Surveying Peels River, or Goonoo Goonoo.

Diary Notes of Henry Dangar as he surveyed the boundary of the AACo's Goonoo Goonoo in 1834.



By Geoff Barwick


Diary notes copied by A.P. Pulver in 1980.


The notes were given to me by Mr Fred Widdis. 

There are some funny spelling of place names. It's not a mistake by me, I've left it as Dangar spelt it. Obviously it's changed over the 180 or so years?


Photos were taken in late June 2016, and after an excellent 2 months of rain, so unlike the photos in the surveying Warrah story, these pictures show a lush green landscape. Just like 'Warrah', Goonoo Goonoo was surveyed using magnetic North, not true North.


Duri mountain in this article is called 'Turi' by Dangar. I've always wondered if it's a translation error and should be 'Duri'. Sir Edward Parry, who commissioned Dangar to survey the two properties called it 'Duri' in 1832 in his "Letters of Sir Edward Parry" in the National Library of Australia. Yet in other publications like 'The Wallabadah Manuscript', or Thomas Mitchells account of his journey to follow the Peel and Namoi river to the inland sea in 1831, it is 'Turi'? So I've left it as A. P. Pulver translated it. 'Turi'.



Journal during a Survey of the two locations selected by Sir W E Parry R.N. Commissioner to the Aust. Agricultural. Company, for that Company at Liverpool Plains and Peel's River.



Sunday 19th. January 1834



Rested at Kuwerindi.


Monday 20th

Went to Pialla Waleah Creek.


Tuesday 21st

Went to waterhole near Duri.


Wednesday 22nd

Not being positive about identity of Duri, passed on to Woolomool, Brown's station.


Parnell informed me one bag of flour was missing, he supposed we had left it at Warrah?


Thursday 23rd

Went down to Peels from Woolomool to be on the spot to commence survey of the first line south to Turi.

The Peel River where Henry Dangar started surveying Goonoo Goonoo. Today at end of Bective reserve road. From here he couldn't see Duri Mountain, so had to head North many miles to a rise so that he could get the Southern bearing to the mountain.
Peel River today at survey starting point.


Friday 24th

Found the country being so low at this point that we could not discover Turi. We went north over the Peel to the ranges 5 or 6 miles, where there is abundance of lime stone and there after some trouble fixed a point from which Turi bore due south. Continued this line till it struck the Peel. Rained a good deal today.


Saturday 25th

Commenced the first line on the south bank of the Peel at a swamp oak being the North West corner of this location. The line passes over gently undulating country.


We surveyed 7 miles and no appearance of water occurred.

The Western boundary, looking South towards Duri Mountain, on New Winton Road.
The Western boundary, at Kelso's Lane. Looking South. The very top of the mountain was the corner, and was where Goonoo Goonoo was surveyed from.




Monday 27th.

Surveyed 8 and three quarter miles nearly to Turi. No water in this space to be of use. At the 10th mile a small plain is crossed and a quarter mile further a creek, but dry at present, The hills are undulating, the timber box, occasionally soil became poor. Encamped ona clear water hole about a quarter mile West of Turi under a range.


Tuesday 28th.

Finished line to Turi till it became too steep and precipitous to ascend. Went round on east side and commenced our line East. Approached the top all but 5 chains. There are two lumps on Turi, the line cuts the North one. On leaving it we cross another range rocky also. About one and a half mile we leave the ranges and pass along gently undulating low country. At 2 and a half miles we find good water holes a frequent stopping place for persons passing from Kuwerindi to Woolomool. About 4 and a half miles we passed a track leading from Weldoo to Kuwerindi. The country was dry and parched and no water holes till the 7th mile where we had difficulty finding the least water in a creek which was very indifferent. The country passed over today was dry, but in a moist season would be reasonable. Surveyed today 7 miles. 




The peak is 'Duri Mountain'. Or just 'Turi' as named by Henry Dangar. This is on the boundary facing West, at Duri. He marked exactly 10 miles East from the top of the peak. This is on Duri-Dungowan road. Just up ahead is the Werris Creek-Tamworth road.
Wagon at Duri.
Another photo of 'Duri Mountain', but a few miles East of Duri. Also Duri-Dundowan road

Wednesday 29th.

Continued our line East over gently rising hills and over a grassy flat, to the corner at 10 miles East from Turi. Marked a box and went South 5 miles, at first it was stoney, then grassy. At the 4th mile we came to water holes, being branches of the Goonoo Goonoo and fair grassy land. There evidently has been rain from the ??????????. We left off at the 5 miles and encamped at Goonoo Goonoo creek.

The 13 mile North-South leg of boundary. On Top Gowrie road looking North.
Also on Top Gowrie road but looking South.

Thursday 30th.

Resumed our line at the 5 mile point and continued South, the flats and gently rising hills became still more grassy and beautiful. Surveyed 7 and a half miles.


