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George Caley Plaque : December 2013
George Caley Plaque : December 2013

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The plaque and plants are dedicated to the memory of botanist George Caley (1770-1829); one of the first Europeans to visit Mount Tomah.

George Caley was sent out to Australia in 1800 by Joseph Banks as the colony`s botanist. His main work was botanical and the vast numbers of plants, seeds and descriptions which he sent to Banks bear witness to his diligence and capacity as a collector. He was the first to make a determined effort to study the Eucalyptus. He also studied bird and animal life and specimens of these were likewise sent to Banks with comments and explanations. His excursions took him to Western Port and Jervis Bay, the Hunter River, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen`s Land, but of more significance were those around Sydney.  These included the definition of the limits of the Vaccary Forest (Cowpastures) in February 1804, an attempt to cross the Blue Mountains in November 1804, which ended at a place he named Mount Banks overlooking the Grose Valley.


Address:Bells Line of Road, Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens , Mount Tomah, 2758
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.538998
Long: 150.422498
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

George Caley
(1770 - 1829)

Naturalist and explorer George Caley was one of the first Europeans to visit the Mount Tomah area. He set out from the Richmond area on 3 November 1804, accompanied by three convicts, to explore the mountains to the west. After an arduous seven-day journey on foot, Caley reached the summit of Fern Tree Hill, now Mount Tomah, on 10 November. The party spent several days in the area, but only reached Mount Banks before running short of food. They took four days to return, reaching Parramatta on 23 November. Caley's journal of the expedition was sent to his patron, Sir Joseph Banks, and is now in the British Museum of Natural History. He recorded that he found 'about 30 plants he had not met before', and particularly remarked on the thick stands of nettles (Urtica incisa) and thorny vines (Smilax australis) which made progress painfully slow. Some of the species he collected are planted in this garden dedicated to his memory.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au