On 20th August 1860, in an attempt to be the first party to cross the continent, Burke & Wills set out from Melbourne in a large well equipped expedition. While successfully reaching the Gulf of Carpentaria, Burke, Wills and Gray all died on the return journey.
The image of Burke and Wills perishing near the Dig Tree beside the Cooper Creek, is central to the Australian narrative (and who thought it would be linked to the Federal Election).
The Royal Society of Victoria organised the Expedition, and this year have organised a range of commemorative programs and activities to celebrate the 150th.
The Wimmera’s link to this famous expedition is that some of the remaining camels and camels used on the Relief Expeditions were retired to the Longerenong pastoral run, Charles Wilson was a member of the Royal Society, and offered to have the camels on his property in a drier climate rather than suffering in Melbourne’s damp conditions.