Sunday, 1 December 1861.
Camp 13, situated on the Gregory River.
On a particular examination of the grass about the camp I had a better opinion of it, and thought it advisable to remain here until I had made a search for the running water. At this camp we had a potful of cabbage-tree sprouts, and we ate a large quantity of it with lime juice which made it resemble rhubarb in taste. It agreed well with us, except with Mr Campbell, who was slightly sick from eating it.
Monday, 2 December 1861 -
Before starting to look for the running stream Mr Allison and I clinched and fastened with other nails the shoes on the horses that Jemmy and I were going to ride. We left camp at 7.52 a.m. At 8.30 made one mile and a half east. At 8.53 made one mile further east. At 9.6 half a mile east-north-east to junction of a creek on the right side of the river, which I have named the Wilson Creek. In the fork made by it and the river marked a tree with broad arrow between E. L. At 9.27 we crossed the creek and followed down the river. At 10.4 we made one mile and a quarter north-east (chiefly at some distance from the river, on the top of the high basaltic bank, which, from the want of soil, has nothing on it except triodia and stunted bloodwood-trees) to a point half a mile south of Campbell's Tower and west-south-west from a point about two miles down the river. We started again at 10.13 and reached the rapids in the river, which are about three miles above Number 12 camp; in doing so we kept chiefly at some distance from the river on the barren basaltic rocky ridges, and only crossed two dry watercourses. With some difficulty we crossed at the top of the rapids. A few yards lower the stream is three feet deep and several yards wide. Having now gone round the running water, as the country is very dry on both sides of the river, it follows that this fine stream proceeds from springs in the immediate neighbourhood. We left the rapids to return to camp at 3.22 p.m. at a smart walk. At 4.10 we made two miles and a half to a tree in a narrow pass, which we marked with a broad arrow between E. L. At 4.20 started again, and at 4.40 made one mile to Campbell's Tower; then at 5.9 two miles and a half to a pillar 40 feet high. At 6.14 two miles and three-quarters to camp.
Tuesday, 3 December 1861 -
At 8.15 a.m. we left this camp; crossed the river with the intention of following it on that side when practicable. At 8.26 made a quarter of a mile north-west. At 8.35 made half a mile west-north-west. At 8.50 made half a mile south-west and by west. At 9.4 made half a mile west-north-west. At 9.16 made half a mile west-south-west to junction of another creek from the south, named by me Haughton Creek. At 9.45 made one mile west-south-west to junction of another creek from the south, named by me Dodwell Creek. At 10.12 made one mile west by north. At 10.20 made a quarter of a mile west to junction of another creek from south. At 10.27 made a quarter of a mile north by west. At 10.52 made three-quarters of a mile north-west. At 11.7 made half a mile north-west. At 11.20 made half a mile west and by south. At 11.40 made three-quarters of a mile north-west. At noon made three-quarters of a mile west. At 12.26 made one mile west and by south. At 1 made one mile west by south. At 1.7 made a quarter of a mile south to a point on the right bank, where we formed our fourteenth camp, as we found there water in the river from a recent thunderstorm. The bed of the river we had found perfectly dry for some distance back. The river is badly watered along the course we have come. Below our last camp it has quite a different character. There are now only gumtrees in the bed of it, whereas lower down it was crowded with green trees, consisting chiefly of fig, Leichhardt, drooping tea-tree, cabbage-palm, pandanus, etc. All the country above Camp 11 on the banks of the river is composed of barren, rocky, basaltic ridges, which are slightly timbered with stunted bloodwood trees and overrun with triodia, with the exception of narrow strips of flooded country on each side of the river, on the lowest parts of which there is coarse grass, and on the higher parts there are tufts of the best description of grasses.
Tuesday, 4 December 1861.
Camp Number 14, situated on the Gregory River.
At 7.58 a.m. left camp and at 8.20 made three-quarters of a mile south to opposite junction of creek from south, which I have named Fullarton Creek. At 8.35 a.m. made three-quarters of a mile south-west to the junction of another creek from south. At 8.53 made a quarter of a mile west-south-west. At 9 made three-quarters of a mile west. At 9.20 made three-quarters of a mile west-south-west. At 9.27 made a quarter of a mile west-south-west to junction of creek from west. At 10 made one mile south-west. At 10.35 made one mile south-west to junction of creek from north named by me Dixon Creek. At 10.45 made a quarter of a mile south-west. At 11.20 left main party to go in search of water, with orders to party to return to old camp if not back in an hour. At 11.40 made three-quarters of a mile west to junction of small creek from south. At 11.45 made a quarter of a mile west. At 12.10 p.m. made half a mile north-west. At 12.40 made one mile north-west to junction of creek from south-west which I have named Abbot Creek. At 12.48 made a quarter of a mile south-west up the creek, and marked a tree in its bed. Fisherman got some honey from a tree. At 2.30 made a quarter of a mile south-west, proceeded up the creek. At 2.40 made a quarter of a mile south-west, passed the junction of two small creeks. At 2.58 made three-quarters of a mile south-west by west. At 3.20 made three-quarters of a mile south. At 3.30 made a quarter of a mile south-west to junction of small creek on south side. At 3.53 made three-quarters of a mile south. At 3.58 made a quarter of a mile south-east. At 4.8 made a quarter of a mile south-south-west, at which point, having marked a tree with broad arrow over L and not having found either water or grass since leaving Number 14 camp, we started to return at 5.5. We reached our honey delay tree in about two miles and three-quarters. At dark we reached in about three miles to where we had left our party, when we went in search of water, and in a distance of fully five miles and a quarter to Camp 15, situated about one mile higher up the river than Camp 14. From our companions we learned that Jemmy had been up the river, and although he had been away all day, had returned without finding any water. He observed however a smoke to the southward, where water very probably may be found, as these fires are generally kindled by the natives near water.
