11 May 1813: the crossing of the Blue Mountains and the foundation of Bathurst
11 May 1813: the crossing of the Blue Mountains was the expedition led by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth, which became the first successful crossing of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales by European settlers.
The crossing enabled the settlers to access and use the land west of the mountains for farming, and made possible the establishment of Australia’s first inland settlement at Bathurst.
Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson led an expedition party, which included four servants, four pack horses and five dogs. Two of the four men who assisted the party have been identified as James Burne (or Burnes), a guide and kangaroo hunter, and Samuel Fairs, a convict who arrived in Australia in 1810. The two others, also thought to be convicts, remain unidentified.
In recognition of the successful crossing, all three explorers were rewarded by Macquarie with a grant of 1000 acres of land west of the mountains. Blaxland later claimed to have led the expedition, however records from the time of the crossing imply that they were joint leaders.