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Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia by Thomas Mitchell

Part 6 out of 7

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(Abutilon) FRAZERI (Hook. M S.)[*] and also the CLEMATIS STENOPHYLLA[**],
were found on this part of the river. Thermometer, at sunrise, 48░; at
noon, 91░; at 4 P. M., 93░; at 9, 65░;--with wet bulb, 53░.

[* S. (ABUTILON) FRASERI (Hook. MS.); tota stellato-pubescens, foliis
ovatiscordatis acutis argutŔ crenato-serratis, petiolo folium aequante,
pedunculis axillaribus solitariis unifloris apicem versus articulatis,
calycis 5-partiti segmentis ovato-lanceolatis.--SIDA DUMOSA, J. Backhouse
MS. in Hook. Herb. (not Swartz). This has a most extensive range; having
been found at Moreton Bay by Mr. Backhouse, at Brisbane River by Fraser
and Smith, and in other parts of this colony by All. Cunningham.]

[** C. STENOPHYLLA Fraser in Hook. Herb. C. OCCIDENTALIS A. Cunn. in
Hook. Herb.--Very nearly allied to C. MICROPHYLLA of De Cand. Syst. i. p.
147. but in that the carpels are said to be glabrous.]

24TH OCTOBER.--Soon after leaving the camp this morning, we entered upon
an open country, the downs extending before us from the right bank of the
river, the course of which was somewhat to the eastward of south. The
cattle came on faster this day, and we encamped on the skirts of the
plain, near a fine reach of water in the river. We were now upwards of
twenty miles to the westward of Bindango, with abundance of water;
whereas I had always looked back to much difficulty in returning by that
route, as the ponds near it were likely to be dried up. I had seen the
higher parts of these downs from the summit of Bindango, but did not then
suspect that a large river was in the midst of them, whose course was so
favourable for a traveller proceeding northward. The discovery of these
extensive downs was an important incident in this journey, watered as
they were by a fine river; especially as the country to the N. W. was
open or thinly wooded, and likely to be found so as far as the central
downs and plains on the banks of the river Victoria. A new and very
remarkable Ventilago was found this day.[*] I now again numbered the
camps, continuing the series backwards, by a different character; this
was numbered 77; the last, 76. The utility of these numbers along our
surveyed line will be admitted, when the country is taken up, as they
will not only serve to identify localities with the map, but may also
enable the land-surveyors to connect local surveys with the general map
of the country. The sky was overcast with thunder-clouds in the
afternoon, and the mercurial column was low; but no rain fell, and a
clear starry sky, at 9 P. M., admitted of our observations as usual.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 53░; at noon, 85░; at 4 P. M., 83░; at 9, 58░;--
with wet bulb, 47░. Height above the sea, 1295 feet. (Camp 77.)

[* V. VIMINALIS (Hook. MS.); foliis anguste elongato-lanceolatis
integerrimis nervis costa parallelis, paniculis axillaribus
terminalibusque.--The other hitherto known species of the genus, have
broad leaves, more or less denticulate, with patent nerves. The flowers
and fruit entirely accord with those of the genus.--W. J. H. "Tree 20
feet high, growing on high sandy ridges."]

25TH OCTOBER.--We continued in the direction of a column of smoke I had
perceived yesterday, believing that there I should intersect the river,
or at least find water. We found the open downs at length, hemmed in by
ACACIA PENDULA, growing openly; but which gave place to a scrub, as we
approached some ridges. These ridges consisted of red gravel; the scrub
contained callitris, casuarina, silver-leaved iron-bark, malga and
brigalow, the two latter growing so thickly as to compel me to turn
eastward to avoid them. This elevated rocky ground was found more
extensive than I had expected, throwing down many water-courses to the
east and north-east; but, at length, we made the river, and encamped
after a journey of 10 1/3 miles. It there ran through a deep valley, due
south, with a broad channel, in which we found a reach of water covered
with ducks. The country beyond it, to the eastward, over which our former
route passed, appeared like high table-land in bluey distance; but
neither of the mountains Bindango or Bindyego were visible from the
country traversed by the party this day. Thermometer, at sunrise, 43░; at
noon, 81░; at 4 P. M., 94░; at 9, 65░;--with wet bulb, 51░. Height above
the sea, 1186 feet. (Camp 78.)

26TH OCTOBER.--A river coming into the Maran˛a, about a mile from our
camp, was apparently the river Amby; but without having traced its course
throughout, I could not feel certain of this, after all I had seen of
these rivers: I think this was the same, however. We kept the Maran˛a on
our left during the whole of this day's journey, and were thus able to
pursue a tolerably straight line in the direction of about 20░ E. of S.
At length, arriving at the junction of an important tributary from the N.
W., full of water, and seeing another also join from the east, I crossed
the main channel and encamped on the left bank, in sight of a reach of
broad blue water below the junction, of an extent which reminded us of
the Balonne itself. The valley of the river seemed bounded by continuous
ranges of high land, which looked in the back-ground like table-land.
Recently, much grass and bushes had been burnt, along the banks of the
river, by the natives; and we this day passed over a tract where the
grass was still in a blaze on both sides of us. Crows and hawks hovered
over the flames, apparently intent on depriving the devouring clement of
whatever prey more properly belonged to them. In a dry part of the bed of
the river, I met with many instances of a singular habit of the eelfish
(JEWFISH) PLOTOSUS TANDANUS.[*] I had previously observed, elsewhere, in
the aquatic weeds growing in extensive reaches, clear circular openings,
showing white parts of the bottom, over which one or two fishes
continually swam round in circles. I now found in the dry bed, that such
circles consisted of a raised edge of sand, and were filled with stones,
some as large as a man's closed fist. Yuranigh told me that this was the
nest of a pair of these fish, and that they carried the stones there, and
made it. The general bed of the river where I saw these nests, consisted
wholly of deep firm sand; and that the fish had some way of carrying or
moving stones to such spots, seemed evident, but for what purpose I could
not discover. Thermometer, at sunrise, 56░; at noon, 83░; at 4 P. M.,
93░; at 9, 75░;--with wet bulb, 59░.

[* See Pl. 6. fig. 2. p. 44. vol. i. of Three Expeditions.]

27TH OCTOBER.--We now travelled along the left bank of the river, and
found the country tolerably open. The ADRIANIA ACERIFOLIA grew on an
islet in the river.[*] This still pursued a remarkably straight course,
and contained abundance of water. After passing over a place where the
bush was on fire, we saw a female in the act of climbing a tree. When she
had ascended about eight feet, she remained stationary, looking at us
without any appearance of dismay. I continued to pursue a straight-
forward course, but told Yuranigh to inquire, EN PASSANT, what was the
name of the river; to which question she replied, in his own language,
"The name of that water is Maran˛a:" thus confirming the name we had
already understood, however indirectly, to be that of the river. It
proved the accuracy of my servant Brown's ear, for it was first
communicated to him, during my absence, by the old chief at Bindango. The
gin appeared to be climbing in search of honey. To state that this female
wore no sort of clothing, were superfluous to any reader of this journal
who may have been in such interior parts of Australia. After travelling
about fourteen miles, we came upon a fine reach of the river, and
encamped beside it. Thermometer, at sunrise, 59░; at noon, 68░; at 4 P.
M., 95░; at 9, 77░;--wet bulb, 65░. Height above the sea, 832 feet.
(Camp 80.)

[* A. ACERIFOLIA (CROTON ACERIFOLIUM All. Cunn. MS.); foliis cordato-
ovatis trifidis segmentis acuminatis grosse inaequaliter sinuato-
serratis, subtus bracteisque pubescenti-tomentosis.--Shrub three feet
high. Flowers scarlet. Collected by Allan Cunningham along the Lachlan

28TH OCTOBER.--Heavy rain was falling soon after day-break, and I most
willingly sat still in my tent, hoping the rain would continue. Just in
sight of it grew a picturesque tree: the half-dead, half-alive aspect
presented by the same sort of tree, was not unfrequent in the Australian
woods; and I was induced to sketch this specimen, as highly
characteristic of the scenery. These trees, "so wither'd and so wild in
their attire," generally appear under the shelter of other taller trees;
have half their branches dead, the part still in foliage drooping like
the willow, the leaf being very small. It is an Acacia (A. VARIANS), and
I was informed by Yuranigh that it is the Upas of Australia; the natives
call it "Goobang," and use a bough of it to poison the fish in
waterholes. They are too honest and fair in their fights to think of
poisoning their weapons. The aspect of this half-dead tree is certainly
characteristic of its deleterious qualities, in the wild romantic outline
resembling Shakspeare's lean, poison-selling apothecary,--

--"who dwelt about the very gates of death, Pale misery had worn him to
the bones."

Some good soaking rain fell until about 10 A. M., after which we had a
cool day and cloudy sky. The rain ensured to us at least dew on the grass
for a morning or two; and this, with the prospect of finding the channel
dry lower down, was a great advantage. Thermometer, at sunrise, 61░; at
noon, 75░; at 4 P. M., 76░; at 9, 60░;--wet bulb, 51░.

29TH OCTOBER.--A clear cool morning. We travelled this day with so much
ease, that we got over twenty miles without apparent fatigue, to bullocks
or horses. The necessity for travelling so far arose from the utter want
of water in the river bed. The course was very direct; the country was
open, and clothed with rich verdure on which our cattle could have
reposed, doubtless with great satisfaction, both to themselves and
drivers, had water also been at hand; but after travelling over, and
measuring twenty miles, we were obliged to encamp without any. As this
seemed only a branch of the river. I sent Corporal Graham to ascertain
what was beyond, while I, with Yuranigh, examined this channel backwards.
We found no water in either direction, but Corporal Graham discovered the
main channel at a mile and a half westward from our camp, and traced it
to near the junction with the ana-branch on which we were encamped. We
discovered this day a club and shield, such as the natives use on the
Belyando, carefully put away upon a sort of scaffold of bark, and covered
with bark. The shield was made of very light wood, the face being
rounded, and having been covered with a dark varnish like japan; for
which the surface had been made rough by crossed lines, resembling those
made on the first coat of plaster. It was evident, from the marks on this
shield, that the clubs were frequently used as missiles.[*] Each man of
the tribe that visited my camp on the Belyando, carried three or four of
these, but no shields; a plain indication that they were not then armed
for war against other aborigines. Thermometer, at sunrise, 36░; at noon,
68░; at 4 P.M., 73░; at 9, 49░;--with wet bulb, 40░.

[* Deposited in the British Museum (60, 61.).]

30TH OCTOBER.--We were now fifty-two miles from the junction of the dry
channel we crossed by the Balonne, and forty from the nearest part of our
former route, in advancing into this country. The risk of want of water
was worth encountering in the most direct line homewards, which was by
following down this river. I travelled, as straight as the bush would
allow, towards the junction; Graham examining the channel while we
proceeded. No water was found where the rivers united. Having halted the
small party with me, I followed one branch many miles with Yuranigh, but
all we could find were some wells, dug by natives, in a part of the sandy
bed; in one of which Yuranigh found, by a long bough he thrust in, that
there was moisture about five feet below the surface. I returned,
determined to encamp near this, and dig a well. The bullock teams had
also arrived when I returned to the party, and I learnt that Drysdale,
having observed that my little dog Procyon came in wet, had been led to
the discovery of a lagoon about three miles back, at which the cattle had
been already watered. I immediately encamped. At finding water the dog
was most expert, the native next, we inferior to both. We had come about
fifteen miles, and I wished to lay down the journey on the map. On doing
this, I found we had at length attained a point from whence, in case of
necessity, we could go as far as the Balonne, even if no water were found
in the country intervening, the direct distance being under forty miles.
During the afternoon, a still larger lagoon was found, higher up than the
first. I resolved to give the cattle a day's rest, and then to proceed
prepared, by well watering them previously, to travel on to the Balonne,
but not with much expectation that scarcity of water would oblige us to
go so far. Thermometer, at sunrise, 34░; at noon, 70░; at 4 P. M., 78░;
at 9, 60░;--with wet bulb, 46░.

31ST OCTOBER.--Two men were sent to the westward, where they found a dry
sandy country with pines, the same as that seen by me on my first ride
from St. George's bridge to the N.W., on the 18th of April. I was myself
engaged at the camp, on my general map of the country. Thermometer, at
sunrise, 33░; at noon, 81░; at 4 P. M., 84░; at 9, 51░--wet bulb, 43░.
Height above the sea, 882 feet.