Thursday, 5 December 1861.
Camp Number 15.
Mr Campbell having gone today in search of water, made the following report:
Left camp at 8.15 a.m., accompanied by Jemmy. On reaching the rise above the camp I steered in a south-west direction which we followed for six miles over a barren country intersected in many places by deep gullies or watercourses; one of these we followed to its junction with a very wide channel, larger, in my opinion, than the Gregory at the point where we left that stream. From its appearance I imagine it has not been visited by a flood for a considerable period, as in many places it is overgrown with rank grass and young timber.
We followed this channel up for some distance in the expectation of finding water in the deep holes along its bed, in one of which we discovered a native well, but which was quite dry.
Seeing after a time there was no prospect of procuring water by following this course, I left the channel and proceeded in a south to south-east direction, and (being advised by Jemmy) and having neither water nor provisions with us, determined on returning back, seeing no probability of obtaining water in the character of country through with we were travelling. On our return we made the channel before mentioned several miles to the north, which we followed down, and it brought us into the Gregory, about four miles above our camp. Distance travelled about thirty miles.
Friday, 6 December 1861.
Camp Number 15.
Fisherman and I left camp this morning to go in search of water. At 9.50 a.m. made three-quarters of a mile south to Fullarton Creek. At 10.15 made one mile south up the creek. At 10.43 made one mile south up the creek. At 10.50 made a quarter of a mile south-east. At 11.8 made a quarter of a mile north. At 11.15 made a quarter of a mile east. At 11.35 made a quarter of a mile east, general course of creek. At 11.40 made a quarter of a mile south-east. At 11.50 made half a mile south. At 12.7 p.m. made three-quarters of a mile south. At 12.52 made two miles south. At 1.18 made one mile south by east, to a plain with tableland of the richest soil, and with grasses of the most fattening nature, but which at this time are old and dry. This tableland I have named Barkly Plains, after His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly. At 1.26 made a quarter of a mile south by east three miles and three-quarters south to plains, to reach which we crossed barren ridges with gullies, having an easterly course. To the south-west not a tree was to be seen. At 3.37 made two miles and a quarter south, with which course we skirt the left edge of Barkly Plains. Stopped here and had some dinner. Started again at 4.15. At 4.30 p.m. made one mile south where Fisherman shot and dressed an emu. At 5.23 we started again. At 5.40 made three-quarters of a mile south-south-east to a watercourse which I have named Pratt Creek. At 5.45 made a quarter of a mile south-east down the creek to water. Proceeded about one mile further, and then returned about halfway to where we encamped (compare with 7th December). The grass in this neighbourhood is good, excepting of course on the ridges, which are barren and covered with triodia. The creek has been recently flooded, and has remaining in it, I hope, sufficient water to last us until we find more permanent water to which we can proceed. I think that watercourses do exist, both to the right and left of the plain, from the general appearance of the country running parallel to the plains.
Saturday, 7 December 1861.
Started to return to camp at 8.25 a.m. At 9 a.m. made one mile north-west, and having tracked the emu there it was then packed upon the packhorse; we started again at 9.20. At 10.10 made two miles and a half north. At 11.8 made one mile and a quarter north to the barren ridges. At 11.42 made one mile and a half north over the ridges. At 12.56 p.m. made two miles and three-quarters north. At 1.20 made one mile north-west where we had dinner and started again at 1.55. At 2.5 made a quarter of a mile north-west by north. At 2.15 made half a mile north-north-east to outward tracks upon Fullarton Creek. At 5.35 made seven miles and a half to the junction of creek with river; upon the point formed by junction marked tree (broad arrow over L). At 6 made half a mile and reached Camp Number 15.
Sunday, 8 December 1861 - Camp Number 15.
Being anxious to benefit by the water in Pratt Creek, on Barkly Tableland, we left camp at 11.7 to go to it. At 11.20 a.m. made half a mile to marked tree at junction of Fullarton Creek. At 11.25 made two miles and three-quarters to a cross log. Soon after Mr Campbell was taken unwell. At 2.20 p.m. made four miles to where we left the creek when upon its right bank. At 3.20 made three miles and a half south over barren ridges to Barkly Tableland, where we delayed until 4.10. At 5.17 made three miles south. At 5.45 made one mile and a quarter south by east. At 6.56 made three miles and a quarter south by east. At 7.13 made three-quarters of a mile south. At dark made one mile east-south-east and encamped at Pratt Creek.
Monday, 9 December 1861 -
Camp Number 16.
