Oxley's Journal from August 1817

Cunningham was the botanist who accompanied Oxley on this journey. GriffithGateway.com has been able to locate an extract from his journal for the same journey.

Previous months entries
April 1817
May 1817
June 1817
July 1817

Oxley June 1817 Cunningham June 1817

August 1.-Still employed on the raft, which will be ready for use about one o'clock. The river fell a foot during the night, but the trees that would have been useful to us are still under water. The mean of the different observations made here gave the following results.

Mean lat. 33 deg. 04 min. 02 sec. S. Comp. long. 146 31 50 E. Variation 7 23 00 E.

The series of triangles by which the longitude from our situation on the 17th of May has been computed, corresponds precisely with the bearings taken from this station to the principal objects forming their bases, and whose relative situation on the chart had been fixed on the 17th of May; it was extremely satisfactory to find in so extensive a survey that the angles should thus so completely verify our situation.

Our raft was finished and launched by one o'clock; its capability of carrying any burden we had to put upon it fully answered our expectations; but here its utility ended, the violence of the current caused by the high flood or the stream rendered all our labour abortive, as no exertions we were capable of making could enable us to get it across the stream. We had stretched a line across the river by which to tow it over, but the men were not able to withstand the force of the current acting on the body of the raft; they let go their line and were carried about three quarters of a mile down, when they were brought up by some trees and got safe on shore, making the raft fast. The flood had been slowly subsiding all day, giving us hopes that we should still be enabled to fell some trees for a bridge, which was now our only resource, as it was considered most advisable to use our utmost efforts to cross here rather than go farther up the stream.

1817. August 1st. Friday. The river has decreased about 14 inches in the course of the night. Our boat builder finished the raft and we launched her. We intended to convey the whole of our baggage over to the north bank of the river this afternoon, but we failed in the attempt. We had fixed a line across the stream, which is not less than 50 feet wide, making it fast to the Blue Gums on each bank to act as a warp by which the raft might be drawn backwards and forwards. We however, found it altogether impracticable, The man on the raft, in the act of pulling himself over, found the midchannel current so strong as to oblige him to quit his hold of the line, and the raft becoming unmanageable, was carried with the man nearly three quarters of a mile down the stream before we could send some of our people to assist to stop her. They found it difficult to tow her up against the stream, and she was left fast to a stump. Some trees of sufficient height on its south bank we fixed upon to form a bridge, and we set our people to work to saw them down, but they could not be fallen to-day, being thick and sound at their butts. The lat. and long. at this remarkable spot under Piper's Hill is 33°04'02" S., and supposed long. 146°47'30" E., but by chart 147°05' E.[*]

[* Oxley now decided to leave the Lachlan River, and crossing it on a raft took a north-easterly course, when he discovered Wellington Valley.]

August 2.-Cloudy weather with heavy rain during the night, which still continues. We commenced felling some trees, which we were in hopes would answer our purpose, our anxiety to cross being very great; as it is probable, from the long continued fine weather we have experienced until lately, that the rainy season in this part of the country may shortly set in, which would extremely embarrass and distress us.

We were again disappointed in our hopes of crossing by means of trees, as the flood which still continued swept them away as soon as felled. I sent Byrne up the stream to endeavour to find a better Place; but he returned in the afternoon without any success: he reported that about three or four miles above the tent a branch joined the stream, that he had travelled up it six or seven miles, but not far enough to say where it quitted the main stream; the low plains were several inches under water from the present rain; and the ground that appeared the driest was the worst to travel on, being a wet, loose, sandy bog. As the flood continued rapidly to subside, we resolved upon again trying the raft to-morrow morning; all hands were accordingly sent to tow her up, which was accomplished by night.

