northward. Salt lakes. Green Hill lake. Mitre lake. Relinquish the pursuit of the Wimmera. The party travels to the south-west. Red lake. Small lakes of fresh water. White lake. Basketwork of the natives. Muddy state of the surface. Mr. Stapylton's ride southward. Disastrous encounter of one man with a native. A tribe makes its appearance. More lakes of brackish water. Escape at last from the mud. Encamp on a running stream. Fine country. Discovery of a good river. Granitic soil. Passage of the Glenelg. Country well watered. Pigeon ponds. Soft soil again impedes the party. Halt to repair the carts and harness. Natives very shy. Chetwynd rivulet. Slow progress over the soft surface. Excursion into the country before us. Beautiful region discovered. The party extricated with difficulty from the mud.


Cross various rivulets. Enter the valley of Nangeela. Native female and child. Encamp on the Glenelg. Cross the Wannon. Rifle range. Mount Gambier first seen from it. Sterile moors crossed by the party. Natives numerous but not accessible. Again arrive on the Glenelg. Indifferent country on its banks. Breadth and velocity of the river. Encamp on a tributary. Difficult passage. The expedition brought to a stand in soft ground. Excursion beyond. Reach a fine point on the river. The carts extricated. The whole equipment reaches the river. The boats launched on the Glenelg. Mr. Stapylton left with a depot at Fort O'Hare. Character of the river. Ornithorynchus paradoxus. Black swans. Water brackish. Isle of Bags. Arrival at the seacoast. Discovery bay. Mouth of the Glenelg. Waterholes dug in the beach. Remarkable hollow. Limestone cavern. One fish caught in the Glenelg. Stormy weather. Return to the depot. Difference in longitude.


Leave the Glenelg and travel eastward. Cross the Crawford. Boggy character of its sources. Recross the Rifle range. Heavy timber the chief impediment. Travelling also difficult from the softness of the ground. Excursion southward to Portland Bay. Mount Eckersley. Cross the Fitzroy. Cross the Surry. Lady Julia Percy's Isle. Beach of Portland Bay. A vessel at anchor. House and farming establishment there. Whale fishery. Excursion to Cape Nelson. Mount Kincaid. A whale chase. Sagacity of the natives on the coast. Mount Clay. Return to the camp. Still retarded by the soft soil. Leave one of the boats, and reduce the size of the boat carriage. Excursion to Mount Napier. Cross some fine streams. Natives very timid. Crater of Mount Napier or Murroa. View from the summit. Return to the Camp. Mr. Stapylton's excursion to the north-west. The Shaw. Conduct the carts along the highest ground. Again ascend Murroa and partially clear the summit. Mount Rouse. Australian Pyrenees. Swamps harder than the ground around them. Again reach the good country. Mounts Bainbrigge and Pierrepoint. Mount Sturgeon. Ascend Mount Abrupt. View of the Grampians from the summit. Victoria range and the Serra. Mud again, and a broken axle. Mr. Stapylton examines the country before us. At length get through the soft region. Cattle quite exhausted. Determine to leave them in a depot to refresh while I proceed forward. Specimens of natural history. Situation of depot camp at Lake Repose.


Parting of The Widow and her child. We at length emerge on much firmer ground. River Hopkins. Mount Nicholson. Cockajemmy salt lakes. Natives ill disposed. Singular weapon. Treacherous concealment of a native. Contents of a native's basket and store. A tribe comes forward. Fine country for colonisation. Hollows in the downs. Snakes numerous. Native females. Cattle tracks. Ascend Mount Cole. Enter on a granite country. Many rivulets. Mammeloid hills. Lava, the surface rock. Snakes eaten by the natives. Ascend Mount Byng. Rich grass. Expedition pass. Excursion towards Port Phillip. Discover and cross the river Barnard. Emus numerous and tame. The river Campaspe. Effects of a storm in the woods. Ascend Mount Macedon. Port Phillip dimly seen from it. Return to the camp. Continue our homeward journey. Waterfall of Cobaw. Singular country on the Barnard. Cross the Campaspe. An English razor found. Ascend Mount Campbell. Native beverage. Valley of the Deegay. Natives exchange baskets for axes. They linger about our camp. Effect of fireworks, etc. Arrival at, and passage of, the Goulburn. Fish caught.


Continue through a level forest country. Ascend a height near the camp, and obtain a sight of snowy summits to the eastward. Reach a swampy river. A man drowned. Pass through Futter's range. Impeded by a swamp among reeds. Junction of the rivers Ovens and King. Ascend granitic ranges. Lofty mass named Mount Aberdeen. Reach the Murray. The river very difficult of access. A carriage track discovered. Passage of the river. Cattle. Horses. Party returning to meet Mr. Stapylton. A creek terminating in a swamp. Mount Trafalgar. Rugged country still before us. Provisions nearly exhausted. Cattle tracks found. At length reach a valley leading in the desired direction. Cattle seen. Obliged to kill one of our working bullocks. By following the valley downwards, we arrive on the Murrumbidgee. Write my despatch. Piper meets his friends. Native names of rivers.


Agreeable travelling. Appearance of the country on the Murrumbidgee. Jugion Creek. Brunonia abundant. Yass plains. The Gap, an inn. Bredalbane plains. Lake George. Soil and rocks. The Wollondilly. Goulburn plains. A garden. Public works. Shoalhaven river. Limestone caverns there. County of St. Vincent. Upper Shoalhaven. Carwary. Vast subsidence on a mountain there. Goulburn township. Great road. Towrang hill. The Wollondilly. Wild country through which it flows. The Nattai. Moyengully. Arrive at the line of great road. Convict workmen. Berrima bridge. Berrima. Trap range. Sandstone country. The Illawarra. Lupton's inn. The Razorback. Ford of the Nepean. Campbelltown. Liverpool. Lansdowne bridge. Arrive at Sydney. General remarks on the character of the settled country. Fires in the woods. Necessity for cutting roads. Proportion of good and bad land. Description of Australia Felix. Woods. Harbours. The Murray. Mr. Stapylton's report. The aboriginal natives. Turandurey. My mode of communicating with Mr. Stapylton. Survey of the Murrumbidgee. Meteorological journal. Arrival of the exploring party at Sydney. Piper. The two Tommies. Ballandella. Character of the natives of the interior. Language. Habits of those of Van Diemen's Land the same. Temporary huts. Mode of climbing trees. Remarkable customs. Charmed stones. Females excluded from superstitious rites. Bandage or fillet around the temples. Striking out the tooth. Painting with red. Raised scars on arms and breast. Cutting themselves in mourning. Authority of old men. Native dogs. Females carrying children. Weapons. Spear. Woomera. Boomerang. Its probable origin. Shield or Hieleman. Skill in approaching the kangaroo. Modes of cooking. Opossum. Singeing. Vegetable food. The shovel. General observations.


Geological specimens collected. Connection between soil and rocks. Limestone. Granite. Trap-rocks. Sandstone. Geological structure and physical outline. Valleys of excavation. Extent of that of the Cox. Quantity of rock removed. Valley of the Grose. Wellington Valley. Limestone caverns. Description and view of the largest. Of that containing osseous breccia. First discovery of bones. Small cavity and stalagmitic crust. Teeth found in the floor. A third cavern. Breccia on the surface. Similar caverns in other parts of the country. At Buree. At Molong. Shattered state of the bones. Important discoveries by Professor Owen. Gigantic fossil kangaroos. Macropus atlas. Macropus titan. Macropus indeterminate. Genus Hypsiprymnus, new species, indeterminate. Genus Phalangista. Genus Phascolomys. Ph. mitchellii, a new species. New Genus Diprotodon. Dasyurus laniarius, a new species. General results of Professor Owen's researches. Age of the breccia considered. State of the caverns. Traces of inundation. Stalagmitic crust. State of the bones. Putrefaction had only commenced when first deposited. Accompanying marks of disruption. Earthy deposits. These phenomena compared with other evidence of inundation. Salt lakes in the interior. Changes on the seacoast. Proofs that the coast was once higher above the sea than it is at present. Proofs that it was once lower. And of violent action of the sea. At Wollongong. Cape Solander. Port Jackson. Broken Bay. Newcastle. Tuggerah Beach. Bass Strait.



PLATE 22: CRATER OF MURROA, OR MOUNT NAPIER, IN AUSTRALIA FELIX (DESCRIBED IN THE TEXT). Major T.L. Mitchell del. A. Picken Lith. Day & Haghe Lithographers to the Queen.






PLATE 23: Plyctolophus leadbeateri, COCKATOO OF THE INTERIOR.

PLATE 24: PORTRAITS OF TURANDUREY (THE FEMALE GUIDE) AND HER CHILD BALLANDELLA, WITH THE SCENERY ON THE LACHLAN (10TH OF MAY 1836). Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Foggo & G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.


PLATE 25: PIPER WATCHING THE CART AT BENANEE. Major T.L. Mitchell del. Waldeck Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.