Mr Campbell has been for some days somewhat unwell. Jemmy and I started down the creek in search of more permanent water. At 12.6 p.m. made one mile and three-quarters east-north-east on right bank to the junction of small creek. At 12.20 made three-quarters of a mile east-north-east over barren stony basaltic ridges, overrun by triodia and slightly timbered with stunted bloodwood and bauhinia trees, to a plain of rich soil covered with fattening grasses. At 12.30 made half a mile east-north-east over a plain to where we observed smoke half a point northerly of the course we had just come. Kept towards it, thinking water might be found near it. At 1.32 made two miles and a half east-north-east, chiefly over ridges of a character like those I have previously described, to a watercourse which I have named Burrows Creek; its course is easterly. At 1.52 made three-quarters of a mile east-north-east to a tree from which Jemmy got some honey. Started again at 2.30. At 4.50 made three miles and a half east-north-east to a small creek from the north. At 5 made three miles and a quarter east-north-east to another creek from the north. At 6.23 made three miles to a little creek from the south. At 7.20 made two miles and three-quarters easterly down the creek from the south. At 8.15 made two miles north-east. Made down the creek in search of water but had to camp without succeeding. The latter part of the day's journey has been along a stony barren ridge, as I have described, which told severely on the feet of the horses.
Tuesday, 10 December 1861.
Not being able to proceed further with our lame and thirsty horses I deemed it advisable to return campwards at 6.30 a.m. At 7.30 a.m. made two miles and three-quarters west-south-west to where I told Jemmy to lead the way over the range and follow down one of the southerly creeks in search of water. At 8.35 made three miles south-west by west to the head of the creek. At 9.20 made four miles and three-quarters south-east down the creek, where we left it, as its course was contrary to the direction of the camp. At 9.50 made one mile and a quarter west-south-west to another small creek, which we also resolved to follow down a short distance in search of water. At 10.12 made one mile south down the creek. Crossed our old tracks. At 10.27 made half a mile south-east. Left the creek. At 10.53 made one mile west-south-west. At 11.3 made half a mile south-west to creek, which we also searched. At 11.35 made one mile south-south-east down creek, and then left it; no appearance of water, which we very much wanted. At 1 p.m. made two miles south by west. At 2 made two miles and three-quarters west half north where we gave our horses each two quarts of water from our leather bottles, and changed saddles so that Jemmy could ride the packhorse, as the one that he had been riding was not able to carry him any further. At 3.15 made two miles and three-quarters west by north to our outward tracks, and also a great number of emu tracks, from which we concluded that water existed in the neighbouring creeks. At 3.50 made one mile and a half west-south-west to Burrows Creek. At 4.5 made half a mile north-east where we had to proceed without our packhorse down the creek a considerable distance without noting the distance, as I was too thirsty. As the birds were very numerous here, we were convinced that we were near water. The continual noise they made was more tantalising than can well be conceived: it sounded to us like, "We know where there is water, but you foolish fellows cannot find it." About one mile further down the creek we came upon a hole very recently dry, in the bottom of which we dug with a pointed stick, clearing away with our hands to the depth of two feet. We found muddy water, with which we quenched our thirsts and gave the horses a few quarts of it. Having hobbled our tired horses we started upon foot to look for water. We went up the creek a mile to where it is joined by another branch; this we followed up for about two miles, and found a hole with a few gallons of water in it. In about a mile we crossed over to where we had left the packhorse, which we found after a prolonged search. At 12.10 a.m. made half a mile north-east down Burrows Creek to the junction of Pratt Creek. At 1 one mile and three-quarters north to our well. At 1.25 started to take the horses to the water. At 3 two miles and a quarter south by west to the water previously found; and unsaddled our horses. We were twenty-two consecutive hours, more or less, engaged, during which time Jemmy never showed any signs of fatigue, or unwillingness to proceed.
Wednesday, 11 December 1861.
Jemmy and I started to follow up the creek to camp. At 10.20 made four miles up the creek to where we found just sufficient water to quench the thirst of the horses, and after delaying for that purpose we started again at 10.50 a.m. At 11.20 made one mile to the best pond of water that we have seen either up or down the creek. One of the horses was so fagged that we delayed in consequence till 12.35. At 12.50 made half a mile up the creek to opposite junction (or main) one-eighth of a mile to opposite junction of another creek. At 2.27 made three miles up the creek to Camp 17, where we were glad to find from Mr Campbell that he had quite recovered from his illness.
Thursday, 12 December 1861.
Camp Number 16. Situated on Pratt Creek.
At 8.50 made one mile south-west by south up the creek from Number 16 Camp to a waterhole where Fisherman and Jemmy were filling the water-bottles to carry on the packhorse, so as to supply us whilst in search of more water. At 10.4 made one mile and a quarter, about south to a waterhole up the creek. At 12 made five miles and three-quarters south-west to one of the branches of the Gregory River, which I have named Elliott Creek, over rich well-grassed plain country. At 12.10 made one mile south to where Jemmy left us to return to Camp 16. At 1.24 made two miles south, where we left following up Elliott Creek, despairing of finding water in it. At 1.35 made half a mile south-west to a tree which Fisherman climbed to look across the plains. At 6.24 made thirteen miles south-west, which distance on that course took us across the plain near to a large clump of timber. The grass on the plain is good, with a considerable quantity of saltbush among it, but we were afraid we would not find water in the watercourse we were approaching, we had seen so few birds on the plain. At 6.43 made one mile south to a clump of trees resembling myall, which I have seen before to the west of Rockhampton. At 8 made two miles and three-quarters about south down the watercourse in search of water, having stopped for our supper and started again. At 12 made two miles and a quarter south by west down the watercourse to some young grass, where we camped for the remainder of the night.
