Explorations in Australia
by John Forrest
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September 1st. Continuing about east along the foot of the Mann Ranges for about fifteen miles, came to Mr. Gosse's bivouac of October 11th, but could find no water; a well that had been dug in the sand was dry. Followed up the gully about a mile, and came to a small spring, and camped. After draining it out, found there was no supply, but were fortunate enough to find some large rock holes with water—no doubt soakages from the rocks—but they were in an almost inaccessible spot, and it was with great difficulty we managed to water the horses. One horse fell and nearly lost his life. Country passed over to-day was poorly grassed, and spinifex patches here and there. Large and recent native encampments seen in two places to-day. Latitude 26 degrees 4 minutes 45 seconds South. Marked a tree F 82, close to our bivouac in bed of gully.

2nd. Followed along south side of Mann Ranges over country pretty well grassed for about sixteen miles, and reached Mr. Gosse's bivouac of October 12th. Found a little water in a sandy hole, and a small spring about half a mile higher up the gully. We had to carry the water from the spring in drums, which was slow and hard work. When we had watered half of the horses, Windich came, having found great pools of water in a large rocky gully about a mile west; we therefore packed up again and went over to the water. It was a very rough and rocky gully, and the horses had hard work in getting up to it, but there was abundance when they reached it. Pools of water, rock bottom; in fact, rock reservoirs, and fed by springs. It was nearly night when we had finished watering. Windich shot four ducks. Found camp to be in latitude 28 degrees 8 minutes South. Marked a tree F 83, being 83rd camp from Geraldton.


3rd. Got a late start, owing to the horses rambling. We continued on easterly and reached Day's Gully, Mr. Gosse's Number 15 depot. The water was all gone, and we had to proceed. Followed his track along two miles, when Windich and I went in search of water, the party waiting our return. After searching a gully to the west without success, we went east to a bare granite hill and, passing through a gorge, emerged into a small flat, and saw about 100 natives, all sitting down eating kangaroos. As soon as they saw us they all rose and shouted, and many ran towards us with their spears. One spear came close to me, and stuck fast in the ground. Windich and I fired our revolvers at them several times, and chased them up the hill. After this they appeared more friendly, and some came towards us and followed us back towards the party, keeping about 200 yards behind. We reached them and went back to the natives; they were perched all over the hills, more than twenty on one rock. They were friendly now, and about thirty came to us who talked away and seemed very pleased. They were much afraid of the horses, and would not come near them. We made the natives understand we wanted water, and about forty conducted us to a rock hole with nearly fifty gallons in it, which we gave the horses. The natives laughed heartily when they saw us watering the horses, but much more when we hit them to drive them away. They were also delighted that Windich and Pierre were black, and marked about the body, and also at Pierre having his nose bored. They would not come with us further, and pointed towards water westward. We did not follow their direction, and continuing on easterly, camped without water, and only very old dried grass for our horses. We were obliged to abandon the mare supplied by Mr. John Taylor to-day, together with about 150 pounds of flour, also the pack-saddle. She is very near foaling, and is very weak; she has carried only the empty bags for some time, and has been gradually failing. She is a fine mare, and I am sorry to lose her, but we cannot help it. We have more flour than we require, so I decided to leave 150 pounds, as our horses are not able to carry it easily. We have over 3 hundredweight still, which will be quite sufficient. Tomorrow I intend pushing on to try and reach the spring in the Musgrave Range shown on Mr. Gosse's chart. It is about forty miles from here, and I have no doubt the horses will go there, although they are very weak. The natives met to-day were all circumcised; they had long hair and beards, which were all clotted and in strands. The strands were covered with filth and dirt for six inches from the end, and looked like greased rope; it was as hard as rope, and dangled about their necks, looking most disgustingly filthy. The men were generally fine-looking fellows. The natives are very numerous in this country, as fires and camps are seen in many places, besides well-beaten tracks. Pierre dropped his powder-flask, and one of them picked it up and gave it to him. They were very friendly and pleased, and I think, after the first surprise was over, only a few were hostile. They were much amused at my watch ticking, and all wanted to put their ears to hear it.


4th. The horses would not feed last night, and had to be watched. At 4 o'clock we got up and collected them, and got under way by half-past 5 o'clock, following on towards the Musgrave Ranges. The morning was cool, and the horses went along very well. After travelling about twenty miles Padbury and Butcher began to show signs of giving in. We still pushed on, in hope of finding water in Lungley's Gully; the sun shone out very hot in the afternoon. Passed a remarkable high peak, which I named Mount Mary. My brother, Sweeney, and Pierre were behind with the knocked-up horses, trying to get them along. Windich went on Hosken, the only horse that was strong enough, to the north to scour some valleys. Kennedy and I pushed along slowly with the main lot of horses. If we halted a minute, many of the horses lay down, and we had great difficulty in getting them up again. After travelling about thirty-one miles we reached a gully which I supposed was Lungley's, and I left Kennedy with the horses while I ascended it on foot. I soon saw many emu tracks, and therefore was positive water was a little higher up. Found Windich was about 100 yards in advance of me, having crossed over into the same gully. I soon heard him shout that there was abundance of water, and fired the welcome gun-shots to acquaint the party. Returned, and after lifting up some of the horses that had lain down, and met my brother with the knocked-up ones, we all proceeded up to the water, which we found to be a beautiful spring running down the gully about thirty chains. We were all rejoiced at this good fortune, as we never before wanted water more than at the present time. Mr. Gosse had camped here, his depot Number 16, and I wonder he does not show such a fine spring on his map. We are now in perfect safety, and I will give the horses two days' rest.

5th. Rested at spring. Windich and Pierre shot three emus; a great many came to water. Being nearly out of meat, we are glad to get them.

6th (Sunday). Took bearings from a hill about a mile east of camp, from which there was a very extensive view. Far as the eye could reach to south, level plains extended, with low hills rising abruptly out of them here and there; to the west the Deering Hills and Mann Ranges; while to the east the high Musgrave Ranges soon stopped the view. The whole country is level, the ranges rising abruptly out of the plains, and is not like the hilly country in the settled districts of Western Australia. Marked a tree close to the camp F 85, being 85th camp from Geraldton. Found camp to be in latitude 26 degrees 13 minutes 25 seconds by meridian altitude of Altair, and longitude about 131 degrees 3 minutes east.


7th. Left spring, and steering about east for seven miles along foot of Musgrave Ranges, when we turned North-North-East for four miles, and east one mile to Mr. Gosse's depot Number 17, found spring in a brook, large white gums in gully; a very fine spring, but not running; any quantity of water. First-rate feed in gully and on flat. Weather cloudy. Intend resting here to-morrow, as one of our horses is very lame, and there is everything we want.

8th. Rested at camp. Rained lightly last night, and very stormy. Blew a hurricane towards morning. Rained lightly until noon; more rain than we have had on the whole trip. We have not had a drop of rain since the light shower on the 4th August. Marked a tree F 86, being the 86th camp from Geraldton. Shod two horses. Finished all our meat. We have now only flour enough for the remainder of our journey. As my friend Mr. Gosse did not name this splendid place, I take the liberty of naming it Gosse's Spring, as that is the name we always gave it in referring to it.

9th. The horses rambled away last night, and were not collected till late. It was nearly eleven o'clock when we started. We travelled about fourteen miles over fine grassy country, and camped on a fine flat with a little water in a gully which appears springy; good feed, although chiefly old, all round camp. One of our horses is very lame, and we have a little trouble in getting him along. It rained again last night. Latitude 26 degrees 15 minutes 23 seconds south.

10th. Steered North-North-East for five miles, and then North-East and east to Beare's Creek, Mr. Gosse's depot Number 18, where we found a most beautiful spring running strong down the gully for half a mile. I wonder he did not mark it permanent water on his map, as it is one of the best springs I have ever seen. Poor place for feed. The horses inclined to ramble. Shot two ducks which were in one of the pools, and two wurrungs, which were very acceptable, being now altogether without meat. Latitude 26 degrees 9 minutes 50 seconds. Grassy gorge on our route to-day.

11th. We got up long before daylight, intending to get an early start, and reach Whittell's Creek, but two of the horses were missing, and it was after eight o'clock when Windich returned with them. We, however, started, and steering easterly through dense acacia thickets without grass for about thirty miles, we reached the creek, and found plenty of water by digging in the sand. Rough low granite hills all along our route, but very little feed. Passed many clay-pans with water in them. The country was sandy and stony, and is thickly wooded. Mount Woodroffe bears north 208 degrees east magnetic from our camp, and a remarkable granite hill bore north, which I named Mount Elizabeth. Latitude 26 degrees 13 minutes south. Marked a tree F 89, being 89th camp from Geraldton.


