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March 1862

McKinlay's Journal of Exploration into the interior of Australia (Burke Relief Expedition)
Melbourne: F F Bailliere.
(Ferguson 12057).

Saturday, 1 March 1862.
At first blush of dawn wind from same quarter (east-south-east). Rained heavily all night and to my astonishment, instead of the creek rising as usual (three and a half inches per hour) it was now rising five and a half inches and hourly increasing. Although the creek has in many places overflown its banks, and consequently a much broader channel, we are completely surrounded with at least five feet of water in the shallowest place that we can escape from this by. After a breakfast by daybreak the animals are immediately sent for and, as the men start for them, drive before them our sheep for more than half a mile through a strong current, and swimming three-fourths of the time; they went over splendidly and were left on a piece of dry land until our camels and horses came and removed the stores etc., which fortunately they did with not very many of the things getting wet. The camels being brought in and loaded and out to where the sheep were first, I had two of them unloaded and sent back to carry to the dry ground any of the perishable articles such as ammunition, flour, tea, and sugar, which they brought in safety; for had it been put on the horses as usual, and not being able to keep them on our track, the probability is they would have to swim and completely destroy the ammunition and injure the other stores; the camels acted famously and from their great height were as good as if we had been supplied with boats. After getting all onto dry land they were repacked and went on to a very good camp, now that there is water, on a sandhill about two and three-quarters to three miles distant in an east-south-east direction through a good deal of water and almost impassable flats--the sheep even sinking up to their bodies in the mud; however we got them all over safely by early in the afternoon. Still showery and how long we shall be weather-bound quite uncertain; however there is plenty of feed for the animals here which is a great comfort, and what is more they are in perfect safety, as well as we are ourselves, from the boisterous state of the weather. Whilst on the creek in the morning, had there been much difficulty in getting the animals, we should have had to hoist the things up into trees, and constructed a raft of dead timber, and rafted them off to dry land, which would have been a great deal of trouble. Squally still; wind continues from same quarter. Towards evening a great portion of the flat is being covered with water from the creek, beyond the creek there is nothing visible but lines of trees, marking the course of the lesser channels, and stone hills, all else is a perfect sea. We were very fortunate to be caught in it where we were; had we been caught thus in making this creek, or a day's stage up it, to a certainty we should all have been washed away, or what would have been just as bad, be perched on a small island of sand with all the animals round us and nothing but starvation staring us in the face--as on most of the sand-rises down near the creek there was no vegetation of any consequence upon them.

Sunday, 2 March 1862.
In camp; light showers occasionally. The side creeks from the hills running themselves out and the upper parts drying; the line of creek visible in the distance through the trees during all its course now in view, and the flats considerably more covered. Thunder and lightning from north to north-east.

Monday, 3 March 1862.
Wind east-south-east; as usual squally. On turning in last night it had every appearance of rain and did rain steadily for some time but gradually held up for the night, and appeared as if we were to have a dry change to have all the things that got wet perfectly dry again. I shall get all the horses shod here as, from the soft nature of the flats for some time to come, they will be unfit to travel over the approaching stony country. Intend searching for the bullock that fell down the other day and ascertaining whether he is dead or alive; if alive to get him brought on here; and if much disabled to have him killed and jerked as soon as the weather clears and the sun shines out sufficiently for that purpose. Found bullock within a quarter of a mile of where he was left, able just to stand and no more; I will send out tomorrow afternoon and have him killed where he is and his flesh brought in here the morning following for the purpose of jerking it; he appears good beef. The country boggy; in the afternoon rode down to the creek through a good deal of water to ascertain the state of the flood, and had to swim some distance to get to the main creek; when I got there I was glad to find that not only had it, for the present, arrived at its height, but had gone down nearly nine inches. The last time this country was flooded it was about seven feet higher (perpendicularly) than it was this time, and the sand and stone hills were flooded for several feet up their sides from their base. Wind still from south-east by east, with an occasional slight passing shower, but symptoms of clearing up. This country is perfectly infested with wild dogs; and fortunately for us it is that I happened to have some strychnine, it plays great havoc amongst them; so voracious are they that when one of their fellows die the others fall to and devour him; by this means many are destroyed. Middleton recovering but very slowly; he continues to have a very troublesome diarrhoea--aggravated no doubt by being obliged for the last few days to be nearly always wet; sometimes even to swim clothes and all, and remaining in that condition till the camp was brought here and fixed; I should be sorry if anything were to happen to him as he is an invaluable man in such a party as this.