2nd. Saturday. A steady rain set in early this morning, continuing without intermission till about 11 o'clock. With considerable labour our people felled two large trees, but being turned round they were carried lengthwise down the river by its strong sweeping current, so that it will be in vain to attempt any of these works so long as the flood continues, which may not be long, as the river has fallen 13 inches since the last evening. Our situation, becoming in some measure alarming, every day lessens our provisions, and we have not the means of turning what we have to good account by proceeding forward on our journey homeward. Mr. Oxley sent two of our people up the river on horseback to search for a fair spot to make another trial to form a bridge. They, however, returned after a ride of about 8 miles upon the banks but found no eligible place to make the experiment. They observed a stream larger than the river running from the N.E. and forming a junction with it about 3 miles from our tent, which we suspect to be the north-west arm of the Lachlan River.

August 3.-A bleak cold morning, with continued small rain. At day-light we set to work with our raft: and after many trials had the satisfaction to find that we should succeed in getting over our baggage. Whilst Mr. Evans superintended this work, I rode up the river with Byrne to see the branch: I found it but an inconsiderable one, being merely a lagoon, except in times of flood like the present, when it appears nearly as large as the parent stream; it forms an island ten or twelve miles long, and from two to four broad. The impossibility of our travelling up this side was demonstrated, as well as the nature of these lower grounds or clear plains, which retain all the water that falls upon them, the little inequalities forming shallow pools. It was much better travelling over them, than on a low ridge of hills a couple of miles from the river on which I returned; the soil of the latter being so loose and boggy as to render it difficult for the horses to proceed.

On my return I found considerable progress had been made in transporting our luggage, and by four o'clock every thing was safely crossed; our little bark was however completely water logged, and at last would scarcely support a single man, though when first launched, three or four might venture in her with safety.

As I think the state of the seasons in New South Wales may serve to explain, at least partially, why there are no running streams in the western parts of it, it may be worth while to make some little inquiry into that subject. It appears to me that it can never rain simultaneously westward of the Blue Mountains and on the coast, for these reasons: first, That the Lachlan and Macquarie Rivers, being the sole channels by which the waters falling on the Blue Mountain range are conveyed westward to the low-lands, are always flooded in times of great rains in those mountains and on the coast; secondly, that the winter, that is to say, the period between March and August, is the time when the rains are most to be expected, and have most generally fallen on the east coast, and which so falling would naturally cause a flood in the streams above mentioned; thirdly, that in the summer season, or from September to February, which is certainly the driest period of the year, the rains fall westward of the Blue Mountains; but falling upon flat sandy land without any watercourses, do not in the smallest degree add to the waters of the Lachlan or Macquarie, which are then consequently in a state nearly if not entirely stagnant. It is at this season, therefore, that these streams are visited by the natives, as they are then enabled to procure the shell and other fish which abound in them. The tracks and impressions made by the feet of the natives were certainly made when the ground was very soft and marshy, whilst their guneahs were merely the branches of trees, and erected in places which we found to be swamps, but which in summer would, in comparison with the plains, be dry ground, the waters from them being drained off into the river.

The Blue Mountain range is by far the highest in New South Wales; the ranges westerly, though high when viewed from the low grounds from which they rise, cannot in any respect be compared with them.

In the summer, the north-east and south-east winds coming from the sea are forced over these mountains, and the vapours with which they are charged are attracted by the lower ranges westerly, and converted into rain. In the winter, the prevailing winds on the coast and inland, as is evident from the trees on the tops of the hills, are from south-west to north-west. In the winter, these westerly winds blowing over a vast extent of country, and coming with great violence on the Blue Mountains, confine those clouds and vapours which would occasion rain, to the vicinity of the coast, and the eastern side of the mountains. A wet summer on the east coast would occasion a flood in the Lachlan at that season; and should the rains then be attended with easterly winds, causing rain on the western side also, the whole low country must be under water for a double reason. This is a circumstance which, I think, could seldom happen, otherwise the consequence to the miserable natives must be dreadful.

It may be remembered that for nearly two years (viz. 1814 and 1815), scarcely a drop of rain fell on the east coast of New South Wales; and when the country about Bathurst was first visited, it bore marks of being similarly affected by drought. The last summer was a very wet one on the east coast; at the depot on the Lachlan, during that period when the rains were heaviest (in February), the people enjoyed the finest weather, at the same time the river was constantly flooded, sometimes rising to a great height in the most sudden manner.

