Ernest Giles.

Australia twice traversed: the romance of exploration, being a narrative compiled from the journals of five exploring expeditions into and through Central South Australia, and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876 (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryErnest GilesAustralia twice traversed: the romance of exploration, being a narrative compiled from the journals of five exploring expeditions into and through Central South Australia, and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 25)
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AUSTRALIA
TWICE TRAVERSED:

Cfjc 'Romance of Exploration,

BEING

A NARRATIVE COMPILED FROM THE JOURNALS

OF

FIVE EXPLORING EXPEDITIONS

INTO AND THROUGH

Central South Australia^ and Western Australia^

From 1872 to 1876.



BY

ERNEST GILES,

Fellow, and Gold Medallist, of the Royal Geographical Society of London.



GO FORTH, MY BOOK. AND SHOW THE THINGS,
PILGRIMAGE UNTO THE PILGRIM BRINGS.



IN TWO VOLUMES.— VOL. 11.
IVI7'H MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.



LONDON:
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE & RIVINGTON,

LIMITED,

§t. Puitstait's fiousf,

Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, E.G.

1889.

[All rights reserved.]



LONDON :
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,

STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.






CONTENTS OF VOL. 11.



BOOK I I. — contiiuied.
CHAPTER IX.

FROM I2TH MARCH TO I9TH APRIL, 1874.

The Rebecca — The Petermann Range — Extraordinary place — The
Docker — Livingstone's Pass — A park — Wall-like hills — The
Ruined Rampart — Pink, green, and blue water — Park-like
scenery- — The Hull — A high cone — Sugar-loaf Peak — Pretty hills
and grassy^ valleys — Name several features — A wild Parthenius —
Surprise a ^ribe of natives — An attack— Mount Olga in view —
Overtaken by the enemy — -Appearance of Mount Olga — Breakfast
interrupted — Escape by flight ^ — ^The depot — Small circles of
stone— Springs — Mark a tree — Slaughter Terrible Billy — A smoke
signal — Trouble in collecting the horses — A friendly conference —
Leave Sladen Water — Fort McKellar — Revisit the Circus — The
west end of the range— Name two springs . . . 1-26

CHAPTER X.

FROM 20TH APRIL TO 2 1 ST MAY, 1 874.

Gibson and I depart for the west — His brother with Franklin — Desert
oaks — Smoked horse — Ants innumerable — Turn two horses back
— Kegs in a tree — No views — -Instinct of horses — Sight a distant
range — Gibson's horse dies — Give him the remaining one — The
last ever'^seen of him — Alone in the desert — Carry a keg — Un-
conscious — Where is the relief party — A dying wallaby — Footfalls
of a galloping horse — Reach the depot — Exhausted — Search for
the lost — Gibson's Desert — Another smoke-house — Jimmy
attacked at Fort McKellar — Another equine victim — Final retreat
decided upon — Marks of floods— Peculiarity of the climate —
Remarks on the region — Three natives \isit us . . -7-54



~t^vi'«^vl50



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XI.

FROM 2 1 ST MAY TO 20TH JULY, 1 874.

Depart for civilisation — The springs at the pass — Farewell to Sladen
Water — The Schwerin Mural Crescent — The return route —
Recross the boundary line — Natives and their smokes — A canine
telegram — New features — The Sugar-loaf — Mount Olga once
more — Ayers's Rock — Cold weather — A flat-topped hill — Abandon
a horse — A desert region — A strange feature — Lake Amadeus
again — A new smoke-house — Another smoked horse — The glue-
pot — An invention — Friendly natives — A fair and fertile tract —
The Finke — A white man — A sumptuous repast — Sale of horses
and gear — The Charlotte — The Peake— In the mail — Hear of
Dick's death — In Adelaide — Concluding remarks . 55-72



BOOK III.

CHAPTER I.

FROM I3TH MARCH TO 1ST APRIL, 1875.

