Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 12 March 1862 (Crossing the Outback): The possibility of connecting Australia to the world by a telegraph line to Java encouraged the British colonies of Victoria and South Australia to mount competing expeditions to cross the continent. Despite having better funding, the 1860–61 Victorian expedition under Burke and Wills narrowly failed to reach the northern coast and ended in disaster when the two explorers ran out of supplies on the way back (Burke and Wills expedition). The South Australian expedition under Stuart fared better, successfully charting the route from Adelaide to just east of Port Darwin in 1861–62 (John McDouall Stuart).