12th. Continued onwards about North-East for ten miles, over saltbush flats with water in clay-pans in places, to the north part of a range, from which I got a view of Mount Connor, which rose abruptly out of the ocean of scrub. Rounding the mount, bore South-East towards Harry's Reservoir, reaching which we camped. It is at the head of a rocky gully; it is very rough to reach, and no feed within a mile and a half of it. There was plenty of water in the hole, which is about six feet deep. A white gum-tree close to the pool is marked GOS, 19, and I marked under it, on same tree, F 90, being 90th camp from Geraldton. This being such a rough place, and no feed near, I will move on to-morrow towards or to Figtree Gully. Weather dark and cloudy.

13th (Sunday). Continued on towards Figtree Gully, having to go a long way north in order to get round and through the ranges. Most beautifully-grassed country all the way; by far the best-grassed country we have seen for months. After travelling about nineteen miles we found water on some granite rocks, and camped on a very fine grassy flat. Windich shot a large kangaroo, which was very acceptable.

14th. About 2 o'clock this afternoon we collected the horses, and travelled on to Figtree Gully about four miles, our horses first finishing all the water on the granite rocks. We got enough at Figtree Gully to satisfy them, although there is not a great supply. There is a small soakage from the rocks; we filled the drums to-night, so as to have sufficient for them in the morning, as the water does not come in quickly. The view to the east is not very interesting. A few low hills, and generally level country—apparently thickly wooded with mulga and acacia.


15th. Got an early start, and steering about east for six miles, crossed the Gum Creek, and followed it along about a mile and a half, when we steered more to the east, until we struck the head of the Marryatt, which we followed down North-East and east, until we reached the salt native well marked on Mr. Gosse's map. We camped here, and dug out the well, which was very brackish; yet the horses drank it. There was a very poor supply of water, and we kept bailing it out into the drums all night, and managed to get out about sixty gallons. We travelled about thirty miles to-day; our horses were very thirsty, the weather oppressive. I found a small water-hole, with about twenty gallons in it, about one mile north, to which we will take the horses to-morrow morning.

16th. Went over to the rock hole and gave our horses the water—about one bucket apiece, after which we struck South-East to the river, and found two rock holes with sufficient water in them to satisfy all the horses. Continued on and reached Mr. Gosse's camp, where he marks on his map "Water-hole dug." Found it quite dry; but after going a few hundred yards we found a nice clay-pan with water in it, and camped. There has been a little rain here a few weeks ago, and it has not all dried up yet. If it was not for the rain-water we should have much difficulty in getting down this river, as all the old native wells dug in the sand are dry.

17th. Followed down the Marryatt, and at six miles passed a native well, which was quite dry. We continued on, and at about eight miles found a number of rock water-holes, all nearly full of water, about a quarter of a mile south of the river, and camped. Shod some of the horses. Took a set of lunar observations.

18th. Two of the horses rambled away during the night, and delayed our start. At eight o'clock we got under way, and followed along the river. The day was excessively hot, and we had to walk in turns. At two o'clock crossed the gum creek shown on Mr. Gosse's map, and searched for the large clay-pan shown a short distance beyond it; hundreds of natives' tracks seen all along. Towards evening we found a rock water-hole with about two gallons in it, which refreshed us, as we were all very thirsty. Here we were obliged to abandon police-horse Champion, he being completely knocked up; he has had a very bad back for a long time, and has been running loose without any load. We pushed on, and I sent Windich to look for water. We travelled until eight o'clock, when we camped for the night without water. Shortly after we had camped, Windich overtook us, and reported having found some clay-pans about six miles back. After having something to eat I decided to return to the clay-pans, and therefore packed up three of the horses, and let the others go loose, leaving the packs until our return. Reached the water by midnight, and the horses finished it all, and were not half satisfied. I thought there was more, or would not have come back for it. We hobbled them out, and had a few hours' rest.


19th. Early this morning we searched the flat for water, and found a rock water-hole with about fifty gallons in it, but could not find any more clay-pans. We therefore gave the horses the fifty gallons, and pushed on towards "Water near Table-Land" shown on Mr. Gosse's map, about twenty-one miles distant. The day was excessively hot again, and walking was most fatiguing. Men and horses moved along very slowly, but did not give in. Towards noon a hot wind began to blow. Onwards still we pressed, and crossed the large creek coming into the Alberga about two miles from the water. I told the party we were now close, and showed them the low table-land just ahead. Before we reached it we found a clay-hole with water, and gave the horses a good drink, after which we moved on a mile and camped at Mr. Gosse's depot Number 20, where we got plenty of water by digging in the sandy bed of the river. I was very glad to reach here, for the horses were getting very weary, and Sweeney was also done up, and looked very ill and swollen up about the head. The walking was most harassing, for, besides the ground being soft, the sun was overpowering, and most excessively hot. We are now in safety again, and to-morrow being Sunday we will rest.

20th (Sunday). Rested to-day. Windich shot an emu. Worked out lunar observations. Marked a tree F 97, being 97th camp from Geraldton. Latitude 26 degrees 44 minutes 19 seconds, longitude about 133 degrees 47 minutes East.

21st. Continued down the Alberga about South-East for about twenty miles, over sandy country thickly wooded with mulga and acacia, to Mr. Gosse's bivouac of December 1st, but there was scarcely any water by digging. We therefore pushed on and found a native well, from which, by digging out about five feet, we procured abundance of water. Sweeney still very unwell, unable to walk; others walking in turns. Distance twenty-five miles.

22nd. The horses rambled back on the tracks about three miles, and it was eight o'clock before we got started. We followed down the Alberga over stony plains, poorly grassed and thickly wooded, for about eighteen miles. Found sufficient water by digging in the sand; there was only a very poor supply, and it took us a good while to water all the horses. The river bed is more than a quarter of a mile wide and very shallow, and spreads out over the plains for many miles in heavy winters.

23rd. Watering the horses delayed us a little this morning, as there was a very poor supply coming into the well. We followed down the river, and after travelling about nine miles heard a native shouting, and soon saw him running after us. He was quite friendly, but could not speak any English; he came along with us, and shortly afterwards we found a native well with sufficient water by digging, then camped, as our horses were very weak, and required a rest. We finished all our tea and sugar to-day, and have now only flour left; we will therefore have bread and water for the next week, until we reach the Peake. The native ate heartily of damper given to him, and remained all day, and slept at our camp. Distance ten miles.


24th. Travelled down river, the native still accompanying us, and at about six miles met a very old native, and a woman and a little girl. They were quite friendly, and showed us water; and the woman and girl came with us to Appatinna, Mr. Gosse's depot 21, where we camped at a fine pool of water under right bank of river. Windich shot three emus that were coming to the water, and we all had plenty of them to eat. The natives were very pleased, and went back and brought up the old man and another woman and child. There were now six with us. They have seen the telegraph line, as can be seen by signs they make, but they cannot speak English.

25th. The horses rambled off miles, and it was nearly ten o'clock before we got under way. There was no feed at all for them. We followed down the Alberga for about fifteen miles, about east generally, and camped, with very little old dried-up grass for our horses. About half an hour after we left Appatinna this morning we had a very heavy shower of rain, and, although it only lasted about a quarter of an hour, it literally flooded the whole country, making it boggy. It was the heaviest thunderstorm I have ever seen. We shall have no difficulty in procuring water now all the way to the telegraph line, which is not more than forty miles from here. The natives stayed at Appatinna, as they had too much emu to leave. We did not want them, and were just as well pleased they did not come on. Mr. Gosse's track went North-North-East to the Hamilton River from Appatinna.

26th. Got off early and followed the river about two miles, when it took a bend to the north, and as it was rather boggy near it we left it, and steered about east and East-North-East for twenty miles over most miserable country without any grass. We camped on a small gully with a little water in it, and some old dry grass in a flat. The horses were very tired, not having had anything to eat for the last two or three days, and some showed signs of giving in; in fact, all weak and knocked-up, and we have to handle them very carefully. For the first thirteen miles we passed many clay-pans full of water—water nearly everywhere—after which there was very little; and the rain does not appear to have been heavy to the east. The river is about a mile and a half north of us, and we have not seen it for some miles. Latitude 27 degrees 9 minutes south. Hope to reach the telegraph line to-morrow.

