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3-219 (Original)

Item metadata
Speaker:
addressee author,male,Stuart, John McDouall,47
ns1:discourse_type
Narrative Discourse
Word Count :
8248
Plaint Text :
ns1:register
Private Written
ns1:texttype
Diaries
ns1:localityName
http://dbpedia.org/resource/South_Australia
Created:
1862
Identifier
3-219
Source
Fitzpatrick, 1958
pages
381-401
Document metadata
Extent:
44921
Identifier
3-219.txt
Title
3-219#Original
Type
Original

3-219.txt — 43 KB

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<source><g=m><o=b><age=47><status=3><abode=24><p=sau><r=prw><tt=di><3-219>
WEDNESDAY, 16th April, Frew's Water Hole, Sturt Plains. - Started at 7.45 a.m., on a course of 302°, keeping along the edge of the open plain. I have made many twistings and turnings, but my general course is north-west for ten miles. Seeing a small rise on the open plain, a little to the north of west, I changed to 2750; and at two miles came on some fine ponds of water about one mile and a half long, twenty feet broad, and three feet and a half deep. I examined them on both sides, to see if they would do for a permanent camp for the party as it is a point nearer; and I think I may depend on the water lasting two months without any more rain. [382] I shall camp here to-night, and try another day tomorrow to the westward, and endeavour to make the Victoria, for I can see but little chance of making the Adelaide. By my journal of the 14th, everything is quite dry and parched up; no rain seems to have fallen there for a long time. The last two days have been excessively hot. The further to the west, the hotter I find it. The natives seem to be numerous, for their smoke in the scrub is to be seen in every direction. I name these ponds after John Howell, Esq., of Adelaide [...]
Thursday, 15th May, Depot, Howell Ponds. - Started with the party across the plain to Frew's Water Hole, course 15° east of north; found the plain burnt for ten miles. The fire has been so great that it has burned every blade of grass, and scorched all the trees to their very tops. [...]
Friday, 16th May, Frew's Water Hole. - Started at fourteen minutes past eight o'clock a.m., course 345°, for King's Chain of Ponds. Arrived at about half-past three o'clock p.m. In coming through one of the horses separated from the rest and bolted off into the dense forest, tearing everything down before him. We got him in again, but with a broken saddle, and the top off one of the bags, which we afterwards recovered. Arrived at the ponds without any further accident. Wind, north-east. Very hot, and a few clouds. Lat., 16° 38' 53''
Tuesday, 20th May, King's Chain of Ponds. - Leaving Mr. Kekwick in charge of the party, I started with Thring, King, and Auld, at half-past nine a.m., on a northern course.
Friday, 23rd May, McGorrey Ponds. [...] There is still the appearance of a small creek, which I shall follow until it runs out or trends too much to the east. Started at half-past eight o'clock a.m., course 20° east of north, following the small creek about two miles; it seems to be getting larger, with occasionally a little water in it. We. have also seen, on both sides of us, ponds with water surrounded by gum-trees; these ponds, when full, must retain water for a long time. We have also seen a new tree growing on the banks of the creek, with a large straight barrel, dark smooth bark, with bunches of bright yellow flowers and palmated leaves. [383] At a mile and a half further the creek is improving wonderfully. We have now passed some fine holes of water, which will last at least three months; at five miles the water is becoming more plentiful and the creek broader and deeper, but twisting and turning about very much, sometimes running east and then turning to the west and all other points of the compass. Having seen what I consider to be permanent water, I shall now run a straight course, 200 east of north, and strike it occasionally to see if the water continues. I have named these 'Daly Waters,' in honour of his Excellency the Governor-in-Chief. Within a hundred yards the banks are thickly wooded with tall mulga and lancewood scrub; but to the east is open gum forest, splendidly grassed. Proceeded, occasionally, touching the creek, and always found fine reaches of water, which continued a considerable way. At thirteen miles they become smaller and wider apart; at fifteen miles the creek seems to be trending more to the eastward, its bed is now conglomerate ironstone, and, as this appears to be about the last water, I shall give the horses a drink and follow it as far as it goes. In a short distance it has become quite dry, with a deep broad course upwards of twenty yards wide. At seventeen miles it separated into two channels, and at a quarter of a mile the two channels emptied themselves into a large boggy swamp, with no surface water. I examined the swamp, but could see no outlet. The country round about is thickly timbered with gum and other trees. Returned to the last water and camped. I shall return to the Depot and bring the party up here. Wind, south-east; a few clouds at sunset.