1ST NOVEMBER.--The cattle and horses, having been all night loose beside
Drysdale's ponds, were brought in early, and we then proceeded. After
travelling about eight miles, over ground bearing traces of inundation,
and looking, as we proceeded, into the river channel for water, Yuranigh
found a lagoon in a hollow parallel to the river, and I encamped,
resolved to reduce as much as possible the distance to be traversed in
uncertainty about finding water. We had, however, found rocky ridges on
the left, like bergs to the river; and the voices of natives in the
woods, as well as these ridges, redeemed the country from the aspect of
drought. This was but a small portion of the fine pastoral country,
traversed by this river, where we found the channel dry; and I think this
want was compensated by many lagoons and watercourses in that back
country extending to the little river from Mount Abundance, the Cogoon.

2D NOVEMBER.--After watering all the animals, we went forward, prepared
to go on to the Balonne, even if we should meet with no water until we
arrived at that river. We found, however, that the country we were to
traverse was well watered. Three miles on from our camp, the country
appeared quite verdant, and park-like in its woods. The channel of the
river was bordered with green reeds, and contained a deep reach of
sparkling water. The river took a turn to the eastward, and, in the angle
formed by its again turning south, a little tributary entered it from the
north, which was full of ponds of water, and had not long ceased to run.
This came from the rocky tract situated between our old line of route,
along the little river Cogoon near Mount First View, and the Maran˛a. The
water now found supplied the only link wanting in our explored line along
the last mentioned river, and I had no doubt that, by crossing that
country more directly towards the upper part of the Maran˛a, a supply
would be found at convenient stages. On crossing the little tributary
(which I called Requisite Ponds), we found that the river resumed its
straight course towards the Balonne; and, in latitude 27░ 31' 37" S., we
again saw green reeds and a good pond, beside which we encamped.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 50░; at noon, 76░; at 4 P. M., 79░; at 9, 63░;
--with wet bulb, 61░. (Camp 82.) Height above the sea, 969 feet.

3D NOVEMBER.--The river accompanied us but a short way this day, as I had
determined to follow a straight line towards the junction with the
Balonne, aware that the course of the river, for ten or twelve miles
above that point, turned very much to the westward. We passed through
much open forest, and over much sandy ground, on which the callitris
always appeared to predominate. Little scrub lay in our way. At length,
plains again appeared before us through the trees; and, beyond them,
after travelling twenty-two miles, we saw before us the river line,
running north-east. We crossed it, and still continued to travel on
towards the main river; but night overtook us when not far distant from
it, so that we were obliged to encamp within the distance of a mile and a
half, after a journey, with carts, of 26Ż miles. Here occurred the only
Epiphyte observed during the expedition. It was growing in the dead parts
of trees in the forest, and proved to be the CYMBIDIUM CANALICULATUM of
Brown. One of the specimens had a raceme of flowers above a foot long.
The fragrant JASMINUM MITCHELLII occurred, with narrower leaves than
usual, at the foot of the forest trees. JUSTICIA ADSCENDENS, an
inconspicuous weed, covered the plains in large tufts. The MELALEUCA
TRICHOSTACHYA was there; and on the plains, and in open forests, grew a
woolly. ANDROPOGON, which appeared not to be distinct from the A.
BOMBYCINUS. In the open forest grew, here and there, the delicate COESIA
OCCIDENTALIS, and on the plains a small species of HEDYOTIS; a new
CALOCEPHALUS in bunches[*], and a creeping plant, with yellow flowers,
since found to be a new species of GOODENIA.[**] Thermometer, at sunrise,
51░; at noon, 85░; at 4 P.M., 86░; at 9, 66░;--with wet bulb, 54░. Height
above the sea, 819 feet.

[* C. GNAPHALIOIDES (Hook. MS.); annua erecta arachnoidea superne
dichotome ramosa, foliis linearibus, capitulorum glomerulis laxiusculis
corymbosis, involucri cylindracei squamis pellucidis albis.--Probably a
distinct genus.]

[** G. FLAGELLIFERA (de Vriese MS.); herbacea, glabra, foliis radicalibus
longe petiolatis, spathulatis, flagellis elongatis: floribus radicalibus,
axillaribus, longissime pedunculatis; calyce supero, quinquefido,
laciniis lineari-lanceolatis, bibracteolato; corolla bilabiata flava,
labio superiore fisso; fllamentis et antheris liberis; stigmatis indusio
ciliato; flagellis folii-et floriferis valde elongatis capsula
prismatica, biloculari; seminibus marginatis compressis; flagellis
floriferis; floribus in axilla folii ovatorotundati, auriculati,
subamplexicaulis, contentis, brevius pedunculatis.--Folia radicalia, 8-10
cent. longa, 1Ż-2 cent. lata, apice rotundata, subrepandula, deorsum
attenuata, subdecurrentia, utrinque glaberrima, subtus pallidiora; folia
flagellorum bracteiformia, ovata, subrotunda, uno vel utroque latere
auriculata, alterutra auricula multo minore, floribus vero in bractearum
illarum axillis, reliquis multo minoribus neque ad normam perfectis,
brevius pedunculatis. Affinis species G. HEDERACEOE.--DE VR.]

4TH NOVEMBER.--At an early hour we proceeded, and had the satisfaction
soon to find our old wheeltracks along the bank of the majestic Balonne.
This truly noble river was here as broad as the Thames at Richmond; its
banks were verdant with a luxuriant crop of grass, and the merry notes of
numerous birds gave the whole scene a most cheering appearance;
especially to us who were again upon a route connected with home, and at
a point 200 miles nearer to it, than where we had last seen that route.
We had since made the discovery, and completed the survey, of the lower
Maran˛a, a river which had brought us in a very straight direction back
to this point; and by tracing this down, we had established a well
watered line of route back to the fine regions we had discovered in the
more remote interior. I marked a tree at this camp (83.), which mark is
intended to show where this route turns towards the Maran˛a x. being
marked at the next camp back along the old track. In the Balonne, huge
cod-fish (GRISTES PEELII) were caught this afternoon; indeed, we already
felt comparatively at home, although still far from the settled
districts, and strangers to all that had been passing in the world during
seven months. I was busy endeavouring to complete my maps before other
cares should divert my attention from the one subject that had occupied
it so long. But in perusing nature's own book, I could, at leisure, think
sometimes on many other subjects, and I fancied myself wiser than when I
set out,--much improved in health,--bronzed and bearded; sunproof, fly-
proof, and water-proof: that is to say, proof against the want of it,
"LUCUS A NON LUCENDO." Thermometer, at sunrise, 44░; at noon, 76░; at 4
P.M., 85░; at 9, 71░;--wet bulb, 59░. Height above the sea, 738 feet.

5TH NOVEMBER.--We now travelled back along our old track towards Camp
VIII., at St. George's Bridge, where the first dep˘t had been stationed;
the tracks of several horsemen, returning after rain, were visible along
our route, and the prints of natives' feet with them. How far these
parties had been further on, along the other route by which we had
advanced, we could not then ascertain. In the course of our ride this
day, we came suddenly upon two females, who were so busy digging roots on
a plain crossed by our track, that we were too near to admit of their
running off before they perceived us; they therefore remained on the spot
until we went up to them. They informed us, through Yuranigh, that "the
tracks were those of five white men on horseback, who had been
accompanied by natives on foot. They came there about one moon before
then, and had been looking very much all about; these females could not
think what for." We took up our old position, overlooking the rocky bed
of the river. Pieces of old iron had been left untouched by the natives,
both at this camp, and were found on our old track in returning. As these
articles were such as they could have made great use of, I considered
their leaving them a proof of their good disposition towards the
exploring party; and of the very favourable impression we had made
formerly on the aborigines, at the interview with the assembled tribes of
this river. In the scrubs adjacent, we found, for the first time, the
ripe fruit of the "Quandang" (FUSANUS ACUMINATUS), and several shrubs in
flower that we thought new to botany. Thermometer, at sunrise, 44░; at
noon, 76░; at 4 P.M., 85░; at 9, 71░;--wet bulb, 59░.

Chapter IX.


5TH to 9TH NOVEMBER.--These days I devoted to the protracting of angles
taken on the Victoria, and the last day to writing my despatch to the
Government; and on this morning (the 9th) I sent Mr. Kennedy, followed by
Corporal Graham and John Douglas, to examine the country in the direction
of the furthest point attained by me on my journey of 1831; that was on
the Barwan (Karaula) in latitude 29░ 2' S., and bearing about 20░ E. of
S. from this camp. A chain of ponds, called the "Mooni" ponds, were said
to water the intervening country, and I wished to ascertain whether they
were favourable for the connection of our recently explored route, with
the termination of that marked out by me in 1831, when my journey,
undertaken expressly with the same objects in view, was accidentally

Corporal Graham was to go forward to the postoffice at Tamworth with the
despatches, when Mr. Kennedy, having ascertained the situation of the
Mooni ponds, should return. In the meanwhile, I continued to finish maps
and drawings, although suffering much inconvenience from excessive heat,
under a tent infested with numerous flies. The banks of the river were
gay with the purple flowers of SWAINSONA CORONILLOEFOLIA; FUSANUS
ACUMINATUS, produced its crimson-coloured fruit, which Yuranigh brought
us from the bush; the spotted bark tree, ELOEODENDRON MACULOSUM, was also
in these scrubs. A yellow-flowered herbaceous plant, has been determined
by Professor De Vriese to be identical with the Swan River GOODENIA
PULCHELLA. A salt plant, greedily eaten by the cattle, proved to be a
variety of the ATRIPLEX NUMMULARIS, observed in February on the
Macquarie. A species of GREWIA, in fruit, appeared to be the same as the
G. RICHARDIANA of Walpers. The TRICHINIUM FUSIFORME R. Br., was covered
with its globular, shaggy flower-heads, in the sandy open parts of the
forest. A very remarkable shrub, five or six feet high, with the foliage
of a Phyllirea, and spreading branches, was loaded with short racemes of
white flowers. It proved to be a plant of the natural order of Bixads,
and allied to MELICYTUS, but with hermaphrodite flowers.[*] A submerged
plant, in the water, was found to be a new species of MYRIOPHYLLUM, with
tuberculate fruit.[**] CASSIA CORONILLOIDES, a low shrub, was in
flower.[***] A shrubby MYOPORUM put forth sweet and edible fruit. A new
ELOEODENDRON, with small panicles of white flowers, formed a forest tree
twenty feet high, remarkable for its spotted bark.[****] A fir-leaved
CASSIA, with thin, sickle-leaved pods, formed a bush, from four to five
feet high.[*****] A new blue-flowered MORGANIA, decorated the river-
bank[******]; lastly, a new species of indigo[*******], completed the
list of plants we gathered at this season at the camp over St. George's

[* M. ? OLEASTER (Lindl. MS.); glaberrimus, foliis lineari-lanceolatis
supra griseis subtus virentibus venosis racemis strictis multo
longioribus, floribus hermaphroditis.--OBS. SEP. 5. PET. 5 hypog.
imbricata. ST. 5 in margine disci magni inserta. OVAR. ovatum 1-loc.
plac. 3-par. STYLUS simplex. STIGMA parvum 3-dent. FRUCTUS ignotus,
verisim. carnosus.]

[** M. VERRUCOSUM (Lindl. MS.); foliis submersis capillaceo-multifidis
emersis ternatim verticillatis ovatis pinnatifidis, floribus octandris,
fructibus tuberculatis.]

[*** C. CORONILLOIDES (A. Cunn. MS.); ramis subangulatis petiolisque
minute puberulis, foliolis 8-10-jugis lineari-oblongis obtusiusculis
glabris, glandula cylindrica inter par infimum, racemis axillaribus 2-3-
floris folio multo brevioribus.--Very near C. AUSTRALIS, but the leaflets
are fewer and smaller, and the subulate glands of that species are
wanting.--G. B. M. DULCE (Benth. MS.); ramulis laevibus, foliis anguste
lanceolatis planis acutis uninervibus basi angustatis, laciniis calycinis
linearilanceolatis acutis brevibus, corollae limbo imberbi.--Intermediate
between M. TENUIFOLIUM Br. and M. DESERTI Cunn.]

[**** E. MACULOSUM (Lindl. MS.); inerme, foliis linearibus obovatis
integerrimis obtusis, paniculis terminalibus ultra folia evectis.]

[***** C. CIRCINNATA (Benth. MS.); glabriuscula, petiolis phyllodineis
lineari-subteretibus, foliolis nullis, racemis phyllodio plerumque
brevioribus 1-2-floris, legumine plano glabro cincinnato v. spiraliter
contorto.--Phyllodia one to one and a half inch long, resembling the
leaflets of C. HETEROLOBA. Pod like that of several PITHECOLOBIA, but not
yet ripe.]

