L.) History The first Europeans who visited the river Plate were a party of Spanish explorers in search of a south-west passage to the East Indies.
The western descent of the mountains appeared to the explorers comparatively easy, and they returned to report their discovery.
Crossing the Murray at Albury, the explorers, bearing to the south-west, skirted the western shore of Port Philip and reached the sea-coast near where the town of Geelong now stands.
His report destroyed all hope that pastoral settlement would extend to the spinifex region; and the main object of subsequent explorers was to determine the extent of the desert in the direction of north and south.
The list of explorers since 1875 is a long one; but after Forrest's and Giles's expeditions the main object ceased to be the discovery of pastoral country: a new zest had been added to the cause of exploration, and most of the smaller expeditions concerned themselves with the search for gold.
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