Early Australian Explorers - Any Good Videos or DVDs

Submitted: Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 17:05
ThreadID: 15426 Views:3173 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
This Thread has been Archived
I suppose I should have kept my late 1950's 5th class Social Studies books from Petersham Public School. All those dotted lines over a map of Australia drawn using a green plastic template. Those were the days! Mrs Penny loved to teach that stuff.
Now as I grow a little older and there's a little red dust coursing through my veins I am finding I am becoming more and more interested with our early inland explorers.
I recently caught the tail end on Austar of Peach's Australian Explorers. All I got was the spearing of Kennedy and Jackie Jackie staying by his side.
I'd love to get hold of the series but initial attempts see the ABC wanting mega dollars per episode.
Anybody know where I can get hold of similar videos or DVDs covering the early exploration of OZ.
Failing Videos, can anybody suggest "easy reading " history books on the subject.


Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 17:56

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 17:56
This is my hobby, so hopefully I can assist you. Not much good asking me about DVD's etc. Only got text ideas for you, so here goes:

1. "The Explorers" by Dr Tim Flannery - wide scope, easy reading with a nice interpretations by well known sceintist

2. "Explorers of Autstralia", by Ernest Favenc - a contempory text, old but good.

3. "Bush Tucker Man - Tarnished Heroes" by Les Hiddins - selected people, not all of whom are explorers. But a good read anyhow.

If you would like some suggestions on books covering individual explorers, ask away...............

AnswerID: 71909

Follow Up By: Lynn2 - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 18:35

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 18:35
Dear Rick,

I am replying on behalf of my better (worse???) half. Thanks for the input!

I will certainly get those books. Specifically, I am interested in Leichhardt, Burke and Wills and Kennedy and any other explorer who covered the south to north, north to south eastern Australia (perhaps a little bit west as well)

Lynn2 for Rosscoe
FollowupID: 332073

Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 19:50

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 19:50
Hi Rick

I have always thought that it is great to have books about places that you are going to visit. Reading about the history of a place makes so much difference to your visit there. I was going to suggest one day that interesting books about a place should be added to the Trek Notes with a link to the Exploroz shop so that we could buy them. Readers could even do a little Book report. For example, 'The Dig Tree' by Sarah Murgatroyd (the only book I have read hahahha) could be linked to the Trek Notes for Corner Country - we are going there in September so will have to have a read.

Also - while I have got you - what books should I read about the Flinders Ranges - was it Gregory or Stuart or someone that hung out around there.


FollowupID: 332088

Follow Up By: Member - Mungo Explorer (NSW) - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 20:36

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 20:36
I'd second the recommendation of Mugatroyd's "Dig Tree". Excellent book, very readable. And, as Andrew says, particularly so if you are familiar with that part of the country or intend to go there soon.
FollowupID: 332095

Follow Up By: Member - Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 23:51

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 23:51

In reference to your question about who hung out from the Flinders; well, Eyre made the first significant discoveries. McKinlay, Frome, Parry, all have features named after them. But John McDoualll Stuart, the best of all the Aussie European explorers, based himself in the Flinders before undertaking all of his six journeys. His mates, William Finke, and James & John Chambers, had mining interstes, and pastoral properties there. In fact, Oratunga was where all the journeys left from. This is very near Blinman, in the centre of the Flinders Ranges. The property is now called Moolooloo.

Gregory came from W.A. and while he breifly skirted the very northern end of the Flinders, he is better known for his great exploration of N-W Australia. (read Keiran Kelly's book "Hard Country:Hard Men")

FollowupID: 332135

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Juliana - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 19:04

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 19:04
Hi Rosscoe,

Have a look under Inspirational Reading in the Adventure Shop ( Click here). We stock the whole Len Beadell Range as well as several others including The Calvert Scientific Exploring Expedition 1896-7, Australia Twice Traversed - Ernest Giles, The Beckoning West and Coopers Creek just to name a few.

Happy reading!
Juliana from the Adventure Shop
AnswerID: 71920

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 09:04

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 09:04
Thanks Juliana,

Now another problem - too many choices.
FollowupID: 332143

Reply By: equinox - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 21:00

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 21:00
Hey Rosscoe,

What about David Carnegie? His book Spinifex and Sand is an Australian classic. In my mind he would be the most successful and efficient inland explorer Australia has ever seen, though he is also very underated. At least he made it back alive, something Burke and Wills didn't do. May be a bit to West for you though.

I'm currently reading Journals of Australian Explorations 1846-1861 by the Gregory brothers. A very hard read but I'm getting there.

Rick mentioned the History of Australian exploration. That text is available on the net here , which includes John Stuart's exploration text and many others.

Good luck- and happy reading and travelling!!!!

AnswerID: 71933

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 09:05

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 09:05
Thanks eq,

That site looks interesting.
FollowupID: 332144

Reply By: Moose - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 13:22

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 13:22
The Outback magazine has just started a series on the explorers. Current issue is on Stuart. Not really in depth but interesting non the less.
There must be videos/DVDs available - have you tried a search using Google? You could also try asking at the major book stores.
AnswerID: 72022

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 15:37

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 15:37
Hi Moose,

The ABC has a documentry series called Peachs Explorers. It is a series of 10, 30 min episodes. They want $490.00 + GST for an individual to purchase them. Tried the library and the video shops without luck.
I think I've found a group who will lend me the tapes.


FollowupID: 332200

Follow Up By: Member - Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 19:41

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 19:41
OUTback magazine has a regular feature every issue called Legends of the Outback. For those that don't know the magazine, it is what it says - only about rural Australia. For those on this site, it's right up our "alley". It comes out every second month & I anticipate every issue.........

Can I suggest that for a much better understanding of John McDouall Stuart, you visit the website of the John McDouall Stuart Society, at


As the OUTback magazine article suggests, they have an active society, & $ 15 gets a years membership with 4 x newsletters.
FollowupID: 332256

Sponsored Links