This is a true story of greed, exploration, murder, wasted efforts, life and death struggles, insubordination, incredible seamanship, and extraordinary bushmanship, amid government bungling and Aboriginal resistance, during South Australia's first attempt at colonising their Northern Territory in 1864.
The South Australians wanted their state to be the premier state of Australia. The new settlement was expected to open up a trading route across the country to Asia and beyond, and exploit the agricultural and mining opportunities of the interior. It was to be at no cost to the state, as the land was sold, unseen and unsurveyed, to investors in Adelaide and London, prior to the first Northern Territory Expedition even setting out.
The investors were already calculating their returns, but then, as the saying goes, the fight really started...
"A fantastic read: insightful, cohesive, sequential, and well-paced. Loved it. Plenty of photos and maps to set the scene, with the addition of well researched complementary first-hand accounts and primary records. Pugh has captured the essence of the time, place and characters: their personalities, hardships, successes and celebrations. I wanted to read it to find out what was going to happen next. Pugh's writing style is 'alive' and easy to read." - Jill Finch