Leichhardt at Comet

December 28th, 1844

The sandy bed of the creek was entirely dry, and we must have encamped without water after a long and fatiguing ride, had not a heavy thunder-shower supplied us; we caught the rain in our pannikins as it dropped from our extended blankets.

The thunderstorm had passed, and the sun had set, when Brown, my blackfellow, suddenly threw back the blanket from under which we sat, and pointed out to me a fine comet in a small clear spot of the western sky. The creek received the appropriate name of “Comet Creek”

January 10th 1845

At the junction of the Comet Creek and the river, I found water-worn fragments of good coal, and large trunks of trees turned into iron stone. I called this river the “Mackenzie” in honour of Sir Evan Mackenzie.

The country was very rich in game. Kangaroos and wallabies are very frequent; several bush turkeys were seen, and the partridge and bronze-winged pigeons are very plentiful.

Leichhardt’s Journal of an Expedition in Australia.