Two Rumours 12 March 1830 & 28 May 1830
Rumour about the Murrumbidgee
Colonial Times, Hobart
12 March 1830
A despatch which arrived a few days back overland from Captain Sturt, and his exploring party, represent that officer as having sailed down the Murrumbidgee a couple of hundred miles, the river getting wider and deeper as he approached further to the westward. We doubt all this, but time will tell.
Important Rumour about Spencer's Gulf
Colonial Times, Hobart
28 May 1830
Capt. Sturt & Spencer's Gulph. Most important rumour. Captain Sturt is returned from the interior. The following are the reports which have since prevailed:- Captain Sturt, it is we'll known, made two excursions to the Mr. Oxley's, or the great western marshes, previous to that from which he is just come back.
Mr. Oxley's marshes, or great reedy Lake, was found dry by Captain Sturt on his first and second journeys, and he travelled on it safe and sound many miles, sometimes in sight of the small stream which ran through the midst, and sometimes out of sight. That stream is one of the fountains of the Murrumbidgee River, taking its rise in these great marshes that form the reservoir for the washings of the interior mountains, and which are, in fact, the greatest geographical dish, or basin that receives these drainings and washings.
Having made his course south-west or thereabouts, Captain S. found the stream begin to assume the appearance of a good sized river, the banks of which exhibited us he passed along them, various kinds of soil, chiefly alluvial and fertile, but all excessively parched with drought.
This situation of things teminated his second journey, and after a hazardous and protracted stay in Sydney, for which we do not affect to account, he was once more despatched to ascertain what become of the goodly river, which it was evident in our rainy septennial, must roll towards the south-east, in furious and extended torrent, flooding in rainy weeks thousands of acres of alluvial meadows in its vicinity.
The drought (fortunately for Captain Sturt), still prevailed, and he was lucky enough to start on this his third and last journey, before the drought terminated, as it now may have said to have done.
Instead of carrying his boat from Sydney a few hundred miles, as he did once before, Captain Sturt became wiser; he built one on the banks of the Murrangimbee; and the vessel being launched, with the usual, solemnities, or frivolities, Captain S. found himself and his brave companions in fatigue, on the bosom of a river which bade fair to deliver this Island Continent from the calumny of being an anomaly in the works of Creator, and to rewind the explorers for all their fatigue. So far we believe our account is borne out in all its essential circumstances by the accounts published in the Sydney Gazette, on the return of Captain Sturt, after his first and second expeditions.
The rumours which have prevailed in town these two, days are as follows :-
Captain Sturt sailed down the Murrambidgee, and had the pleasure of finding it to grow wider and deeper as he passed along. How many hundred miles he navigated on its bosom, we do not know; but supposing its windings to be sufficient to make its distance half as long again as its latitude and longitude, he must have sailed many hundred miles.
The rumour at all events is, that he made his way to Vincent's or Spencer's Gulph. If this be true all discoveries hitherto made in New Holland or Austrulia, sink into insignificance. The moment the imagination is set afloat by the idea of sailing from Mr. Sherwin's and other of our remote stock stations, right into the Southern Indian Ocean, the mind becomes intoxicated with the probable consequences of such an event to New South Wales and the Mother Country.
And for fear we should speculate false rumours, we shall conclude our remarks.
All we have to say is, we sincerely desire that the reports current may prove substantively true.
Note. - Since writing the above, we are sorry to learn from pretty good authority, that the opening into the sea opposite Kangaroo Island (it is not exactly in Spencer's Gulph), is shallow, rocky, and narrow!
This is most strange. Here is an instance of a river, not far short we suppose in all its windings of fourteen or fifteen hundred miles, drinking in all the water in that immense space, having a small unavigible outlet!
We should suppose, that in heavy rains, the water at the oppening into the sea must break forth like a cataract.
The small estuary accounts for its never having been discovered before by any of our sealers and skinners.