Saturday, 26 October 2013

Following Burke and Wills ...

Ever since our Melbourne arrival, we've been meaning to stop and look at the Burke and Wills memorial in Royal Park. We surpassed that aim today.  I packed "provisions" and we set off on an "expedition" to follow the first steps of the explorers' journey.

In preparation for our adventuring we watched two DVDs last night.  Les Hiddins, the Bush Tucker Man, presented an episode about the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. He tells a good story and although we had seen it before, we all enjoyed the revision.  In 2010, a 4WD tour organiser led a tour to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the expedition's departure.  They followed the tracks of the original expedition as closely as they could - and we watched some of that too. 

Today's itinerary was based on the information held within "Following Burke & Wills Across Victoria" and the geocaches listed by Geocaching Australia in conjunction with the State Library of Victoria.

We started at the Melbourne General Cemetery to view the graves of the explorers.  There is a huge memorial to Burke, Wills and Gray.  The sole survivor of the expedition, King, died about ten years after his return to Melbourne and has a much smaller grave elsewhere in the cemetery.

From there we visited the Royal Park memorial, the starting point of the expedition.  Due to a late and disorganised start, they only managed to travel to Moonee Ponds on their first night - which was our lunch stop. 

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing?!  There's just so much information available.  I loved the fact that not only had the lists of provisions been transcribed but that I could view the original scanned documents, on the Burke & Wills Web online digital archive. 

Based on the list we took some beef jerky, dried apple, dates, currants, raisins, water crackers and lime juice with us today.  We had corned beef sandwiches for lunch - and yes, the beef jerky and lime juice were sampled, with very mixed reactions!

We travelled as far as Bolinda this afternoon, before calling quits and heading home.  It was a fun day and prompted lots of discussion - so I expect we'll undertake further expeditioning when time allows. 

No comments:

Post a Comment