State Library of South Australia logo Foundation Documents 1800-1851
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

The River Murray above Moorundi
Title : The River Murray above Moorundi The River Murray above Moorundi
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Angas, George French, 1822-1886, artist
Source : B 15276/3
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Thomas McLean
Date of creation : ca. 1846
Additional Creator : Giles, J.W.
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 228 x 320 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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 :

Plate 3: The River Murray above Moorundi. Part of the text accompanying the illustration reads 'The valley of the Murray is cut through a fossil formation, along which the rivers sweeps in magnificent reaches from side to side, so the perpendicular cliffs are perpendicular to its margins, whilst at other times they slope up at a distance of one or two miles from it, the intervening flats being a rich alluvial deposit covered in reeds. Fine gum trees (Eucalyptus) grow along the banks, forming delightful shady recesses, with the grassy turf beneath them, entirely divested from underwood ... The cliffs represented in the plate, are a yellow fossiliferous sandstone, enclosing layers of gypsum, in which spiral shells occur of the transparency of glass. At Moorundi, is a government station ... and many flourishing Settlers are scattered along the banks of the river.'

George French Angas arrived in South Australia in January 1844 and almost immediately began painting the country around him. He was the youngest son of George Fife Angas, one of the founders of South Australia. George French trained as an artist and lithographer. Upon his arrival in South Australia he joined Governor George Grey on an expedition to the Fleurieu Peninsula and the South East of the colony. He also travelled to Eyre Peninsula and the River Murray. His watercolours were subsequently lithographed and published in London in 1847 as South Australiaillustrated, and are a record of South Australia only eight years after settlement. His scene of the River Murray above Moorundie depicts the lushness of the lower river and the well known cliffs.

Charles Sturt was the first European to sail down the River Murray in 1829-30. His descriptions of the land adjacent to the river in its lower reaches contributed to the decision for the settlement of South Australia. He writes in general of the lower river below modern Morgan as follows:

'As we proceeeded down it, the valley expanded to the width of two miles; the alluvial flats became proportionally larger; and a small lake generally occupied their centre. They were extensively covered with reeds and grass, for which reason, notwithstanding that they were little elevated above the level of the stream, I do not think they are subject to overflow... the valley may be decidedly laid down as a most desirable spot, whether we regard the richness of its soil, its rock formation, its locality, or the extreme facility of water communication along it.' (Sturt, vol. 2, pp151/52)

In 1839 Edward Eyre returned to Adelaide from explorations to the north of the Spencer Gulf by travelling down the River Murray. He discovered the rich alluvial flats of the lower river and in particular the area around Moorundie, which he subsequently arranged to purchase.

Related names :

Angas, George French, 1822-1886

Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869

Coverage year : 1846
Period : 1836-1851
Place : River Murray
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :

Angas, GF, South Australiaillustrated, London : Thomas M'Lean, 1847

Tregenza, John, George French Angas, artist, traveller and naturalist, 1822-1886 Adelaide: Art Gallery Board of South Australia, 1980

Sturt, Charles, Two expeditions into the interior of southern Australia, during the years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831: with observations on the soil, climate, and general resources of the Colony of New South Wales Adelaide: Public Library of South Australia, 1963

Langley, Michael, Sturt of the Murray: father of Australian exploration London, Hale, 1969

Eyre, Edward John, Journals of expeditions of discovery into Central Australia ..., Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1964

Davis, Peter S Man and the Murray Kensington, N.S.W.: New South Wales University Press, 1978

The Murray edited by Norman Mackay and David Eastburn Canberra: Murray-Darling Basin Commission, 1990

Colwell, M and Alan Naylor. Adelaide: an illustrated history, [Joslin, S. Aust.]: McP, 1981

Kwan, Elizabeth. Living in South Australia: a social history, Netley, S. Aust.: South Australian Government Printer, 1987

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on