State Library of South Australia logo Taking it to the edge
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Swinden's diary
Title : Swinden's diary Swinden's diary
Add To My SA Memory
Source : South Australian Register, 24 August 1857, p. 2, col. e-f
Place Of Creation : Adelaide, S. Aust.
Publisher : Robert Thomas and Co.
Date of creation : 1857
Format : Newspaper
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :
View a "zoomable" version.

Charles Swinden along with Murdoch Campbell and D Thompson explored west of Lake Torrens and found good pastoral lands. The men were lightly equipped with riding horses and several pack horses which gave them speed and ease of movement but did limit the length of time they could remain out exploring. They left on 31 March 1857 from Saltia station, crossed beyond the top of Spencer Gulf and after an initial encounter with the salt water of Beda Creek and several other billabongs reached Pernatty Creek, about 75 miles north-west of Port Augusta. Pernatty contained excellent water and Swinden gave it the Aboriginal name. From Pernatty they found Yarraberry waterhole, the Yallatta waterhole on Elizabeth Creek and Perrialta waterhole among others. Swinden considered the land similar to that at Bundaleer and Booboorowie Stations, salt bush country but with good grass and other herbage between. He also considered the waterholes they found to be superior to those on the Light, Wakefield and Broughton Rivers. The expedition returned 9 August, but Swinden was confident that they had found good pastoral lands, which with the sinking of several wells could be easily reached from the east.

For a number of years this region was named on maps of South Australia as 'Swinden's country'. The newspaper editor concurred with Swinden's analysis of the country and urged the wells to be sunk so that the lands found could be used for pastoralism. He believed that at last the hypothesis of the interior as an unmitigated and dreadful desert had been disproven.

Related names :

Swinden, Charles

Thompson, D.

Campbell, Murdoch

Coverage year : 1857
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :
Threadgill, Bessie South Australian land exploration, 1856 to 1880 Adelaide: Board of Governors of the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia, 1922
Gee, Philip A history of pastoralism in the Lake Eyre South drainage basin Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, 2000
Donovan, P. F. In the interest of the country: a history of the Pastoral Board of South Australia, 1893-1993 [Adelaide]: Pastoral Management Branch of the South Australian Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, 1995
Symes, G.W. 'The exploration and development of the northern part of South Australia between 1850 and 1869 and the early life of John Ross', Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch), vol. 58, 1956/57, pp. 1-20
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on