Since the present expedition has been out it has generally enjoyed dry, clear weather, otherwise we could not have travelled. Our meteorological journal will, when compared with one kept at Sydney, throw farther light upon this subject; and I merely hazard the above ideas as hints for a more general and extended view of the natural causes which seem to govern the seasons in this truly singular country.

Another proof (if more were wanting) that the river is only periodically full and flowing, I think may be derived from the numberless windings of the stream, setting aside the general course. If the water was always running, it would doubtless have forced a straighter channel through the soft, loose, sandy, loamy country through which it flows; it being also remembered that there is not a single stone or rock to be found along the whole banks of the river: the few low rocky hills that terminate upon it, either have a narrow slip of soft land between their base and the river, or the country is flat to a considerable distance on the opposite shore. Its windings and sudden bends are so remarkable, that I am sure I under estimate it, when I consider that on a straight line of ten miles from point to point, the water passes over twenty-five miles; in many places, from thirty to thirty-five would be within the truth.

The animals differing from those in the neighbourhood of Bathurst are but few: the principal is a new species of red kangaroo; a smaller species of the same, having a head delicately formed, called by us the rabbit-kangaroo. Two other birds besides the pigeon and cockatoo beforementioned may be noticed: we suppose them to be both birds of night, being only heard at that time; neither of them was seen: one was remarkable for exactly imitating the calls of the natives, the other the short sharp bark of the native dog, insomuch that our dogs were constantly deceived by the noise.

3rd. Sunday. We have now but one resource left and that is our raft which our people had towed up the river to an eddy that might be of much use to us, by drifting diagonally to the opposite bank. Mr. Oxley rode up the south bank of the river to ascertain the nature of the country to the southward and eastward, as also to observe the arm that our people had reported to run into it. In his absence we formed a double towing rope of all the halters lashings and slings we could muster. Combining them together, we ferried over the whole of our provisions in casks, and our luggage on the raft to the opposite bank on the north side of the river, and swam the horses, all which operation was carried into effect with all possible despatch and without any accident happening, which we considered a miracle; our raft being waterlogged, and when laden was several inches under water, independently of the rapid whirls of the stream against which we had to contend. We encamped on the rising grounds of the north bank. I sowed some peach stones and quince seeds.

Mr. Oxley returned from his ride and came over the river to us. He intends to lose no more time but strike away N.E. easterly from the difficult river and pass near Hurd's Peak in our route homewards. He found the higher lands a few miles up the southern bank very boggy and bad travelling from the late rains. Our people were all occupied slinging casks and arranging each horse's load. Mr. Oxley has determined to proceed on the above course to-morrow morning.

August 4.-Proceeded to the north-east by east, intending to keep that course for two or three days, to clear us of the low grounds north of the Lachlan, before we bent more easterly for Bathurst; the above course would also carry us so far northward, as to ensure our falling in with the Macquarie at a considerable distance from the settlement, and also enable us to discover if any similar streams had their source westerly of the high range from whence the coal river derives its source, as we shall then be some miles north of that port.

Our route lay through a low wet country for the first eight or ten miles, the flats covered with the acacia pendula; the last three miles were rather more elevated: the soil in general a loose, red, sandy loam, with small cypress, box, and acacia trees; a few acres in patches had been burned, occasionally relieving the eye from the otherwise barren scrubby appearance of the country. We passed through two or three small eucalyptus scrubs, and upon getting out of one, having gone thirteen miles and a quarter, we fortunately happened to fall in with a native well, containing a few gallons of water sufficient for our own supply; whilst the open level land which the scrub led to having been burnt, we hoped would afford succulent herbage sufficient for the horses, and prevent them from suffering from the want of water. Our course was N. 69 E. thirteen miles.

