Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia, by Thomas Mitchell

Table of Contents



Chapter I.

Objects of the expedition. — Unexpected delay — by reference to Lord Stanley. — List of the Party. — Departure from Buree. — Sheep stations. — Scattered population. — Passage through Hervey's Range. — Encroachment of sheep on cattle runs. — A tea-totaller. — Meet an old acquaintance. — Sulphureous springs. — Currandong — Necessity for damming up the Bogan. Leave Bultje's country. — Ephemeral existence of Aborigines. — Line between the squatters and the wild natives. — Velocity of the Bogan. — Supply of young bullocks. — Richard Cunningham — Young cattle troublesome. — A night without water. — Distress from heat and thirst. — Excessive heat. — Reunion of the party. — Melancholy fate of the Bogan tribe. — Interesting plants discovered. — Encampment at Mudaà. — Carry water forward. — Arrive at Daròbal. — Nyingan. — Water at Canbelègo. — Discovery of a lagoon. — Encamp near Canbelègo. Explore the Bogan in search of water. — Long ride. — Quit the Bogan. — Party attacked with ophthalmia

Chapter II.

Move to the ponds of Cannonbà. — Set up our bivouac. — Hot wind. — Piper's intention to quit the party. — Piper sent to Bathurst. — Change of weather. — A day of rain. — Mr. Kennedy returns. — Salt made from the salt plant. — Reconnoitre Duck Creek. — Ophthalmia still troublesome. — Approach of a flood announced. — It arrives in clear moonlight. — (Frontispiece.) — Marshes of the Macquarie. — Difficulty of watering cattle. — (Plate 2. p. 61.) A new guide. — Cattle astray. — Yulliyally. — Docility of the Aborigines. — Water insufficient for cattle. — Want of water. — Small ponds destroyed by cattle. — At last find abundance. — Aboriginal preferable to modern names. — Cattle again astray — and delay the journey. — Junction of the Macquarie and Bàrwan. — The Darling as at present, and formerly. — Admirable distribution of water. The ford at Wyàbry. — The party crosses the Darling

Chapter III.

Plains and low hills. — The Caràwy ponds. — Delayed by weak cattle. — The Narran. — Arrived at — encamp by:— Narran swamp. — A bridge required. — During the delay of drays take a ride forward. — Rich pastures on the Narran. — New plants. — Arrival of drays. — Bridge laid down for their passage. — The party fords the Narran. — Advances but slowly. — Low hills examined. — Good grassy country. — Food of the natives. — Rising ground west of the river. — Ride up. — Abodes and food of natives. — Rich grass. — Parley with a native. — Gravelly ridges. — Two natives conduct us to the river. — Approach the assembled natives. — Interview with the tribes. — Cordial reception. — Cross the Balonne. — Reach the Culgòa. — Cross that river. — Route beyond. — The Upper Balonne. — Explore its course. — Numerals cut on trees. — A native scamp. — Fine country. — Splendid reaches of the river (Plate 3. page 119.) — Lagoons near it. — Lake Parachute. — Seek a position — for a depôt camp. — Ride to the north-west. — Character of the country. — Search for water. Uncommon birds. — Return to the camp. — New Acacia

Chapter IV.

Advance with a light party. — Fine river scenery. — Junction of rivers. — Trace one up, then cross to the other. — Mr. Kennedy instructed to explore it. — Fine country for grazing. — Turanimga lagoon. — Trace up a small tributary. — Mountains discovered. — Camp visited by three natives. — "Cogoon" the name of tributary. — Charms of the Australian climate. — Mount Minute. — Extreme cold. — Traces of high floods in the Cnogoa. — -Mount Inviting. — Mount Abundance. — Ascend that mountain. — Fitzroy Downs. — The Bottle Tree, or DELABECHEA. — Frosty Creek. — Travel due north over open downs. — Advantages of mountains. — Ascend one. — Mount Bingo. — Thenod Tagando tribe. — The party advances to the Amby — followed by the tribe. — How we got rid of them. — Enter the country through the pass. — Find one pond. — A large river discovered. — Position taken up on its banks. — There await Mr. Kennedy's arrival. — Explore to the north- west. — Ascend a hill and tree to take angles from. — Interior country visited. — View of the western interior. — Its character. — Determine to trace the river upwards. — Ascend Mount Kennedy. — Extensive prospect. — Native visit during my absence. — Arrival of Mr. Kennedy's party. — The Tagando tribe again. — Their visit to Mr. Kennedy. — Prepare to advance again with a light party. — Instructions left with Mr. Kennedy

Chapter V.