Leave Fowler's Bay — Camels and horses — A great plain — A black
romance — An oasis — Youldeh — Old Jimmy — Cockata blacks —
In concealment — Flies, ants, and heat — A line of waters to the
east — Leave depot — The camels — Slow progress — Lose a horse
loaded with water — Tinkle of a bell — Chimpering — Heavy sand-
dunes — Astray in the wilds — Pylebung — -A native dam — Inhuman
mutilations — Mowling and Whitegin — The scrubs — -Wynbring —
A conspicuous mountain — A native family — March flies 75-105

CHAPTER II.

FROM 2ND APRIL TO 6tH MAY, 1 875.

Leave Wynbring — The horses — Mountains of sand — Mount Finke —
One horse succumbs — Torchlight tracking — Trouble with the
camels — A low mount — Dry salt lagoons— 200 miles yet from
water — Hope- — Death of Chester — The last horse — A steede, a
steede — Ships of the desert — Reflections at night — Death or
water— The Hermit Hill — Black shepherds and shepherdesses —
The Finniss Springs — Victims to the bush — Footprints on the
sands of time — Alec Ross — Reach Beltana. . . 106-127



CONTENTS.



BOOK IV.
CHAPTER I.

FROM 6th may to 27TH JULY, 1 87 5.

Fourth expedition — The members — Departure — Squabbles — Port
Augusta — Coogee Mahomet — Mr. Roberts and Tommy-^West-
ward ho I — The equipment — Dinner and a sheep — The country —
A cattle ranch — Stony plateau— The Elizabeth — Mr. Moseley — ■
Salt lakes— Coondambo— Curdling tea — An indented hill — A
black boy's argument — Pale-green-foliaged tree — A lost officer —
Camels poisoned — Mount Finke in the winter — Wynbring — A
new route — -A good Mussulman — Depart from Wynbring — New
places — Antediluvian cisterns — Still westwards — Lake Bring — ■
Rain and a bath — A line cut in the scrubs — High sandhills —
Return to Youldeh — Waking dreams — In depot — Fowler's Bay
once more — -The officers explore to the north — Jimmy and
Tommy — Jimmy's bereavement — -At the bay — Richard Dorey —
Return to Youldeh — Tommy's father — The officer's report —
Northwards — Remarks . . . . . . 131-160

CHAPTER II.

FROM 27TH JULY TO 6TH OCTOBER, 1875.

Ooldabinna depot — Tietkens and Young go north — I go west— A salt
expanse — Dense scrubs-7-Deposit two casks of water- — Silence
and solitude — Natiye footmarks — A hollow- — -Fine vegetation —
A native dam — Anxiety-^A great plain — A dry march— Return
to the depot — Rain — My officers' report — Depart for the west —
Method of travelling — Kill a camel — Reach the dam — ^Death or
victoiy — Leave the dam^ — -The hazard of the die — Five days of
scrubs — Enter a plain — ^A terrible journey — Saleh prays for a
rock-hole — A dry basin at 242 miles — Watering camels in the
desert- — Seventeen days without water — Saved — Tommy finds a
supply — The Great Victoria Desert — The Queen's Spring — ■
Farther still west ....... 161-208

CHAPTER III.

FROM 6th to i8th OCTOBER, 1875.

Depart for IVlount Churchman — Yellow-barked trees — Wallaby traps
— Sight a low^ hill — -Several salt lakes — Another hill — Camels
bogged — Natives' smoke — Bare rocks — Grass-trees — Clayey and
grassy ground — Dryness of the region — Another mass of bare
rocks — A pretty place — Crows and native foot-tracks — Tommy
finds a well— -Then , another — Alone on the rocks — ^Voices of the
angels — Women coming for water — First natives seen — Arrival of



viii CONTENTS.



the party — Camels very thirsty but soon watered — Two hundred
miles of desert — Natives come to the camp — Splendid herbage —
A romantic spot— More natives arrive— Native ornaments — A
mouthpiece — Cold night — -Thermometer 32°— Animals' tracks —
Natives arrive for breakfast — -Inspection of native encampment —
Old implements of white men in the camp- — A lame camel —
Ularring — A little girl — Dislikes a looking-glass — A quiet and
peaceful camp — A delightful oasis — Death and danger lurking
near — Scouts and spies — A furious attack — Personal foe — Dis-
persion of the enemy — A child's warning — Keep a watch — Silence
at night — Howls and screams in the morning — The Temple ot
Nature — Reflections — Natives seen no more . . 209-228

CHAPTER IV.