August 4th. Monday. We commenced our route N.E. by E. over a tract of damp slimy country covered with Rhagodia, and plains abounding with Acacia Pendula and several shrubs heretofore noticed. The land rises gently and gradually, but assumes no better appearance in soil and timber. At 6 miles the Acacia homalophylla becomes very common, with A. pendula and snake-bark and small Cypress forming an extensive lofty brush for several miles. Passing over some rocky elevated ground, where I gathered some fine specimens of Acacia doratoxylon, we entered a very confined close Euryalean scrub composed of Eucalyptus dumosa, and several fine plants. In this intricate scrub I gathered some new and beautiful plants:-viz: Pimelea flava, a slender small shrub. Prostanthera, with stem, flowers axillary solitary and greenish, a low depressed shrub. A species of Acacia dasyphylla with linear lanceolate pubescent leaves, is frequent, forming dense bushes. Aster decurrens [= Olearia decurrens] and A. cuneatus [= Olearia stellulata] and Clematis occidentalis are likewise very common. Some patches of land that had been formerly fired by the natives producing some good tufts of grass induced us to turn out of our course in the scrub and halt upon it. This scrub continues for some miles with all the sterility imaginable, hence we are extremely fortunate in having an opportunity of turning out of it to a spot where our horses would find good grass, and where we found some water in two native wells, added to a little from the river which we had carried in a keg it was abundantly sufficient for the whole of us. On the flats I gathered anew Gnaphalium leaves linear and hooked, flowers crowded and terminal. We had advanced on a variable route 13¼ miles per perambulator but only 12½ on our true course. The nut trees (tetrandrous shrub) are loaded with fruit, and the new Jasminum and several species of Dodonaea present themselves in these lone places. From some rising ground we observed Hurd's Peak bearing N.E. about 6 miles from us.

August 5.-The water for our breakfast drained our little well to the dregs. Hoping that we should be more fortunate in this day's route, at half past eight o'clock we again set forward, on the same point as yesterday.

The first four miles of our course led through one of those dreadful scrubs of eucalyptus dumosa, and prickly grass, which we had often before experienced; it was on rather an elevated plain, and, exclusive of the difficulty of forcing a passage through it, was extremely boggy and distressing to the horses. After passing through it, the country for five or six miles farther was more open, the same elevated plain or level still continuing, being thinly studded with box and cypress trees, with abundance of acacia and other shrubs: the soil a loose, red, sandy loam. At the tenth mile we providentially found a small muddy hole of water which, bad as it was, refreshed both men and horses extremely; fearing, from the appearance of the country, that we should not find any water farther on, we filled our small keg, containing nearly three gallons, which would at all events free us from absolute want. We went four miles farther through the same desert country, when evening drawing on, and the small trees and shrubs becoming thicker, we thought it best to stop before we again encountered an eucalyptus brush; which not affording the smallest fodder for the horses, would, added to the want of water, render them in all probability unable to take either us or themselves out of the desert in which we were.

The spot we halted on afforded some dry tea-grass and a few syngeneceous shrubs; and praying for a heavy dew to moisten them, we hoped the animals would not on the whole fare much worse than ourselves.

The rain which had fallen while we were on the river was not perceptible here; indeed I think sufficient to deluge any other country must fall, before it is seen on the surface of such a soil as prevails in this part of New South Wales. A little rain renders it however so soft and slimy as to make it difficult to travel over; and I should conjecture, from the milky whiteness of the water in the holes we have seen, that it rests on a substratum of white clay three or four feet below the surface; the water holes at least had that bottom, although their margins were of the red, sandy loam before mentioned.

An accident happened to the vessel containing the mercury of the artificial horizon, by which the greater part was lost, leaving scarcely sufficient for use. It had been a matter of surprise to me that such a misfortune had not occurred sooner, the box containing the instruments, etc., being so shaken by the horse forcing his way through the scrubs, that I considered myself extremely fortunate not to have been deprived of the use of them long before. To carry barometers, and other delicately constructed mathematical instruments, safely through such a journey as the present is impossible. Our course made good was N. 68 E., distance thirteen miles and a half. The evening fine and clear.

