State Library of South Australia logoThe Foundation of South Australia 1852 - 1883
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1861 Burke and Wills Relief Expedition

The expedition led by Robert O'Hara Burke and organised by the Royal Society of Victoria was an example of rivalry between the colonies in the race to find a route for the Overland Telegraph Line. When it became apparent that the Burke and Wills expedition was in difficulties, the South Australian government offered assistance and equipped the South Australian Relief expedition under the command of John McKinlay.

The South Australian government hoped both to help in the search for Burke, but also to gather more information about their own country. The expedition left Blanchewater (Lake Blanche) by 25 September 1861. At Lake Hope the party began to hear rumours of Burke's fate.

For more information about this expedition see Taking it to the edge: Land: John McKinlay - Burke and Wills Relief Expedition.



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