Boodalin Soak

The Boodalin Soak was one of the series of dams and wells sunk by explorer and Government Surveyor Charles Cooke Hunt in 1865. It was originally a native well, improved by Hunt’s team.

It became well known to sandalwood cutters, pastoralists, travellers and prospectors and during the 1890s was part of a Hunts Track that went from York to the Goldfields.

When Hunt first travelled through this area on his Koolyanobbing Expedition he recorded the name as Booklockin Rock:

Friday 25 March 1864 at 7.30am start course N58°E towards Yorkarakine [Sandford Rocks] … at 12 noon from the summit of Booklockin Rock … the summit of Yorkarakine bore N71°E distant 8½ miles …

Later that year, during his Exploration Eastward of York, he spelt it as Boodocking :

Monday 24 October 1864. At 7.40am start course S54ºW towards Burancooping – country for about 9 miles thicket and forest halt a few minutes of Boodocking Rock to water the horses, …

Between 17 January and 25 September 1865 Hunt was in the field with a party of probation prisoners and Pensioner Guards constructing a series of wells from York to the Hampton Plains during what is known as his Wells and Track Expedition.

In February 1865 his team opened out the native well but were unable to build a stone well until logistical issues were resolved:

8 March 1865. The party had been to Yerkarakine, Moorine, Koocanie and back to their present stopping place Boodlakin, there is but little fear but that we shall attain a good supply at either of these places, as they had opened out a well to a small depth at each place, unfortunately they are now standing still untill I arrive with the drays, to cut stone and timber for building them up with, and it being impossible to stone up the wells as in fact do anything to them until everything is ready by the side of the well as they are generaly sunk in soft sandy ground, falling in as fast as the men can throw it out.

13 March 1865. Monday… At 5h 30m a.m. continued on towards Boodlookin … I have found the remainder of my party awaiting my coming up with the teams to finish a well at this place, it being a very occasional stopping place about halfway between Burencooping [Burracoppin] and Kercanie. 9h a.m. party engaged collecting stone, timber etc. 8h p.m. team engaged carting stone to the well.

14 March 1865. Tuesday. Begins with fine weather, and fresh SE wind. a.m. the party engaged sinking the well and stoning up. 4h p.m. completed the well, though not a good supply, I think sufficient for passing purposes and doubtless after the first winter there will be a good and constant supply. 5h p.m. sent eight of the party and two horses …

The Boodalin Soak has been restored and fenced off.

The name for the nearby town of Bodallin is presumably a corruption of the name of the soak.


The reports of the various trips, tours and travels on the Adventures website have a lot of information about place names – their naming and features – toponymy. More information.

© Kim Epton 2016-2019
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