Arthursleigh (Wallandilli), Cookbundoon, Taralga, Burra Burra Lake
Seeking a southern route to Bathurst – to avoid the arduous Blue Mountains route – Charles Throsby, guided by the Aboriginal men Cookoogong (also Coocoogong), Dual and Bian, and travelling with John Rowley, Joseph Wild and John Waite. On 30 April, they camped at Wallandilli (River and apparent place name for Arthursleigh). On 1 May they headed off to Eeleelongh (vicinity of Greenwich Park), describing the area, in part, as very good country covered with grass . . . and very thin of timber
On 3 May (delayed due to rain and floods) they reached and crossed the Cookbundoon country into the vicinity of Chatsbury (Mingookbulla) which is a beautiful forest country very thin of timber . . . this country is admirably adapted either for grazing or agriculture. On 4 May they passed by the site of Taralga to arrive at Burra Burra a very extensive lake or lagoon several miles in circumference with great quantities of ducks of various sorts, swans and some geese. It appears that Burra Burra was Cookoogong’s country. They reached Bathurst on 9 May.
It was reported in the Sydney Gazette on 12 June 1819 that, in gratitude for Throsby’s finding this route, Governor Macquarie, gave him 1,000 acres in any part of the country he discovered by himself. Macquarie also gave land to three of Throsby’s party: 200 acres to John Rowley and 100 acres each to Throsby’s servants. To the guides Cookoogong and Dual to which much of the success of the undertaking may be ascribed, being very meritorious, he gave clothing and bedding and appointed Cookoogong Chief of the Burrah-burrah Tribe to which he belongs . . . together with the usual badge of distinction. Dual was given a Badge of Merit, and Bian was at least recommended to receive one but it was not reported that he did.
Photograph by Jennifer Lamb, Wallandilli country near Greenwich Park
Cover Photograph by Jennifer Lamb, Chatsbury, 2019