Why did you want to do this ?
Burke and Wills may not be the most successful explorers, but they are Australia's most well known. The tragic circumstances surrounding the expedition have given the tale an enduring quality, which still catches people's imaginations long after the drama was played out. The upcoming 150th Anniversary of the expedition will once more highlight the events of 1860.

However as the legend has evolved, the emotional story of human suffering has over-shadowed the events and the environment in which they occurred. The predominant focus has concentrated on the tragedy and humanity underlying the expedition’s fate.

As a consequence, the landscape and it's effect on the conduct of the expedition has been neglected and is overlooked or even removed from the story. In previous narratives the landscape is either ignored or described stereotypically as the 'hostile wilderness' that explorers had to face. At best it is an adjunct to the main story.

The sesquicentenary of the expedition is an appropriate time to redress the balance and hopefully reconnect the environment and the story.

By walking 3,000 kilometres from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the footsteps of the explorers and re-examining the conduct of the expedition and the leadership decisions using the natural and cultural aspects of the landscape as the primary guide, the aim was to re-introduce the landscape into the narrative.

In the 150 years since the expedition’s departure, no one has walked across the country the way Burke did and no one has attempted to place the events of 1860 in this context.

Whose idea was it to walk across the country ?
I say 'Leave the bloody country to the crows' !
'Menindee' by Neil Murray, ©1995.

For more information on this remarkable venture, please feel free to contact me.
© Dave Phoenix, 2012. All rights reserved.