In May 1818 John Oxley left Sydney to lead an expedition aimed at following the course of the Macquarie River. However, heavy rains flooded the river and by mid-July it was clear that he would have to abandon the attempt. Instead of returning directly to Bathurst he decided to strike eastwards for the coast and after twelve weeks of difficult travelling reached the sea close to the mouth of the Hastings River. Realising that the place could make a useful harbour he named it Port Macquarie, and less than three years later a penal settlement was established there. In this talk we will re-trace Oxley’s journey and look at the physical and cultural changes to which it led.
Presented by the Port Macquarie Historical Society
Location: Port Macquarie Museum, 22 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie
Date: 10am Tuesday 22 May 2018