Friday, 13th April, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
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Friday, 13th April, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range. At sunrise I ascended the bluff, which is the most difficult hill I have ever climbed; it took me an hour and a half to reach the top. It is very high, and is composed principally of igneous rock, with a little ironstone, much the same as the ranges down the country. On reaching the top, I was disappointed; the view was not so good as I expected, in consequence of the morning being so very hazy. I have, however, been enabled to decide what course to take. To the south-west the Waterhouse and James ranges seem to join. At west-south-west they are hidden by one of the spurs of the McDonnell range. To the north-west the view is intercepted by another point of this range, on which is a high peak, which I have named Mount Hay, after the Honourable Alexander Hay, the Commissioner of Crown Lands. About five miles to the north are numerous small spurs, beyond which there is an extensive wooded or scrubby plain; and beyond that, in the far distance, is another range, broken by a high conical hill, bearing about west-north-west, to which I will go, after getting through the range. To the north-east is the end of another range coming from the south. On this, which I have named Strangway Range, after the Honourable the Attorney-General, is another high hill. Beyond is a luminous, hazy appearance, as if it proceeded from a large body of water. A little more to the east there are three high hills; the middle one, which I should think is upwards of thirty miles from us, is the highest, and is bluff at both ends; it seems to be connected with Strangway range. To the east is a complete mass of ranges, with the same luminous appearance behind them. I had a terrible job in getting down the bluff; one false step and I should have been dashed to pieces in the abyss below; I was thankful when I arrived safely at the foot. I find that I have taken the wrong creek to get through the bluff. The Hugh still comes in that way, but more to the westward. Started at 10 o'clock; the hills very bad to get over; wind easterly. Camped at sundown on the creek; there is an abundance of water, which apparently is permanent, from the number of rushes growing all about it. The feed is splendid. There are a number of fresh native tracks.