My departure. — A team of bullocks sent back for. — Good grassy country. — Ride north-west during rain. — Hostile natives menace our camp. — The party crosses Possession Creek. — A small river found. — Another ride to the north-west. — Banks of the little river. — Mount Owen seen. — Travel towards it. — Flank movement to the Maranòa for water. — None found in its bed. — View from Mount Owen. — Names of localities on the map. — Scarcity of water impedes our progress. — Water found in rocky gullies. — Excursion northward. — Mount Aquarius. — View from northern summit of Mount Owen. — Progress through a broken country. — Night without water. — Another route explored amongst the gullies. — Plants found near Mount Owen. — Route for the advance of the carts. — View of mountains — from Mount P. P. King. — View from western extremity of Table Land of Hope. — Mount Faraday. — Strange Hakea. — A running stream discovered. — Return towards the camp. — The party with the carts advances. — (Pyramids, Plate IV., page 222.) — Course of the new found river. — New plants. — A large lake receives the river. — (Plate V., John Martin's Range, page 225.) — The outlet dry. — Enter a scrub. — Return to the Salvator. — Discovery of the Claude. — Rich soil on the downs. — The party moves to the Claude. — Cross that river. Fossil wood. — Again shut up in a rocky country. — Slow progress in a gully. — Balmy Creek. — New plants. — Emerge from the ravines. — Tower Almond. — (Pl. 6. page 237.) — View from Mount Kilsyth. — View from Mount Mudge. — Two natives met. — Remarkable tree

Chapter VI.

Head of another river. — Water again scarce. — Abundance found. — Climate and country — under the Tropic Line. — Plants. — Peculiar character of the water-course. — One cause of open spaces in the woods. — New plants. — Causes of the outspread of channel. — Plains of wild indigo. — Large river channel from the south. — Cross. — Novelties beyond. — The river much increased. — Long journey through scrub. — New plants. — Journey along the river bank. — Character of this river. — Distant prospect. — No water. — Fatiguing journey through scrubs. Reach the river by moonlight. — Large lagoons. — New tributary — from the S. W. — Excursion to the N. W. — Night without water. — Interview with natives. — Camp visited by natives during my absence. — An affair at the camp. — The party crosses the river. — Conclusions. — The party returns. — Tilled ground of the natives. — The shepherd astray. — Singular phenomenon. — Extraordinary vegetable production. — Heavy rain comes on. — Probability of finding a river. — Singular meteor. — Intertropical temperature. — Effects of the rain. — Recross the Tropic. — Regain the higher land. — Remarkable tree. — (Hakea?) — Dip of the strata. — Character of the Belyando. — How to explore a river in brigalow. — A more direct way homewards. — Successful passage with carts and drays. — Open downs. — Fossil wood. — Recross the Claude. — Mantuan downs. — Natives of the Salvator. — Position taken up for a depôt camp. — Interesting plants. — (View on the Salvator, Pl. 8.)

Chapter VII.

Preparations and departure. — Mount Pluto. — Route amongst the three volcanic hills. — Interview with a female native. — Cross a range beyond. — The Nive and the Nivelle. — Burning of grass by the natives. — Water found, after a night of thirst. — Pastures green, and quiet waters at sunset. — Morning view from a rock. — A new river followed down-over extensive open downs. — Brigalow scrubs away from the river. — River much increased. — Security from natives — Thoughts in these solitudes. — The downs and the river. — An emu shot there. — A river joins from the east. — Structure of native's huts. — Two separate channels unite. — The river well filled. — Packhorse unserviceable. — Rare pigeon — numerous. — A wild tribe — surprised at a lagoon. — Recross the river — and return homewards. — The savage compared — with the civilized. — Hills in the S. W. — Short cut along the left bank of the river. — Name it the Victoria. — Privations in exploring. — Return to the Nive and Nivelle. — Gallant charge by a snake. — Sources of the Salvator. — View from Mount Pluto. — Arrival at the camp of the pyramids. — Rare and new plants collected there. — (View of Lindley's Range, Pl. 9.)

