Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2]
Phillip Parker King
Part 4 out of 10
not yet known, but it is supposed to be very shoal.
PORT MACQUARIE is the embouchure or the River Hastings; its entrance is
about two miles and two-thirds to the North-North-West of Tacking Point.
It is a bar harbour, and, like Port Hunter, is of dangerous access, on
account of the banks of sand that project from the low north sandy point
of entrance, on which the sea breaks and forms sand rollers; these
however serve to indicate the edge of the channel, which is about ninety
yards wide. The south shore extends in a North-North-West direction from
Tacking Point to Green Mound (a remarkable conical shaped hillock) whence
the south shore of the entrance trends in nearly a west direction to the
narrow entrance opposite Pelican Point.
Between Green Mound and the next projection the bar stretches across
towards the sand rollers, and is about one hundred and twenty yards in
The deepest channel over it is within thirty yards of two sunken rocks,
the outermost of which bears from Green Mound North 45 degrees West
(true) or North 55 degrees West, nine hundred yards. When Green Mound
Point and the next point to the southward of it are in a line, you are
within a few yards of the shoalest part of the bar. After passing the
bar, there are from two to four fathoms water. Since the examination of
this harbour, a penal settlement has been formed, and a pilot appointed
to conduct vessels in and out. Off the entrance is a high rocky islet,
the Nobby, within which the channel is shoal and dangerous to pass. There
is good anchorage in four, five, or six fathoms, about half a mile
outside of the bar, on a bank of sand, which gradually deepens for three
miles to fourteen fathoms, upon any part of which a vessel may anchor to
await high water.
Latitude of its entrance 31 degrees 25 minutes 32 seconds South.
Longitude 152 degrees 57 minutes 25 seconds East.
Variation of the compass 10 degrees 11 minutes 0 seconds East.
High water at full and change 8 hours 56 minutes.
Tide rises four to five feet.
The south-east trend of SMOKY CAPE is in latitude 30 degrees 55 minutes
40 seconds, longitude 153 degrees 4 minutes 30 seconds.
TRIAL BAY, so named by Lieutenant Oxley, who anchored in it on a second
expedition to examine Port Macquarie previous to its being settled, is a
convenient roadstead during southerly winds: it is situated on the north
side of Smoky Cape, and affords an anchorage in three fathoms, protected
from the sea as far as North-East by East. Fresh water may be procured
from a stream that runs over the beach. Four miles to the north of Smoky
Cape is an inlet having a bar harbour, on which there is but eight feet
SHOAL BAY is the next harbour to the northward: the following description
of it is from Captain Flinders (Flinders' Terra Australis, Introduction,
"On the south side of the entrance, which is the deepest, there is ten
feet at low water; and within side the depth is from two to four fathoms,
in a channel near the south shore: the rest of the bar is mostly occupied
by shoals, over which boats can scarcely pass when the tide is out. High
water appeared to take place about seven hours after the moon's passage;
at which time a ship not drawing more than fourteen feet might venture
in, if severely pressed. Shoal Bay is difficult to be found except by its
latitude, which is 29 degrees 26 1/2 minutes, but there is on the low
land about four leagues to the southward, a small hill somewhat peaked,
which may serve as a mark to vessels coming from that direction."
CAPE BYRON, in latitude 28 degrees 38 minutes 10 seconds, longitude 153
degrees 37 minutes 20 seconds. MOUNT WARNING is in latitude 28 degrees 24
minutes, longitude 153 degrees 12 minutes.
THE TWEED is a river communicating with the sea by a bar, on which there
is twelve feet water, it is situated about a mile and a half to the north
of a small island off Point Danger, which lies in latitude 28 degrees 8
In latitude 28 degrees there is a communication with the inlet at the
south side of Moreton Bay, insulating the land whose north extremity is
Point Lookout. The entrance of this inlet is shoal and only passable for
MORETON BAY.* In addition to the account of this bay by Captain
Flinders,** Lieutenant Oxley has lately discovered the Brisbane, a very
fine fresh water river that falls into it in 27 degrees 25 minutes
latitude, abreast of the strait between Moreton Island and Point Lookout.
(*Footnote. This bay was originally called Glass House Bay, in allusion
to the name given by Captain Cook to three remarkable glass house-looking
hills near Pumice-stone River; but as Captain Cook bestowed the name of
Moreton Bay upon the strait to the south of Moreton Island, that name has
a prior claim, and is now generally adopted. A penal settlement has
lately been formed at Red Cliff Point, which is situated a little to the
north of the embouchure of the Brisbane River.)
(*Footnote. Flinders Introduction cxcvi.)
WIDE BAY, the entrance of which is in latitude 25 degrees 49 minutes, was
examined by Mr. Edwardson, the master of one of the government colonial
vessels; he found it to be a good port, having in its entrance a channel
of not less than three fathoms deep; and to communicate with Hervey's
Bay, thus making an island of the Great Sandy Peninsula.
INDIAN HEAD is in latitude 25 degrees 1 minute, and longitude 153 degrees
APPENDIX A. SECTION 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WINDS AND WEATHER, AND OF THE PORTS, ISLANDS, AND
COAST BETWEEN BREAKSEA SPIT AND CAPE YORK.
The south-east trade is occasionally suspended near the shore by
north-easterly winds during the months of June, July, and August, the
only season that I have any experience of the winds and weather upon the
north-east coast; the weather is generally thick and cloudy, and often
accompanied with showers of rain, particularly during the two first
In the neighbourhood of Breaksea Spit in May, 1819, we
experienced a fresh gale from the westward, after which it veered
to south-east with thick rainy weather: and in the neighbourhood
of Cape Capricorn, in June, 1821, we had a fresh gale from the
north-east. Among the Northumberland Islands, we have experienced
westerly winds, but they blew in light breezes with fine weather.
Even as far as Cape Grafton the wind cannot be said to be steady.
To the north of this point, however, the winds are always
constant from the southward, and seldom or ever veer to the
westward of south, or to the eastward of South-East by East; they
generally are from South-South-East: fresh winds cause the
weather to be hazy, and sometimes bring rain, which renders the
navigation among the reefs in some degree dangerous. In my last
voyage up the coast, on approaching Cape York, the weather was so
thick that we could not see more than a quarter of a mile ahead;
we, however, ran from reef to reef, and always saw them in
sufficient time to alter the course if we were in error. In such
a navigation cloudy dull weather is, however, rather an advantage
than otherwise, because the reefs, from the absence of the glare
of the sun, are more distinctly seen, particularly in the
afternoon, when the sun is to the westward. Later in the season
(August 1820) we had more settled weather, for the wind seldom
veered to the southward of South-South-East, or eastward of
East-South-East; and this weather accompanied us from Breaksea
Spit, through Torres Strait.
The best time for passing up this coast is in April and the beginning of
May, or between the middle of August and latter end of October; in the
months of June and July, the passage is not apparently so safe, on
account of the changeable weather that may be encountered, which to a
stranger would create much anxiety, although no real danger. Strict
attention to these directions and confidence in the chart, with a
cautious lookout will, however, neutralize all the dangers that thick
weather may produce in this navigation.
The tides and currents in this part are not of much consequence. The rise
of tide is trifling, the flood-tide sets to the North-West, but at a very
slow rate. In the neighbourhood of the reefs, the stream sometimes sets
at the rate of a knot or in some cases at two knots, but for a small
distance it is scarcely perceptible. There appeared rather to be a gentle
drain of current to the North-West.
HERVEY'S BAY and BUSTARD BAY have been already described by Captains Cook
and Flinders. We did not enter either, so that I have nothing to offer in
addition to the valuable information of those navigators (Hawkesworth
volume 3 page 113 and 117; and Flinders Introduction cci. and volume 2
page 9 et seq.)
LADY ELLIOT'S ISLAND is a low islet, covered with shrubs and trees, and
surrounded by a coral reef, which extends for three-quarters of a mile
from its north-east end; the island is not more than three-quarters of a
mile long, and about a quarter of a mile broad; it is dangerous to
approach at night, from being very low. It is situated thirty miles North
53 degrees West (magnetic) from the extremity of Breaksea Spit (as laid
down in Captain Flinders' chart); its latitude is 24 degrees 6 minutes,
and its longitude 152 degrees 45 minutes 15 seconds.
BUNKER'S GROUP consists of three islets; they are low and wooded like
Lady Elliot's Island, and lie South-East and North-West from each other;
the south-easternmost (or 1st) has a coral reef projecting for two miles
and a half to the North-East: four miles and a half to the North-West of
the north-westernmost (or 3rd islet) is a large shoal, which, from the
heavy breakers upon it, is probably a part of the barrier or outer reefs.
The centre island (or 2nd) of the group is in latitude 23 degrees 51
minutes 10 seconds, and longitude 152 degrees 19 minutes 5 seconds. Off
the south-west end of the 2nd island is a small detached islet connected
to it by a reef; and off the north-east end of the 3rd island is another
islet, also connected by a coral reef.
The spaces between these islands, which are more than a league wide, are
quite free from danger: we passed within a quarter of a mile of the south
end of the reef off the 3rd island, without getting bottom with ten
RODD'S BAY, a small harbour on the west side of the point to the
northward of Bustard Bay, offers a good shelter for vessels of one
hundred and fifty tons burden. The channel lies between two sandbanks,
which communicate with either shore. In hauling round the point, steer
for Middle Head, a projecting rocky point covered with trees, keeping the
centre of it in the bearing of about South (magnetic); you will then
carry first five, then six and seven fathoms: when you are abreast of the
north low sandy point, you have passed the sandbank on the eastern side,
the extremity of which bears from the point West 1/4 North about one
mile: then haul in East by South, and anchor at about one-third of a mile
from the low sandy point bearing North.
In hauling round this point, you must not shoalen your water, on the
south side, to less than four fathoms, as the sandbank projects for a
mile and a quarter from Middle Head. In the centre of the channel,
between Sandy Point and Middle Head, and at about one third of a mile
from the former, you will have seven, eight, and nine fathoms water,
until it bears North by East when it shoals to five fathoms. The
situation of the extremity of the low sandy point upon Captain Flinders'
chart (East Coast sheet 3) is in latitude 23 degrees 59 minutes 45
seconds, and longitude 151 degrees 34 minutes 45 seconds. High water
takes place at eight hours and a half after the moon's transit.
In standing into Rodd's Bay, the water does not shoalen until you are in
a line with the north points of Facing Island and Bustard Bay.
There is a run of fresh water in the bay to the eastward of the low sandy
point, but it was not thought to be a durable stream. Wood may be cut
close to the beach, and embarked without impediment.
PORT BOWEN. Captain Flinders, in his account of this port, has merely
confined himself to the anchorage under Entrance Island (latitude 22
degrees 29 minutes, longitude 150 degrees 45 minutes 30 seconds) which
is, at best, but an exposed roadstead. The channel in, on the north side
of the island, is free from danger, but, on the south side, between it
and Cape Clinton, there is an extensive shoal on which the sea breaks
heavily: it was not ascertained whether it is connected with the bank off
the south end of the island, but there is every probability of it. The
inlet round Cape Clinton affords good anchorage: but in the mid-channel
the depth is as much as eighteen fathoms; the sands on the western side
of the inlet are steep to, and should be avoided, for the tide sweeps
upon them. The best anchorage is in the sandy bay round the inner trend
of the cape (latitude 22 degrees 31 minutes 40 seconds, longitude 150
degrees 44 minutes) where both wood and water are convenient. In steering
in from sea, haul round the cape, and pass about half to three-quarters
of a mile to the north of the high round island, in seven fathoms,
avoiding the sandbanks on either side. In passing the inner trend of the
cape, the water will shoal to three and three-quarter fathoms, but do not
approach too near the point. When you have opened the inlet, steer in,
and, having passed the inner cape, haul in to a sandy bay on the eastern
side, where you may anchor in eight or nine fathoms at pleasure.
The centre of the shoal in the middle of the port bears North 1/4 East by
compass, from the high round island, and North by West 1/4 West when in a
line with Entrance Island.
High water appears to take place half an hour later than at Entrance
Island, or about 10 hours 40 minutes after the moon's southing (the
moon's age being thirteen days). The tide did not rise more than six
feet, but it wanted three days to the springs. Captain Flinders supposes
the spring tides to rise not less than fifteen feet. The variation of the
compass was 9 degrees 5 minutes East, off Cape Clinton, but at Entrance
Island, according to Captain Flinders, it was 7 degrees 40 minutes East.
