Friday, 23rd May, McGorrerey Ponds.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
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Friday, 23rd May, McGorrerey Ponds. Gave the horses a little time to feed after daylight in consequence of their having been tethered during the night; the country is so thickly wooded that I dare not trust them in hobbles the whole night, as, if they were lost sight of there would be great difficulty in finding them here. There is still the appearance of a small creek, which I shall follow until it runs out or trends too much to the east. Started at half-past eight o'clock a.m., course 20 degrees east of north, following the small creek about two miles; it seems to be getting larger, with occasionally a little water in it. We have also seen, on both sides of us, ponds with water surrounded by gum-trees; these ponds, when full, must retain water for a long time. We have also seen a new tree growing on the banks of the creek, with a large straight barrel, dark smooth bark, with bunches of bright yellow flowers and palmated leaves. At a mile and a half further the creek is improving wonderfully. We have now passed some fine holes of water, which will last at least three months; at five miles the water is becoming more plentiful and the creek broader and deeper, but twisting and turning about very much, sometimes running east and then turning to the west and all other points of the compass. Having seen what I consider to be permanent water, I shall now run a straight course, 20 degrees east of north, and strike it occasionally to see if the water continues. I have named these Daly Waters, in honour of his Excellency the Governor-in-Chief. Within a hundred yards the banks are thickly wooded with tall mulga and lancewood scrub; but to the east is open gum forest, splendidly grassed. Proceeded, occasionally touching the creek, and always found fine reaches of water, which continued a considerable way. At thirteen miles they become smaller and wider apart; at fifteen miles the creek seems to be trending more to the eastward, its bed is now conglomerate ironstone, and, as this appears to be about the last water, I shall give the horses a drink and follow it as far as it goes. In a short distance it has become quite dry, with a deep broad course upwards of twenty yards wide. At seventeen miles it separated into two channels, and at a quarter of a mile the two channels emptied themselves into a large boggy swamp, with no surface water. I examined the swamp, but could see no outlet. The country round about is thickly timbered with gum and other trees. Returned to the last water and camped. I shall return to the Depot and bring the party up here. Wind, south-east; a few clouds at sunset.