How ‘Durra Durra’ got its name.

A sample chapter from Durra Durra by J.A. Wells

Slab huts in the Australian bush. Could this be Dora Dora
Could this be Durra Durra?

Durra Durra: Part One. Intrigue and Injustice:
Fourteen years had past since Hamilton Hume and William Hovell set out to discover a route south to Port Philip. When Hume first saw the river, he was so impressed by its magnitude that he named it after himself, explaining to his fellow explorer that the name Hovell would be hardly appropriate for such a mighty watercourse.

dora 6One evening, during their exploration along the river, Hume and Hovell happened upon a bend, where the stream was wide and strong, tumbling over rocks and boulders. It looked a likely spot to set up camp and they pitched the tents for the night. In the morning, Hume woke early and went to the riverbank to wash and shave. While he balanced his mirror on a rock, he caught sight, in the reflection, a group of aborigines watching him.
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“Good morning,” he said as he soaped his face with the shaving brush, “Lovely morning.” Hume saw them coming closer. They seemed interested to see him scraping the razor across his chin. After he finished, he went to the riverbank to splash his face. “What they call this place?” he asked, pointing to the water tumbling over the pebbles and rocks. An old man came forward appearing to be the chief of the mob. “Durra, Durra, Durra, Durra,” he said repeatedly.
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Hume’s colleague, William Hovell was once a ship’s captain; consequently he was an excellent navigator and a mapmaker. These skills resulted in Governor Brisbane requesting he join Hume on the expedition. Maybe Hovell miss-heard Hume when he narrated the story of what occurred because, when Hovell came to draw the map of the spot where they camped, he wrote ‘Durra Durra.’

Source: Chapter 27 Durra Durra by J.A. Wells – a sample of a work in progress

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