NORTHUMBERLAND ISLANDS. In the direction of North 8 degrees East
(magnetic) and five miles and a half from the 3rd Island, is a low rock
which, at high water, is very little above the surface of the sea; it is
very dangerous because it is in the direct track of vessels steering
towards the Percy Isles. It escaped the observation of Captain Flinders.
In the direction of South 42 degrees West (magnetic) and ten miles from
the west end of Percy Island Number 1, are some rocks, but I am not aware
whether they are covered: they were seen by Lieutenant Jefferies in 1815.
Another patch of dry rocks was seen by me from the summit of a hill at
the west end of Percy Island Number 1, whence they bore South 60 degrees
West (magnetic) and were supposed to be distant about eight or nine
miles. The variation of the compass here is between 7 and 8 degrees East.
The PERCY ISLES have also been described by Captain Flinders; the bay at
the west end of Number 1 is of very steep approach and not safe to anchor
in, excepting during a south-east wind: the anchorage at Number 2, inside
the Pine Islets, is bad, since the bottom is rocky; the ground is,
however, clearer more to the southward; on the whole this anchorage is
not insecure, since there is a safe passage out either on the north or
south sides of the Pine Islets. Wood may be procured with facility, and
water also, unless the streams fail in the dry season. Captain Flinders
was at these islands at the latter end of September, and found it
abundant. The flood-tide comes from the north-east; at the anchorage in
the channel, between the pine islets and Number 2, the flood sets to the
south, and the ebb to the north; the maximum rate was one and a quarter
knot. High water occurred at the latter place two hours and a half before
the moon's passage; but on the following day did not precede it more than
one hour and a half. Captain Flinders mentions high water taking place on
shore at eight hours after the moon's passage. (Vide Flinders volume 2
page 82.) The tide rose twelve feet when the moon was thirteen days old.
The north-west end of Number 1 is in latitude 21 degrees 44 minutes 50
seconds, longitude 150 degrees 16 minutes 40 seconds; south-west end of
Number 2 is in latitude 21 degrees 40 minutes 50 seconds, longitude 150
degrees 13 minutes.
In passing SHOAL POINT, in latitude 21 degrees 0 minutes 5 seconds,
longitude 149 degrees 7 minutes 40 seconds, Captain Cook's ship got into
shoal water, and at one time had as little as three fathoms (Hawkesworth
volume 3 page 131); and the merchant ship Lady Elliot, in the year 1815,
met with a sandbank extending from the island off the point in a
north-east direction for ten miles, on one part of which she found only
nine feet water.
The Mermaid passed the point at the distance of three miles, and, when
the island bore South 68 degrees West, distant two miles and a half, had
four and three-quarter fathoms, which was the least water that was found,
but, being then high water, five or six feet, if not more, may be
deducted, to reduce it to the proper low water sounding. There was no
appearance of shoaler water near us, and it is probable that Captain
Cook's and the Lady Elliot's tracks were farther off shore. The variation
of the compass, six miles east of Point Slade, was 7 degrees 11 minutes
CAPE HILLSBOROUGH is a projection terminating in a bluff point in
latitude 20 degrees 53 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 149 degrees 0
minutes 15 seconds: being high land, it may be seen seven or eight
leagues off. The variation here is 6 degrees 30 minutes East.
The CUMBERLAND ISLES extend between the parallels of 20 and 21 degrees 6
minutes, and consist generally of elevated, rocky islands; they are all
abundantly wooded, particularly with pines, which grow to a larger size
than at the Percy Isles. We did not land upon any of them; they appeared
to be of bold approach, and not dangerous to navigate amongst; they are
from six to eight hundred feet high, and some of the peaks on the
northern island are much higher.
k l (latitude 21 degrees 5 minutes 40 seconds, longitude 149 degrees 54
minutes 25 seconds) is about three-quarters of a mile in diameter; it is
of peaked shape; at three-quarters of a mile off its south-east end there
is a dry rocky lump.
k (latitude 21 degrees 0 minutes, longitude 149 degrees 52 minutes 30
seconds) is nearly a mile and a quarter in diameter, and has a
considerable reef stretching for more than a mile and a half off both its
north-west and south-east ends; on the latter is a small rocky islet.
k 2 (in latitude 20 degrees 58 minutes, longitude 149 degrees 44 minutes
55 seconds) is of hummocky shape; it has also a reef off its south-east
and north-west ends, stretching off at least a mile. On the south-east
reef is a dry rocky islet.
THREE ROCKS, in latitude 20 degrees 56 1/4 minutes, are small islets of
moderate height. All these islands are surrounded by deep water. The
variation here is about 6 3/4 degrees East.
k 4, in latitude 20 degrees 53 minutes 10 seconds, and k 4 1/2, in
latitude 20 degrees 58 minutes, and the two sandy islets to the westward
of them, were seen only at a distance.
l, in latitude 20 degrees 51 minutes 10 seconds, l 1, in latitude 20
degrees 54 minutes 10 seconds, containing two islands, l 3, in latitude
20 degrees 44 minutes l5 seconds, and l 4, in latitude 20 degrees 45
minutes 30 seconds, are also high, but we were not nearer to them than
six or seven miles; l 2, in latitude 20 degrees 45 minutes 40 seconds,
longitude 149 degrees 33 minutes 55 seconds, is the island on which
Captain Flinders landed, and describes in volume 2 page 94; he says,
"This little island is of triangular shape, and each side of it is a mile
long; it is surrounded by a coral reef. The time of high water took place
ONE HOUR before the moon's passage, as it had done among the barrier
reefs; from ten to fifteen feet seemed to be the rise by the shore, and
the flood came from the northward." The variation near l 2 is 6 degrees
17 minutes East.
m is a high, bluff island, the peaked summit of which, in latitude 20
degrees 46 minutes 35 seconds and longitude 149 degrees 15 minutes 15
seconds, is eight hundred and seventy-four feet high: there are several
islets off its south-east end, and one off its north-west end.
SIR JAMES SMITH'S GROUP consists of ten or twelve distinct islands, and
perhaps as many more, for we were not within twelve miles of them. On the
principal island is LINNE PEAK, in latitude 20 degrees 40 minutes 30
seconds, and longitude 149 degrees 9 minutes 10 seconds; it is seven or
eight hundred feet high.
SHAW'S PEAK, in latitude 20 degrees 28 minutes, longitude 149 degrees 2
minutes 55 seconds, is on a larger island than any to the southward; it
is sixteen hundred and one feet high. The group consists of several
islands; it is separated from the next to the northward by a channel five
miles wide. In the centre is PENTECOST ISLAND, a remarkable rock, rising
abruptly out of the sea to the height of eleven hundred and forty feet.
Its latitude is 20 degrees 23 minutes 10 seconds, and longitude 148
degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds.
The northern group of the Cumberland Islands are high, and appear to be
better furnished with wood, and more fertile than the southern groups,
particularly on their western sides.
The principal peak, in latitude 29 degrees 15 minutes 10 seconds and
longitude 148 degrees 55 minutes, is fifteen hundred and eighty-four feet
high, and is situated on the largest island, which is ten miles long, and
from three to nine broad: it has several bays on either side, and off its
south-eastern end are four small islands: beyond them is a range of rocky
islets. The northernmost island of this range is the extremity of the
Cumberland Islands, as well as the north-eastern limit of Whitsunday
Passage; it forms a high, bluff point, in latitude 20 degrees 0 minutes,
and longitude 148 degrees 50 minutes 30 seconds, and is of bold approach:
on the western side of the island are some low islets.
REPULSE BAY is a deep bight: its shores are low, but the hills rise to a
great height. The extremity of the bay was not distinctly traced, but it
is probable, upon examining it, that a fresh-water rivulet may be found;
and there may be a communication with Edgecumbe Bay.
The Repulse Isles are of small size; they are surrounded by rocks, which
do not extend more than a quarter of a mile from them. The summit of the
largest island is in latitude 20 degrees 37 minutes 5 seconds, and
longitude 148 degrees 50 minutes 30 seconds. Variation 6 degrees 15
Between Capes Conway and Hillsborough the flood-tide comes from the
north-eastward, but is very irregular in the direction of the stream. At
an anchorage off the island near the latter cape the tide rose twelve
feet, but close to the Repulse Isles, the rise was eighteen feet. At the
former place, the moon being full, high water took place at about
three-quarters past ten o'clock; by an observation the next day at the
latter, it was a quarter of an hour later: the maximum rate was about one
and a half knot.
WHITSUNDAY PASSAGE, formed by the northern group of the Cumberland
Islands, is from three to six miles wide, and, with the exception of a
small patch or rocks within a quarter of a mile from Cape Conway, and a
sandbank (that is probably dry, or nearly so at low water) off Round
Head, is free from danger. The shores appear to be bold to, and the
depth, in the fairway, varies between twenty and thirty fathoms; the
shoal off Round Head stretches in a North-North-West direction, but its
extent was not ascertained.
In steering through the strait, particularly during the flood-tide, this
shoal should be avoided by keeping well over to the east shore; for the
tide there sets across the strait; it is about a mile and a half from
Round Head, in which space the water is ten and fourteen fathoms deep.
Between Round Head (in latitude 20 degrees 28 minutes 30 seconds) and
Cape Conway is a bay, where there appeared to be good anchorage out of
the strength of the tides; and to the north of Round Head is another bay,
the bottom of which is an isthmus of about a mile wide, separating it
from an inlet to the westward of Cape Conway. This bay very probably
affords good anchorage out of the strength of the tides.
CAPE CONWAY, in latitude 20 degrees 32 minutes, and longitude 148 degrees
54 minutes, is the western limit of the south entrance of Whitsunday
Passage; it is a steep point, sloping off to the eastward: immediately on
its north side is a small shingly beach, a few yards behind which there
is a hollow, containing a large quantity of fresh water. At a short
quarter of a mile from the point is a rocky shoal of small size, between
which and the shore there is deep water.
PINE HEAD, in latitude 20 degrees 23 minutes, and longitude 148 degrees
51 minutes 40 seconds, is the south-east extremity of a small island that
is separated from the main by a passage of about a mile wide, but we did
not ascertain whether it is navigable. The head is a high, bluff point,
clothed with pine-trees: near it the tide runs in strong eddies, and for
that reason it ought not to be approached nearer than half a mile; it
appeared to be bold to. There is a sandy bay on its south west side
affording a good landing-place; the island is clothed with grass, and
thickly wooded: we found no water. The variation was 5 degrees 35 minutes
PORT MOLLE, so named by Lieutenant Jeffreys, appeared to trend in for
four or five miles: and, probably, to afford a convenient port, as it is
well sheltered from the wind, and is protected from the north-east by a
group of small islands, thickly wooded. Hence the land trends to the
north-west towards Cape Gloucester; the shore was very indistinctly seen,
but seemed to be very much indented, and to possess several bays, if not
rivers; for the land at the back is very high, and must give rise to
several mountain, if not navigable, streams.
MOUNT DRYANDER, whose summit is in latitude 20 degrees 14 minutes 10
seconds, and longitude 148 degrees 30 minutes 55 seconds, forms a small
peak, and is visible from Repulse Bay, as well as from the northern
extremity of the Cumberland Islands: it is four thousand five hundred and
sixty-six feet high; and the hills around it are at least from seven
hundred to a thousand feet in height.
The greater part of the water that collects from these hills probably
empties itself into Repulse and Edgecumbe Bays, or it may be distributed
in lagoons upon the low land that separates them.
At the back of Point Slade there is a high mountainous range extending
without interruption to the westward of Mount Upstart. In latitude 21
degrees 1 1/2 minutes, and longitude 148 degrees 36 3/4 minutes is a
high-rounded summit, which is visible at the distance of twenty leagues:
between this range, which is at the distance of from five to seven
leagues from the sea, and the coast, are several ridges gradually
lowering in altitude as they approach the shore. In the neighbourhood of
Repulse Bay, this mountainous range recedes, and has a considerable track
of low land at its base, which is possibly a rich country: from the
height of the hills, it must be well watered.
