15th April 1824
On 15th April 1824 Mr Cunningham was exploring the Monaro District.
Robert Heward wrote:
At the latter end of March, Mr Cunningham started with his people on a tour to the southward of the colony, through the counties of Camden and Argyle; he also visited Lakes George and Bathurst, the head waters of the Morrumbidgee, Brisbane Downs (the Monaroo of the aborigines), Marley’s Plains and the Shoalhaven gullies. The tract of country through which they travelled being of a generally good grazing character, did not afford so much botanical novelty as had been anticipated, but still some of the discoveries were interesting, from the curious identity of vegetation in many parts with that of the country in the vicinity, and to the northward of Bathurst on the western side of the great mountain range. A plant also of the south coast, discovered at Port Philip in 1802, by Mr Brown, (Lomatia ilicifolia), was also found in great profusion in the district of Argyle. [p292]
The singular limestone caverns, at the Shoalhaven gullies, appear from the short visit Mr Cunningham paid them, as one of the most interesting points of his excursion; and he much regretted, that time and proper facilities alone prevented his bestowing a more lengthened investigation of those apparently very extensive natural excavations. The distance travelled over in this journey was about four hundred and twenty miles.
They returned the first week in May to Parramatta. 1
Mr Cunningham “travelled with three convicts, three horses and a cart … via Lake Bathurst, Captains Flat and the valley in which flows the Queanbeyan River. Poor weather prevented him from continuing his journey south.” 2