[****** M. FLORIBUNDA (Benth. MS.); dense glandulosa, caeterum glabra,
ramis strictis dense foliosis foliis linearibus rarissime dentatis,
pedicellis plerisque geminis folio florali multo brevioribus.--This is a
very distinct species which was also gathered by Sir T. Mitchell in 1836,
but my specimen was not complete enough to describe it accurately, the
branches are thickly covered with leaves and flowers. The lower leaves
are one to two inches long, the flowers blue, like those of M. GLABRA.

[******* I. BREVIDENS (Benth. MS.) fruticosa, gracilis, pilis parvis
canescens, foliolis 6-10-jugis cum impari oppositis obovatis subplanis
mucronatis v. emarginatis utrinque strigosis, racemis multifloris laxis
folia vix superantibus, bracteis minutis, calycis villosuli dentibus
brevissimis obtusis, corolla pubescente, legumine strigilloso incurvo.--
It has much the aspect of I. MICRANTHA (Bunge), but the flowers are not
quite so small, and the teeth of the calyx are very different.]

15TH NOVEMBER.--Mr. Kennedy having been absent much longer than was
expected, at length appeared on the opposite bank of the river with
Douglas, both being on foot, and Douglas leading only one (strange)
horse. The information Mr. Kennedy brought me was favourable to the
project of uniting this route with that to the Barwan, and the (now)
settled district of the Nammoy. He had found that the Mooni ran nearly
north and south, and that its banks were occupied with cattle-stations to
within a day's ride of our camp. This ride of discovery had, however,
cost the lives of two of our horses, the bearing already mentioned as the
direction given for Mr. Kennedy's guidance having been TRUE and not
magnetic. Pursuing that bearing BY COMPASS, Mr. Kennedy had ridden almost
parallel to the Mooni, sixty-three miles, without hitting them, or
finding water. The heat was intense, one of the horses died, and the men
were very ill; when they at length reached these ponds. In returning, he
had travelled by the stations, and borrowed the horse brought back, from
the station nearest to us, occupied by Messrs. Hook. From these gentlemen
Mr. Kennedy had ascertained that Sir Charles Fitzroy was the new

17TH NOVEMBER.--The whole party crossed the Balonne by St. George's
Bridge, and I arrived, the same afternoon, with a small advanced party on
the Mooni, which we made in latitude 28░ 17' 51" S. The channel was full
of water, and thus we completed the last link wanted to form a chain of
communication DIRECT FROM SYDNEY, to the furthest limits we had explored.
The ground was imprinted with the hoofs of cattle, and we already felt as
if at home. The day was one of extreme heat without any wind; the
thermometer stood at 104░ in the shade. Yet the horses drew the carts
easily twenty-four miles and a quarter. We had passed over a country
covered with excellent grass, consisting chiefly of plains and open
forest, with scrubs of ACACIA PENDULA, and a soil of clay. In the scrubs
we found a new species of CANTHIUM, a shrub ten or twelve feet high; and
in the open forest ACACIA NERIIFOLIA was observed in fruit; HIBISCUS
STURTII Hook.; an Evolvulus related to SERICEUS; a new yellow
CROTALARIA[*] ; and a noble new species of STENOCHILUS, with willowy
leaves and large trumpet flowers.[**] Thermometer, at sunrise, rise, 62░;
at noon, 103░; at 4 P.M., 104░; at 9, 81░;--with wet bulb, 67░. Height
above the sea, 622 feet. (Camp 84.)

[* C. DISSITIFLORA (Benth. MS.); herbacea, laxe ramosa, stipulis
setaceis, foliolis elliptico-oblongis rarius ovalibus obtusis supra
glabris subtus ramulisque pube tenui subcanescentibus, racemis erectis
oppositifoliis elongatis, floribus (ultra 20) distantibus, carinae rostro
brevi recto, ovulis numerosis, legumine breviter stipitato pubescente.--
Very near to C. SENEGALENSIS among the LONGIROSTRES, but the habit is
more rigid, the leaflets rather larger, the beak of the keel shorter, and
the pod (which is only very young in the specimen) is borne on a short

[** S. (PLATYCHILUS) BIGNONIAEFLORUS (Benth. MS.); glaber viscosus-foliis
longe lanceolatis linearibusve apice subuncinato, calycis foliolis latis
acutis, corollae glabrae ventricosae laciniis obtusissimis infima
dilatata subtriloba vix caeteris magis soluta, staminibus vix exsertis.--
Leaves three to six inches long, two to six lines broad, thick and
clammy. Flowers above an inch long, remarkable for the broad divisions of
the corolla, and the general form much that of a BIGNONIA. This
difference in the form of the corolla, would perhaps justify the placing
it into a distinct genus instead of a mere section, especially as that
peculiarity which gave the name of STENOCHILUS does not exist, were it
not that the forms of the corolla are so different in different other
species, that they will not furnish generic characters where the habit is
similar.--G. B.]

18TH NOVEMBER.--The teams came in very early, not having been above one
mile behind. I remained encamped there, in the expectation of some
decided change of weather. The night had been oppressively hot. The
season during which we had been beyond the Balonne, viz., that between
the 23rd April and 5th November, was the most proper for visiting the
tropical regions of Australia.

Here we found TRICORYNE ELATIOR, a delicate yellow-flowered plant; a
species of the genus Fugosia near F. DIGITATA, a plant of Senegambia, but
less glabrous, and with the leaflets of the involucre much larger.
MORGANIA GLABRA, a little erect herbaceous plant, having the appearance
of being parasitical on roots; ACACIA VARIANS, in the open forest, in
rich soil. ANTHERICUM BULBOSUM, formerly seen on the Narran. In the thick
forest, a shrub six feet high with small white flowers, CATHA
CUNNINGHAMII[*] (Hook. MS.), and a new species of VIGNA very near V.
LANCEOLATA, though very different in habit.[**] Thermometer, at sunrise,
58░; at noon, 102░; at 4 P.M., 103░; at 9, 76░;--with wet bulb, 64░.

[* C. CUNNINGHAMII (Hook. MS.); inermis, foliis lineari-lanceolatis
rigidis mucronato-acutis integerrimis subfalcatis superne latioribus basi
in petiolum perbrevem attenuatis, floribus axillaribus fasciculatis,
pedunculis simplicibus vel racemosis bracteolatis.]

[* V. SUBERECTA (Benth. MS.); leviter pubescens, suberecta, ramosissima,
foliolis lato-lanceolatis basi integris vel hastato-trilobatis,
pedunculis folio subbrevioribus apice paucifloris, calycis pubescentis
campanulati dentibus tubo subaequilongis, carina rostrata acuta, legumine

19TH NOVEMBER.--The party moved off at an early hour. The tracks of
cattle and horses became more and more numerous as we proceeded, and the
channel of the little river was full of water, on which a large species
of duck was very plentiful. At length we came upon the track of wheels,
and followed them towards the station; which was not yet visible when our
young native, Dicky, fell a shouting and laughing, drawing my attention
to what certainly was a "RARA AVIS" to him. This was a white woman going
with pails to milk the cows, and the first white female he could ever
have seen. The jeering laugh of the young savage was amusing, as he
pointed to that swaddled, straw-bonneted object, as something curious in
natural history, to which my attention, as he thought, would be rivetted:
but the sight was, nevertheless, a welcome one to all the party. Soon two
comfortable stations, one on each side of the river, appeared before us;
and the neatly dressed mother of two chubby white children stood at the
door of one of them. I had a memorandum from Mr. Kennedy to call at the
other, to thank the owner for lending him a horse; and there I first
entered again under a roof, and a most agreeable cover it did seem to me
after living nearly a year under canvass, in houseless wilds. These were
cattle stations, and both appeared to be well-laid out for the purpose,
and upon a scale more substantial and worthy of it, than I had hitherto
seen in squatting districts. The placing of two such stations thus near
each other, is a good arrangement, not only affording better security
against the depredations of natives, but also as banishing that aspect of
solitude and loneliness such places in general present; and in the outset
of such a life, implanting, in the still uncultivated soil, the germs of
social union, on the solid basis of mutual protection.

I continued to travel some miles beyond these stations, for the sake of
obtaining better grass for our cattle; and thus lengthened the journey to
near twenty miles, in very warm weather, the thermometer being 104░ in
the shade. Thermometer, at sunrise, 58░; at noon, 102░; at 4 P.M., 104░;
at 9, 75░;--with wet bulb, 63░. (Camp 85.) Latitude, 28░ 30' 51" S.

20TH NOVEMBER.--Travelling south by compass, we found a tolerably open
forest, and the Mooni on our left, until we fell in with Mr. Kennedy's
track on riding back. Following this (as he had been guided back by an
experienced stockman), we at length crossed the Mooni, and fell into a
cart-track leading southward, and at a few miles beyond where we fell
into that track, we encamped on the left bank of the Mooni; a tree at
this camp being marked 86. Again we saw, in the woods about this camp,
the HYLOCOCCUS SERICEUS R. Br., a remarkable tree, with oblong leaves,
and fruit resembling a small orange. It is a curious genus, and belongs
to the poisonous order of Spurgeworts. We found here also, the
BEYERIA, near B. VISCOSA, Mig.; the variety of CASSIA SOPHERA (Linn.)
cultivated in some botanical gardens, under the name of C. SOPHERELLA; a
beautiful tree with pinnate leaves and spreading panicles of large white
a species closely allied to E. HOEMATOMMA Sm., but the marginal nerve is
not so close to the edge of the leaf (this is the "bastard box" of the
carpenters); a fine new large-flowered SIDA[*]; and it appears that the
"Yarra" tree of the natives here, is a new Eucalyptus, which Sir William
Hooker calls E. ACUMINATA.[**]

[* S. (ABUTILON) TUBULOSA (All. Cunn. MS.); tota velutino-pubescens,
foliis cordato-ovatis (sinu profundo angusto) sublonge acuminatis
dentatoserratis, stipulis subulatis flaccidis, pedunculis axillaribus
solitariis unifloris folio brevioribus, calyce elongato tubuloso 5-fido
laciniis acuminatis, petalis (flavis) vix duplo brevioribus.--W. J. H.]

[** E. ACUMINATA (Hook. MS.); foliis alternis petiolatis lanceolatis
longe acuminatis subaristatis penninerviis glaucis reticulatis nervis
lateralibus a margine remotiusculis, floribus umbellatis (4-6-floris),
umbellis pedunculatis, calycis tubo hemisphaerico in pedicellum gracilem
attenuato, calyptra conico-acuminato calycis tubum superante.]

Just as we sat down here, rain came on; the wind changed to S. W. and the
sky looked more portentous of rainy weather than we had ever seen it on
this journey. Now this was the first country in which we had any reason
to dread wet weather, since we crossed the Culgoa about the beginning of
April. Here rain would render the ground impassable, and inundate the
country. The mercury in the barometer was falling, and so was the rain.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 61░; at noon, 62░; at 4 P.M., 57░; at 9, 53░;--
with wet bulb, 53░.

21ST NOVEMBER.--The wind had shifted from E. to S. W., and the rain had
set in,--to proceed was quite impossible. The coolness of a cloudy day
rendered the tent much more agreeable and convenient for finishing maps
in, than one under the extremely hot sunshine which mine had been
recently exposed to so long at St. George's Bridge. I had now, therefore,
a good opportunity of completing the maps. The great heat which had
prevailed during so many successive days there, portended some such
change as this; and we were thus likely to be caught in that very region
so subject to inundation, which I was formerly so careful to avoid, that
I endeavoured to travel so as to be within reach of a hilly country. For
that reason chiefly I had proceeded into the interior, by the circuitous
route of Fort Bourke.

21ST NOVEMBER TO 7TH DECEMBER.--The sky resembled that in Poussin's
picture of the Deluge; and to one who had contended a whole year with
scarcity of water, in regions where this coming supply had so long been
due, the reflection would often occur, that this rain, if it had fallen a
year sooner, might have expedited that journey very much indeed; whereas
it was now very likely to retard the return of the party. This was the
only spot where such a rain could have seriously impeded our progress;
the waters of the great rivers were sure to come down, and we had still
to traverse extensive low tracts, where, in 1831, I had seen the marks of
floods on trees, which had left an impression still remaining on my mind,
that I thought it very desirable then, to get my party safe out of these
flats as soon as possible.

