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This Day in History

Australian Explorers

Wednesday, August 13, 1817. :   Explorer John Oxley discovers the Bogan River in central western New South Wales.

     John Oxley was born in England in 1783 and came to Australia in 1802. He was made Surveyor-General of the New South Wales colony in 1812. In 1817, Governor Macquarie ordered Oxley to follow the course of the Lachlan River, to determine where it led. Because the rivers of NSW flowed west, away from the coast, belief prevailed that somewhere in Australia's interior was an inland sea. After following the Lachlan for three months and being continually obstructed by swampland and waterholes, Oxley concluded that the countryside was useless (though it is now valuable pasture and grazing land).

It was shortly after his party turned its course back in the direction of Sydney that Oxley came across the Bogan River, on 13 August 1817. The small New South Wales town of Nyngan is situated on the banks of the Bogan, as are several smaller settlements such as Gongolgon, and the river is a popular spot for inland fishing.

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