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This Day in History

Australian Explorers

Sunday, July 12, 1818. :   George Evans discovers the Castlereagh River in NSW.

     George Evans was born on 5 January 1780. As the Deputy Surveyor-General of New South Wales, Evans undertook many expeditions with explorer John Oxley. In 1818, Oxley, with Evans as second-in-command, set out to follow the westward course of the Macquarie River, which Evans had discovered in 1813. Oxley's progress was obstructed by impassable marshes and, while trying to find a way around them, he sent Evans to the north-east.

Ten days later, Evans returned to report that on 12 July 1818, he had found another river and better pasture country. Evans named the river the Castlereagh after Lord Castlereagh, Secretary for the Colonies. Evans's discovery further fuelled Oxley's belief that there must be an inland sea, as so many rivers seemed to flow in a westward direction. Over the ensuing decades, Australian exploration was dominated by the belief that the continent harboured a large inland sea.

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