On the 28th November, or eight days after the rains set in, the Mooni
waters came down, at first slowly, but gradually filling up the channel,
until they rose to such a height, as to oblige me to move three of the
drays. During the night, the rising inundation began to spread over the
lower parts of the surface back from the river; while the current came
down with such rapidity, and, judging from marks of former inundations on
the trunks of box-trees ("GOBORRA"), it appeared probable the water might
reach our camp. I therefore determined to move it by daylight to a sand-
hill, about a quarter of a mile back from the river. This was effected in
good time, and only in time. Between the camp beside the Mooni, and that
we afterwards established on the sand-hill, there was a hollow by which
the rising floods would pass to an extensive tract of low ground almost
surrounding our camp on the sand-hill, and which would, probably, render
our passage out of that position difficult, even after the waters had
subsided. I therefore employed the men in throwing up a dam across this
hollow, between our hill-camp and the river, so as to prevent the
inundation from passing that way. We had no better material than sand to
oppose to this water; yet, by throwing up enough, we succeeded in
arresting the waters there, although they rose to the height of two feet
four inches on the upper side of our dam, and gave, to the country above
it, the appearance of a vast lake, covering our old encampment; so that
the figures 86 cut on a tree, were the only traces of it that remained
above water. Our camp on the sand-hill was elevated above the sea 641
feet, or about 80 feet higher than the river. The waters continued to
rise until the 2d of December, when they became stationary; and next day
they began slowly to subside. By the evening of the 5th, they had receded
from the dam; and the sky, which had been lowering until the 1st, began
to present clouds of less ominous form. Still the return of clear weather
was slow, and accompanied by thunder-showers. Plants put forth their
blossoms as soon as the sun re-appeared; amongst others, the DIDISCUS
PILOSUS Benth.; a pretty little umbelliferous plant. BOERHAAVIA was again
seen here; CARISSA OVATA, a shrub three feet high, with spiny branches,
and very sweet white flowers; the NEPTUNIA GRACILIS also, with the
appearance of a sensitive plant, was seen in the open flats. It was only
on the 7th that a crust had been formed on the earth, sufficiently firm
for the cattle to travel upon; and we embraced the earliest opportunity
of quitting that camp, where the superabundance of water had detained us
seventeen days. Musquitoes now tormented us exceedingly, and had obliged
us to tether the horses at night, to prevent them from straying. We this
day passed over the soil without finding the wheels to sink much, until
we arrived at Johnston's station, five miles from our camp, and where I
had been told the ground was firm. There, on the contrary, we encountered
the only two swamps at all difficult. Even the drays got through them,
however, and I gladly quitted the banks of the Mooni, taking a straight
direction towards the Barwan, and encamped ten miles from the former.
That central ground between the Mooni and the Barwan, had brigalow
growing upon it, was firm, and in some hollows we found water. A heavy
thunder-shower fell at sunset, but we were on such firm soil, that I was
under no apprehension that it would have the effect of retarding our

8TH DECEMBER.--Thermometer, at 6 A.M., 69░. Height above the sea, 782
feet. Having determined our position on the map, I now chose such a
direction for our homeward route, as would form the most eligible general
line of communication between Sydney and the Maran˛a. It seemed desirable
that this should cross the Barwan (the Karaula of my journey of 1831),
some miles above the point where I had formerly reached that river; and
thus avoid the soft low ground upon the Nammoy, falling into my old track
about Snodgrass lagoon, or when in sight of Mount Riddell. With this
view, our latitude being 28░ 57' 20" S., longitude 149░ 11' E., I chose
the bearing of S.S.E. (or rather 23Ż░ E. of S.), for my homeward
guidance; and this morning I travelled, over a good firm surface, for
sixteen miles in that direction, when we arrived at the bank of the
Barwan and there encamped. We had passed through some open scrub, chiefly
of the rosewood kind, and crossed several small grassy plains; saw one or
two patches of brigalow, but very little callitris. An improvement was
visible in the quality of the grass, when we came within the distance of
about two miles from the river; and open forests or plains of richer
soil, its usual concomitants, plainly enough indicated the presence of
the Barwan (or "Darling"). In the country we traversed, we saw no cart
tracks; but the deep impressions of a few stray cattle, apparently
pursued by natives, were visible throughout the scrubs. There was still a
considerable flood in the river, although the water had been recently
much higher, as was obvious from the state of the banks. Latitude, 28░
37' 20" S. Height above the sea, 590 feet.

9TH DECEMBER.--All hands were busy this morning in making preparations
for crossing the Barwan. The boats were soon put together, and on
reconnoitring the river in one of them, I soon found a favourable place
for swimming the cattle and horses at, and which was effected without
accident. The unloaded drays were next drawn through the river at the
same place; which was about three hundred yards lower down the river than
that at which we had encamped, and which was marked by the number 87, cut
on a tree. My former camp on this river in 1831, for want of such a mark,
could not be recognised. According to my surveys, it should have been
found seventeen miles lower down the river. All our stores and equipment
were carried across in the boats. These looked well in the water; their
trim appearance and utility, then renewed my regret that I had not
reached the navigable portion of the Victoria, and that its channel had
been so empty. Perhaps more efficient portable boats never were
constructed, or carried so far inland undamaged. They were creditable to
the maker, Mr. Struth of Sydney. By their means, the whole party was
comfortably encamped this afternoon, on the left bank of the Barwan, just
before a heavy thunder-shower came down. The river had fallen several
feet during the day. Thermometer, at 6 P.M., 82░.

10TH DECEMBER.--At 6 A.M. thermometer 68░. The mosquitoes were most
tormenting; as was well expressed by one of the men outside my tent, who
remarked to his companion, "That the more you punishes 'em, the more they
brings you to the scratch:" a tolerable pun for one of "the fancy," of
which class we had rather too many in the party. The horses, although
tethered and close spancelled, could not be secured, even thus. Some had
broken away and strayed during the night. It was ascertained by Yuranigh,
that four other strange horses were with ours, having come amongst them
and led them astray. These had broken loose from a neigh- bouring
station, whence a native came to the men I had left to await the horses
at the Barwan, and took back the strange horses. I had gone forward with
the party, still pursuing the same bearing, and came thus upon the
"Mańl," a channel not usually deep, but, at the time, so full of water,
with a very slight current in it, that here again we were obliged to
employ the boats. This channel was distant 5Ż miles from where we had
crossed the Barwan. The bullocks were made to swim across in the yokes,
drawing the empty drays through, which they accomplished very well; "RAR╬
NANTES IN GURGITE VASTO." The loads were carried in the boats, and the
horses taken across, as before. The camp was established at an early hour
on the left bank of the "Maal," which camp I caused to be marked 88, in
figures cut on an iron bark tree. Latitude, 29░ 1' 20" S. This seemed to
be the same channel crossed by me on 5th February, 1832, at a similar
distance from the main river.

11TH DECEMBER.--Thermometer, at 7 A.M., 70░. We continued to travel
homewards on the same bearing; thus tracing with our wheels, a direct
line of road from Sydney to the northern interior and coast. The plains
were gay with the blue flowers of a new CYCLOGYNE[*]; a new CANTHIUM, was
in fruit[**]; and we found also a species of Malva, which Sir William
Hooker has determined to be MALVA OVATA (Cav.), or scarcely differing
from that species, except in the rather soft and short hairs to the calyx
(not long and rigid): the two ends of the curved carpels are equal or
blunt; but in M. OVATA the upper one is longer and attenuated into a
short beak. The same plant was found by Frazer along the Brisbane. The
THYSANOTUS ELATIOR was again found here; and a shrubby CRUCIFEROUS plant,
quite woody at the base, with very narrow linear setaceous pinnatifid
leaves,[***] and linear curved torulose silicules. A new HAKEA with stout
needle like leaves, was also found this day in the scrub. We met with no
impediment for eighteen miles, when I encamped, although without reaching
water enough for our cattle. I knew we could not expect to meet with any
watercourse between the Barwan and the Gwydir; which latter river I
wished to cross as soon as possible, in hopes then to meet with roads and
inhabitants. Even cattle-tracks had again become rare in this
intermediate ground, although the grass was in its best state, and most
exuberant abundance. We crossed much open plain, and passed through
several shady forests of casuarina. A curious provision of nature for the
distribution of the seeds of a parasitical plant was observed here, each
seed being enclosed within a sort of pulp, like bird-lime, insoluble in
water; the whole resembling a very thin-skinned berry. On this being
broken, probably by birds, the bird-lime is apt to attach the seed to
trees or branches, and so the parasitical growth commences. On the
plains, the blue flowers of a large variety of MORGANIA GLABRA caught the
eye: the rare and little known HETERODENDRON OLOEFOLIUM of Desfontaines,
a genus referred to Soapworts by Mr. Planchon. We found also this day, a
new POLYMERIA with erect stems, silky leaves, and pink flowers.[****]
Height above the sea, 554 feet.

[* C. SWAINSONIOIDES (Benth. MS.); foliolis 8-11 anguste oblongis,
racemis laxis dissitifloris, carina spiraliter contorta.--Habit of a
SWAINSONIA or LESSERTIA. Flowers blue, as in the original Swan river
species (C. CANESCENS). That has not a spirally-twisted keel, but the
structure is indicated both by the circinnate apex of the style, and by a
slight curl at the summit of the keel.]

[** C. OLEIFOLIUM (Hook. MS.); foliis obovato-oblongis obtusis glaucis
basi in petiolum gracilem attenuatis, stipulis parvis acutis, fructibus

[*** H. LONGICUSPIS (Hook. MS.); rigida glaberrima, ramis junioribus
subpubescentibus, foliis bi-triuncialibus tereti-filiformibus rigidis
strictis longe mucronatis, perianthiis glabris, capsulis suboblique
ovatis lignosis glabris brevi-acuminatis.]

[**** P. LONGIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.); erecta, foliis sericeo-nitentibus
linearilanceolatis auriculatis, pedunculis unifloris foliis multo

12TH DECEMBER.--Thermometer, at 6 A.M., 67░. Passing over a similar sort
of country for some miles (and through a scrub, on first leaving the
camp), we at length came upon a more open country, where the ground
seemed to fall southward. Cattle-tracks were again numerous, and cow-dung
abundant, an article in much request with us just then, its smoke being a
valuable specific for keeping off the mosquitoes, when a little of it was
burnt before a tent. We next came upon more spacious plains than any we
had seen southward of the Balonne; and I recognised, with great pleasure
and satisfaction, the blue peak of Mount Riddell, distant 61 miles. This
seemed to peep through the obscurity of fifteen laborious years, that had
intervened since I had given a name to that summit. It now proved the
accuracy of my recent survey, appearing exactly in the direction, where,
according to my maps, I pointed my glass to look for it. Like the face of
an old friend, which, as the Persian proverb says, "brighteneth the
eyes," so this required clear eyes to be seen at all; even Yuranigh,
could not at first be persuaded that it was not a cloud. This fine peak
must always be a good landmark on these vast plains, and may yet brighten
the eye of the traveller from India, when emerging from the level regions
upon the Barwan. We next perceived at a distance, a cloud of dust raised
by a numerous herd of cattle, and came upon a water-course, or branch of
the Gwydir, called, I believe, the "Meei." As I wanted to cross the
Gwydir, I crossed this and continued; met with another deep ditch or
channel, four miles beyond the Meei; and, at three miles beyond that,
another: none of these resembling the Gwydir I had formerly seen. I had
ridden twenty-five miles, and hastened back to meet the carts, and
encamped them just beyond the first-mentioned of these two water-courses.
The heavy drays were, of course, far behind. Latitude, 29░ 34' 41" S.
Height above the sea, 553 feet.

13TH DECEMBER.--Thermometer, at 10 A.M., 70░. The drays joined us early,
having performed an immense distance yesterday. This being Sunday, rest
for the remainder of the day was both proper and necessary. I found we
were within a less distance of Snodgrass Lagoon, than we were from the
camp we had left the previous day. I expected to fall in with some road,
when we reached the country to which I had formerly led the way. At
sunset the sky seemed charged with rain, and the barometer had fallen 2Ż
millimetres; much thunder, and but a slight shower followed, after which
the sky cleared up. Heavy rain there, must have caused much difficulty
and delay to the party, as we were upon low levels subject to inundation.
Height above the sea, 499 feet. Thermometer, at 6 P.M., 88░.