5th. Tuesday. Sharp frost early. This morning we left our halting place, continuing our course through the Euryalean scrub about 3 miles, with little or no variation in the botany. I gathered seeds of the Western Iron Bark and specimens of a new species of Acacia cardiophylla. The spinous grass and aculeated Daviesia rendered our advancement through this scrub very painful. Onward the country for 6 miles is rising and covered with a confined brush of Acacia homalophylla. The timber is of Eucalyptus micrantha or Bastard Box, and Cypress. The recent marks of natives digging for grubs, and remains of fires, led us to conclude that water could not be far distant. Mr. Evans, who as usual had gone on before the horses, came very providentially to some small holes of stagnant water surrounded by Polygonum junceum [= Muehlenbeckia Cunninghami] and, although it partook of the white colour of the clay on which it rested, it was of very essential service to us. We watered our horses and took the precaution to fill a keg for ourselves. The country for the next mile is elevated and stony, and from the sudden change that is obvious in timber, being Casuarina of lofty height and tolerable bulk, we were anticipating a fine forest land, but were disappointed. Passing a range of large granite stones we entered a thick scrub, which continued for some miles, but were obliged to halt in it, having travelled 13½ miles and no appearance of water. We sent some of our people 3 miles in search of water, which they found in small quantities in the holes and gullies, and of a red tinge, from the ferruginous colour of the stones over which it had run.

In the bush in which we were encamped I observed the little plant of the habit of Westringia, first observed on the 1st of June of which I gathered duplicate seeds. The general and sterility and want of water in the country, as we advance, obliges us to proceed forward by rapid and longer marches than we otherwise would, in hopes of intersecting the Macquarie River, should it run so far from Bathurst. Served out half a pint of water each to the people.

August 6.-Proceeded on our course, which led us for nine or ten miles through what might be termed an open forest country, with respect to the timber growing on it, but it was overrun with mimosa and acacia bushes, many of which were coming into flower, relieving in some measure the sombre foliage of the cypress and box trees which were scattered among them: it was rather an elevated tract that we travelled through, with such gentle rises and descents as to be almost imperceptible from a level surface. I ascended a hill about three miles north of the road, but could see nothing remarkable in any direction, the whole appearing irregularly broken into low hills and valleys, thickly clothed with small trees and bushes. At the eighth mile we came upon a small waterhole, which our poor horses soon emptied; again at the tenth mile, just at the commencement of a very broken stony range, we also found a few gallons of water, which the horses also enjoyed, it being much too muddy for our use; and besides, we had hopes that after passing the range of hills in which we were about to enter, we should find water on the other side. The range continued in short broken hills for upwards of three miles and a half, and led through such a country as distressed both men and horses exceedingly: the surface was covered with small quartz stones, without herbage of any kind. The box and cypress trees disappeared, and their place was supplied by a numerous species of iron bark, between which the acacia, mimosa, and a new prickly acacia rendered it almost impossible to force a passage: after enduring this for upwards of three miles and a half, we began to descend, by keeping a more easterly course; but before we could come into a better country, either for grass or water, we were obliged to halt for the night, being too much fatigued to proceed farther.

Our search after water was not attended with success, but the ground being extremely boggy, we were in hopes of procuring a little by digging. Our spade, which had so unfortunately been left at Bathurst, would now have been of the most essential service, but the carpenter's adze proved a useful substitute. Choosing a place which seemed most likely to have received the drainings of the hills, and on which a little rain-water still remained, we dug a tolerably good well, and in a few hours were rewarded by obtaining near a quart of thick muddy water per man, which by boiling, skimming, and straining, was rendered palatable to persons who must otherwise have gone without their dinner or breakfast the next morning, it being impossible to eat either our bread or pork without something to quench our thirst.

The soil of the country passed over was of the same red, sandy description as on former days; the hills were covered with small pieces of broken white quartz, and occasionally a large granite rock showed itself from beneath the surface. The botanical productions of the hills seemed also to undergo a considerable change, indicating, as we would fain hope, that a better country is not far off. Several new plants were acquired today, some of which were very beautiful. Our course made good was N. 71. E., distance thirteen miles and a half.