Sunday, 25th May, Auld's Chain of Ponds. - Proceeded to the Depot, where I arrived in the afternoon and found all well. No natives have been near them, although some of their smoke has been seen at a short distance from the Depot. Yesterday we hoisted the Union Jack in honour of her Most Gracious Majesty's birthday, that being the only thing we had to commemorate this happy event, with our best wishes for her long and happy reign [...]
Saturday, 31st May, Daly Waters. - As there are no appearances of rain, the weather very hot, and I have a good deal of work in plans, &c. to bring up, I shall remain here until Monday. [384] I feel this heavy work much more than I did the journey of last year; so much of it is beginning to tell upon me. I feel my capability of endurance beginning to give way [...] There are a number of small fish in this water, from three to five inches long, something resembling a perch; the party are catching them with hooks; they are a great relish to us, who have lived so long upon dry meat.
Monday, 2nd June, Daly Waters. - Leaving the party in charge of Mr. Kekwick, I started at twenty minutes past seven (course north), with Thring, Auld, and Frew. Camped at 4.20. The whole day's journey has been through a splendid grass country, and open forest of gum-trees and other shrubs, some of them new to us. Here again we have also met with the bean-tree, the blossoms of a bright crimson, and at this season they seem to shed their leaves. The country passed over consisted mostly of undulations of ironstone and gravel, with a brown-coloured rock occasionally, between which were broad valleys of a light-coloured soil, all cracked and having many deep holes, which, being hidden with the long grass, causes the horses to tumble into them, and made it very fatiguing both to them and us. I have been constantly in the hope all day of coming upon some water, but have been disappointed. After rain this country can be passed over with the greatest facility, for we have passed holes that will hold water for a long time. The dip of this country is now to the eastward. To-day I think I have been running along where the dip commences from the table land. It was my intention to have tried a journey to the north west; but, from what I have seen of the country to-day, and on my other journeys to the north, as well as Mr. Gregory's description of it on the other side, I am led to believe that it would be hopeless to expect to find water there. To try it will only be losing time, and reducing the strength of my horses. I must now try on a north-east course towards they Gulf of Carpentaria. I do not wish to go east if I can help it; but I must go where the water leads me [...]
Wednesday, 4th June, Daly Waters. - Preparing for a start to-morrow to the north-east. [...] [385]
Thursday, 5th June, Daly Waters. - Started at a quarter to eight with Thring and Auld, taking all the water-bags full, also King and Billiatt to take back the horses that carry the water. I have chosen King for this purpose, as being the next best bushman to Thring, and one in whom I can place the greatest dependence to execute any charge I may give him with care and faithfulness. At four o'clock arrived at the blue-grass swamp. Changed my course to 70° east of north, following down the middle of it, which contains a great number of large deep holes in which water has been, but are now quite dry. Followed it until it spread itself over the plain, causing a great number of deep cracks and holes completely covered with grass, gums, and other trees, too thick to get an easy passage through. At sundown camped on the plain without water.
Friday, 6th June, Plain East of Blue Swamp. - Sent King and Billiatt back with the horses, while I proceeded with the other two on a course 70° east of north. At a mile and a half came suddenly upon a scrubby ironstone rise about twenty, feet high. After passing over a rotten plain, full of holes and covered with grass and stunted gum-trees, proceeded to the top, from which ,we had a good view of the surrounding country - to all appearance one of the blackest and most dismal views a man ever beheld; even the splendid grass country I had been coming through has the same appearance. The cause of it is the trees being so thick, and some of them of a very dark colour, that nothing but their tops can be seen, which gives it the appearance of being a dense scrub [...]
After a long search found that the flow of the water was to the west of north; traced it a short distance to the southeast and found a small shallow pool of water and gave our horses a drink; and wishing to take advantage of anything that may take me to the north-west, I turned and traced it down; passed three ponds with some water in them, and at three miles came upon a fine large one two and a half feet deep; followed it still on, but was disappointed on finding it terminate in a dry swamp, all cracked and full of holes; circled round it to see if the creek took up again, but could see no appearance of any. As this last pond will do for the party, I will return and bring them up, for there is a slight appearance of rain, and I wish to get them on as far as possible before the winter rain comes on. [386]
Tuesday, 20th June, Daly Waters. [...] Started at half past eight a.m., following my former tracks [...]
