The casual explorer: mapping unknown and lesser-known expeditions of the 1830s – 1850s
Dr Ray Kerkhove, Harry Gentle Resource Centre Visiting Fellow 2018

The Research Process

‘The Casual Explorer’ expanded on research Kerkhove first presented at the Shared History Forum in Noosa on 23 March 2018. A number of ‘lesser known’ explorers were identified by examining documents in the John Oxley Library, Fryer Library, Welsby Library (Royal Historical Society of Queensland), the Queensland State Archives collections and through TROVE online searches. Their journeys were reconstructed by using modern and archival maps.

The main focus was the Caboolture-to-Wide Bay area during the 1820s to 1860s. It was discovered that quite a number of early geologists, timber-getters etc. claimed (or were claimed by their families) to have ventured into new territories. Ten expeditions were identified and detailed (see entries below).
The end result of this project was presented during the Annual Conference of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland on 31 August 2019. The conference theme was Exploration of Land, Sea and Sky: Legacies of exploration in colonial Queensland. The Conference’s presentations, including the current paper, were subsequently published in Queensland History Journal (Vol.24: 3) in November 2019.