Nat Buchanan’s Grave is in the general cemetery at Walcha in New South Wales. Nat (Nathaniel) was a pastoralist, explorer, and pioneer in Australia with many feats from the 1860s through to the 1890s. A plaque next to his grave credits him with the following accomplishments:
- 1860-1867 – first to stock and manage Bowen Downs Station
- 1877 – first across the Barkley Tablelands east to west
- 1878 – first with 1200 head of cattle to the top end of the northern territory by the Gulf Road and returned with 20,000 head in 1880
- 1880 – first on the Victoria and Ord Rivers with cattle and established Wave Hill Station
- 1886 – first with stock on the infamous Murranji Track which he blazed
- 1892 – first with stock from East Kimberley to the Murchison Goldfields
- 1896 – first overland from Tennant Creek to Sturt Creek
Nat was aged 70 years when he traversed from Tennant Creek to Sturt Creek. In 1859 he explored new country on the tributaries of the Fitzroy River in Queensland, with William Landsborough whom he managed Bowen Downs Station with. Earlier he was part owner of Bald Blair Station, went to the California Gold Rush, and many years of experience as a drover in Australia.
Without modern equipment and vehicles to get him there, Nat Buchanan saw more of Australia than many of us will ever. For the amazing achievements he accomplished, the simple grave site in a small town (a population less than 2000) seems humble. Had I not wanted to drive Thunderbolt’s Way, I wouldn’t have known he was there.
There isn’t a lot there for Nat Buchanans Grave to be a location for a break, however, there is a picnic table with a basic shelter so it can be used for a break if you are stopping here anyway.
To get there:
The cemetery is on Darjeeling Rd in Walcha, New South Wales. Turn into Darjeeling Rd from Thunderbolts Way about 2kms north of the town. Darjeeling Rd bends to the left, and the cemetery will be on the right a little further up.