Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia Complete
Charles Sturt

Part 4 out of 8


"&c. &c. &c."

Chapter VI.


Obstacles that attend travelling into the interior of Australia--
Difficulty of carrying supplies--Importance of steady intelligent
subordinates--Danger from the natives--Number of men requisite,--and of
cattle and carriages--Provisions--Other arrangements--Treatment of the
natives--Dimensions of the boat used in the second expedition.

Having now had considerable experience in the fitting out and management
of expeditions in New South Wales, I cannot refrain from making some few
observations on the subject. And without presuming to lay dawn any fixed
rules, I shall only refer to those by which I have best succeeded, in
hopes that some of my remarks may prove of use to future travellers who
may venture to penetrate into the trackless deserts over so small a
portion of which I wandered.


The great difficulty of examining the interior of Australia, is that of
carrying supplies; for increasing the number of individuals composing an
expedition is of no avail, since an additional number of men must
necessarily increase the consumption of food. In order to meet this
difficulty it has been proposed to establish depots upon which an
expedition could fall back to recruit its supplies, and in ordinary cases
this plan might answer; but I am decidedly of opinion that no party could
long remain stationary in the distant interior without some fatal
collision with the natives, which would be attended with the most
deplorable consequences; and I do think, considering all things, that the
experiment is too dangerous to be tried; for when I reached Mount Harris,
on my first retreat from the Darling, I found the party who were awaiting
me, with a supply of provisions, under very great alarm, in consequence of
the hostile proceedings of the Mount Harris tribe. The men had been
obliged to put the camp into a state of defence. The blacks had attempted
to surprise them, and would, had I not returned, have combined in some
general attack. It appears to me that the most judicious plan would be to
send a supply of provisions, with an expedition, to a distant point, under
the charge of a minor party. These provisions could replace those already
expended, and the animals that carried them could be taken back.


The number of individuals of which the expedition down the banks of the
Macquarie was composed, was fourteen: that is to say, myself, Mr. Hume,
two soldiers, one free man, and seven prisoners of the crown. The latter
behaved, on all occasions, as steadily as it was possible for men to do.
Yet the circumstance of the two soldiers being with me increased my
confidence in the whole, for I was aware that their example would
influence the rest. However well disposed the prisoners of the crown may
be, (as in this instance they certainly were,) the beneficial example of
steady discipline cannot be denied. I should not have considered myself
justified in leaving the camp as I did for a week, and in detaching Mr.
Hume at the same time when at the bottom of the marshes, or in making the
last effort to maintain our position on the banks of the Darling, if I had
not reposed every confidence in the man to whom I entrusted the safety
of the camp during my absence.

Experience, therefore, of the value of the two soldiers, whom General
Darling was good enough to permit me to take on the strength of the party,
fully bears me out in recommending that one man, at least, of general
responsibility shall be attached to all future expeditions. The success of
an expedition depends so much on the conduct of the persons of whom it is
composed, that too much attention cannot be given to the selection even of
the most subordinate. Men of active intelligent minds, of persevering
habits, and of even temper, should be preferred to mechanics who do not
possess these most requisite qualities. On the other hand, it is
impossible to do without a good carpenter, however defective he may be in
other respects. I was indebted to Mr. Maxwell, the superintendent of
Wellington Valley, for some excellent men, both on my first and on my
second journey, because he understood the nature of the service for which
they were required, and the characters of those whom he recommended.
But however well selected the party, or the men rather, might be, I still
consider a man of general responsibility necessary for its complete
organisation. I would have him somewhat superior to the rest in his
station in life. Him I would hold answerable for the immediate discipline
of the camp, whilst I was present, and for its safety when absent. The
assistant to the leader I would put entirely out of the question. He
has other and most important duties to perform. I would rate this man
wholly independent of him.


In reference to what I have already said with regard to the natives, it
was supposed that they were so little to be apprehended, that when I went
on the first occasion into the interior, I applied for a limited number of
men only, under an impression that with a few men I could carry provisions
equal to a consumption of a greater number, and by this means be enabled
to keep the field for a greater length of time. But I do not think it
would be safe to penetrate into the distant country with fewer than
fifteen men, for although, happily, no rupture has as yet taken place with
the natives, yet, there is no security against their treachery, and it is
very certain that a slight cause might involve an expedition in
inextricable difficulty, and oblige the leader to throw himself on the
defensive, when far away from other resources than those with which he
should have provided himself, and that, perhaps, when navigating a close
and intricate river, with all the dangers and perplexities attendant on
such a situation. It is absolutely necessary to establish nightly guards,
not only for the security of the camp, but of the cattle, and at the same
time to have a force strong enough to maintain an obstinate resistance
against any number of savages, where no mercy is to be expected. It will
be borne in mind, that there is a wide difference between penetrating into
a country in the midst of its population, and landing from ships for the
purpose of communication or traffic. Yet, how few voyages of discovery
have terminated without bloodshed! Boats while landing are covered by
their ships, and have succour within view; but not so parties that go into
unknown tracts. They must depend on their immediate resources and
individual courage alone.


With regard to the animals, I should recommend an equal number of horses
as of bullocks; since it has been found that the latter, though slow,
travel better over swampy ground than horses, which, on the other hand,
are preferable for expeditious journeys, to which bullocks would never be
equal. One of the colonial pack-saddles weighs fifty pounds complete, and
is preferable to those sent out from England. This, with a load of
250 lbs. is sufficient for any animal, since it enables the men to place a
part of their provisions with the general loads. The difficulty of keeping
the backs of the animals free from injury, more especially where any
blemish has before existed, is exceedingly great. They should undergo an
examination twice a-day, that is, in the morning prior to moving off,
and in the afternoon before they are turned out to feed; and measures
should then be taken to ease them as circumstances require. I never
suffered the saddles to be removed from the backs of the animals under my
charge for twenty minutes after the termination of the journey for the
day, in order to guard against the effects of the sun; and where the least
swelling appeared the saddle was altered and the place dressed. Yet,
notwithstanding all this care and attention, several both of the horses
and bullocks were at one time in a sad condition, during the first
journey,--so much so as almost to paralyse our efforts. It would be
advisable that such animals as are entirely free from blemish should be
chosen for the service of expeditions, for, with proper management they
might he kept in order. The anxiety of mind attendant on a bad state of
the animals is really quite embarrassing, for it not only causes a delay
in the movements, but a derangement in the loads. Other animals are
overburdened, and there is no knowing where the evil will stop.

In addition to the pack-animals, I would recommend the employment of a
dray or cart under any practicable circumstances. It serves to carry
necessary comforts, gives an expedition greater facility for securing its
collections, and is of inconceivable advantage in many other respects.


Constant and most earnest attention should be paid to the issue of
provisions, on the discreet management of which so much depends, and the
charge of them should be committed to the second in command. The most
important articles are flour, tea, sugar, and tobacco. All should be
husbanded with extreme care, and weighed from time to time. The flour is
best carried in canvass bags, containing 100 pounds each, and should at
the termination of each day's journey, be regularly piled up and covered
with a tarpaulin. Tea, sugar and tobacco lose considerably in weight, so
that it is necessary to estimate for somewhat more than the bare supply.
With regard to the salt meat, the best mode of conveying it appears to be
in small barrels of equal weight with the bags of flour. Salt pork is
better than beef. It should be deprived of all bones and be of the very
best quality. I have heard spirits recommended, but I do not approve their
use. Tea is much more relished by the men; indeed they could not do well
without it. A small quantity of spirits would, however, of course be
necessary in the event of its being required.


Mr. Cornelius O'Brien, an enterprising and long-established settler, who
has pushed his flocks and herds to the banks of the Morumbidgee, was good
enough to present me with eight wethers as I passed his station. It may be
some gratification to Mr. O'Brien to know, that they contributed very
materially to our comforts, and he will, perhaps, accept my
acknowledgements in this place, not only for so liberal a present to
myself, but for his attention and kindness to my men as long as they
remained in his neighbourhood. It was found that the sheep gave but little
additional trouble, requiring only to be penned at night, as much to
secure them from the native dogs as to prevent them from straying away.
They followed the other animals very quietly, and soon became accustomed
to daily movements. They proved a most available stock; no waste attended
their slaughter, and they admitted of a necessary and wholesome change of
fresh food from the general salt diet, on which the men would otherwise
have had to subsist.

The provisions should, if possible, be issued weekly, and their diminution
should be so regulated as to give an equal relief to the animals.

For general information i have annexed a list of the supplies I took with
me on my first expedition. It may appear long, but the articles were
packed in a small compass, and their value immaterial.

As a precautionary measure I should advise, that one of the pack animals
be kept apart for the purpose of carrying water. Two casks of equal weight
are the best for such a purpose. In long and hot marches, the men
experience great relief from having water at hand.


In reference to the natives, I hope sufficient has been said of the manner
of communicating with them to prevent the necessity of a repetition here.
The great point is not to alarm their natural timidity: to exercise
patience in your intercourse with them; to treat them kindly; and to watch
them with suspicion, especially at night. Never permit the men to steal
away from the camp, but keep them as compact as possible; and at every
station so arrange your drays and provisions that they may serve as a
defence in case of your being attacked.

The natives appeared to me to be indifferent to our presents, in most
cases. Tomahawks, knives, pieces of iron, and different coloured ribbons
for the forehead, were most esteemed by them. They will barter and
exchange their fish for articles, and readily acquire confidence.

I believe I have now touched on all the more important points: on minor
ones no observation I can make will be of use; men must, in many things,
be guided by circumstances.