6th. Wednesday. At daybreak sent to the range for water. Continuing our route on the same course, I accompanied Mr. Oxley and Fraser to the hills nearest to the Point. Made it in 4½ miles. Mr. Oxley took a few bearings while I was examining the few plants that grew on its rugged summit. Indigofera speciosa, Tecoma Oxleyi, Boronia pulchella, Eriostemon sp., Senecio sp., with aspen-like leaves, papillously rough, with corymbose flowers. Eucalyptus sp. (Blue Gum), Callitris glauca, and Acacia doratoxylon, very small, compose the whole of its botany.

The country to the northward is mountainous and broken, but easterly it appears more flat and level. Crossing the country from the base of the range, we intersected our horse track in about 3 miles in which we passed creeks, two of which contained some water where we quenched the great thirst of our horses. In our route we observed several fine specimens of Sterculia heterophylla, but not in flower or fruit. Descending from a slight rise we entered a stony brush (denominated an iron bark scrub), exceedingly close and confined, in which I discovered a few new plants viz:--Dodonaea calycina, a slender twiggy shrub remarkable for its large calycinal leaves. Pultenaea sp., leaves linear-oblong, which are, with the calyx and branches, silky. Dillwynia sp., allied to D. floribunda. All the plants observed in Peel's Range are likewise here, of which Acacia sp., allied to A. decipiens, is very common. The timber of this scrub is Eucalyptus sideroxylon, an iron bark, cypress and a species of Eucalyptus with long lanceolate leaves, not in flower.

Having penetrated 3 miles through the brush, we were obliged to halt at nightfall at a clear spot where there was some coarse grass for our horses, although no water for them and little for us. Our journey this day is 13½ miles, which we found a very severe stage. Near our encampment our boat-builder was sent to drain a few small holes of water into one, in order to secure some for our breakfast in the morning. Our dogs had killed a small kangaroo, which we distributed with the water in our kegs among the whole of us. Outside our tent I discovered a new Acacia, with linear-lanceolate leaves, which are bent by the indenture of a gland on the interior margin, solitary axillary capitula of flowers, and elongated filaments.

August 7.-The horses suffered much from want of food and water; but it is absolutely necessary to proceed and get into a better country with all the expedition which we are capable of using, and which the nature of this country will allow. It is some consolation to us that the horses are but lightly loaded, by reason of our not being now encumbered with much provisions, and are consequently enabled to travel farther and better. At half past eight o'clock we again set forward, and for four miles and a quarter continued to pass through the same thick, barren country as yesterday, the ground being absolutely covered with acacia of various species, some extremely beautiful; after which the country became more open; the grass had been burnt, and the marks of the mogo or stone hatchet on the trees, made by the wandering natives of these deserts in search of food, gave us renewed hopes of soon coming to water. A rose-hill parrot was seen for the first time for many months, and we were farther fortunate in killing a fine kangaroo. The country seemed to improve as we advanced, and at the ninth mile, as we had been gradually ascending, we were gratified by an open prospect to the eastward, which showed low gentle hills and valleys thinly studded with trees. The broom-grass, now dead, gave them a white appearance, and, contrasted with the acacia in full flower, and the darker foliage of the trees, gave the whole the most pleasing and varied aspect. To the north-west round to the north, the country was nearly the same; but from north to north-east by east, it was more broken into low barren hills; the tops and sides covered with iron bark, and cypress growing among the interstices of the granite rocks. We had however seen no water, but there was something in the aspect of the whole country that flattered our hopes of finding it in some of the valleys that lay in our course; nor were we disappointed: after going rather more than four miles farther, through a very open country, thickly covered with broom-grass (killed by the frost), we ascended a rocky hill of moderate elevation, connected with others lying east and west: opposite to us was a low rocky range, the summits of which were clothed with iron bark and casuarina trees. We saw from this hill Mount Melville bearing N. 175., Mount Cunningham N. 189 1/2., Mount Maude N. 192., a round mount N. 218., named Mount Riley, a gap in a range N. 283., distance about thirty miles: descending into the valley we found plenty of water, to our great relief, as the horses were quite exhausted, and without this seasonable supply would have been altogether unable to proceed farther. The grass in the valley, although perished by the winter's frost, was very tolerable, and the worn out state of the horses made me determine to remain here to-morrow, to recruit them a little before we proceeded farther.