CAPE GLOUCESTER. The point of land that Captain Cook took originally for
the cape, is an island of about five miles long and two broad, separated
from the true Cape Gloucester by a strait, a mile and a half wide. The
island is called Gloucester Island; its summit at the north end is in
latitude 19 degrees 57 minutes 24 seconds, longitude 148 degrees 23
minutes 38 seconds: it is eighteen hundred and seventy-four feet high,
and its summit is a ridge of peaks: its shores are rocky and steep; and,
although the sides of the hills are wooded, yet it has a sombre and heavy
appearance, and, at least, does not look fertile. The cape, in latitude
20 degrees 1 minute 50 seconds, and longitude 148 degrees 26 minutes 15
seconds, is the extremity of the mountainous range that extends off Mount
Dryander. The variation observed off the island was 7 degrees 11 minutes
EDGECUMBE BAY is a deep indentation of the land, the shores of which are
very low: its extent was not ascertained, but, by the bearings of some
land at the bottom, it is seventeen miles deep; and its greatest breadth,
at the mouth, is about fourteen miles. It affords excellent shelter; and
between Middle Island (a small rocky islet of a mile and half in extent)
and Gloucester Island there is good anchorage in seven fathoms muddy
bottom, with protection from all winds. We did not examine the bay
farther than passing round Middle Island in six, seven, and eight
fathoms, mud. The western side is formed by low islands, that appeared to
be swampy, but our distance was too great to form the most distant
opinion of them: if the main is not swampy, it must be a rich and
HOLBORNE ISLAND is a rocky island, visible about seven or eight leagues,
and has three small islets near it: it is in latitude 19 degrees 41
minutes 5 seconds, and longitude 148 degrees 17 minutes 30 seconds.
CAPE UPSTART is the extremity of Mount Upstart, which is so high as to be
visible for more than twenty leagues in clear weather: it rises abruptly
from a low projection, and forms a long ridge of mountainous land; the
north-east end of the summit is in latitude 19 degrees 41 minutes 50
seconds, and longitude 147 degrees 44 minutes 30 seconds. This point
separates two deep bays, both of which were of very inviting appearance,
on account of the high and broken character of the gullies on either side
of Mount Abbott, and it was almost evident that they both terminate in a
river. The hills of Mount Upstart are of primitive form, and were judged
to be composed of granite. The variation observed off the point was 6
degrees 16 minutes East.
CAPE BOWLING-GREEN is very low, and projects for a considerable distance
into the sea: its north-east extremity is in latitude 19 degrees 19
minutes 10 seconds, and longitude 147 degrees 23 minutes East; the
mountainous ranges are at least thirty miles in the rear, and, were it
not for Mounts Upstart and Eliot, both of which are very visible, and
serve as an excellent guide, this part of the coast would be very
dangerous to approach, particularly in the night, when these marks cannot
be seen, when great attention must be paid to the lead. A ship passing
this projection should not come into shoaler water than eleven fathoms;
and, in directing a course from abreast of Mount Upstart, should be
steered sufficiently to the northward to provide against the current
which sets into the bay on the western side of the mount. On approaching
the cape, if the soundings indicate a less depth than eleven fathoms, the
vessel should be hauled more off, because she is then either a parallel
with or to the southward of the cape.
CAPE CLEVELAND (latitude 19 degrees 10 minutes 10 seconds, longitude 146
degrees 57 minutes 56 seconds) like Mount Upstart, rises abruptly from a
projection of low land, separating Cleveland Bay from a deep sinuosity
that extends under the base of Mount Eliot, a high range with a rounded
hill and a peak, the latter being at the south extremity of its summit.
Mount Eliot may probably be seen at the distance of twenty-five leagues,
if not farther; between it and the hills of Cape Cleveland the land is
low, and is probably much intersected by water.
A reef extends from the extremity of Cape Cleveland for four miles to the
eastward, but not at all to the northward, so that, with the point
bearing to the southward of West 1/2 South a ship is safe: there is a
breaker near the extremity of the reef, at about three miles from the
point; to avoid which, keep the south end of Magnetical Island well open
of the north extremity of the cape.
The peaked summit of MOUNT ELIOT is in latitude 19 degrees 33 minutes 10
seconds, and longitude 146 degrees 54 minutes 25 seconds.
CLEVELAND BAY affords good anchorage in all parts, in four, five, and six
fathoms; a considerable flat extends for a mile from the shore on the
western side of the cape, and is left dry at half ebb; it fronts a sandy
beach that commences at a mile and a half to the south of the cape, and
extends to the southward for nearly two miles; over this beach, two or
three streams of fresh water communicate with the sea; they take their
rise from the hills, and probably are seldom dry.
The most convenient watering-place is near the centre of the beach, a
little to the northward of the highest hills. Wood for fuel is plentiful,
and grows close to the beach, and may be embarked with facility; the best
place is at the north end of the sandy beach, since the boat can be
brought nearer to the shore to protect the wooding party.
HALIFAX BAY extends from Cape Cleveland to Point Hillock; it has several
islands in it, and is fronted by the PALM ISLANDS, the summit of which is
in latitude 18 degrees 43 minutes 5 seconds, longitude 146 degrees 35
minutes 15 seconds: this group consists of nineteen islands, one only of
which is of large size, being eight miles long and three wide; it
probably affords all the conveniences of a sheltered anchorage, and a
good supply of wood and water.
In latitude 18 degrees 49 minutes, nine miles from the shore, and six
miles within the island Number 2, is a coral reef, that shows at low
water: it appeared to be about two miles long; between it and Number 2 is
a wide channel with nine fathoms. The Lady Elliot, merchant ship, in
1815, struck upon a reef in 18 degrees 45 minutes, about four miles from
the shore; of which we saw nothing; we anchored within four miles of its
position, but, at daylight, when we got underweigh, it might have been
covered by the tide.
In 18 degrees 32 minutes and 146 degrees 41 minutes is a reef, on which
the San Antonio, merchant brig, struck: its position was not correctly
ascertained, as the accident happened in the night.
POINT HILLOCK is in latitude 18 degrees 25 minutes, and longitude 146
degrees 20 minutes; it is a low point projecting to the eastward, under
CAPE SANDWICH is the north-east extremity of the sandy land that
stretches to the northward from the base of Mount Hinchinbrook, which is
so high as to be visible for eighteen leagues: the mount is topped with a
craggy summit, seven miles in length from north to south.
There is a reef that extends for nearly a mile and a half off the cape,
having a rocky islet at its extremity. The cape is in latitude 18 degrees
13 minutes 20 seconds, and longitude 146 degrees 16 minutes 40 seconds.
The peak at the north end of Mount Hinchinbrook is in latitude 18 degrees
21 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 146 degrees 15.
BROOKE'S ISLANDS lie four miles north from Cape Sandwich; they consist of
three rocky islets, besides some of smaller size; the whole are
surrounded by a coral reef.
From Cape Sandwich the land extends, low and sandy, in a North-West
direction for five miles to a point, which is terminated by a hill.
Between this and Goold Island there appears to be a navigable strait
leading into Rockingham Bay.
GOOLD ISLAND, the summit of which, formed by a conical hill covered with
wood, in latitude 18 degrees 9 minutes 35 seconds, and longitude 146
degrees 9 minutes, is about two miles long: the south-west point of the
island is a long strip of low land, with a sandy beach; at the eastern
end of which there is a run of water; and fuel may be cut close to the
shore. High water takes place at full and change at three quarters past
ROCKINGHAM BAY appears to be a spacious harbour. At the bottom there was
an appearance of an opening that may probably communicate with an inlet
on the south side of Point Hillock, and insulate the land of Mount
Hinchinbrook. There is good anchorage in the bay in four and five fathoms
mud, near Goold Island.
The natives are very friendly here, and will come off and visit the ship.
FAMILY ISLES consist of seven small rocky islets, covered with a stunted
DUNK ISLAND is remarkable for having two peaks on its summit; the
south-east summit is in latitude 17 degrees 58 minutes, and longitude 146
degrees 8 minutes 45 seconds. The variation observed in the offing to the
North-East was 5 degrees 41 minutes East.
BARNARD ISLES form a group of small rocky islands extending in a
straggling direction for six miles to the south of Double Point. Three
miles to the south of the southernmost island, but nearer to the shore,
is a reef of rocks which dry at low water.
From DOUBLE POINT (latitude of its summit 17 degrees 39 minutes 50
seconds) to CAPE GRAFTON, the coast is formed by a succession of sandy
bays and projecting rocky points. In latitude 17 degrees 31 minutes, in
the centre of a sandy bay, is a small opening like a rivulet; and, on the
south side of Point Cooper is another; but neither appeared to be
navigable for boats. Abreast of Frankland's Islands, and near the south
end of a sandy bay of six miles in extent, there is another opening like
a river, that, from the appearance of the land behind, which is low and
of a verdant character, may be of considerable size. The high mountains
to the southward, Bellenden Ker's Range, must give rise to a considerable
stream; and it appears very probable that this may be one of the outlets,
but the most considerable is, perhaps, that which falls into Trinity Bay
round Cape Grafton.
FRANKLAND'S ISLANDS consist of several low islets one of which is
detached and of higher character than the others, which are very low, and
connected by a reef. The largest island may be seen five or six leagues
off; it is in latitude 17 degrees 7 minutes 45 seconds.
The land between this and Cape Grafton is high, and towards the north has
several remarkable peaks. The land of Cape Grafton may be readily known,
when seen from the southward, by appearing like three lofty islands; the
outermost is Fitzroy Island, but the others are hills upon the main. The
easternmost of the latter, Cape Grafton, is conspicuous for having two
small peaks, like notches, on the west extremity of its summit; it is
joined to the westernmost by low land, which also separates the latter
from the other hills behind it; and, as this low land is not seen at a
distance, the hills assume the appearance of islands.
There is good anchorage in the strait between Cape Grafton and Fitzroy
Island, but, with a northerly wind, the better anchorage would be on the
south side of the cape. The former is exposed to all winds between
North-West and North-East. In the former case the anchor may be dropped
in nine fathoms, at a quarter to half a mile from the beach of the
island. The north extremity of Cape Grafton is in latitude 16 degrees 51
minutes 20 seconds, longitude 145 degrees 53 minutes 5 seconds; the
south-east extreme is in latitude 16 degrees 54 minutes 20 seconds,
longitude 145 degrees 55 minutes 15 seconds.
FITZROY ISLAND affords both wood and water; it has a peaked summit. It
affords anchorage in the bay on its western side, off a coral beach; the
south-west end of which is in latitude 16 degrees 55 minutes 21 seconds,
and longitude 145 degrees 56 minutes 21 seconds. Nine miles to the
eastward of Fitzroy Island is a small bare sandy island; and, at about
seven miles North-East by East from it, there was an appearance of
extensive shoals. Variation 5 degrees 10 minutes East.
On the west side of CAPE GRAFTON is a bay, in the centre of which is an
island. The bottom is very shoal, but good anchorage may be had with the
cape bearing South-East Between CAPE GRAFTON and SNAPPER ISLAND, the
centre of which is in latitude 16 degrees 17 minutes 35 seconds, and
longitude 145 degrees 27 minutes 40 seconds, is TRINITY BAY; the shores
of which were not very distinctly seen. At the south side, and about
seven miles within the cape there is an opening that appeared to be
extensive, and the mouth of a considerable stream, trending in between
high ranges of land, in a direction towards Bellenden Ker's Range.
In latitude 16 degrees 23 1/2 minutes, and longitude 145 degrees 34
minutes is a group consisting of three coral islands; which, being very
low, are dangerous to pass in the night.
The offing is said to be strewed with extensive reefs; we saw none beyond
Green Island: those that are laid down on the chart are from Lieutenant
(*Footnote. Much shoal water was seen to the northward of Green Island
from the Tamar's masthead. Roe manuscript.)
SNAPPER ISLAND lies off the point which forms the northern limit of
Trinity Bay; it is small, and does not supply any water.*
(*Footnote. Ten or eleven miles South 80 degrees East from Snapper Island
is the north-west end of a shoal, extending to the South 41 degrees East
for sixteen or seventeen miles; the Tamar anchored under it. Roe
The land behind CAPE TRIBULATION may be seen at a greater distance than
twenty leagues. It is here that the outer part of the barrier reefs
approach the coast, and there is reason to believe that, in latitude 16
degrees 17 minutes 35 seconds, longitude 145 degrees 27 minutes 40
seconds, they are not more than twenty miles from it. The cape has a
hillock at its extremity, and a small rocky islet close to the shore that
renders it conspicuous: it is fourteen miles beyond Snapper Island. The
shore appears to be bold to: at three miles off we had sixteen fathoms.
