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The expedition starts out
Title : The expedition starts out The expedition starts out
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Creator : Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889
Source : Journey across the western interior of Australia, opp. p. 140
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Sampson Low
Date of creation : 1875
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :

Peter Egerton Warburton's expedition of 1873, to explore a route west of the Overland Telegraph Line to Perth, sets out. There were 17 camels, four white men, one Aboriginal man, Charley, and two Afghan cameleers. Warburton's expedition endured intense heat and lack of water which forced the party away from their destination and to the north-west. It was the skills of their Aboriginal guide Charley which continually saved them and led them to precious water supplies. He did this by carefully observing the local Aboriginal people and the birds. The expedition was reduced to eating their camels to survive, but these were not as nutritious as hoped as the camels were already reduced to little more than skin and bone.

Explorers sought many things in their expeditions: the discovery of new land could reveal new pastoral lands for sheep or cattle, or good lands suitable for farming. They might discover new rivers and mineral wealth. Often in Australia they discovered only the inhospitable Australian deserts which they were often ill-equipped to meet. Those explorers who utilised the skills of their Aboriginal guides were the wise ones.

Warburton had led several expeditions prior to this one in 1873. In 1860 he explored the region north-west of Streaky Bay and in 1866 the north shore of Lake Eyre where he discovered the large creek that he thought was Sturt's Cooper Creek, but was in fact was another river, later named for Warburton.

Despite the dire necessity of eating their camels, Warburton's expedition did reach safety on the Oakover River, but not their intended destination of Perth.

Related names :

Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889

Coverage year : 1873
Place : Central Australia
Further reading :
Dunn, Margaret The captain, the colonel and the bishop Adelaide: Crawford House Press, 2004
Warburton, Peter Egerton, Journey across the western interior of Australia; with an introduction and additions by Charles H. Eden; edited by H.W. Bates Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1968
McLaren, Glen Beyond Leichhardt: bushcraft and the exploration of Australia South Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1996
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



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