Australian History Briefs # 4

Grandpa Pencil takes a brief look at
some early Australian explorers.

 


Matthew Flinders
(1744 - 1814)

In 1788/9 Flinders, along with George Bass, sailed through what is now called Bass Straight and circumnavigated Tasmania.
In 1801/3 Flinders made his famous voyage around Australia in the Investigator becoming the first known circumnavigation of the continent.
The name Australia is claimed to be Flinders' choice.

 

Edward H. Hargraves
(1819 - 1891)

Whilst taking part in the Californian (USA) gold rush of 1849 Hargraves noticed a similarity in the rock formations to parts of New South Wales.
Returning to the Bathurst region of NSW in 1851 he searched the area with two others.
They found gold on the 12 th February starting Australia's gold rush.

 

Able Janzoon Tasman
(1603 - 1659))

In 1642 Tasman was sent from Batavia in the Dutch East Indies to search for the gold and silver thought to be plentiful in the south lands.
Heading east he reached the west coast of what is now Tasmania before sailing on to New Zealand.
In 1644 he made valuable charts of large parts of Northern Australia.

 

William Lawson

On the 11th May, 1813, along with Gregory Blaxland, a wealthy free settler, and William Charles Wentworth, set out with four convicts, four packhorses and five dogs, to find a route over the Blue Mountains.
These mountains had proven a barrier to the colony's growth for some 25 years and despite illness, near starvation and thirst, this unofficial expedition finally conquered them opening up vast tracts of valuable land to the colony.

 

Ludwig Leichardt
(1813 - 1848)

In 1844/5 Leichardt made a notable journey across north eastern Australia from the Darling Downs, round the Gulf of Carpentaria and across to Port Essington in the Northern Territory.
His complete party disappeared on a later attempt to cross the continent from east to west in 1848.

 

Charles Sturt
(1795 - 1869)

In 1828/9 Sturt explored the Macquarie, Bogan and Castlereagh rivers and discovered the Darling River.
In 1829/30 he went by boat down the Murrumbidgee River where he found and named the Murry River which he then explored to it's mouth.
In 1844/6 he traveled 3000 miles through inland Australia under very severe conditions and is regarded as one of the finest of the Australian explorers.



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