Burke & Wills Web
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020

The Victorian Exploring Expedition, 1860-1

Of the twenty-six camels that reached Menindee, Burke took sixteen north to the Cooper.

1 Golah Sing
2 Landa
3 Boocha
4 Rajah
5 Gotch
6 Mustana
7 Beer
8 Rowa
9 Simla
10 Bell Sing
11 Jambel
12 Bunjib
13 Name? Large male riding camel
14 Name? Large grey camel missing part of an ear
15 One of Siva, Mr Cassim, Krishna or Nano
16 One of Siva, Mr Cassim, Krishna or Nano

One camel was left behind on or about Sunday, 18 November 1860 near Camp 61 on the Cooper. King stated (Question 663) "We had to leave one of the camels behind two days before we arrived at our first depot on Cooper's Creek."

This left Burke with fifteen camels at the first Depot on the Cooper, Depot Camp 63 at Womakie Waterhole.

Wills and McDonough lost three camels on the 29 or 30 November 1860 near the Arrabury Crossing of the Queensland-South Australia border whilst exploring from Depot Camp 63. Two of the camels were Coppin's large male camels and the other one was a large gray male with part of the ear cut off.

This would have left Burke with twelve camels at Depot Camp 65. Two of the missing camels were found at Dr Brown's Truro Station, Blanchetown on 22 July 1861 and the third may have been spotted variously in New South Wales near Mt Murchison, at Brewarrina by Henry Colles, at Samuel Smith's station near Fort Bourke, or at Mr Dangar's Ginge Station on the Barwon River.

Camels to the Gulf.
Of the remaining twelve camels at Cooper Creek, Burke chose six to take on the dash to the Gulf of Carpentaria. He took six of the seven large male riding camels, although he used them as pack animals rather than saddle animals. Brahe later told Howitt that two of the camels were light coloured and four were dark grey.

Five camels made the trip across the continent to the Gulf, but only two camels, Rajah and Landa, survived the return journey to the Cooper.

1 Rajah was the last of the Gulf camels to survive, died on 7 May 1861 at the Junction Camp on Cooper Creek.
2 Landa got bogged in Cooper Creek on Sunday 28 April 1861 and was shot the next day
3 Boocha was eaten at Camp 41R or 42R on Saturday 30 March 1861.
4 Golah Sing
was abandoned on the morning of 30 January 1861 at Camp CVIII on the Corella River after getting down the steep river bank but unable to get up the other side. He was found again on the return journey at Camp 14R on 2 March 1861, but abandoned again on 6 March 1861 at Camp 18R when he was unable to keep up.
5/6 Gotch & ?
One of these two camels was abandoned at 46R, the Plant Camp on Wednesday 3 April 1861. The other was most likely killed or abandoned at 32R, Feasting Camp on Wednesday 20th March 1861.
www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020, Dave Phoenix