27th (Sunday). Continuing East-North-East for two miles, came to the Alberga, and following along its right bank over many clay-pans with water, about east for twelve miles, and then East-North-East for three miles, and reached the telegraph line between Adelaide and Port Darwin, and camped. Long and continued cheers came from our little band as they beheld at last the goal to which we have been travelling for so long. I felt rejoiced and relieved from anxiety; and on reflecting on the long line of travel we had performed through an unknown country, almost a wilderness, felt very thankful to that good Providence that had guarded and guided us so safely through it.

The telegraph line is most substantially put up, and well wired, and is very creditable at this spot; large poles of bush timber, often rather crooked, and iron ones here and there. I now gave up keeping watch, having kept it regularly for the last six months. Marked a tree F 104, being 104th camp from Geraldton. We had not much to refresh the inner man with, only damper and water, but we have been used to it now more than a month, and do not much feel it. The horses are all very tired, and many of them have sore backs. I hope to reach the Peake on Wednesday night, where we shall be able to get something to eat. We find making the damper with boiling water makes it much lighter and softer, and is a great improvement. Latitude 27 degrees 7 minutes 50 seconds south.

28th. We travelled down the telegraph line for about twenty-one miles, and camped on a branch of the Neales River, with a little grass. Level plains and small rocky rises all the way; very stony country; many clay-pans with water. A well-beaten road goes along near the telegraph line. We did not get on it till we had travelled along the line about fifteen miles. It crosses the Alberga east of the line.

29th. When we were nearly ready to start, police-horse Butcher lay down and died in a few seconds; he appeared all right when we brought him in, and was saddled as usual. Old age, very severe hard work, and continual travelling, is no doubt the cause of death: we took off his shoes, and left him where he died. I was sorry for the poor old horse; he had been rather weak for a good while, but had borne up well to the very last. We only had four horses to ride to-day, and Sweeney being still lame really made but three horses between five of us. We travelled down the road for about thirty-three miles over stony plains; many clay-pans with water, but no feed. Camped on a gully with some old feed in the flat, in latitude 27 degrees 49 minutes. Miserable country for grass all day, but plenty of water from recent rains everywhere. Hope to reach the Peake by mid-day to-morrow. Damper and water as usual.

30th. Got off early as usual, all in high glee at the prospect of meeting civilized habitations again. Travelled along the road and saw cattle, and shortly afterwards reached the Peake, and rather surprised the people. Mr. Bagot, the owner of the cattle station, was the first I met; and after telling him who we were, he said he had surmised it was so. He soon told us that Mr. Giles had returned, and also Mr. Ross, who had been despatched by the Honourable Thomas Elder with camels and a good equipment to find an overland route to Perth, but was unable to get over to Western Australia. We were soon introduced to Mr. Blood, the officer in charge of the telegraph station, and, after unloading, were soon engaged at dinner, the roast beef and plum pudding being a striking contrast to our fare lately! Both Mr. and Mrs. Blood, as well as Mr. Bagot, did all they could to make us comfortable during our four days' rest.


Immediately on reaching Peake, I despatched a telegram to his Excellency Mr. Musgrave, Governor of South Australia, at Adelaide, informing him of the safe arrival of the party, and received the following reply from the private secretary:—

His Excellency has received your message with great satisfaction, and congratulates you heartily on your safe arrival.

This telegram was accompanied by another from the Honourable Arthur Blyth, the Chief Secretary of the Colony:

Is there anything you want? Mail leaves on October 10th. Shall be happy to facilitate any despatch you may wish forwarded to your Government. Superintendent of Telegraphs has given instructions for every assistance to be rendered you at the various telegraph stations on your road down.

The instructions sent by Mr. Todd, the Superintendent of Telegraphs, to Mr. Blood, the officer in charge at Peake station, were to the following effect:—

Please give my hearty congratulations to Mr. Forrest on the successful completion of his great feat, which I have communicated to the Government and press; also Baron Von Mueller, who sends his congratulations. I shall be glad to have a few particulars as to route followed, if convenient to Mr. Forrest to supply them. Render his party every attention.

Mr. Ernest Giles, the explorer, also telegraphed, and I also received messages from the editors of the Register and Advertiser, Adelaide newspapers, congratulating me, and asking for a few particulars for publication in their papers. I complied with the request immediately, forwarding a brief narrative of the more remarkable incidents of our journey. On the 15th of October, the day after our arrival at Peake, I wrote, for the information of Governor Musgrave, a short account of the journey, and this, accompanied by a more detailed narrative, addressed to the Honourable Malcolm Fraser, Commissioner of Crown Lands at Perth, was, together with several private telegrams, forwarded free of charge by the South Australian Government, which also provided us with fresh horses and everything we required for our journey to Adelaide.

We left the Peake on the 4th of October, greatly refreshed by the rest and the kind treatment we had received from Mr. and Mrs. Blood, and Mr. Bagot, the owner of the cattle station.

Before I record the details of our journey and the receptions given us at every place on the route, I will quote the concluding remarks of my journal relative to the expedition:—


I now beg to make a few remarks with reference to the character and capability of the country traversed; and through the kindness and courtesy of Baron Von Mueller, C.M.G., etc., Government Botanist of Victoria, and of Mr. R. Brough Smyth, Secretary for Mines of Victoria, I am enabled to annex reports upon the botanical and geological specimens collected on our journey.

The whole of the country, from the settled districts near Champion Bay to the head of the Murchison, is admirably suited for pastoral settlement, and in a very short time will be taken up and stocked; indeed, some already has been occupied.

From the head of the Murchison to the 129th meridian, the boundary of our colony, I do not think will ever be settled. Of course there are many grassy patches, such as at Windich Springs, the Weld Springs, all round Mount Moore, and other places; but they are so isolated, and of such extent, that it would never pay to stock them. The general character of this immense tract is a gently undulating spinifex desert—Festuca (Triodia) irritans, the spinifex of the desert explorers, but not the spinifex of science. It is lightly wooded with acacia and other small trees, and, except in a few creeks, there is a great absence of any large timber.

The prevailing rock, which crops out on the rises and often forms low cliffs, in which are receptacles for holding water, is LIGHT RED SANDSTONE (desert sandstone, tertiary). The only game found in the spinifex is a kangaroo rat, commonly called the wirrup; but in the grassy openings there are many kangaroos, and often emus, also a rat known as the wurrung. These animals are very good eating, and formed a valuable addition to our store department. At the permanent waters there were always myriads of bronze-winged pigeons, and also the white cockatoo with scarlet crest, called the chockalott; also the beaccoo, or slate-coloured parrot. Generally, however, with the exception of the crow and hawk, birds were not very numerous except round water. Whenever a sheet of water was found we found ducks, and in Lake Augusta swans and ducks were innumerable.

In bringing this report to a close it is not necessary to refer much to the reasons that induced me to keep more to the south than I originally intended. It will readily be seen, after perusing this journal, that it was a necessity, and that we could not get further north. It is a marvel to me that we got through at all; the season was an exceptionally dry one—in fact, a drought—our horses were of a very ordinary kind, and the country most wretched.

When it is remembered that a horse in poor condition and in warm weather cannot go much over a day without water, and when the sterility of the country is considered, it will be readily seen what a disadvantage one labours under without camels, which can go ten days without water. Well can I sympathize with Mr. Giles when he states in his journal: "All I coveted from my brother explorers was their camels, for what is a horse in such a region as this? He is not physically capable of enduring the terrors of this country." And so it is; horses are the noblest and most useful animals in the world, but they must have food and water regularly. The camel, on the other hand, is physically formed to travel over these desolate regions, and in Australia has been known to go twelve and fourteen days without water, carrying 300 pounds, and sometimes 400 pounds weight.

From these few remarks it will be seen what a great disadvantage Mr. Giles and myself laboured under compared with Major Warburton and Mr. Gosse; and what in similar circumstances might have been easily performed by them was quite impossible in our circumstances.

In reading this journal, it may be wondered why we followed so much along Mr. Gosse's track, when a new route for ourselves might have been chosen more to the south. The reason is, I had intended, as soon as I reached the 129th meridian (the boundary of our colony), to make a long trip to the south, near to Eucla, and thus map that important locality; but on reaching there I was prevented by the following causes: The weather was excessively warm; the country to the south seemed most uninviting —sand-hills as far as could be seen, covered with spinifex; our horses were very poor; our rations were running short, the meat and tea and sugar being nearly gone; water was very scarce, and I could clearly see that, although Mr. Gosse had travelled the route last year, it did not follow that we should be able to do it easily this, as all the water thus far where he had camped was gone. I felt we were altogether on our own resources for water, and I concluded to push on towards the telegraph line as quickly as possible. It turned out, although we had considerable difficulty, that we reached the line sooner than I could have anticipated.


