Camden Forest, on the way to Port Phillip

The Route to Port Phillip.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser

14 June 1838

We have been favoured with the following interesting extract from a letter received in Sydney from an intelligent settler at Camden Forest on the overland road to Port Phillip.

The letter is dated at Camden Forest, 1st June, 1838:-

"We have had fine rains in this district (Camden Forest) last month, the weather is now warm and dry, plenty of grass, sheep doing well.

The quantity of stock that has passed on for Port Phillip this year is immense, and numbers still continue to move forward to that fine part of the country; not less than one hundred thousand sheep have gone on to it since the 10th February; at the present moment upwards of sixteen thousand are on the road between this and the Hume River.

Accounts have reached this some time ago, of the safe arrival of Mr. Dutton's cattle at Portland Bay.

Mr. Joseph Hawdon has made a prosperous and speedy journey with his cattle from the Hume to Port Adelaide, and is now returned.

We have just heard of the complete failure of Mr. Eyre's expedition with cattle for Southern Australia or Portland Bay, I am not sure which; however, the party lost themselves in the bush and have lost all their stock.

One of the party, a Mr. A. Heron, formerly an overseer for the Rev. John Joseph Therry at Billy Bong, in Camden Forest, made the Port Phillip road south of the Goulburn River, where he was found in a dreadful state of exhaustion, having been fourteen days without provisions; his recovery is said to be very doubtful.

He states that the whole party is astray, that they lost their way and made the sea coast twice.

Neither Mr. Eyre nor any others of the party have yet been heard of; what made the party separate has not yet transpired.

Mr. Stewart, the Police Magistrate of Goulburn, and Mr. Waddy, with a party of the Mounted Police, have as yet been unsuccessful in their search for the Blacks who murdered Mr. Faithful's men; they have been down as far as the Evan's and Broken Rivers, and have not found a single Blackfellow.

They surely do not think that the blackfellow is so simple as to lie by the road side waiting to be captured?

Report says that none of the party are acquainted with the lay of the country, neither are they very energetic in exploring it; they have now taken their course up the Hume River towards the foot of the mountains and about Manis, where, it is said, the fires of the Blacks are seen daily from a distance.

A. Macalister is much wanted in this case to conduct the party, or some such gentleman as Capt. Williams. Mr. Waddy is a very expert officer, but it is said he is under the command of Mr. S., who, of course, is quite unacquainted with the bush, and more so with the habits and movements of the Aborigines; and is besides rather of too timid a disposition to be entrusted will the command of a party of such a description."