Hume's Discoveries

The Monitor, Sydney

15 December 1826


On perusing one of the numbers of the Monitor a few, days ago, I noticed the comments of "An English Emigrant," respecting Hume River, the Gulf of St. Vincent, and several other bays and harbours on this coast.

I now beg leave, Mr. Editor, to say, that in my opinion I have performed journeys enough.

It is true some persons have profited by my excursions into the interior; but in general terms, I cannot say that I have. In the year 1814, in company with my brother, I discovered that tract of country now called "Argyle."

I was also there in the years 1815 and 1816; and in the year 1817, I accompanied Mr. Throsby on his first tour to that part of the country.

In the year 1818, I again accompanied Mr. Throsby and the late Mr. Meehan;:- Mr. Meehan and myself discovered that beautiful lake, now called "Lake Bathurst," and "Goulburn Downs.

Sometime afterwards, I conducted Mr. Throsby and Mr. William M'Arthur, to the same part of the country.

In 1819, I was with Mr. Meehan on a tour along the coast from the Five Islands to Jervis Bay, and from thence across to Bong-Bong; and in 1821, I went in the government cutter Snapper, in company with Mr. Berry and Mr. Johnstone, on a survey along the coast as far as Mount Dromedary.

It was my intention to have set out on a tour last summer for the purpose of tracing either Goulburn or Hume River, being of opinion those rivers certainly must have an outlet on some part of the western coast;- but the expense of fitting out those expeditions, are more than my circumstances will allow, and on that account I relinquished the idea.

I Am still strongly of opinion that those streams, at some future period, will prove to be the source of some occidental rivers yet unknown; it was also the opinion of our late Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, that some of the streams crossed by Mr. Hovell and myself on our journey in 1824 to Bass's Straits, emptied themselves into the Gulf of St. Vincent or thereabouts; and the last time I had the honor of seeing Sir Thomas, he expressed a wish that some person would endeavour to ascertain what really became of the waters running westward beyond the Murrumbidjee, and between that river and Bass's Straits.

Hume River is in latitude 36. 20. and is distant from the Eastern Coast, (Barmouth Creek) in a due East and West line, 150 miles:- There is probably four times the quantity of water running in the Hume, that there is in the Murrumbidjee or Lachlan Rivers. Goulburn River is in lat. 37. 15. and distant from Wilson's Promontory in a Northerly direction about, 100 miles; its course is North-west; the distance from the Goulburn to Port Philip does not exceed 80 or 90 miles. Persons going across by land from Bass's Straits, would find these rivers much easier crossed, by keeping on the Eastern side of the Snowy or White Mountains, but the country in this direction is much higher and more broken than it is on the Western side.

I am, Sir, Your most obedient Servant, Hamilton Hume. Appin, Nov. 26, 1826.