Friday, 13th June, Purdie Ponds. - Leaving Mr. Kekwick in charge of the party, started at fifteen minutes past eight with Thring and Auld, also with King and Billiatt, who were to bring back the horses carrying the water-bags. Proceeded on a north course, and at seven miles crossed what seemed to be a water-shed, seemingly running to the west of north. Halted the party, and sent Thring a short distance to see if the flow was in that direction. In a quarter of an hour he returned and informed me that it was, but only very slightly so. Changed to north-north-west to follow it. It gradually assumed the appearance of a small creek. At two miles came upon three small pools of water. I now resolve to follow it down and see where it goes to. I should think there must be more water further on. Its course is west of north. Continued to follow it down, winding and twisting about very much to almost every point of the compass. At seven miles from the pools found a little more water, but not a drop between. Allowed the horses to drink what there was, and proceeded down it. I sent Thring to follow it on one side, while I and the rest of the party kept on the other. By this we were enabled to cut off the bends and see all the creeks, so that no water could escape us. Twice it became very small, and I was afraid we were going to lose it altogether, but it commenced again and became a fine creek. Not a drop of water. At a quarter to five camped without it. Stony rises are now commencing, which are covered with gum and other trees, also a low scrub. They are very rough and running nearly west and south. The one on the west is a continuation of the one I crossed in coming to Purdie Ponds. The general flow of the creek is north. Some of the new trees are growing very large on its banks. The cabbage-tree is growing here also. This is the first time I have met with it, sometimes growing to the height of fifteen feet. All along the banks of the creek, and apparently for some distance back, is covered with an abundance of grass, but all dried up. In some places both horse and rider were completely hidden by it. [387] Wind, southeast - few clouds. Latitude, 15° 30' 27'.
Saturday, 14th June, River Strangways. - Named after the Hon. H. B. Strangways, Commissioner of Crown Lands, South Australia, and who, since his taking office, has done all in his power to promote exploration of the interior. - Sent King and Billiatt back with the horses to the camp at Purdie Ponds, whilst I proceed with the further examination of the creek. I find it now running to the east of north, and the stony rises are closing upon it at two miles and a half. They begin to assume the shape of hills, which causes the travelling to be rather rough. At three miles and a half the hills run close to the creek, and are precipitous; the bed is very rough and stony - so much so that I could not take the horses down it. Ascended a hill near the creek to see what it and the country ahead was like; the hills being so rough that I could not get the horses close enough to see if there was any water, dismounted and scrambled to the top of the precipices; was delighted to see below me a large hole of water; Sent the horses across a gully to another hill still higher, while I descended into the creek; found the bed very rough, having large masses of sandstone and ironstone, which rendered it impassable for the horses. Found the water to be deep and beautifully clear, proceeded down.: a little further, and saw another large one.. I shall return and send the party on to this permanent water, and try to find an easy road over the ranges for them [...] 
Thursday, 19th June, Gorge, River Strangways. - Leaving Mr. Kekwick in charge of the party, started with Thring, Auld, and King, to look for water. No rain seems to have fallen here for a long time back; the grass is quite dry and withered. At 8.15 proceeded down the river, and to avoid the hills, I went about a mile to the west, and found a very passable road; for about two miles we had sandy soil and spinifex mixed with grass, also a few stony rises of lime and sandstone. The country after that again became excellently grassed, the soil light and a little sandy. No water in the bed, which appears to have a very rapid fall; its general course is about north-north-east. At twelve miles, seeing a stony hill of considerable elevation, I left the bed, and went towards it. [388]
At the base of it was a deep creek; I was pleased to see a fine supply of water in it. I immediately sent Thring back to guide the party up here to-morrow, whilst I with the two others proceeded with the examination of the river further down. After following it for about ten miles through a beautifully grassed country, passing occasionally sandstone rises, with apparently scrub on their tops, camped at the base of one of them.
Friday, 20th June, First Camp North of Gorge. - Returned to the other water, and at noon met the party and brought them on to this water. We have passed a few stringybark trees. In the bed of the river there is growing some very large and tall timber, having a dark-coloured bark, the leaf jointed the same as the shea-oak, but has not the acid taste: the horses eat it. There are also some very fine melaleucatrees, which here seem to displace the gums in the river. We have also passed some more new trees and shrubs. Frew, in looking about the banks, found a large creeper with a yellow blossom, and having a large bean pod growing on it. I shall endeavour to get some of the seed as we go on to-morrow. I shall now move on with the whole party, and I trust to find water in the river as long as I follow it; its banks are getting much deeper and broader, and likely to retain water; it is dreadfully slow work to keep searching for water; [...]
Sunday, 22nd June, Rock Camp, River Strangways. - A few heavy clouds about. We are now in the country discovered by Mr. Gregory. There is a great deal of very good timber in the valley, which is getting larger and improving as we advance. It is still very thick - so much so, that the hills cannot be seen until quite close to them. Wind variable. Latitude, 15° 10' 30''. 
