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The north coast of Australia is reached
Title : The north coast of Australia is reached The north coast of Australia is reached
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Creator : Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866
Source : Parliamentary paper (South Australia. Parliament); no. 21 of 1863, p. 24
Place Of Creation : Adelaide
Publisher : Governement Printer
Date of creation : 1863
Format : Magazine
Catalogue record
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Description :

John McDouall Stuart's expedition reached the northern coast of Australia on 24 July 1862; he bathed his feet in the waters of Van Diemen Gulf as he had promised the Governor of South Australia he would do and carved his initials on a nearby tree. He proposed to raise his flag further along the beach at the mouth of the Adelaide River. However in attempting to reach it some of his horses became badly bogged in the mud. Considering this and the fact he had yet to make the long journey back to Adelaide across the continent, Stuart decided against continuing along the beach. A tree nearby was stripped of its lower branches and the Union Jack was raised upon it, and a note was buried in a tin near its base.

In his diary and in the Parliamentary Paper which recorded his expedition, Stuart wrote that he was on the Adelaide River or at least a branch of it. He was however further east and on the Mary River, which flowed in the right direction to link up with the Adelaide River as described by John Lort Stokes in his account of the coastal surveys done in the 1840s. The Adelaide River was 40 miles to the west. David Lindsay finally resolved the differences in the rivers in 1886, exploring the Mary and comparing his observations of the river with those of Stuart. Stuart's blazed tree was also finally found in the 1880s and vindicated Stuart's claims to have reached the north coast of Australia, which had been doubted by some.
Related names :

Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866

MacDonnell, Richard Graves, Sir, 1814-1881

Coverage year : 1862
Place : Van Diemen Gulf (NT)
Further reading :
John McDouall Stuart's explorations, 1858-1862: South Australian parliamentary papers 1858-1863 Adelaide: Friends of the State Library of South Australia, 2001
Webster, M. S. John McDouall Stuart [Carlton]: Melbourne University Press, 1958
Stokes, Edward, Across the Centre: John McDouall Stuart's expeditions, 1860-62 St. Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1996
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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