14TH DECEMBER.--Thermometer, at 6 A.M., 76░. During the night, and at
day-break, heavy rain pattered on my tent, but a streak of the blue sky
appeared in the N.W., which increased; and before 7 A.M. the sun shone on
the ground, and dried it so that we could proceed. We crossed a channel
of the river, at three miles, which is called the "Moomings;" and still I
doubted whether we had not yet to cross the main channel of the Gwydir,
having seen no current in any of those channels I had crossed. I had
however already crossed the latitude of the river I had formerly seen;
and, coming soon to rising ground, and seeing before me the wide-spread
plains of my former journey, I was convinced that the late rains had not
extended to the Gwydir, and that this river had been crossed by us in
these several channels. At length, I arrived at the lagoon I had named,
in former times, after Colonel Snodgrass; thus terminating this journey,
having travelled in a direct line the last seventy-three miles of it, to
meet at this point the line from Sydney, traced by me thus far in the
year 1831. Height above the level of the sea, 545 feet. Thermometer, at 7
P.M., 87░. The temporary occupation of the country by squatters, imprints
but few traces of colonization. Cattle-tracks were visible, certainly,
but nothing else. No track remained along the line which I had so many
years before laboured to mark out. Having ordered some of the men to look
out for a stockman, one was at length caught, and persuaded to come to my
tent, but not without some apprehension that the people he had come
amongst so suddenly were robbers. He was a youth, evidently of the Anglo-
Saxon race, in a state of transition to the condition of an Australian
stockman. His fair locks strayed wildly from under a light straw hat
about the ears of an honest English face, and the large stock whip in his
hand explained what he was about,--"in search of some stray cattle." He
had evidently never heard of exploring expeditions, past or present; nor
of such a name as "Snodgrass Lagoon." Mount Riddell was called "Cow
hill," according to him. Knew there was a road to Maitland, but of Sydney
he seemed to require some minutes to recal the recollection. He had come
from the station of Mr.----, where he was employed as stockman. Came out
from England about six years ago with a brother. When asked if his
brother was with him, he said "No." To my next question, as to the rest
of his relatives, a tear was the only reply, and I pushed my inquiries no

16TH DECEMBER.--I left the camp, accompanied by Mr. Kennedy, and, in
looking for my old route, we soon arrived at cattle stations. The lagoon
was full, and the first station we saw was on the opposite bank; but
having crossed some miles higher, we arrived at one, where the master and
some men were busy in the stockyard, and there we were hospitably
received. It was then about 2 P.M., and tea mixed with milk was set
before us, with a quart pot full of fine salt, and some hard-boiled eggs.
Having put into my tea a table-spoonful of the salt, mistaking it for
sugar, and there being no sugar, I had two strong reasons for not taking
much tea. Fortunately for me, however, I did eat one of the hard-boiled
eggs, for from that hour I was doomed to fast two days. There I bade Mr.
Kennedy farewell, leaving him in charge of the party, and proceeded along
a cart-track homewards, followed by John Douglas, and a led horse. Before
we could arrive at the station where I intended to halt, night overtook
us on a plain, with very heavy rain, and total darkness. The cart-track
was no longer visible, and, after groping on some way without it, we were
obliged to alight and sit in the mud, without the shelter of even a tree,
until day-break. Daylight exhibited the station not above two miles off,
but that did not avail us much; for, on awaking the inmates, and asking
them for some breakfast, the hut-keeper shook his head, and said he had
no provisions to spare. Once more I struck away from these "abodes of
civilized men," to look for my old track, which had been traced along the
base of the NundawÓr Range, where the bold outlines of Mounts Lindesay
and Forbes hung dimly, like shadows of the past, amongst clouds lighted
by beams from the rising sun. After having been long in unknown regions,
time and distance seem of little consequence when we return to those
previously known; and thus the whole day soon passed in looking for my
former track. But I sought it in vain; and was glad at night to turn
towards the banks of the Nammoy, in search of a cattle-station. Since I
had first explored that country to which my wheel-tracks marked and led
the way, station after station had been taken up by squatters, not by
following any line of route, but rather according to the course of the
river, for the sake of water; and in such cases, the beaten track from
station to station, no matter how crooked, becomes the road. Thus it is,
in the fortuitous occupation of Australia, that order and arrangement may
precede, and be followed only by "CHAOS come again." I arrived about
sunset, at Mr. Cyrus Doyle's station near the Nammoy, where I was
hospitably entertained by a man in charge of it, who rode eight miles in
twenty minutes only, to borrow some tea and sugar for me, and who lived
on very friendly terms with some old natives who remembered me, and my
first advance into that country.

18TH DECEMBER.--At 6 A.M., Thermometer 75░. Height above the sea 750
feet. Guided by one of these natives, I reached the "great road," saw
many wool drays upon it, before I arrived at Maule's creek; and I
endeavoured, for a considerable time, to pass two gentlemen in a gig, and
wearing veils, who were driving a lot of mares before them, and who
seemed to derive amusement from making their mares keep pace with my
entire horse.

The road this day traversed the luxuriant flats of the Nammoy, one of the
richest districts in the colony, as the fat cattle on the banks of the
river sufficiently attested. The mountains behind, afforded equally
eligible runs for sheep. Nothing could surpass the beauty of the scenery,
amid abundance of water, umbrageous trees, cattle, verdure, and distant
mountains. I was most comfortably lodged that night at Mr. Wentworth's
station on the Nammoy, elevated above the sea 1055 feet, and next day I
reached the dwelling of a resident squatter, and saw a lady in a
comfortable house near the very spot, where, fifteen years before, I had
taken a lonely walk by the then unknown Nammoy, the first white man
permitted there to discover a "flowery desert."[*] I was most kindly
welcomed by this family; but I asked in vain, even there, to be favoured
with the perusal of a newspaper. When I expressed anxiety about my
numerous family, and spoke of my long absence of a year, I observed a
tear in the lady's eye, which I then thought the product of mere
sensibility; but I learnt subsequently, that she was aware the newspapers
she possessed, and out of sympathy withheld, would have apprised me of
the death of a son, which sad tidings were only communicated to me some
days after.[**]

[* Three Expeditions, etc., vol. i. p. 54.]

[** He died on the 16th July, at the age of eighteen, from the want of
medical aid, when surveying, in winter, the Australian Alps. His grave,
trodden by cattle hoofs, is in a desolate unconsecrated spot. He had
served the public, gratis, upwards of two years, as a draughtsman and

Chapter X.

THE DEPRAVED.--Of the present Colony of New South Wales.--NATURAL STATE.

The party which I had left in charge of Mr. Kennedy near Snodgrass Lagoon
arrived in the neighbourhood of Sydney on the 20th of January, and the
new Governor, Sir Charles Fitzroy, kindly granted such gratuities to the
most deserving of my men as I had recommended, and also sent the names to
England of such prisoners as His Excellency thought deserving of Her
Majesty's gracious pardon.

The sale of the cattle and equipment produced about 500L.; and as Mr.
Kennedy volunteered his services, when the proper season should arrive
(March), to trace down the course of the river Victoria with a light
party on horseback, I submitted a plan to Sir Charles Fitzroy, and
obtained His Excellency's permission to send this officer to survey the
river, and to apply the above-mentioned proceeds of sale in providing the
equipment of his party. Mr. Kennedy finally left Sydney about the middle
of March, with a party of eight men, all well mounted and leading spare
horses, with two light carts carrying a stock of provisions for fourteen
months. The following copy of his instructions will show what Mr. Kennedy
was required to do.

* * *

Surveyor-General's Office, Sydney, 22d February, 1847.


"His Excellency the Governor having been pleased to sanction my proposal
for the further exploration of the river Victoria with a small party to
be sent under your command; I have now the honour to enclose to you a
copy of instructions by which I was guided in conducting the late
expedition into the northern interior, and I have to request that you
will conform thereto, as much as the following particular instructions
for your especial guidance may permit.

"You will as early as possible return by the road across Liverpool Plains
so as to fall into the return route of the late expedition before you
leave the settled districts, and in this manner you will recross the
Balonne at St. George's Bridge, take the route back to Camp (83), and
thence by the route along the Maranoa to Camp (XXIX), beyond which you
will proceed as hereinafter detailed, with reference to the accompanying
tracing of my survey.

"You will cross the Maranoa at Camp (XXIX), and continue along my return
route until you reach Camp (75). I beg you will be particular so far in
looking for the track of my party returning, as you will perceive by the
map that many very circuitous detours may be thus avoided. But beyond
Camp (75), about seven miles, you will have to leave my return track on
your right, and not cross a little river there at all, but go along my
old advance track to Camp (XXXIV). Thence you will proceed by Camps
(XXXV) and (XXXVI), in order to approach the bed of the Warreg˛ in the
direction of my ride of 14th June, in a general N. W. direction. It is
very desirable that you should keep my horse tracks there; but this I can
scarcely expect, and I can only therefore request that you will proceed
as closely in that direction as you can. The bed of the Warreg˛ may be
looked for at a distance further on, equal to that of my ride of 14th

"You will next pursue the course of the Warreg˛ upwards towards Mount
Playfair, which the accompanying map will be sufficient to guide you to.
You will follow up the C¨nno Creek, leaving Mount Playfair on your right
or to the eastward, and you will thus fall into the line of my horse-
track about the spot where I spoke to an old native female. I wish you
would then take some pains to travel in the direction of my track from
the head of C¨nno through the Brigalow, which is comparatively open, in
the direction of my bivouac of 11th September.

"Keeping the direction of my track of next day, you will arrive at a low,
but stony, ridge (A) (across which you must be careful how you pass your
carts, but it is of no breadth), and you will descend into a flat, from
which you will ascend another stony ridge (B), of no greater height but
more asperity than the first, and covered with fallen timber. You will
have about a mile of that sort of difficulty to deal with on the higher
part, but by turning then to the right, you will fall into a well watered
valley, which will lead you to the Nive. In the whole of your route thus
far, you can meet with no difficulty in tracing it, guided by the map,
and following these instructions; but if Douglas should be with you, he
will no doubt recognize the country through which he passed with me. It
is very important that you should keep that route, as leading to the
Victoria in a very straight direction from Sydney, and a direction in
which, should your return be delayed beyond the time for which your party
is to be provisioned, it is probable, that any party sent after you to
your aid or assistance would proceed to look for you. After you shall
have reached the Nive and Camp (77), you cannot have any difficulty in
finding Camp (72) near the Gap, and from that valley you have only to
follow down the watercourse to be certain that you are on my track to the
Victoria, and, as you have been instructed to take an expert native with
you, you ought to find still my horse's track across the downs, cutting
off large bends of the river. But beyond Camps 16th September or 1st
October, you must keep by the river along my route back, and not follow
the circuitous track which I took through Brigalow to the westward. After
about four miles by the river, you will see, by the map, that my return
track again crossed the outward track over the downs, so that you may
fall into the route westward of the great northern bend of the Victoria.
I fear you must depend on the latitude, pace measurement, and bearings,
for ascertaining the situations of my camps of 29th September and 28th
September. You will see by the map how generally straight my journeys
were between these points, and how important it would be for you to know
the situation of the camp of 28th September, that you may thence set out
westward in the direction of my return route, instead of following the
main channel throughout the very circuitous turn it then takes to the
northward. Beyond the lowest point attained by me, or the point (wherever
that may be) to which you will be able to identify the accompanying map
with my track, of course it will be your duty to pursue the river, and
determine the course thereof as accurately as your light equipment and
consequent rapid progress, may permit. You may, however, employ the same
means by which I have mapped that river so far; and, for your guidance, I
shall add the particulars of my method of measuring the relative
distances. If you count the strokes of either of your horse's fore feet,
either walking or trotting, you will find them to be upon an average,
about 950 to a mile. In a field-book, as you note each change of bearing,
you have only to note down also the number of paces (which soon becomes a
habit); and to keep count of these, it is only necessary to carry about
thirty-five or forty small pieces of wood, like dice (beans or peas would
do), in one waistcoat pocket, and, at the end of every 100 paces, remove
one to the empty pocket on the opposite side. At each change of bearing,
you count these, adding the odd numbers to the number of hundreds,
ascertained by the dice, to be counted and returned at each change of
bearing to the other pocket. You should have a higher pocket for your
watch, and keep the two lower waisctoat pockets for this important

"Now, to plot such a survey, you have only to take the half-inch scale of
equal parts (on the 6-inch scale in every case of instruments), and
allowing TEN for a hundred, the half-inch will represent 1000 paces. You
may thus lay down any broken number of paces to a true scale, and so
obtain a tolerably accurate map of each day's journey. The latitude will,
after all, determine finally the scale of paces; and you can, at leisure,
adjust each day's journey by its general bearing between different
latitudes; and, subsequently, introduce the details. You will soon find
the results sufficiently accurate to afford some criterion of even the
variation of the needle, when the course happens to be nearly east or
west, and when, of course, it behoves you to be very well acquainted with
the rate of your horse's paces, as determined by differences of latitude.
You will be careful to intersect the prominent points of any range that
may appear on the horizon; and the nature of the rock also should be
ascertained in the country examined: small specimens, with letters of
reference, will be sufficient for this. Specimens of the grasses, and of
the flower or seed of new trees, should be also preserved, with dates, in
a small herbarium. But the principal object of the journey being the
determination of the course of the Victoria, and the discovery of a
convenient route to the head of the Gulph of Carpentaria, the
accomplishment of these great objects must be steadily kept in view,
without regard to minor considerations. Should the channel finally spread
into an extensive bed, whether dry or swampy, you will adhere, as a
general rule, to the eastern side or shore, as, in the event of any
scarcity of water, the high land known to be there will thus be more
speedily accessible to you; and I am also strongly of opinion, that you
would cross in such a route more tributaries from the east than from the
west. On arriving at or near the Gulph of Carpentaria, I have
particularly to caution you against remaining longer than may be
unavoidable there, or, indeed, in any one place, in any part of your
route, where natives may be numerous.