Monday, 23rd June, Rock Camp, River Strangways. - This morning the sky is overcast with light clouds coming, from the south-east. Started at eight o'clock, still following the river, which winds about very much; its general course 10° east of north.' At nine miles the channel became much smaller, and shortly afterwards separated into numerous small ones, and was apparently lost to me. I continued a north course, and at twelve miles struck a creek coming from the south-east; at two miles from this creek found another large one coming from the south-west, with shea-oak in it, which makes me suppose it is the River Strangways, and that it formed again and joined this one. [...] [389]
Wednesday, 25th June, River Strangways. Started at nine o'clock; course about 70° east of north, following the channel. I expect, in two or three miles, to meet with the Roper. At three miles struck a large sheet of deep clear water, on which were a number of natives, with their lubras and children; they set up a fearful yelling and squalling, and ran off as fast as they could. Rounded the large sheet of water and proceeded along it. At a mile three men were' seen following; halted the party, and went up to them. One was a very old man, one middle-aged, the third a young, stout, well-made fellow; they seemed to be friendly. Tried to make them understand by signs that I wished to get across the river; they made signs, by pointing down the river, by placing both hands together, having the fingers closed, which led me to think I could get across further down. They made signs for us to be off, and that they were going back again. I complied with their request, and after bidding each other a friendly good-bye, we followed down the banks of the river, which I now find is the Roper. At seven miles tried to across it, but found it to be impossible; it is now divided into a number of channels, very deep and full of running water. Proceeded further, and tried it at several places, but with the same result. At twelve miles, camped close to a steep rocky hill on the north side of the river. Searched all round for a crossing, but was unable to find one. To the eastward the country is all on fire. The banks of the river are thickly lined with cabbage-trees, also the cane, bamboa, and other shrubs. Two small turtle-shells were picked up by the party at the native camp. The country is still of the same fine description. We are now north of Mr. Gregory's tracks. Latitude 14° 5'.
Thursday, 26th June, Roper River. --- As I cannot find a crossing, I shall have to return to my last camp and try to cross there. Arrived and camped. Day again oppressively hot. Almost immediately on leaving our camp this morning I observed native tracks on ours close to it. They must have followed us up last night, although we saw nothing of them. [390] They are not to be trusted: they will pretend the greatest friendship one moment and spear you the next. They have been following us to-day, but keeping on the other side of the river and setting fire to the grass as they go along. I wish it would rain and cause the grass to become green, so as to stop them burning, as well as to give me some fresh food for the horses, for they now begin to show the want of it very much; it is so dried up that there is little nourishment in it. Some of them are beginning to look very poor and are much troubled with worms. My journeys have been very short last week, in consequence of my being so weak from the effects of scurvy and a severe attack of dysentery, for I have scarcely been able to endure the motion of horseback for four hours at a time; but having lately obtained some native cucumbers, I find they are doing me a deal of good, and hope by next week to be all right again [...]
Friday, 27th June, West Roper River. - Started on a course of 320°, crossing the river, and at three miles and half again struck the Roper, running. Followed it up, coming nearly from the west, but winding about very much, arid having many branches, which makes it very difficult for me to. get the turns correctly. It is a splendid river. We have passed many brooks and deep reaches of water some miles in length, and the country could not be better: it is really magnificent. [...] 
Saturday, 28th June, Roper River.. [...] The water of this river is most excellent; the soil is also of the first description; and the grass, although dry, most abundant, from two to five feet high. This is certainly the finest country I have seen in Australia. We passed three rocky hills yesterday, not high, but having grass up to their tops, round which the river winds at their base, forming large and long reaches of water. On the grassy plains it forms into different channels, and is thickly timbered with shea-oak, gum, cabbage-trees, arid other trees and shrubs. [...] 
Monday, 30th June, Roper River. - Started at 8.10, course west, following up the river, which winds about very much from north-west to south, and at last to south-east. When coming close to where the grass was on fire, finding a good ford, I crossed the party to the north-east side. [391] At fifteen miles came upon a large reedy swamp through which the river seemed to flow, and again at twenty miles came upon the river running into the swamp, and coming from the north-north-west. Although travelling twenty miles we have not made more than ten miles in a straight line; the general course is west. The country is of the same excellent description.. The river is still running very rapidly, and as this 131 a different branch from those previously discovered, I have named it the 'River Chambers', after my late lamented friend, James Chambers, Esq., whose zeal in the cause of Australian exploration is already well known. [...]
