With a party of four servants, four horses and five dogs, Blaxland, Wentworth and  Lawson made the first successful inland exploration of the Australian continent by white settlers, crossing the Blue Mountains in May, 1813.

Gregory Blaxland (1778-1853) was a pastoralist and one of the first free settlers in NSW. His motivation for wanting to find a route to the interior was a desire to find new grazing lands for his, and others', growing flocks of sheep and cattle. He obtained Governor Macquarie's approval for the expedition and assembled the group.

William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872), embarked on the 1813 expedition with the same adventurous spirit which was destined to take him to greener pastures not only inland but in life. This early foray into the unknown was the precursor to a most active career as a writer, barrister, landowner and statesman. He later played a central role in securing Australia's fundamental liberties and the beginnings of nationhood.

William Lawson (1774-1850) trained as a surveyor and in 1799 bought a commission in the NSW Corps. He too had acquired agricultural interests but it was his surveying skills for which he was chosen to join the party. This expertise enabled the route taken to be accurately retraced. Lawson undertook three further expeditions in later years, opening up the area around Mudgee and the Cudgegong River.

The remarkable success of the expedition was due in part to the decision to traverse the mountains by the ridges rather than the valleys. In this way the trhee explorers found the way across by Mt York and then past Cox's River to a sugar loaf hill later named Mt Blaxland. From its summit Blaxland saw 'enough grass to support the stock of the colony for 30 years'.

Source: Certificate accompanying the 1993 Masterpieces in Silver - The Explorers - Set.

Blaxland, Lawson & Wentworth are featured on the following Australian coins:

  • 1993 Five Dollars

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