FROM i8TH OCTOBER TO i8TH NOVEMBER, 1875.

Depart from Ularring — Re-enter scrubs — Scrubs more dense — A
known point — Magnetic rocks — Lowans' eggs — Numbers of the
birds — Crows, hawks — Natives and water — Induce natives to
decarnp — Unusually vigorous growth of scrubs — Alec sights
Mount Churchman — Bronze-winged pigeons — Pigeon Rocks —
Depart- — Forcing a passage through the scrubs — Edge of a cliff —
Mount Churchman in view — Some natives arrive — A wandering
pet — Lake Moore — Rock-holes — Strike old dray tracks — An out-
lying sheep-station — The first white man seen — Dinner of mutton
— Exploring at an end — Civilisation once more — Tootra — All
sorts and conditions come to interview us — A monastery — A feu
de joie — The first telegraph station — Congratulatory messages —
Intimations of receptions — A tiiumphal march — Messrs. Chmes
Brothers — An address — Culham — White ladies — Newcastle — A
triumphal arch — A fine tonic — Tommy's speech — Unscientific
profanity — Guildford on the Swan — Arrival at Perth — Reception
by the Mayor — The city decorated — Arrival at the Town Hall —
A shower of garlands — A beautiful address — A public reception at
Fremantle — Return to Perth — And festivities — Remarks 229-248



BOOK V.

CHAPTER I.

FROM i8TH NOVEMBER, 1875, TO lOTH APRIL, 1S76.

Remarks on the last expedition — Departure of my two officers —
Expedition leaves Perth — Invited to York — Curiosity to see the
caravan — Saleh and Tommy's yarns — Tipperary — Northam —
Newcastle again — A pair of watch(ful) guards — St. Joseph's—
Messrs. Clunes — The Benedictine monastery — Amusing incident



CONTENTS.



— A new road — Berkshire Valley — Triumphal arch — Sandal-wood
— Sheep poison — Cornamah — A survey party — Irvvin House —
Dongarra — An address presented — A French gentleman —
Greenough Flats — Another address — Tommy's tricks — Champion
Bay — Palmer's camp — A bull-camel poisoned — The Bowes —
Yuin — A native desperado captured — His escape — Cheangwa —
Native girls and boys — Depart for the interior — Natives follow us
— Cooerminga— The Sandford — Moodilah — Barloweerie Peak —
Pia Spring — Mount Murchison — Good pastoral country — Fare-
well to the last white man . ..... 251-268

CHAPTER II.

FROM lOTH APRIL TO 7TH MAY, 1 876.

The natives continue with us — Natta water-hole — Myriads of flies —
Alec returns to Cheangwa — Bashful Tommy — Cowra man —
Native customs and rites — Red granite mounds — Loads carried
by women — Laura and Tommy — " Cowra " remains — Pretty
amphitheatre — Mount Hale Range — Flooded grassy flat — Clian-
thus or desert pea — Natives show us water — New acquaintances
— Tell-tale fat— Timber of the Murchison— A water-hole — Fine
vegetation — Mount Gould and Mount Hale — A new tribe of
natives — Melbourne — Pretty girls brought to the camp — A
picturesque place — Plague of flies — Angels' faces — Peterman —
Ascend Mount Gould — A high peak — Country beautifully green
— Natives less friendly — Leave Mount Gould — Saleh's ponds —
Mount Labouchere — Sandal-wood-trees — Native well in a thicket —
An Australian scene — The Valley of the Gascoyne — Beautiful
trees — A fire-brand — Stony pass — Native orange — A second
anniversary — Ascent of the peak — Severe country for camels'
feet — Grassy plain — The Lyon's river — Native fires — Another
anniversary — A new watercourse — A turkey bustard — An extra-
ordinary scene — Remarks upon the country . . 269-291

CHAPTER III.

FROM 7TH MAY TO lOTH JUNE, 1 876.