Friday, 13 December 1861.
In the morning we heard a great number of birds and expected to find water. At 6.5 a.m. made three-quarters of a mile west in search of water, hearing birds in that direction. At 6.44 made one mile about south-east back to the creek. At 8.45 made six miles about south-west down the creek in search of water to the junction of watercourse from the north which I have named Pring Creek. On the point between the two creeks we marked a tree with a broad arrow before L. At this place we stopped until nine o'clock and in the meantime gave the horses each two quarts of water from the supply we had with us. At 9.25 made one mile north-north-west up Pring Creek to the junction of a creek from north. At 9.35 made one mile north-north-west up the latter creek to where we started for Number 16 Camp without having found water. At 10.47 made three miles and three-quarters west by north over rich thinly timbered plains, the grass old and dry. At 11.22 made one mile and a half north-east to our outer track below camp on creek. At 11.38 made three-quarters of a mile about north-north-east up the creek. At 11.55 made three-quarters of a mile north to last night's camp. At 12.26 p.m. made one mile and a quarter north-east up the creek. At 1.3 made one mile and a half north to where we supped last night. At 1.30 made one mile and a quarter north-east at where we stopped and started again at 2 p.m. At 2.20 made one mile north-east to the plain. At 3.10 made two miles and a half north. At 7.15 made ten miles and a half north-east to lookout-tree, which we made steering by compass. At this place I gave the horses almost all that was left of the water, as I thought that Fisherman would be able easily to lead the way to Camp 16, and I being so confident of this paid no attention to the course that he was leading me. At 11.30 I found that Fisherman did not know where he was, so I gave my horse his head, thinking he would go to water near Number 16 Camp; but he searched along the bed of a watercourse for water and found a fine waterhole, where we saw a fire on the banks, at which we thought there were probably blacks, as boughs and a net had been recently placed around the water to ensnare large birds. After we had got a supply of water we watered the horses and went west-north-west about one mile and a half to a point on the plain about half a mile distant from the watercourse, where we hobbled out the horses and stopped till morning.
Saturday, 14 December 1861.
The watercourse I named Clifton Creek. At 6.30 a.m. Fisherman and I left our camp. At 7 made one mile east-south-east down Clifton Creek to where we passed from left to right bank, which we then followed up a few yards to the junction of a larger creek on the right side, where there is a fine waterhole. At 7.45 made one mile east-south-east down the Clifton Creek to where we stopped for breakfast, and started again at 9.35. At 9.42 went quarter mile south-east across a range to a creek with deep empty holes. At 9.49 went quarter mile south-east to plain. At 10.40 went two and a half miles south-east to a large river, with large waterholes recently empty, surrounded by tall cabbage, pandanus, and large drooping tea-trees. I ascertained afterwards that it was the O'Shanassy. One of the cabbage-trees we cut down to get its centre sprout to eat. Started again at 11.40. At 12.13 made three-quarters of a mile south-south-east, passed the junction of two creeks, one from the east and one from the west. At 12.45 made one mile north-west across a range to dry creek. From the range we saw the river had a north-north-east course. At 1.9 made one mile north-west up a barren, rocky, basaltic range to rich well-grassed plains. At 1.33 made one mile north-west to a creek with empty deep holes. At 2.10 made two miles north-west to Clifton Creek, where we had breakfast, and started again at 3 up the Clifton Creek. At 3.15 made three-quarters of a mile north-west up the creek to where we crossed to left bank and left it. At 3.50 made one mile and three-quarters north-west over a fine downs ridge covered with green grass. At 4.15 made one mile north-north-west to outward track on right bank on the Pratt Creek. At 4.45 made one and a quarter mile north-east and at 5 made three-quarters of a mile north-east in the direction of Number 16 Camp. At 5.9 made quarter of a mile north by east to creek. At 5.17 made quarter of a mile north over a barren desert grass ridge. At 5.30 made one mile and a half to Number 16 Camp. At 5.40 we left Number 16 Camp to go two and a half miles south-west by south to where our companions had formed Number 17 Camp in our absence.
Monday, 16 December 1861.
Camp Number 17. Situated on Pratt Creek.
At 8.15 left camp to go to the fine waterhole at the junction of a creek from the west, which I have named Campbell's Creek, with Clifton Creek. At 8.48 made one mile and a half south-west by south. At 9 made half a mile south-south-west to tracks made, when Fisherman and I returned to Number 17 Camp. At 9.45 made two miles south-east down to Clifton Creek. At 10.10 made one mile south-east down the creek to where we formed our 18th camp. At the camp we had a severe thunderstorm which lasted for about four hours. At the two previous camps Mr Allison made observations of the sun with the plains for a horizon, which were very satisfactory, as the latitude obtained was nearly the same as that of my dead reckoning, also nearly the same as the latitude made with the observations of the stars Aldebaran and Castor with an artificial horizon at Number 16 Camp. Observations taken at Camp 16: Aldebaran 19 degrees 14 minutes 21 seconds; ditto Castor 19 degrees 24 minutes 30 seconds; ditto Sun 19 degrees 24 minutes 30 seconds; ditto dead reckoning 19 degrees 24 minutes. At Camp Number 17 about two miles southward from Camp 16: Sun 19 degrees 26 minutes 47 seconds. At Camp Number 20: Sun dead reckoning nearly the same 19 degrees 37 minutes.
