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    Burke And Wills Cairn, 1890, by Artist unknown, courtesy of City of Melbourne.

Burke and Wills Cairn

Artist unknown
Stone cairn
Royal Park, corner of The Avenue and Macarthur Road

On 20 August 1860, 15 000 Melburnians gathered at Royal Park to farewell the 18 members of the Victorian Exploring Expedition, lead by Robert O'Hara Burke. This stone cairn marks the expedition's departure point. The plaque reads: 'This memorial has been erected/ to mark the spot from whence the/ Burke and Wills/ Expedition started on 20 August 1860/ After successfully accomplishing their mission/ the two brave leaders perished on their return/ journey at Coopers Creek in June 1861.'

Soon after the tragedy, a fence was placed around a tree near their departure point. In 1890, the fence was removed and this cairn was erected about 180 metres east of the tree.

City Of Melbourne