Thursday, 3rd July, River Chambers. - Started at 8.10 o'clock, north-west course. At one mile and a half again struck the river coming from the west-north-west; left it and followed its north-west course: and at another mile again came: upon it with plenty of water. Saw four natives, who ran off the moment they saw us. Followed the river, the hill coming quite close to it, very steep and rocky, composed of a hard sandstone, and occasionally a little ironstone. At nine miles again left the river, finding it was coming too much from the eastward; crossed the saddle of the two spurs again; came upon a creek, which I think is the river; ran it up to the west for about a mile, but no appearance of water; left it, and ascended a very rough rugged bill. In the creek we have just left there is a deal of limestone. Crossed three more small spurs and small creeks, but not a drop of water. It being now afternoon, and wishing to see from what direction the river is coming, I changed to north-east, but found that I was still among the rough hills; I then went east for a short distance, and made the river, now quite dry, and having a sandy bed. Followed it up, but saw there was no hope of water; turned, and traced it down to try and find water. After following it for three miles, came upon a fine permanent hole of water, a short distance from where we left in the former part of the day. If it would only rain and put some water in the deep dry holes that are in the other creeks crossed to-day, I should then be enabled to steer a straight line for the Adelaide. It is very tedious and tiresome having to look for water every day. We have now reached to the top of one of the tributaries of the Chambers. This is apparently the last water. [392] [...] 
Saturday, 5th July, Gorge on another West Branch of the. River Chambers. - Started 8.15; course, 50 west of north After travelling two miles over stony rises we ascended a low table land with coarse grass and a little spinifex; at six miles came up to a high stony tenthill, which I ascended and named 'Mount Shillinglaw.' All round are stony hills and grassy valleys - dip of the country seemingly to the south! There is apparently a continuous range in the distance to the north-west, the Chambers range. Changed my course 325°, and at four miles struck another large branch coming from the north-east, and running apparently south - plenty. of water in it. This I named the 'Waterhouse', in honour of Mr. H. W. Waterhouse, naturalist to the expedition. Some. of the horses are become so lame on account of the stone they will not be able to travel another day. I have camped early to have them shod, for on Monday I intend taking a north-west course to strike the source of the Adelaide. The country on the last course is again of the very best description and well grassed. The hills are stony, but abound with grass; they are composed of sandstone, ironstone, and occasionally a little limestone; the trees are the same as those on the Roper. [...]
Monday, 7th July, Waterhouse River. - Started at 7.55 course, north-west. At four miles the creek was coming from the west, north-east, and east; I therefore left it, crossed two low stony rises, and again struck another creek coming from the north-east, with plenty of water; followed it for a short distance to the west, found it so boggy and the body of water so large that I could not get the party round the stony hills. Returned about half a mile, and crossed the stony rise, and again struck it. At eight miles came upon a number of springs coming from the stony rises. Ascended one of the rises, which are not high, and found myself on sandy table land, which continued for six miles, having coarse grass and spinifex growing on it. Towards the last two miles it again became well grassed. The timber is stringy bark, some splendid trees; amongst them gums and a number of pines, also very fine. The cabbage palm still growing in the creeks in great numbers, some of them very tall, with several branches on the top. [393] The first eight miles was again over a splendid country, and the last three of the same description. A stony hill being in my course, I proceeded to the top of it, from. which I had a good view of the country before us. This hill I named after Lieutenant Helpman. At 10° south of west are two remarkable isolated table hills, Mount Levi and Mount Watts, beyond which is the Chambers range to the north-west; my view in other directions is obstructed by other hills, but to the west about one mile and a half is seemingly a creek, to which I shall go, and if there is water I shall camp. Proceeded and found it a fine creek with plenty of water; followed it about one mile to the north-west, when it became dry. [...] Tuesday, 8th July, Water Creek in Stony Rises. - Started at. 7.40 a.m., course north-west; followed the creek a- little way, but found it was running too much to the west of my course; left it and proceeded to the north-west,: crossing some stony rises, now composed of granite and ironstone, with occasionally some hard sandstone. Crossing three small creeks running to the west, at six miles came, upon a large one with broad and long sheets of permanent water coming from the north-north-east, and apparently running to the south-west. This I have named the Fanny, in honour of Miss Fanny Chambers, eldest daughter Of John Chambers, Esq. In a small tree on this creek the skull of a very. young alligator was found by Mr. Auld. The trees in this creek are melaleuca and gum, with some others. Proceeded across the creek, still going north-west; ascended two stony rises, and got upon low table land with spinifex and grass, passing two stony hills, one on each side of my course. At eighteen miles struck the head of a small creek flowing nearly on my course; followed it down in search of water, now through a basaltic country. At two miles came upon another large creek, having a running stream to the south of west, and coming from the north of east. Timber, melaleuca, palm, and gum, with some of other descriptions. This I have named the Katherine, in honour of the second daughter of James Chambers, Esq. The country gone over to-day, although there is a mile or two of light sandy soil, is good for pasturage purposes; in the valley it is of the finest description. [...] [394]
Wednesday, 9th July, The Katherine. - Started at five minutes to eight o'clock, crossing the Katherine, and proceeded on a north-west course over a basaltic country splendidly grassed. [...] 