Tuesday, 17 December 1861.
Camp Number 18. Situated on Clifton Creek.
Left camp at 7.32. At 8.15 made two miles south to dry creek from south-west, where we were delayed till 8.32; at 8.50 made three-quarters of a mile south to the plain; at 10.45 made five miles and a half south to a watercourse which I have named Darvall Creek: at 11.10 made three-quarters of a mile west by south up the creek; at 11.32 made one mile south-west by south; at 11.48 made three-quarters of a mile south-west by south; at 12.8 made three-quarters of a mile south-west where we crossed the creek; at 12.13 made quarter of a mile south-west to junction of creek; at 12.35 made one mile west-south-west to left bank of the creek; at 1.10 made about one mile south-west up the creek; at 1.27 made three-quarters of a mile south-west up the creek; at 1.34 made quarter of a mile west-south-west to where we stopped, as some of our party were looking for water, at 3.35 made three miles and a quarter south-east to where, having found a little water in a watercourse with an easterly course, which I have named Wilkie Creek, we formed our 19th camp.
Wednesday, 18 December 1861.
Camp Number 19. Situated on Wilkie Creek.
At 7.10 a.m. Fisherman and I left camp to search for water; at 7.20 made half a mile south-east; at 7.50 made one mile and a half east by north half north over well-grassed plains to poor soil ridges slightly timbered with bauhinia, stunted box, and bloodwood trees; at 8.6 made three-quarters of a mile east by north to a little creek; at 8.20 made three-quarters of a mile east by north to a watercourse which I have named Allison's Creek; it has narrow channels and flats, timbered with gum trees, and thickly covered with what is called on Darling Downs oaten grass: At 8.30 made quarter of a mile south by east up the creek: at 8.50 made three-quarters of a mile south-south-east to a small rocky hole with a little water in it: at 9.45 made one and a half miles east-south-east up the creek to where we left it: at 10.6 made three-quarters of a mile south-west by west to a little creek from east; at 10.15 made quarter of a mile south-west to plains; at 10.45 made one mile and a half south-west across the plains; at 11.17 made one mile and a half west-south-west to where we stopped to have dinner under a solitary tree which cast a deep shadow. Started again at 1 p.m. At 2.10 made three miles and two-thirds west-south-west across the plain, without finding the track of Campbell and party; at 4.30 made six miles and three-quarters north-west over unbroken rich plains, timbered slightly with bushes; at 6.16 made four miles and a half north-east to where some of our party on a previous day went in search of water; at 6.45 made one mile and a quarter east a short distance back from right bank of creek; at 7.15 made one mile and three-quarters north-east by north to where he went down right bank of creek to search for water; at 7.22 made quarter of a mile north-north-east searching down the creek in vain for water; at 8.5 made two miles along yesterday's outward track to waterhole in Darvall Creek, where the horses were watered yesterday, near which on the left bank of the creek we found Messrs. Campbell and Allison had encamped.
Thursday, 19 December 1861.
Camp Number 20. Situated on Darvall Creek.
Accompanied by Mr Allison I went out on the plain to a point about three-quarters of a mile south-west by south from camp, where Mr Allison made the noon altitude of sun 85 degrees 57 minutes, which gave the latitude 19 degrees 37 minutes, which was nearly the same as my dead reckoning. Mr Campbell and Fisherman returned to camp, having been out in search of water. He brought back a turkey which he had shot, and the good news that he had found water up the creek. At 6.30 p.m. we left Number 20 Camp; at 7.45 made three miles west-south-west up the creek to the waterhole which Mr Campbell had found, near which on the right bank we formed our 21st camp. The banks of the creek at this camp descend in gentle slopes, and consequently have a continuation of rich soil from the plains; and as the grass was not too old it proved one of the best camps for horses we have hitherto had.
Friday, 20 December 1861.
Camp 21. Situated on the Darvall Creek.
The troopers and I left this camp at 10.4 to go in search of water; at 10.45 made two miles west-south-west to the junction of a watercourse from south-west which I have named Turner Creek; at 11.14 made one mile and a quarter up Darvall Creek; at 11.37 made one mile west by north further up the creek. All the country we have seen since we started resembles the rich country about the camp. At 12.4 made one mile west by south to where there are trees, which I have named Western Wood; at 12.27 made one mile south through Western Wood scrub, it is full of salt herbs, of which the horses were fond of eating as they went along; at this place we saw cockatoos and pigeons. From seeing them we searched for water but did not find any; at 1.20 one mile and a half south-south-west across rich well-grassed plains to a belt of acacia, overlooking a plain to the westward, but beyond it a line of trees stretching north and south which I have named Manning Plain. At 2.40 went three miles and three-quarters west to a belt of Western Wood scrub; at 2.57 went three-quarters of a mile west to where we stopped to have dinner; we started again at 4.25; at 4.53 made one mile and a quarter west by south to a watercourse from the north-west; at 5.30 made one mile and three-quarters about south-east down the creek to our old track of the 12th instant; at 6.35 made one mile and a quarter to our old camp; here we again encamped.
Saturday, 21 December 1861.