"Having completed (at least roughly) the map of your general route, it
will be in your power in returning, to take out detours, and cut off
angles, by previously ascertaining the proper bearings for doing so; and
when so returning, it would be convenient to number your camps, that the
route and the country may be better described by you, and recognised
afterwards by others. These numbers may be cut in common figures on
trees; and if, as I hope, you should reach the Gulph, you can commence
them there: you may prefix C to each number commencing with 1, thus
avoiding any confusion with the numbers of my numbered camps on the

"On returning to the colony, you will report to me, or to the officer in
charge of the Survey Department, the progress and results of your

"I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant,


"E. B. C. Kennedy, Esq. J. P. Assistant Surveyor, Sydney."


There is no subject connected with New South Wales, or Australia, less
understood in England than the character and condition of the aboriginal
natives. They have been described as the lowest in the scale of humanity,
yet I found those who accompanied me superior in penetration and judgment
to the white men composing my party. Their means of subsistence and their
habits, are both extremely simple; but they are adjusted with admirable
fitness to the few resources afforded by such a country, in its wild
state. What these resources are, and how they are economised by the
natives, can only be learnt by an extensive acquaintance with the
interior; and the knowledge of a few simple facts, bearing on this
subject, may not be wholly devoid of interest. Fire, grass, kangaroos,
and human inhabitants, seem all dependent on each other for existence in
Australia; for any one of these being wanting, the others could no longer
continue. Fire is necessary to burn the grass, and form those open
forests, in which we find the large forest-kangaroo; the native applies
that fire to the grass at certain seasons, in order that a young green
crop may subsequently spring up, and so attract and enable him to kill or
take the kangaroo with nets. In summer, the burning of long grass also
discloses vermin, birds' nests, etc., on which the females and children,
who chiefly burn the grass, feed. But for this simple process, the
Australian woods had probably contained as thick a jungle as those of New
Zealand or America, instead of the open forests in which the white men
now find grass for their cattle, to the exclusion of the kangaroo, which
is well-known to forsake all those parts of the colony where cattle run.
The intrusion therefore of cattle is by itself sufficient to produce the
extirpation of the native race, by limiting their means of existence; and
this must work such extensive changes in Australia as never entered into
the contemplation of the local authorities. The squatters, it is true,
have also been obliged to burn the old grass occasionally on their runs;
but so little has this been understood by the Imperial Government that an
order against the burning of the grass was once sent out, on the
representations of a traveller in the south. The omission of the annual
periodical burning by natives, of the grass and young saplings, has
already produced in the open forest lands nearest to Sydney, thick
forests of young trees, where, formerly, a man might gallop without
impediment, and see whole miles before him. Kangaroos are no longer to be
seen there; the grass is choked by underwood; neither are there natives
to burn the grass, nor is fire longer desirable there amongst the fences
of the settler. The occupation of the territory by the white race seems
thus to involve, as an inevitable result, the extirpation of the
aborigines; and it may well be pleaded, in extenuation of any adverse
feelings these may show towards the white men, that these consequences,
although so little considered by the intruders, must be obvious to the
natives, with their usual acuteness, as soon as cattle enter on their
territory. The foregoing journal affords instances of the habits of the
natives in these respects. Silently, but surely, that extirpation of
aborigines is going forward in grazing districts, even where protectors
of aborigines have been most active; and in Van Diemen's Land, the race
has been extirpated, even before that of the kangaroos, under an agency
still more destructive.

It would be but natural, even admitting these aboriginal inhabitants to
be, as men, "only a little lower than the angels," that they should feel
disposed, when urged by hunger, to help themselves to some of the cattle
or sheep that had fattened on the green pastures kept clear for kangaroos
from time immemorial by the fires of the natives and their forefathers;
but such cases have been, nevertheless, of rare occurrence, partly
because much human life has been sacrificed to the manes of sheep or
cattle. No orders of the local government can prevent the perpetration of
these atrocities. Government Orders have been put forth in formal
obedience to injunctions from home, and the policy of the local
authorities has not been influenced by less humane motives.

It would ill become me to disparage the character of the aborigines, for
one of that unfortunate race has been my "guide, companion, councillor,
and friend," on the most eventful occasions during this last Journey of
Discovery. Yuranigh was small and slender in person, but (as the youth
Dicky said, and I believed,) he was of most determined courage and
resolution. His intelligence and his judgment rendered him so necessary
to me, that he was ever at my elbow, whether on foot or horseback.
Confidence in him was never misplaced. He well knew the character of all
the white men of the party. Nothing escaped his penetrating eye and quick
ear. His brief but oracular sentences were found to be SAGE, though
uttered by one deemed a SAVAGE; and his affection and kindness towards
the little native Dicky seemed quite paternal. The younger was the
willing servant of the elder; who obliged him to wash and clean himself
before he allowed him to sleep near him. Yuranigh was particularly clean
in his person, frequently washing, and his glossy shining black hair,
always well-combed, gave him an uncommonly clean and decent appearance.
He had promised himself and Dicky a great reception on returning to
Sydney, and was perhaps disappointed. Dicky had never before seen houses,
and Yuranigh took much delight in showing him the theatre, and whatever
else was likely to gratify his curiosity. The boy was all questions and
observation. I was at a loss how to make these natives comfortable; or
suitably reward their services. The new Governor kindly granted the small
gratuity asked for Yuranigh, and Dicky became a favourite in my family.
Both these natives loathed the idea of returning to the woods, as
savages; and, as if captivated with the scenes of activity around them,
both expressed a desire "to work and live like white men." This shows
that, when treated on a footing of equality, as these had been in my
party, the Australian native MIGHT be induced to take part in the labours
of white men; but at the first annoyance, the old freedom of the bush
seems to overmaster their resolutions, and attracts them back to it.
Yuranigh was engaged (for wages, and under regular agreement,) as
stockman to a gentleman who had cattle in the north, and he took an
affecting leave of my family. I carried Dicky to my house in the country,
with the intention of having him educated there with my children,
provided A TUTOR COULD BE FOUND, which seemed doubtful when I left the
colony. It has been long a favourite project with me, to educate an
aboriginal native, as a husband for Ballandella, and that their children
should form, at least, one civilized family of the native race, upon
which the influence of education and religious principles might be fairly

This has never yet been done, although the experiment is one of much
interest. It seems scarcely practicable, except by withdrawing the
married couple to another country, where the children might be educated,
and kept clear of all predilections for a life in the woods. I thought of
sending such a pair to some congenial climate, such as the South of
Europe, where they should be taught the whole art of cultivating the
grape, fig, and olive, as well as the management of other productions of
similar latitudes in that hemisphere. They might return to Australia with
their family in ten or twelve years; when, in speaking a different
language from those about them, they would be less open to the influences
that interpose between the employers and the employed in that colony;
while the utility of their employment might be of some benefit to it.
Were this experiment to succeed, the decent and comfortable condition
afforded by industry might raise the aborigines in their own estimation,
and inspire them with hope to attain to a state of equality with the
white men, which, without having some such examples set before them, must
seem to them unattainable. The half-clad native finds himself in a
degraded position in the presence of the white population: a mere
outcast, obliged to beg a little bread. In his native woods, the "noble
savage" knows no such degrading necessity.--All there participate in, and
have a share of, Nature's gifts. These, scanty though they be, are open
to all. Experience here has proved, and the history of the aborigines of
other countries has shown, the absurdity of expecting that any men, "as
free as Nature first made man," will condescend to leave their woods, and
come under all the restraints imposed by civilisation, purely from
choice, unless they can do so on terms of the most perfect equality.
Surely it behoves the nation so active in the suppression of slavery to
consider betimes, in taking up new countries, how the aboriginal races
can be preserved; and how the evil effects of spirituous liquors, of
gunpowder, and of diseases more inimical to them than even slavery, may
be counteracted.


The prisoners who had hitherto formed the bulk of all the exploring
parties previously led by me into the interior of New South Wales, were
chosen chiefly from amongst men employed on the roads, who had acquired
good recommendations from their immediate overseers; but, on this last
occasion, the men forming the party were for the most part chosen from
amongst those still remaining in Cockatoo Island, the worst and most
irreclaimable of their class.

The concentration of convicts in that island was intended, I believe, to
follow out the Norfolk Island system, keeping the men under rigorous
surveillance, and making them work at their respective trades, or as
labourers. Even there, so near to Sydney, that labour, so available to
lay the foundations of a colony, might have been employed with great
advantage, in constructing a naval arsenal and hospital for our seamen on
the Indian station, with a dry dock attached to it for the repair of war-
steamers. Such a dock has been long a desideratum at Sydney, and private
enterprize might, ere this time, have embarked in a work so essential to
an important harbour, had not the Government always possessed the means
of cheaply constructing such a work by convict labour, and been thus able
at any time to have entered into such competition as might have been very
injurious to a private speculator. At Cockatoo Island, blacksmiths,
shoemakers, wheelwrights, were at work in their various avocations; all
the shoes, for both the men and horses of the expedition, were made
there; also one half of the carts, which proved equally good as the other
portion, although that was made by the best maker in the colony, a
celebrated man.

The eagerness evinced by all these men, so confined in irons on Cockatoo
Island, to be employed in an exploring expedition, was such that even the
most reckless endeavoured to smooth their rugged fronts, and seemed to
wish they had better deserved the recommendation of the superintendent.
The prospect of achieving their freedom, by one year of good behaviour in
the interior, was cheering to the most depressed soul amongst these
prisoners. All pressed eagerly forward with their claims and pretensions,
which, unfortunately for the knowing ones, were strictly investigated by
Mr. Ormsby the superintendent, and Captain Innes, the visiting
magistrate. The selection of such as seemed most eligible was at length
made, after careful examination of the phrenological developments and
police history of each; and it was not easy to find one without a
catalogue of offences, filling a whole page of police-office annals.
Still there were redeeming circumstances, corroborated by physical
developments, sufficient to guide me in the selection of a party from
amongst these prisoners. With them, I mixed one or two faithful Irishmen,
on whom I knew I could depend, and two or three of my old followers on
former journeys, who had become free.

This party of convicts, so organized, with such strong inducements to
behave well, and so few temptations to lead them astray, may be supposed
to have afforded a favourable opportunity for studying the convict
character. It may be asked by some, how such a party could have been made
to yield submissive obedience for so long a period as a year, away from
all other authority, than mere moral controul. This was chiefly because
these men were placed in a position where it was so very clearly for
their own interest to conduct themselves properly. Accordingly, the
greater number, as on all former expeditions, gave the highest
satisfaction, submitting cheerfully to privations, enduring hardships,
and encountering dangers, apparently willing and resolved to do anything
to escape from the degraded condition of a convict. But still there were
a few, amounting in all to six, who, even in such a party, animated by
such hopes, could not divest themselves of their true character, nor even
disguise it for a time, as an expedient for the achievement of their
liberty. These men were known amongst the rest as the "flash mob." They
spoke the secret language of thieves; were ever intent on robbing the
stores, with false keys (called by them SCREWS). They held it to be wrong
to exert themselves at any work, if it could be avoided; and would not be
seen to endeavour to please, by willing cooperation. They kept themselves
out of sight as much as possible; neglected their arms; shot away their
ammunition contrary to orders; and ate in secret, whatever they did kill,
or whatever fish they caught.

