Illustrations from journals by Thomas Mitchell

Bultje, one of the guides, had led Mitchell in an expedition to the lower part of the Darling ten years earlier. During that expedition, Bultje led him to water on the Goobang Creek.

Bultje also led Mitchell to the Bogan and in return for his services was rewarded with a tomahawk, a pipe and two ounces of tobacco (two figs). He joined Mitchell’s men at Peak Hill in New South Wales and broke off from the troop at the Bogan four days later. The other Aboriginal guide was Piper, who had also assisted Mitchell in 1836; he joined this later expedition to Tropical Australia at Boree in New South Wales.


Mitchell also sought help from Aboriginal people along the journey. For example, at the cattle run of Derribong in New South Wales, he sought the assistance of Dicky, a young Aboriginal boy of about ten years of age who then stayed with Mitchell for the entire trip. Mitchell found Dicky’s knowledge of the waterholes in the area to be extremely important. At a point near Mount Foster in New South Wales, Mitchell sought the help of another Aboriginal person, Yulliyally, who led them to the Barwon.


Excerpt from Aboriginal Dreaming Paths and Trading Routes by Dale Kerwin

Story contributed by Raylene Weldon from Nyngan High School. Published in 2016.