* * * * *


I may here notice that, in my second expedition, as it was anticipated
that I should require adequate provision for water conveyance, at one
stage or other of my journey down the Morumbidgee, I was furnished with a
whale-boat, the dimensions of which are given below. She was built by
Mr. Egan, the master builder of the dock-yard and a native of the colony,
and did great credit to his judgment. She carried two tons and a half of
provisions, independently of a locker, which I appropriated for the
security of the arms, occupying the space between the after-seat and the
stern. She was in the first instance put together loosely, her planks
and timbers marked, and her ring bolts, &c. fitted. She was then taken to
pieces, carefully packed up, and thus conveyed in plank into the interior,
to a distance of four hundred and forty miles, without injury. She was
admirably adapted for the service, and rose as well as could have been
expected over the seas in the lake. It was evident, however, that she
would have been much safer if she had had another plank, for she was
undoubtedly too low. The following were her dimensions:--

Breadth across 7th timber aft, 5 ft. 1/2 an inch outside.
Across 12th timber, 5 ft. 11 1/4 in.
Across 17th timber forward, 5 ft.
25 ft. 8 in. in length inside.
Curve of the keel No. 1, from the after side of each apron, 3 ft. 3 3/4in.
No. 2, from head to head of the dead wood, 13 1/2 in.
No. 3, from one end of keel to the other inner side, 3 in.
No. 4, round of keel from the toe of each dead wood, 7/8 1/16th.
The timbers were marked, beginning from the stern to the bow on the
starboard side, and from bow to stern on the larboard.



By His Excellency Lieutenant General Ralph Darling, Commanding
His Majesty's Forces, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the
Territory of New South Wales, and its dependencies, and
Vice Admiral of the same, &c. &c. &c.


Whereas it has been judged expedient to fit out an expedition for the
purpose of exploring the interior of New Holland, and the present dry
season affords a reasonable prospect of an opportunity of ascertaining the
nature and extent of the large marsh or marshes which stopped the progress
of the late John Oxley Esq, Surveyor General, in following the courses of
the rivers Lachlan and Macquarie in the years 1817 and 1818. And whereas I
repose full confidence in your abilities and zeal for conducting such an
expedition, I do hereby constitute and appoint you to command and take
charge of the expedition now preparing for the purpose of exploring the
interior of the country, and for ascertaining, if practicable, the nature
and extent of the marsh or marshes above mentioned.

In the prosecution of this service, you will be guided generally by the
following instructions.

1. You will be accompanied on this expedition by Mr. Hamilton Hume, whose
great experience in travelling through the remote parts of the Colony,
cannot fail to be highly useful to you. You will also be attended by two
soldiers and six convicts, of whom one is to understand the shoeing of
horses, one to be a carpenter, one a harness-maker and three stock-men,
and you will be provided with six horses and twelve bullocks.

2. A small boat has been built here for the use of the expedition, and for
its conveyance, there is provided a light four-wheeled carriage to be
drawn by two bullocks.

The deputy Commissary General has received orders for supplying the
expedition with provisions of the best quality sufficient for six months'
consumption, together with tents, blankets, clothing, pack-saddles,
utensils, instruments, tools, and necessaries of all kinds of which you
are likely to stand in need. Orders are also given for providing you with
arms and ammunition, with rockets for signals, and an ample supply of
simple medicines--You are to consider it an important duty to attend to
the providing of all these supplies, and to take care that not only every
article is of the best quality that can be procured, but also that no
article be wanting with which you may desire to be provided.

3. Orders are given for forwarding without delay all your provisions,
stores and supplies of every kind to Wellington Valley, at which place,
you, Mr. Hume, and all your men are to rendezvous as soon as possible.
Mr Maxwell, the superintendent, will furnish you with well-trained
bullocks, and afford you all the assistance you may require in arranging
every thing for your departure from that station.

4. After you shall have completed all your arrangements, you are to lose
no time in finally departing from Wellington Valley in prosecution of the
immediate objects of the expedition.

5. You are first to proceed to Mount Harris, where you are to form a
temporary depot, by means of which you will have an opportunity of more
readily communicating with Mr. Maxwell.

6. You are then to endeavour to determine the fate of the Macquarie River,
by tracing it as far as possible beyond the point to which Mr. Oxley went,
and by pushing westward, you are to ascertain if there be any high lands
in that direction, or if the country be, as it is supposed, an unbroken
level and under water. If you should fail in these objects, you will
traverse the plains lying behind our north-west boundaries, with a view to
skirt any waters by which you may have been checked to the westward; and
if you should succeed in skirting them, you are to explore the country
westward and southward as far as possible, endeavouring to discover the
Macquarie beyond the marsh of Mr. Oxley, and following it to its mouth if
at all practicable.

7. There is some reason to believe that the over-flowing of the Macquarie
when visited by Mr. Oxley, was occasioned by heavy rains falling in the
mountains to the eastward, and that as you are to visit the same spot at a
different season of the year, you may escape such embarrassment; but
although you should get beyond the point at which Mr. Oxley stopped, it
would not be prudent to risk your own health or that of your men, by
continuing long in a swampy country. Therefore it may be advisable for you
in the first instance to leave the greater part of your men, bullocks, and
baggage, at Mount Harris, and if you should see a probability of your
being able to cross into the interior, you will then return to Mount
Harris for such additional supplies as you may judge necessary. You can
there communicate with Mr. Maxwell respecting any ulterior arrangements
which you may be desirous of making.

8. The success of the expedition is so desirable an object, that I cannot
too strongly impress upon you the importance of perseverance in
endeavouring to skirt any waters or marshes which may check your course as
long as you have provisions sufficient for your return; but you must be
cautious not to proceed a single day's journey further than where you find
that your provisions will be barely sufficient to enable you to reach the
nearest place at which you can depend upon getting supplies.

9. If after every endeavour you should find it totally impracticable to get
to the westward, you are still to proceed northward, keeping as westerly a
direction as possible; and when the state of your provisions will oblige
you to retreat, you will be guided by your latitude, as to the place to
which you are to make the best of your way, but you are not to make for
any place on the coast, if Wellington valley should still be nearer.

10. You must be aware that the success of the expedition will greatly
depend upon the time for which your provisions will hold out, and
therefore you will see the great importance of observing every possible
economy in the expenditure of provisions, and preventing waste of every

11. You are to keep a detailed account of your proceedings in a journal,
in which all observations and occurrences of every kind, with all their
circumstances, however minute, are to be carefully noted down. You are to
be particular in describing the general face of all the country through
which you pass, the direction and shape of the mountains, whether detached
or in ranges, together with the bearings and estimated distances of the
several mountains, hills, or eminences from each other. You are likewise
to note the nature of the climate, as to heat, cold, moisture, winds,
rains, &c, and to keep a register of the temperature from Fahrenheit's
thermometer, as observed at two or three periods of each day. The rivers,
with their several branches, their direction, velocity, breadth, and
depth, are carefully to be noted. It is further expected that you will,
as far as may he in your power, attend to the animal, vegetable, and
mineral productions of the country, noting down every thing that may occur
to you, and preserving specimens as far as your means will admit,
especially some of all the ripe seeds which you may discover; when the
preservation of specimens is impossible, drawings or detailed accounts of
them, are very desirable.

12. You will note the description of the several people whom you may meet,
the extent of the population, their means of subsistence, their genius and
disposition, the nature of their amusements, their diseases and remedies,
their objects of worship, religious ceremonies, and a vocabulary of their

Lastly. On your return from your journey, you are to cause all the
journals or other written documents belonging to, and curiosities
collected by the several individuals composing the expedition, to be
carefully sealed up with your own seal and kept in that state until you
shall have made your report to me in writing of the result of the

Given at Sydney, this eighteenth day of November, 1828.
By Command of His Excellency the Governor,



List of Articles delivered from His Majesty's Stores,
in charge of D. A. C. Goodsir, to Captain Sturt, viz.--

1 Hack saddle. 9 Harness casks.
1 Bridle. 23 Canvas bags.
2 Tents. 4 Tin cases.
14 Pack saddles. 16 Padlocks.
14 Pair hobbles. 6 Tarpaulens.
24 Sets horse shoes. 10 Haversacks.
2000 Horse nails. 113 Fathom one-inch rope.
113 Fathoms 1 1/2 inch rope. 1 Boat compass.
1 Hammer, (Blacksmith's) 1 Telescope.
1 Paring knife. 1 Spare glass for ditto.
2 Chipping do. 1 Tin case (for charts.)
2 Rasps. 100 Fish-hooks, (large.)
1 Pair pincers. 12 Fishing-lines.
1 Cutter. 10 Knives.
2lb. Pack thread. 10 Forks.
24 Needles. 10 Spoons.
1/4lb. Bristles. 2 Frying-pans.
7lbs. Leather. 2 Tinder-boxes.
1/2lb. Thread. 1 Tea-kettle, (tin.)
1 Pair of steelyards. 10 Tin dishes.
10 Tin pots. 8 Jackets.
1 Flour seive. 8 Duck frocks.
2 Felling-axes. 8 Shirts.
4 Tomahawks. 16 Trousers.
2 Hammers. 24 Pair shoes.
1 Hand-saw. 16 Blankets.
3 Bill-hooks. 16 Pair stockings.
3 Awls. 2 Bullock collars.
3 Broad hoes. 2 Do. back-bands and pipes.
4 Razors. 2 Leading cruppers.
4 Brushes. 1 Boat with sail and oars.
4 Combs. 1 Do. carriage.
3 Iron pots, (camp kettles.) 1 Canvass boat-cover.
1 Pair scissors. 3 Water breaker.


P.S.--l Tarpaulin.
Large Fish-hook.
1 Tin tea-kettle.
1 Camp kettle.
Pitch and oil.
Hemp or twine.


from two Breeding Flocks, consisting of 670 Ewes in Lamb.

(A.)--1st JUNE, 1828.
Flocks. Breeding Ewes. Lambs. Total. Remarks.

2 yrs. old. 3 yrs. old. Male.-Female.
No. 1 330 148 149 627 Deaths 6. Incr.297
No. 2 330 154 154 638 4 308
---- -- ---
* 1265 10 605

* The increase throughout these returns is calculated at from 270 to 290
Lambs, to 300 Ewes, which is the usual average in N.S.W.