The country we have passed through this day afforded some of the most beautiful specimens of acacia which we had yet seen, at the same time that they were quite new in the species. The soil however was still of the same description, red and sandy, but for the last five or six miles more firm and compact; many of the plants were recognized as having been originally seen in the neighbourhood of the Macquarie River, and not since: this, with the more generally open appearance of the country, gave us hopes that in a few days we should be fortunate enough to fall in with that stream, which would free us from any farther apprehensions of suffering from want of water; for in that event it is my intention to keep in its immediate vicinity until our arrival at Bathurst. Our course made good was N. 71. E., distance thirteen miles and a quarter.

7th. Thursday. Served out a ration of drained water much discoloured by the soil. Leaving our encampment our course led us through a continuance of the same difficult scrub for the space Of 4¼ miles. These gloomy shades are much beautified by several beautiful acacias, which are now in the greatest beauty and luxuriance. At the termination of the scrub, the country suddenly changes to forest grassy land, with a slight brush of Acacia sp., allied to A. decurrens, among which I observed Pimelea colorans, a shrub whose flowers change from white to a deep blue colour. The land continues of the forest description with slight risings for upwards of 6 miles to a considerable tract of burnt grass, where was good pasturage for our horses. The change of stone from a quartz to a red variegated granite, common on the Macquarie River, and the appearance of several of our Bathurst plants, suggested to us that a change of country was near at hand.

Clearing the more bushy forest an immense expanse of clear open hilly country opened to our view, with valleys having much the appearance of the rising grounds between Campbell's River and Bathurst. The hills are bare and grassy, but the soil is not much better than that already passed. Travelling through the valley on an easterly course we arrived at a creek, which we traced down and in it discovered water in abundance for ourselves and horses. Accordingly we halted for the day and pitched our tent on its high bank, having made good 13¼ miles. The hills between which this creek runs are rocky and productive of some fine plants. Acacia spectabilis (a new sp.), with bipinnate leaves, and axillary elongated spikes of flowers, making a very magnificent appearance. Acacia sp., with terminal panicles of flowers, common on the Bathurst Plains. Tecoma Oxleyi; Prostanthera nivea; Grevillea sp., allied to G. sphacelata, and an Hibbertia with linear leaves and fine yellow flowers. We saw kangaroo and emu, of which our dogs secured some for us. Among some burnt grassy spots I observed an entire-leaved Solamim, and another with broad ovate glossy foliage, aculeated, and glaucus beneath; they were not in flower. The timber is Bastard Box and Callitris sp., seen first at Mount Aiton, with scales of the fruit sub-calceolated, and some fine lofty specimens of Sterculia heterophylla.

August 8.-Made the usual observations to ascertain our situation, the result of which placed us in lat. 32. 47. 58. S., long. 147. 23. E., and the variation of the needle 5. 20. E. The valley in which we encamped is enclosed by forest hills on all sides but the east, affording us plenty of water from what is, even at this dry season, a perceptible stream. The grass however was quite killed by the frost, and, although abundant, did not afford such nourishment to the horses as their condition required, insomuch that if we fall in with a part of the country that has been burnt in the course of to-morrow's route, I shall give them a day's rest.

Kangaroos of a very large size abound in every direction around us: our dogs killed one weighing seventy or eighty pounds, which proved a great and refreshing acquisition to us.

To the valley I gave the name of Emmeline's Valley, and the hill from which we corrected our survey with Mount Melville and Mount Cunningham, Macnamara's Hill. The day was clear and mild, and in the course of it some new and fine plants were procured.