Tuesday, 4 March 1862.
Wind a little more east; shod some of the horses yesterday and some this morning. Four of the party after dinner started to kill the bullock; camp there and return in the morning with the meat when cold. I with Poole rode out to some high stone hills eastward to endeavour to get a view of the creek and ascertain, if possible, from which quarter it principally flows. After getting to top of the highest, from which one gets very extensive view to the north-east, there was a slight haze that prevented me positively ascertaining its actual course; there is very heavy timber on a bearing of 35°, and appears surrounded by hills. The haze was so bad that I could not be certain; however I must travel in that direction first and trust that it suddenly turns round to the north; from this last point to a point 20° west of north is a perfect sea, nothing but isolated trees showing above the water; I found the ground exceedingly soft, almost impassable in many places. On the tableland, at the foot of the high stone-hills I ascended, are lines of creeks forming the drainage of the country, thickly timbered with myall, and (for the place) a considerable quantity of good grass; abundance of water lying on the top of the tableland, with seagulls, ducks, cranes, etc., about and on the basins; seven black swans passed over the camp in their flight on bearing of 335°, no doubt to some lake in that direction. Some few days ago not a bird was to be seen scarcely, but a few kite, crows, and galahs; now the whole country seems to be alive with ducks of various kinds, macaws, corellas, cockatoo parrots, and innumerable small birds.

Wednesday, 5 March 1862.
Wind light from north-east and every appearance of a beautiful day; the country beginning to have quite a green appearance, and the valleys being covered with lilies in full bloom, birds singing and chirping all around as if in spring. I am quite shut out for the present from Eyre's Creek; so will not attempt it. At midday the party arrived with the meat of the bullock and shortly after, when cutting it up for jerking, the head of the axe accidentally flew off and inflicted a severe wound in the knee of Maitland our cook; I hope it won't disable him long, although it is deep and in a nasty place. Got all the meat jerked by evening and trust we may have dry weather to have it properly preserved; lots of bones and scraps, of which we shall make soup.

Thursday, 6 March 1862.
Wind more to the north and every appearance of a dry day; busy shoeing the horses although they make a slow and sorry work of it.

Friday, 7 March 1862.
Wind changing all round except from the south and clouds gathering; with lots of black macaws screeching out in all directions. I hope they are not again the forerunners of a downpour, as they were of the last. The meat appears to be drying nicely, and will have it taken up this evening. It is very sultry.

Saturday, 8 March 1862.
Wind from west round to north and sultry with a good many fleecy clouds; shall finish shoeing the horses today with the exception of one which will require a couple of days' work first, being at present rather fresh (a good fault) and if all is well will make a start on Monday morning. The stony hills and slopes (that from every appearance, a few days ago, from their thorough bronzed and desert appearance, one would suppose grass never grew) are now being clothed in many places with a nice green coating of grass, and shortly will give this part quite a lively appearance, very different indeed from what it was when I first saw it, then it was as desolate a looking spot as one could picture to himself. In a couple or three months' time from this date one could with little difficulty (I am almost certain) start with a herd of any description of stock from the northern settled parts of South Australia and go right across the continent to whatever point he might think fit by this route, but I will know more about it shortly. This bullock gave us of dried meat about 116 pounds, apparently well dried, besides what meat was used with the bones to make soup. I hope it may keep well.