Depart for higher ground — Rain falls — Ophthalmia — Romantic glen —
Glen Ross — Camels on the down grade — Larger creek — The
Ashburton — No natives — Excellent bushes for camels — A strange
spot — Junction of several creeks — Large snake — Grand Junction
Depot — A northerly journey — Milk thistle — Confined glen — Pool
of water — Blind with ophthalmia — Leading the blind — Dome-like
masses — Mount Robinson and The Governor — Ophthalmia
Range — Rocky Spring — Native fig-trees — A glen full of water —
Camels nearly drowned — Scarcity of living things — And of water
— Continued plague of flies — A pretty view — Tributaries join —
VOL. II. b



CONTENTS.



Nicholls's Fish Ponds — Characteristics of watering places — Red
hill — Another spring — Unvarying scene — Frost, thermometer 28"^
— A bluff hill — -Gibson's Desert again — Remarks upon the Ash-
burton — The desert's edge — Barren and wretched region — Low
ridges and spinifex— Deep native well — Thermometer 18° — Salt
bush and acacia flats — A rocky cleft — Sandhills in sight — Enter
the desert — -The solitary caravan — Severe ridges of sand — Camels
poisoned in the night — In doubt, and resolved — Water by digging
— More camels attacked — A horrible and poisonous region —
Variable weather — Thick ice — A deadly Upas-tree . 292-313

CHAPTER IV.

FROM IITH JUNE TO 23RD AUGUST, 1876.

Farther into the, desert — Sandhills crowned with stones — Natives'
smokes and footprints seen — Weakened camels — Native well —
Ten days' waterless march — Buzoe's grave — A region of desola-
tion — Eagles — Birds round the well — -Natives hovering near —
Their different smokes — -Wallaby — Sad Solitude's triumphant
reign — The Alfred and Marie Range once more — The Rawlinson
Range and Mount Destruction — Australia twice traversed — Fort
McKellar — Tyndall's Springs — A last search after Gibson —
Tommy's Flat — The Circus — The Eagle — Return to Sladen
Water — The Peterrnann tribes — Marvellous Mount Olga — Glen
Watson— Natives of the Musgrave Range — A robbery — Cattle
camps — The missing link^ — -South for the Everard Range —
Everard natives — Show us a watering-place — Alec and Tommy
find water — More natives — Compelled to give up their plunder —
Natives assist at dinner — Like banyan-trees — A bad camping-
place — Natives accompany us — Find the native well — The
Everard revisited — Gruel thick and slab — Well in the Ferdinand
— Rock-hole water- — Natives numerous and objectionable — Mis-
chief brewing — A hunt for spears — Attack frustrated — Taking an
observation — A midnight foe — The next morning — Funeral march
— A new well — Change of country— Approaching the telegraph
line — The Alberga — Decrepit native women — The Neales —
Mount O'Hallaran — The telegraph line — Dry state of the country
— Hann's Creek — Arrival at the Peake . . . 314-338

CHAPTER V.

FROM 23RD AUGUST TO 20TH SEPTEMBER, 1 876.

Depart for the south — Arrive at Beltana — Camels returned to their
depot — ^The Blinman Mine — A dinner — Coach journey to the
Burra-Burra Mines — A banquet and address — Rail to Adelaide —
Address at Gawler — Reception at the Town Hall — A last address
— Party disbanded — ^Remarks — The end , . , 339-342



ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. 11.



View on the Petermann Range
Attack at the Farthest East

Mount Olga

Circus Water

First View of the Alfred and Marie Range

The last ever seen of Gibson

Alone in the Desert . . . ...

Jimmy at Fort McKellar ....

The Hermit Hill and Finniss Spring .

Wynbring Rock

Little Salt Lake

In Queen Victoria's Desert. ....

