56. CIRCUS WATER.  

"We had not expected to discover evidence of his journey so far afield".

Michael Terry. The Melbourne Herald,16/03/1933.

Circus Water is located about ten miles east of Lake Christopher, on the northern slopes of the Rawlinson Range. The waterhole was named by Ernest Giles on the 29th of January 1874, apparently an allusion to the circular setting of the low surrounding hills. It was from this point that Giles and Gibson ventured west on 21/04/1874, Giles returned nine days later, barely alive and alone, Gibson had perished in the desert later named in his memory. Lasseter, the Three Pens, and Philip Taylor in his letter of instruction to Bob Buck, make no mention of Circus Water, yet one of the soundest pieces of evidence relating to Lasseter's movements in late 1930 was discovered nearby.

Michael Terry and his mates, Ben Nicker and Stan O'Grady camped at Circus Water in early November 1932, on the 2nd they proceeded west, on their way to the Warburton Ranges via Lake Christopher. A few hours into the camel journey, towards the end of the ranges, Terry noticed that a large cabbage gum had been blazed, "Shortly I was reading, Lasseter-2/12/30." Terry immediately recalled the team and all expressed great surprise that Lasseter had managed to travel so far west, the marked tree also explained the camel tracks they had occasionally noticed, he finished the examination with, "This is worth a photo".

O'Grady hoped the Expedition would find more Lasseter sign and they were rewarded a few hours later when the large DIG UNDER (POLE or FIRE) message was found scratched into the surface of Lake Christopher. The best fit chronology has Lasseter marking the tree on his return from Lake Christopher, failing to rendezvous there with Johansen and his mate, later in December his camels would bolt somewhere north west of the Hull River.

  LASSETERIA

R.Ross. 1999-2009                                                                                                                                                                           20090908

Ernest Giles, Australia Twice Traversed Vol 1. pgs 278-289.  Michael Terry, Sun and Sand, 164,165. National Archives Australia, Series No. A1. Control Symbol, 1933/2078. Barcode 45507. Pg 10.