Sunday, 9 March 1862 - Escape, or Number 7, Camp
Will be all ready for a start in the morning. Wind north-east.

Monday, 10 March 1862.
Wind north and east, fresh breeze. Bullocks rather refractory at being packed, consequently late before we started. The journey today was over stony hills and flats, crossing several small creeks from the more remote hills, some running tributaries of Burke Creek for twelve and a half miles, and for three and three-quarter miles further over similar country, but more flat as we are now approaching the creek, and camped on the outside of a flat with some water and a fair supply of feed. I was here before the pack animals arrived but, after waiting for them a short time, found that in some of the small watercourses the water seemed to be driving, as I thought with the strength of the wind as is not unusual, and took for the time no further notice; the horses came up first and were unpacked, the camels were some time after and did not arrive until after I had returned from a ride to the top of a hill further up the creek, and at which place I went down to the water and to my astonishment found that the whole valley was a perfect sea, rising fast; on my return to where I had fixed the camp I found that the water had approached rather too close to be comfortable, and on the arrival of the camels had them unpacked some distance out on the top of a mound of stones and had all the horse gear removed there also; the bullocks did not get to camp till a little after sunset--one of them was so much trouble that I will do without him rather than be pestered with him, and put his load on one of the horses. The camels travelled over the stones with their loads apparently quite unconcerned; they are undoubtedly the best of all animals for this kind of work, they eat anything nearly, from the gumtree down to the smallest herb, and then come and lie down beside you, whereas horses and bullocks, if there be any lack of feed, will ramble all over the country; with sheep and camels one could travel all over any practicable part of the continent and keep them in condition.

Tuesday, 11 March 1862.
Where we had the packs removed from last night and all over the flats is a perfect sea of water, and even up within less than a foot of where I slept. From the creek having fallen not far from our last camp some days since I was under the impression that I would find it considerably down the further I advanced up its course; but now I find that the cause of its fall then was purely local from the tributaries immediately about and above having ceased with the rain to throw in a supply to keep it up. It now shows me that this creek must come from some very considerable distance; and I trust it may turn out to come from the north instead of too much east. It appears from where I was last night to incline towards the north. Wind from east-south-east. Started for a gap in the range over top of a stony range to a creek. High table-top ranges in the distance, north and south of 64°; then to top of red sandhill; then for three and three-quarter miles to top of sandhill over flat stony plains with plenty of water and feed. From this point a perfect sea is before me. Came to camp on Myall Creek after passing two table-topped hills on left and a peak and table-topped hill on right; beyond the camp plenty of feed and water. Today passed a native camp, the fire still burning, and their tracks quite fresh; but did not see them. One of the bullocks did not arrive in camp; he knocked up and charged the men and they were consequently obliged to leave him. He was pulled about a good deal the day before in packing him so would be no use to kill him, besides I could not carry him at present; he may come up during the night, if so he may perhaps drive loose and will kill him when wanted.

Wednesday, 12 March 1862
The bullock did not come up during the night so will be obliged to leave him behind. Started on bearing of 55° for two and one-eighth miles and crossed several myall creeks; over stony ground; the flood close by obliged to change course to bearing of 97° for three-quarters of a mile, then bearing of 91° for two and a quarter miles over low chopping slaty and stony hills and several creeks; then bearing of 84 1/2° for eight miles over stony ground, very bad travelling; then on bearing of 77° for half a mile to camp on a frizzly-barked tree creek. Passed several of the same kind of creeks today with some timber; it is very hard and some of it (from three to four feet in diameter) would make splendid furniture. Another of the bullocks dropped down when within two hundred yards of the camp, apparently affected by the sun--although it did not seem to me so very hot, although it was sultry. I hope he will be able to go on in the morning or at this rate we shall soon lose them all. Wind has chopped round from north-east to south this afternoon and looks very much like rain. From top of a hill about a mile from here looking over a sea of water, two openings to be seen in the sandhills beyond, much as if one or other was the proper course of the creek; one at 355 1/2°, with heavy timber, and one at 10°, without so much timber but broader and more like. Natives raising a great smoke in the distance about five or six miles west of the 355 1/2° opening. Blew strong in the evening and the rain went off.