Thursday, 10th July, Kekwick's Large Group of Springs. Started at eight o'clock; crossed the springs without getting, any of the horses bogged. Proceeded on a north-west course, but at a mile and a half again came upon springs and running water; the ground too boggy to cross it. Changed to north; at three miles and a half on the course changed to northwest. Ascended some very rough stony hills, and got on the top of sandy table land thick with splendid stringy-bark, pines, and other trees and shrubs, amongst which, for the first time, we have seen the fan palm, some of them growing upwards of fifteen feet high; the bark on the stem is marked similar to a pineapple's; the leaf very much resembles a lady's fan set on a long handle, and, a short time after it is cut, closes in the same manner. At half-past one crossed the table land - breadth thirteen miles. The view was beautiful Standing on the edge of a precipice, we could see underneath, lower down, a deep creek thickly wooded running on our course; then the picturesque precipitous gorge in the table land; then the gorge in the distance; to the north-west were ranges of hills. The grass on the table land is coarse mixed with a little spinifex; about half of it had been burnt by the natives some time ago. We had to search for a place to descend, and had great difficulty in doing so, but at last accomplished it without accident. The valley near the creek, which is a running stream, is very thickly wooded with tall. stringy-bark, gums, and other kinds of palm-trees, which are very beautiful, the stem growing upwards of fifty feet, the leaves from eight to ten feet in length, with a number of long smaller ones growing from each side, resembling an immense feather; a great number of these shooting out from the top of the high stems, and falling gracefully over, has a very pretty, light, and elegant appearance. Followed the creek for about two miles down this gorge, and camped on an open piece of ground. The top course of the table land is a layer of magnetic ironstone, which attracted my compass upwards of 20°; underneath is a layer of red sandstone, and below that is an immense mass of white sandstone, which is very soft, and crumbling away with the action of the atmosphere. [395] In the valley is growing an immense crop of grass, upwards of four feet high; the cabbage palm is still in the' creek.' We have seen a number of new shrubs and flowers. The course of the table land is north-north-west and south-south-east. The cliffs, from the camp in the valley, seem to be from two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet high. Beyond all doubt we are now on the Adelaide river [...]
Monday, 14th July, The Mary, Adelaide River. [...] As I have now got all the horses shod on the front feet, I shall proceed on a north-west course through the stony rises, which are still quartz and slate, splendidly grassed, with gums and other trees and bushes not too thick to get through with ease.
Wednesday, 16th July, The Mary, Adelaide River. - Started at 7.40, course north. The river runs off again to the north-west, and I have passed over an undulating country, all burnt, but the soil of the richest description. [...]
Thursday, 17th July, Tide Creek, Adelaide, River. - Started at eight o'clock, course north-west; passed over some stony hills, small creeks, and valleys well grassed. At three miles again met with the branch of the river, with bamboos and trees of the same description as before, a running stream, but not so rapid. At five miles, observing an open plain among the trees, and the river trending more to the westward, I changed my course to it, 15° west of north; found it to be open plain, of rich alluvial soil in places; at times it seemed to be subject to inundation, I suppose. the drainage from the range to the eastward, which is distant about four miles. I am pleased it has been burnt, but where it has not the grass is most abundant; where the water seems to remain it is rather coarse. The plains are studded with lines of green gum-trees, and the cabbage palms are numerous, which give them a very pretty park-like appearance. They continued for ten miles, when we made a small stony hill; we met with a large creek, with large holes; of water in it, and supposing I had got upon the plain that ran to the sea-coast, and seeing those I had passed over so dry, camped and having sent Thring to a rise to see where the river is, he returned, but can see nothing of it, but report high hills to the north-west. [396] [...]