Ten miles further to the northward is BLOMFIELD'S RIVULET in Weary Bay:
it is blocked up by a rocky bar, having only four feet water over it; the
anchorage off it is too much exposed to be safe. The river runs up for
four or five miles, having soundings within it from three to four
fathoms, its entrance is in 15 degrees 55 minutes 50 seconds.
The coast then extends to the north to Endeavour River, and forms a few
inconsiderable sinuosities; it is backed by high land, particularly
abreast of the Hope Islands. These islands open of each other in a North
39 degrees East direction, and appear to be connected by a shoal; it is
however very likely that a narrow passage may exist between them, but
certainly not safe to sail through.
Here the number of the coral reefs begin to increase, and great attention
must be paid in navigating amongst them; but, with a careful look out
from the masthead, and a quick leadsman in the chains, no danger need be
Between reef a and the shoal off the south-west Hope Island there is a
passage two miles wide, with twelve fathoms: a is about half a mile in
diameter, with a few rocks above water; its centre is in 15 degrees 43
minutes 20 seconds, two miles from the shore, and three miles North 55
degrees West from the south west Hope.
b is about a mile and a quarter long, and has a dry rock at its north
end, the latitude of which is 15 degrees 39 minutes 20 seconds: it is
divided from Endeavour Reef by a channel of nearly a mile wide, and
fifteen fathoms deep: abreast of the south end of b, on the western edge
of Endeavour Reef, there is a dry rock, in latitude 15 degrees 39 minutes
ENDEAVOUR REEF is nine miles long; it lies in a North-West direction; the
north end, in 15 degrees 39 minutes South, bears due from the North-east
c is covered, and not quite half a mile in length; its latitude is 15
degrees 32 minutes: it lies four miles from the shore.
d is rather larger, and has some dry rocks on its north end, in latitude
15 degrees 29 minutes 30 seconds. Between c and d and the shore the
passage is from three to four miles wide, and in mid-channel the depth is
seven and eight fathoms.
On the south side of Point Monkhouse there is a bay having a small
opening at the bottom, but not deep enough for ships: it was this bay
that Captain Cook first examined in search of a place to repair his ship.
On steering along the shore between Point Monkhouse and the entrance of
Endeavour River, the bottom is of sand and of irregular depth. A spit of
sand was passed over with only two and a half fathoms on it when the
summit of Mount Cook bore South 66 degrees West (magnetic) and the outer
extreme of Point Monkhouse South 18 degrees West (magnetic). One mile off
shore the shoal soundings continued with two and a half fathoms until it
bore South 59 degrees West (magnetic) when the depth was three, and three
and a half fathoms.
ENDEAVOUR RIVER. The entrance of this river, in latitude 15 degrees 27
minutes 4 seconds, and longitude 145 degrees 10 minutes 49 seconds,*
forms a very good port for small vessels; and, in a case of distress,
might be useful for large ships, as it proved to our celebrated navigator
Captain Cook, who, it is well known, repaired his ship there after having
laid twenty-three hours upon a coral reef.
(*Footnote. The situation of the observatory at Endeavour River was found
by lunar distances, taken during my visits to that place in 1819 and
1820, as follows:
Latitude by meridional altitudes of the sun, taken in the artificial
horizon, being the mean of twenty-seven observations: 15 degrees 27
minutes 4 seconds.
Longitude by twenty-five set of distances (sun West of first quarter of
the moon) containing one hundred and seventeen sights, with the sextant:
144 degrees 52 minutes 16 seconds.
Longitude by thirty set of distances (sun East of first quarter of the
moon) containing one hundred and fifty sights, with the sextant: 145
degrees 29 minutes 23 seconds.
Mean, of fifty-five sets: 145 degrees 10 minutes 49 seconds.)
The entrance is formed on the south side by a steep hill, covered with
trees growing to the edge of its rocky shore. The north side of the
entrance is a low sandy beach of two miles and a quarter in length: at
its north end a range of hills rises abruptly, and extends for six or
seven miles, when it again suddenly terminates, and is separated from the
rocky projection of Cape Bedford by a low plain of sand.
The entrance of Endeavour River is defended by a bar, on which, at high
water, there is about fourteen feet; but, at low water, not more than ten
feet: the channel over the bar is close to the south side, for the
sandbank extends from the low sandy north shore to within one hundred and
forty yards of the south shore, and at three quarters ebb (spring tides)
In steering in for the mouth, upon bringing Point Monkhouse in a line
with Point a (the north point of the bay under Mount Cook) you will be in
three fathoms; steer in until the south extremity of the low north sandy
point is opened of the trend round Point c, when you may haul a little
more in, and when point d (which is a point where the mangroves commence)
bears South 33 degrees West (magnetic) steer directly for it; this will
carry you over the deepest part or the bar, which stretches off from
point c in a North 75 degrees West (magnetic) direction; another mark is
to keep the trend beyond d just in sight, but not open, or you will be
too near the spit: the best way is, having opened it, haul in a little to
the southward, and shut it in again: you may pass within ten yards of
point d; and the best anchorage is just within it; the vessel may be
secured head and stern to trees on the beach, with bow and stern anchors
to steady her. No vessel of a greater draught than twelve feet should
enter the harbour; and this vessel may even moor in four fathoms within
her own length of the shore, with the outer trend just shut in by the
mangrove point a. The watering-place is a stream that empties itself into
the port through the mangroves, about two hundred yards to the south: and
if this should fail, there is a good stream at the north end of the long
north sandy beach. The latter, although very high coloured, is of
wholesome quality; but in bad weather is inconvenient to be procured on
account of the surf. Water for common purposes of cooking may be had on a
sandy beach a little without the entrance, but it is of a mineral
quality, and of brackish taste. It is high water at full and change at
eight o'clock, and the tide rises from five to ten feet. The variation of
the observatory was 5 degrees 14 minutes East.
CAPE BEDFORD (latitude 15 degrees 16 minutes 19 seconds, longitude 145
degrees 17 minutes 19 seconds) is high, and forms a steep slope to the
sea: it appeared to be bold to.* Between it and Cape Flattery is a bay
backed by low land, about five miles deep; but it is exposed to the wind,
unless there is anchorage under the north-west end of Cape Bedford.
(*Footnote. Shoal water extends for nearly a mile round Cape Bedford. Roe
CAPE FLATTERY is eighteen miles north of Cape Bedford: its extremity is
high and rocky, and forms two distinct hills. The summit of the cape is
in latitude 14 degrees 52 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 145 degrees
16 minutes 10 seconds.*
(*Footnote. There are some dangerous shoals to the eastward of Point
Lookout, and to the northward of Cape Flattery, about two miles apart
from each other, situated in what was considered to be the fair channel.
Eleven miles beyond the cape, in a North 45 degrees West direction, is
POINT LOOKOUT, forming a peaked hill at the extremity of a low sandy
projection, whence the land trends West by North 1/2 North for twelve
leagues to Cape Bowen.
e, a reef nearly three miles long and one broad: its north end is twelve
miles nearly due East from the entrance of Endeavour River, in latitude
15 degrees 26 minutes 50 seconds, longitude 145 degrees 23 minutes 30
TURTLE REEF was visited by Mr. Bedwell, it is covered at high water,
excepting a small spot of sand, about the size of the boat, at its north
end in latitude 15 degrees 23 minutes, longitude 145 degrees 22 minutes
50 seconds: its interior is occupied, like most others, by a shoal
lagoon; it is entirely of coral, and has abundance of shellfish; it was
here that Captain Cook procured turtle during his stay at Endeavour
River, from the entrance of which it bears North 75 degrees East, and is
distant eleven miles; its south end is separated from e by a channel of a
THREE ISLES, in latitude 15 degrees 7 minutes 30 seconds, is a group of
low coral islets covered with shrubs, and encircled by a reef, that is
not quite two miles in diameter.
Two miles and three quarters to the North-West is a low wooded island,
about a mile long, also surrounded by a reef; and four miles to the
southward of it is a rocky islet.
REEF f is about four or five miles East-South-East from Three Isles; it
appeared to be about three miles long: its western extreme is in latitude
15 degrees 10 minutes, and in longitude 145 degrees 26 minutes.
TWO ISLES are also low and wooded, and surrounded by a reef: the largest
islet is in latitude 15 degrees 1 minute 20 seconds, and longitude 145
degrees 22 minutes 10 seconds.
REEF g appeared to be about a mile broad and two miles and a half long:
its south end is in latitude 15 degrees 0 minutes 15 seconds, longitude
145 degrees 26 minutes 45 seconds.
REEF h is an extensive reef, having high breakers on its outer edge: it
is more than four miles long, and separated from the north end of g by a
channel a mile wide.
REEF i has several detached reefs about it, on the northernmost are two
rocky islands, and to the southward, on a detached shoal, there is a bare
sandy islet that is perhaps occasionally covered by the tide: its
south-westernmost extremity and the summit of Lizard Island are in the
line of bearing of North 5 degrees West (magnetic) its latitude is 14
degrees 53 minutes 40 seconds.
REEF k, in latitude 14 degrees 47 minutes, has a dry sand upon it: its
sub-marine extent was not ascertained.
REEF l; the position of this reef is rather uncertain, near its western
side is a dry key in latitude 14 degrees 47 minutes 30 seconds.
m is probably unconnected with the shoal off the south end of Eagle
Island. In Captain Cook's rough chart there is twelve fathoms marked
between two shoals which must mean the above.
EAGLE ISLAND is low and wooded, and situated at the north end of a
considerable shoal; its latitude is 14 degrees 42 minutes 20 seconds, and
longitude 145 degrees 18 minutes 30 seconds.
DIRECTION ISLANDS are two high rocky islands, so called by Captain Cook
to direct ships to the opening in the reefs, through which he passed out
to sea; they are high and of conical shape, and might be seen more than
five or six leagues off was it not for the hazy weather that always
exists in the neighbourhood of the reefs; the northernmost is in latitude
14 degrees 44 minutes 50 seconds, longitude 145 degrees 26 minutes 25
seconds: the southernmost is in latitude 14 degrees 50 minutes, longitude
145 degrees 26 minutes 45 seconds.
LIZARD ISLAND, about three miles long, is remarkable for its peaked
summit, the latitude of which is 14 degrees 40 minutes 20 seconds, and
longitude 145 degrees 23 minutes: on its south side is an extensive reef
encompassing three islets, of which two are high and rocky: the best
anchorage is on its western side under the summit; with the high
northernmost of the Direction Islands in sight over the low land, bearing
about South-East by compass: the depth is six and seven fathoms sandy
bottom. The variation here is 5 degrees 2 minutes East.
TURTLE GROUP is four miles to the north of Point Lookout; the islets are
encircled by a horse-shoe shaped coral reef, and consist of six islands,
all low and bushy. These islands are not laid down with sufficient
accuracy as to their relative positions.
n is a low wooded island about eleven miles west from Lizard Island; no
reef was seen to project from it; it is in the meridian of the
observatory of Endeavour River; and in latitude 14 degrees 40 minutes.
o is a small coral reef; it lies a mile and a half North 64 degrees West
from the north end of n.
p is a coral reef, about a mile in extent, separated from o by a channel
of a mile wide.
q, a reef, on which are two low wooded isles, apparently connected with a
shoal extending from Point Lookout along the shore to the
West-North-West; the isles are seven miles North 64 degrees West from
COLES ISLANDS consist of four small bushy islets from a quarter to half a
mile in extent; they are from four to six miles North-East from Point
Murdoch. This group appeared to be merely the several dry parts of the
shoal that extends from Point Lookout to Noble Island; between them and
the latter island, are two patches of dry sandy keys, but it is probable
that they may be covered by the tide. The continuation of the shoal
between the islands and Point Lookout was not clearly ascertained.
