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

Sturt's explorations
Title : Sturt's explorations Sturt's explorations
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Arrowsmith, John, 1790-1873
Source : Map of Captn. Sturt's route from Adelaide into the centre of Australia
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Published ... by J. Arrowsmith 10 Soho Square
Date of creation : 1849 Jan. 4
Additional Creator : Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869.
Format : Map
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 :

Map showing route of Sturt (1844-46) and other explorers with descriptions of topography and vegetation. Relief shown by hachures and spot heights

View a "zoomable" version.

Charles Sturt's expedition to Central Australia in 1844-46 was to search for the north south watershed of the continent. He was also hopeful of finding an inland sea. He travelled up the River Murray and then the Darling River to Laidley's Ponds (now part of the Menindee Lakes). From here the expedition travelled north-west over to the ranges. Even in the early stages after leaving the river, water was hard to find. The various attempts by the expedition to find water and to travel to the north-west towards Edward Eyre's Mount Hopeless are traced on the map. Then as Sturt led his men further north to his depot at Fort Grey even more journeys are traced. His longest trip away from the safety of the main camp was that to the north-west, across the Stony Desert and to the edge of what would later be called the Simpson Desert in August and September 1845.

This was not his last attempt to find water or good land in the interior. He would advance out from Fort Grey again in October, cross the Stony Desert again and then return to explore along the Cooper Creek. The upper reaches of this waterway are shown on the map as the Victoria River or Barcoo. It was not realised at this stage that the Cooper, Victoria or Barcoo were the same river. Charles Sturt did not find his inland sea, and the boat he took to sail upon it was painted, floated and then abandoned on the creek at Depot Glen. He did reach within 150 miles of the centre of the continent, which would be reached by one of his men, John McDouall Stuart in 1860. Sturt also discovered the continent's north south watershed, although it was not realised at the time.

Related names :

Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869

Coverage year : 1844-46
Place : Central Australia
Further reading :
Sturt, Charles, Journal of the central Australian expedition, 1844-5 edited with an introduction and notes by Jill Waterhouse London; Dover, N.H., USA: Caliban Books, 1984
Stokes, Edward, To the inland sea: Charles Sturt's expedition 1844-45 Melbourne: Hutchinson of Australia, 1986
Cumpston, J. H. L. Charles Sturt: his life and journeys of exploration Melbourne: Georgian House, 1951
Rudolph, Ivan Sturt's desert drama Rockhampton, Qld.: Central Queensland University Press, 2006
The central Australian expedition, 1844-1846: the journals of Charles Sturt edited by Richard C. Davis London: Hakluyt Society, 2002
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