PLATE 26: THE RIVER MURRAY, AND DISPERSION OF NATIVES, 27TH MAY, 1836. Major T.L. Mitchell del. J. Brandord & G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.

PLATE 27: Choeropus ecaudatus (OGILBY), A NEW AND SINGULAR ANIMAL. Fore foot, natural size. T.L.M. del. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.

PLATE 28: BACKWATER, OR FLOOD-BRANCH OF THE MURRAY, WITH THE SCENERY COMMON ON ITS BANK. Acacia exudans. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.

PLATE 29: Dipus mitchellii (OGILBY), A NEW ANIMAL RESEMBLING THE JERBOA. T.L.M. del. A. Picken Lith. Day & Haghe Lithographers to the Queen.



PLATE 30: THE RIVER YARRAYNE, WITH THE SHEEP OF THE PARTY FIRST APPROACHING IT. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.


PLATE 31: MITRE ROCK AND LAKE, FROM MOUNT ARAPILES. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.

PLATE 32: PLAN OF HILLS BESIDE GREENHILL LAKE (INTERIOR OF AUSTRALIA, ENGRAVED FROM A MODEL). Bate's Patent Anaglyptograph. Freebairn. Published by T. & W. Boone.


PLATE 33: WESTERN EXTREMITY OF MOUNT ARAPILES. Left: Casuarinae. Right: an altered Sandstone. Right foreground: Banksia. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.


PLATE 34: FEMALE AND CHILD OF AUSTRALIA FELIX. Major T.L. Mitchell del. Waldeck Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.

PLATE 35: BOAT ON THE RIVER GLENELG. Left foreground: Banksia. Middle distance: Limestone. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty.


GENERAL VIEW OVER THE GRAMPIANS FROM THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT ABRUPT. Left: Victoria Range. Right: Mount William distant 21 1/2 miles.


PLATE 36: Aquilla fucosa ? AUSTRALIAN EAGLE. PORTRAIT OF AN EAGLE THAT HAD BEEN WINGED (NATURAL SIZE). From Nature and on Stone by Major T.L. Mitchell. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.

MOUNT WILLIAM FROM MOUNT STAVELY. Foreground: Forest Hills. Middle Distance: Plains.

WEAPONS OF THE NATIVES. Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.



PLATE 37: COBAW WATERFALL, WITH NATIVES FISHING. All granite. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Barnard Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.

PLATE 38: GENERAL VIEW OF THE SANDSTONE DISTRICTS, FROM THE SUMMIT OF JELLORE. Left to right: Bonnum Pic, Gnowogang, Valley of Cox River, King's Tableland, King George's Mount, Mount Hay, Tomah. On Zinc by Major Mitchell (a Page of his Field Book). Day & Haghe Lithographers to the Queen. London, Published by T. & W. Boone.

PLATE 39: PORTRAIT OF MOYENGULLY, CHIEF OF NATTAI. Major T.L. Mitchell del. G. Foggo Lith. Published by T. and W. Boone, London.

PLATE 40: MAP OF EASTERN AUSTRALIA, AND NATURAL LIMITS OF THE COLONY OF NEW SOUTH WALES. London, Published by T. & W. Boone. Engraved by J. Dower, Pentonville.




PLATE 42: GEOLOGICAL MAP OF WELLINGTON VALLEY. From Nature and on Stone by Major T.L. Mitchell. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.

PLATE 43: INTERIOR OF THE LARGEST CAVERN AT WELLINGTON VALLEY. Major T.L. Mitchell. Day & Haghe Lithographers to the Queen. London, Published by T. & W. Boone.

PLATE 44: VERTICAL SECTION AND GROUND-PLOT OF TWO CAVERNS AT WELLINGTON VALLEY. From Nature and on Stone by Major T.L. Mitchell. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.

PLATE 45: INTERIOR OF THE CAVERN CONTAINING OSSEOUS BRECCIA AT WELLINGTON VALLEY. Major T.L. Mitchell. Day & Haghe Lithographers to the Queen. London, Published by T. & W. Boone.



PLATE 48: FIGURES 1, 2, AND 3: FOSSIL REMAINS OF A NEW SPECIES OF HYPSIPRYMNUS. FIGURES 4, 5, AND 6: OF Phascolomys mitchellii. FIGURE 7: A SECTION OF THE TEETH OF THE SAME FOSSIL SPECIES OF WOMBAT. From Nature and on Zinc by Major T.L. Mitchell. Day & Haghe Lithographers to the Queen. London, Published by T. & W. Boone.


PLATE 50: MARKS OF SUBSIDENCE IN AN INNER PORTION OF THE BRECCIA CAVERN. Major T.L. Mitchell del. Scherf Lith. J. Graf Printer to Her Majesty. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.



















Route proposed. Equipment. List of the Men. Agreement with a native guide. Livestock. Corrobory-dance of the natives. Visit to the Limestone caves. Osseous breccia. Mount Granard, first point to be attained. Halt on a dry creek. Break a wheel. Attempt to ascend Marga. Snakes. View from Marga. Reach the Lachlan. Find its channel dry.


Towards the end of the year 1835 I was apprised that the governor of New South Wales was desirous of having the survey of the Darling completed with the least possible delay. His excellency proposed that I should return for this purpose to the extreme point on the Darling where my last journey terminated and that, after having traced the Darling into the Murray, I should embark on the latter river and, passing the carts and oxen to the left bank at the first convenient opportunity, proceed upwards by water as far as practicable and regain the colony somewhere about Yass Plains.


The preparations for this journey were made, as on the former occasion, chiefly in the lumber-yard at Parramatta, and under the superintendence of the same officer, Mr. Simpson. Much of the equipment used for the last expedition was available for this occasion. The boats and boat-carriage were as serviceable as ever, with the advantage of being better seasoned; and we could now, having had so much experience, prepare with less difficulty for such an undertaking.

In consequence of a long-continued drought serviceable horses and bullocks were at that time scarce, and could only be obtained at high prices; but no expense was spared by the government in providing the animals required.

The party having preceded me by some weeks on the road, I at length overtook it on the 15th of March in a valley near the Canobolas which I had fixed as the place of rendezvous, and where, from the great elevation, I hoped still to find some grass. How we were to proceed however without water was the question I was frequently asked; and I was informed at Bathurst that even the Lachlan was dried up.

On the following day I organised the party, and armed the men. I distributed to each a suit of new clothing; consisting of grey trousers and a red woollen shirt, the latter article, when crossed by white braces, giving the men somewhat of a military appearance.

Their names and designation were as follows:



(*Footnote. The men whose names are printed in uppercase had obtained their freedom as a reward for past services in the interior. The asterisks distinguish the names of men who had been with me on one or both the former expeditions. Those to whose names the letter T is also prefixed having previously obtained a ticket of leave releasing them from a state of servitude. Each man was also furnished with a small case containing six cartridges which he was ordered always to wear about his waist.)


Major T.L. Mitchell: Chief of the party : - : Rifle and pistols. G.C. Stapylton, Esquire : Second in command : - : Carabine and pistol. **ALEXANDER BURNETT : Overseer : Storekeeper : Carabine and pistol. **ROBERT MUIRHEAD : Bullock-driver : Soldier and lance-corporal : Musket, bayonet and pistol. T*Charles Hammond : Bullock-driver : - : Musket, bayonet and pistol. T*William Thomas : Bullock-driver : Butcher : Musket, bayonet and pistol. Richard Lane : Bullock-driver : - : Carabine and pistol. James McLellan : Bullock-driver : - : Musket, bayonet and pistol. Charles Webb : Bullock-driver : - : Musket, bayonet and pistol. T*John Johnston : Blacksmith : - : Carabine. T Walter Blanchard : Blacksmith : Measurer : Carabine and pistol. **WILLIAM WOODS : Horse carter : Sailor : Carabine and pistol. *Charles King : Horse carter : Measurer : Musket, bayonet and pistol. *John Gayton : Horse carter : Cook : Carabine. John Drysdale : Medical attendant : Barometer-carrier : Carabine. John Roach : Collector of birds : - : Pistol (fowling-piece). John Richardson : Collector of plants : Shepherd : Two pistols. **JOHN PALMER : Sailor : Sailmaker : Carabine and pistol. John Douglas : Sailor : - : Carabine. T**Joseph Jones : Shepherd : - : Carabine. James Taylor : Groom : Trumpeter : Carabine and pistol. Edward Pickering : Carpenter : Barometer-carrier : Carabine. Archibald McKean : Carpenter : Barometer-carrier : Carabine. James Field : Shoemaker : - : Carabine. **Anthony Brown : Cook : - : Carabine and pistol.

This was the army with which I was to traverse unexplored regions peopled, as far as we knew, by hostile tribes. But I could depend upon a great portion of the men, and amongst them were some who had been with me on the two former expeditions and who, although they had obtained their emancipation as the well merited reward of their past services in the interior, were nevertheless willing to accompany me once more. I accepted their services on obtaining a promise from the governor that if the expedition was successful their conditional pardons might be converted into absolute pardons, a boon on which even some wealthy men in the colony would probably have set a high value.