Friday, 18th July, Priscilla Creek. - Started at 8.15 course north-west. Proceeded over two other stony rises and valleys of the same description, and came upon extensive plains, well grassed, and of beautiful alluvial soil; crossing them towards the bluff point at fifteen miles came upon the Adelaide between me and the bluff, which is about a mile further on; the river is about eighty yards wide, and so still that I could not see which way the current was. I suppose its being high tide was the cause of this. The banks thickly lined with bamboo, very tall and stout, very steep and twelve feet down to the water's edge; the water appeared to be of great depth, and entirely free from snags or failed timber. The range on the opposite side of the river, for which I was directing my course, being the highest I have seen this new country, I have named it after His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief of South Australia, 'Daly Range,' and its highest peak to the north 'Mount Daly.' Before reaching the river, at thirteen miles, we passed a high conspicuous tent hill, at right angle, north-east to our line; this I have named 'Mount Goyder', after the Surveyor-General of 'South' Australia. Followed the river on a north course for about a mile, when I was stopped by a deep side creek of thick bamboo, with water; turned to the east, rounded the bamboo, but found myself in a boggy marsh, which I could not cross. This marsh is covered with fine grass, in black alluvial soil, in which is growing a new kind of lily, with large broad heart-shaped leaf a foot or more across; the blossoms are six inches high, resemble a tulip in shaped, and are of a deep brilliant rose colour; the seeds are contained in a vessel resembling the rose of a watering-pot, with the end of each egg-shaped seed showing from the holes, and the colour of this is a bright yellow. The marsh is studded with a great number of melaleuca-trees, tall and straight.
Saturday, 19th July, Lily Marsh, Adelaide River. The country gone over to-day, though not all of the very best description, has plains in it of the very finest kind even the sandy table-land bears an abundant crop of grass. The trees are so thick that I can get no view of the surrounding country; the tall beautiful palm grows in this creek. [397] Native smoke about, but we have not seen any natives. There are large masses of volcanic rock on the sides of this creek. At about a mile to the eastward is a large body of springs that supply water to this creek, which I have named Anna Creek. Camped at ten minutes to three o'clock. Wind variable Latitude, 12° 29' 7''.
Sunday, 20th July, Anna Creek. - The mosquitoes at this camp have been most annoying; scarcely one of us has been able to close his eyes in sleep during the whole night: I have ever found them so bad anywhere - night and day they are at us. The grass in, and on the banks of this creek is six feet high; to the westward there are long reaches of water, and the creek very thickly timbered with melaleuca, gum, stringy-bark, and palms. Wind, south east.
Monday, 21st July, Anna Creek and Springs. - Again passed a miserable night with the mosquitoes. Started at eight o'clock; course, north-north-west. [...] 
Tuesday, 22nd July, Fresh-water Marsh. - As the marsh seems to run so much to the east, and not knowing how much farther I shall have to go to get across the numerous creeks that appear to come into it, I shall remain here to-day and endeavour to find a road through it to the river, and follow up the banks if I can [...]
Wednesday, 23rd. July, Fresh-water Marsh. - Started at 7.40, course 22° east of south, one mile, to round the marsh; thence one mile south-east; thence east for six miles, when we struck a large creek, deep and long reaches; thence three quarters of a mile south before we could cross it This I have named 'Thring Creek,' in token of my approbation of his conduct throughout the journey; thence east, one mile and a half; thence north for nine miles, when I again struck the large marsh. Thring Creek has been running nearly parallel with the north course until it empties itself into the marsh. The country gone over to-day, after leaving the side of the marsh, as well as the banks of the creek, and also some small plains, is of the same rich description of soil covered with grass; the other parts are slightly elevated, the soil light with little sand on the surface of a brown colour; timber, mixture of stringy-bark and gums, with many others; also, a low thick scrub, which has lately been burnt in many places, the few patches that have escaped abounding in grass. [398]
I have come twelve miles to the eastward to try to round the marsh, but have not been able to do so [...]