At POINT MURDOCH, which has a peaked hill at its extremity, the hills
again approach the coast; at Cape Bowen they project into the sea, and
separate two bays, in each of which there is possibly a rivulet; that to
the eastward of the cape trends in and forms a deep bight. On the western
side of the hills of Cape Bowen there is a track of low land, separating
them from another rocky range. The summit of the hill at Point Murdoch is
in latitude 14 degrees 40 minutes, and longitude 144 degrees 46 minutes.
HOWICK'S GROUP consists of ten or eleven islands, of which Number 1,
remarkable for a hillock at its south-east end, is in latitude 14 degrees
32 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 144 degrees 55 minutes 20 seconds;
it is nearly three miles long; the rest are all less than half a mile in
extent, excepting the westernmost, Number 6, which is nearly a mile and a
half in diameter.
The passage between 2 and 3 is safe, and has seven and eight fathoms: the
north-west side of 3 is of rocky approach, but the opposite side of the
strait is bold to; the anchorage is tolerably good. The Mermaid drove,
but it was not considered to be caused by the nature of the bottom, which
is of soft sand, and free from rocks.
The channel between 1 and 2 appeared to be very rocky, and shoal: between
1 and the reef r there is probably a clear channel of about a mile wide:
the north-east end of 1 has a reef which extends off it for half a mile.
(*Footnote. Many shoals, partly dry, occupy the space to the northward
and eastward of Howick's Group. Roe manuscript.)
All the islands are low and wooded, and surrounded by a coral reef of
4 has a small islet off its west end.
5, 8, and 9 did not appear to have any reefs projecting from them. 7 is
probably two islands, with a reef extending for half a mile on its
western side. 6 is of larger size than the generality of the low islands
hereabout, Number 1 excepted: its centre is in latitude 14 degrees 28
minutes, and longitude 144 degrees 45 minutes. The position of Number 10
was not correctly ascertained.
The peak of CAPE BOWEN is in latitude 14 degrees 34 minutes, and
longitude 144 degrees 35 minutes 40 seconds.
NOBLE ISLAND is a rock, having a sandy, or a coral beach at its
north-west end; although small it is very conspicuous; and, when first
seen from the southward, has the appearance of a rock with a double
The REEFS s, t, and u are unconnected; the north end of s, lying six
miles and a half due east from Point Barrow, was dry for a considerable
extent; t, one mile to the north, was covered; but there is a dry sandy
key on u, bearing from Point Barrow, North 32 degrees East, six miles:
some rocks showed themselves above the water off its south end.
v and w may possibly be connected; the former was noticed to extend for
three miles, and the latter for nearly ten miles; there was, however, a
space of three miles between them, where a channel may possibly exist.
The channels between t and u, and between v and w, appeared to be clear
The REEFS x, y, and Z, are probably parts of the barrier reefs, for the
sea was breaking very heavily upon their outer edge; there were, however,
considerable spaces where no breakers appeared, some of which, being
three or four miles wide, may possibly be as many outlets to sea.
NINIAN BAY is a bight to the west of Point Barrow;* it is about three
miles deep, and has a small opening at the bottom; in crossing it we had
not more water than four fathoms, and within our course it appeared to be
very shoal: there is doubtless a channel leading to the opening; but, to
the name of harbour or port, it has not the slightest pretension: it was
named Port Ninian by Lieutenant Jeffreys: off the north end of Point
Barrow are two rocky islands.
(*Footnote. Off Point Barrow, the shoals lie from half to one mile nearer
the shore, than they are laid down; and one mile and three quarters North
55 degrees East from the point are two small patches of coral, under
water; they bear North-East and South-West from each other and are
probably one tenth of a mile apart. Roe manuscript.)
Between Ninian Bay and Cape Melville the coast is high and rocky, but
appeared to be fronted by a reef, which in some places extends for a mile
and a half from the shore; in this interval there are two or three sandy
beaches, but I doubt the practicability of landing upon them in a boat.
The summit and sides of the hills that form the promontory, of which Cape
Melville is the extreme, are of most remarkable appearance, being covered
with heaps of rounded stones of very large size (volume 1.)
CAPE MELVILLE, sloping off into the sea to the north, terminates this
remarkable promontory in latitude 14 degrees 9 minutes 30 seconds, and
longitude 144 degrees 24 minutes 50 seconds: the coast trends round it to
the South-South-West and South-West, and forms Bathurst Bay, which is
nine miles and a half deep, and thirteen wide, the western side being
formed by Flinders' Group. A reef extends for more than two miles off
Cape Melville in a North West by North direction, on which some rounded
stones, similar to those upon the land, are heaped up above the sea:
there is also one of these heaps at the extremity of the reef, outside,
and within a quarter of a mile of which we had fourteen fathoms water:
there are two other similar heaps within the outer pile, and between them
there are possibly clear passages, but they should not be attempted
without great caution. It was remarked that the breeze always freshened
on passing round this cape.
PIPON ISLANDS, two small islets, of which the easternmost is the largest,
are in latitude 14 degrees 6 minutes 40 seconds, longitude 144 degrees 26
minutes 5 seconds; they are surrounded by a reef, lying two miles and a
half from the cape; between them and the reef that extends from the cape,
there is a safe and deep passage of more than a mile wide.
The south-east side of Bathurst Bay is shoal. At the bottom are two
openings, with some projecting land between them, at the extremity of
which there is a peak; these openings are doubtless rivulets of
considerable size, and take their rise from the high land at the back of
FLINDERS' GROUP forms the west head of Bathurst Bay; they are high and
rocky, and consist of four islands, two of which are three miles long.
The peak of the largest island, in latitude 14 degrees 11 minutes 5
seconds, and longitude 144 degrees 12 minutes 5 seconds, is visible from
a distance of twelve or thirteen leagues; and the higher parts of the
islands may be seen generally at seven or eight leagues.
On the eastern side of the northernmost island there is a bay fronted by
a coral reef, but it is too exposed to the prevailing winds to be safe.
It is here that the Frederick (merchant ship) was wrecked in 1818.
CAPE FLINDERS, in latitude 14 degrees 8 minutes, longitude 144 degrees 10
minutes 20 seconds, is the north extremity of the island; it may be
passed close to with twelve fathoms: the best anchorage is under the
flat-topped hill, at a quarter of a mile from the shore, in ten fathoms
mud. The variation is 5 degrees 20 minutes East. It is high water at full
and change at a quarter past nine.
In the offing is a low wooded island of more than a mile in diameter.
CLACK'S ISLAND is a high rock, situated at the south-east end of reef b,
in latitude 14 degrees 4 minutes 45 seconds, and longitude 144 degrees 11
minutes 45 seconds, and, being a bare black rock, with no apparent
vegetation, is a conspicuous object: there is another rock on its
north-east end. (See above.) The reef is of circular shape, and three
miles in diameter.
The shoal marked a was not seen by us. H.M. sloop Satellite struck upon
it in June, 1822, on her passage to India. The following marks for it
were obligingly communicated to me by Captain M.J. Currie, of H.M. sloop
Satellite, who sent a boat to examine it upon her second voyage the
"In crossing the northern part of Bathurst Bay, and nearly in
mid-channel, between Cape Flinders and the low wooded island, there is a
small patch of sunken rocks, lying north and south, not more than a
cable's length in extent, the least water being one fathom. The Satellite
grounded on them in two fathoms, in June, 1822. I sent a boat to examine
this shoal in making the same passage in August, 1823, and found it to be
under the following bearings (by compass): namely, Cape Flinders,
South-West by West 3/4 West; the high peak on the south-east part of
Flinders' Group, South 1/4 West; the highest of Clack's Islands,
North-West 1/2 West, and Cape Melville East 1/2 South. It is a dangerous
shoal in running for Cape Flinders, but may be easily avoided by steering
near the low wooded island, to the north-east of the cape, or by keeping
the shore of Flinders' Group on board, which is perhaps preferable. The
variation is 5 degrees 40 minutes East."*
(*Footnote. The shoal is in a line with, and half way between, the
flat-topped hill on the north island of Flinders' Group, and the centre
of the low wooded island, and is nearly joined to some shoal-water that
extends for two miles from the latter island. Roe manuscript.)
PRINCESS CHARLOTTE'S BAY is an extensive bight in the coast, twenty-two
miles deep, and thirty-one broad; its shores are low, and at the bottom
in latitude 14 degrees 29 minutes there is a mangrove opening.
JANE'S TABLE LAND, in latitude 14 degrees 29 minutes 15 seconds and
longitude 144 degrees 4 minutes 45 seconds, is a remarkable flat-topped
hill at the bottom of the bay, rising abruptly from the surrounding low
land: it is about five miles from the coast; its summit, by the angle it
subtended, is about a mile in length. Excepting this hill, no other high
land was seen at the bottom of the bay.
On the western side the land rises to a moderate height, and forms a bank
of about ten miles in extent, but this was not visible for more than
three or four leagues. To the north of this no part of the interior can
be seen until in latitude 13 degrees 55 minutes, when the south end of a
ridge of hills commences at about seven miles behind the beach, which it
gradually approaches until it reaches the coast in 13 degrees 35 minutes,
and is terminated by a round hill; the coast then extends with a low
sandy beach for eleven miles to Cape Sidmouth.
c is a covered reef of coral, extending North-East by East and South-West
by West for seventeen miles: its south-west end bears North 75 degrees
West, twelve miles and a half, from Cape Flinders.
d, e, and f, are three coral banks, having dry sandy keys on each; they
are of circular shape, and from a mile to a third of a mile in diameter:
d is the largest, and bears nearly due-west from Cape Flinders, from
which it is distant twelve miles and a half.
g and h are two coral reefs; but it was not ascertained whether they are
connected to each other or not: they may also be joined to c, and indeed
this supposition is very likely to be correct, for we found the water
quite smooth, and little or no set of tide on passing them. On the
southwest extremity of g, in latitude 14 degrees 1 minute 20 seconds,
longitude 143 degrees 50 minutes, there is a dry sandy key, as there is
also upon h, but on the latter there are also rocks, and the sand is dry
for four or five miles along its north-west side: the south-west end of h
is in latitude 13 degrees 59 minutes, longitude 143 degrees 49 minutes.
i is a circular coral reef, of a mile and a quarter in diameter, and has
a dry sandy key at its north-west end; it is two miles North-North-West
from the south-west end of h.
k is a small reef with a sandy key upon it, four miles to the east of
PELICAN ISLAND is on the north-west side of a reef of more than a mile
and a half long: it is very small, but remarkable for having two clumps
of trees, which at a distance give it the appearance of being two small
islets: it is low, and, like the other islands of its character, may be
seen at ten miles from the deck: its latitude is 13 degrees 54 minutes 45
seconds, and longitude 143 degrees 46 minutes. (See volume 1.)
l is a long narrow coral reef, extending in a North-North-East direction:
it is thirteen miles in extent, but generally not more than one-third of
a mile wide: its greatest width is not more than a mile and a half: its
south-west end is five miles and three-quarters north from Pelican
m is an extensive coral reef, extending for fifteen miles in North East
by North direction, parallel with l, from which it is separated by a
channel of from one to two miles wide. At its south-west end, where there
is an extensive dry sandy key, and some dry rocks, it is two miles wide:
but towards its northern end it tapers away to the breadth of a quarter
of a mile. The south trend of its south-west end lies seven miles North
44 degrees West from Pelican Island, and four miles from Island 2 of
n is another extensive reef, which may possibly be connected with m. At
its westernmost end, about four miles North by East 1/2 East from the
west end of m., is a dry sand of small extent.
It was considered probable that there was a safe passage between the
reefs l and m. We steered so far as to see the termination of the latter,
upon which the sea was breaking, which afforded a proof of its not being
connected with the former, which also the dark colour of the water
The Mermaid was nearly lost in attempting to cross the latter reef.
CLAREMONT ISLES consist of five small islets, numbered from 1 to 5; they
are of coral formation, and are covered with small brushwood; they are
from six to seven miles apart, excepting 4 and 5, which are separated by
a channel only a mile and a half wide: off the east and south-east end of
5, a coral reef extends for a mile and a half to the eastward, having two
dry rocks on its north-east end.
COLUMN 1: CLAREMONT ISLE.
COLUMN 2: LATITUDE IN DEGREES, MINUTES, SECONDS.
COLUMN 3: LONGITUDE IN DEGREES, MINUTES, SECONDS.
