Charles Grimes – Survey of Port Phillip

Board 16: Avondale Heights Plaque

The exploration is described with daily entries in Flemmings’ Journal. Footnotes at the back of the Journal identify places numbered in the text. It has been estimated that the group went a certain way up the Maribyrnong River and reached the furthest point on February 3rd, 1803. A group of local historical societies commemorated this achievement in 1978 and a plaque has been placed at the top of the escarpment. This can be accessed at the corner of Davis Avenue and Thompson Street, Avondale Heights. Melways Map 27 C5.

“Thursday, February 3rd. 1803—At six o’clock the captain, Mr. Grimes, self, and five seamen went in the boat up the Great River; at between two and three miles it divided into two; *(27) we took the left hand stream at half-past eight o’clock. The land became high, where we landed and went on a hill. The soil a reddish loam from ten to fifteen inches deep. Saw a large lagoon at a distance. “Went over the hill to a large swamp. *(28) Soil black, eighteen inches, with blue clay at bottom. No trees for many miles. Came to the boat and proceeded on; passed two dingles; no water; came to a third where we found some water, where we dined and proceeded on. Opposite this the land is stony soil, stiff blue clay, and no trees only some straggling oaks by the side of the river. We went up the river till we came to rocks;*(29) could not get the boat over; crossed it at a place the natives had made for catching fish. It was still salt though a great fall; went about two miles on the hills which are level at top and full of stones, the land very bad, and very few trees, and appeared so to the mountains, which appeared clothed with timber. On our return back came to the river a little higher up and found it excellent fresh water, where it divided and appeared deep enough for a boat. Just as we got to the boat it began to thunder and rain. Stopped a little time and came back till we could procure wood to make a fire, and it being sunset stopped the night.” ( A Journal of the Exploration of Charles Grime, 1802-1803 – by James Flemming )

Flemming’s Journal