Chapter VIII.

Fossils and plants. — A new genus. — LINSCHOTENIA DISCOLOR. — Ascend Mount Faraday. — Valley of the Warregò. — Meet an old native. — Return to the camp over the gullies. — Encamp by the Maranòa. — The river found to be near our former track — with water in abundance. — Loss of a horse. — Cattle tracks. — Arrival at the camp of Mr. Kennedy. — Visits of the natives — during our absence. — (Pl. 7. ABORIGINAL DANCE, page 358). — Plants gathered at the depôt camp. — New plants. — Fossils at Mount Sowerby. — Ascent of Mount Kennedy. — The party leaves the depôt camp following the course of the Maranòa. — Discovery of a fine open country. — Numbered trees at camps. — The country on the Maranòa. — Singular habits of a fish. — Name of river obtained from good authority. — (Pl. 10. VIEW ON THE MARANÒA, page 372). — The Acacia varians. — Water scarce again. — Some at length discovered by a dog. — Country between the two routes. — Plants. — Arrive at the Balonne. — Return to St. George's Bridge

Chapter IX.

Despatches sent forward. — Acquisitions during the delay. — Mr. Kennedy's return and report. — The party crosses the Balonne. — Arrives at the Mooni. — A white woman. — Cattle stations. — Heavy rain. — The country impassable. — Camp removed to a hill. — Dam thrown up. — The waters subside. — The party proceeds. — Arrival at the Barwan. — A flood. — (Pl. 12. LAST USE OF THE BOATS, page 395). — Cross the Màal, also in boats. — Country between the rivers. — Mount Riddell recognised. — The Gwydir crossed. — Termination of the journey. — A stockman. — Night on the open plain. — The Nammoy. — First news

Chapter X.

Instructions to Mr. Kennedy for the survey of the river Victoria. — Of the Aborigines. — Simple conditions of human existence. — Grass, fire, kangaroos, and men. — Case of the aboriginal natives. — My native guides. — Experiment worth trying. — Of the Convicts. — Character of the men of the party. — Of convicts generally. — Of the Colony of New South Wales, — capabilities of soil and climate. — Progress of colonization, — Division and appropriation of the territory. — Capricornia and Austral-india


The Colonial Secretary to the Surveyor General of New South Wales. — Letter, dated 28th October, 1830
Systematical List of Plants


  1. The Indian Archipelago
  2. The Rivers Bogan and Macquarie
  3. The Rivers Narran, Culgoa, and Balonne to St. George's Bridge, shewing also the route thence homeward to Snodgrass Lagoon
  4. Advance to the Maranòa, and route returning to St. George's Bridge
  5. The country and the routes between the Maranòa and Mount Mudge, and those along the River Victoria
  6. The River Belyando
  7. Eastern Australia, with recent discoveries


  1. Flood coming down the Macquarie
  2. Portrait of Bultje
  3. Remnant of the Bogan tribe
  4. First use of the boats
  5. Separation of the Balonne into the Culgoa, Narran, etc.
  6. The River Balonne, 7th April
  7. The Bottle tree, DELABECHEA
  8. The black awaiting the white
  9. Tree without branches
  10. The Pyramids
  11. Martin's Range
  12. Tower Almond
  13. Missile club of natives of Central Australia
  14. Remarkable tree (HAKEA?)
  15. The River Salvator, 5th Sept.
  16. Lindley's Range
  17. Old native female
  18. Aboriginal dance
  19. View on the River Maranòa
  20. Acacia VARIANS
  21. St. George's Bridge
  22. Last use of the boats

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:57