State Library of South Australia logo Foundation documents 1852-1883
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Babbage's map
Title : Babbage's map Babbage's map
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Babbage, B. Herschel, 1815-1878
Source : South Australian Parliamentary Paper, no. 151, 1858
Place Of Creation : Adelaide
Publisher : Surveyor General's Office
Date of creation : 1858
Format : Magazine
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.

Babbage's map of the northern section of South Australia in 1858 shows Lake Gregory and Lake Torrens. The exploration tracks of Edward John Eyre and Major Peter Egerton Warburton are also shown. Lake Gregory, named by Babbage, was later renamed Lake Eyre South, after Edward Eyre. The place where he reached the lake in 1840 is shown on the eastern side of the lake. Babbage and Warburton's explorations in 1858, together with those of John McDouall Stuart and Alfred Burtt, revealed the gap between Lake Torrens and Lake Gregory which opened the path to the the far north of the colony. Just west of Lake Gregory can be seen Emerald Spring, the first of the mound springs which are an important water resource, and which enabled the pastoral industry in the region. Emerald Spring was discovered by Benjamin Babbage in October 1858.

Edward Eyre explored north from Adelaide in 1840 and found his path to the far north blocked by what he believed was an extensive horseshoe-shaped salt lake that extended from west to east across his path. For 17 years this blocked further exploration in the region, as subsequent explorers also could see no way through the barrier. In 1858 the puzzle resolved itself as explorers Benjamin Babbage, PE Warburton and John McDouall Stuart discovered the gaps between the lakes in the west and Augustus Gregory, coming down from Queensland found a gap on the east. The one great horseshoe lake dissolved into the many salt lakes evident on the South Australian map today. There were passages through to the far north of the colony.

Related names :

Babbage, Benjamin Herschel, 1815-1878

Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889

Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866

Eyre, Edward John, 1815-1901

Burtt, Alfred P.

Coverage year : 1858
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :
Black, E. C. 'Lake Torrens hoodoo', Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch), vol. 64, 1962/63, pp. 43-50
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
Williams, Gwenneth South Australian exploration to 1856 Adelaide: Board of Governors of the Public Library, Museum, and Art Gallery of South Australia, 1919
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