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"Tracks of McKinlay and party across Australia" (1863) a travelogue by John Davis.

Davis was part of the South Australian Burke Relief Expedition of 1861, led by John McKinlay, a search party sent by the government to find the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Davis was in charge of the four camels taken along with the party due to his experience in India. After discovering the fate of the prior expedition, McKinlay's party continued to explore. Meeting difficult terrain while attempting to transnavigate the continent, they diverted from the Northern Territory into Queensland and reached Port Denison (modern Bowen) almost exactly one year later. This book tells the story of the expedition based on Davis' journal of the events.

McKinlay's expedition set out from Adelaide on 16 August 1861—152 years ago this month—and left Port Denison by boat, to return to Adelaide, on 17 August 1862.

Tracks of McKinlay and Party Across Australia 0003, McKinlay.jpg

The present work records one of several successful expeditions that have lately resolved for us the long standing problem of Central Australia. "Who shall cross this great 'Terra Australis' from sea to sea?" was a question so long before our eyes, and so long unanswered, that we did not expect so overwhelming a response as the last three years have given. And yet, within that brief interval, this previously unattainable result has been accomplished no less than six times over, if we regard Stuart's first two journeys as a virtual crossing of the country; a distinction we can hardly withhold from them, although neither of them quite crosses Australia, as was the case with the third. So much for a bold pioneering, and the confidence that arises from some little experience of the way. So far these preliminaries may serve to show how imaginary are many difficulties, even those of a long standing, and how often the "will makes the way."

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