I have the very pleasant duty to record my thorough appreciation of the services of my companions. To my brother, Mr. Alexander Forrest, I am especially indebted for his assistance and advice on many occasions, also for his indomitable energy and perseverance. Every service entrusted to him was admirably carried out. He never disappointed me. When absent for a week, I knew to a few minutes when we should meet again. Whether horses or loads had to be abandoned, it mattered not to him, he always carried out the service; and I attribute much of the success to being supported by such an able and hopeful second in command. In addition to this, he bestowed great care on the stores of the expedition; collected all the botanical specimens, besides taking observations for laying down our route on many occasions during my absence.

To Tommy Windich (native) I am much indebted for his services as a bushman, and his experience generally. Accompanying me on many occasions, often in circumstances of difficulty and privation, I ever found him a good, honest companion.

To James Kennedy, James Sweeney, and Tommy Pierre I am thankful for the ready obedience and entire confidence they placed in me. They ever conducted themselves in a proper manner, and on no occasion uttered a single murmur.

I take this opportunity of thanking all those gentlemen who so kindly subscribed to the Expedition Fund.

In conclusion, sir, I beg you will convey to his Excellency Governor Weld my sincere thanks for the kindness and support he has given me in this arduous enterprise. I can truthfully state, if it had not been for his zeal and assistance, I should not have been able to undertake and accomplish this exploration.

I have also to thank the Honourable F.P. Barlee, Colonial Secretary, and yourself, for your kind attention and consideration, and your desire that I should have everything that was necessary to bring the expedition to a successful termination.



Procession and Banquet at Adelaide. Arrival in Western Australia. Banquet and Ball at Perth. Results of Exploration.

We reached Beltana on the 18th, where we were joined by Mr. Henry Gosse, brother and companion of the explorer, and arrived at Jamestown on the 28th of October. This was the first township on the route, and the inhabitants, although somewhat taken by surprise by our appearance, would not let the opportunity pass for giving us a warm welcome. On the following morning there was a good muster of the principal residents at Jureit's Hotel, and an address was presented to me. Our healths were then drunk and duly responded to, and we had every reason to be highly gratified with our first formal reception.


The next day we reached Kooringa, on the Burra, and there too our arrival excited considerable enthusiasm, and we were invited to a complimentary dinner at the Burra Hotel Assembly Rooms, Mr. Philip Lane, the Chairman of the District Council, presiding. An address was presented, and, my health having been proposed by Mr. W.H. Rosoman, Manager of the National Bank, in replying, I took the opportunity of expressing my thanks to my associates in the expedition for their unfailing co-operation under occasionally great difficulties and privations.

On Saturday, the 31st, having witnessed a cricket-match at Farrell's Flat, we visited the Burra Burra Mines, and there we received an address from the manager, accountant, captain, chief engineer, and storekeeper. We remained at Burra the next day (Sunday), and on Monday morning started by train for Salisbury with our fifteen horses in horse-boxes. Eleven of these were the survivors of the expedition, and we were desirous that our faithful and hard-worked four-footed companions should have their share of the attention of our South Australian friends. At Gawler we were received by a crowd of people, and flags were flying to do us honour. The Town Clerk and a considerable number of the principal residents were waiting for us in an open space near the railway station, and presented an address on behalf of the municipality. We were then invited to a luncheon at the Criterion Hotel, the chair being filled, in the absence of the Mayor, who was unwell, by Mr. James Morton. Here again I was called on to respond for my health being proposed; but I need not weary the reader by endeavouring to repeat all I said upon that and other similar occasions. I acknowledged and deeply felt the personal kindness of the receptions my party had experienced; and I fully shared with those who signed the addresses I received, or proposed my health at dinners, the hearty desire that the successful issue of my expedition might be the means of uniting still more closely the two colonies in bonds of mutual good-feeling and sympathy. I had been similarly welcomed at Gawler and other places in South Australia on the occasion of my previous visit, and I was, I trust, not unjustifiably proud and pleased that my old friends had recognized my recent services.


At Salisbury, which we reached on the 2nd of November, a very hearty reception awaited us, and we were entertained at a dinner given at the Salisbury Hotel under the presidency of the Reverend J.R. Ferguson. After dinner the chairman read a brief address, signed by the Chairman of the District Council; and as the speeches referred not only to my own expedition, but were interesting in relation to other explorations and the method of conducting them, I may be pardoned for quoting a portion of the report of the proceedings which appeared in the local newspapers:—

The Chairman then said he wished to express the great pleasure it was to him to meet Mr. Forrest, his brother, and party, after their triumphant accomplishment of the daring and arduous undertaking of crossing from the Australian shores of the Indian Ocean to the very interior of South Australia. We at all times felt constrained to value and honour men who in any way contributed to the progress and welfare of mankind. We esteemed those men whose lives were devoted to the explorations of science, and whose discoveries were rendered serviceable to the comfort and advancement of the race; and what were the achievements of travellers but contributions to the advancement and welfare of the race—contributions in which were involved the most magnificent heroism in penetrating the regions which had hitherto been untrodden by the foot of the white man? They obtained their contributions to the advancement and welfare of men by the manifestation of high moral endurance, which enabled them to submit to privations and discomforts of the most trying character; while withal they showed dauntless courage in going forward and meeting dangers of every possible kind, even to the loss of life itself. He was disposed to rank the achievements of their guests with those of the foremost of travellers of whom we read. He had sat enchanted with the perusal of the travels of John Franklin in the Arctic Regions; and, by the way, John Franklin accompanied Captain Flinders in his expedition in the year 1800, which was sent out for the purpose of surveying the south coast of Australia. He had perused with intense interest the travels of Samuel Baker in the interior of Africa along the source of that wondrous Nile, as also those of Speke, Grant, Stanley, and that prince of men, the late Dr. Livingstone; and the name of their guest was entitled to rank along with such. (Cheers.) Let now our stockholders and men of capital take advantage of Mr. Forrest's explorations—let his well-earned honours be bestowed upon him—and let all representatives of intelligence and enterprise hail him. We who were here as Australians were proud of him and rejoiced over him, and would seek to send him back to his own home with our loud plaudits and our heartiest gratitude.

The Vice-Chairman, in proposing The Health of Mr. John Forrest, the Leader of the Expedition, said he was sure they were all extremely glad to see Mr. Forrest and his party in their midst. When Mr. Forrest was amongst them before they all thought he was a fine, jolly young fellow, and thought none the less of him on that occasion. (Applause.) At any rate, he was stouter than when he appeared on his first visit. He thought the country would feel grateful to Mr. Forrest and his companions for the benefits which would result from their achievement. (Applause.)

Mr. John Forrest, who was received with loud cheers, said he thanked them very heartily for the enthusiastic way in which they had drunk his health, and for the very handsome address they had presented to him. He felt altogether unable to respond in the way he could wish to the many remarks that had been made by their worthy chairman. If he could only make himself believe that he was worthy of being placed in the rank of the men whom he had mentioned, he certainly would feel very proud indeed. It had always given him the greatest pleasure to read the accounts of the travels of these great men. He remembered being closely connected with Captain Flinders's researches upon the south coast of Australia, and, after his journey from Perth to Eucla, Mr. Eyre, the late Governor of Jamaica, wrote to him that he risked his life upon the accuracy of Captain Flinders's observations, and in no case had he the least cause to regret it. Exploration in other parts of the world, as in Africa, was carried on in a very different style to the exploration in Australia. Even in the early times, exploration here was carried on in a very different way to what it was at the present time. Large equipages, many waggons, and that sort of thing were used in the time of Captain Sturt and other early explorers, until Mr. Eyre took a light equipment, with very few horses and very few men. Since then the work had had to be done with very light turn-outs. In Western Australia a good deal of exploration was done before his time, and expeditions had been very common. They generally cost very little indeed. The horses were generally given by the settlers, the Government contributed a few hundred pounds, and young settlers volunteered for the service. The cost was sometimes 400 or 500 pounds; and upon his expedition, up to the time they left the settled districts of Western Australia, they had only spent about 330 pounds. He did not know that he could say anything more. He had spoken several times on his journey down, and it seemed to him that he had said the same thing over and over again. His forte was not in public speaking, but he hoped they would take the will for the deed. They never could forget the very kind and hearty reception they had received in every place they had visited in South Australia. (Cheers.)