Number 1 : 13 56 20 : 143 40 30.
Number 2 : 13 51 30 : 143 37 30.
Number 3 : 13 46 45 : 143 33 20.
Number 4 : 13 40 00 : 143 36 20.
Reef o extends in an east and west direction for a mile and a half, and
at a mile farther there is another reef, that may be connected to it; o
has a dry sand near its western extremity, in latitude 13 degrees 34
minutes, and longitude 143 degrees 38 minutes 45 seconds.
Islet 6, in latitude 13 degrees 29 minutes, longitude 143 degrees 38
minutes 26 seconds, is a very small, low, woody islet, with a reef
extending for three-quarters of a mile off its north and south ends.
A reef lies two miles and one-third North 72 1/2 degrees West from islet
6, and South 59 degrees East from the summit of Cape Sidmouth; this reef
is not more than a quarter of a mile in extent, and has a rock in its
centre, that is uncovered at half tide; it is a brown looking shoal, and
therefore of dangerous approach.
Off ROUND HILL there is a sandbank covered by the sea; it lies about two
miles from the shore, and about East-North-East from Round Hill summit.
q is a small, brown, rocky shoal, that is not visible until close to it;
it bears South 60 degrees East, four miles from the extremity of Cape
CAPE SIDMOUTH is rather an elevated point, having higher land behind it;
and at about nine miles in the interior, to the West-North-West, there is
a rounded summit: at the extremity of the cape there are two remarkable
lumps on the land, in latitude 13 degrees 24 minutes 20 seconds, and
longitude 143 degrees 30 minutes. The cape is fronted by several rocky
shoals, and ought not to be approached within four miles.
r is a sandbank, on which we had two and a half fathoms; but from the
nature of the other neighbouring reefs, s and t, it is perhaps rocky
also, and may be connected with them. It lies four miles and a quarter
North 32 degrees East from Cape Sidmouth, and West 1/2 North from islet
6 1/2 and 7 are two bare sandy islets, situated at the north ends of
reefs extending in a North-North-West direction; the reef off the islet 6
1/2 is four miles and a half in length, and that off 7 is two miles and a
half long: 6 1/2 is in latitude 13 degrees 23 minutes 20 seconds,
longitude 143 degrees 39 minutes 30 seconds; 7, in latitude 13 degrees 21
minutes 20 seconds, and longitude 143 degrees 36 minutes 10 seconds.
8 and 9 are two low, woody islets of about a mile and a quarter in
diameter. Some shoal marks on the water were observed opposite these
islands, but their existence was not ascertained. Both the islets are
surrounded by coral reefs, of small extent.
NIGHT ISLAND, its north end in latitude 13 degrees 13 minutes 8 seconds,
and longitude 143 degrees 28 minutes 40 seconds, is a low woody island,
two miles long, but not more than half a mile wide; it is surrounded by a
coral reef, that does not extend more than a quarter of a mile from its
northern end. On the south side, and within it, the space seemed to be
much occupied by reefs, but they were not distinctly made out, on account
of the thickness of the weather. There was also the appearance of a
covered shoal, bearing North 55 degrees East from the north end of the
island, distant four miles.*
(*Footnote. Observed many shoals to the North-West of Night Island; one
bore East-North-East, two miles and a half from its north point; we saw
much shoal water to seaward. Roe manuscript.)
u and w are two reefs; the former, which was dry when we passed, lies six
miles North 18 degrees West from the north end of Night Island; there is
also a small rock detached from it, which is not visible until close to
v is a covered coral reef, of about a mile and a quarter in extent; its
centre is in 13 degrees 1 minute latitude.
SHERRARD'S ISLETS are low and bushy, and surrounded by a rocky shoal
extending for a mile to the South-East; the south-westernmost is in 12
degrees 58 minutes 10 seconds latitude, and 143 degrees 30 minutes 15
10 is a low wooded islet, in latitude 12 degrees 53 minutes 10 seconds,
on a reef of small extent; abreast of it is a rocky islet, lying about a
mile and a half south from CAPE DIRECTION; off its east end is a smaller
The coast between Cape Sidmouth and Cape Direction is rather high, and
the shore is formed by a sandy beach. Ten miles North-West from the
former cape is an opening in the hills; the high land then continues to
the northward to Cape Direction, which has a peak near its extremity,
close off which are two small rocks, but the depth at a mile and a half
off is thirteen fathoms. The peak is in latitude 12 degrees 51 minutes 55
seconds, and longitude 143 degrees 26 minutes 10 seconds.*
(*Footnote. Shoal water extends for about six miles round the north side
of Cape Direction. Roe manuscript.)
x; the position of this reef was not precisely ascertained; it appeared
to be about two miles to the North-North-West of the extremity of the
y and z are two covered reefs, of not more than a mile in extent; they
are separated from each other by a channel a mile wide; y is four miles
and a half North 51 degrees East from Cape Direction.
a and b are also covered reefs; the former is a mile and a quarter in
length; the latter extends for two miles in an east direction, and is a
mile broad: a bears nearly east, nine miles, from a peaked hill on the
shore, and is five miles to the south of Cape Weymouth.
LLOYD'S BAY was not examined; it appeared to have a considerable opening
at its south-west end, where the land was very low; the hilly country to
the south of Cape Direction also ceases, and there is a considerable
space of low land between them and the south end of Cape Weymouth range.
CAPE WEYMOUTH is an elevated point, sloping off from a high summit; its
extreme is in latitude 12 degrees 37 minutes 15 seconds, and longitude
143 degrees 20 minutes 35 seconds. RESTORATION ISLAND, off the cape, is
high, and of conical shape; about a mile East-South-East from it is a
small rocky islet. The coast then extends towards Bolt Head, and forms
several sinuosities, one of which is WEYMOUTH BAY of Captain Cook; the
shores of the bay were not well examined.*
(*Footnote. There is a dry sand four or five miles North-West from Cape
Weymouth. Roe manuscript.)
FAIR CAPE, so named by Lieutenant Bligh, is a projection of high land, in
latitude 12 degrees 25 minutes, longitude 143 degrees 11 minutes 15
seconds: it has a reef off it according to Lieutenant Jeffrey's account,
but its situation does not appear to have been correctly ascertained: we
did not see it.
BOLT HEAD is the north-west end of the high land at the south end of
TEMPLE BAY. It is here that the high land terminates; the coast to the
northward being very low and sandy; with the exception of CAPE GRENVILLE,
which is the rocky projection that forms the north extremity of Temple
Bay. A little to the south of the cape is INDIAN BAY of Lieutenant Bligh.
The latitude of Cape Grenville's east trend is 11 degrees 57 minutes 30
seconds, its longitude 143 degrees 8 minutes.
c is a coral reef, with a dry sandy key at its northern end, in latitude
12 degrees 35 minutes 20 seconds, longitude 143 degrees 25 minutes 15
seconds; it is about two miles long.
d, a small oval-shaped reef in the channel between c and e: it is
covered, and has perhaps twelve feet water over it.
e is an extensive coral reef, fourteen miles long, commencing in latitude
12 degrees 32 1/2 minutes, and extending to 12 degrees 24 minutes; and in
longitude 143 degrees 16 minutes: it is entirely covered, except a few
dry rocks at its north-west end: the south-eastern extremity of the reef
is perhaps three or four miles wide, but its eastern termination was not
f is a small reef, about three miles South-West from QUOIN ISLAND, which
is a small wedge-shaped rock: it is in the neighbourhood of this reef
that the merchant ship, Morning Star, was lost. Quoin Island is in
latitude 12 degrees 24 minutes, and longitude 143 degrees 23 minutes 50
g is a coral reef, ten miles long, and from one to two broad; having a
dry rock upon it (in latitude 12 degrees 18 minutes 20 seconds, and
longitude 143 degrees 14 minutes 35 seconds) about three miles from its
FORBES' ISLANDS are high and rocky, but appeared to be clothed with
vegetation; the group occupies a space of about two miles. The summit of
Forbes' Island is in latitude 12 degrees 16 minutes 35 seconds, and
longitude 143 degrees 18 minutes 50 seconds.
h, a coral reef, with some dry rocks near its north end, is about one
mile long, and separated from i by a narrow pass. The south end of h
bears from the summit of Forbes' Island West 1/4 South seven miles.
i and k, coral reefs, lying North-West, having a very narrow channel
between them; the former is covered, but the latter has a dry sandy key
at its north-west end, in latitude 12 degrees 12 minutes 20 seconds, and
longitude 143 degrees 10 minutes 5 seconds.
PIPER'S ISLETS are four low bushy islets upon two circular reefs, with a
passage separating them of a quarter of a mile wide; the reefs have each
two islets upon them, and a dry rocky key round their western edge: the
centre of the narrowest part of the channel between them is twelve and a
half fathoms deep, but abreast the south end of the south-easternmost
shoal there is ten and a half fathoms.
l, a circular coral reef, a mile and a half in diameter, with a dry rock
at its east end, in latitude 12 degrees 9 minutes 5 seconds, and
longitude 143 degrees 11 minutes.
YOUNG ISLAND, a small islet on a coral reef of about half a mile in
extent, in latitude 12 degrees 6 minutes 50 seconds, and longitude 143
degrees 7 minutes. (See volume 1.)
m, a coral reef, about two and a half miles long, having a dry rock at
its north end; it bears South 40 degrees West, three miles from the
summit of Haggerston's Island.
n, an extensive, irregular-shaped, coral reef, seven miles long, and from
one to four broad; it is separated from o by a narrow tortuous channel,
but not safe to pass through: both n and o are covered. There is a safe
passage between these reefs and Haggerston's Island, of a mile and a half
wide; but there is a small reef detached from the north-west end of n,
which should be avoided, although there is probably sufficient depth of
water over it for any ship: it was seen from the summit of the island,
from whence another coral patch was observed at about one mile to the
westward, of which we saw no signs.
p is a small reef, of about a mile and a quarter in extent; it was seen
from the summit of Haggerston's Island, as was also another reef, seven
miles South by East from it: the positions of these reefs are doubtful.
HAGGERSTON'S ISLAND is high and rocky; the summit is in latitude 12
degrees 1 minute 40 seconds, and longitude 143 degrees 12 minutes; it is
situated at the South-South-West extremity of a coral reef, of nearly two
miles in length; its northern side is furnished with some trees and a
sandy beach. At the north end of the reef are two dry patches of sand and
rocks. It is separated from the islands of Sir Everard Home's Group by a
channel nearly three miles wide, quite free from danger; but in passing
through it, the tide or current sets to the North-North-West, round the
reef off Haggerston's Island. (See volume 1.)
SIR EVERARD HOME'S GROUP consists of six islands: the two
south-westernmost are rocky, and one of them has two peaks upon it,
which, from the southward, have the appearance of being upon the
extremity of Cape Grenville: the south-easternmost has a hillock, or
clump of trees, at its south-east extremity, in latitude 11 degrees 57
minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 143 degrees 11 minutes. The outer part
of this group is bold to, and the islands may be approached, but the
space within them appeared to be rocky: there is a passage between the
group and Cape Grenville. The merchant ship Lady Elliot in passing
through it, found overfalls with eighteen fathoms.
Round Cape Grenville is MARGARET BAY, fronted by SUNDAY ISLAND, elevated
and rocky, but not so high as Haggerston's Island, with good anchorage
under its lee.
q is a covered reef of about a mile in extent, in latitude 11 degrees 55
minutes, five or six miles to the East-North-East of Sir Everard Home's
SIR CHARLES HARDY'S ISLANDS are high and rocky, and may be seen five or
six leagues off; the summit is in latitude 11 degrees 53 minutes 20
seconds, and longitude 143 degrees 23 minutes 40 seconds.
r is a covered reef; and s, a reef, with a dry sandy key upon it.
COCKBURN ISLES are rocky, and may be seen four leagues off.*
(*Footnote. There is a dry sand bearing South-West by West 1/2 West, two
miles and a half from the southernmost Cockburn Island, and there are
many shoals of great extent to the northward of the group. Roe
t and u are two reefs that were seen at a distance, and appeared to be
detached from each other.