Thursday, 13 March 1862 - Camp 10.
Clouds all gone; wind north-east. The bullock unable to get up so I shall be obliged very reluctantly to leave him behind; but perhaps I may be driven back this way and he will then be of use. Started for gap in range bearing 120° for four and a half miles over very stony country. On table-topped hill on the left, and the mass of ranges on the left, they look like the Reaphooks (hills) in the north of Adelaide at Marrana. I have called the main mass of ranges Wills Ranges, after the unfortunate gentleman who lost his life with poor Burke; then bearing 139° for one and three-quarter miles; then a bearing of 155° for six and a half miles, passing along and over sandhills and rich pasture, with cane swamps full of water, to south-east termination of sandhills. Thousands of flock pigeons, some teal, and a new duck. They have here commenced laying; several pigeons' nests were found as we passed along, and a duck's with eight or ten eggs in it; plenty of quail and other small birds. Saw a bustard in the midst of the sandhills which bear 340°. To the north of this camp a short distance is a very strange round stone hill, capped with larger stone, which I have called Elliott's Knob. One native was seen today on the top of one of the stony ridges, but did not get within speaking distance of him; many tracks were discernible for the last eight miles. From top of one of the stone hills to right of gap in range a perfect sea was before me from 298° round north to 95°, with nothing but here and there the tops of trees that line the creek only discernible, and sand and rock hills forming islands; and in the distance to north and west the hills that bound the vast expanse of water appear like islands far off in the ocean.

Friday, 14 March 1862 - Camp 11.
Started on bearing of 90° for five miles to top of long stony ridges. For the first two miles through swamp and water and sandhill, leaving on left hand a very nice lake, and on the right some little distance off a sand-ridge running along swamp; in the distance south is timber denoting a creek which forms this swamp and lakes--the remaining three miles of the five very stony and bad travelling. Immediately beyond me at the end of the five miles stretches a large dry bed of a lake eastward, with a considerable swamp to south round to 80°, following the foot of a well-defined range, at the north-east termination of which range, visible from here, are several smaller and larger table-topped hills and gaps; then on bearing of 80°, passing through an arm of dry lake; good travelling for nine and a half miles and camped on small sandhill at a claypan; the flood from three to four miles off to west of north; sandhills ahead.

Saturday, 15 March 1862 - Camp 12, Packsaddle Camp.
Having left one of the bullock's packsaddles on a tree. Bearing 48° for three and a half miles over very heavy country with spinifex and abundance of other grasses; one and a half miles further same course over stony and sandy rises. A splendid tier of table-topped hills in the distance east and north; bearing of 65° for two and a half miles, then bearing of 20° over a flooded splendid swamp, principally, four and a half miles to a box creek where I will kill Ranger the bullock as he cannot travel. Distance travelled today twelve miles.

Sunday, 16 March 1862.
Went to have a view from the principal range eastward, the first and greater part of the road over magnificent pasture, nearer the hills very stony; found the hills distant twenty-one miles; from top of a large table-topped one I had a splendid view; the tier of ranges I am now on bear to east of north and west of south but are very irregular, many spurs running off from main range and forming a vast number of crown-shaped tops and peaked hills, with innumerable creeks draining the country from east and south to west and north and joining the main creek. Twenty-one miles travelled today bearing 62 1/2°; from this hill another tier of similar hills is seen in the distance with a very large creek draining the country between this and that, flowing northward, and then west round the north end of the tier I am now upon, the south-west end of distant range bears 125°, about twenty-five to thirty miles off, and the north-east end, dimly seen in the distance, bears 65°, which tier of ranges and creek I have called Browne Creek after J.H. Browne, Esquire, of Booboorowie, South Australia. The range I am on and the tier northward to where the creek (Browne's) passes round the end of them I have called Ellar's tier of table-tops; the tier south of where I now am I have called Warren's tier of table-tops after my respected friend George Warren, Esquire, of Gawler for whose kindness I am much indebted; the plains or downs east and north of those ranges I have called The Downs of Plenty as here there is everything one could wish in travelling over a new country. I would have gone over to the distant ranges but unfortunately my horse threw one of her shoes and I was obliged to camp at a creek under the hills for the night. The creek I have now camped on I have named Ranger's Creek after our bullock killed here.