One of the most devoted of these followers was William Woods who, having long toiled carrying my theodolite to the summits of the highest mountains, was at length more comfortably situated than he had ever been in his life before as overseer of a road party. This poor fellow relinquished his place of authority over other men and in which he received 1 shilling per diem, again put on the grey jacket, and set a valuable example as the most willing of my followers, wherever drudgery or difficulty were most discouraging.


Our cattle were lean but I took a greater number in consequence. The pasturage was still meagre and scarcely any water remained on the face of the earth. It was unusually low in the holes last year, but this season very few indeed contained any. The equinox however was at hand, and I could not suppose that it was never to rain again, however hopeless the aspect of the country appeared at that time.


In this camp of preparation I was visited by our old friends the natives; and one who called himself John Piper and spoke English tolerably well agreed to accompany me as far as I should go, provided he was allowed a horse and was clothed, fed, etc.; all which I immediately agreed to. I had not however forgotten Mr. Brown, and I reminded Burnett of that native's desertion; but Burnett, who seemed to be on excellent terms with Piper, assured me that after he should be some weeks' journey in the interior dread of the savage natives would prevent him from leaving our party, and so it turned out.

But in breaking on our stock of provisions, we commenced with due regard to their importance on an interior journey by so reducing the weight of our steel-yard that a five months' stock should last nearly seven months. This arrangement was however a secret known only to Burnett and myself.

The plan of encampment was to be the same as on the former journey, only that a greater number of carts stood in the line parallel to the boat-carriage.

March 17.

I put the party in movement towards Buree and rode across the country on our right with Piper. We found the earth parched and bare but, as we bounded over hill and dale a fine cool breeze whispered through the open forest, and felt most refreshing after the hot winds of Sydney. Dr. Johnson's Obidah was not more free from care on the morning of his journey than I was on this, the first morning of mine. It was also St. Patrick's day, and in riding through the bush I had leisure to recall past scenes and times connected with the anniversary. I remembered that exactly on that morning, twenty-four years before, I marched down the glacis of Elvas to the tune of St. Patrick's Day in the Morning as the sun rose over the beleaguered towers of Badajoz. Now, without any of the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war, I was proceeding on a service not very likely to be peaceful, for the natives here assured me that the Myalls were coming up murry coola, i.e. very angry, to meet us. At Buree I rejoined my friend Rankin who had accompanied me from Bathurst to the camp, and Captain Raine who occupied this place with his cattle. A hundred sheep and five fat oxen were to be furnished by this gentlemen to complete my commissariat supplies.


In the evening the blacks, having assembled in some numbers, entertained us with a corrobory, their universal and highly original dance. (See Plate.) Like all the rest of the habits and customs of this singular race of wild men, the corrobory is peculiar and, from its uniformity on every shore, a very striking feature in their character. The dance always takes place at night, by the light of blazing boughs, and to time beaten on stretched skins, accompanied by a song.* The dancers paint themselves white, and in such remarkably varied ways that no two individuals are at all alike. Darkness seems essential to the effect of the whole; and the painted figures coming forward in mystic order from the obscurity of the background, while the singers and beaters of time are invisible, have a highly theatrical effect. Each dance seems most tastefully progressive; the movement being at first slow, and introduced by two persons displaying graceful motions both of arms and legs, others one by one join in, each imperceptibly warming into the truly savage attitude of the corrobory jump; the legs then stride to the utmost, the head is turned over one shoulder, the eyes glare and are fixed with savage energy all in one direction, the arms also are raised and inclined towards the head, the hands usually grasping waddies, boomerangs, or other warlike weapons. The jump now keeps time with each beat, the dancers at every movement taking six inches to one side, all being in a connected line, led by the first. The line however is sometimes doubled or tripled according to space and numbers; and this gives great effect, for when the front line jumps to the LEFT, the second jumps to the RIGHT, the third to the LEFT again, and so on; until the action acquires due intensity, when all simultaneously and suddenly stop. The excitement which this dance produces in the savage is very remarkable. However listless the individual may be, laying perhaps, as usual, half asleep; set him to this dance, and he is fired with sudden energy, and every nerve is strung to such a degree that he is no longer to be recognised as the same person until he ceases to dance, and comes to you again. There can be little doubt that the corrobory is the medium through which the delights of poetry are enjoyed, in a limited degree, even by these primitive savages of New Holland.

(*Footnote. To this end they stretch a skin very tight over the knees, and thus may be said to use the tympanum in its rudest form, this being the only instance of a musical instrument that I have seen among them. Burder says: "By the timbrels which Miriam and the other women played upon when dancing, we are to understand the tympanum of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which instrument still bears in the East the name that it is in Hebrew, namely, doff or diff, whence is derived the Spanish adufe, the name of the Biscayan tabor. Niebuhr describes this instrument in his Travels Part 1 page 181. It is a broad hoop, with a skin stretched over it; on the edge there are generally thin round plates of metal, which also make some noise when this instrument is held up in one hand and struck with the fingers of the other hand. Probably no musical instrument is so common in Turkey as this; for when the women dance in the harem the time is always beat on this instrument. We find the same instrument on all the monuments in the hands of the Bacchante. It is also common among the negroes of the Gold Coast and Slave Coast." Oriental Customs Volume 1.)


March 18.

As it was necessary to grind some wheat with hand-mills to make up our supply of flour, I was obliged to remain a day at Buree; and I therefore determined on a visit to the limestone caves, by no means the least remarkable feature in that country. The whole district consists of trap and limestone, the former appearing in ridges, which belong to the lofty mass of Canobolas. The limestone occurs chiefly in the sides of valleys in different places, and contains probably many unexplored caves. The orifices are small fissures in the rock, and they have escaped the attention of the white people who have hitherto wandered there. I had long been anxious to extend my researches for fossil bones among these caves, having discovered during a cursory visit to them some years before that many interesting remains of the early races of animals in Australia were to be found in the deep crevices and caverns of the limestone rock. How they got there was a question which had often puzzled me; but having at length arrived at some conclusions on the subject, I was now desirous to ascertain, by a more extensive examination of the limestone country, whether the caves containing the osseous breccia presented here similar characteristics to those I had observed in Wellington Valley.


The first limestone we examined had no crevices sufficiently large to admit our bodies; but on riding five miles southward to Oakey creek we found a low ridge extending some miles on its left bank which promised many openings. We soon found one which I considered to be of the right sort, namely a perpendicular crevice with red tuff about the sides. Being provided with candles and ropes we descended perpendicularly first, about six fathoms to one stage, then obliquely, about half as far to a sort of floor of red earth; Mr. Rankin, although a large man, always leading the way into the smallest openings. By these means and by crawling through narrow crevices we penetrated to several recesses, until Mr. Rankin found some masses of osseous breccia beneath the limestone rock but so wedged in that they could be extracted only by digging. Unlike the same red substance at Wellington Valley where it was nearly as hard as the limestone, the red calcareous tuff found here was so loose that the mass of bones was easily detached from it; but none of them were perfect, except one or two vertebrae of a very large species of kangaroo. Pursuing this lode of osseous earth we traced it to several other recesses and in the lower side of an indurated mass (the upper part having been the floor of our first landing place) we found two imperfect skulls of Dasyuri, the teeth being however very well preserved. This was, doubtless, an unvisited cave; for the natives have an instinctive or superstitious dread of all such places, and it is not therefore probable that man had ever before visited that cavern. With all our ropes it cost some of us trouble to get out of it, after passing two hours in candle-light. It may thus be imagined what a vast field for such interesting researches remains still unexplored in that district where limestone occurs in such abundance.

The objects of my journey did not admit of further indulgence in the pursuit at that time; and I was content with drawing the attention of one of the party, a young gentleman residing in the neighbourhood, to it, in hopes he might discover some bones of importance.*

(*Footnote. See a further account of these caves and some others in Chapter 3.15 below.)


March 19.

Our stores being completed we proceeded along the course of the little rivulet of Buree, towards the Lachlan. My first object was to gain Mount Granard, described by Mr. Oxley as the most elevated pic of a very high range, and laid down on his map to the westward of where the Lachlan takes a remarkable turn from its general direction towards the low country more to the southward. I had long thought that it might be possible to ascertain from this hill whether any range extended westward of sufficient magnitude to separate the basins of the Murray and the Darling. I wished to visit it last year, but the loss of Mr. Cunningham, the consequent delay of the party, and the adverse nature of my instructions in regard to my own views, together prevented me. I then saw that the hills along the line I was now about to follow were favourable for triangulation; but the greater certainty of finding water in a large river like the Lachlan was my chief inducement for now moving towards its banks, as the season was of such unusual drought. On this day's journey I took for my guidance the bearing of a line drawn on the map from Buree, as fixed by my former survey, to the mouth of Byrne's creek, as laid down by Mr. Oxley; and which I supposed to be the same as that which descends from Buree.


