On This Day …

Tuesday 18th January, 1825

Hume & Hovell's route is marked by the dotted line.

Hume & Hovell’s route is marked by the dotted line.

Explorers Hume and Hovell made the overland trip from NSW to Port Phillip, beginning on 3rd October, 1824, and returning to Hume’s homestead at Lake George on 18th January, 1825.

Before their expedition, it was believed the land was uninhabitable and that there would be no grazing land in sight. As a result no exploration trip had been supported by the government. However, with a new governor in office, Sir Thomas Brisbane, things began to change. Brisbane did not believe the prior conviction that the south-west tract would be useless, and so commissioned Hamilton Hume and Captain William Hovell to make the journey.

Hume was Australian-born and had excellent bush skills — he had the skills, but no position to stand on. Hovell was a former ship’s captain and had the ranking, but no bush skills to speak of. It would seem they were well matched for the expedition. However, the reports are that they argued for the whole journey and continued to be in dispute well after the trip was over. Even until late in life, they were in bitter dispute over who was the leader and who made the discoveries.

In spite of their differences they did manage to cross the Great Divide, discover the Murray River (which they called the Hume River at the time), and found plenty of grazing and pasture land on their journey. On their return to Sydney, they were both awarded with large land grants, and soon settlers were streaming south-west in their path — the way that is now known as the Hume Freeway.

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Published in: on 18th January, 2013 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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