Monday, 17 March 1862.
Returned to camp; on my way out to the hills yesterday saw three natives, but they would not let me approach, they were busy collecting seeds from the different grasses; the beef seemingly drying well but will have to give it another day.

Tuesday, 18 March 1862.
In camp; will pack up the beef tonight and start in the morning. Afternoon packed the beef, it gave us 162 pounds of well-dried meat and I hope it may keep good.

Wednesday, 19 March 1862.
Started about 10.30 and went about fourteen miles; passed through some magnificent country, one fine plain alone extended for several miles and well grassed; in the distance could be seen high ranges. The weather magnificent and quite tropical, the perfume from the flowers is quite refreshing. Cut a tree with :

13 MK
15 to 19-3-62

Distance travelled today fifteen miles. Camped on a creek, fine water.

Thursday, 20 March 1862.
Left the camp about 10 a.m. and travelled till we struck a large creek and went on over fine flats and sandhills covered with most luxuriant grass and several descriptions of creepers. The blue convolvulus was also seen today for the first time, also a most beautiful small blue flower with a dark purple eye. Plenty of pigeons today, some few nests were found on the march. The mosquitoes very bad at this camp. A native was brought into camp by Mr Hodgkinson this evening and we decorated him with necklaces and gave him a feed. Distance travelled today fifteen miles.

Friday, 21 March 1862.
Marked a small bastard sandalwood tree this morning :

11 MK

Our journey today was over nothing but red sandhills course about north-north-east; had to cross a large sheet of water. Eighty duck eggs were found today by the men. The country round about now is very fine indeed, grass as high as the horses' knees. We now every day find fresh shrubs and flowers, everything reminding one of the tropics. Bullocks and sheep not in tonight, mosquitoes bad here indeed. Last night was certainly the most infernal night I ever passed, never slept. The mosquitoes were fearful although fires were lighted all round us, each man having his private bonfire, yet the mosquitoes were not to be frightened, they would buzz and bite; rolled our heads up in our blankets and oilskins but in a second or two the little brutes were under and buzzing away. The air also seemed impregnated with the little tormentors. Camped on claypan with little and bad water. Bullocks not up nor sheep. Distance travelled about sixteen miles.

Saturday, 22 March 1862.
Bullocks did not come up last night so have had to send back today, consequently spelled. Thunder and a couple of showers in the afternoon at which time the bullocks arrived, having strayed far.

Sunday, 23 March 1862.
Claypan camp. At five and a quarter miles cleared sandhills bearing 17°, flooded and stony flats with sand. At six and three-quarter miles crossed a box and myall creek. At seven and three-quarter miles to top of sandhill passed sandy bed of myall creek from hills. At ten and three-quarter miles crossed a box and myall creek, running north and west; plenty of water in creeks, and on both sides of course passing stony flats and undulations, well grassed. At thirteen and a half miles a white gum flat with not many stones and trees not large. At fifteen and a half miles over stony undulations well grassed to top of a myall creek followed it down west one mile to plenty of water and feed. Camped--sixteen and a half miles. At three miles and up to four and a half after starting flood close by on left.