The line guided me tolerably well to where I encamped that night. This was on a fine-looking plain, within sight of the wooded banks of the creek; but, on examining the bed of the latter, I could find no water, although I followed it two miles down. There I arrived at a cattle station named Toogang, where there was water. It was nothing to the old hands of the Darling to go only TWO miles for water. We suffered no inconvenience from this; but it was deplorable to see the bed of what must in some seasons be a fine little stream so completely dry and dusty. This day we met with a new species of Psoralea.* At the camp I ascertained the magnetic variation to be 9 degrees 10 minutes 15 seconds East, by an observation of the star Beta Centauri.

(*Footnote. A genus chiefly inhabiting the Cape of Good Hope, India, the Levant and North America, of which no species have before been published from Australia. I was subsequently fortunate enough to discover two more species of this genus; which with one as yet unpublished, found by Mr. Allan Cunningham in 1818 in the rocky islands of Dampier's Archipelago on the north-west coast, makes the number inhabiting Australia to be 4: all of which are remarkable for their resemblance to the North American form of the genus. The species we observed on this occasion was a small spreading herbaceous plant. P. patens, Lindley manuscripts; herbacea, pubescens, foliis pinnatim trifoliolatis, foliolis dentatis punctatis lateralibus oblongis obtusis intermedio ovato obtuso basi cuneato, racemo pedunculato laxo multifloro foliis multo longiore, bracteis subrotundis striatis obscure multipunctatis, ramis divaricatis.)

March 20.

We proceeded, crossing the channel near the cattle station where I learnt that it was joined immediately below by that which I had named King's creek on my last journey; also that water was abundant in it below the junction. Some natives joined us and Piper prevailed on one of them to be our guide, as far as he knew the country. The use of such a guide in following an unexplored watercourse is that bad places for the carts may be avoided, and the doubles of the stream cut off by the easiest routes.


In crossing a gully which entered the creek near another station, called Chilberengaba, we broke a wheel, and though we had travelled only about seven miles we were obliged to encamp, and remain until the carpenter and the smith could repair it.


In the meantime I set out with the native guide for the summit of Marga, which proved to be one of my old fixed points. It was about seven miles south-west of our camp; but after a most fatiguing ascent of two steep and rocky ridges, during great heat, I was obliged to return without reaching Marga. At the cattle station we heard of a bullock which had been left by us in an exhausted state during our last expedition; and we succeeded in bringing it in, and in laying the yoke on its neck for another visit to the banks of the Darling; it was fitter than any other of our working bullocks. I added a second species of Psoralea to that discovered yesterday, a small graceful plant with racemes of purplish minute flowers, elevated far above the leaves, and on slender stalks so tough as to be broken only with some difficulty.*

(*Footnote. P. tenax, Lindley manuscripts; herbacea, depressa, perennis, glabra, foliis glandulosis palmatim 5-foliolatis, foliolis linearibus vel lineari-oblongis obtusis, racemis cylindraceis longissime pedunculatis erectis, leguminibus ovatis scabris glabris.)

March 21.

According to arrangements made with Captain King and Mr. Dunlop, the King's astronomer at the Parramatta observatory, I halted the party this day in order to make hourly observations of the barometer, thermometer, the sky, etc. This plan had been strongly recommended by Sir John Herschel; and for our present purposes it was most desirable in order that we might ascertain how far the fluctuations of the atmosphere in two places so distant as Parramatta and Byrne's creek corresponded in these simultaneous observations. During our last journey some discrepancies in the heights determined by the barometer on the Darling led to a suspicion that the fluctuations at such great distances, in situations so dissimilar, might vary considerably; and this was now to be ascertained.


March 22.

We continued our journey along the left bank of the creek, but with considerable difficulty and delay occasioned by the projection of the rocky escarpment of the above-mentioned extremities of Mount Marga; so that we had to break away masses of rock and move the carts one by one, all hands assisting. We at length gained a pleasant tract of land on which the grass was green and luxuriant in consequence of some partial rain; and on this place I encamped with the intention of next day ascending Marga. In the creek we found ponds, deep and clear like canals; their borders being reedy and their margins green. In these ponds the natives speared several fishes which had however a muddy flavour. Among them was one, apparently the eel-fish, caught during my first expedition in the Namoi and upper Darling.* This circumstance was rather in favour of the supposition that the streams unite; but still the fish seemed somewhat different.

(*Footnote. Plotosus tandanus see Volume 1.)


On this day's journey we saw several large snakes; one, large and black, was shot while swimming in a pond in the creek; the others were of that kind named, from the beautifully variegated skin, the carpet snake. The natives considered the latter very fierce and dangerous, saying it never ran away but always faced or pursued them. It had in fact the flat broad head and narrow neck which in general characterise the most venomous snakes, also large fangs hooked inwards, which the natives particularly pointed out. It had also, near the tail, two articulations with something like a toe and joint on each, such as I had not observed before in any other kind of snake. A smaller one of the same kind attacked one of the party, and also a native, but the former shook it from his clothes, it then fixed its teeth in the skin of the native who detached it with difficulty; but as no blood came from the bite he seemed to care little about it. The native name of this place was Cuenbla.


March 23.

I set off, accompanied by my black guide mounted, for the top of Marga, and we reached it this time by a route in which the native displayed the usual skill of his race. Certainly I never ascended a hill of more perplexing features, all these heights being also of extremely difficult access, very steep and extending in the direction of 10 and 12 degrees East of North. They consist of the sharp edges of inclined strata of hard purple-coloured clay-slate. I was however rewarded for the fatigues this hill had cost me, on two different days, not with a fine view, for the summit was too woody for that, but with a sight of some important points determined during my late journey; and others which I had then observed only from the Canobolas but which I was now enabled to fix by angles observed from this station. The most important point visible besides the Canobolas was Mount Lachlan, by means of which I determined the true situation of Marga and the neighbouring hill Nangar; which is rather higher but more wooded, and 2 1/2 miles distant towards the south-east. These two form the summits of an isolated mountain mass on the left bank of Byrne's creek, the top of Marga being about 1000 feet above our camp on its banks. I drew outlines (according to my usual custom) of all the hills on the horizon before us, and took angles on them with the theodolite. Descending by a shorter route I reached the camp in time to protract my angles, whereby I ascertained to my great satisfaction that both Marga and Nangar had been truly fixed from the Canobolas, as well as other points observed in my former journey, the accuracy of which, by a good angle with Mount Lachlan, I was thus enabled to prove without going out of my way, besides establishing there a good base for extending the survey southward.

March 24.

Our guide was now joined by some older natives, and one of them had been examining the country ahead, being anxious about the safe passage of our carts. His reconnaissance had not been made in vain, for he led us to an easy, open pass through a range of which we had heard much from stockmen as likely to trouble us because, as they said, its rocky extremities overhung the creek. We crossed it with ease however, guided by the native. It consisted of granite and evidently belonged geologically to the ridge traversed by us on the second day after leaving Buree during our last journey. On the range, green pine trees (callitris) and a luxuriant crop of grass covering the adjacent country, multitudes of fat cattle were to be seen on all sides. I had heard that, after crossing the burnt up surface of the colony, I should see green pastures here, beyond its limits.


We crossed Byrne's creek, near a cattle station called Lagoura, and after keeping its banks for four miles further (having for that distance granitic hills on our right) we finally quitted it, and passed over a grassy plain of the same kind of soil and character as those extensive level tracts seen during our last journey but having, what seemed singular to our unaccustomed sight, a coating of green herbage upon it.


In our progress I found no fewer than three new species of the pretty genus Trichinium;* a small species of Sida before undiscovered, with minute yellow flowers,** and also a fine-looking acacia with falcate leaves, singularly white or rather silvery, and with drooping graceful branches.***


1. Tr. alopecuroideum, Lindley manuscripts; caule ramoso glabro, foliis lanceolatis glabris subtus scabriusculis, spicis cylindraceis elongatis, bracteis rotundatis, calycibus herbaceis sursum calvis acutis, rachi pilosa, cyatho staminum dentato.

2. Tr. parviflorum, Lindley manuscripts; foliis ovatis acutis petiolatis subtus et caule furfuraceo-tomentosis, spicis gracilibus elongatis, bracteis acuminatis scariosis, calycibus lanatis, rachi lanata, staminibus inaequalibus distinctis.

3. Tr. sessilifolium, Lindley manuscripts; foliis oblongis obtusis sessilibus et caule furfuraceo-tomentosis, spicis oblongis, bracteis rotundatis lanatis, calycibus longe tubulosis lanatis sursum pilosis, rachi tomentosa, staminibus inaequalibus distinctis.)