The Reverend J.G. Wright proposed The health of Mr. Alexander Forrest and the remainder of the Party. He remarked that they had heard a great deal about Mr. Forrest, the leader of the party, and whilst he had manifested a great deal of courage and perseverance, and they all felt indebted to him as the leader of the party, yet there was much praise due to his brother and the rest of his companions. He was gratified at having the opportunity of meeting them before they went down to the metropolis, and he was sure it was no small matter to Salisbury to have such a band remaining with them for a short time. It would be a source of pleasure to colonists generally to see them, and he trusted that the work which had been so nobly performed, and what had followed after it, would tend to link the colonies more closely together. He was glad to see that original holders of the land in their western colony—the natives—had been employed in the work of exploration and opening up the country. (Hear, hear.) They were expected to do honour to generals and warriors who had distinguished themselves and placed their names high on the roll of fame, but he thought that such could not claim greater honours than the explorer. His work was not one of bloodshed, but one which was undertaken in the interests and for the benefit of humanity. Civilization, agriculture, art, and science followed the explorations of those noble men who had taken their lives in their hands and faced difficulties and dangers for the advancement of their fellow-men. He proposed with the heartiest feelings the toast of Mr. Alexander Forrest and his companions.

The toast was very cordially drunk.

Mr. Alex. Forrest, on rising to respond, was greeted with hearty and continued cheering. He said he thanked the company most heartily for the manner in which they had drunk his health and that of his companions. He could assure them they felt highly flattered at the reception which had been accorded them. It was more than they expected. When here four years ago, it was on a small trip compared with what they had accomplished this time. It would not be necessary for him to go over the same ground that his brother had remarked upon—in fact, his brother had quite taken the wind out of his sails; and public speaking certainly not being his forte, although he was quite at home round the camp-fire, he must ask them to excuse him making a lengthy speech. He could assure them they all thanked them very sincerely for their kindness, and deeply appreciated the honour which had been done them. (Cheers.)

Tommy Pierre, one of the aboriginals attached to the expedition, being called upon to respond, after some hesitation, said, "Well, gentlemen, I am not in good humour to-night. (Laughter.) I am very glad I got through. We got a capital gaffer that leaded us through; but it wasn't him that got us through, it isn't ourselves, but God who brought us through the place, and we ought to be very thankful to God for getting us through. (Laughter and cheers.) I am not in good humour to-night to speak (laughter), but I will speak when I get in Adelaide." (Prolonged cheering.)

Tommy Windich, the other aboriginal attached to the expedition, was also asked to respond, but he could not muster courage enough to do so.


The preparations for our reception at Adelaide were most elaborate. It seems to have been resolved that the capital of South Australia should appear as the representative of the satisfaction felt throughout the colony at the successful completion of an adventure, the result of which was so deeply interesting, and which had been several times attempted by explorers, not less ardent and determined, but less fortunate than ourselves. At an early hour on the morning of the 3rd of November, on which day it was known our party would arrive, the streets through which we were to pass were thronged with thousands eager to bid us welcome. Not only the city itself, but the suburban districts contributed to swell the crowd. Balconies and housetops were thronged, and all along the line of route were flags and decorations of flowers and evergreens, streamers with inscriptions of welcome, and arches adorned with large pictures representing incidents of bush life. The bells, too, rang out merry peals, and the day was observed as a general holiday at Adelaide.

We left Salisbury at twelve o'clock, escorted by a considerable number of the inhabitants. Before reaching Adelaide we were met by carriages containing the Mayors of Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Kensington, and Norwood, the town clerks, and members of the different corporations. A very interesting and characteristic compliment was paid to us by the presence of members of various exploring expeditions, who, from their own experience, could best estimate the value of the results we had achieved, and the difficulties we had encountered. Following the official personages, on horseback, was Mr. John Chambers, who, with his brother, the late Mr. James Chambers, and the late Mr. Finke, sent out in 1860 the parties under the leadership of the intrepid Mr. John McDouall Stuart, to explore the interior lying between South Australia and the northern shores of the continent. Three members of this party—Messrs. A.J. Lawrence, D. Thompson, and John Wall—followed on horseback, carrying standards marked with the dates January, 1862, and July 25, 1862, when Stuart departed from Adelaide, and when he planted his flag on the northern shores. Then came representatives of the various exploring parties—Messrs. F.G. Waterhouse, F. Thring, W.P. Auld, S. King, J.W. Billiatt, and H. Nash, of Stuart's party; Mr. R.E. Warburton, Mr. Dennis White, and Charley, the native boy, of Colonel Warburton's expedition; Mr. William Gosse (leader), and Mr. Harry Gosse, of the Gosse expedition; and Mr. Ernest Giles, leader of the Giles expedition.

The reception committee and representatives of the Oddfellows, Foresters, Druids, Rechabites, Good Templars, German, and other friendly societies, followed, after which came our party. We wore the rough, weather-beaten, and, it may be added, shockingly dilapidated garments in which we had been clothed during our expedition, and were mounted on the horses which had served us so well. It was wished that we should represent to the Adelaide public, as realistically as we could, the actual appearance of our party while engaged on the long journey, so we slung our rifles at our sides, and each of us led a pack-horse carrying the kegs we had used for the conveyance of water. In one respect, no doubt, we failed to realize adequately the appearance of our party when struggling through the spinifex desert, or anxiously searching for rock holes and springs. The month of great hospitality we had experienced since reaching Peake station had considerably improved our own personal appearance, and the horses were very unlike the wretched, half-dying animals we had such difficulty to keep alive and moving. After us came, in long procession, bands of music, and the members of the various orders, the German Club, the Bushmen's Club, and a goodly number of horsemen and carriages. The bands played inspiring strains, the crowd shouted and cheered, and my brother and I were perpetually bowing acknowledgments. As for the two natives, Tommy Windich and Tommy Pierre, they appeared to be perfectly amazed by the novelty of the spectacle, and the enthusiasm of the vast throng which lined the streets.

On our arrival at the town hall we were received by the Ministry, the Honourable W. Milne (President of the Legislative Council), Sir G.S. Kingston (the Speaker), several members of both Houses of Parliament, and other gentlemen. Having alighted, we were conducted to a platform, and addresses were presented to us by the Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Adelaide; from the Odd Fellows, the Foresters, the Rechabites, the Good Templars, and four German societies. In replying to these I did my best, but very inadequately, to express my feelings of gratitude for the reception we had met with, and of thanks for the generous manner in which our endeavours to successfully perform an arduous task had been recognized. The Mayors of Kensington, Norwood, and Port Adelaide, also offered a few words of congratulation to our party.

By particular request, we showed ourselves on the balcony, and bowed our acknowledgments for the very hearty welcome we received. Then we remounted our horses, and took them to the police paddocks, after which my brother and I were introduced to the Adelaide Club.

I have mentioned that several distinguished Australian explorers took part in the reception, and I may add that among them were the whole of Stuart's last party, except the gallant leader and Mr. Kekwick, who were dead, Mr. Few, who was in a distant part of the colony, and the farrier, who had gone no one knew whither. It was also appropriate to the occasion that two horses, who were memorably connected with explorations, should be associated with the animals who had served one so well. The horse which had carried poor Burke on his ill-fated expedition from Melbourne was ridden by Mr. F.G. Waterhouse, and Mr. F. Thring was mounted on a horse which had crossed the continent with Stuart.


In the evening we were entertained at a banquet in the town hall, the chair being occupied by the Honourable Arthur Blyth, the Premier of the colony. The proceedings were fully reported in the newspapers on the following day; and as so many explorers were present, and addressed the company, I may be permitted, apart from personal considerations, to quote the principal speeches delivered on the occasion.

The chairman rose to propose the toast of the evening, and was received with cheers. He said, "I think, for the last two or three days, that there has been a general feeling that South Australians were not very good at receptions and getting up processions; but at all events to-day we have showed that we can manage such things as well as people of more importance probably than ourselves—at all events quite as well as countries much more thickly populated than our own. (Cheers.) We have all of us read something about the old Roman triumphs—how the conquerors, when they went forth and were successful, were granted a triumph, and in this triumph were accompanied by the most beautiful of their captives, and the most wonderful and singular of the animals they had taken, and passed through the cities of which they were citizens, and received the plaudits of their inhabitants. To-day we have granted a triumph, not to a warrior who has killed thousands of his fellows, or added much to the landed property of the country, but to one who has been a warrior nevertheless, fighting many difficulties that many warriors had not to contend with, and carrying his life in his hands, as warriors have done of old, in leading those who are associated with him in the triumph here to-day. (Cheers.) There was no beautiful captive in his train, and no curious animals, as in the old Roman triumphs. All that we saw were some dusty pack-horses, and some well-worn packsaddles; yet with these the explorer has to proceed on his journey, and conquer the difficulties of the desert, knowing that with such slender things to rely upon he must hope to overcome the dangers, and endure to the end. (Cheers.) Gentlemen, in the page of Australian Exploration, which is the sentiment attached to my toast—in its pages there are to be read too many tragic stories. We cannot think of the history of exploration without thinking with regret of some of the names connected with it. What an extraordinary page is that of Leichardt, of whom it has been said no man

'—knows his place of rest Far in the cedar shade.'