Monday, 24 March 1862 - Camp 17.
Bearing of 355°. At three and three-quarter miles crossed a myall creek or flat--broad, with several dry channels from north-north-east, draining a tier of fine ranges on the east--the only ones now visible to north or east--which I have called Scott's ranges (the tops of which, especially the northern one, are well wooded) after John Scott, Esquire, of Adelaide, a gentleman to whom I am much indebted, in not only giving the use of two of his best horses for my use during the time the expedition would be absent, but in also kindly requesting me to call at his station in the North and take from it what I might consider of service to me. Over gentle slopes, some stony. Saw fifteen emu on one of the plains so have named the plain and undulations Emu Downs, to a box creek with abundance of water and feed at seventeen and a half miles. No timber except on the ranges and creeks. This appears a small creek to many that are in sight to north and west. A range continues to north-north-east. The creek from eastward to westward and southward joining other larger creeks a few miles west of this. The whole of the country passed over today is excellent pastoral country. From this camp the north-east termination of Scott's Ranges, ending in two detached round-looking hills, bears 113 1/2°, about six to ten miles off.

Tuesday, 25 March 1862.
Started on bearing of 355°. At two and a half miles crossed a box creek with plenty of water from north-east to west and south, sweeping considerably towards latter quarter. At fourteen and a half miles to box creek, dry where I struck it. Went on bearing of 238° for two miles to a creek with plenty of water and camped. Sixteen and a half miles over beautifully grassed, very gently sloping and undulating country; rising ground seen to the west in the distance--flood must be some distance off. New hawk seen (light-coloured) this afternoon.

Wednesday, 26 March 1862 - Camp 19.
Started on bearing of 315° to get closer to course of main creek which I have observed nothing of for the last two days. Beautiful weather; heavy dews at night. At ten miles struck and crossed a box creek where it empties itself into a flat; passing over splendid country, the latter part in the small watercourse rather stony and sandy. A quarter of a mile further on is another box creek, and between it and the first creek is a perfectly boggy swamp full of water, as well as the creek, so have to change course to avoid some of it; bearing of 55 1/2°, over plain for two miles; then bearing 7 1/2° for four and a half miles, first part of it magnificent feed, the rest a morass--will have to clear out of this to the east for some distance to round it. Any traveller caught here in rainy weather such as has been lately deluging these vast plains would to a certainty be washed away--there is not a knoll six feet high within the range of the eye. Journey today about sixteen and a half miles from point to point, but I made it considerably more in trying to get across the swamp and being obliged to return. A small hill from top of a tree at camp beyond what appears the main creek in the distance bears 309°; another small one is west and south of that--no other rising ground to speak of visible, except in the direction we came from and a little east of it.

Thursday, 27 March 1862 - Camp 20, Carbine Creek Camp
Having left one behind there on a tree, which has lost the hammer and is unfit for service. Bearing of 29° for nine miles over swampy country with splendid feed, belts of timber on the right or east of course, studded in various places, denoting waterholes; then bearing of 15° for one and a quarter miles where I got bogged in a creek; got out of it again with a good deal of difficulty and found that course quite impracticable; after trying the ground for a couple of miles found it nothing but a bog, so changed course to 54° for half a mile over sound ground, and encamped on a small creek with a perfect meadow of grass all around. From the top of a tree hills in the distance to north and south of east discernible--rising ground near, which I will make for in the morning. I went out this evening and found that it is good travelling and will thus allow me to get more in a northerly direction than of late. Cannot get within miles as yet of the main creek on account of the boggy nature of the ground--there appear to be innumerable timbered creeks between this and that, all running into it--the water here, even on the level plains, is in places running a stream. One of the camels got bogged on the road today and had to be dug out with much difficulty.

Friday, 28 March 1862 - Camp 21.
Beautiful morning, wind from east-south-east. Started on bearing of 68° for one mile to clear some water; then on bearing of 34° for two and a quarter miles; bearing of 27° for four and a quarter miles; bearing of 20° for three and a half miles to top of a small stony rise, immediately beyond which, half a mile distant, is one mass of creeks occupying a mile in width, coming from south of east from hills in the distance. These creeks, no doubt, are one both above and below this, although now split into many branches. I have called it Davenport Creek after George Davenport, Esquire, of Melbourne, a gentleman to whom I am much indebted for his kindness. Then bearing of 41° at half a mile came to first creek and continued on same course, crossing creeks for one mile; distance about twelve and a half miles. This creek must drain an immense tract of country eastward. Northward appears one mass of creeks. It is certainly a magnificent country if there is permanent water.

