Kimberley Exploration

The initial Volume covering the exploration of this vast region, First Forays into the Kimberley, deals with inspection of the coastline from water borne expeditions in 1819-20 and 1838, followed by exploration around Camden Harbour over 1864-1865. After James Cowle’s exploration to Port Walcott in early 1866 and Alex McRae’s trip to the Fitzroy River in May 1866 there was no further exploration till Alexander Forrest’s pan-Kimberley trip of 1879.

This expedition opened up the Kimberley and over the next ten years resulted in exploration for pastoral land and gold. A number of government Kimberley Survey Expeditions were undertaken after Forrest.

It was not until Frank Hann’s penetration of the King Leopold Ranges in 1898 that the Kimberley hinterland was explored. The next major expedition was government surveyor Fred Brockman in 1901.

Later exploration in the Kimberley was mainly as a result of government activities and continued through to the 1954 North Kimberley Expedition. Further exploration continued to 1970.

Work on this period of exploration in the Kimberley will proceed as resources become available.