Purchased two Flocks of Ewes, at 84s.............................670 Ewes.
Increase of Lambs.......................................... 605
Casual Deaths............................................... 10
Total as per Return............................................ 1265

(B.)--1st JUNE, 1829.
Flocks.|Breeding|Maiden|Wethers.|Rams.| Lambs. |Total.| Remarks.
| Ewes. | Ewes.| |Male. Female.|
No. Lambs.
1 3-yr. 327 154 154 635 Deaths 3 Incr.308
2 4-yr. 326 155 155 636 4 310
3 1-yr. 302 302 1 ---
4 1-yr. 302 18 320 -- 618
---- 8


Return (A) Total...............................................1265
Increase by Lambing....................................618
Ditto Rams purchased....................................18
Casual Deaths......................................... 8 628
Total as per return............................................1893

(C.)--1st JUNE, 1830.
Flocks.|Breeding|Maiden|Wethers.|Rams.| Lambs. |Total.| Remarks.
| Ewes. | Ewes.| |Male. Female.|
No. Lambs.
1 2-yr. 296 133 154 562 Deaths 6 Incr.266
2 4-yr. 325 150 155 625 2 300
3 5-yr. 326 160 646 320
4 2-yr. 302 27 329 ---
5 1-yr. 309 309 886
6 1-yr. 309 309 ---
---- 3 Rams died
2780 12 ditto purchased


Return (B) Total............................................ 1893
Increase by Lambing....................................886
Ditto Rams purchased....................................12
Deaths............................................... 11 887
Total as per return......................................... 2780

(D.)--1st JUNE, 1831.
Flocks.|Breeding|Maiden|Wethers.|Rams.| Lambs. |Total.| Remarks.
| Ewes. | Ewes.| |Male. Female.|
No. Lambs.
1 2-yr. 304 136 136 576 Deaths 5 Incr.272
2 3-yr. 293 135 136 564 3 271
3 5-yr. 324 156 156 636 1 312
4 6-yr. 320 156 156 632 2 312
Killed 4 ---
5 3-yr. 300 300 Deaths 2 1167
6 2-yr. 308 308 1
7 1-yr 443 443
8 1-yr 442 442 1
9 40 40 5
---- --
3941 20
Purchased 12


Return (C) Total............................................ 2780
Increase by Lambing...................................1167
Ditto Rams purchased....................................18
Casual deaths 20 ...Killed for use 4 ................. 24 1161
Total as per return.......................................... 3941

(E.)--1st JUNE, 1832.
Flocks.|Breeding|Maiden|Wethers.|Rams.| Lambs. |Total.| Remarks.
| Ewes. | Ewes.| |Male. Female.|
No. Lambs.
1 2-yr. 344 154 154 652 Deaths 6 Incr.308
2 3-yr. 344 162 161 667 4 323
4 3-yr. 342 164 165 671 3 329
5 6-yr. 320 155 155 630 2 310
6 7-yr. 300 145 145 590 2 290
7 4-yr. 300 300 ----
8 3-yr 302 302 2
9 2-yr 440 440 1
10 1-yr 583 583
11 1-yr 584 584
12 45 45 5 Purch. 10
---- ---- ---- --- --- --- ----
1650 584 1625 45 780 780 5464


Return (D) Total............................................ 3941
Increase by Lambing...................................1560
Ditto Rams purchased....................................10
Decrease by casual death .............................. 25
Decrease by slaughter for use ......................... 22
Grand Total .............................. 5464 as above

MEMORANDUM,--The deaths have been calculated at the lowest rate under the
best management. It may be safer to assume a rate of four or five per
cent. per annum.

Account of Expenditure and Income upon Sheep Stock in Australia,
appended to Returns A. B. C. D. and E.
1st YEAR, (RETURN A.) JUNE, 1829.

By 11265 fleeces, average weight 2 1/4 lbs. 284 lbs
wool at 1s. 6d. per lb. 213 9 0
To 2 Shepherds at 30 pounds 60 0 0
To 1 Watchman at 20 20 0 O PROFIT.
To Hurdles, &c. 10 0 0
-------- 90 0 0
-------- 123 9 0

2nd YEAR, (B.) JUNE, 1830.

By 1893 fleeces, at 2 1/4 lbs. 4259lbs. wool at
1s. 6d. 319 8 6
To 2 Shepherds at 30 pounds 60 0 0
To 2 Ditto 20 40 0 0
To 1 Watchman 20 0 0
To Hurdles &c. 5 0 0
125 0 0
To 18 Rams at 10 pounds* 180 0 0
305 0 0
14 8 6
*The price of rams will probably fall to 5 pounds

3rd YEAR, (C.) JUNE, 1831.

By 2780 fleeces, at 2 1/4 lbs. 6255lbs. wool at
1s. 6d. 469 2 6
To 2 Shepherds at 30 pounds 60 0 0
To 2 Ditto 25 25 0 0
To 3 Ditto 20 60 0 0
To 2 Watchman 20 40 0 0
To Hurdles &c. 10 0 0
195 0 0
To 12 Rams at 10 pounds 120 0 0
315 0 0
154 2 6

4th YEAR, (D.) JUNE, 1832.

By 3941 fleeces, at 2 1/4 lbs. 8867lbs. wool at
1s. 6d. 665 0 0
To 2 Shepherds at 30 pounds 60 0 0
To 2 Ditto 25 50 0 0
To 4 Ditto 20 80 0 0
To 3 Watchman &c. 60 0 0
(one to take charge of rams)
To Hurdles &c. 10 0 0
260 0 0
To 18 Rams at 10 pounds 180 0 0
440 0 0
225 0 0

5th YEAR, (E.) JUNE, 1833.*

By 5864 fleeces, at 2 lbs. 12,294lbs. wool at
1s. 6d. 922 0 0
To 2 Shepherds at 30 pounds 60 0 0
To 3 Ditto 25 75 0 0
To 5 Ditto 20 100 0 0
To 3 Watchman 20 60 0 0
To Hurdles &c. 20 0 0
315 0 0
To 10 Rams at 10 pounds 100 0 0
415 0 0
507 0 0
Net profit by sales of wool in 5 years 1024 0 0

1024 0 0 divided by 5 gives 204 8 0 for annual interest on the
original capital of 2814 0 0, (about 7 1/4 percent per annum)
in addition to the accumulation of capital itself, shown by the
valuation of stock.

*These accounts are a year in advance of the sheep returns, in order to
bring them to the time at which the wool would be sold.


1614 Ewes from 1 to 4 years old at 3 pounds each 4842 0 O
620 Do. 4 to 7 years old 2 1240 0 0
780 Female Lambs 2 1560 0 0
2405 Wethers and Male Lambs 15s. 1803 0 0
45 Rams (original cost, 450l.) 400 0 0
9845 0 0

Note.--About 500 pounds would be added to the Income on the fifth year,
by the sale of wethers of 3 and 4 years old.

The cost of rams ought, strictly speaking, to be added to capital, and not
deducted from Income; but these returns were made out in their present
form at the request of a gentleman proceeding to the Colony with a limited
capital, and who wished to know how much he might safely invest in sheep.



It may be necessary to observe that the height of the Cataract of the
Macquarie River above the sea, was ascertained by barometrical
admeasurement to be 650 feet. The country subsequently traversed is
considerably lower. The specimens refer only to the geological formation
of the distant interior.

Schorl Rock.--Colour blueish grey, fine grained, extremely hard. Composed
of Tourmaline and Quartz. Forms the bed of the Macquarie at the Cataract,
75 miles to the N.W. of Wellington Valley.

Decomposed Mica Slate.--Colour white; yields to the knife; adheres
strongly to the tongue.

Decomposed Feldspar.--Colour pale rose-pink; very fine grained; easily
scratched with the knife; adheres strongly to the tongue.

Both specimens immediately succeed the Schorl rock at the Cataract, in
large smooth-sided masses.

This formation may be said to terminate the rocks connected with the
dividing ranges, since it is the last that occurs at their western base.

A little below the Cataract, the county undergoes a remarkable change,
and becomes extremely depressed.

Porphyry with Feldspar.--Colour dull red, with white spots, or grey with
red spots; very hard, compact, sonorous, magnetic. [See pp. 27 and 115.]
Composition of Mount Harris, a hill called by Mr. Oxley, elevated about
170 feet above the level of the plains. It lies 65 miles to the N.N.W. of
the Cataract, and is about 16 miles distant from the first of the marshes
of the Macquarie.

Porphyry with Feldspar.--Colour grey with red spots, similar to the last.
Was not observed to affect the needle. Formation of Mount Foster.
Mount Foster is more than 200 feet in height, and lies about 5 miles to
the N.N.W. of Mount Harris. From the summit of both, Arbuthnot's range is
visible, bearing nearly due east, distant 70 miles. [See page 28.]

Quartz Rock varieties--Slaty Quartz varieties.--Composition of the first
elevations to the Westward of the marshes of the Macquarie, called
New Year's Range, a group of five hills. The loftiest about 200 feet in
elevation; distant about 80 miles to the N.W. of Mount Harris.

Granite.--Colour red, coarse-grained. Composed of Quartz, Feldspar,
and Mica.

Granite, Porphyritic.--Colour light red. Both occurring in the bed of
New Year's Creek, traversing it obliquely, and are visible for a few
hundred yards only. This granite occurs about 16 miles from the Range in
a N. by E. direction.

Old Red Sandstone.--Composition of Oxley's Table Land, 500 feet above the
level of the plains. It is broken into two hills, that appear to have been
separated by some convulsion. [See page 81.] It bears N.W. by W. from
New Year's Range, distant 50 miles.

Old Red Sandstone.--Composition of D'Urban's group. The highest elevation
ascended during the expedition, being nearly 600 feet above the level of
the plain in which it rises. It lies to the S.S.W. of Oxley's Table Land,
distant 40 miles, and the rock of which it is composed is much harder
and closer.

Breccia.--Colour pale yellow, silicious cement. Composition of some
trifling elevations to the North of New-Year's range, with which it is
doubtful whether they are connected.

Crystallized Sulphate of Lime.--Found imbedded in the alluvial soil
forming the banks of the Darling river. Occurring in a regular vein. Soft,
yielding to the nail; not acted on by acids.--See Plate.

