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Ayers Rock discovered and named
Title : Ayers Rock discovered and named Ayers Rock discovered and named
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Creator : Gosse, William Christie, 1842-1881
Source : Rough diary of William Christie Gosse's expedition when Ayers' Rock was discovered
Format : Diary
Contributor : Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Mr J. G. Gosse and RGSSA. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Mr J. G. Gosse and RGSSA and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

William Christie Gosse was the leader of a South Australian government expedition exploring central Australia in 1873 to search for a viable route between the Overland Telegraph Line and Perth in Western Australia. From Mount Olga (Kata Tjuta) he had seen a high hill, and set out with the cameleer Khamran to investigate it. His diary of 18 and 19 July describes his approach to this hill. They passed an Aboriginal camp which had been recently occupied and a small waterhole from which he was able to water his camels. The country was stony but grassed and lightly timbered. He saw a large flat topped hill which he named Mount Conner. He then reached spinifex covered sandhills. Finally on 19 July he approached the hill he had been seeking, and found it to have a most peculiar appearance, the upper portion covered with small holes. Most astonishing of all was to discover that the hill was one immense rock. He described the country as only being good for two miles around the rock. He named the hill Ayers Rock after Sir Henry Ayers. The following day he and Khamran succeeded in climbing the Rock to assess the view ahead. He could see part of Lake Amadeus and numbers of ranges across the horizon from south east throughto the west.

There is no mention in this portion of his diary of the Aboriginal drawings he had seen in the caves on the Rock and which are reported in the official government report of the expedition, nor does his published statement of Ayers Rock being "certainly the most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen" appear in this day's entry. The ranges Gosse had seen to the south-west included the Musgrave Ranges and Mount Woodroffe the highest peak in South Australia. After moving his whole expedition to the Rock a week later Gosse was able to spend more time exploring it.
Related names :

Gosse, William Christie, 1842-1881

Coverage year : 1873
Place : Uluru/Ayers Rock (N.T.)
Further reading :
Gosse, William Christie, Report and diary of Mr. W. C. Gosse's central and western exploring expedition 1873 Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1973
Gosse, Fayette, The Gosses: an Anglo-Australian family Canberra: Brian Clouston, 1981
Layton, Robert, Uluru: an Aboriginal history of Ayers Rock Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1986
Sweet, I. P. Uluru & Kata Tjuta: a geological history Canberra: Australian Geological Survey Organisation, 1992
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



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