"And yet so great is the interest which is taken in his fate that the wildest stories of a convict in the gaols of a neighbouring colony have been of interest to us, and have caused some of our fellow Australians to send out a party to see if something could not still be heard of that explorer. Then think of Burke and Wills, and what a tragic tale was theirs—so nearly saved, so closely arrived to a place of safety, and yet to miss it after all! I daresay there are hundreds here who, like myself, saw their remains taken through our streets in the gloomy hearse on the road to that colony which they had served so well; and we know that now the country where they laid down their lives is brought under the hand of pastoral settlement. They were the heroes of other lands; but have we not heroes also of our own? (Loud cheering.) Have we not here the likeness of a man who knew not what fear was, because he never saw fear who carried out the thorough principle of the Briton in that he always persevered to the end? And then, coming nearer to our own time, speaking by weeks and months, had we not our opportunity of entertaining in the city the leader of an expedition that successfully passed its way through the desert to the shores of Western Australia? I refer to Colonel Warburton. When speaking, upon that occasion, of the noble way in which the people of Western Australia had received our explorer, I ventured to hope that before many months we should have an opportunity of welcoming some explorer from that colony. Gentlemen, the hour has come, and the man. (Loud cheering.) For West Australia, though the least of the colonies in population, has its exploring heroes too. (Cheers.) I have no doubt you have read, within the last few days, all about the battle that Mr. Forrest has had to fight with the spinifex desert, with unknown regions, and hostile natives. While giving all praise to those Australian explorers connected with this Australian Empire that is to be, I ask you to join with me in drinking the health of the last and not the least, and I now give you the toast of Australian Exploration, coupled with the name of Mr. John Forrest." (Cheers.)

The toast was enthusiastically received, and three hearty cheers given.

Band: The Song of Australia.

Mr. John Forrest, who was received with loud cheers, said, "Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, I feel very proud that my name should be coupled with the toast of Australian Exploration. I assure you I feel altogether unequal to the toast so aptly proposed by our worthy chairman, my forte not being public speaking; still, I will try to do as well as I can. (Cheers.) Since I arrived at years of discretion, I have always taken a very deep interest in exploration, and for the last five years I have been what is generally termed in Western Australia The Young Explorer, as I have conducted all the explorations that have been undertaken by our Government. In the year 1869 I was instructed to accompany an expedition as navigator, which was intended to be commanded by Dr. Mueller, of Melbourne, to search for the remains of the late Dr. Leichardt, who started from near Moreton Bay in 1848, I think. Dr. Mueller not having arrived to take command as was anticipated, and the expedition having been got ready, I was deputed to the command, and we went out about 500 miles to the eastward of the settled districts of our colony, in order to find out whether the statements of the natives relative to the existence of white men or their remains in the locality were correct or not. We were out about five months. Although we did not suffer very much, as we had sufficient water and sufficient provisions, still it was a very dry season. We came back and settled that there were no remains—that, in fact, the reports of the natives were unfounded, and that they referred to the remains of horses lost by an explorer of our colony, Mr. Austin, not many miles to the eastward. This was the first attempt at exploration I had made, and, although I had been brought up to bush life, I knew very little about exploration, as I found when I went out. I was made aware of many things that I did not know about before, and I must say that I was a much better second than a commander. After this I undertook to conduct an exploration north-east from our colony to Sturt's Creek, where Mr. A. Gregory came down about 1855, and down the Victoria River. This fell to the ground; but our present Governor, Mr. Weld, had a great idea that we should organize an expedition to come to this colony overland along the coast—along the course which was previously taken by Mr. Eyre, I think in 1841—and he requested me to take command. Of course I readily acquiesced in his suggestion, and in 1870 we started on our journey; and although we did not experience the difficulties Mr. Eyre experienced, still we had some little difficulty, and we would have had a great deal more, I have no doubt, if we had not had Mr. Eyre's experience to guide us. Many people—in our colony, I mean—thought it was a very little thing indeed we had done, as we had only travelled along another man's tracks, although they gave us a very hearty and enthusiastic reception. We reported that there was good country along the coast, and I am glad to say that in the course of a year a telegraph line will be run across the route we travelled. (Cheers.) I hope it will tend to unite more closely than they are at present united the whole of the Australian colonies, and especially this colony with our own. (Cheers.) There is a very great deal of good country inland from the south coast; and if only water can be procured, I am quite certain it will be the finest pastoral district of West Australia. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt the establishment of telegraphic communication will tend to the settlement of that part of the country, and I am very glad indeed that the Government of South Australia have acted so liberally as to join with our Government in erecting the line. (Cheers.) After this my exploration experience still increased, and I tried very hard to get up another expedition; but, not being a wealthy man, I had to depend upon others. I often represented that I would like to go, and people talked about the matter, and then I thought I would make an offer to the Government, which they might accept or not as they liked. We have the good fortune to have in our colony a Governor—who, I am sorry to say, is leaving shortly—who takes a great interest in exploration. He had been an explorer himself, having, as he has often told me, travelled across New Zealand with his swag on his back. (Cheers.) He has always been a great supporter of mine, and done all he could to forward exploration; and about two years ago I laid before him, through the Commissioner of Crown Lands, a project which I was willing to accomplish if he would recommend the granting of the necessary funds. In a very complimentary reply he quite acquiesced with what I suggested, and promised to lay it before the Legislative Council with the support of the Government; and in 1873 the matter was brought before the Council. All I asked was that the Government of West Australia would grant me some 400 pounds, and I would from my own private purse, and those of others who had agreed to assist me, stand the remainder of the cost. (Cheers.) If they granted me that sum, I was willing to undertake an exploration from Champion Bay up to the Murchison, the head of which we did not know, and strike the telegraph line for Port Darwin, it being left to my discretion which course should be pursued. Four hundred pounds seems a paltry sum, but there was some bitter opposition to its being granted, although by the aid of the Government and other members it was voted. Last year was the year when I should have undertaken the exploration, and I was, of course, quite prepared to do so; but in the meantime a whole host of expeditions from South Australia had come into the field. Mr. Giles, I saw, had started from some part of the telegraph line westward, and I heard afterwards that he had through some misunderstanding—I do not know what it was; I only know by what I read in the papers—returned to Adelaide. Then we heard that the South Australian Government had despatched Mr. Gosse, and that the Honourable Thomas Elder—whom I have the pleasure of meeting to-day—had despatched Colonel Warburton (cheers)—to explore towards the same direction—as we judged from the despatches and newspapers—that I intended to start from. I belong to the Survey Department of West Australia, and was requested by the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Surveyor-General, the Honourable Malcolm Fraser, to superintend some surveys he specially wished undertaken that season. I had an interview with the Governor, and he said very wisely he did not wish to order me in any way; that it was no use running a race with South Australia, and that as they were first in the field, although we were the first to suggest the exploration, we should wait till the next year, when, if the South Australian explorers were fortunate enough to reach this colony, we should have no necessity to send an expedition, and that if they did not, we should certainly profit by their experience. I, being engaged in another service in which I took great interest, was willing to wait for another year; and if, as Mr. Weld said, the South Australians did not succeed, I would undertake it the next year, and benefit by their experience. As it turned out, the expedition undertaken by the Government, commanded by Mr. Gosse, did not succeed in reaching the colony of Western Australia, and the expedition undertaken by Colonel Warburton, under the auspices of my recent friend, the Honourable Thomas Elder, reached our colony, but so far north that it did not add to the knowledge of the route we had laid out for ourselves. He came out between the 20th and 22nd degrees of latitude, whereas we started from the 26th, and did not intend to go more north than that. After we heard—his Excellency the Governor was away on a visit to New Zealand at the time—that Mr. Gosse had turned back, although he had succeeded in reaching a very great distance from the telegraph line, I had instructions from the Colonial Secretary to equip an expedition at once. If Mr. Gosse had succeeded, I am sure I would not have been here to-day; but, as he did not succeed, I had orders to equip an expedition, and as I was starting news arrived from the north-west coast by a coaster that Colonel Warburton and his party had arrived. (Cheers.) This, of course, gave us very great pleasure, and steps were at once taken to give him a reception in Perth. (Cheers.) As soon as we heard that he had arrived, our whole colony rose up to give him a welcome; and although what we did did not come up with what you have given to us to-day—for our colony is only a small one, with little over 30,000 inhabitants—still I am sure that Colonel Warburton told you it was a kind reception. (Cheers.) I am sorry to say that I was not able to be present when he was received, though I waited some time in order to have that opportunity. The opportunities for transport from our north-west settlements to the capital are very few at a certain time of the year, and that was the time when Colonel Warburton arrived in our settlements; so that in a matter of 700 or 800 miles, from Nicol Bay to Perth, he delayed unfortunately three or four months. It was a very great pity that he should have been delayed so long. After receiving addresses at Roeburne and Fremantle, the colonel arrived just in time to be forwarded 250 miles to catch the mail, and therefore he had not time, I know, to receive the reception that would have been given him by the people of West Australia had he remained in our colony a little longer. (Cheers.) All I can say is, that though what has been done for Colonel Warburton cannot compare with what has been done for us to-day, it was done in the same spirit, and we did our best. (Cheers.) I am sure that I would have been very much pleased to have met Colonel Warburton here this evening; but I understand that he is gone upon a tour to his native land, and so I am deprived of the opportunity. I have, however, had the pleasure of meeting other explorers, and I must congratulate South Australia upon possessing so many explorers. I had no idea that she could assemble so many, and that so young a man as myself should be able to meet so many, all young men. I have read a great deal of early explorations, and could tell you a good deal about them; but I have no doubt you are just as well acquainted with their histories as I am. I have only gleaned their history from books written by able men on exploration; and I therefore need say little upon that subject, and will content myself with a short reference to explorations of recent date. I have already referred to Colonel Warburton. Mr. Gosse's is of more recent date. I have never been able to read his journal to this day; but I hope to be able to do so now. Through the kindness of Mr. Phillipson, of Beltana, I was able to see his map of the country he passed over, with which I am very well pleased; and, in spite of what some people have said, I think that Mr. Gosse's exploration will be found of considerable benefit to the colony, and that his action was one for which he deserved very much credit. He travelled for some time in bad country, but, going on, he got into good country; and that which he has described as the Musgrave and Mann and Tomkinson Ranges I hope to see next year stocked with South Australian sheep and cattle. (Cheers.) The country which Mr. Gosse found is country abounding with any quantity of grass, with many springs; and there are, perhaps, many more than I saw, for I kept along Mr. Gosse's track; but I will say that I always found water where he said that it would be found. (Cheers.) There is but one fault that I have to find with him, and that is, that he did not say that water would be found where I sometimes found it; but doubtless this arose from a very laudable caution in an explorer, for had he stated that water would be found where it failed it might have cost men their lives. One place he marked springs, and if he had been mistaken there, we would have lost our lives; but I am glad to say that we found there a very good spring indeed, (cheers) enough to last all the sheep of South Australia, or at any rate a good spring; and I am glad on this occasion to be able to thank him for being so careful to mark permanent water where permanent water really existed. Mr. Giles's exploration would have been as useful to me as Mr. Gosse's, but unfortunately he did not return before I left the settled districts of West Australia, and therefore I did not benefit by his work. I am sure that my companions and myself feel very much the hearty reception you have given us on this occasion. I cannot find words to express my feelings on that point at all. I feel very deeply thankful, and that is about all that I can say. (Loud cheers.) Six weary travellers, travelling through the spinifex desert with about fifteen or sixteen nearly knocked-up horses, not knowing whether they should find water, or whether their lives were safe or not, I am sure that we could not imagine that, after all our travels were over, we should receive such a reception as we have received to-day. (Cheers.) I am sure that if any stimulus is required to induce persons to become explorers, those who witness our reception to-day ought to feel content. I am very proud of the hearty and enthusiastic reception my companions and myself have met with. I hope you will take the will for the deed, and in the absence of better speaking on my part, consider that we are deeply thankful." (Loud cheers.)

