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1869 Survey completed

In July 1866,  McKinlay hired the schooner Julia for a survey trip to the Daly River.  The vessel was able to sail upriver for two days and then McKinlay pushed further upstream in one of her boats. From the Daly River they sailed to Port Darwin. McKinlay's report to the South Australian government was inconclusive on the site for a permanent settlement, as he weighed the advantages and disadvantages of Cliff Head at Anson Bay, Port Darwin and the Daly River.

In February 1867 Francis Cadell was sent north to search for a suitable location for a permanent settlement.  He recommended northern Arnhem Land and the Liverpool River, or alternatively the Roper River or Adam Bay. George Goyder, Surveyor General of South Australia, was the next to be sent north.  In a preliminary report Goyder said that he would commence his work at Port Darwin and extend to the Adelaide River and towards Anson Bay and the Victoria River.  Arriving in February 1869 Goyder and his men had surveyed 665,866 acres by the end of August, and established safe routes between Port Darwin and the Adelaide River, Fort Point (12º28'S 130º50'E) and Fred's Pass. Despite difficulties experienced with the fiercely territorial Aborigines of the region, settlement seemed assured.

For more information about McKinlay see SA Memory, Taking to the edge: Land: John McKinlay.


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