Breccia.--Pale ochre colour, silicious cement, extremely hard. Cellular,
and sharp edges to the fractured pebbles. Has apparently undergone fusion.
Occurs in the bed of the Darling in one place only.

Sandstone Varieties.--Colour dull red and muddy white; appears like burnt
bricks; light, easily frangible; adheres to the tongue; occurs in large
masses in the bed of the Darling; probably in connection with the
rock-salt of the neighbourhood, which, from the number of brine springs
discovered feeding the river, must necessarily exist.

Variety of the same description of rock.

Jasper and Quartz.--Showing itself above the surface of a plain, from
which D'Urban's group bore S. 40 E. distant 33 miles.

It is a remarkable fact, that not a pebble or a stone was picked up during
the progress of the expedition, on any one of the plains; and that after
it again left Mount Harris for the Castlereagh, the only rock-formation
discovered was a small Freestone tract near the Darling river. There was
not a pebble of any kind either in the bed of the Castlereagh, or in the
creeks falling into it.



* * * * *



His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to order, that the following
communication, dated the 25th of December last, from Captain Sturt, of the
39th Regiment, who is employed in an exploring expedition into the
interior of the country, be published for general information.

By his Excellency's Command,

* * * * *


SIR,--I do myself the honor to forward, for the Governor's perusal, a
copy of my journal up to the date of my arrival at Mount Harris. I should
not have directed the messenger to return so soon, had I not subsequently
advanced to Mount Foster, and surveyed the country from that eminence. I
could distinctly see Arbuthnot's Range to the eastward. From that point
the horizon appeared to me unbroken, but the country to the northward and
westward seemed to favour an attempt to penetrate into it. I did not
observe any sheet of water, and the course of the Macquarie was lost in
the woodlands below.

Mr. Hume ascended the hill at sun-rise, and thought he could see mountains
to the north east, but at such a distance as to make it quite a matter of
uncertainty. Agreeing, however, in the prudence of an immediate descent,
we left our encampment on the morning of the 23rd, under Mount Foster, to
which we had removed from Mount Harris, and pursued a north-north-west
course to the spot on which we rest at present. We passed some fine meadow
land near the river, and were obliged to keep wide of it in consequence of
fissures in the ground. Traversing a large and blasted plain, on which the
sun's rays fell with intense heat, and on which there was but little
vegetation, we skirted the first great morass, and made the river
immediately beyond it. It is of very considerable extent, the channel of
the river passing through it. We are encompassed on every side by high
reeds, which exist in the woods as well as in the plains. Mr. Hume and
myself rode forward yesterday through the second morass, and made the
river on slightly elevated ground, at a distance of about five miles; the
country beyond appeared to favour our object, and we, to-morrow, proceed
with the party to the north-west. The river seems to bend to the
north-east; but in this level country it is impossible to speak with
certainty, or to give any decided opinion of the nature of it, beyond the
flats on which we are travelling. The reeds to the north-east and
northward extend over a circumference of fifty miles; but if Mr. Hume
really saw mountains or rising ground in the former point, the apparent
course of the Macquarie is at once accounted for. The country, however,
seems to dip to the north, though generally speaking it is level, and I am
inclined to think that the state of the atmosphere caused a deception in
this appearance.

I regret to add, that the effects of the sun on the plain over which we
passed on the 23rd produced a return of inflammation in the eyes of the
men, I have named in my journals, and caused the same in the eyes of
several others of my party. I halted, therefore, to expedite their
recovery. They are doing well now, and we can proceed in the cool of the
morning without any fear of their receiving injury by it. One of the men,
who were to return to Wellington Valley, was attacked slightly with
dysentery, but the medicines I gave him carried it off in the course of a
day or two. I have taken every precaution with regard to the health of the
men, in preparing them for the country into which they are going; and I
have to request that you will inform the governor that the conduct of the
whole party merits my approbation, and that I have no fault to find. The
men from Sydney are not so sharp as those from Wellington Valley, but are
equally well disposed. The animals, both horses and bullocks, are in good
order, and I find the two soldiers of infinite service to me. The boat has
received some damage from exposure to intense heat, but is otherwise
uninjured. We still retain the carriage and have every prospect of
dragging it on with us.

His Excellency, having been good enough to order a fresh supply of
provisions to Wellington Valley, I have to beg they may be forwarded to
Mount Harris, and that the person in charge thereof be instructed to
remain at that station for one month. We shall, during the interval, have
examined the country to the north-west; and, in case we are forced back,
shall require a supply to enable us to proceed to the northward, in
furtherance of the views I have already had the honor to submit for the
Governor's approval.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient and humble Servant,
Captain, 39th Regt.


* * * * *



His Excellency the Governor is pleased to direct that the following
interesting Report which has been received from Captain Sturt,
39th Regiment, who has been employed for some months past, (as will be
seen on reference to the Government Order, No. 4, published with Captain
Sturt's First Report in the Sydney Gazette, of the 24th of January last)
in exploring the interior, be communicated for the information of the

It appears that the river Macquarie ceases to exist near the spot where
the expedition under the late Mr. Oxley terminated, which, from the state
of country at the time, being then flooded, could not be ascertained; and
that another river of no inconsiderable magnitude, fed by salt springs,
was discovered by Captain Sturt on the 2nd February last, about 100 miles
to the westward of the Macquarie, running to the southward and westward.

By His Excellency's Command,

* * * * *


SIR,--I do myself the honor to acquaint you, for the information of His
Excellency the Governor, that I returned to this eminence on Monday,
the 23rd ult. having been driven from the interior, in consequence of the
extreme drought which prevails there.

I am to state, in reference to my former communication, that agreeably to
what I then reported, I moved, on the 26th December last, lower down the
plains of the Macquarie, but encountered a barrier of reeds, formed by the
marshes of that river, through which we in vain endeavoured to force our
way. I was in consequence obliged to make the nearest part of the river to
my left, and to take such measures as the nature of my situation required.
Here, for the first time, I set the boat afloat, deeming it essential to
trace the river, as I could not move upon its banks, and wishing also to
ascertain where it again issued from the marshes, I requested Mr. Hume to
proceed northerly, with a view to skirt them, and to descend westerly,
wherever he saw an open space. He was fortunate enough to strike upon the
channel about twelve miles north of our position, but was obstructed in
his further progress by another marsh, in consequence of which he returned
to the camp the next day; in the mean time, I had taken the boat, and
proceeded down the Macquarie, my way being at first considerably
obstructed by fallen timber: clearing this obstacle, however, I got into
a deeper channel, with fine broad reaches, and a depth of from twelve to
fifteen feet water. I had a short time previously cleared all woods and
trees, and was now in the midst of reeds of great height. After proceeding
onwards for about eight miles from the place whence I started, my course
was suddenly and unexpectedly checked; I saw reeds before me, and expected
I was about to turn an angle of the river, but I found that I had got to
the end of the channel, and that the river itself had ceased to exist.
Confounded at such a termination to a stream, whose appearance justified
the expectation that it would have led me through the heart of the marsh
to join Mr. Hume, I commenced a most minute examination of the place, and
discovered two creeks, if they deserve the name, branching, the one to the
north-west, and the other to the north-east; after tracing the former a
short distance, I reached its termination, and in order to assure myself
that such was the case, I walked round the head of it by pushing through
the reeds; it being then too dark to continue where I was, I returned to
a place on the river, at which I had rested during a shower, and slept
there. In the morning I again went to the spot to examine the
north-eastern branch, when I was equally disappointed. I then examined the
space between the two creeks, opposite to the main channel of the river,
and where the bank receives the force of the current. Here I saw water in
the reeds, but it was scarcely ankle deep, and was running off to the
north-west quicker than the waters of the river, which had almost an
imperceptible motion, I was therefore at once convinced that it was not
permanent, but had lodged there in the night, during which much rain had
fallen. I next pushed my way through the reeds into the marsh, and at
length clearly perceived that the waters which were perfectly sweet, after
running several courses, flowed off to the north, towards which point
there was an apparent declination or dip. Finding it impossible to
proceed further, I regained the boat, and thence returned to the camp,
under a conviction that I had reached the very spot, at which Mr. Oxley
lost the channel of the river in 1818.

The next day I moved to the place where Mr. Hume had struck upon the
channel of the river, but was again doubtful in what direction to proceed.

The marsh, at the commencement of which we now found ourselves, being the
third from Mount Foster, but the second great one, seemed to extend beyond
us to the north for many miles, but varying in breadth. In the evening I
went in the boat up the channel, and found it at first, deep and sullen,
as that of the river above. It soon however, narrowed, and the weeds
formed over its surface, so that I abandoned the boat and walked along a
path up it. I had not gone far when the channel divided; two smaller
channels came, the one from the southern, and the other from the western
parts of the marsh into it. There was an evident declination where they
were, and it was at their junction the river again rallied and formed.
On my return to the camp, Mr. Hume and I went down the river, but found
that about a mile it lost itself, and spread its waters ever the extensive
marsh before it.

In this extremity, I knew not what movement to make, as Mr. Hume had been
checked in his progress north. I therefore determined to ascertain the
nature of the country to the eastward and to the westward, that I might
move accordingly; I proposed to Mr. Hume, to take a week's provisions,
with two attendants, and go to the north-east, in order again to turn the
marsh, but with the expectation that the angle formed by the junction of
the Castlereagh with the Macquarie would arrest its progress, as the last
was fast approaching the former.