Having used the water up on the additional packhorse that we had brought on this occasion with us, Fisherman left us, taking back the packhorse to the camp; at 6.5 Jemmy and I started down the watercourse which I have named Herbert Creek, in search of water; at 8.4 made six miles south-west across rich fine plain country to Pring Creek from north-north-east; at 8.14 made half a mile north by east down Pring Creek to a point at the junction with Herbert Creek where we had on the previous occasion marked a tree broad arrow before L; at 8.30 made three-quarters of a mile south-south-west down Herbert Creek to where we saw a flock of pigeons, and immediately after found a little water, where we halted, but again started at 8.47; at 9 made half a mile south-west down the river; at 9.20 made three-quarters of a mile south-east down the river; at 9.40 made one mile east by south down the river, at 10.10 made one mile about south-east down the river; at 10.30 made three-quarters of a mile south-east down the river to where we found a little water out of small holes in the rock, which seemed like a robbery from the flocks of little birds which surrounded them; from here we started again at 11.5; at 11.15 made a quarter of a mile south to junction of large creek from south-west, which I named Hervey Creek, near which we observed several flocks of pigeons; at 11.50 made half a mile east-south-east to where the channels are confined, and where there is on the left side a strange deep rocky pit; at 12.12 made three-quarters of a mile south-south-west down the river; at 12.21 made quarter of a mile south-east down the river; at 12.35 made three-quarters of a mile south-south-east to the junction of creek from north-east which I have named Chester Creek; at 12.58 made one mile south-east by east down the river; at 1.6 made quarter of a mile south-south-west to a very fine waterhole which I have named Mary Lake. This place seems to be a favourite resort for blacks; the banks are covered with mussels, and all the firewood burned. We turned the horses out for some time; it is surrounded with bushes of polygonum; at 4.32 started to return to Number 21 Camp; at 4.50 made one mile north to Chester Creek; at 6.15 made five miles north across high stony rich plain country, where we encamped, as there was a patch of young grass for the horses.
Sunday, 22 December 1861.
From camp on left bank of little dry creek we left at 6.20 to return to Camp 21; at 8 a.m. made six miles north to left bank of Herbert Creek; at 8.20 made one mile and a quarter north up the creek to old camp, where we delayed to give the horses water from the bottles, and started again at 8.38; at 10 made three miles and a half in different directions to the Western Wood tree, where we had dinner on Friday last; at 11.20 made three miles and three-quarters to east side of Manning Plain, where we lost the tracks and delayed looking for them till 11.40; at 12.20 made three miles, where we met Fisherman with a horse loaded with water. Started again at 12.50; at 1.44 made two miles and three-quarters east; at 2.8 made one mile east; at 3.2 made two miles and three-quarters east by north to 21 Camp.
Monday, 23 December 1861.
Camp Number 21. Situated on Darvall Creek.
We left this camp at 9.3 a.m. on a south-west course. On that course from camp we crossed and recrossed the creek. At 10.3 made two miles and three-quarters south-west over rich well-grassed tableland plains, slightly timbered with bushes. We observed the small saline herbs which I have mentioned the horses to be so fond of, also more of the Queensland saltbush than we have seen previously; at 12.3 made four miles and a quarter south-west by west to Manning Plain, where we delayed, and started again at 12.14; at 1.20 made two miles and a quarter south-west by west where we delayed and started again at 1.35; at 2.20 made two miles and a quarter south-west by west, where we having halted started again at 2.48; at 3.10 made one mile south-west by west to where we found yesterday's tracks; at 4.35 made four miles south by east to Saturday night's camp; at 4.45 made half a mile south to where Mr Campbell's horse knocked up; at 6.19 made three miles and three-quarters south; at 6.27 made a quarter of a mile south half east to Chester Creek; at 6.52 made one mile and a quarter south half east to Mary Lake, where we formed our twenty-second camp.
Tuesday, 24 December 1861 -
Rested ourselves and horses, and put shoes on Mr Campbell's horse with screw nails. We found the punching and fitting of the shoes difficult and tedious, although Mr Gregory, who is himself a first-rate hand at that sort of work, assured me that it would not be a troublesome operation.
Christmas Day - Mary Lake.
As ducks were abundant and the grass good this was a fine place for spending Christmas. In the afternoon Jemmy and I went down the river in a south-south-east direction to a fine waterhole, which I have named Lake Frances; between Mary Lake and it, we only found shallow pools of water from the last thunderstorm. We saw a fat old white-headed blackfellow and his gin near the waterhole. The gin was very anxious about the safety of her four dogs and carried one of them in her arms; but on our approach she abandoned it and fled into the water; but afterwards seeing the old blackfellow had gone up a tree she followed his example. Jemmy not understanding their language we could not get any information from them.
Thursday, 26 December 1861.
Camp Number 22, situated on Mary Lake on Herbert River.
