It was an expedition, comprehensively equipped like no other exploratory party before it or since. Despite achieving its objective of crossing the vast Australian continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria it ended in tragedy. It was plagued by poor decision making, harsh conditions and bad luck. Led by a man of intractable character, who had no experience in exploration whatsoever, it was a tribute to the bravery and sheer willpower of the men who lived and died in the dash for the Gulf.
This is a fictional story, woven around the actual happenings, of the race to cross the Australian continent from south to north to establish a route for a telegraph line which would connect Melbourne to the rest of the world; to establish a route for a railway; to confirm, once and for all, whether there was an inland sea which would be fed by all the rivers flowing westwards away from the east coast