(**Footnote. S. corrugata, Lindley manuscripts; incana, prostrata, pusilla, foliis subrotundis angulatis cordatis palminerviis serratis, pedunculis 2-3 filiformibus petiolis longioribus, fructu disciformi corrugato, coccis monospermis commissuris muricatis.)

(***Footnote. This proved to be a very distinct, undescribed species. A. leucophylla, Lindley manuscripts; gracilis, ramulis filiformibus angulatis albido-sericeis, phyllodiis lineari-lanceolatis falcatis apice uncinatis obscure 2-nerviis appresse et densissime sericeis: margine superiore basi subglanduloso, racemis umbellatis axillaribus phyllodio multo brevioribus.)


Travelling four miles more across level forest land, we reached the banks of the Lachlan at Waagan,* a cattle station a mile and a half below the junction of Byrne's creek of Oxley, which we had just traced in its course from Buree.

(*Footnote. Waagan means a crow in the native language.)


I beheld in the Lachlan all the features of the Darling, but on a somewhat smaller scale. The same sort of large gumtrees, similar steep, soft, muddy banks; and, even in this place, a margin with an outer bank. But its waters were gone, except in a few small ponds in the very deepest parts of its bed. Such was now the state of that river down which my predecessor's boats had floated. I had during the last winter drawn my whaleboats 1600 miles overland without finding a river where I could use them; whereas Mr. Oxley had twice retired by nearly the same routes, and in the same season of the year, from supposed inland seas!


Continue the journey. Acacia pendula. Ascend Mount Amyot. Field's Plains. Cracks in the surface. Ascend Mount Cunningham. Mr. Oxley's tree. Rain. Goobang Creek. Large fishes. Heavy rain. Ascend Mount Allan. Natives from the Bogan. Prophecy of a Coradje. Poisoned waterhole. Ascend Hurd's Peak. Snake and bird. Ride to Mount Granard. Scarcity of water there. View from the summit. Encamp there. Ascend Bolloon, a hill beyond the Lachlan. Natives refuse to eat emu. Native dog. Kalingalungaguy. Mr. Stapylton overtakes the party. Of the plains in general. Character of the Goobang and Bogan. Cudjallagong or Regent's Lake. Nearly dry. Dead trees in it. Rocks near it. Trap and tuff. Natives there. Women. Men. Their account of the country lower down. Oolawambiloa. Gaiety of the natives. Colour light. Mr. Stapylton surveys the lake. Campbell's Lake. Piper obtains a gin. Ascend Goulburn range. View from the summit. Warranary. A new Correa.


March 25.

Following the direction of the general course of the Lachlan as laid down by Mr. Oxley we crossed a fine tract of open forest land, and at the distance of five miles arrived at a dry reach. Soon after we passed Billabugan, a cattle station on the river where the dry branch joined it; and at three miles further we traversed the southern skirts of a plain, and finally made a bend of the Lachlan on which we encamped in latitude 33 degrees 24 minutes 28 seconds South. In the course of this day's journey we discovered a bush resembling the European dwarf elder but with yellow flowers, and fruit with scarcely any pulp.*

(*Footnote. This proves to be a new genus of Caprifoliaceae, paragraph mark Sambuceae. Tripetelus australasicus, Lindley manuscripts (tripetelos having 3 leaves; the calyx has 3 sepals, the corolla 3 petals, the stamens are 3, and the carpels are also 3). Calyx superus tridentatus. Corolla rotata, tripartita, lutea, laciniis concavis conniventibus. Antherae tres, fauce sessiles. Ovarium 3-loculare; ovulis solitariis pendulis; stigmata 3, sessilia. Fructus subexsuccus, 3-queter, 3-pyrenus, putamine chartaceo. Caulis herbaceus. Folia opposita, glabra, pinnata, 2-juga cum impari, laciniis lanceolatis acuminatis serratis; glandulis 2 verruciformibus loco stipularum. Flores laxe paniculati.)

Acacia pendula.

March 26.

This day at five miles further we ascended some undulating ground on which the acacias of the interior grew. We found the same ridged and wavy surface with the Acacia pendula and the pigeons which usually abound about such parts of the country. Here we found also a singular species of Jasmine, forming an upright bush not unlike a Vitex, with short axillary panicles of white flowers. It proved to be J. lineare, R. Br. We soon after came upon the borders of the great plain of Gullerong, which extends about eight miles from east to west, and three northward from a branch of the river, then quite dry. These I believe were the Solway-flats of Mr. Oxley. We turned from them late in the afternoon, at the suggestion of a native wearing a brass-plate like a bottle label, and on which was engraven Billy Hawthorne. We succeeded in reaching a bend of the river containing water only after travelling 18 1/4 miles; and in latitude 33 degrees 23 minutes 21 seconds South.

March 27.

This day being Sunday I halted; especially as the cattle had made an unusually long journey the day before. I wished to take sights for the purpose of ascertaining the rate of my chronometer, and to lay down my surveys. I found that Mr. Oxley's points on this river were much too far to the westward; a circumstance to be expected as his survey could not, at that early age of the colony, be connected with Parramatta by actual measurement; as mine was. Our latitudes however agreed very exactly.


March 28.

Continued our journey and, at only a mile and a half from our camp, I was surprised to find myself at the foot of Mount Amyot, better known to stockmen by its native name of Camerberdang. I gave the party a bearing or distant object to advance upon; and I lost no time in ascending the hill, followed by Woods with my theodolite. From its crest, low as it was, I still recognised the Canobolas and ascertained from my drawings formerly made there that even on this hill (Mount Amyot) I had taken an angle from their summit last season. It was valuable now, enabling me to determine the true place of the hill from which I was to extend my angles further westward. I easily recognised Marga and Nangar, and a very useful and remarkable point of my former survey to the northward of those hills, also several still more conspicuous ones in the country beyond the Lachlan.


To the westward I beheld the view etched in Mr. Oxley's book as Field's Plains; and what was of much more importance to me then, Mounts Cunningham, Melville, Allan, etc. etc. on all which, as far as I could, I took angles, and then descending, rejoined the party about six miles on. I met at the foot of this hill a colonist, a native of the country.* He said he had been seventy miles down the river in search of a run for his cattle; but had found none; and he assured me that, without the aid of the blacks who were with him on horseback, he could not have obtained water.

(*Footnote. Mr. James Collits of Mount York.)

Mount Amyot had the appearance of granite from the plains, but I found that it consisted of the ferruginous sandstone. It is the southern extremity of a long ridge elevated not more than 200 feet above the plains at its base. We encamped at a bend of the river, on the border of a small plain named Merumba in latitude 33 degrees 19 minutes 16 seconds South. Variation 8 degrees 54 minutes 15 seconds East.

We were here disturbed by herds of cattle running towards our spare bullocks and mixing with them and the horses. In no district have I seen cattle so numerous as all along the Lachlan; and notwithstanding the very dry season, they were nearly all in good condition. We found this day, near the river bed, a new herbaceous indigo with white flowers and pods like those of the prickly liquorice (Glycyrrhiza echinata).*

(*Footnote. I. acantho carpa, Lindley manuscripts; caule herbaceo erecto ramisque angulatis scabriusculis, foliis pinnatis 5-jugis viscido-pubescentibus; foliolis lineari-lanceolatis mucronulatis margine scabris, racemis folio aequalibus, leguminibus subrotundo-ovalibus compressis mucronatis echinatis monospermis.)

March 29.

Our next point was Mount Cunningham (Beery birree of the natives) and we travelled towards it along the margin of Field's Plains as the angles of the river allowed.


This was our straightest course, but we had to keep along the riverbank for another reason. The plains were full of deep cracks and holes so that the cart wheels more than once sunk into them, and thus detained us for nearly an hour. A sagacious black advised us to keep near the riverbank, and we found the ground better. We encamped at half-past two o'clock, after a journey of ten miles; and I immediately set out, accompanied by a native and a man carrying my theodolite, both on horseback, for the highest or northern point of Mount Cunningham (a). The distance was full five miles; yet we could not proceed direct on horseback, the scorched plains being full of deep, wide cracks; and we were therefore compelled to take a circuitous route nearer the river.


There our guide called up three savage-looking natives with spears, whom he described to be the natives of the hill, and they accompanied us to the top. With some difficulty we led our horses near the crest, our new friends always keeping the vantage ground of us, apparently from apprehension. At length I planted my theodolite on the highest part of the summit which commanded a fine view of the western horizon; and from the mouths of my sable guides I obtained the native names, in all their purity, of the various hills in sight. The most distant, named Bolloon, were said to be near the great lake Cudjallagong—no doubt Regent's Lake of Oxley—and a peak they called Tolga I took to be Hurd's Peak of the same traveller.


Still I saw nothing on the horizon in the direction of his Mount Granard, and in no other any hill of magnitude, except in the quarter whence I came, where I still discerned my old friends Marga and Nangar, with Nyororong and Berabidjal, high hills more to the southward.

