The Western Australian Explorers’ Diaries Project is a bold initiative by a dedicated band of volunteers to make available the reports and journals of all Western Australian exploration from 1826 through to the present.
These reports and journals are compiled, checked and then published in a masterful series titled Western Australia Exploration.
Each volume of Western Australia Exploration comprises exact transcriptions of explorers’ diaries, fieldbooks or journals.
Each diary is preceded by a summary of the exploration and includes appendixes on flora, fauna, firearms, mode of transport, and navigation. Interspersed among the diaries in each volume is a great variety of maps, illustrations and photographs.
The transcript of each diary is been taken from source documents, ensuring accuracy and validity.
The first volume covers exploration from the time of first settlement in Western Australia at King Georges Sound in 1826 through to 1835. Coupled with the next chronological volume, Western Australian Exploration 1836-1845, they cover the initial exploration in the Swan River Colony, driven by the settlers’ need for agricultural land and the desire to find out what was around them.
Western Australian Exploration 1846-1859 and the discrete volume of Surveyor General John Septimus Roe’s explorations record the unveiling of the rich agricultural lands to the north, south and south east of Perth. The diaries of Exploring Eastward show the search for pastoral land to the east of the settled districts, and for a possible route through to the eastern colonies.
The exploration of the Kimberley, the epic desert journeys and the discovery of goldfields follow. Exploration by horse, by camel and by motor vehicle continued until well into the 20th century.
As part of the Western Australian Exploration series but discrete in themselves are the journals of major expeditions (Robert Austin, Herbert Basedow, H.W. Hill, Erik Mjoberg, George Fletcher Moore, and A.W. Canning ).
Western Australia Exploration is an ongoing series that will extend into the modern era.