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Blog post from Wednesday, 13 August, 2014

On this day, 13th August 1817, the explorer John Oxley reached the Bogan River in central western New South Wales.

John Oxley was born in England in 1783 and came to Australia in 1802. He was made Surveyor-General of the New South Wales colony in 1812. In 1817, Governor Macquarie ordered Oxley to follow the course of the Lachlan River, to determine where it led. Because the rivers of NSW flowed west, away from the coast, belief prevailed that somewhere in Australia’s interior was an inland sea. After following the Lachlan for three months and being continually obstructed by swampland and waterholes, Oxley turned back in the direction of Sydney and soon after came across the Bogan River, on 13 August 1817. The town of Nyngan is now situated on the banks of the Bogan River.

The State Library of New South Wales holds the original notebooks and letters of John Oxley and many items relating to the exploration of inland Australia.

John Oxley notebook and letters, 1815-1823, 1888, 1895