Friday 31st.

The range we were about to strike of dividing range between the Peel and Condilli with the line being exceedingly steep, we marked not quite up and the same on the East side.

East-West running boundary where crosses New England Highway. 4.5 miles in length.



We continued our line East to 4 and a half miles as directed and marked a leaning box. We passed several brooks some quite dry, the country exceedingly grassy.




We turned South, and proceeded 3 miles and 11 chains and encamped, the hills are now steep, very bad gullies but very grassy. On our right is the main brook of Goonoo Goonoo. Surveyed today 7 and a half miles.

The 5 mile boundary running North-South. Crossing Nundle-Lindsays Gap road. Looking North.

Saturday. 1St February.

Continued our line South to the end of the 5th miles over very grassy good hills, and then turned East being the last line and towards the Peel. The line cuts about 24 chains after this turning East a high pointed hill in the dividing range between the Peel and Condilli streams. The hills now are steep but grassy, at 1 and a half miles they improve, the timber more sparing also, and continued thus to Goonoo Goonoo or the first forest North where low ridges are very pretty and water abounding in the brook. At 1 and a half mile after crossing the brook the hills are high, stoney but grassy and then become rather inferior, rocky abrupt and the gulleys very deep, till we arrived at 7 and a half miles, where they improve and we passed over low hills undulating and grassy to the Peel with occasionally a little scrub of box. We crossed over a good brook about a quarter mile before stricking the Peel. In the Peel at this part was very little water.

Looking East, on Crawney Road. About 1.6 ks from the Peel River.
Peel River at the South East Corner. Looking West. No fence today.
Peel River at South East corner, river running North Towards Nundle. It is 'Wombramurra' on right and we got permission to travel to corner and entered from 'Head of Peel Road'.



We returned to our encampment on the Goonoo Goonoo or forest brook as we could not proceed on the line any further with our drays, the hills and gullies preventing us.


Sunday 2nd.

Remained at encampment.


Monday 3rd.

Went down to Goonoo Goonoo and remained, repaired various things. Examined and corrected our charts, men made shoes etc. etc. and started on Friday 6th. Slept at Pialla Walla creek.


Saturday 8th.

Went to Warrah 24 miles.


Sunday 9th.

Remained at Warrah.


Monday 10th.

Bullocks gone astray. Do not start.

Tuesday 11th.

Bullocks still astray, not found till afternoon.


Wednesday. 12Th

Started and reached Warlands.


Thursday 13th.

Went to Col Dumaresq.


Friday 14th.

Reached Col Dumaresq.


Saturday 15th.and Sunday 16th.

Remained there, repaired and washed etc.


Monday 17th.

Went to Glennies.


Tuesday 18th.

Rain set in in the morning, wet all day. The men reached Wards, or 4 miles short of Black Creek. I slept at Mr. Whites and Mr. R. and his party also.


Wednesday 19th.

Wet all day. Men reached creek near Coulson's. I rode on expecting to cross the Hunter and get to Bulwarah but found the ford too deep, slept at Maitland.


Thursday 20th.

Showery day. Men came on. I met them and we encamped at Campbells Hill near Maitland as we could not cross the Hunter.


Friday 21st.

Great fresh continuing. Remained where we were. Weather held up.


Saturday 22nd.

Fine day, river full.


Sunday 23rd.

Fine. River falling.


Monday 24th.

River falls very slowly.


Tuesday 25th.

Found water was not low enough to cross over punt, no road being formed to it on Maitland side. Crossed therefore at the falls by means of putting a boat into the dray without it's wheels, and it floated over, the bullocks and men swum over. Encamped on other side of Bulwarrah.


Wednesday 26th.

Went to Jones's crossing place impaired by the flood at the Patterson near his house.


Thursday 27th.

Went to Miles's. A good crossing place at the Williams, near his house.


Friday 28th.

Arrived at Stroud and delivered up equipment and men at that place.


Saturday March 1st.

Waited at Mr. H. Hall's as Sir Edward arrived the evening before at Booral, was to come to Stroud today to see the mill behgin work, and to preach a farewell sermon to the people on Sunday here.










It's obvious that Dangar didn't go into anywhere as much detail with his notes  when doing Goonoo Goonoo compared to his notes of Warrah, done just weeks earlier. One might speculate that he was getting fatigued of the task at hand, and missing the comforts of home?



Also interesting to note how accurate he was in the boundaries doing Goonoo Goonoo. Using a GPS co-ordinate distance calculator, he got every point very close, almost exact. This just makes one wonder how he was so far out, about 200 metres short, on the Western boundary of Warrah?

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Helen Copeland | Reply 24.09.2016 19:42

This is great, Geoff. Enjoyed the photos and original spelling of some place names and the interesting boundary line.Thank you.

Kate Macpherson | Reply 22.09.2016 13:35

Very interesting, the notes and your photographs. Thanks Geoff.

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25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

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