Queen Victoria's Spring

Attack at Ularring



PAGE

3
to face 9

» II

. 28
to face 35

• 36

• 39
to face 51

124

. 146

. 166

to face 196

Or\-<

It -^^-^

11 ■^-J



Forcing a Passage through the Scrubs in Western

Australia 231

First View of Mount Churchman 235

The First White Man met in Western Australia to face 238
Arrival at Culham (Samuel Phillips's) . . „ 241

Arrival at Perth . . 244

Arrival at the Town Hall, Perth . . to face 245

Farewell to Western Australia 267

Glen Ross 294

Glen Ferdinand 326



Third Expedition, 1875
Fourth Expedition, 1875
Fifth Expedition, 1876



Maps.



to face 75
11 131

11 251



Australia Twice Traversed.



BOOK II . — continued.



CHAPTER IX.

FROM I2TII MARCH TO 1 9TH APRIL, 1 8 74.

The Rebecca — The Petermann range — Extraordinary place — The
Docker — Livingstone's Pass — ^A park' — Wall-like hills — -The
Ruined Rampart — Pink, green, and blue water — Park-like
scenery — The Hull — A high cone— Sugar-loaf Peak — Pretty
hills and grassy valleys — Name several features — A wild
Parthenius — Surprise a tribe of natives — An attack — Mount
Olga in view — Overtaken by the enemy — Appearance of
Mount Olga — Breakfast interrupted — Escape by flight — The
depot — Small circles of stone — Springs — Mark a tree —
Slaughter Terrible Billy — A smoke signal ^ — -Trouble in
collecting the horses — -A friendly conference — Leave Sladen
Water — Fort McKellar — Revisit the Circus — The west end
of the range — Name two springs.

The country towards the other ranges eastwards
appeared poor and scrubby. We went first to a
hill a good deal south of east, and crossed the dry
bed of a broad, sandy, and stony creek running
north. I called it the Rebecca, From it we went
to a low saddle between two hills, all the while
havinor a continuous rano^e to the north ; this was
the extension beyond the pinnacle of the wall-like

VOL. \\. I- B



AUSTRALIA TWICE TRAVERSED.



crescent. A conspicuous mount in this northern
line I called Mount Sargood.* From this saddle
we saw a range of hills which ran up from the south-
west, and, extending now eastwards, formed a valley
nearly in front of us. I called this new feature the
Petermann Range. In it, a peculiar notch existed,
to which we went. This new range was exceedingly
wall-like and very steep, having a serrated ridge all
along ; I found the notch to be only a rough gully,
and not a pass. We continued along the range,
and at four miles farther we came to a pass where
two high hills stood apart, and allowed an extremely
large creek — that is to say, an extremely wide one —
whose trend was northerly, to come through.
Climbing one of the hills, I saw that the creek
came from the south-west, and was here joined by
another from the south-east. There was an ex-
ceedingly fine and pretty piece of park-like scenery,
enclosed almost entirely by hills, the Petermann
Range forming a kind of huge outside wall, which
enclosed a mass of lower hills to the south, from
which these two creeks find their sources. This
was a very extraordinary place ; I searched in vain
in the pass for water, and could not help wondering
where such a watercourse could go to. The creek
1 called the Docker.* The pass and park just
within it I called Livingstone Pass and Learmouth*
Park. Just outside the pass, northerly, was a high
hill I called Mount Skene.*

Finding no water in the pass, we went to the
more easterly of the two creeks ; it was very small
compared with the Docker. It was now dusk, and
we had to camp without water. The day was hot.
This ranee is most singular in construction ; it rises
on either side almost perpendicularly, and does not



THE RUINED RAMPART.



appear to have very much water about It ; the hills
indeed seem to be mere walls, like the photographs
of some of the circular ranges of mountains in the




VIEW ON THE PETEKMANN RANGE.



moon. There was very fine grass, and our horses
stayed well. We had thunder and lightning, and
the air became a little cooled. The creek we were
on appeared to rise in some low hills to the south ;
though it meandered about so much, it was only
by travelling, we found that it came from a peculiar
ridge, upon whose top was a fanciful-looking, broken
wall or rampart, with a little pinnacle on one side.
When nearly abreast, south, of this pinnacle, we
found some water in the creek-bed, which was now
very stony. The water was impregnated with
ammonia from the excreta of emus, dogs, birds,
beasts, and fishes, but the horses drank it with
avidity. Above this we got some sweet water in
rocks and sand. I called the queer-looking wall
the Ruined Rampart. There was a quantity of

B 2



4 AUSTRALIA TWICE TRAVERSED.

different kinds of water, some tasting of ammonia,
some saltish, and some putrid, A few ducks flew
up from these strange ponds. There was an over-
hanging ledge and cave, which gave us a good
shade while we remained here, the morning being
very hot. I called these MacBain's* Springs.

