Burke & Wills ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page

The plaque at O'Hara's Gap, north of Duchess in the Selwyn Ranges commemorates the Burke and Wills expedition of 1861. 

In 1860–61, Robert O`Hara Bourke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Asutralia from Melbourne in the south, to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres (approximately 2,000 miles). At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers.

The south-north leg was successfully completed (except that they were stopped by swampland 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the northern coastline), but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. Altogether, seven men lost their lives, and only one man, John King, crossed the continent with the expedition and returned alive to Melbourne.


Address:O`Hara`s Gap, Duchess, 4825
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -21.4333
Long: 140.20
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Landscape
Source: MA, BWW
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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