This cache is part of the 'Australia Wide Geocache Series: Explorers'. Originally there was a prize available to those who collected enough clues from caches in this series. The prize has since been archived and is no longer available, however this cache will be maintained as a stand-alone cache, but with the original AWGS as part of the name.
The Wild White Man
William Buckley is doesn't fit the mould of a traditional explorer. He wasn't sent out by the Government or wealthy sponsors with a well-supplied party and a mission to uncover the secrets of the countryside and return with tales of wide pastures or untold mineral wealth and he didn't die heroically or tragically in the attempt. However, there's no doubt he was a tough and resourceful man and played a significant role in the development of this region, so he can stand comfortably in the ranks of the explorers of this country.
William Buckley was a convict who escaped from custody near the site of the present day Sorrento and eventually made his way around the bay, coming as far as the Bellerine Peninsula. He spent the following 32 years,living among the various clans of the Wathourong tribe in the area, ranging from Queenscliff to Aireys Inlet and inland to the current Geelong.
However, his favourite place and the area he spent the most time is here, on the banks of what is now the Thomson Creek at Breamlea. Buckley knew this area as Karaaf and salt-marsh area between Lake Connewarre and the present day Sands at Torquay is once again known by that name. In the shelter of the large primary dune, with the moonah trees at its base, he built a substantial hut, where he lived in comparative comfort. There was steady and reliable food supply, including the plentiful bream from the creek, which he learned to trap and dry, shellfish from the rocks on the coast, birds, kangaroos and wombats and a radish-like root known as Murning. He obtained his water from the well where the first waypoint of this cache is located. At times he lived alone and at times he had the company of aborigines who stayed with him for months or even years at a time. He eventually returned to the European life, working as a guide and interpreter, before moving to Tasmania where he lived until he was killed in a buggy accident in 1856.
The salt marsh in this area is not much changed from Buckley’s times, so as you walk from the parking WP to GZ, it's not hard to imagine a very tall, rough-looking white man and a group of local aborigines hunting and gathering here, living on the abundance of food, but suffering from the cold and rain during winter. Continuing further beyond GZ towards the river mouth, civilization becomes even less apparent.
Buckley's improbable survival is said to have given rise to the popular Australian expression "You've got Buckley's chance (or hope)", often shortened to simply, "You've got Buckley's", meaning there's almost no likelihood. There's some debate that this saying is also a word play on the now defunct Buckley and Nunn department store, but the expression predates this
There is a more detailed history in the cache itself.
Information for these notes came from Wikipedia and from the account of Buckley's life written by John Morgan
WP1 will take you to a well, which is reputed to have been where William Buckley got his fresh water. Nearby, there's a now-forgotten commemorative plaque and it's around here that you'll find the container for WP1. There are no calculations for this simple multi, the coordinates for GZ are provided in the container hidden at WP1. Once you have the coordinates, it's a short drive to the parking area for GZ.
- Please observe parking restrictions in this small settlement, especially during holidays
- Please do not remove or damage the paper at WP1, or subsequent finders won't be able to locate GZ.
- At times, high water may inhibit access to this cache, unless you're prepared to get your feet wet.The terrain rating is based on times other than high tide or flood...at those times, it's probably more like a T4. However, unless there is a very high tide, or flood conditions, you should be able to wade in water that's ankle deep or not much more. If you do decide to make the wade, as always, please take care when walking in water, as there may be rocks, broken glass or other hazards.
- If in doubt, don't go..come back at low tide
- There is no access over the dunes from the beach and there is no access above the highest high-water mark.
- The area is fragile and home to the endangered Hooded Plover, so please do not attempt access to or from the beach via the dunes..you need to go the long way around.
- The salt marsh is home to many animals, including snakes, so exercise caution during the warmer months and stick to made pathways or the sand at the water's edge.
- shoes recommended
- Please replace cache as found.
- Once found and logged, why not continue your walk along the creek, turning left at the mouth and returning along the beach. A set of steps a few hundred metres from the river mouth will take you back over the dune and into Breamlea.
- If you haven't already done it, from here you could also walk to my nearby SCS#4 Mission Not Impossible cache at the river mouth, for another bit of history of this area.