Saturday, 29 March 1862 - Camp 22.
Beautiful morning, wind light from south-south-east. On bearing of 355° for seventeen and a half miles, first part over rather swampy ground, chiefly over firm ground; good travelling country and a little stony (sandstone). On it found a new fruit on a shrub about five feet high, not unlike the bean tree; the fruit tree of Cooper's Creek also is here and it is a more handsome tree than between this and Cooper's Creek; the bean tree is also here. Within the last two miles the ground has been swampy and full of watercourses, with plenty of water caused by the emptying of a large creek from the east, coming past south-west end of a large range east and running north of this position; which creek I have named Brown's Creek after Charles Brown, Esquire, of Great Bourke Street West, Melbourne, whose upright way of conducting business I very much admire and who, from his straightforward manner, gains the esteem of everyone that has anything to do with him.

Sunday, 30 March 1862 - Camp Number 23.
Bearing of 7° one mile, bearing of 355° eight and a half miles to top of a sandhill, well-grassed; passing on the left, half a mile back, a couple of same kind and a little higher. From the one I am on an extensive view of the surrounding country is had. On the west side of the creek close is a tier of ranges running parallel with it; nearest part not above four miles from this; hills on the right at various distances discernible all along the course today; the most prominent one seemingly well-wooded and terminating northward in a bluff and small table-top. Bluff bearing 117 1/2°, I have called the Hamilton Range after George Hamilton, Esquire, Inspector of Police, Adelaide. Two table-topped hills are to the east and north of the bluff; southern one bears south end 114°, north end 113 1/2°; south end of north table-top 113 1/4°; north-east end 112°. On a bearing of 60° distant is a mass of apparently heavy ranges running west of north--as do most of the ranges that at all approach the creek. The country here has been terribly torn by the flood and torrents of rain that must have fallen some short time back; in some places it has the appearance of being literally ploughed in stripes, but generally firm; any quantity of water on right of course. To the east, between the hills, heavy creeks come out west and north in all directions, overflowing the whole country; anyone caught in the locality on such occasions as the late visit of the flood here would never more be heard of. On bearing of 331° for two and a half miles; bearing of 340° for four and three-quarter miles--in all about sixteen and three-quarter miles; latter part much torn by water and in consequence less feed than usual. Camped on one of the main channels of the main creek about eighty to one hundred yards wide, cut into a number of channels; abundance of water and feed. From this camp peculiar cliffy red table-topped hill bears 77°; highest point of range 33 1/2°; farthest part visible 7°; is timbered on top; running north-west; south end distant about five to seven miles.

Monday, 31 March 1862.
Bearing 15° one and one-eighth miles; bearing of 36 1/2° four miles to ranges, part of table-top hill about three and a half miles off where the creek goes through the gorge between the table-tops, when it is fully half and nearly three-quarters of a mile wide, and nearly one sheet of water and bogs; it divides towards the other side through larger passage on the east and two rocky hills in the angle, nearly north and south of each other and about 100 yards apart; another rocky cone hill is south again of them. Round rocky summit and bears 240°; crossed on bearing of 10° over table-top limestone and sandstone hill to flat on the other side at four miles; at two miles further on same course camped at first good water we met. This range that I have passed over I have called Hamilton's Table-tops after G. Hamilton, Esquire, Inspector of Police; the gorge and island I have called Hunter; the table-tops on opposite side I have called Goyder's after the Surveyor-General of South Australia; the islands immediately south of Hunter's Island and close alongside I have called Mary's Island: and the cone southward of that I have called Moses Island Cone after a young relative of mine in Scotland.

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