Burkes and Wills, Chapter 1: The Desire to Explore

In 1858, Melbourne was just 23 years after being established and Victoria, 7 years. Citizens of the colony knew only about the coastal fringes of NSW and Victoria and the ‘ghastly bank’ (the area inside the coast, a vast desert). Today, we know more about outer space then they did about going north of the Great Darling River.

Victoria became one of the richest places in the British Empire. They made a proposal for and exploration party to unlock the great mystery of the Arid Interior (a dried area in the central of Australia). It was also a scientific exploration to find out about new species, gold and minerals of the mysterious country. It was as important as the telegraph line discovered in London by the same colony of people.

On the 20th of August 1860, the expedition left Melbourne for the great Gulf of Carpentaria. Seven men died attempting to cross the enormous mainland. The expedition was so called “ill-fated” but everyone had forgotten about the incredible achievements and determination for the first men to cross the continent, Burkes and Wills!

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