Professing to be men of "the Fancy," they made converts of two promising
men, who, at first, were highly thought of, and although one of them was
finally reclaimed, a hero of the prize ring, it was too obvious that the
men, who glory in breaking the laws, and all of whose songs even, express
sentiments of dishonesty, can easily lead the unwary and still
susceptible of the unfortunate class, into snares from which they cannot
afterwards escape if they would. Once made parties to an offence against
the law, they are bound as by a spell, to the order of flash-boys, with
whom it is held to be base and cowardly to act "upon the square," or
HONESTLY in any sense of the word; their order professing to act ever
"upon the cross." These men were so well-known to the better disposed and
more numerous portion of the party, that the night-guards had to be so
arranged, as that the stores or the camp should never be entirely in
their hands. Thus a watch was required to be set as regularly over the
stores, when the party was close to Sydney, as when it was surrounded by
savage tribes in the interior.

Between the "flash men" and the other men of the party, there was a wide
difference: An old man to whom they once offered some stolen flour,
refused it, saying, "I have been led into enough of trouble in my younger
days, by flash friends, and now I wish to lead a quiet life." Convicts,
in fact, consist of two distinctly different classes: the one,
fortunately by far the most numerous, comprising those whose crime was
the result of impulse; the other class consisting of those whose
principle of action is dishonesty; whose trade is crime, and of whose
reformation, there is much less hope. The offenders of the one class,
repented of their crime from the moment of conviction; those of the
other, know no such word in their vocabulary. The one, is still "a thing
of hope and change;" and would eagerly avail himself of every means
afforded him to regain the position he had lost; the other, true to his
"order," will "die game." For the separation of the wheat from the chaff,
a process by no means difficult, the colony of New South Wales was
formerly well adapted. The ticket of leave granted to the deserving
convict was one of the most perfect of reformatory indulgences; each
individual being known to the authorities, and liable, on the least
misconduct, to be sent to work on the public roads. The colony of New
South Wales has been the means of restoring many of our unfortunate
countrymen to positions in which they have shown that loyalty, industry,
public spirit, and patriotism, are not always to be extinguished in the
breasts of Englishmen, even by fetters and degradation. It is to be
regretted that a more vigilant discrimination had not interposed a more
marked line between those convicts deserving emancipation, and those
whose services are still wanted on the roads and bridges of the colony.


There is no country in which labour appears to be more required to render
it available to, and habitable by, civilised men, than New South Wales or
Australia. Without labour, the inhabitants must be savages, or, at least,
such helpless people as we find the aborigines. The squatters' condition
is intermediate, temporary, and one of necessity. That country without
navigable rivers, intersected by rocky ranges, and subject to uncertain
seasons, is unfavourable to agriculture and trade; to social intercourse,
and to the moral and physical prosperity of civilised man. With equal
truth, it may be observed, that there is no region of earth susceptible
of so much improvement, solely by the labour and ingenuity of man. If
there be no navigable rivers, there are no unwholesome savannas; if there
are rocky ranges, they afford, at least, the means of forming reservoirs
of water; and, although it is there uncertain when rain may fall, it is
certain that an abundant supply does fall; and the hand of man alone is
wanting to preserve that supply and regulate its use. In such a clime,
and under such a sun, that most important of elements in cultivation,
water, could thus be rendered much more subservient to man's use than it
is in other warm regions, where, if the general vegetation be more
luxuriant, the air is less salubrious. Sufficient water for all purposes
of cultivation, health, and enjoyment, is quite at the command of art and
industry in this most luxuriant of climates. Thus, the peculiar
disadvantages Australia presents in her wild state, are such as would
greatly enhance the value of such a country under the operation of human
industry. In such a climate, for instance, an abundance of water would be
found a much greater luxury when retained, distributed, and adjusted, by
such means, to man's uses, than where an abundance is but the natural
product of cloudy skies and frequent rains. Where natural resources
exist, but require art and industry for their development, the field is
open for the combination of science and skill, the profitable investment
of capital, and the useful employment of labour. Such is New South Wales.

But the age of such adaptations there is still to come. The future is too
much speculated upon; hence no system of agriculture has been yet
adjusted to the peculiarities of climate and soil. Instead of studying
and adopting the agriculture of similar climates, and the arts by which
deficiencies in similar latitudes have from time immemorial been
corrected: irrigation, for instance, has not been yet attempted; the
natural fertility of the soil has alone been relied on, to compensate, in
favourable, seasons, for the deficiencies of others, not favourable,
perhaps, for the growth of wheat or barley, but the best imaginable for
that of other kinds of productions. So generally available is the
structure of the country for the reservation of water by dams, that a
small number of these might be made to retain as much of the surface
water as might even impart humidity to the atmosphere. This is because
the channels of rivers are in general confined by high banks, within
which many, or indeed most of them, might be converted by a few dams into
canals. To such great purposes convict labour ought to have been applied,
had it been possible to have allowed colonization and transportation to
work together. But the undulations of the land present everywhere
facilities for constructing reservoirs, which heavy showers would fill,
and thus afford means sufficient for the purposes of irrigation, were not
labour now too scarce there, to admit of the progress of colonization in
a manner suitable to the spirit of the age, and character of the nation.

The rich lands along the eastern coast, under a lofty range which
supplies abundance of water for the purposes of irrigation, are well
adapted for the cultivation of cotton and sugar, and, with labour,
nothing could prevent these regions from being made extensively
productive of both articles. Of the vine and the olive[*], it remains to
be ascertained whether some parts of the country may not be made as
productive as Andalusia, for instance, is, in the same parallel of
latitude, in the opposite hemisphere. The want of hands alone retards the
development of every branch of production derivable from industry in
these regions.

[* Five months ago, soon after my return to England, I gave to the
Society of Arts two bottles of olive oil, the first samples ever
produced, I believe, in Australia. The oil was made by Mr. Kid,
superintendent of the Botanic garden at Sydney, from olives grown there,
and seemed very clear and good.]

Settled districts, back from the coast, at elevations of 1000 feet and
upwards, have produced abundant crops of wheat of very superior quality;
and, but for the non-completion of the roads between these districts and
the capital, in consequence of the withdrawal of convict labour, the
progress of agriculture in its adaptation to the soil and climate, and,
as a field for the employment of British immigrants, had been much more
advanced than it is there.

The roads which were opened by the above means, or proposed to be opened,
have become almost impassable, or remain wholly so; and it is, therefore,
the less surprising that the colonists look to the possible introduction
of railways with much interest. In a country like that around Sydney,
where extensive tracts of inferior land must be traversed by roads in
order to arrive at lands which are productive and settled, the value and
importance of a railway would be greatly enhanced; and calculations have
been made to show that a railway between Sydney and the southern
districts would pay, even from the traffic at present along that line.
The town of Goulburn, 124 miles from Sydney, in an open undulating
country, at a considerable height above the sea, is rapidly growing into
importance; and, by making either a good road or a railway, between that
town and Sydney, access would be gained to very extensive tracts of
valuable territory, easily traversed, and to which Goulburn is a sort of

On the whole, it may be said that the difficulty of access to the best
lands, from the want of good roads to them from the principal port, has,
of late years, greatly impeded the introduction of immigrants to the
rural districts, and added to the population of Sydney many individuals
who had been brought to the colony at the public expense, for the
assistance of settlers in the country.


The employment of convicts on useful public works was, twenty years ago,
a primary object with the government of New South Wales. The location of
settlers on their grants by the measurement of their farms, then much in
arrear, and the division of the territory into counties, hundreds, and
parishes, in order to complete the deeds of grant to settlers, altogether
rendered necessary a general survey of the colony, which work I commenced
in 1827, EX OFFICIO, and, pursuant to Royal Instructions, sent to the
colony in 1825. The time between the years 1827 and 1837 was the most
prosperous in the history of the colony of New South Wales, when convicts
made good roads, farms were measured up, and the country was surveyed and
divided into countries. Colonization extended rapidly to the shores of
the southern ocean, and Australia Felix was made known to the British

The survey touched the limits of the then unknown country, for the
direction of great roads from a centre could not be considered permanent,
however limited the colony, without such consideration of their ultimate
tendency as could only be given with a knowledge of the whole intervening
country. My plans of exploration have been governed by these views and
objects, and the journey recorded in these pages was intended to complete
the last of three lines radiating from Sydney. One led across the Blue
mountains to Bathurst and the western interior as far as the land seemed
worth exploring; another by Goulburn to Australia Felix and the southern
coast; and, lastly, this, the third general route, to the northern shores
at the nearest point, the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria,--from which I
trust that by this time my assistant Mr. Kennedy will have returned to

Held responsible by the Government for the performance of such a duty[*],
I have endeavoured to work out its views with that unity of plan which
must result from a mathematical principle, and which has enabled me to
bring to a satisfactory conclusion, after the lapse of many years, and in
the face of considerable difficulty, an undertaking commenced at the
command of my Sovereign, and under the auspices of the British
Government. That the Royal Instructions were originally intended for the
benefit of the colony of New South Wales is best evinced by the fact that
this journey of survey and exploration has been undertaken on the
petition of the Legislative Council of the Colony, and performed wholly
at the expense of the colony of New South Wales.

[* Appendix, Letter No. 30/1252., page 431.]

It now remains for me to submit my final "Report," or, in other words, to
point out how the geographical knowledge thus acquired may be available
for the economical extension of that colonisation which the expansive
energies of this great nation seem to require. New South Wales may be
benefited, it is true, by the establishment of any additional market on
the eastern coast, for her produce; and by a road to the Gulf of
Carpentaria; but a timely knowledge of the structure of the interior was
necessary to enable the Government to determine on the sites most
eligible for centres of colonisation required along the coast. It is now
ascertained that a great range separates the coast settlements from the
open pastoral country of the interior, as far as the parallel of 25░
south. That there it breaks off at the lofty plateau of Buckland's Table
Land, which overlooks a much lower country in the north;--a country but
lightly wooded, watered by good rivers, and which affords an easy access
to extensive pastoral regions in the interior, without the intervention
of any such formidable barrier between that interior open country and the
coast, as the great range nearer the actual colony. Precisely on that
part of the coast, to which the united channels of the water lead, a
harbour has been surveyed and approved of by competent naval officers.
These geographical facts, therefore, render it easy to define one
situation more favourable than any other that might be found along that
coast, for the nucleus of a colony, and which would divide almost equally
the whole coast line between Sydney and Cape York. I allude to Port
Bowen, near Broad Sound; and the river Nogoa, which has been (I believe)
called lower down, the Mackenzie. A port on that part of the coast, at
the entrance within the reefs, would be advantageous to steam navigation.
The occupation of the fine country on the rivers Victoria, Salvator and
Claude, must depend on some such sea-port for supplies; and on the
occupation of that back-country must again, in a great measure, depend
the establishment of a direct line of communication between Sydney and
the Gulf of Carpentaria.

At the head of that gulf, admitting that a practicable and direct line of
route can be opened to it, the country, and the sea adjacent, may soon
require attention. By timely examination and good arrangement, a
commodious place of embarkation may be established there, which might, by
degrees, become an important town; where horses might be shipped and
conveyed by a short passage to India, free from the hazards of Torres
Straits. It would appear from the brief but intelligible description by
Captain Flinders, that Wellesley Islands, or Sweer's Island, being both
higher than the main land, might be connected with it, by some permanent
work, and thus afford a good port for steamers, and shelter and anchorage
for other ships. According to the interesting narrative of Captain
Stokes, the temperature is remarkably low, and convict labour might there
be very usefully employed upon such works. The head of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, being that part of the Indian Ocean nearest to Sydney, has
appeared of more importance to the colonists, since steam navigation
became regular between England and the Indian archipelago. Then it became
more desirable for the colonists to know the nature of the interior
country between their capital and that northern coast. The interior has
been found very open and accessible; the fine country at the head of the
Victoria must soon be occupied, and thus divide the whole distance into
two equal parts, each of these not much exceeding the distance between
Sydney and Melbourne, in Australia Felix; between which places mail-
carriages now run twice a week. Thus, while, by the extension of
geographical research, the proper fields for colonization are laid open
for selection, and prepared for timely arrangements on the part of the
Imperial Government; the colonists of New South Wales have promoted the
general interests of their fellow subjects at home, by the developement
of the resources of the territory around them.

He "who measured out the sea in the hollow of his hand, and weighed the
earth in a balance," has determined, by the condition of these two
elements, the situation of the Gulf, and that of the great break in the
East Coast range--the one affording the nearest access to an important
sea, the other the easy way to a rich interior land. I would, with
deference to Him, "who led Israel like a flock," and me in safety through
the Australian wilds, distinguish the two regions by timely descriptive
names on the map I now lay before the public; Capricornia, to express the
country under the tropics, from the parallel of 25░ South, where nature
has set up her own land-marks, not to be disputed: Australindia, the
country on the shores of the most southern part of the Indian
archipelago; which two regions may be made conterminous according to
natural limits, when such limits can be accurately ascertained.


