"and from Carnarvon took a string of camels inland practically due east".

Situated at the mouth of the Gascoyne River about 900 kilometres north west of Perth and near enough to the western extremity of the continent. One of Lasseter's intended destinations, ( the other being Fremantle) in his wanderings west from Central Australia in 1897. As Blakeley records it, Lasseter finally arrived there in the company of his rescuer, Harding, in 1897 and the men used the port as a base in their 1900 attempt to relocate the reef that was over seven hundred miles somewhere to the east.

Coote notes that Lasseter and Harding travelled to Carnarvon from Perth in a small coastal lugger in 1900 when they returned to relocate the reef, the men used a string of camels to travel almost directly east from the town although John Bailey, some 17 years after he first heard Lasseter's story wrote that the men used a string of eight horses.

After successfully relocating the reef and plotting its location using a sextant, the men returned to Carnarvon and there discovered that their watches were an hour out, thus throwing a convenient doubt on the exact location of the reef; Lasseter also noted on the covering letter to his invisible ink directions that the compasses varied 2 E. at Carnarvon in 1897.

In his February 1930 letter to Calanchini, Lasseter makes the extraordinary claim that he found the 1900 return to the reef from Carnarvon "much better travelling than from the east" this route means crossing the Gibson Desert!!

Carnarvon would seem a most impractical place from which to base a search for a reef located over 700 miles to the east, this is more than twice the distance from Alice Springs or Oodnadatta.


R.Ross. 1999-2006

Blakely Fred Dream Millions 3,4,99. Coote E.H. Hell's Airport 25,27. Bailey Papers The History of Lasseter's Reef 4.