|Bourne's Journal of Landsborough's expedition from Carpentaria, in search of Burke & Wills
Melbourne: H T Dwight.
In offering to the Public my version of Mr Landsborough's trip from Carpentaria to Melbourne, I have been influenced by the supposition that many would be glad to have the results of a twofold view of the same expedition. To this, I may all that our voyage from Brisbane to the mouth of the Albert, and our long sojourn at the depot there, which we passed over in the farmer, are neither without interest nor devoid of useful information. As criticism would now be, perhaps, worse than useless, I have abstained from making any remarks on the abortive attempt to reach Central Mount Stuart, and the very trifling results from that expedition, in which I took no part, as well as other matters over which I had no control.
It is more than probable that our track will be the route to the Flinders and Carpentaria country from some districts, and before commencing my journal, it may be useful to say two words on the subject of that country. To this end, I beg to remind my readers, who may, perhaps, have some Queensland experience, that the thick scrubs, rugged ranges, and the long impassable grass of that country, which offer such obstacles to the traveller with sheep, are nowhere to be found on the western side of the Dividing Range. Our track, indeed, goes through country which, on the whole, may be said to be open and thinly grassed, and partakes, in its general characteristics, rather of the features of the interior than of the coast. As the squatter will, of course, be the first to put this country to use, it is important that he should know that his difficulties with his stock will occur in the settled district; as on the Bogan, Darling, and Warrego rivers, where both feed and water are often scarce; and that, on reaching the Barcoo, or Central Victoria, his trials on these heads will be quite at an encl. Excepting in the matter of crossing creeks or rivers, he will meet with no obstacles to wheeled vehicles, and will be able to feed before him flocks of 2,000 sheep without any difficulty. Except, perhaps, on the Barcoo, I apprehend no opposition from the blacks to parties led by experienced travellers and using proper precautions ; without such precautions and experience, it is needless to say that only misfortune can be anticipated.
It was to me, as the reader will easily realise, a matter of great regret, that our inadequate supply of horses and rations prevented us doing more than ride straight on our way, scarcely looking to the right or left. Though we were fortunate in coming through a country fitted, from its salsolaceous productions, for stock to a remarkable degree, its extent is not ascertained, or whether it is too best to be found in that part of the continent. Having premised so far, I will proceed, without further preamble, to my journal.