Sir H. Ayers, K.C.M.G., had much pleasure in proposing a toast that had been allotted to him, and made no doubt that the company would have equal pleasure in responding to it. The toast was Early Explorers, and he had been requested to associate with it the name of Mr. John Chambers. (Cheers.) It seemed to be the lot of poor human nature that whenever we met for rejoicing there was always sure to be some little mournful circumstance attending it, and we could scarcely think of the early explorers without remembering with regret the noble leaders and brave members of former expeditions who have now passed to their eternal rest. There was the name of Sturt that came first in the list of our old explorers. There was the name and the likeness of a man far more familiar to many of them. There was Kekwick, and more recently poor McKinlay—all gone to their last account. But still he was proud to see, and he was sure it formed a source of gratification to that company, and especially so to our guest, so many brave men at the table who had been companions of those leaders and others in the early expeditions of this country. (Cheers.) He said it with pride, that in no other Australian colony could be seen such a group as sat at that table who had gone through the hardships and dangers of exploration; for with one or two exceptions all of them in the row were explorers. It was hardly possible for us to estimate how much we had benefited by those who had opened up the country for us. We were few in numbers and could not appreciate the work of the explorer; but generations yet unborn would bless the names of those men who had carried it out. (Cheers). He thought that it was doing only a just tribute to associate the name of Mr. John Chambers with this toast, because it might not be known to all present that Mr. Chambers, with his late brother James and Mr. W. Finke, enabled Mr. Stuart to accomplish the journeys that he made throughout the continent. (Cheers.) It was their capital and his great skill, for in the face of so many explorers he was not ashamed to say that Mr. McDouall Stuart was the greatest explorer that ever lived. It was their capital that had enabled him to perform the work which he had done, and for which his name would remain as a monument for ever in the memories of South Australians. For not only were we indebted to Stuart for the most valuable discoveries he had made, but he thought Mr. Todd would say that his indications had proved the most accurate. But he had also done a great thing for exploration in changing the modus operandi. He had been one of Sturt's party that went out with bullock-drays; but he had had genius, and had changed all that, starting upon exploring with light parties, and thus being able to accomplish so much, and he was glad to say that explorers since had followed up the same plan with great success. (Cheers.) And they were still further indebted to the Messrs. Chambers. They had not only assisted in discovering far-off country, but had been the first to invest their capital in stocking it and making it useful. He was sorry to see that there were not more Messrs. Chambers to go and do likewise; but he thought he saw signs of the spread of settlement further, for the toe of the agriculturist was very near upon the heel of the sheep-farmer, and if the sheep-farmers did not look out and get fresh fields and pastures new, they would soon find that the agriculturist was all too near. That was a question that he enlarged upon, especially in another place; but as brevity seemed to be the order of the night, he would only ask them to drink the health of The Early Explorers, coupled with the name of Mr. John Chambers.

The toast was received with three cheers.

Band: Auld lang syne.

Mr. J. Chambers rose amid cheers, and said that he was proud to say that he had been connected with the earliest of our explorations, having been associated with the gallant Captain Sturt in his exploration of the Murray. After his arrival in the colony he had first travelled with him and the then Governor, the late Colonel Gawler, in exploring the south. They had had no difficulties and dangers to encounter then that some of the explorers of the present had to go through, and, although they travelled with heavy bullock-drays, managed to have plenty of water and food. Their principal difficulty lay in getting through the ranges to the south, and the interminable creeks and gullies which they got into and had to retrace their steps from. This was a small matter of exploration, and might at the present day appear absurd; but then there were doubts where the Angas was, and whether the Onkaparinga in Mount Barker District was not the Angas, and when beyond the hills they did not know whether Mount Barker was not Mount Lofty, and whether Mount Lofty was not some other mount. It was, however, done, and, having settled these matters by observation, they returned to Adelaide after an exploration of three weeks. They were on their return made small lions of, although they had not had to fight the natives, and had had bullock-drays with them, while their horses were in rather better condition than when they went out. There was no doubt that the subject of exploration was one of the most important to be considered by those who in the future would have to do with the country, as it was always well to have information beforehand; and, if Governor Gawler and Captain Sturt had known more, there would have been a different result to their exploration journey up the Murray. The gallant Captain Sturt had made Cooper's Creek his depot, and that place twelve months ago had been looked upon as a home by persons in search of country with a view of stocking it. His youngest son had been round there for five months, and had penetrated the country far and wide, and had often to retrace his steps there for water. They had heard from the young explorer, Mr. Forrest, how it was said when he came here before that he had only traversed the tracks of Mr. Eyre. So be it, and often was it said that Mr. Eyre did no good because he kept to the coast; but they had heard from Mr. Forrest that the tracks and descriptions of Mr. Eyre were of vast assistance to him. (Cheers.) Therefore no man could tell what good he might do; the finding of a spring in a desert might eventually become of great service to the descendants of those who lived at the time. There were some whom he wished could have been there, but Providence had ordained the contrary, and therefore he stood before them to say that it was for no purpose of self-aggrandizement, but for the purpose of good to the nation, that the early expeditions were promoted and conducted (cheers) and that the object of James Chambers, Finke, Stuart, and himself was to span this colony for the purpose of allowing a telegraph line to be laid. (Cheers.) When we read of the many times that Stuart was driven back by the force of circumstances, it could easily be conceived that he possessed a very energetic spirit. It was not once or twice that Stuart was driven back, but he was determined to penetrate the continent for the purpose, he was proud to know, of paving the way for telegraphic communication; and had it not been for his brother, Mr. Stuart, and himself, he was proud to say, we should not this day have had the telegraph. It was often said that there never would be a telegraph line, but their answer was always "yes." (Cheers). He thanked them heartily for the position in which they had placed him and Mr. Stuart's companions, and which they all appreciated. (Cheers).

