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John Gilbert diary entry

4 April 1845 - 6 April 1845

Page 67. Volume 2

[in left margin]


certainly a very pleasing sound to us, as the banks of the river are now becoming very high, to camp there would be too far from the water, and we therefore descended to the bed, on the gravel close beside the running stream we camp'd beneath the shade of the large tea tree. At night we had rain from a passing Thunder Storm.

[in left margin]

Sat 5th.

W by N.

8 miles.

Oak-tree Thicket471.

Crossing the stream at the Camp we travelled along the right bank, and for the first five miles had very tolerable travelling, having however many gullies to cross, and deep ravines to head. the river kept very nearly west, and had very few turns, on the left bank, the range of fine Mountains kept on in a parrallel line with the river, while on the right bank, after five miles, commenced a number of rugged Peaks, and round top'd hills472, many of them ap=proaching the river so closely, that we again had the most dreadful rocky sides of hills over which we had the greatest difficulty to induce our Bullocks to face, and it was not eventually done without a great deal of whipping and beating, the morning too was so exceedingly hot, that our Bullocks became fagged, and at length became so un=manageable, that they were constantly rushing either into the stream, or among the lower branches of the groves of Tea tree and for the last four miles we had a constant succession of loads being torn off; we made about a W by North course on the whole [of] the last mile however the river turned off more to the N.W. during the days progress we passed many groves of the Pandanus. the river bed if any thing much more rocky than we have seen in any previous days progress in fact we passed many water falls, and our Camp was in a grove of small Casuarina close to a rocky shallow part of the stream, the noise occasioned by the rushing of the water, resembling the Sea beach, when heard at a short distance. During the afternoon we were visited with a tolerably heavy shower of rain, Thunder α Lightning to the S α E during the night.

[in left margin]

Sunday 6th

8 Miles



Still pursuing our course up the Burdikin, the day was cloudy, and we were enabled to proceed with better travelling country than yesterday by keeping a little back from the river, still we had the same description of stony hills and gullies to cross, for about a mile we traversed the dry part of the bed of the river to avoid a rocky ridge of hills about a mile from Camp. notwithstanding the day was cool, our Bullocks felt the effects of yesterdays ex=ertions, and were fagged long before we came to camp, and we only accomplished 8 miles. the whole country travelled over to day the Dr says resembles New England473

Note 471

Leichhardt’s “4th Camp at the Burdekin in the Casuarina Thicket”. McLaren estimated this camp to have been at GR 835 477 on the Ravenswood 1: 100,000 map 8257. It was just to the east of Camp Oven Mountain and The Pinnacles. McLaren recorded in his thesis notes (p. 242) that the view from this point in the morning was “quite stunning, for we were high enough on the west bank to see the sun rising behind the range two or three miles to the east, and could see about 10 to 15 miles north to south”.

Note 472

Robey Range, named after a supporter of the expedition, and which continues north to join what is now called Leichhardt Range. Leichhardt included a sketch map of Robey Range in his Journal (1847, left margin of page 204)

Note 473

Presumably the “New England” of New South Wales, rather than “New England” in America. According to Wikipedia New England, or New England North West, is the name given to a generally undefined region about 60 kilometres (37 miles) inland, that includes the Northern Tablelands (or New England Tablelands) and the North-west slopes regions in the north of the state of New South Wales.