Mount Cunningham consists of ferruginous sandstone. The sun had reached the horizon before I left the summit, which I did not until I had obtained an angle on every visible point. We arrived at the camp soon after seven o'clock. Latitude by an observation of Cor Leonis 33 degrees 15 minutes 27 seconds South.


March 30.

I ascertained accidentally this morning that we were abreast of the spot where Mr. Oxley left the Lachlan and proceeded southward. This I learnt from a marked tree which a native pointed out to me distant about 250 yards south from our camp, on the opposite side of a branch of the river. On this tree were still legible the names of Mr. Oxley and Mr. Evans; and although the inscription had been there nineteen years the tree seemed still in full vigour; nor could its girth have altered much, judging from the letters which were still as sharp as when first cut, only the bark having overgrown part of them had been recently cleared away a little as if to render the letters more legible. I endeavoured to preserve still longer an inscription which had withstood the fires of the bush and the tomahawks of the natives for such a length of time by making a drawing of it as it then appeared.

By Mr. Oxley's journal we learn that where the river formed two branches he, on the 17th of May, 1817, hauled up his boats, and on the following day commenced his intended journey towards the south-east. But our latitudes also assisted us in verifying the spot. Mr. Oxley made the latitude of his camp (doubtless near the tree) 33 degrees 15 minutes 34 seconds South which gives a difference of seven seconds for the 250 yards between the tree and my camp. The variation of the needle Mr. Oxley found to be here, in 1817, 7 degrees 0 minutes 8 seconds East and I had made it at the last camp (Merimbah) 8 degrees 54 minutes 15 seconds East, or nearly two degrees more, in a lapse of 19 years. The longitude of this point as now ascertained by trigonometrical measurement from Parramatta was 147 degrees 33 minutes 50 seconds East, or 17 minutes 50 seconds (equal on this parallel to 17 1/4 miles) nearer to Sydney than it is laid down by Mr. Oxley.

We proceeded from this camp towards the southern extremity of Mount Cunningham, under which a small branch of the Lachlan passes so close that the party was occupied an hour and a half in removing rocks to open a passage for the carts. We then got into an open country in which we soon saw the same dry branch of the Lachlan before us; but we turned more to the north-west until we reached a slightly undulated surface. No branch of the river extends to the northward of Mount Cunningham as shown on Mr. Oxley's map; but a small tributary watercourse, then dry, skirts the eastern side of the hill, and enters that branch of the Lachlan which we were upon.

Yesterday and this day had been so excessively hot (82 degrees in the shade) that I confidently anticipated rain, especially when the sky became cloudy to the westward, while the wind blew steadily from the opposite quarter. A dense body of vapour in the shape of stratus, or fall cloud of the meteorologist, was at the same time stretching eastward along the distant horizon on both sides of us. After crossing some sound, open plains of stiff clay, guided by the natives, we gained an extensive pond of muddy water and encamped on a hill of red sand on its northern bank, and under shelter of a grove of callitris trees.


The wind now began to blow and the sky, to my great delight, being at length overcast, promised rain enough to fill the streams and waterholes: at twilight it began to come down. In the woods we passed through this day we found a curious willow-like acacia with the leaves slightly covered with bloom, and sprinkled on the underside with numerous reddish minute drops of resin.* The Pittosporum angustifolium we also recognised here, loaded with its singular orange-coloured bivalved fruit.

(*Footnote. This is allied in some respects to A. verniciflua and exudans, but is a very distinct and well-marked species. A. salicina, Lindley manuscripts; glaucescens, ramulis angulatis, phyllodiis divaricatis lineari et oblongo-lanceolatis utrinque angustatis obtusissimis uninerviis venulis pinnatis: ipso apice glandulosis subtus resinoso-punctatis, capitulis 3-5 racemosis phyllodiis triplo brevioribus.)

March 31.

It rained during the night and this morning the sky seemed as if it would continue; the mercury in the barometer also falling, we halted. On a dry sandhill, with wood and water at hand, we were well prepared to await the results of a flood; some good grass also was found for the cattle on firm ground at the distance of about two miles.


Mount Allan (Wollar of the natives) lay north-east by north, at a distance of 3 3/4 miles. It was not a conspicuous or commanding hill, but between it and our camp we this day discovered a feature of considerable importance. This was the Goobang creek of our former journey, to all appearance here as great a river as the Bogan and indeed its channel, where we formerly saw it, contained deep ponds of clear water at a season when the muddy holes of the Bogan had nearly failed us. Here the Goobang much resembled that river in the depth of its bed and the character of its banks: and its sources and tributaries must be also similar to those of the Bogan. Hervey's range gives birth to the one, Croker's range to the other and, their respective courses being along the opposite sides of the higher land extending westward between the Lachlan and Macquarie, all their tributaries must fall from the same ridge. Of these Mr. Oxley crossed several in his route from the Lachlan to the Macquarie; Emmeline's Valley creek belonging to the basin of the Goobang; Coysgaine's ponds and Allan's water to that of the Bogan. It was rather unfortunate, considering how much has been said about the Lachlan receiving no tributaries in its long course, that Mr. Oxley left unexplored that part where a tributary of such importance as the Goobang joins it; especially as the floods of this stream lay the country below Mount Cunningham under water, and are the sole cause of that swampy appearance which Mr. Oxley observed from the hill on looking westward. It would appear that this traveller's route northward was nearly parallel to the general course of the Goobang. The name this stream receives from the natives here is Billibang, Goobang being considered but one of its tributaries. Its course completes the analogy between the rivers and plains on each side, and the supposed disappearance of the channel of the Lachlan seemed consequently as doubtful as the mysterious termination of the Macquarie.

April 1.

The rain continuing, the party remained encamped. The barometer had fallen since we came here from 29.442, at which it stood last night at ten, to 29.180, which I noted this morning at six: the thermometer continuing about 60 degrees of Fahrenheit.


On dragging our net through the muddy pond we captured two fishes, but of monstrous size, one weighing 17 pounds, the other about 12 pounds. Although very different in shape, I recognised in them the fish of the perch kind with large scales* and the eel-fish** formerly caught by us in the Namoi. But the former when taken in that river was coarse and tasted of mud, whereas this ruffe, although so large was not coarse, but rich, and of excellent flavour—and so fat that the flakes fell into crumbs when fried. This day a bird of a new species was shot by Roach. It was of a swallow kind, about the size of a snipe, of a leaden colour, with dark head and wings.

(*Footnote. Cernua bidyana.)

(**Footnote. Plotosus tandanus.)


April 2.

The rain continued through the night and this morning it fell rather heavily, so that enough of water could be gathered from the surface of the plains near our camp to preclude the necessity for our having recourse to the muddy pool. The barometer began to rise slowly from seven in the morning, when it had reached its minimum; but the weather continued hazy, with drizzling rain (from the south-west) until four o'clock, when the clouds slowly drew up. The plains were not yet at all saturated, although become too soft for our carts. The evening was cloudy, but by ten o'clock the state of the barometer was such as to leave little doubt about the return of fair weather. We this day found in the woods to the northward a most beautiful species of Trichinium, with spiky feathered pale yellow flowers, sometimes as much as six inches long.*

(*Footnote. Tr. nobile, Lindley manuscripts; foliis caulinis obovatis cuspidatis subundulatis ramisque corymbosis angulatis glabris, spica cylindracea: rachi lanata, calycis laciniis 3 acutis 2 retusis, bracteis puberulis. Differs from Tr. densum, Cunningham in the bracts not being villous at the base, and from T. macrocephalum, R. Br. in having much larger flowers, which are yellow not lilac, and in three of the segments of the calyx being acute.)


April 3.

Thick fog in the morning. The day being Sunday the party remained in the camp; but I do not think we could have left it from the soft state of the plains, however desirable it might have been to proceed. After twelve I rode to Wollar (Mount Allan) with the theodolite, and from its summit I intersected most of the hills seen from Mounts Amyot and Cunningham. A small wart on the eastern horizon, very distant yet conspicuous, I found to be Mount Juson, the hill on which I had stood with the brother of the botanist whose name had been given to this hill by Mr. Oxley.

The sameness in the surface of this country is apparently owing to the simplicity of its geological composition. All the hills I ascended below the junction of Byrne's creek consist of ferruginous sandstone, similar to that which constitutes all the hills I saw on, and even beyond, the Darling.

On passing to and from Mount Allan we crossed, at three-quarters of a mile from the camp, Goobang creek, the bed of which exactly resembles that of the Bogan. The remains of drifted weeds on the trees and the uniformity of its channel showed that it is a considerable tributary of the Lachlan. At length the stars appeared in the evening, and I could once more see my unerring guides, the faithful Little Dog, and the mighty Hercules,* whereby our latitude seemed to be 33 degrees 8 minutes 55 seconds South.

(*Footnote. Procyon, in Canis Minor and Regulus in Leo. The latter being also called Hercules and Cor Leonis.)