I myself determined to cross the river, and to skirt the marshes on the
left, and in case they turned off to the north east, as they appeared to
do, it was my intention to pursue a N.W. course into the interior, to
learn the nature of it. With these views I left the camp on the 31st of
December, and did not return until the 5th of January. Having found early
in my journey, from the change of soil and of timber, that I was leaving
the neighbourhood of the Macquarie, I followed a N.W. course, from a more
northerly one, and struck at once across the country, under an impression
that Mr. Hume would have made the river again long before my return.
I found, after travelling between twenty and thirty miles, the country
began to rise; and at the end of my journey, I made a hill of considerable
elevation, from the summit of which I had a view of other high lands; one
to the S.W. being a very fine mountain. As I had not found any water
excepting in two creeks, which I had left far behind me, and as I had got
on a soil which appeared incapable of holding it, I made this the
termination of my journey, having exceeded 100 miles in distance from the
camp, on my return to which I found Mr. Hume still absent. When he joined,
he stated to me, that not making the Castlereagh as soon as he expected,
he had bent down westerly for the Macquarie, and that he ended his journey
at some gentle hills he had made; so that it appeared we must either have
crossed each other's line of route, or that they were very near, and that
want of length must alone have prevented them from crossing; but as such
all assumption led to the conclusion that the Macquarie no longer existed,
I determined to pursue a middle course round the swamps, to ascertain the
point; as in case the river had ended, a westerly course was the one which
my instructions directed me to pursue.

In the immediate neighbourhood of the marshes we were obliged to sink
wells for water, and it was thus early that we began to feel the want of a
regular supply.

Having made a creek about four miles from our position by cutting through
the reeds where there was a narrow space, we pursued a westerly course
over a plain, having every appearance of frequent inundation, and for four
or five days held nearly the same direction; in the course of which we
crossed both our tracks on the excursions we had made, which had
intersected each other in a dense oak brush; thus renewing the few doubts,
or rather the doubt we had as to the fate of the Macquarie, whose course
we had been sent to trace. Indeed, had I not felt convinced that that
river had ceased, I should not have moved westward without further
examination, but we had passed through a very narrow part of the marshes,
and round the greater part of them, and had not seen any hollow that could
by any possible exaggeration be construed into or mistaken for the channel
of a river.

It appears, then, that the Macquarie, flowing as it does for so many
miles, through a bed, and not a declining country, and having little water
in it, except in times of flood, loses its impetus long ere it reaches the
formidable barrier that opposes its progress northwards; the soil in which
the reeds grow being a stiff clay. Its waters consequently spread, until
a slight declivity giving them fresh impulse, they form a channel again,
but soon gaining a level, they lose their force and their motion together,
and spread not only over the second great marsh, but over a vast extent
of the surrounding country, the breadth of ground thus subject to
inundation being more than twenty miles, and its length considerably
greater; around this space there is a gentle rise which confines the
waters, while small hollows in various directions lead them out of the
marshes over the adjacent plains, on which they eventually subside. On my
return from the interior, I examined those parts round which I had not
been, with particular attention, partly in company with Mr. Hume, and this
statement was confirmed by what we saw. Thus, at a distance of about
twenty-five miles from Mount Foster to the N.N.W. the river Macquarie
ceases to exist, in any shape as a river, and at a distance of between
fifty and sixty, the marshes terminate, though the country subject to
inundation from the river is of a very considerable extent, as shown by
the withered bulrushes, wet reeds, and shells, that are scattered over
its surface.

Having executed the first part of the instructions with which I had been
honoured, I determined on pursuing a west, or north-west course into the
interior, to ascertain the nature of it, in fulfilment of the second, but
in doing this I was obliged to follow creeks, and even on their banks had
to carry a supply of water, so uncertain was it that we should meet with
any at the termination of our day's journey, and that what we did find
would be fit to drink. Our course led us over plains immediately bordering
the lower lands of the Macquarie, alternating with swamp oak, acacia
pendula, pine, box, eucalyptus, and many other trees of minor growth, the
soil being inclined to a red loam, while the plains were generally covered
with a black scrub, though in some places they had good grass upon them.
We crossed two creeks before we made the hills Mr. Hume had ascended, and
which he called New Year's Range. Around these hills the country appeared
better--they are gentle, picturesque elevations, and are for the most
part, covered with verdure, and have, I fancy, a whinstone base, the rock
of which they are composed being of various substances. I place New Year's
Range in lat. 30 degrees 21 minutes, long. 146 degrees 3 minutes
30 seconds. Our course next lying north-west along a creek, led us to
within twenty miles of the hill that had terminated my excursion, and as I
hoped that a more leisurely survey of the country from its summit would
open something favourable to our view, I struck over for it, though
eventually obliged to return. From it Mr. Hume and I rode to the S.W.
mountain, a distance of about forty miles, without crossing a brook or a
creek, our way leading through dense acacia brushes, and for the most part
over a desert. We saw high lands from this mountain, which exceeds 1,300
feet in elevation, and is of sandstone formation, and thickly covered with
stunted pine, in eight different points--the bearings of which are as

Oxley's Table Land, N. 4O E., distant 40 miles.
Kengall Hill, due E. very distant.
Conical Hill, S. 6O E.
Highland, S.E. distance 30 miles.
Highland, S. 30 E. distance 25 miles.
Long Range, S. 16 E. distance 60 miles.
Long Range, S. 72 W. distance 60 miles.
Distant Range, S. 25 W. supposed.

It was in vain, however, that we looked for water. The country to the
north-west, was low and unbroken, and alternated with wood and plain.

The country from New Year's Range to the hill I had made, and which I
called Oxley's Table Land, had been very fair, with good soil in many
places, but with a total want of water, except in the creeks, wherein the
supply was both bad and uncertain; on our second day's journey from the
former, we came to the creek on which we were moving, where it had a
coarse granite bottom. The country around it improved very much in
appearance, and there was abundance of good grass on the surface of it, in
spite of the drought. On the right of this creek, a large plain stretches
parallel to it for many miles, varying in quality of soil. Near Oxley's
Table Land, we passed over open forest, the prevailing timber of which was
box. I have placed Oxley's Table Land in latitude 29 degrees 57 minutes
30 seconds, longitude 145 degrees 43 minutes 30 seconds.

Finding it impracticable to move westward from the hill I again descended
on the creek, whose general course was to the north-west, in which
direction we at length struck upon a river whose appearance raised our
most sanguine expectations. It flowed round an angle from the north-east
to the north-west, and extended in longitude five reaches as far as we
could see. At that place it was about sixty yards broad, with banks of
from thirty to forty feet high, and it had numerous wild fowl and many
pelicans on its bosom, and seemed to be full of fish, while the paths of
the natives on both sides, like well-trodden roads, showed how numerous
they were about it. On tasting its waters, however, we found them
perfectly salt, and useless to us, and as our animals had been without
water the night before, this circumstance distressed us much; our first
day's journey led us past between sixty and seventy huts in one place, and
on our second we fell in with a numerous tribe of natives, having
previously seen some between two creeks before we made New-Year's Range.
At some places the water proved less salt than at others; our animals
drank of it sparingly: we found two small fresh-water holes, which served
us as we passed. After tracing the river for a considerable distance, we
came on brine springs in the bed of it, the banks having been encrusted
with salt from the first; and as the difficulty of getting fresh water was
so great, I here foresaw an end to our wanderings. And as I was resolved
not to involve my party in greater distress, I halted it, on overtaking
the animals, and the next morning turned back to the nearest fresh-water,
at a distance of eighteen miles from us. Unwilling, however, to give up
our pursuit, Mr. Hume and I started with two men on horseback, to trace
the river as far as we could, and to ascertain what course it took; in the
hopes also that we should fall on some creek, or get a more certain supply
of drinkable water. We went a distance to which the bullocks could not
have been brought, and then got on a red sandy soil, which at once
destroyed our hopes; and on tasting the river water we found it salter
than ever, our supply being diminished to two pints. Our animals being
weak and purged, and having proceeded at least forty miles from the camp,
I thought it best to yield to circumstances, and to return, though I trust
I shall be believed when I add, it was with extreme reluctance I did so;
and had I followed the wishes of my party, should still have continued
onwards. Making a part of the river where we had slept, we stayed to
refresh, and in consequence of the heat of the weather were obliged to
drink the water in it, which made us sick. While here, a tribe of blacks
came to us and behaved remarkably well. At night we slept on a plain
without water, and the next day we regained the camp, which had been
visited by the natives during our absence.

We found the river held a south-west course, and appeared to be making for
the central space between a high land, which I called Dunlop's Range, at
Mr. Hume's request, and a lofty range to the westward. It still continued
its important appearance, having gained in breadth and in the height of
its banks, while there were hundreds of pelicans and wild-fowl on it.
Flowing through a level country with such a channel, it may be presumed
that this river ultimately assumes either a greater character, or that it
adds considerably to the importance of some other stream. It had a clay
bottom, generally speaking, in many places semi-indurated and fast forming
into sandstone, while there was crystallized sulphate of lime running in
veins through the soil which composed the bank.

This river differs from most in the colony, in having a belt of barren
land of from a quarter of a mile to two miles in breadth in its immediate
neighbourhood, and which is subject to overflow. This belt runs to the
inland plains, where a small elevation checks the further progress of the
flood. There is magnificent blue gum on both sides the river, but the
right bank is evidently the most fertile, and I am mistaken greatly if
there is not a beautiful country north of it.

Of the country over which we have passed, it is impossible for me to have
formed a correct opinion under its present melancholy circumstances. It
has borne the appearance of barrenness, where in even moderate rain, it
might have shown very differently, though no doubt we passed over much of
both good and bad land; our animals on the whole, have thrived on the food
they have had, which would argue favourably for the herbage. Generally
speaking, I fear the timber is bad--the rough-gum may be used for knees,
and such purposes, and we may have seen wood for the wheelwright and
cabinet-maker, specimens of which I have procured, but none for general or
household purposes.

The creeks we have traced are different in character from those in the
settled districts, inasmuch as that, like the river, they have a belt of
barren land near then and but little grass--they have all of them been
numerously frequented by the natives, as appeared from the number of
muscle-shells on their banks, but now having scarcely any water in them,
the fish having either been taken, or are dead, and the tribes gone
elsewhere for food, while the badness of the river water has introduced a
cutaneous disease among the natives of that district, which is fast
carrying them off. Our intercourse with these people was incessant from
the time we first met them, and on all occasions they behaved remarkably
well, nor could we have seen less than than two hundred and fifty of them.

