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John Gilbert diary entry

26 June 1845 - 23 June 1845

Page 5. Volume 2

Page 5735

[in lower left margin]


Thursday 26.

West 1/2 South

7 miles.

Lat 15=52=0


Last night was a very cold one, such as we have not experienced since leaving the Table land, it may in part perhaps be attributed to the change of wind, from N α Easterly, to Southerly, and to a very clear atmosphere, which we have not had for some time past, the night through. being a bad camping place all our horses α bullocks took back to search for feed, the Dr. kept us back some time independent of this in working out his Longitude. the result however was any thing but favorable, being 141=25=0 which in our present latitude would place us between 20 α 30 miles out at sea736. the Doctor however imagines he knows where the error has been made, notwithstanding he took a new set of sights, we did not therefore make a start till after ten o'clock, and we made but a short stage of about 7 miles, over precisely the same character of country as yesterday, at first through a very thick forest of small timber, for a mile having the thick brush on our right, then we again came upon open thinly wooded country for 2 miles, then upon a long narrow Lagoon, which took us nearly a mile to get to the end of it, when we again came upon a second737, when getting clear from this we had about 2 miles of a plain to cross, the last mile through an open forest, and we camped at a miserably small water hole in a shallow creek, nearly the whole of to day's route was over land which in the wet season must be principally under water the plains like Darling Downs being full of Melon holes. as yesterday Natives fires were seen in every direction around us. Our course for the day about West.

Note 735

A large piece was torn out of the left hand top side of this page before Gilbert wrote over his pencilled notes.

Note 736

In fact they must have been at least 55 miles east of the western coast of Cape York.

Note 737

According to Leichhardt’s sketch map they had travelled due west, so the lagoon they came across must be the one which runs between GR 250 468 and 244 477 in what is now called “Leichhardt’s Creek”; the second probably the smaller one which runs as part of the Leichhardt’s Creek complex between GR 240 470 and 240 473 on the Koolatah map 7366. According to McLaren the “miserably small water hole in a shallow creek” where they camped on 26th June 1845 was at approximately GR 181 468, on Diamond Creek. This campsite is also unnamed. “Miserable Small Waterhole Camp” would be appropriate, although rather graceless.