The Victorian Exploring Expedition set off from Melbourne 20 August 1860. Led by Robert O'Hara Burke, a brave man totally lacking in the bush skills necessary for his tasks; surveyor and meteorologist William Wills, and 17 others, the expedition took 20 tons of equipment carried on six wagons, 23 horses and 20 camels. Almost immediately plagued by disputes and sackings, they
battled the extremes of the Australian landscape and weather, its deserts, boggy mangrove swamps, searing heat and flooding rains. Food ran short and they were unable to live off the land. In desperation, Burke, Wills, Charley Grey and John King made a dash for the Gulf in December 1860. Bad luck would see them stranded in the wilderness with practically no supplies. Only King survived to tell the tale. Yet despite their tragic fates, Burke and Wills have become synonymous with perseverance and bravery. 244 x 160mm., pp. xix, 700, map, black & white and colour plates, endnotes. bibliography, index. Hard cover in dust jacket. NEW.