BIRD ISLES (the Lagoon Islands of Lieutenant Bligh) consist of three low
bushy islets encompassed by a reef: the islands are at the outer verge of
the reef, and may be passed within a quarter of a mile; the north-east
island is in latitude 11 degrees 44 minutes 15 seconds, and longitude 142
degrees 58 minutes 45 seconds.
McARTHUR'S ISLES consist of four low bushy islets, of which two are very
small; they are encompassed by a reef of more than three miles long, and
are separated from the Bird Isles by a channel three miles and a half
HANNIBAL'S ISLES are three in number, low and covered with bushes, the
easternmost is near the extremity of the reef encircling the whole, and
is in latitude 11 degrees 34 minutes 15 seconds, and longitude 142
degrees 51 minutes 20 seconds.*
(*Footnote. There is a dry sand at one mile and three-quarters, and
another at two miles and a half North-North-West from North Hannibal
v and w; these shoals are separated by a safe channel of a mile and a
quarter wide; v is circular, and has a dry sand at its north-west edge,
and a rocky key at its south-west end; the channel between it and
Hannibal's Islands is two miles and a half wide: w is nearly four miles
long, and is entirely covered; the course between them is west, but, by
hauling close round the east end of v, a West by North 1/2 North course
will carry a vessel a quarter of a mile to leeward of the west end of w;
the north-west extreme of w is three miles and a quarter South 35 degrees
West from Islet 1.
The islets 1 and 2 are contained in a triangular-shaped reef, of about a
mile and three quarters in extent; they are covered with low trees. Islet
1 is in latitude 11 degrees 28 minutes 45 seconds. Number 3 is a sandy
islet crowned with bushes at the north-west end of a coral reef of about
a mile and a half in length. Between the two latter reefs there appeared
to be a channel of a mile wide in the direction of about North-West. 4,
5, and 6, are sandy islets covered with bushes, on small detached reefs,
with, apparently, a passage between each: 4 is in latitude 11 degrees 22
minutes 30 seconds. 7, a small bushy island,* is separated from
CAIRNCROSS ISLAND by a channel two miles wide. The latter is a small
woody island, situated at the north-west end of a coral reef, more than
two miles long and one broad; the north-west point of the reef runs off
with a sharp point for about a quarter of a mile from the islet. There is
good anchorage under it, but the depth is fifteen fathoms, and the sea is
rather heavy at times with the tide setting against the wind; the
latitude of its centre is 11 degrees 33 minutes 30 seconds, and its
longitude 142 degrees 50 minutes 35 seconds. (See volume 1 and above.)
(*Footnote. A rocky reef extends for two miles to the southward of islet
7. Roe manuscript.)
8, 9, and 10, are low, woody islets: 8 is five miles to the eastward of
Cairncross Island; 9 and 10 are to the northward of 8.
11 is also low and woody, but its position was not clearly ascertained.
ORFORDNESS is a sandy projection of the coast under Pudding-pan Hill (of
Bligh) the shape of which, being flat-topped, is very remarkable: the
hill is in latitude 11 degrees 18 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 142
degrees 43 minutes 35 seconds.
The country between Cape Grenville and Cape York is low and sandy, with
but few sinuosities in its coast line: it is exposed to the trade wind,
which often blows with great strength, from South-East and South-East by
ESCAPE RIVER, in 10 degrees 57 1/2 minutes, is an opening in the land of
one mile in breadth, trending in for two or three miles, when it turns to
the north, and is concealed from the view; the land on the north side of
the entrance is probably an island, for an opening was observed in
Newcastle Bay, trending to the south, which may communicate with the
river. The entrance is defended by a bar, on which the Mermaid was nearly
lost. (Volume 1.) The deepest channel may probably be near the south
head, which is rocky. The banks on the south side are wooded, and present
an inviting aspect.
NEWCASTLE BAY is nine miles in extent by six deep; its shores are low,
and apparently of a sandy character; at the bottom there is a
considerable opening bearing West 1/4 North eight miles and a half from
Off the south head of the bay is TURTLE ISLAND, a small rocky islet on
the east side of an extensive reef, in latitude 10 degrees 54 minutes,
and longitude 142 degrees 38 minutes 40 seconds; it is separated by a
channel three miles wide from reef x, which has a dry sand at its north
end, in latitude 10 degrees 53 minutes, and longitude 142 degrees 42
minutes, it has also some dry rocks and a mangrove bush on the inner part
of its south end.
Four miles to the north of x are two shoals y and Z, both of which are
covered; y is two miles and a half long, and three miles and a quarter;
neither of them appeared to be a mile in width; the north-west end of z,
when in a line with Mount Adolphus, bears North 19 degrees West.
Off the north head of Newcastle Bay, which forms the south-east trend of
the land of Cape York, is a group of high rocky islands, ALBANY ISLES;
and immediately off the point is a reef, which extends for about a mile;
half a mile without its edge, we had ten fathoms.
The islets 12, 13, and 15, were only seen at a distance.
THE BROTHERS, so called in Lieutenant Bligh's chart, are two high rocks
upon a reef.
ALBANY ISLES contain six islands, of which one only is of large size; the
easternmost has a small peak, and a reef extends for less than a quarter
of a mile from it; the peak is in latitude 10 degrees 43 minutes 45
seconds, and longitude 142 degrees 35 minutes 5 seconds.
YORK ISLES is a group about seven miles from the mainland; the principal
island, which is not more than two miles long, has a very conspicuous
flat-topped hill upon it, MOUNT ADOLPHUS,* in latitude 10 degrees 38
minutes 20 seconds, and longitude 142 degrees 36 minutes 25 seconds. Off
the south-east end of this island are two rocky islets, the southernmost
of which is more than a mile distant; the northern group of the York
Isles are laid down from Captain Flinders.
(*Footnote. There is a bay on the west side or Mount Adolphus, but it
appeared shoal. Roe manuscript.)
CAPE YORK, the northernmost land of New South Wales, has a conical hill
half a mile within its extremity, the situation of which is in 10 degrees
42 minutes 40 seconds South, and 142 degrees 28 minutes 50 seconds East
of Greenwich. There is also an island close to the point with a conical
hill upon it, which has perhaps been hitherto taken for the cape; from
which it is separated by a shoal strait half a mile wide; the latitude of
the summit is 10 degrees 41 minutes 35 seconds, and longitude 142 degrees
28 minutes 25 seconds. From this island a considerable shoal extends to
the westward for six miles towards a peaked hill on the extremity of a
point. In the centre of this shoal are some dry rocks.
At the distance of nearly five miles from the above island is the rocky
islet a, in latitude 10 degrees 36 minutes 50 seconds, and longitude 142
degrees 27 minutes 45 seconds; it is of small size, and surrounded by
deep water; and, being easily seen from the strait between Cape York and
the York Isles, serves to direct the course.
POSSESSION ISLES consist of nine or ten islets, of which 2 and 7 only are
of large size, and neither of these are two miles long; they are also
higher than the others. Number 1 is a small conical hill; 2 is hummocky;
3, 4, and 6, are very small; 5 makes with a hollow in its centre, like
the seat of a saddle. The passage between 2 and the small islets 3 and 4
is the best; there is six and seven fathoms water; but in passing this,
it must be recollected that the tide sets towards the islands on the
ENDEAVOUR STRAIT is on the south side of Prince of Wales' Islands: a
shoal extends from Cape Cornwall (latitude 10 degrees 45 minutes 45
seconds, longitude 142 degrees 8 minutes 35 seconds) to the westward, and
is probably connected with a strip of sand that stretches from Wallis'
Isles to Shoal Cape. We crossed it with the cape bearing about East, when
the least depth was four fathoms; but on many parts there are not more
than three fathoms. Variation 5 degrees 38 minutes West.
PRINCE OF WALES ISLANDS are much intersected by straits and openings,
that are very little known; there was an appearance of a good port, a
little to the South-West of HORNED HILL (latitude 10 degrees 36 minutes
35 seconds, longitude 142 degrees 15 minutes) which may probably
communicate with Wolf's Bay; the strait to the south of Wednesday Island
also offers a good port in the eastern entrance of some rocky islands and
without them is the rock b, with some sunken dangers near it.
WEDNESDAY ISLAND; its north end, in latitude 10 degrees 30 minutes 10
seconds, and longitude 142 degrees 15 minutes, may be approached close,
but a considerable shoal stretches off its western side, the greater part
of which is dry.
Off HAMMOND'S ISLAND is a high, conspicuous rock, bearing West 3/4 South,
and five miles and three-quarters from the north end of Wednesday Island.
Captain Flinders passed through the strait separating Wednesday Island
from Hammond's Islands, and had four, five, and six fathoms.
Abreast of the strait separating GOOD'S ISLAND from the latter is the
reef c, on which are several dry rocks, but abreast of it, and one mile
and one quarter from it, is the reef d,* which is generally covered; the
latter bears South 75 degrees West three miles and a quarter from the
rock off Hammond's Island, and about North 45 degrees West two and a
quarter miles from the opening between Good and Hammond's Island; the
marks for avoiding it are given in the sailing directions.
(*Footnote. d consists of three small detached patches, that extend
farther off than is at first observed. There is also a narrow strip of
rocks extending for a short distance off the north-east end of the reef
off Hammond's Island. Roe manuscript.)
Abreast of Wednesday, Hammond, and Good's Islands, is the NORTH-WEST
REEF, an extensive coral bank, many parts of which are dry; it is ten or
eleven miles long; the channel between it and the islands is from one
mile and three-quarters to two miles and a quarter wide.
BOOBY ISLAND (latitude of its centre 10 degrees 36 minutes, longitude 141
degrees 52 minutes 50 seconds) is a small rocky islet of scarcely a third
of a mile in diameter; its south-west end has a shoal projecting from it
for half a mile, but its other sides are bold to. In a North 70 degrees
East direction from it, at the distance of two miles and three-quarters,
is a sandbank with three fathoms; it was discovered by the ships Claudine
and Mary, on their passage through Torres Strait, when it was named
(*Footnote. It is near the west end of a shoal of five miles in length,
extending in an east and west direction, a few feet only below the
surface of the water. Roe manuscript.)
APPENDIX A. SECTION 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WINDS AND WEATHER, AND OF THE PORTS AND COAST BETWEEN
WESSEL'S ISLANDS AND CLARENCE STRAIT.
In the sea that separates the land of New Guinea and the islands of Timor
Laut and Arroo from the north coast of Australia, the winds are
periodical, and are called the east and west monsoons, for such is their
direction in the mid-sea. Near the Coast of New Holland the regularity of
these winds is partly suspended by the rarefied state of the atmosphere;
this produces land and sea-breezes, but the former are principally from
the quarter from which the winds are blowing in the mid sea. The usual
course of the winds near the coast in the months of April, May, and June,
is as follows: after a calm night, the land-wind springs up at daylight
from South or South-South-East; it then usually freshens, but, as the sun
gets higher, and the land becomes heated, gradually decreases. At noon
the sea-wind rushes in towards the land, and generally blows fresh from
East; at sunset it veers to the North-East, and falls calm, which lasts
the whole night, so that if a ship, making a course, does not keep at a
moderate distance from the land, she is subject to delay; she would not,
however, probably have so fresh a breeze in the day time. Later in the
season of the easterly monsoon, in August, September, and October, calms
are frequent, and the heat is sultry and oppressive; this weather
sometimes lasts for a fortnight or three weeks at a time. The easterly
monsoon commences about the 1st of April, with squally, rainy weather,
but, in a week or ten days, settles to fine weather and steady winds in
the offing, and regular land and sea breezes, as above described, near
the coast. It ceases about the latter end of November or early part of
December; the westerly monsoon may then be expected to blow strong, and
perhaps with regularity.
This is the rainy season, and is doubtless an unwholesome time; Captain
Flinders' crew experienced much sickness in his examination of the Gulf
of Carpentaria during this monsoon, but, when upon the western side of
the gulf, he thought that the fine weather then experienced might be
occasioned by the monsoon's blowing over the land. In January and
February the monsoon is at its strength, but declines towards the end of
the latter month, and in March becomes variable, with dark, cloudy, and
unsettled weather; the wind is then generally from the South-West, but
not at all regular.
The current sets with the wind, and seldom exceeds a knot or a knot and a
half per hour; between Capes Wessel and Van Diemen it is not stronger,
and its course in the easterly monsoon, when only we had any experience
of it, was West: the strength is probably increased or diminished by the
state of the wind.
