History

Allan Cunningham | Warwick

Allan Cunningham (1791 to 1839) was an English botanist and explorer, primarily known for his travels in New South Wales to collect plants. Arriving in New South Wales in 1820 Allan Cunningham set out on his first expedition in 1823 discovering Pandora's Pass across Liverpool Range. Later that year Cunningham set out from the upper Hunter River to explore inside the Great Dividing Range, discover...

Edward John Eyre | Adelaide

Edward John Eyre (1815 to 1901) arrived in Sydney in 1833. His principal expedition was in 1839 when he travelled inland from Adelaide in search of new grazing country and a route to Western Australia. This expedition took him across Lake Torrens to Streaky Bay and back to the Peninsula named after him.

Ernest Giles | Perth

Ernest Giles arrived in New South Wales in 1851. His first expedition in 1865 explored the country west of Darling River. In 1872 he led his second expedition to explore central Australia west of the overland telegraph line. In 1875 on his third expedition Giles arrived in Perth after successfully completing the crossing of central Australia from Beltana Station in South Australia which he depar...

Hamilton Hume and William Hilton Hovell | Lake George

Hamilton Hume and William Hilton Hovell (1797 to 1873). Hamilton Hume was born in Parramatta in 1797. In 1818 he discovered Lake Bathurst and Goulburn Plains. In 1822 he discovered Yass Plains. In 1824 he set off on his first overland expedition from his property at Lake George with instructions from Governor Brisbane to reach Spencer's Gulf on Australia's southern coast. On December 16, 1824 the...

John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley | Brisbane

John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (1783 to 1828). John Oxley, Naval Officer and Surveyor arrived in Sydney in 1802. Oxley undertook a number of explorations to inland Australia in search of a belief that he would find an inland sea. On 24 April 1817 he set out to trace to Lachlan River discovering Bathurst Falls shortly after starting. He described the country as: "Impossible to fancy a worse c...

Ludwig Leichhardt | Warwick

Leichhardt, a German naturalist, was widely praised and honoured after his 14 month long journey from Brisbane to Port Essington in 1844 to 45. Leichhardt's first expedition left Moreton Bay district in 1844. The expedition covered some 3000 miles. In December 1846 he set out from the Darling Downs with a 9 man party on a journey which he intended to take him north west across Australia and then d...

Matthew Flinders | Sydney

Matthew Flinders (1774 to 1814). In his short life of 40 years the accomplishments of Matthew Flinders are simply overwhelming. At age 15 he joined the Royal Navy, serving under Captain William Bligh, a future governor of New South Wales. After arriving in Sydney in 1795 his first expedition travelled southward from Port Jackson to Botany Bay, which had earlier been entirely surveyed in 1770 by Ca...

Paul Edmund Strzelecki | Kosciuszko

Paul Strzelecki was a Polish-born geologist who explored the unknown country to the north-east of Port Phillip in Victoria where he named Gippsland. He is most famous for being the first explorer to climb the Australian Alps and Mount Kosciuszko on 15 January 1840 which he named after Polish patriot, Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

Robert O'Hara Burke & William John Wills | Menindee

Burke, a former police superintendent and Wills, a former seaman set out on August 20, 1860 on Australia's largest manned expedition with 14 men, 25 camels, horses and 20 tonnes of baggage with the aim of reaching the Gulf of Carpentaria. Reverend John Stori is alleged to have said at a dinner for Burke before his departure from Melbourne: "If there really exists within our great continent a sa...

Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell | Berrima

Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell (1792 to 1855) arrived in New South Wales in 1827. He designed public roads to Lapstone Hill through Mitchell's Pass and to Cox Valley through Victoria Pass. In the early 1830s Mitchell was the colonies leading protagonist of Greek revival architecture which can be seen in his design of Berrima Courthouse. On his third expedition in 1836 Mitchell established that ...

Vaucluse House, Wentworth Rd., Sydney | Vaucluse

Vaucluse House is the old home of William Charles Wentworth who was one of the first three explorers who crossed the Blue Mountains in 1813. Wentworth studied law in England where he was admitted to the bar in 1822, and, on his return to Australia, devoted his life to the improvement of the colony and the lot of the colonists. His keen efforts for the promotion of higher education contributed to t...

Captain Charles Sturt | Wentworth

Captain Charles Sturt arrived in New South Wales in 1827 in charge of a shipment of convicts. In 1828 his first expedition explored Eastern Australia and Macquarie, Bogan, Castlereagh and Darling Rivers. On 3 November 1830 his second expedition set out to trace the course of the Murrumbidgee River to its junction with the Murray River. On 14 January 1831 he wrote they were: "hurried into a broad...

Charles Throsby | Lake George

The same time that John Oxley was exploring the Lachlan and Macquarie Rivers Charles Throsby in May 1821 explored the Murrumbidgee River after setting out from Lake George east of Canberra. He concluded that: "If they ever do enter the inland sea it will not be on the eastern coast". In April 1818 Throsby who had retired as a surgeon due to ill health some 10 years previously discovered an overlan...

Felton Mathew | Sydney

A website reproducing extracts from Felton Mathew's journal, a government surveyor in colonial New South Wales, and in particular on topics including Voyage to New South Wales (1829), Sydney and Surrounds (1830 to 1832) and treatment of indigenous people. Mathew Felton also kept a significant record of early Australian shipwrecks.

Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson | Katoomba

In May 1813 Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson with the help of local Aborigines finally traversed the Blue Mountains passing along the way a pyramid of stones believed to have been left by George Bass in 1796. They followed mountain ridges and Aboriginal ancestral trails rather than utilise the exploration techniques of the time that had failed. Previous attempts had been made...

John McDouall Stuart | Alice Springs

John McDouall Stuart (1815 to 1866) achieved immortality by being the first explorer to cross Australia from south to north and back again. His extraordinary journey set out from Adelaide in 1862 for Newcastle waters and was the explorer's third attempt to make the north-south crossing. He reached Chambers Bay on the Indian Ocean on 25 July 1862. On his return journey he reached Strangways River n...

John Septimus Roe & Augustus Charles Gregory | Esperance

In 1848 Gregory and Roe, Surveyor General of Western Australia from 1829 left Perth to explore the south-west section of Western Australia travelling as far east as Esperance Bay and south to Cape Riche. They discovered beds of coal and bitumen on the banks of a river they named Fitzgerald as well as coal seams on Irwin River and lead in the bed of Murchison River. Gregory mounted a second expedit...

Edmund Kennedy | Rockhampton

Edmund Kennedy perished in 1848 at the hands of an Aboriginal spear just short of his planned rendezvous with the ship Ariel waiting for him at the tip of Cape York. His party had departed from Rockingham Bay on an expedition aimed to traverse both sides of Cape York Peninsula to provide the final links with previous journeys by Sir Thomas Mitchell and Ludwig Leichhardt. The expedition achieved fa...

William Hilton Hovell | Melbourne

William Hilton Hovell (1786 to 1875) arrived in New South Wales in 1812. In 1824 he accompanied Hamilton Hume on an overland journey southward discovering Port Phillip.