At the camp we recognised among the natives seated at our fire two of our friends from the Bogan. Their little shovel of hard wood (not used on the Lachlan) and one of the tomahawks formerly distributed by us left no room to doubt whether we were right about their features.


One was an old man and a Coradje, the other was a boy. They disappeared in the evening, but the Coradje was so far civil as to tell the men that, having heard The Major was praying for rain, he had caused the late fall. This priest had also prophesied a little for our information, telling the men that a day was at hand when two of them would go out to watch the bullocks and would never return.

April 4.

The surface being sufficiently dry to enable us to travel we accordingly continued our journey and, crossing the Goobang at 5 1/4 miles, we kept the right bank of it during the day. The surface on that side was dry and firm; and it may be remarked that if ever it becomes desirable to open a line of communication from Sydney towards the country on the lower part of the Murray, the right bank of the Goobang will probably be found the best direction as the adjacent valley affords both grass and water for the passage of cattle, and the doubtful plains of the Lachlan may be thus avoided.


We finally encamped on the Lachlan at the junction of the Goobang, in latitude 33 degrees 5 minutes 20 seconds; longitude East 147 degrees 13 minutes 10 seconds. There the river contained some deep pools and we expected to catch fish; but Piper told us that the holes had been recently poisoned, a process adopted by the natives in dry seasons, when the river no longer flows, for bringing the fish to the surface of deep ponds and thus killing the whole; I need not add that none of us got a bite. All these holes were full of recently cut boughs of the eucalyptus, so that the water was tinged black.


April 5.

As soon as the party had started I gave the overseer the bearings and distances to be pursued; while I proceeded to the cone named Hurd's peak by Oxley, but by the natives Tolga. It was distant about four miles from our line of route. A low ridge of quartz rock extends from the Goobang to this peak the base of which consists of chlorite slate, and its summit of squarish pebbles of quartz, with the angles rounded, associated with fragments of chlorite slate. There was just convenient room on it for the theodolite and, as it afforded a most satisfactory and commanding view, well suited for the purpose of surveying, it seemed to have been aptly named after a distinguished geographer. Many points of a distant range now appeared on the north-western horizon in the direction of Oxley's Mount Granard, and the ridge of Bolloon (towards the great lake Cudjallagong) seemed not very distant. I took angles on all the points and then hastened to overtake the party, which I did after they had travelled about nine miles. At fourteen miles we made the banks of the Lachlan, and encamped by the side of it on the edge of a plain in latitude 33 degrees 4 minutes 38 seconds South, longitude 147 degrees East. Judging by the relative position of Hurd's peak etc., I supposed it might have been about this place that Oxley's party crossed to the right bank of the river on his return towards Wellington valley. No traces however were discovered by us here of the first explorers of the Lachlan.

April 6.

The night had been mild and clear and the sun rose in a cloudless sky. We traversed plains of firmer surface than those crossed on the previous day. So early even as nine o'clock the heat was oppressive.


On one of these plains I witnessed an instance of the peculiar fascination attributed to the serpent race. A large snake, lying at full length, attracted our attention and I wished to take it alive, but as Roach, the collector, was at a distance, some time elapsed before preparations were made for that purpose. The ground was soft and full of holes, into one of which it would doubtless have disappeared as soon as it was alarmed. The rest of the party came up yet, unlike snakes in general, who glide rapidly off, this creature lay apparently regardless of noise, or even of the approach of the man, who went slowly behind it and seized its head. At that moment a little bird fluttered from beside a small tuft within a few feet of the snake and, it seemed, as the men believed, scarcely able to make its escape.

When we were near the spot on which we intended to encamp a native pointed out to me a small hill beyond the river where, as he informed me, Mr. Oxley and his party had encamped before he crossed the Lachlan. It was called by this native Gobberguyn. We pitched our tents a little higher than that hill where a favourable bend of the river met my line of route. The cattle were much fatigued with the day's work although the distance did not exceed eleven miles. It was in my power however to give them rest for a day or two as the grass was tolerably good on that part of the riverbank, and I was within reach of Mount Granard, a height which I had long been anxious to examine, as well as the country to be seen from it. Among the usual grasses we found one which I had not previously seen and which proved to be a new species of Danthonia.*

(*Footnote. Danthonia pectinata, Lindley manuscripts; spica simplici secunda pleiostachya pectinata foliis multo longiore, palea inferiore villosissima; laciniis lateralibus membranaceis aristae aequalibus.)


April 7.

I set off early for Mount Granard, followed by six men on horseback and a native named Barney who was also mounted. We rode at a smart pace on a bearing of 280 degrees across thirty miles of soft red sand in which the horses sank up to their fetlocks, and we reached the foot of the hill a little before sunset.


Throughout that extent we neither saw a single watercourse nor discovered the least indication of water having lodged there during any season. At eleven miles from the camp we crossed a low ridge of granite (named Tarratta) a hopeful circumstance to us as promising a primitive range of hills between the Darling and Lachlan, and because in a crevice of this granite our aboriginal guide found some water. The desert tract we crossed was in other respects unvaried except that, in one place, we passed through four miles of a kind of scrub which presented difficulties of a new character. The whole of it consisted of bushes of a dwarf species of eucalyptus, doubtless E. dumosa (A. Cunningham) which grew in a manner that rendered it impossible to proceed, except in a very sinuous direction, and then with difficulty by pushing our horses between stiffly grown branches. Where no bushes grew the earth was naked, except where some tufts of a coarse matted weed resembling Spinifex impeded the horses, but seemed to be intended by Providence to bind down these desert sands. We saw blue ranges on our right, and I hoped that before we ascended Mount Granard we should cross some watercourse coming from them; but nothing of the kind appeared and, after traversing a dry sandy flat, we began to ascend. Finding myself separated from the summit, after we had climbed some way, by a deep rocky ravine, and being in doubt about obtaining water, I sent the people with the horses to encamp in the valley to which that ravine opened, with directions to look for water while daylight lasted.


Meanwhile I proceeded to the summit with one of the men and the native. I arrived there and, just before the sun went down, obtained an uninterrupted view of the western horizon; but the scene was inconclusive as to the existence of such a dividing range as I hoped to see. Ridges and summits appeared abundantly enough, but they were not of a bold or connected character, and I did not obtain upon the whole a better idea than I previously had respecting the extension of that singular group of hills to the westward. I stood upon the best height however for carrying on my angles in that direction. To the eastward I saw Hurd's Peak and Bolloon, also Goulburn's and Macquarie's ranges, Mount Torrens, and Mount Aiton of Oxley. The last hill appeared alone on the horizon, in a south-south-east direction as shown in his map. But the most commanding point was Yerrarar, the highest apex of Goulburn range, forming with Bolloon and this station an almost equilateral triangle of about 30 miles a side.

The features before us terminated rather abruptly towards the south like cliffs of tableland, and seemed to mark out the basin of the Lachlan; but beyond those parts overlooking Mr. Oxley's route I could obtain no view, although I perceived that I might from Yerrarar.


Having completed my work as the sun was setting I hastened to the valley, and learnt that the party had discovered neither water nor grass. Barney the native had nevertheless obtained both when with me at the top of the mountain; and therefore, although it was dark and we were all fatigued, yet up that rocky mountain we were compelled to go with the horses, and encamp near the summit beside a little pool of water which had been well-known to Barney at other times. On this elevated crest the air was surprisingly mild during the night for, although I slept in my clothes and on the ground, I enjoyed its freshness as a great relief from the oppressive heat of the day. Our singular bivouac on the summit, which I had so long wished to visit, was adorned with a strange-looking tree, probably Casuarina glauca.

April 8.

Next morning I had an opportunity of surveying the hills around me more at leisure, and I noted down their various names from the lips of Barney for that desolate region, where neither a kangaroo nor a bird was to be seen or heard, was poor Barney's country, that lonely mountain his home!

I learned that the only water in these deserts was to be found in the crevices of rocks on such hills as this; and I thus understood the cause of the smoke I observed last year arising from so many summits when I looked over the same region from a hill on its northern limits. Perhaps within thirty miles around there was no other water, and the bare top of a mountain was certainly one of the last situations where I should have thought of seeking for it.

We descended after I had completed my survey from a hill which perhaps no white man will again ascend; I may however add, for the information of those who may be disposed to do so, that the well is on the crest of a ridge extending north-west from the principal summit, and distant therefrom about 200 yards. I had brought provisions for another day as I originally intended to examine the course of the Lachlan above Mount Torrens; but having seen enough from this hill to satisfy me on that point we retraced our steps to the camp.

April 9.

This day I halted as well to rest the horses as for the purpose of observing equal altitudes of the sun and protracting my survey.


April 10.

Leaving the party encamped I crossed the Lachlan and rode eight miles due south to Bolloon which proved to be the highest cone of a low ridge situated within the great bend of this river. I found it a valuable station for continuing my chain of triangles downwards, as from it Mounts Cunningham and Allan, Hurd's Peak, Peel's and Goulburn ranges, Mount Granard, etc. are all visible. We passed some lower hills belonging to the same chain, and of which the basis seemed to be the prevailing ferruginous sandstone. In my return to the camp I found the dogs had killed an emu.


