“When I got clear of the sandhills, and was only two miles distant, and the hill, for the first time coming fairly in view, what was my astonishment to find it was one immense rock rising abruptly from the plain; the holes I had noticed were caused by the water in some places causing immense caves.”
This hill, which Gosse made an ineffectual attempt to ascend, he called Ayer’s Rock. He returned to his depot camp, crossing an arm of Lake Amadeus as he did so, and moved the main body on to Ayer’s Rock. Rain having set in heavily for some days, he pushed some distance into Western Australia, but soon reached the limit of the rainfall. After many attempts to penetrate the sand-hill region which confronted him, the heat and aridity compelled him to turn back.
His homeward course was by way of the Musgrave Ranges, where he found a greater extent of pastoral country than had been thought to exist there. He discovered and christened the Marryat, and followed down the Alberga to within sixty miles of the Overland Line, when he turned north-eastward to the Charlotte Waters station.
Although Gosse’s exploration did not add any important new features, he filled in many details in the central map, and was able correctly to lay down the position of some of the discoveries of Ernest Giles.
William Christie Gosse was the son of Dr. Gosse, and was born in 1842 at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. He had come to Australia with his father in 1850, and in 1859 had entered the Government service of South Australia. He held various positions in the survey department, and, after his return from the exploring expedition, he was made Deputy Surveyor-General. He died prematurely on August 12th, 1881.
CHAPTER 16. TRAVERSING THE CENTRE.
[Illustration. Ernest Giles.
Illustration. Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller.]
16.1. ERNEST GILES.
Ernest Giles was born at Bristol, a famous birthplace of adventurous spirits. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital, London, and after leaving school came out to South Australia to join his parents, who had preceded him thither. In 1852 he went to the Victorian goldfields, and subsequently became a clerk, first in the Post Office, Melbourne, and afterwards in the county court.