The Explorers of Australia and their Life-work eBook

Ernest Favenc
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 272 pages of information about The Explorers of Australia and their Life-work.
involved and baffled him that he gave it up in despair, and returned.  He had now, most reluctantly, to abandon the idea of surmounting the range, and to make for the Fitzroy once more.  Following up the Margaret, a tributary of the Fitzroy, he managed to work round the southern end of the range, which still frowned defiance at him, and at last reached the summit, the crest of a tableland, whence he saw before him good grassy hills and plains.  Of this country, which he called Nicholson Plains, Forrest speaks most enthusiastically, and doubtless, after the late struggle with the range, it must have appeared a perfect picture of enchantment.

On the 24th they reached a fine river, which was then running strong.  They named it the Ord, and followed its course for a time.  Thence he continued his way to the line, and on the 18th of August came to the Victoria River.  From the Victoria, Forrest had a hard struggle to reach the telegraph line.  The rations being nearly exhausted, and one man being very ill, the leader started for Daly Waters station, taking one man with him.  After much suffering and privation they at last reached the line, and obtained water at some tanks kept for the use of the line repairers.  The absence of a map of the line led Forrest to follow it north, away from Daly Waters, and it was four days before they overtook a repairing party and obtained food.

Alexander Forrest was afterwards for many years a member of the Legislative Council of West Australia, was for six years Mayor of Perth and a C.M.G.  He died on the 20th June, 1901.  A bronze statue was erected to his memory in Perth, Western Australia, by his friends.

CHAPTER 20.  LATER EXPLORATION IN THE WEST.

[ Illustration.  Carr-Boyd and Camel.  Photographed at Laverton, Western Australia, October, 1906.]

20.1.  CAMBRIDGE GULF AND THE KIMBERLEY DISTRICT.

The futile rush for gold to the Kimberley district had one good result —­ a better appreciation of its pastoral capabilities, and numerous short expeditions were made in search of grazing country.

Amongst these was one by W.J.  O’Donnell and W. Carr-Boyd, who explored an area extending from the overland line in the direction of Roebourne, and were fortunate in finding good country.  Later, in 1896, Carr-Boyd, accompanied by a companion named David Breardon, who was afterwards out with David Carnegie, visited the country about the Rawlinson Ranges and penetrated to Forrest’s Alexander Spring.  His name is also known in connection with exploration in the Northern Territory, and he has made several excursions between the Southern goldfields of West Australia and the South Australian border.

His experiences were not unlike those of the other explorers; he had to struggle on against heat, thirst, and spinifex, and found occasional tracts of pastoral land destitute of surface water.

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