Our return is to be attributable to the want of water alone, and it is
impossible for me to describe the effects of the drought on animal as well
as vegetable nature. The natives are wandering in the desert, and it is
melancholy to reflect on the necessity which obliges them to drink the
stinking and loathsome water they do--birds sit gasping in the trees and
are quite thin--the wild dog prowls about in the day-time unable to avoid
us, and is as lean as he can be in a living state, while minor vegetation
is dead, and the very trees are drooping. I have noticed all these things
in my Journal I shall have the honour of submitting through you, for the
Governor's perusal and information, on my return. Finally, I fear our
expedition will not pave the way to any ultimate benefit; although it has
been the means by which two very doubtful questions,--the course of the
Macquarie, and the nature of the interior, have been solved; for it is
beyond doubt, that the interior for 250 miles beyond its former known
limits to the W.N.W., so far from being a shoal sea, has been ascertained
not only to have considerable elevations upon it, but is in itself a table
land to all intents and purposes, and has scarcely water on its surface to
support its inhabitants.

I beg you will inform His Excellency the Governor, that I have on all
occasions received the most ready and valuable assistance from Mr, Hume.
His intimate acquaintance with the manners and customs of the natives,
enabled him to enter into intercourse with them, and chiefly contributed
to the peaceable manner in which we have journeyed, while his previous
experience put it in his power to be of real use to me. I cannot but say
he has done an essential service to future travellers, and to the colony
at large, by his conduct on all occasions since he has been with me; nor
should I be doing him justice, if I did not avail myself of the first
opportunity of laying my sentiments before the Governor, through you. I am
happy to add that every individual of the party deserves my warmest
approbation, and that they have, one and all, borne their distresses,
trifling certainly, but still unusual, with cheerfulness, and that they
have at all times been attentive to their duty, and obedient to their
orders. The whole are in good health, and are eager again to start.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient and most humble servant,
Capt. 39th Regt.


* * * * *


SIR,--It having appeared to me, that after discovering such a river as the
one I have described in my letter of yesterday, His Excellency the
Governor would approve of my endeavouring to regain it. There being a
probability that it ultimately joins the Southern Waters, I thought of
turning my steps to the southward and westward; and with a view to learn
the nature of the country, I despatched Mr. Hume in that direction on
Saturday last. He returned in three days, after having gone above forty
miles from the river, and states, that he crossed two creeks, the one
about twenty-five miles, the other about thirty-two distance, evidently
the heads of the creeks we passed westward of the marshes of the
Macquarie. He adds, that, to the second creek the land was excellent, but
that on crossing it, he got onto red soil, on which he travelled some
miles further, until he saw a range of high land, bearing from him S.W..
by W., when, knowing from the nature of the country around him, and from
the experience of our late journey, that he could not hope to find a
regular supply of water in advance, and that in the present dry state of
the low lands, a movement such as I had contemplated would be
impracticable, he returned home. I do myself the honour, therefore, to
report to you, for His Excellency's information, that I shall proceed on
Saturday next in a N.E. direction towards the Castlereagh, intending to
trace that river down, and afterwards to penetrate as far to the northward
and westward as possible; it being my wish to get into the country north
of the more distant river, where I have expectations that there is an
extensive and valuable track of country, but that in failure of the above,
I shall examine the low country behind our N.W. boundaries, if I can find
a sufficiency of water to enable me to do so.

I am to inform you that in this neighbourhood the Macquarie has ceased to
flow, and that it is now a chain of shallow ponds. The water is fast
diminishing in it, and unless rain descends in a few weeks it will be
perfectly dry.

I am also to report, that the natives attempted the camp with the supplies
before my arrival at Mount Harris, but that on the soldier with the party
firing a shot, after they had thrown a stone and other of the weapons,
they fled. It was in consequence of their fires, which I saw at a distance
of forty miles, and which they never make on so extensive a scale, except
as signals when they want to collect, and are inclined to be mischievous,
that I made forced marches up, and I am led to believe my arrival was very
opportune. The natives have visited us since, and I do not think they will
now attempt to molest either party when we separate.

I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient and most humble servant,
Capt. 39th Regt.



* * * * * * *





Introductory--Remarks on the results of the former Expedition--The
fitting out of another determined on--Its objects--Provisions,
accoutrements, and retinue--Paper furnished by Mr. Kent--Causes that have
prevented the earlier appearance of the present work.


Commencement of the expedition in November, 1829.--Joined by Mr. George
M'Leay--Appearance of the party--Breadalbane Plains--Hospitality of Mr.
O'Brien--Yass Plains--Hill of Pouni--Path of a hurricane--Character of the
country between Underaliga and the Morumbidgee--Appearance of that river--
Junction of the Dumot with it--Crossing and recrossing--Geological
character and general aspect of the country--Plain of Pondebadgery--Few
natives seen.


Character of the Morumbidgee where it issues from the hilly country--
Appearance of approach to swamps--Hamilton Plains--Intercourse with the
natives--Their appearance, customs, &c.--Change in the character of the
river--Mirage-- Dreariness of the country--Ride towards the Lachlan river
--Two boats built and launched on the Morumbidgee; and the drays, with
part of the men sent back to Goulburn Plains.


Embarkation of the party in the boats, and voyage down the Morumbidgee--
The skiff swamped by striking on a sunken tree--Recovery of boat and its
loading--Region of reeds--Dangers of the navigation--Contraction of the
channel--Reach the junction of a large river--Intercourse with the natives
on its banks--Character of the country below the junction of the rivers--
Descent of a dangerous rapid--Warlike demonstrations of a tribe of
natives--Unexpected deliverance from a conflict with them--Junction of
another river--Give the name of the "Murray" to the principal stream.


Character of the country--Damage of provisions--Adroitness of the natives
in catching fish--The skiff broken up--Stream from the North-East supposed
to be the Darling--Change of country in descending the river--Intercourse
with the natives--Prevalence of loathsome diseases among them--Apparent
populousness of the country--Junction of several small streams--The Rufus,
the Lindesay, &c.--Rainy and tempestuous weather--Curious appearance of
the banks--Troublesomeness of the natives--Inhospitable and desolate
aspect of the country--Condition of the men--Change in the geological
character of the country--The river passes through a valley among hills.


Improvement in the aspect of the country--Increase of the river--Strong
westerly gales--Chronometer broken--A healthier tribe of natives--
Termination of the Murray in a large lake--Its extent and environs--
Passage across it--Hostile appearance of the natives-- Beautiful scenery
--Channel from the lake to the sea at Encounter Bay--Reach the beach--
Large flocks of water fowl--Curious refraction--State of provisions--
Embarrassing situation--Inspection of the channel to the ocean--Weak
condition of the men--Difficulties of the return.


Valley of the Murray--Its character and capabilities--Laborious progress
up the river--Accident to the boat--Perilous collision with the natives
--Turbid current of the Rufus--Passage of the Rapids--Assisted by the
natives--Dangerous intercourse with them--Re-enter the Morumbidgee--
Verdant condition of its banks--Nocturnal encounter with the natives--
Interesting manifestation of feeling in one family--Reach the spot where
the party had embarked on the river--Men begin to fail entirely--
Determine to send two men forward for relief--Their return--Excursion on
horseback--Reach Pondebadgery Plain, and meet the supplies from the
colony--Cannibalism of the natives--Return to Sydney--Concluding remarks.


Environs of the lake Alexandrina--Appointment of Capt. Barker to make a
further survey of the coast near Encounter Bay--Narrative of his
proceedings--Mount Lofty, Mount Barker, and beautiful country adjacent--
Australian salmon--Survey of the coast--Outlet of lake to the sea--
Circumstances that led to the slaughter of Capt. Barker by the natives--
His character--Features of this part of the country and capabilities of
its coasts--Its adaptation for colonization--Suggestions for the
furtherance of future Expeditions.


No. I. Geological Specimens found to the south-west of Port Jackson
No. II. Official Report to the Colonial Government

(Not included in this etext)

View on the Morumbidgee River
Junction of the supposed Darling with the Murray
Palaeornis Melanura, or Black Tailed Paroquet
Pomatorhinus Temporalis
Pomatorhinus Superciliosus
Chart of Cape Jervis, and Encounter Bay
Mass of Fossils of the Tertiary Formation
Genus Unknown
Chrystallized Selenite
Single Fossils of the Tertiary Formation




Remarks on the results of the former Expedition--The fitting out of
another determined on--Its objects--Provisions, accoutrements, and
retinue--Paper furnished by Mr. Kent--Causes that have prevented the
earlier appearance of the present work.


The expedition of which we have just detailed the proceedings was so far
satisfactory in its results, that it not only set at rest the hypothesis
of the existence of an internal shoal sea in southern Australia, and
ascertained the actual termination of the rivers it had been directed to
trace, but also added very largely to our knowledge of the country
considerably to the westward of former discoveries. And although no land
had been traversed of a fertile description of sufficient extent to invite
the settler, the fact of a large river such as the Darling lying at the
back of our almost intertropical settlements, gave a fresh importance to
the distant interior. It was evident that this river was the chief drain
for carrying off the waters falling westerly from the eastern coast, and
as its course indicated a decline of country diametrically opposite to
that which had been calculated upon, it became an object of great
importance to ascertain its further direction. Had not the saline quality
of its waters been accounted for, by the known existence of brine springs
in its bed, it would have been natural to have supposed that it
communicated with some mediterranean sea; but, under existing
circumstances, it remained to be proved whether this river held on a due
south course, or whether it ultimately turned westerly, and ran into the
heart of the interior. In order fully to determine this point, it would be
necessary to regain it banks, so far below the parallel to which it had
been traced as to leave no doubt of its identity; but it was difficult to
fix upon a plan for approaching that central stream without suffering from
the want of water, since it could hardly be expected that the Lachlan
would afford such means, as it was reasonable to presume that its
termination was very similar to that of the Macquarie. The attention of
the government was, consequently, fixed upon the Morumbidgee, a river
stated to be of considerable size and of impetuous current. Receiving its
supplies from the lofty ranges behind Mount Dromedary, it promised to hold
a longer course than those rivers which, depending on periodical rains
alone for existence, had been found so soon to exhaust themselves.


