Friday, 2nd May, Frew's Water Hole.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
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Friday, 2nd May, Frew's Water Hole. Started at half-past seven o'clock a.m. Course, 335 degrees. At ten miles, a dense forest and scrub. Changed to 10 degrees east of north. At half a mile struck a water-shed, and followed it north for two miles. Found a little rainwater in it, and at two miles further arrived at its source. At three miles further on the same course changed to 30 degrees east of north. At three miles and a half again changed to 320 degrees, and at about a mile and a half struck some fine ponds of water. At two miles further, arrived at what seemed to be the last water, a small shallow pond. Examined around the plain to try and find others, but without success. A little before sundown, returned to the last water and camped. The first part of the day's journey was over a stunted-gum plain, covered with grass. At ten miles we again met with thick forest and scrub. I then changed my course to get out of it, and struck the small water-shed running to the east of south. Following it generally for two miles on a northerly course, we met with a little rain water. Continued the same course through a thick forest and scrub for three miles and a half to get through it if possible. At this point it becomes denser than ever. Sent Thring to climb to the top of a tree, from which he saw apparently a change in one of the low scrubby rises, which appeared to be not so thickly covered with scrub as the others. I directed my course to it, 30 degrees east of north, to examine it. I observe that there is some sandstone in the low scrubby rises, which leads me to hope that I may not be far from a change of country. On this last course we travelled three miles, through a dense thicket of hedge-tree, when I observed some large gum-trees bearing 320 degrees, and decided to examine them before leaving the rise. As I approached nearer to it I again sent Thring to climb a tree to see if there was any change. He could see nothing but the same description of forest and scrub. The change that he saw from the other tree was the shade of the sun on the lower mulga bushes, which caused him to suppose that it was more open country. Not seeing any opening in that direction, I changed to the gum-trees. At a mile and a half was delighted at the sight of a chain of fine water holes; their course north-west to south-east, the flow apparently to south-east. I followed one pond, which was about half a mile long and appeared to be deep. A number of smaller ones succeeded. They then ceased, and I crossed a small plain, which shows signs of being at times covered with water. Observing some green and white barked gum-trees on the west side of it, I went to them, and found a small watercourse with small pools of water, which flowed into the plain coming from the north-west. Following it a little further, we met with some more water. A short distance above this it ceased in the dense forest which seems to surround these ponds. I shall endeavour to force my way through it to-morrow to the west of north. Wind, south-east, with a few clouds in the same direction. These ponds I name King's Ponds, in token of my approbation of his care of, and attention to, the horses, and his readiness and care in executing all my orders. Wind, south-east, with a few clouds in the same direction.