We left this camp at 7.37 a.m. At 7.42 made a quarter of a mile south-west by south to end of Mary Lake; at 7.52 made half a mile south on left side of the river, to plains, which are slightly timbered; at 8 made half a mile south-south-east, skirting the river to Lake Frances; at 9 made three miles; at 9.19 made three-quarters of a mile south to where we crossed a watercourse from the east which I have named the Don Creek: at 9.30 made half a mile south-south-west on left side of river over plains; at 9.41 made half a mile south by west to where I waited for the party, who came up at 9.45; at 10.5 made one mile south by west to where we crossed a creek from north-east; at 10.24 made three-quarters of a mile south by west; at 10.45 made one mile south to the left side of the river; at 11 made three-quarters of a mile south-east by south along the dry bed of the river, from which we started successive flights of pigeons. At this place Mr Campbell and party halted with the horses while Mr Allison and I went about a mile westward onto the plain, where he made the altitude 86 degrees 30 minutes, which makes the latitude 20 degrees 6 minutes, agreeing with the latitude of my dead reckoning and with an observation I made of a star last night; at 3 Jemmy, who had gone down the river, returned without finding any water, except what was left by the last thunderstorm; and as he told me I was following up a river, and not down, I too hurriedly believed him, and made up my mind to return to a waterhole that Fisherman had found to the right of our course in the bed of the river. At the waterhole I found blacks, but, as I always avoid them when I can, after I had a short interview with them we started down the river to the water Jemmy had found, following along the right bank as we had the left before; at 4.40 made two miles and three-quarters down the river to where we crossed, near its junction, a river or a branch of one from north-west; at 5.8 made one mile and a half back to where Mr Allison went on the plain to get an observation; at 5.20 made half a mile south; at 5.40 made one mile south to where the river has two channels; the one trending to the west of south we crossed, between the two channels of the river; at 5.53 made half a mile south to where the left channel of the river was full of water and fine grass on its banks, on the right bank of which we formed our twenty-third camp, at the place where Mr Allison made an observation of the sun. The country is very level and the watercourses are unconfined, and in times of floods the water overflows the low banks of the different channels. The blacks we saw today appear to be circumcised; three of them approached us, one of whom was the old blackfellow we had seen yesterday. Their name for water we thought from what they said was oto. We presented them with a tin pot and two empty glass bottles with which they were very much pleased.
Friday, 27 December 1861.
Camp Number 23, situated on the Herbert River.
Left camp at 8.24 a.m. to go down the river; at 8.35 made half a mile south-south-west to where we crossed, near its junction, a western channel of the river; at this place there are flats covered with bushes like saltbush, which the horses eat. These bushes I have observed on the western plains from Rockhampton and on most of the low situations along our route on this expedition; at 8.43 made half a mile south; at 8.48 made a quarter of a mile south-west where we crossed, near its junction, a more western channel of the river; at 9.10 made one mile south-west by south to where we crossed, near its junction, a river from west, with a shallow and broad channel; the banks of the river at this place are very little below the level of the plain on each side of it; at 10.10 made three miles south-south-west with level plains on each side of us, without trees or bushes, except along the watercourses; at 10.30 made one mile south to the right bank of the river, where there are twelve box-trees growing in its bed; before crossing to its left bank we got enough water to satisfy the horses; at 11.4 made one mile and a half south to a junction of a watercourse with extensive flood-marks from the east. This river has a deeper channel, with trees on its banks, than the river we have been following down had. At 11.15 made half a mile south, when Mr Allison and I went back to the westward, on the plains, and got the following altitude of the sun: 86 degrees 37 minutes, which makes the latitude 20 degrees 11 minutes 15 seconds; at 1.35 made three-quarters of a mile south down the river; at 1.47 made a quarter of a mile south-east down the river; at 2.20 made one mile and a quarter south, following the course of the river in search of water; at 3.10 made one mile and three-quarters about south-south-west, following the course of the river in search of water; at 3.44 made half a mile about south-west, following the course of the river in search of water; at 4.10 made one mile and a quarter about south, where, accompanied by the troopers, I left Campbell and Allison to go in search of water; at 5.20 made three miles about south-west down the river in an unsuccessful search for water; at 6 made two miles north-east by east; returning, we steered over plains, the grass of which was completely parched up. Near the creek I observed more owls than I have ever seen anywhere before; at 6.27 made one mile and a quarter north-east by east back to our party; then went, at 6.56, one mile and a quarter north by east, towards where we had seen the last water; at 7.15 made one mile north by east; at 7.35 made three-quarters of a mile north-east; at 8 made three-quarters of a mile about north-east by north and encamped.
Saturday, 28 December 1861.
Camp Number 24, situated on the Herbert River.
We started back up the river being unable to pursue our course to the westward from want of water. I sent Mr Campbell and Jemmy on with the horses, while Mr Allison and I went out on the plain to take an observation of the sun, which was not satisfactory from the sun being over-shadowed; we made the latitude 20 degrees 12 minutes 35 seconds; at 1.21 p.m. made three miles north by east from where we took the sun's altitude; at 1.53 made one mile north to where we crossed a channel of the river; at 2.35 made two miles and a quarter north by east partly on the tracks of Campbell and party; at 2.50 made three-quarters of a mile north-north-east to where we recrossed left bank of the river and overtook Campbell and party. Here we delayed till 3.22 in consequence of one of the horses being knocked up; at 3.40 made one mile north by east to where we recrossed the right bank of the river; at 3.55 made three-quarters of a mile and encamped. Here the grass was very abundant and the holes full of water. This camp is about half a mile from Number 23 Camp.
Sunday, 29 December 1861.
Camp 25. Situated on the Herbert River.
