finest-goldfields_coverThe Finest Goldfields in the World

The Austin Expedition to the Murchison in 1854

Edited by Peter J Bridge, Kim Epton, Marion Hercock and Sheryl Milentis, with the members of the Western Australian Explorers’ Diaries Project, and with an introduction by Professor J.M.R. Cameron.

ISBN 978-0-85905-018-0, (2009 new), casebound, dust jacketed, 240pp, illustrated, 610 grams

$80.00*+ POST

Published in association with Mark G. Creasy.


In 1854 Robert Austin led an expedition east and then north to the Murchison River. Disasters from a gun accident, poison plants, and thirst assailed them. After many tribulations they reached the Geraldine Mine on the Lower Murchison over two months later. Their exploration inspired others to prospect the desert for both grass and gold, culminating in the opening of the area in the 1880s, and the finding of rich goldfields. More than 150 years after his difficult and perilous journey Austin is now placed among the premier explorers of the Australian outback.

Contains the 1855 journal, republished for the first time, colour plates by the expedition artist that have remained unknown for over 150 years, new lithographs and new information on the artists – with a few surprises. Also has appendices on Austin’s Sharks Bay expedition, lists of subscribers to the expedition, biographical notes on all associated with the expedition, including the Aboriginal assistants, correspondence between Austin and John Forrest documenting Austin’s 1854 discovery of gold, and details of the flora and fauna seen on the expedition by Alex George and Ian Abbott. Also reprinted is the rarely seen paper by Roth on Austin’s reminiscences of the South West Aboriginals.

Austin’s map is included in a rear pocket.

A magnificent addition to the exploration literature of Australia.