It is singular that none of the natives would eat of this bird; and the reasons they gave were that they were young men, and that none but older men who had gins were allowed to eat it; adding that it would make young men all over boils or eruptions. This rule of abstinence was also rigidly observed by our interpreter Piper.


Late in the night I was awoke by one of the watch firing a pistol at a native dog which had got close to the sheepfold. At the same moment a sheep leaped out and, having been at the first alarm pursued by our dogs, it was worried in the bed of the river. The native dog having howled as it escaped was supposed to have been wounded. To prevent such occurrences in future and as this arose from a neglect of my original plan, the two fires of the men's tents were ordered to be again placed in such positions as threw light around the sheepfold, which was of canvas fastened to portable stakes and pegs. (See plan of camp, Volume 1.)


April 11.

We left this camp (named Camarba) and continued our journey around the great bend of the Lachlan at which point (4 1/2 miles from our camp) the low ridge of Kalingalungaguy closed on the river. This ridge is a remarkable feature, extending north and south, and I expected to see some tributary from the north entering the river here; but we crossed on the east side of the ridge only a wide, dry and grassy hollow, which was however evidently the channel of a considerable body of water in times of flood, as appeared by marks on the trees which grew along the banks. All were of the dwarf box kind, named goborro by the natives, a sort of eucalyptus which usually grows by itself on the lower margins of the Darling and Lachlan, and other parts subject to inundation, and on which the occasional rise of the waters is marked by the dark colour remaining on the lower part of the trunk. In the bed of the Lachlan at the junction of the channel near Kalingalungaguy I found quartz rock.


We had not proceeded far beyond that ridge when Mr. Stapylton overtook the party, having travelled in great haste from Sydney to join us as second in command, in compliance with my letter of instructions sent from Buree. Mr. Stapylton was accompanied by two stockmen, having left his own light equipments at Cordowe, a station above Mount Cunningham. On the plains which we crossed this day grew in great abundance that beautiful species of lily found in the expedition of 1831, and already mentioned under the name of Calostemma candidum,* also the Calostemma luteum of Ker with yellow flowers.

(*Footnote. Volume 1. C. candidum; floribus centralibus subsessilibus, articulo infra medium in pedicellis longioribus, corona integerrima.)

At nine miles we crossed some granite rocks, evidently a part of the ridge of Tarratta, thus exhibiting a uniformity in the granite with the general direction of other ridges, which is about north-north-east. The strike is between north and north-east; the dip in some places being to the west, and in others to the east, at great inclinations. The ridge of Kalingalungaguy consists of quartz, clay-slate, and the ferruginous sandstone, but I observed in the bed of the river a trap-dyke extending to the Bolloon ridge. Of the few low hills about the Lachlan it may be observed that they generally range in lines crossing the bed of that river. Mount Amyot is a ridge of this sort, being connected to the southward with Mount Stewart and Nyororong; and to the northward with the high ground separating the Bogan from the Goobang; the latter creek also forcing its way through the same chain on its course westward. Mounts Cunningham, Melville, and the small hills about them on each bank belong to another system of ridges of similar character, but more broken up; and the range of Kalingalungaguy with that of Bolloon form a third, also intersected by the river.


The plains appear to be divided into several stages by these cross ridges, which may have shut up the water of high floods in extensive lakes during the existence of which the deposits formed the surface of the present plains. Loose red sand also constantly forms low hills on the borders of these plains; and it seems to have been derived from the decomposition of the sandstone, and may be a diluvial or lacustrine deposit. Blue clay appears in the lowest parts of the basin, and forms the level parts of the plain, with concretions of marl in thin layers. This has every appearance of a mud deposit; but its depth is greater than the lowest part visible in the channel of the river. The parallel course of small tributaries joining rivers, which seem to be the middle drain of extensive plains, may have been marked out during the deposition of the sedimentary matter as tributaries, on entering the channel of greater streams, immediately become a portion of them; hence it is, the general inclination being common to both, that such tributaries do not cross these sediments of floods now termed plains in order to join the main channel or river now remaining.


Thus the Goobang, on entering the valley of the Lachlan, pursues a parallel course until the ridge from Hurd's peak confines the plain on the west and turns the Goobang into the main channel. The Bogan, on the opposite side of the high land, may be said to belong to the basin of the Macquarie, although it never joins that river, but merely skirts the plains which, below Cambelego, may be all supposed to belong to the original bed of the Macquarie. Throughout its whole course of 250 miles the left bank of the Bogan is close to low hills, while the right adjoins the plains of the Macquarie. The basin of the Macquarie, as shown by its course near Mount Harris and Morrisset's ponds, falls northward, but that of the Darling to the south-west. It is not at all surprising therefore that the course of a tributary so much opposed, as the Macquarie is, to that of the main stream, should spread into marshes: still less that, on being at length choked with the deposit filling up these marshes, it should work out for itself a channel less opposed to the course of the main stream. Duck creek appears to be now the channel by which the floods of the Macquarie join the Darling, and in a course much more direct than that through the marshes. Hence the Bogan also, being still less opposed to that of the Darling, finally enters that river without presenting the anomaly of an invisible channel. In like manner, at a much lower point on the Darling, the course of the little stream named Shamrock ponds, so remarkable in this respect, may be understood. This forms a chain of ponds, or a flowing stream, according to the seasons, between the plains on the left bank of the Darling, and the rising grounds further to the eastward: but instead of crossing the plains to join the main channel this supposed tributary, after approaching within one or two miles of the Darling where its plains were narrow, again receded from it as they widened, and finally disappeared to the left where the plains were broad, so that its junction with the Darling has not even yet been discovered. On this principle the channel of the Lachlan, as soon as it enters the plains belonging to the basin of the Murrumbidgee, may be sought for on the northern skirts of these plains, although its floods may have been found to spread in different channels more directly towards the main stream.

At 12 1/4 miles we crossed a dry and shallow branch of the river, and at 14 1/2 miles we at length reached the main channel, and encamped where a considerable pond of water remained in it, surrounded by abundance of good grass. In this hole we caught some cod-perch (Gristes peelii).

April 12.

I sent back three men with two horses to bring on the light cart of Mr. Stapylton, intending to await its arrival (which I expected would be in five days) at the end of this day's journey. It was my object to encamp as near as possible to Regent's Lake without diverging from the route which I wished to follow with the carts, along the bank of the Lachlan.


For this purpose it was desirable to gain a bend of that river at least as far west as the most western portion of the lake, according to Mr. Oxley's survey. This distance we accomplished and more; for we were obliged to proceed several miles further than I intended, and along the bank of the river, because no water remained in its bed, until Mr. Stapylton found a good pond where we encamped after a journey of 16 1/4 miles. Notwithstanding such an alarming want of water in the river, we saw during this day's journey abundance in hollows on the surface of the plains; a circumstance clearly evincing that this river, as Mr. Oxley has truly stated, is not at all dependent for its supply on the rains falling here. The deep cracks on the plains, so abundant as to impede the traveller, seemed capable of absorbing not only the water which falls upon them, but also any which may descend from the low hills around. During our day's journey I found grey porphyry, the base consisting apparently of granular felspar with embedded crystals of common felspar and grains of hornblende.

April 13.

The night had been unusually warm, so much so that the thermometer stood during the whole of it at 76 degrees (the usual noonday heat) and so parching was the air that no one could sleep. A hot wind blew from the north-east in the morning, and the barometer fell 4/10 of an inch; there were also slight showers.


Leaving Mr. Stapylton in charge of the camp I went with a small mounted party to Cudjallagong (Regent's lake) which I found to be nine miles to the east-south-east of our tents. We passed by the place where Cudjallagong creek first leaves the river and by which this lake is supplied.


The uniformity of breadth and width in this streamlet and its tortuous course were curious, especially as it must lead the floods of the Lachlan almost directly back from the general direction of their current to supply a lake. Thus the fluviatile process seemed to be reversed here, the tendency of this river being not to carry surface waters off, but rather to spread over land where none could otherwise be found, those brought from a great distance. The particular position of this portion of depressed surface being so far distant from the general course of the river and the communication between it and the river by a backwater so shallow and small, the lake can only receive a small share of the river deposits and this only from the waters of its highest floods. We found the "noble lake" (as it appeared when discovered by Mr. Oxley) now for the most part a plain covered with luxuriant grass; some water, it is true, lodged on the most eastern extremity, but nowhere to a greater depth than a foot. Innumerable ducks took refuge there and also a great number of black swans and pelicans, the last standing high upon their legs above the remains of Regent's lake. We found the water perfectly sweet even in this shallow state. It abounds with the large freshwater mussel which was the chief food of the natives at the time we visited it.

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