Australian Explorers - Edward John Eyre

Essay by juice_e_lucieJunior High, 9th gradeA+, November 2004

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Edward John Eyre was born in 1916 in England, he was destined to pursue an army career but his father persuaded him to come to Australia because of his poor health. He met Charles Sturt, whom encouraged him to explore. Eyre went on four main expeditions.

The first began in May 1839. Three Europeans and two Aborigines accompanied Eyre and they headed north from Adelaide in order to find rich grazing country. They discovered rich country between the Gawler and Hutt rivers, but after the country turned sandy and unfruitful and they turned back when the caught side of the Flinders Ranges and a vast salt lake to the west, which Eyre named Lake Torrens.

The second expedition began in August 1839. This time they set out from Port Lincoln on the southwestern edge of Spencer Gulf. This area is now known Eyre Peninsula and Eyre was disappointed to only find dry and barren country.

During that time the people were very interested in what lay to the west but Eyre suggested that an expedition to the north would be more useful and with help from Sturt, he persuaded the authorities to sponsor one. So on the 18the of June 1830, a party of 8 men, 13 horses and 40 sheep set off to travel as far north as possible. He decided to follow the Flinders Ranges but his hopes were dashed when he climbed the mountain and found his way was barred by salt lakes in one direction and by sand hills in another, so he followed the Flinders Ranges to Mount Hopeless, where he turned back and planned a continuation of his expedition to go westwards across the Nullarbor Plain. Perhaps it could open up new pasture or agricultural lands, or maybe grazing lands could be found there...