Thursday, 24th July, Thring Creek, Entering the Marsh. Started at 7.40, course north. I have taken this course in order to make the sea-coast, which I suppose to be distant about eight miles and a half, as soon as possible; by this I hope to avoid the marsh. I shall travel along the beach to the north of the Adelaide. I did not inform any of the party except Thring and Auld, that I was so near to the sea, as I wished to give them a surprise on reaching it. Proceeded through a light soil, slightly elevated, with a little ironstone on the surface, the volcanic rock cropping out occasionally; also some flats of black alluvial soil. The timber much smaller and more like scrub, showing that we are nearing the sea. At eight miles and a half came upon a broad valley of black alluvial soil, covered with long grass; from this I can hear the wash of the sea. On the other side of the valley, which is rather more than a quarter of a mile wide, is growing a line of thick heavy bushes, very dense, showing that to be the boundary of the beach. Crossed the valley and entered the scrub, which was a complete network of vines. Stopped the horses to clear a way, whilst I advanced a few yards on to the beach, and was gratified and delighted to behold the water of the Indian Ocean in Van Diemen Gulf before the party with the horses knew anything of its proximity. Thring, who rode in advance of me, called out 'The Sea!' which so took them all by surprise, and they were so astonished, that he had to repeat the call before they fully understood what was meant. Then they immediately gave three long and hearty cheers. The beach is covered with a soft blue mud. It being ebb tide, I could see some distance found it would be impossible for me to take the horses along it; I therefore kept them where I had halted them, and allowed half the party to come on to the beach and gratify themselves by a sight of the sea, while the other half remained to watch the horses until their return. I dipped my feet, and washed my face and hands in the sea, as I promised the late Governor Sir Richard McDonnell I would do if I reached it. [399] 
The mud has nearly covered all the shells; we got a few, however. I could see no sea-weed. There is a point of land some distance off, bearing 70°. After all the party had had some time on the beach, at which they were much pleased and gratified, they collected a few shells; I returned to the valley, where I had my initials (J. M. D. S.) cut on a large tree, as I did not intend to put up my flag until I arrived at the mouth of the Adelaide. Proceeded, on a course of 302°, along the valley; at one mile and a half, coming upon a small creek, with running water, and the valley being covered with beautiful green grass, I have camped to give the horses the benefit of it. Thus have I, through the instrumentality of Divine Providence, been led to accomplish the great object of the expedition, and take the whole party safely as witnesses to the fact, and through one of the finest countries man could wish to behold - good to the coast, and with a stream of running water within half a mile of the sea. From Newcastle Water to the sea-beach, the main body of the horses have been only one night without water, and then got it within the next day. If this country is settled, it will be one of the finest Colonies under the Crown, suitable for the growth of any and everything - what a splendid country for producing cotton! [...]
Friday, 25th July, Charles Creek, Van Diemen Gulf. - I have sent Thring to the south-west to see if he can get round the marsh. If it is firm ground I shall endeavour to make the mouth of the river by that way. After a long search he has returned and informs me that it is impracticable, being too boggy for the horses. As the great object of the expedition is now attained, and the mouth of the river already well known, I do not think it advisable to waste the strength of my horses in forcing them through, neither do I see what object I should gain by doing so; they have still a very long and fatiguing journey in recrossing the continent to Adelaide, and my health is so bad that I am unable to bear a long day's ride. I shall, therefore, cross this creek and see if I can get along by the sea-beach or close to it. Started and had great difficulty in getting the horses over, although we cut a large quantity of grass, putting it on the banks and on logs of wood which were put into it. We had a number bogged, and I was nearly losing one of my best horses, and was obliged to have him pulled out with ropes; after the loss of some time we succeeded in getting them all over safely. [400] Proceeded on a west-north-west course over a firm ground of black alluvial soil. At two miles came upon an open part of the beach went on to it, and again found the mud quite impassable for horses; in the last mile we have had some rather soft ground Stopped the party, as this travelling is too much for the horses, and, taking Thring with me, rode two miles to see the ground was any firmer in places; found it very soft when the salt water had covered it, in others not so bad. Judging from the number of shells banked up in different places, the sea must occasionally come over this. I saw at once that this would not do for the weak state in which my horses were, and I therefore returned to where I had left the party, resolving to recross the continent to the City of Adelaide. I now had an open place cleared, and selecting one of the tallest trees stripped it of its lower branches, and on its highest brand fixed my flag, the Union Jack, with my name sewn in the centre of it. When this was completed, the party gave three cheers, and Mr. Kekwick then addressed me, congratulating me on' having completed this great and important undertaking, to which I replied. Mr. Waterhouse also spoke a few words on the same subject, and concluded with three cheers for the Queen and three for the Prince of Wales. At one foot south from the foot of the tree is buried; about eight inches below the ground, an air-tight tin case, in which is a paper with the following notice: 'South Australian Great Northern Exploring Expedition.'
The exploring party, under the command of John McDouall Stuart, arrived at this spot on the 25th day of July, 1862, having crossed the entire Continent of Australia from the Southern to the Indian Ocean, passing through the centre. They left the city of Adelaide on the 26th day of October,, 1861, and the most northern station of the Colony on 21st day of January, 1862. To commemorate this happy event, they have raised this flag bearing his name. All well. God save the Queen!
(Here follow the signatures of myself and party.)
As this bay has not been named, I have taken this opportunity of naming it 'Chambers Bay', in honour of Miss Chambers, who kindly presented me with the flag which I have planted this day, and I hope this may be the first sign of the dawn of approaching civilization. [401] Exactly this day nine months the party left North Adelaide. [...]
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http://ns.ausnc.org.au/corpora/cooee/source/3-219#Original