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Monday, August 30, 2010

Burke and Wills set to traverse Australia again on 150th anniversary stamp

The 150th anniversary of the Burke and Wills expedition, the first South - North crossing of the continent is celebrated with the release of this special stamp issue.
On 20 August 1860, the Burke and Wills expedition left Melbourne for the Gulf of Carpentaria. The explorers hoped to be the first Europeans to cross Australia from the south to the north.
While the explorers reached the Gulf, the expedition ended in tragedy. Physically exhausted from their journey, they hoped to find William Brahe and much needed help and supplies at Cooper's Creek. Their expectations were dashed when they learned that Brahe had left Cooper's Creek only hours before their arrival. Burke, Wills and King then set off towards Mt Hopeless, in South Australia.
Despite offers of help from local Aboriginal people, Burke and Wills died on Cooper's Creek in June 1861. The only person to survive was John King, who was found in September by a search party sent from Melbourne.
A stamp and coin cover accompanies this issue. The Perth Mint coin used is a $1, designed by Aleysha Howarth, and uses an image of the Burke and Wills statue. Also available is a prestige booklet, which includes the stamps presented as pairs and blocks of four.