Australian post issued a set of special stamps to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Burke and Wills expedition, the first South – North crossing of the continent. On 20 August 1860, the Burke and Wills expedition left Melbourne for the Gulf of Carpentaria. The explorers hoped to be the first Europeans to cross Australia from the south to the north.While the explorers reached the Gulf, the expedition ended in tragedy.
Physically exhausted from their journey, they hoped to find William Brahe and much needed help and supplies at Cooper’s Creek. Their expectations were dashed when they learned that Brahe had left Cooper’s Creek only hours before their arrival. Burke, Wills and King then set off towards Mt Hopeless, in South Australia.
Despite offers of help from local Aboriginal people, Burke and Wills died on Cooper’s Creek in June 1861. The only person to survive was John King, who was found in September by a search party sent from Melbourne.
Title: 150th Anniversary of Burke and Wills
Date of Issue: 3 August 2010
Denominations: 2 x 60c, 2 x $1.20