The fitting out of another expedition was accordingly determined upon; and
about the end of September 1829, I received the Governor's instructions to
make the necessary preparations for a second descent into the interior,
for the purpose of tracing the Morumbidgee, or such rivers as it might
prove to be connected with, as far as practicable. In the event of failure
in this object, it was hoped that an attempt to regain the banks of the
Darling on a N.W. course from the point at which the expedition might be
thwarted in its primary views, would not be unattended with success. Under
any circumstances, however, by pursuing these measures, an important part
of the colony would necessarily be traversed, of which the features were
as yet altogether unknown.

It became my interest and my object to make the expedition as complete as
possible, and, as far as in me lay, to provide for every contingency: and
as it appeared to me that, in all likelihood, we should in one stage or
other of our journey have to trust entirely to water conveyance, I
determined on taking a whale-boat, whose dimensions and strength should in
some measure be proportioned to the service required. I likewise
constructed a small still for the distillation of water, in the event of
our finding the water of the Darling salt, when we should reach its banks.
The whale-boat, after being fitted, was taken to pieces for more
convenient carriage, as has been more particularly detailed in the last
chapter of the preceding volume.

So little danger had been apprehended from the natives in the former
journey, that three firelocks had been considered sufficient for our
defence. On the present occasion, however, I thought it adviseable to
provide arms for each individual.

Mr. Hume declined accompanying me, as the harvest was at hand. Mr. George
M'Leay therefore supplied his place, rather as a companion than as an
assistant; and of those who accompanied me down the banks of the
Macquarie, I again selected Harris (my body servant), Hopkinson, and


The concluding chapter of this volume, relative to the promontory of
St. Vincent, or Cape Jervis, has been furnished me by the kindness of
Mr. Kent, who accompanied the lamented officer to whom the further
exploration of that part of coast unhappily proved fatal. There is a
melancholy coincidence between Captain Barker's death and that of Captain
Cook, which cannot fail to interest the public, as the information that
has been furnished will call for their serious consideration. I shall
leave for their proper place, the remarks I have to offer upon it, since
my motive in these prefatory observations has been, to carry the reader
forward to that point at which he will have to view the proceedings of the
expedition alone, in order the more satisfactorily to arrive at their
results. And, although he must expect a considerable portion of dry
reading in the following pages, I have endeavoured to make the narrative
of events, some of which are remarkably striking, as interesting as


It only remains for me to refer the reader to the concluding chapter of
the preceding volume, for such general information as I have been enabled
to furnish upon the nature of the services on which I was employed, and on
the manner of conducting similar expeditions. Indeed, I trust that this
book (whatever be its defects) will be found to contain much valuable
information of a practical character, and I may venture to affirm, that it
will give a true description of the country, and of the various other
subjects of which it treats.

Notwithstanding that I have in my dedication alluded to the causes that
prevented the earlier appearance of this work, I feel it due both to
myself and the public here to state, that during these expeditions my
health had suffered so much, that I was unable to bear up against the
effects of exposure, bodily labour, poverty of diet, and the anxiety of
mind to which I was subjected. A residence on Norfolk Island, under
peculiarly harassing circumstances, completed that which the above causes
had commenced; and, after a succession of attacks, I became totally blind,
and am still unable either to read what I pen, or to venture abroad
without an attendant. When it is recollected, that I have been unassisted
in this work in any one particular, I hope some excuse will be found for
its imperfections. A wish to contribute to the public good led me to
undertake those journeys which have cost me so much. The same feeling
actuates me in recording their results; and I have the satisfaction to
know, that my path among a large and savage population was a bloodless
one; and that my intercourse with them was such as to lessen the danger to
future adventurers upon such hazardous enterprises, and to give them hope
where I had so often despaired. Something more powerful, than human
foresight or human prudence, appeared to avert the calamities and dangers
with which I and my companions were so frequently threatened; and had it
not been for the guidance and protection we received from the Providence
of that good and all-wise Being to whose care we committed ourselves, we
should, ere this, have ceased to rank among the number of His earthly


Commencement of the expedition in November, 1829.--Joined by Mr. George
M'Leay--Appearance of the party--Breadalbane Plains--Hospitality of Mr.
O'Brien--Yass Plains--Hill of Pouni--Path of a hurricane--Character of the
country between Underaliga and the Morumbidgee--Appearance of that river--
Junction of the Dumot with it--Crossing and recrossing--Geological
character and general aspect of the country--Plain of Pondebadgery--Few
natives seen.

The expedition which traversed the marshes of the Macquarie, left Sydney
on the 10th day of Nov. 1828. That destined to follow the waters of the
Morumbidgee, took its departure from the same capital on the 3rd of the
same month in the ensuing year. Rain had fallen in the interval, but not
in such quantities as to lead to the apprehension that it had either
influenced or swollen the western streams. It was rather expected that the
winter falls would facilitate the progress of the expedition, and it was
hoped that, as the field of its operations would in all probability be
considerably to the south of the parallel of Port Jackson, the extreme
heat to which the party and the animals had been exposed on the former
journey, would be less felt on the present occasion.

As there was no Government establishment to the S.W. at which I could
effect any repairs, or recruit my supplies, as I had done at Wellington
Valley, the expedition, when it left Sydney, was completed in every
branch, and was so fully provided with every necessary implement and
comfort, as to render any further aid, even had such been attainable, in a
great measure unnecessary. The Governor had watched over my preparations
with a degree of anxiety that evidenced the interest he felt in the
expedition, and his arrangements to ensure, as far as practicable, our
being met on our return, in the event of our being in distress, were
equally provident and satisfactory. It was not, however, to the providing
for our wants in the interior alone that His Excellency's views were
directed, but orders were given to hold a vessel in readiness, to be
dispatched at a given time to St. Vincent's Gulf, in case we should
ultimately succeed in making the south coast in its neighbourhood.


The morning on which I left Sydney a second time, under such doubtful
circumstances, was perfectly serene and clear. I found myself at 5 a.m. of
that delightful morning leading my horses through the gates of those
barracks whose precincts I might never again enter, and whose inmates I
might never again behold assembled in military array. Yet, although the
chance of misfortune flashed across my mind, I was never lighter at heart,
or more joyous in spirit. It appeared to me that the stillness and harmony
of nature influenced my feelings on the occasion, and my mind forgot the
storms of life, as nature at that moment seemed to have forgotten the
tempests that sometimes agitate her.


I proceeded direct to the house of my friend Mr. J. Deas Thomson, who had
agreed to accompany me to Brownlow Hill, a property belonging to
Mr. M'Leay, the Colonial Secretary, where his son, Mr. George M'Leay, was
to join the expedition. As soon as we had taken a hasty breakfast, I went
to the carters' barracks to superintend the first loading of the animals.
Mr. Murray, the superintendent, had arranged every article so well, and
had loaded the drays so compactly that I had no trouble, and little time
was lost in saddling the pack animals. At a quarter before 7 the party
filed through the turnpike-gate, and thus commenced its journey with the
greatest regularity. I have the scene, even at this distance of time,
vividly impressed upon my mind, and I have no doubt the kind friend who
was near me on the occasion, bears it as strongly on his recollection.
My servant Harris, who had shared my wanderings and had continued in my
service for eighteen years, led the advance, with his companion Hopkinson.
Nearly abreast of them the eccentric Fraser stalked along wholly lost in
thought. The two former had laid aside their military habits, and had
substituted the broad brimmed hat and the bushman's dress in their place,
but it was impossible to guess how Fraser intended to protect himself from
the heat or the damp, so little were his habiliments suited for the
occasion. He had his gun over his shoulder, and his double shot belt as
full as it could be of shot, although there was not a chance of his
expending a grain during the day. Some dogs Mr. Maxwell had kindly sent me
followed close at his heels, as if they knew his interest in them, and
they really seemed as if they were aware that they were about to exchange
their late confinement for the freedom of the woods. The whole of these
formed a kind of advanced guard. At some distance in the rear the drays
moved slowly along, on one of which rode the black boy mentioned in my
former volume, and behind them followed the pack animals. Robert Harris,
whom I had appointed to superintend the animals generally, kept his place
near the horses, and the heavy Clayton, my carpenter, brought up the rear.
I shall not forget the interest Thomson appeared to take in a scene that
must certainly have been new to him. Our progress was not checked by the
occurrence of a single accident, nor did I think it necessary to remain
with the men after we had gained that turn which, at about four miles from
Sydney, branches off to the left, and leads direct to Liverpool. From this
Point my companion and I pushed forward, in order to terminate a fifty
miles' ride a little sooner than we should have done at the leisurely pace
we had kept during the early part of our journey. We remained in Liverpool
for a short time, to prepare the commissariat office for the reception,
and to ensure the accommodation, of the party; and reached Brownlow Hill
a little after sunset.


As I have already described the country on this line of road as far us
Goulburn Plains, it will not be considered necessary that I should again
notice its features with minuteness.


The party arrived at Glendarewel, the farm attached to Brownlow Hill, on
the 5th. I resumed my journey alone on the 8th. M'Leay had still some few
arrangements to make, so that I dispensed with his immediate attendance.
He overtook me, however, sooner than I expected, on the banks of the
Wallandilly. I had encamped under the bluff end of Cookbundoon, and,
having been disappointed in getting bearings when crossing the Razor Back,
I hoped that I should be enabled to connect a triangle from the summit
of Cookbundoon, or to secure bearings of some prominent hill to the south.
I found the brush, however, so thick on the top of the mountain, that I
could obtain no satisfactory view, and and M'Leay, who accompanied me,
agreed with me in considering that we were but ill repaid for the hot
scramble we had had. Crossing the western extremity of Goulburn Plains on
the 15th, we encamped on a chain of ponds behind Doctor Gibson's residence
at Tyranna, and as I had some arrangements to make with that gentleman,
I determined to give both the men and animals a day's rest. I availed
myself of Doctor Gibson's magazines to replace such of my provisions as I
had expended, as I found that I could do so without putting him to any
inconvenience; and I added two of his men to the party, intending to send
them back, in case of necessity, or, when we should have arrived at that
point from which it might appear expedient to forward an account of my
progress and ultimate views, for the governor's information.