It was our intention to remain here for several days as the grass was good and the horses required a rest, but I deemed it advisable to return at once up the river because there were about one hundred blacks in the neighbourhood of the camp, some of whom were so bold that I feared it might be necessary to shoot some of them, or give them possession of the ground. Two of them had passed our camp on the previous evening, and the troopers, with my consent, presented them with glass bottles, after receiving which they soon returned with a large mob, who remained with us till dark. In the morning they returned and surrounded the camp. Mr Campbell went up to one mob and tried to make them understand by signs that we had peaceable intentions towards them, but they from his account seemed fully bent on having us off the ground. When he was returning to the camp Jemmy saw one of the blacks hold his boomerang as if he intended throwing it at Mr Campbell, but he was probably advised by others not to do so. I am not surprised that they were vexed, as we would not allow them to come up to the camp, although they showed a bunch of hawk feathers and two bottles we had given them, which they wanted us to believe were the signs of their good intention; and it is not to be wondered at on the other hand that we would not trust a mob of blacks, all warriors, heavily armed with spears, boomerangs, clubs, and little thorny sticks, to approach the camp. From my previous knowledge of the blacks I fancied we would easily have driven them away on horseback, but this I did not think necessary. The mere fact of seeing the horses brought towards the camp made them retire to a more respectful distance from us; at 10.5 a.m. left Number 25 Camp; at 10.18 made half a mile north-east half north to Number 23 Camp, where I stopped with Fisherman and observed that we were not followed: at 10.45 made half a mile north-north-east up the river; at 11.23 made one mile and three-quarters north to the place where I accompanied Mr Allison on a previous occasion westward on the plain to take an observation of the sun, at which place we overtook Campbell and party; at 11.48 made one mile north to where we observed rising ground. I left the party, accompanied by Fisherman, to ascend the rising ground; at 12.2 made half a mile north-east by east to a tree on the rise which Fisherman climbed, and from it observed plain country to the south and west and wooded country to the east and north. Here we observed stunted box and bloodwood trees, and a variety of grasses, among which I observed barley, oaten, kangaroo, and triodia; at 12.23 made one mile north by east; at 12.53 made one mile and a half north by east to the waterhole I named Kenellan, where there were the same blacks I had seen before. On this occasion they remained on the right, while we had dinner on the opposite side, during which time others to whom they cooeyed arrived at their camp, several of whom were loaded with game. These, heedless of their own camp or of us, bathed the first thing on their arrival. We shot ducks, and before leaving Kenellan presented to the blacks glass bottles of which they were very proud; at 5 made one mile and a quarter north-north-east to Lake Frances, where I bathed, and some of our party shot ducks. Started again at 5.33; at 6.40 made three miles about north-west by north (see outward route). At 6.56 made three-quarters of a mile north by west; at 7.15 made three-quarters of a mile north-north-east to Mary Lake, on the lower end of which on the left bank we formed our twenty-sixth camp.
Monday, 30 December 1861.
Mary Lake. Situated on the Herbert River.
As some of our horses were not able to travel as far as Camp 21, or to any water we knew of to the northward, in one stage, without overworking them, Jemmy and I started to try and find water in the intermediate distance. Started at 5.55. At 6.5 made half a mile north-east to where we stopped till 6.20; at 6.47 made one mile and a quarter north by east; at 7.10 made one mile north by west half west to Chester Creek; at 7.28 made three-quarters of a mile about north-north-east; at 7.52 made one mile and a half north-east up the creek; at 8 made a quarter of a mile east up the creek; at 8.10 made half a mile east by south up the creek; at 8.38 made one mile north-east to where we left the creek, because the grass in the bed of it was parched up, and as we saw no deep holes. It has however high and extensive flood-marks; at 9.20 made two miles west-north-west; at 10.26 made three miles west by south to bank of Herbert River; at 10.37 made half a mile north-north-west up the river to where we left it to follow up the Hervey Creek; at 10.50 made half a mile about north-west up the creek; at 11.17 made one mile about west by north up the creek. At 11.30 made half a mile south up the creek, where I went on to the plain and took the noon altitude of the sun, which was not very satisfactory as I did not give myself sufficient time to go far enough out on the plains. Latitude from observation 19 degrees 53 minutes 39 seconds. Started back without having found water at 12.27; at 12.50 made one mile south-east back to Hervey's Creek; at 1.30 made two miles east by north to Herbert River; at 1.40 made half a mile east-south-east down the river: at 1.45 made a quarter of a mile about south-east to the strange pit on the left side of the river; at 2.45 made three miles to camp. Cantered the last half mile or so and forgot to look at the watch until a short time after our arrival.
Tuesday, 31 December 1861.
We left Number 26 Camp bound for Number 21 camp; at 7.32 made one mile and a half along an old track to where we crossed Chester Creek; at 9.10 made four miles and a half to First Return Camp; at 10.45 made four miles and a half along outward track to Western Wood Scrub, where, accompanied by Fisherman, I went three miles north-east by east and got an observation of the sun which made our latitude 19 degrees 47 minutes 35 seconds; at 12.50 started again; at 1.20 made one mile and a half north by west to tracks of Campbell and party; at 1.35 made three-quarters of a mile east-north-east along the track; at 1.58 made one mile about north-east to where we lost the tracks, and was delayed a short time in consequence; at 4.5 made half a mile, chiefly along the track; at 5.8 made three miles, where Campbell and party had formed our twenty-seventh camp at our Outward Camp 21. During this day's journey we have crossed no watercourse that I deem worthy of notice, except Chester Creek.