Gill Creek - NT



DEG: -23.838779 130.807693
DMS: 23º 50' 19.61" S 130º 48' 27.7" E
UTM: 52 K 7362449mN 684111mE
Altitude: 666.15m


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Lake MacKay NT 0872
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Gill Creek was first discovered during the Central Australian Exploring and Prospecting Association's Expedition of 1889 under command of William (Harry) Tietkens. Having left Bond Springs some 2 months earlier, Tietkens had been moving slowly westwards on a meandering course. He had been beset by nearly 10 days of constant rain, a rarity for these parts and on the 11th -12th May, was wandering slowly through the Watson Range some 13 miles to the East South East. From his vantage point in the Watson, Tietkens sighted an impressive range to the north west and departed to investigate on the 13th May, 1889. As his journal of the expedition recounts;

Monday, May 13th 1889 - Camp No. 27; “To examine a remarkable part of this range I turned upon a bearing of N. 37° W., travelled over open spinifex sandhills for ten miles, then turned northerly for half a mile when we came to a gum creek running south-westerly; I was in hopes of obtaining sufficient to fill my kegs, but was very agreeably surprised to find a stream of beautifully clear water coming from a glen in the hills. I have never seen such magnificent bean trees as those growing on the banks of this creek, besides gum trees of majestic proportions luxuriating in the richest brown loam imaginable. There were grasses, shrubs, and undergrowth of the most vigorous growth, low pine clad sandstone hills on either side, completing a landscape only too seldom, met with in Central Australia. We had travelled but a short distance it is true, but it was impossible to pass this spot without examining it in detail, besides my ailing camels would benefit by a day on such magnificent feed; so at the entrance to the glen we turned them out”.

Tuesday, May 14th 1889; “Went up the glen with Billy to explore its beauties and wonders, walked for three miles up the creek, for the last two miles we had walls of sandstone rock about 80 or 100 feet high on either side, the creek channel being about a chain wide, running water the whole way. The creek in many places formed into pools or rock ponds; these were two and three chains in length and ten and twelve feet deep, and so shaded by rocks on every side that they cannot be looked upon as otherwise than permanent for caravan purposes. I have called this "Gill's Creek", after Mr. Thos. Gill, of Glen Osmond, and hon. treasurer to the S.A. branch of the Royal Geographical Society, and the range from whence it takes its rise, the "Cleland Hills", after Dr. W.L. Cleland, of Parkside”.

Wednesday, May 15th 1889; “Altogether there is nearly twelve miles of running water in the different channels that empty themselves into Gill's Creek. The glen at the head of this creek I have named "Glen Emily", after my sister. I do not think this water is always running, but it will continue to do so for some months to come.”

W.H. Tietkens - Journal of the Central Australian Exploring and Prospecting Association's Expedition 1889.

The creek was also visited by the RT Maurice expedition in 1902;

On the 19th July, 1902, the party split with Murray Along the south side of the Cleland Hills in search of Gills creek mentioned by Tietkens. Maurice continued on with Yarrie and other natives to take the camels to a water source that local aboriginals had agreed to show them. After a dry and fruitless search of the Gill Creek, Murray’s journal reveals the days discovery;

Bore 40° over a patch of fair bush country and reached the Gill’s Creek in 3 ¼ miles. Mr Tietkens camel pad is still plainly visible. He was here in wet weather, but there is no water available for stock at present. Took my camel up each branch on the creek as far as was possible, but, having no black boy to look after him, did not care about leaving him too long whilst I climbed the gorges. So far as feed is concerned this is a capital camp, there being excellent herbage on the flat where the creek floods out. Saw half a dozen kangaroos here, a large mob for these parts.”

William Murray - Journal of R.T. Maurice Cambridge Gulf Expedition 1902
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Closest Weather Station

Watarrka at 24/09:00am CST
Distance from Gill Creek 90.46km SE
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Gill Creek 90.46km SE
Mean Max. °C38.536.634.430.624.721.321.624.429.432.834.936.1
Mean Min. °C23.623.020.616.710.
Mean Rain mm34.847.135.513.921.416.115.95.711.228.448.537.2

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