The tides are of trifling consequence; the flood comes from the eastward,
but rarely rises more than ten feet, or runs so much as a mile and a half
per hour. High water takes place at full and change at Liverpool River,
and Goulburn Island at six o'clock, at the entrance of the Alligator
Rivers in Van Diemen's Gulf, at 8 hours 15 minutes, and at the south end
of Apsley Strait at 3 hours 25 minutes.* The flood-tide comes from the
eastward, excepting when its course is altered by local circumstances;
the rise is not more than eleven feet at the springs.
(*Footnote. In St. Asaph's Bay, Lieutenant Roe found high-water take
place at full and change at 5 hours 45 minutes; and in King's Cove at 5
hours 15 minutes; at the latter place it rose fourteen feet.)
The variation of the compass in this interval is scarcely affected by the
ship's local attraction. Off Cape Wessel it is between 3 and 4 degrees
East; at Liverpool River about 1 3/4 degrees East, at Goulburn Islands 2
degrees East, and off Cape Van Diemen, not more than 1 1/2 degrees East.
The dip of the south end of the needle at Goulburn Island was 27 degrees
32 1/2 minutes.
When the survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria was completed by Captain
Flinders, his vessel proved to be so unfit for continuing the examination
of the north coast, that it was found necessary to return to Port
Jackson; and as he left it at the strait that separates Point Dale from
Wessel's Islands, which is called in my chart BROWN'S STRAIT, he saw no
part of the coast to the westward of that point, nor did he even see Cape
Wessel, the extremity of the range of Wessel's Islands, which terminate
in latitude 10 degrees 59 1/4 minutes, and longitude 135 degrees 46
minutes 30 seconds. The group consists of four islands, besides some of
smaller size to the southward of the northernmost, and also a few on the
eastern side of Brown's Strait; one of which is Cunningham's Island, of
Captain Flinders. CUMBERLAND STRAIT is in latitude 11 degrees 25 minutes,
longitude 135 degrees 31 minutes.
POINT DALE, unless it is upon an island, appears to be the east extremity
of the north coast; its latitude is 11 degrees 36 minutes, longitude 135
degrees 9 minutes: there are several rocky islands of small size, lying
off, encompassed by a reef, which extends for eight miles
North-North-East 1/2 East from the point. In Brown's Strait the tide sets
at the rate of three and a half and four miles per hour; the flood runs
to the southward through the strait. To the westward of Point Dale the
coast extends for about sixty miles to the south-west to Castlereagh Bay;
in which space there are several openings in the beach, that are probably
small rivers: one, ten miles to the South-West, may be a strait
insulating Point Dale, and communicating with Arnhem Bay.
CASTLEREAGH BAY is forty miles wide, by about eighteen deep; it is
fronted by a group of straggling islands of low coral formation, crowned
with small trees and bushes: the centre of the northernmost islet is in
latitude 11 degrees 41 minutes 50 seconds, longitude 134 degrees 10
minutes 5 seconds. To the eastward of Cape Stewart, the western head of
the bay, the coast is very much indented, and probably contains several
openings or rivulets, particularly two at the bottom of the bay. The
beach is generally sandy, with rocky points, and the shore is wooded to
the beach; the interior was in no part visible over the coast hills,
which are very low and level.
From the extremity of CAPE STEWART, which is in latitude 11 degrees 56
minutes, and longitude 133 degrees 48 minutes, a reef extends to the West
by North 1/2 North for eight miles and a half; having, at a mile within
the extremity, a low sandy key, with a small dry rock half a mile to the
eastward. Every other part of the reef is covered.
To the westward of Cape Stewart is a sandy bay nearly eleven leagues in
extent, but not more than seven deep; near its western end there is a
small break in the beach, but it did not appear to be of any consequence.
The extreme point of this bight is the eastern head of LIVERPOOL RIVER,
whose entrance is to the westward of Haul-round Islet; which, as well as
Entrance Island, is connected to the above point by a shoal. Haul-round
Islet is in latitude 11 degrees 54 minutes, and longitude 134 degrees 14
minutes; Entrance Island is in latitude 11 degrees 57 minutes, and
longitude 134 degrees 14 minutes 50 seconds.
The entrance is from one and a quarter to two miles wide. The reef
extends for half a mile from Haul-round Islet, close without which the
water is deep, the least depth in the entrance is five and three-quarter
fathoms; and, in some parts there are thirteen and fourteen fathoms: at
seven miles within Haul-round Islet, the depth decreases to four fathoms,
and then gradually shoals to three; after which it varies in the channel
of the river to between nine and twelve feet at low water. A bar crosses
the river at the low mangrove island, over which there is not more than
three feet at low water; but, as the tide rises more than eight feet at
the springs, vessels drawing ten or eleven feet may proceed up the river.
The stream runs in a very tortuous course for upwards of forty miles, but
as our examination was unassisted by bearings or observations, it is laid
down from an eye sketch.
POINT BRAITHWAITE, in latitude 11 degrees 45 minutes 50 seconds, and
longitude 133 degrees 55 minutes 20 seconds, is twenty miles to the
westward of Haul-round Islet; to the southward of it is Junction Bay,
which was not examined.
For the next thirty miles the coast is very much indented, and has some
deep bays on either side of Point Barclay, as also one to the eastward of
Point Turner, at the bottom of which an opening, a mile in width, is
probably a river. Here also the feature of the coast is altered, being
low and level to the eastward as far as Point Dale, without a hill or
rising ground in the interior to relieve its monotonous appearance. At
this place, however, a range of rocky hills, WELLINGTON RANGE, commences,
of about twenty miles in extent: five miles behind it is the Tor
(latitude 11 degrees 54 minutes, and longitude 133 degrees 10 minutes 20
seconds) a solitary pyramidal rock; and seven miles and a quarter West by
South, from the latter is a peak-topped hill.
The two latter are apparently unconnected with the range, on which there
are four remarkable ridges, of which the two westernmost are the most
GOULBURN ISLANDS consist of two islands, each being about twenty miles in
circumference; they are separated from each other by a rocky strait three
miles wide, which in most parts is deep enough for a ship of any size to
pass through; the latitude of the centre of this strait is 11 degrees 32
minutes. Macquarie Strait separates the southernmost from the main, and
is nearly two miles across: the depth in mid-channel being eighteen
fathoms: the latitude of Retaliation Point, which is on the northern side
of the strait, is in 11 degrees 39 minutes.
SOUTH WEST BAY affords good anchorage in five and six fathoms at a mile
from the shore, and vessels may anchor at a quarter of a mile off the
beach in three fathoms muddy bottom.
At the north end of the bay are the Bottle Rocks separated from the point
by a channel two and a quarter fathoms deep. The Bottle Rock was one of
our fixed points, and is placed in latitude 11 degrees 37 minutes 24
seconds, and longitude 133 degrees 19 minutes 40 seconds. The bay affords
a convenient place for wooding and watering; the latter may be had during
the early months of the dry season (as late as August) from a drain at
the base of the Pipe Clay Cliffs at the north end of the bay. There are
also some holes on Sims Island that contain water for a much later
period. The holes have been made by the Malays for the purpose of
MULLET BAY is on the west side of the north island, affording good
anchorage in the easterly monsoon in six and seven fathoms mud, at a mile
from the shore. The flood-tide here sets to the eastward, and it is high
water at full and change in the strait at six o'clock; the rise of the
tide is not more than five or six feet. The north-east point of North
Goulburn Island is in latitude 11 degrees 26 minutes, longitude 133
degrees 26 minutes.
From Macquarie Strait the land trends to the westward, and north-westward
to De Courcy Head, and forms but few sinuosities. POINT BROGDEN, in
latitude 11 degrees 30 minutes, the only projection in this space, is
remarkable for being higher than usual, and for having a range of cliffs
to the southward of the point; with a solitary tree near its extremity,
hence the land is rocky towards De Courcy Head, which is a cliffy
projection in latitude 11 degrees 17 minutes 30 seconds; thence the shore
continues rocky to Cape Cockburn, a low rocky point, with a conspicuous
tree at its extremity. The point is wooded to within a short distance of
the sea, as is generally the case with the shores of this coast. CAPE
COCKBURN is in latitude 11 degrees 18 minutes, and longitude 132 degrees
53 minutes 5 seconds.
MOUNTNORRIS BAY extends between Cape Cockburn and Cape Croker, it is
twenty-eight miles wide, and twenty-three deep. It contains several
islands, and is also fronted by a group, of which New Year's Island, the
latitude of whose centre is 10 degrees 55 minutes, and longitude 133
degrees 0 minutes 36 seconds, is the outermost; the others are named
Oxley, Lawson, McCluer, Grant, Templer, and Cowlard. They are straggling,
and have wide and apparently deep channels between them. Between New
Year's and McCluer's Islands, the channel is nearly eight miles wide and
eighteen and nineteen fathoms deep. A reef extends off the north-west end
of the latter island for nearly three miles, and the ground is rocky and
shoal for some distance off the north-east end of Oxley's Island. Grant's
Island is higher than the others, which are merely small woody islets,
the centre is in 11 degrees 10 minutes.
At the north-east end of Mountnorris Bay is MALAY BAY which is four miles
wide and six deep; it affords good anchorage in four and five fathoms in
the centre: as it offered no other inducement, we did not land upon any
part of it. Between Valentia Island and Point Annesley, the channel is
more than a mile wide and four fathoms deep. VALENTIA ISLAND has a reef
off its north point, and another off its south-east point, each about a
mile in extent.
COPELAND ISLAND is small and wedge-shaped, its summit is in latitude 11
degrees 28 minutes, and longitude 132 degrees 43 minutes; four miles and
a quarter West-North-West from it is a covered sandbank having nine feet
water near its edge; it was not quite certain whether it was joined to
the land or not, from which it is distant two miles and a half.
On the western side of the bay there is a strait two miles wide
separating Croker's Island from the main; it is ten or eleven miles in
length, and is navigable since the Malay fleet were observed to pass
CROKER'S ISLAND is twenty-one miles and a quarter from north to south,
and from two to five broad, its northern extremity is in 10 degrees 58
minutes 30 seconds latitude, and 132 degrees 34 minutes 10 seconds
longitude; about three-quarters of a mile within it there is a remarkable
rocky knob: its south extreme is in 11 degrees 19 1/4 minutes.
PALM BAY, on its western side, is an excellent anchorage in the easterly
monsoon; it is four miles and a half wide, and nearly three deep. The
shore is rocky for a mile off, and the south point has a rocky shoal
projecting to the West-North-West for a mile and a quarter.
DARCH'S ISLAND is separated from Croker's Island by a navigable strait
two miles wide; near the reef at the north-east end we had six fathoms,
but in mid-channel the depth was as much as eleven fathoms. A
considerable reef projects off the east end for more than a mile. The
island is about two miles and three-quarters long, and is thickly wooded;
its north point is in latitude 11 degrees 7 minutes 30 seconds.
RAFFLES BAY forms a good port during any season; it is seven miles deep,
and from two to three broad: beyond High Point the depth is not more than
three fathoms and a half. The anchorage is however quite safe.
The bay to the eastward of Point Smith, which has a reef extending from
it for nearly a mile, has a shoal opening at its bottom of very little
importance. At the north-east end of the bay, separated from the point by
a channel a mile wide, and more than five fathoms deep, is a small sandy
island, with a reef extending for a mile off its north end.
PORT ESSINGTON, the outer heads of which, Vashon Head and Point Smith,
are seven miles apart, is an extensive port, thirteen miles and a quarter
deep, and from five to three wide; independent of its Inner Harbour,
which, with a navigable entrance of a mile wide, is five miles deep and
four wide. The port is not only capacious, but has very few shoals or
dangers in it.
On the western side, off Island Point, there are some rocks, and also a
reef projects for a mile off the bluff point that forms the east head of
Knocker's Bay. The western side of the entrance to Inner Harbour, is also
rocky and shoal for two-thirds across, but near the opposite point* the
depth is thirteen fathoms.
(*Footnote. This is Point Record of Captain Bremer, see above.)
On the eastern side of the port there is no danger beyond a quarter of a
mile from the shore, excepting a reef of rocks, some of which are dry;
this danger, when in a line with a remarkable cliff two miles and a
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