Journey to Horseshoe Bend was first published in 1969 and has been out of print for almost forty years. An Australian literary classic, it was written by TGH (Ted) Strehlow, author of the monumental Songs of Central Australia. It describes the final days of his father, Pastor Carl Strehlow, head of the Lutheran mission at Hermannsburg, as they travel, with Aboriginal companions, in extreme heat, along the dry riverbed of the Finke River, to the nearest railhead in search of medical assistance. They never reach help: the journey ends at Horseshoe Bend, with Pastor Strehlow's death.
Ted Strehlow grew up with Aborigines on the mission, and his knowledge of their customs and stories was unique. The book combines this knowledge, with a detailed awareness of the landscape and its sacred places, the battles that have been fought there, the lonely outposts of white settlement, and of the Biblical resonances of their own journey through this desert setting.