Following the creek, we found in a few miles that
it took its rise in a mass of broken table-lands to the
south. We still had the hio;h walls of the Petermann
to the north, and very close to us. In five miles we
left this water-shed, and descended the rough bed of
another creek running eastwards ; it also had some
very queer water in it — there were pink, green, and
blue holes. Ducks were also here ; but as we had
no gun, we could not get any. Some sweet water
was procured by scratching in the sand. This
creek traversed a fine piece of open grassy country
— a very park-like piece of scenery ; the creek joined
another, which we reached in two or three miles.
The new creek was of enormous width ; it came
from the low hills to the south and ran north, where
the Petermann parted to admit of its passage. The
natives were burning the country through the pass.
Where on earth can it go ? No doubt water exists
in plenty at its head, and very likely where the
natives are also ; but there was none where we
struck it. I called this the Hull.*

The main range now ran on in more disconnected
portions than formerly ; their general direction was
25° south of east. We still had a mass of low hills
to the south. We continued to travel under the
lea of the main walls, and had to encamp without
water, having travelled twenty-five miles from the
Ruined Rampart. A high cone in the range I
called Mount Curdie.* The next morninor I as-



ON THE PETERMANN RANGE.



cended the eastern end of Mount Curdie. A long
way off, over the tops of other hills, I could see a
peak bearing 2 7° south of east ; this I supposed
was, as it ought to be, the Sugar-loaf Hill, south-
westward from Mount Olga, and mentioned pre-
viously. To the north there was a long wall-like
line stretching across the horizon, ending about
north-east ; this appeared to be a disconnected
range, apparently of the same kind as this, and
having gaps or passes to allow watercourses to
run throug-h ; I called it Blood's Rangfe. I could
trace the Hull for many miles, winding away a trifle
west of north. It is evident that there must exist
some gigantic basin into which the Rebecca, the
Docker, and the Hull, and very likely several more
further east, must flow. I feel morally sure that
the Lake Amadeus of my former journey must be
the receptacle into which these creeks descend, and
if there are creeks runnino- into the lake from the
south, may there not also be others running in,
from the north and west ? The line of the southern
hills, connected with the Petermann wall, runs
across the bearing of the Sugar-loaf, so that I shall
have to pass over or through them to reach it.
The outer walls still run on in disconnected groups,
in nearly the same direction as the southern hills,
forming a kind of back wall all the way.

Starting away from our dry encampment, in
seven miles we came to where the first hills of the
southern mass approached our line of march. They
were mostly disconnected, having small grassy
valleys lying between them, and they were fes-
tooned with cypress pines, and some pretty shrubs,
presenting also many huge bare rocks, and being



6 AUSTRALIA TWICE TRAVERSED.

very similar country to that described at Ayres's
Range, through which I passed in August. Here,
however, the rocks were not so rounded and did
not present so great a resemblance to turtles. At
two miles we reached a small creek with grum-
timber, and obtained water by digging. The fluid
was rather brackish, but our horses were very glad
of it, and we gave them a couple of hours' rest.
I called this Louisa's Creek. A hill nearly east of
Mount Curdie I called Mount Faean ; another still
eastward of that I called Mount Miller. At five
miles from Louisa's Creek we struck another and
much larger one, running to the north ; and upon
our right hand, close to the spot at which we struck
it, was a rocky gorge, through and over which the
waters must tumble with a deafening roar in times
of flood. Just now the water was not running, but a
quantity was lodged among the sand under the



Online LibraryErnest GilesAustralia twice traversed: the romance of exploration, being a narrative compiled from the journals of five exploring expeditions into and through Central South Australia, and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 25)