The Colonial Secretary to the Surveyor-General of New South Wales. No.
30/1252. Colonial Secretary's Office, October 28. 1830.


I have the honour, by the direction of His Excellency the Governor, to
inform you that the Right Honourable the Secretary of State has been
pleased to signify the King's instructions for the discontinuance of the
office of the Commissioners appointed to survey and value the lands of
the Colony, and His Majesty's commands that the performance of their
duties is for the future to be entrusted to the Surveyor-General, who,
with the aid of the Assistant Surveyors, will be held responsible for all
arrangements connected with the survey and division of the territory.

I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant,


To T.L. Mitchell, Esquire, Surveyor-General.

* * * * *



[numerals refer to page numbers in the book]


Adiantum hispidulum, 204, 212. ----assimile, 204. 212. Nothochlaena
distans, 212. Grammitis rutaefolia, 212. Cheilanthes tenuifolia, 212.
Doodia caudata, 212. Platyzoma microphyllum, 236.


Aristida calycina, 33. Arundo Phragmites, 124. * Anthistiria membranacea,
LINDL. 88. ----australis PASSIM. ----sp. 97. Andropogon sericeus, 62.
----bombycinus, 378. ----sp. 117. Bromus australis, 61. * Chloris
selerantha, LINDL. 31. ----acicularis LINDL. 33. Dactyloctenium radulans,
88. Danthonia pectinata, 319. ----* triticoides LINDL. 365. Erianthus,
fulvo aff. 62. Imperata arundinacea, 60. 349. Lappago biflora, 364.
Neurachne Mitchelliana, 33. Perotis rara, 139. Panicum laevinode 60. AND
PASSIM. Pappophorum gracile, 319. ----* avenaceum LINDL. 320. ----*
virens, LINDL. 360. ----* flavescens, LINDL. 34. * Stipa scabra, LINDL.
31. * Sporobolus pallidus, LINDL. 187. Triodia pungens, 177. 340.
Triraphis mollis, 88.


Cyperus, sp. bulbosa. 124. ----sp. 120. Kyllinga monocephala, 100.


Damasonium ovalifolium, 31. Xerotes laxa, 361. ----leucocephala, 198.
Cymbidium canaliculatum, 378. * Pterostylis Mitchellii, LINDL. 3
Commelina undulata, 347. Thysanotus elatior, 347. Tricoryne elatior, 387.
Laxmannia gracilis, 365. Dianella rara, 366. ----strumosa, 341.

GYMNOGENS. Zamia, 209. Callitris sp. n. 187. ----glauca, 298. ----
pyramidalis, 93.


* Adriania acerifolia, HOOKER, 371. ----* heterophylla, HOOKER, 124.
Beyeria, sp. n. 390. Bertya oleaefolia, 290. Euphorbia hypericifolia?
265. ----* eremophila, A. CUNN. 348. Hylococcus sericeus, 389. *
Micrantheum triandrum, HOOKER, 342. Phyllanthus simplex? 106.


Cucumis pubescens, 110.


* Melicytus? oleaster, LINDL. 383.


* Frankenia scabra, LINDL. 305. ----* serpyllifolia, LINDL. 305.


* Capparis umbonata, LINDL. 257. ----* loranthifolia, LINDL. 220. ----
lasiantha, 102. ----Mitchellii, 36. Cleome flava, 127.


Brachychiton populneum, 355. * Delabechea rupestris MITCHELL, 155.


* Keraudrenia integrifolia, HOOKER, 341.


Hibiscus Lindleyi? 260. ----* Sturtii, HOOKER, 363. Fugosia digitata?
387. ----sp. 64. Malva ovata, 397. * Sida Frazeri, HOOKER, 368. ----
pisiformis, 362. ----* virgata, HOOKER, 361. ----filiformis, A. CUNN.
361. ----tubulosa, CUNN. 390. ----sp. n. 103.


Grewia Richardiana, 383.


* Comesperma sylvestris, LINDL. 342.


Thouinia australis, 390. * Dodonaea acerosa, LINDL. 273. ----* filifolia,
HOOKER, 241. ----* hirtella, 191. ----* mollis, LINDL. 212. ----*
peduncularis, LINDL. 340. 361. ----* pubescens, LINDL. 342. ----*
tenuifolia, LINDL. 248. ----* trigona, LINDL. 236. ----* triangularis,
219. ----* vestita, HOOKER, 265.


Pleurandra ericifolia, 362. ----* cistoidea, HOOKER, 363. Hibbertia
canescens, 339.


Clematis stenophylla, 368. Ranunculus plebeius, 362. ----sessiliflorus,


* Bursaria incana, LINDL. 224. * Pittosporum salicinum, LINDL. 97. ----
lanceolatum, 272.


Leucopogon cuspidatus, 226.


* Triphasia glauca, LINDL. 353.


* Boronia bipinnata, LINDL. 225. ----* eriantha, LINDL. 298. * Eriostemon
rhombeum, LINDL. 293. * Geijera parviflora, LINDL. 102. ----* latifolia,
LINDL. 236. ----* pendula, LINDL. 251. Heterodendron oleaefolium, 398. *
Pilotheca ciliata, HOOKER, 347. * Phebalium glandulosum, HOOKER, 199. *
Zieria Frazeri, HOOKER, 339.


Geranium parviflorum? 362. Erodium littoreum? 360.


* Calandrinia balonensis, LINDL. 148. ----* pusilla, LINDL. 360.


Polygonum acre, 149. ----junceum, 85.


Boerhaavia mutabilis, 362.


Amaranthus undulatus, 102. Alternanthera nodiflora, 35. ----sp. 341.
Nyssanthes? 360. * Trichinium semilanatum, LINDL. 45. ----Janatum, 33.
88. ----* conicum, LINDL. 363. ----fusiforme, 383. ----alopecuroideum,
88. 91.


Ambrina carinata, 127. * Atriplex nummularia, LINDL. 64. ----
elaeagnoides, 29 Atriplex semibaccata, 23. * Chenopodium auricomum,
LINDL. 94. Enchylaena tomentosa, 102. Kochia brevifolia, 33. 67. ----*
thymifolia, LINDL. 56. ----* lanosa, LINDL. 88. ----* villosa, LINDL. 91.
Rhagodia parabolica, 53. Salsola australis, 24, etc. Seleroaena uniflora,
72. * Suaeda tamariscina, LINDL. 239.


Mesembryanthemum, sp. 315.


Pimelea linifolia? 340. ----* trichostachya, LINDL. 355. ----colorans,
362. Exocarpus aphylla, 118. ----spartea, 135.


* Conospermum sphacelatum, HOOKER, 342. * Grevillea Mitchellii, HOOKER,
265. ----* juncifolia, HOOKER, 341. ----floribunda, 212. ----*
longistyla, HOOKER, 343. ----sp. 276. * Hakea longicuspis, HOOKER, 397.
----* purpurea, HOOKER, 348.


Cassytha pubescens, 362.


Acacia conferta, 174. 289. ----Cunninghamii, 204. ----doratoxylon, 289.
----delibrata, 258. ----decora, 359. var. 223. ----* excelsa, BENTH. 225.
----Farnesiana, 256. ----falcata, 221. Acacia holosericea, 256. ----
Simsii, 256. ----leucadendron, 258. ----* longespicata, BENTH. 298. ----
ixiophylla, 204. ----leptoclada, var. 95. ----* macradenia, BENTH. 360.
----neriifolia, 386. ----pendula, PASSIM. ----pennifolia, 361. ----
podalyriifolia, 221. ----* pinifolia, BENTH. 342. ----stenophylla, 81.
----spectabilis, 353. ----salicina, 56. ----triptera, 291. ----* varians,
BENTH. 132. ----* Victoriae, BENTH. 333. ----* uncifera, BENTH. 341. ----
viscidula, 340. * Aotus mollis, BENTH. 236. * Bossiaea carinalis, BENTH.
290. ----rhombifolia, 294. * Cassia circinata, BENTH. 384. ----*
coronilloides, CUNN. 384. ----* zygophylla, BENTH. 288. ----sophera, 390.
----occidentalis, 378. ----heteroloba, 251. * Crotalaria dissitiflora,
BENTH. 386. ----* Mitchellii, BENTH. 120. * Cyclogyne swainsonioides,
BENTH. 397. * Daviesia filipes, BENTH. 363. * Erythrina vespertilio,
BENTH. 218. * Gompholobium foliosum, BENTH. 348. Hardenbergia monophylla,
236. Hovea lanceolata, 212. ----* leiocarpa, BENTH. 289. * Indigofera
brevidens, BENTH. 385. ----hirsuta, 122. * Jacksonia ramosissima, BENTH.
258. ----scoparia, 339. * Kennedya procurrens, BENTH. 365. Labichea
rupestris, BENTH. 342. * Labich ea digitata, BENTH. 273. * Leptocyamus
latifolius, BENTH. 361. * Lotus laevigatus, BENTH. 62. ----australis,
var. 348. Neptunia gracilis, 362. * Psoralea eriantha, BENTH. 131.
Sesbania aculeata? 106. * Swainsona phacoides, BENTH. 363. Vigna, an
capensis? 339. ----* lanceolata, BENTH. 350. ----* suberecta, BENTH. 388.


Rubus parvifolius, 351.


Lythrum Salicaria, 62.


Alphitonia excelsa, 201. Cryptandra propinqua, 223. * Ventilago
viminalis, HOOKER, 369.


* Catha Cunninghamii, HOOKER, 387. * Elaeodendron maculosum, LINDL. 384.


Stackhousia muricata, 362.


Carissa ovata, 393. Tabernaemontana, sp. 341. * DoobÓh, 85.


* Logania cordifolia, HOOKER, 341.


Erythraea australis, 366.


Notclaea punctata, 352.


Nicotiana suaveolens, 64. Solanum ellipticum, 215. ----furfuraceum, 212.
----biflorum, 362. ----violaceum, 365. ----sp. 85.


* Polymeria longifolia, 398. Convolvulus erubescens, 353. Evolvulus,
sericeo aff., 386. ----linifolius, 339.


Plumbago zeylanica, 219.


Plantago varia, 352.


* Jasminum suavissimum, LINDL. 355. ----lineare, 94. ----* Mitchellii,
LINDL. 365.


Halgania, sp. 24.


* Trichodesma sericeum, LINDL. 258.


Brunonia sericea, 341. ----simplex? 360. ----* simplex, LINDL. 82.


Ajuga australis, var., 236. 347. * Mentha grandiflora, BENTH., 362.
Moschosma polystachya, 137. Plectranthus parviflorus, 347. * Prostanthera
odoratissima, BENTH., 291. ----* ringens, BENTH., 363. ----*
euphrasioides, BENTH., 360. Teucrium recemosum, 31. ----argutum, 198.
Salvia plebeia, 366.


Chloanthes stoechadis, 298. Vitex, sp. n., 212.


* Eremophila Mitchelli, BENTH., 31. * Myoporum dulce, 253. ----
Cunninghamii, 214. * Stenochilus pubiflorus, BENTH., 273. ----*
salicinus, BENTH., 251. ----* curvipes, BENTH., 221. ----*
bignoniaeflorus, BENTH., 386.


Tecoma Oxleyi, 291.


Justicia media, 31. 89. 361. ----ascendens, 97. Ruellia australis, 353.


Morgania floribunda, 62. 384. Veronica plebeia, 360.


Dampiera adpressa, 339. Goodenia pulchella, 339. ----* flagellifera, DE
VRIESE, 378. ----coronopifolia, 359. ----geniculata, 72. * Linschotenia
bicolor, DE VRIESE, 340. 345. * Velleya macrocalyx, DE VRIESE, 258.


Brachycome, heterodontae prox., 62. * Calotis scapigera, HOOKER, 75. ----
cuneifolia, 28. * Calocephalus gnaphalioides, HOOKER., 378. * Eurybia
subspicata, HOOKER, 293. Eurybiopsis macrorhiza, 359. Erechthites arguta,
225. * Ethulia Cunninghami, HOOKER, 62. * Flaveria australasica, HOOKER,
118. Helichrysum bracteatum, 79. ----* ramosissimum, HOOK., 83. ----
semipapposum, 389. ----odorum? 362. Helipteres anthemoides, 349. ----*

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