Mr. J.W. Billiat, who was imperfectly heard, also responded. He said that when he went out with Mr. Stuart he was only a new chum; but he went out and came back again, and there he was. He could not say much about Mr. Stuart's explorations, as all that needed to be said had been so ably put by Sir Henry Ayers. There was no country in the world that had so tried the endurance and perseverance of the men on exploring expeditions as South Australia had done, and explorers should receive all the credit that could be given. He knew the difficulty of travelling country like that Mr. Forrest had come across, as several of Mr. Stuart's party had travelled upon it trying to strike the Victoria River. If Mr. John Chambers's liberality were known, and the way he had entered into the question of exploration generally were known, his name would be brought into more prominence than it had. He had sat in the background, but he had found both money and energy.

The Honourable W. Everard (Commissioner of Crown Lands) said the toast he had to give was The Government and People of Western Australia. Owing to a variety of circumstances, our relations with Western Australia had not been so intimate or close as those with the eastern colonies. That would be readily understood, because Western Australia, being a small colony, and self-reliant and independent, had troubled us very little —occasionally for a few tons of flour or a cargo of notions. Another reason was that it had not had telegraphic communication with us or the rest of the world, and it was separated from us by a large extent of country which till lately was considered little better than a howling wilderness. He was happy to say that by the enterprise of Western Australia the magic wire which annihilated time and distance would be laid between the two colonies before long; and he was happy to say the Legislature here had agreed to construct the South Australian part of the line, so that Western Australia would be placed in communication, not only with South Australia, but the world. (Cheers.) And again, with reference to that large tract of hitherto supposed desert country which lay between the two colonies, the experience of the gallant men he saw around him, and not only of the Messrs. Forrest, but of Warburton, Gosse, and Giles, had shown that it contained grassy valleys, mountain ranges, and permanent waters, and he believed that before long it would be occupied by squatters. We must remember that, in South Australia, close upon the heels of the explorer came the squatter with his flocks and herds, and he even was not long left in quiet enjoyment; and if his runs were good they were soon taken from him for agricultural purposes. Considering the progress that we were making in agriculture, it was high time we sought to enlarge our borders. Although it was true that the band of explorers who were now before them had only made a line through the country, we must remember that it would be a base-line for future operations. Their work was very different to making a forced march of two or three days when it was known there was permanent water ahead. The explorer had carefully and deliberately to feel his way into unknown country, and if he went a mile or two too far he could not retrace his steps, and we could not attach too much importance to the services of those individuals who had risked their lives in that way. It was said, when Edward John Eyre made that wonderful journey of his along the coast of Western Australia, that he had done nothing but gone along the coast; but along that very line there would be a telegraph to connect this colony with Western Australia. (Cheers.) It was true that Western Australia was the smallest of the Australian group, and she had not perhaps been so favoured as South Australia, as her country was not so good; but he believed, from the enterprise of her Government, and the courage, perseverance, and endurance shown by some of her sons, that she would yet take her place among the Australian group, and that at some future date she would be one of the provinces which would form one united Australia. (Cheers.)

The toast was drunk with cheers.

Mr. Alexander Forrest responded. He said he thanked them most cordially for having associated his name with that of the Government and people of Western Australia. He had had the honour for the last four years of being employed in the service of the Western Australian Government, and he could assure them that they had a very good Government. They had representative government, although not responsible government; but since they had been on their trip they had heard that it was proposed to establish constitutional government. He did not believe it would make much difference, but personally he was glad to see it. The people would have the management of their own money, and that he considered a good thing, for they were never satisfied till they had the control over it. When the party left, all the people of Western Australia were longing to do honour to and entertain Colonel Warburton; and, although they were a small people, they did their best, and what they did they did heartily. (Cheers.) If Mr. Gosse had got over they would have given him also a good reception. He had not expected to see as many people as he had seen that day. The streets were crowded, and, wherever he looked, some one seemed to be looking in that direction. (Laughter.) The toast included the people of Western Australia, and he could assure them that, as he had travelled through the length and breadth of the land, he knew every man in it, every squatter, every farmer, every rich man, every poor man, and every magistrate. This was not the first time that he had been exploring, as he accompanied his brother to this colony four years ago, and in 1871 the Government sent him out in command of a party to find new land, when he went out about 600 miles. He thanked them for the very kind way in which they had spoken of his companions. Since they came to this colony they had been fed and clothed, and no one would take any money. (Cheers.) In the city he expected something great, but in the Burra, Gawler, and other places where they did not expect it, they had met with a hearty reception. He saw a great improvement in Adelaide. When he came here four years ago, the colony was not in such a good state, and a great many men were out of work; but now everything was in good order, and he believed South Australia would be one of the first colonies of Australia. (Cheers).

Mr. William Gosse rose, and was received with loud cheers. He said he felt honoured by being invited on the present occasion, and had much pleasure in taking part in the reception of Mr. John Forrest and party. He would take that opportunity of making a few remarks. His instructions, when he was sent out, were to find a route as nearly as possible in a direct line from his starting-point upon the telegraph line to Perth, only deviating when obliged to do so for water. He had to feel his way as he advanced, form depots to secure his retreat if necessary, and accurately fix all points on his track. The last words the Honourable T. Reynolds had said to him were, "You fully understand that Perth is your destination, and not any other point on the western coast," or words to that effect. They would see by that, that had he been fortunate enough to discover the country by which Mr. Forrest got across, he should scarcely have been justified in proceeding. His farthest point west was between 500 and 600 miles from the explored portion of the Murchison, and 360 miles from the sources of the same. Copies of his diary and map had been forwarded to Mr. Forrest by Mr. Goyder on the 27th of February, 1874, the originals of which had been ready for publication on his arrival on the telegraph line, and had not been compiled after their return to Adelaide, as some people supposed from the delay in their publication. He made these statements partly in self-defence, as remarks had been made by members in the House to the effect that the Government had fitted out an expedition at an enormous expense which had done comparatively nothing, though his map showed 50,000 square miles of country.

Sir John Morphett had been asked to propose the toast of The Australian Colonies. It was a very large toast indeed at the present time even, and what it might be in the future it was impossible to say. He hoped that it would be something wonderful. (Cheers.) At the present time the immense country was occupied by 2,000,000 people, and we could not with that number get on. What we wanted was more population. What were the products which Australia could produce? First of all was wheat—the best in the world. Then there were wine and wool, and lead, and gold, and copper, tin, and sugar. These were all products that the world wanted, and all that we required to make our production of these a success was federation. We should have greater individual strength and prosperity, and greater universal strength and prosperity if we were federated, and we would in time become what we wanted to be—a nation. (Cheers.) Let them come to West Australia, which was the birth-place of their esteemed and energetic friend Mr. Forrest. He was glad to see that she had at last freed herself from the shackles of that curse of convictism, and could now go hand in hand with the other colonies in the march of progress. He gave them the toast of the Colonies of Australia, coupling with it the name of Mr. Ernest Giles.

The toast having been duly honoured, Mr. Ernest Giles rose to respond, and was met with cheers. He had been called upon to respond to this toast, which, as Sir John Morphett had told them, was a very comprehensive one—so comprehensive that he was sure that he would fail to do it justice. What he had to say therefore on the subject would not detain them long. Sir John Morphett had touched upon the progress and prosperity of the colonies, and there was no doubt that at the present time the colonies were in a far more prosperous state than they had ever been in before. With regard to federation, a gentleman high in the service here, speaking to him, had said that if that was carried out exploration should not be forgotten, but that fresh lines should be taken with the co-operation of all the colonies. The splendid success which had attended Mr. Forrest would, he had no doubt, tend greatly to promote the ultimate prosperity of the colonies. (Applause.)

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