On the 17th we struck the tents, and, crossing the chain of ponds near
which they had been pitched, entered a forest track, that gave place to
barren stony ridges of quartz formation. These continued for six or seven
miles, in the direction of Breadalbane Plains, upon which we were obliged
to stop, as we should have had some difficulty in procuring either water
or food, within any moderate distance beyond them. The water, indeed, that
we were obliged to content ourselves with was by no means good.
Breadalbane Plains are of inconsiderable extent, and are surrounded by
ridges, the appearance of which is not very promising. Large white masses
of quartz rock lie scattered over them, amongst trees of stunted growth.
Mr. Redall's farm was visible at the further extremity of the plains from
that by which we had entered them. It would appear that these plains are
connected with Goulburn Plains by a narrow valley, that was too wet for
the drays to have traversed.


Doctor Gibson had kindly accompanied us to Breadalbane Plains. On the
morning of the 18th he returned to Tyranna, and we pursued our journey,
keeping mostly on a W.S.W. course. From the barren hills over which we
passed, on leaving the plains, we descended upon an undulating country,
and found a change of rock, as well as of vegetation, upon it. Granite and
porphyry constituted its base. An open forest, on which the eucalyptus
mannifera alone prevailed, lay on either side of us, and although the soil
was coarse, and partook in a great measure of the decomposition of the
rock it covered, there was no deficiency of grass. On the contrary, this
part of the interior is decidedly well adapted for pasturing cattle.


About 1 p.m. we passed Mr. Hume's station, with whom I remained for a
short time. He had fixed his establishment on the banks of the Lorn, a
small river, issuing from the broken country near Lake George, and now
ascertained to be one of the largest branches of the Lachlan River. We had
descended a barren pass of stringy bark scrub, on sandstone rock, a little
before we reached Mr. Hume's station, but around it the same, open forest
tract again prevailed. We crossed the Lorn, at 2 o'clock, leaving
Mr. Broughton's farm upon our left, and passed through a broken country,
which was very far from being deficient in pasture. We encamped on the
side of a water-course, about 4 o'clock, having travelled about fifteen

On the 19th, we observed no change in the soil or aspect of the country,
for the first five miles. The eucalyptus mannifera was the most prevalent
of the forest trees, and certainly its presence indicated a more
flourishing state in the minor vegetation. At about five miles, however,
from where we had slept, sandstone reappeared, and with it the barren
scrub that usually grows upon a sandy and inhospitable soil. One of the
drays was upset in its progress down a broken pass, where the road had
been altogether neglected, and it was difficult to avoid accidents.
Fortunately we suffered no further than in the delay that the necessity of
unloading the dray, and reloading it, occasioned. Mr. O'Brien, an
enterprising settler, who had pushed his flocks to the banks of the
Morumbidgee, and who was proceeding to visit his several stations,
overtook us in the midst of our troubles. We had already passed each other
frequently on the road, but he now preceded me to his establishment at
Yass; at which I proposed remaining for a day. We stopped about three
miles short of the plains for the night, at the gorge of the pass through
which we had latterly been advancing, and had gradually descended to a
more open country. From the place at which we were temporarily delayed,
and which is not inappropriately called the Devil's Pass, the road winds
about between ranges, differing in every respect from any we had as yet
noticed. The sides of the hills were steeper, and their summits sharper,
than any we had crossed. They were thickly covered with eucalypti and
brush, and, though based upon sandstone, were themselves of a schistose


Yharr or Yass Plains were discovered by Mr. Hovel, and Mr. Hume, the
companion of my journey down the Macquarie, in 1828. They take their name
from the little river that flows along their north and north-west
boundaries. They are surrounded on every side by forests, and excepting to
the W.N.W., as a central point, by hill. Undulating, but naked themselves,
they have the appearance of open downs, and are most admirably adapted for
sheep-walks, not only in point of vegetation, but also, because their
inequalities prevent their becoming swampy during the rainy season. They
are from nine to twelve miles in length, and from five to seven in breadth,
and although large masses of sandstone are scattered over them, a blue
secondary limestone composes the general bed of the river, that was darker
in colour and more compact than I had remarked the same kind of rock,
either at Wellington Valley, or in the Shoal Haven Gully. I have no doubt
that Yass Plains will ere long be wholly taken up as sheep-walks, and that
their value to the grazier will in a great measure counterbalance its
distance from the coast, or, more properly speaking, from the capital.
Sheep I should imagine would thrive uncommonly well upon these plains,
and would suffer less from distempers incidental to locality and to
climate, than in many parts of the colony over which they are now
wandering in thousands. And if the plains themselves do not afford
extensive arable tracts, there is, at least, sufficient good land near the
river to supply the wants of a numerous body of settlers.


We left Mr. O'Brien's station on the morning of the 21st, and, agreeably
to his advice, determined on gaining the Morumbidgee, by a circuit to the
N.W., rather than endanger the safety of the drays by entering the
mountain passes to the westward. Mr. O'Brien, however, would not permit us
to depart from his dwelling without taking away with us some further
proofs of his hospitality. The party had pushed forward before I, or
Mr. M'Leay, had mounted our horses; but on overtaking it, we found that
eight fine wethers had been added to our stock of animals.


To the W.N.W. of Yass Plains there is a remarkable hill, called Pouni,
remarkable not so much on account of its height, as of its commanding
position. It had, I believe, already been ascended by one of the
Surveyor-general's assistants. The impracticability of the country to the
south of it, obliged us to pass under its opposite base, from which an
open forest country extended to the northward. We had already recrossed
the Yass River, and passed Mr. Barber's station, to that of Mr. Hume's
father, at which we stopped for a short time. Both farms are well
situated, the latter I should say, romantically so, it being immediately
under Pouni, the hill we have noticed. The country around both was open,
and both pasture and water were abundant.

Mr. O'Brien had been kind enough to send one of the natives who frequented
his station to escort us to his more advanced station upon the
Morumbidgee. Had it not been for the assistance we received from this man,
I should have had but little leisure for other duties: as it was however,
there was no fear of the party going astray. This gave M'Leay and myself
an opportunity of ascending Pouni, for the purpose of taking bearings; and
how ever warm the exertion of the ascent made us, the view from the summit
of the hill sufficiently repaid us, and the cool breeze that struck it,
although imperceptible in the forest below, soon dried the perspiration
from our brows. The scenery around us was certainly varied, yet many
parts of it put me forcibly in mind of the dark and gloomy tracks over
which my eye had wandered from similar elevations on the former journey.
This was especially the case in looking to the north, towards which point
the hills forming the right of the valley by which we had entered the
plains, decreased so rapidly in height that they were lost in the general
equality of the more remote country, almost ere they had reached abreast
of my position. From E.S.E. to W.S.W. the face of the country was hilly,
broken and irregular; forming deep ravines and precipitous glens, amid
which I was well aware the Morumbidgee was still struggling for freedom;
while mountains succeeded mountains in the back-ground, and were
themselves overtopped by lofty and very distant peaks. To the eastward,
however, the hills wore a more regular form, and were lightly covered with
wood. The plains occupied the space between them and Pouni; and a smaller
plain bore N.N.E. which, being embosomed in the forest, had hitherto
escaped our notice.

We overtook the party just as it cleared the open ground through which it
had previously been moving. A barren scrub succeeded it for about eight
miles. The soil in this scrub was light and sandy.

We stopped for the night at the head of a valley that seemed to have been
well trodden by cattle. The feed, therefore, was not abundant, nor was the
water good. We had, however, made a very fair journey, and I was unwilling
to press the animals. But in consequence, I fancy, of the scarcity of
food, they managed to creep away during the night, with the exception of
three or four of the bullocks, nor should we have collected them again so
soon as we did, or without infinite trouble, had it not been for our guide
and my black boy. We unavoidably lost a day, but left our position on the
23rd, for Underaliga, a station occupied by Doctor Harris, the gentleman I
have already had occasion to mention. We reached the banks of the creek
near the stock hut, about 4 p.m., having journeyed during the greater part
of the day through a poor country, partly of scrub and partly of open
forest-land, in neither of which was the soil or vegetation fresh or
abundant. At about three miles from Underaliga, the country entirely
changed its character, and its flatness was succeeded by a broken and
undulating surface. The soil upon the hills was coarse and sandy, from the
decomposition of the granite rock that constituted their base.
Nevertheless, the grass was abundant on the hills, though the roots or
tufts were far apart; and the hills were lightly studded with trees.


In the course of the day we crossed the line of a hurricane that had just
swept with resistless force over the country, preserving a due north
course, and which we had heard from a distance, fortunately too great to
admit of its injuring us. It had opened a fearful gap in the forest
through which it had passed, of about a quarter of a mile in breadth.
Within that space, no tree had been able to withstand its fury, for it had
wrenched every bough from such as it had failed to prostrate, and they
stood naked in the midst of the surrounding wreck. I am inclined to think
that the rudeness of nature itself in these wild and uninhabited regions,
gives birth to these terrific phenomena. They have never occurred, so far
as I know, in the located districts. Our guide deserted us in the early
part of the day without assigning any reason for doing so. He went off
without being noticed, and thus lost the reward that would have been
bestowed on him had he mentioned his wish to return to Yass. I the more
regretted his having sneaked off, because he had had the kindness to put
us on a track we could not well lose.


Underaliga, is said to be thirty miles from the Morumbidgee. The country
between the two has a sameness of character throughout. It is broken and
irregular, yet no one hill rises conspicuously over the rest. We found
ourselves at one time on their summits beside huge masses of granite, at
others crossing valleys of rich soil and green appearance. A country under
cultivation is so widely different from one the sod of which has never
been broken by the plough, that it is difficult and hazardous to form a


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