8th. Friday. Our horses required rest from the labours of the 4 last days. We therefore continued at our encampment in the vale, which has been called Hamelin's Valley. In the afternoon I visited some hills in the neighbourhood, on the rocky summit of which I gathered specimens of a new plant of the Epacrideae, (Leucopogon). I gathered likewise some duplicate seeds of Tecoma Oxleyi. We find by observation our tent is situate in lat. 32°47'58" S., and long. 147°50' E., and the mean variation of the compass is 5°20' E.

August 9.-The morning fine and pleasant. At half past eight we left the valley, intending still to keep our course north of east, as the most likely point on which to make the Macquarie River, from which, judging by the botanical productions of that stream, we cannot be very far.

For three or four miles the country was tolerably open and good, being clothed with luxuriant broom-grass. The cypress trees of good dimensions; but no signs of water. For the remainder of our day's journey, we passed over tracts of low barren ridges covered with brush, and iron bark trees, and open valleys; the country was of moderate elevation, but still we were not so fortunate as to find any water, although every slope was searched. After having travelled fourteen miles, during the latter part of which it rained hard, I thought it most advisable to stop, as we had just passed through a thick brush into a more open country, which would afford the horses something to eat; the rain, which still continued, relieving us from apprehension of their suffering much from want of water. As to ourselves, we had taken our now usual precaution to fill our keg, which gave us a pint each for our evening consumption, and the same quantity for breakfast the next morning.

In the course of the day the stirculia heterophylla was very abundant, and we remarked that the cypresses were those originally known as the callitris australis, and not of either of the other two species, which were common in the neighbourhood of the Lachlan. The brushes and scrubs were the only places that afforded any thing to the researches of the botanists; the open lands being covered with grass, and the shrubs being of acacias whose species had been already often seen on this side of the Blue Mountain range.

9th. Saturday. Resuming our journey from Hamelin's Valley on a course N.E. by E. the country assumes an appearance that we hoped to have passed altogether. At the extremity of the vale we entered a thick brushwood of diminutive Eucalyptus, Cypress and Acacia, which continues until terminated by some rising rocky ground, covered for the most part with iron bark, which is not in flower. These little hills form boundaries to small valleys, on their eastern sides having abundance of high brown grass. I observed several unusually large specimens of Sterculia heterophylla from one of which I procured specimens in pod and a few seeds. The timber, although 20 in. to 2 ft. 6 in. diameter, cannot be appropriated to any useful or ornamental purposes in cabinet or other works, on account of its soft and spongy texture. A short period after it has been bruised or cut a resinous gum oozes from the wound, and is of the nature and colour of the resin produced by the several genera of the Coniferae. It was at 7 miles on this day's route we arrived at a thick brush, through which ran a creek north and south, containing some stagnant discoloured water. At this providential place we watered the horses.

Among the interesting plants observed in this brush, a species of Daviesia with linear round spinescent leaves and axillary racemes of flowers, which is now very luxuriant, with Acacia obliqua and A. pendula. The land for the next 6 miles is brushy forest and rocky Eucalyptian hills, succeeded by a confined brush of Cypress, in which I gathered the seeds and specimens of a second species of shrub of the habit of Westringia, with quadrangular sulcated horizontal branches. Clearing the brush we came upon an open grassy district, and halted at a spot where there was abundance of wood, and grass for the horses, but no water. Mr. Oxley sent a man in search of some, but he returned unsuccessful. The water we had had the precaution to carry in a keg was served out to each of us at one and a half pint per man.

August 10.-The morning proved clear and mild, and at nine we again proceeded; as it was impossible to remain in a place that did not afford us any water, and not good grass.

The country continued open forest land for about three miles, the cypress and the bastard box being the prevailing timber; of the former many were useful trees. We seemed neither ascending nor descending, but travelling on somewhat of an elevated plain. The broom-grass was very luxuriant, being four or five feet high; the soil, as before, a light, red, sandy loam. To this open tract succeeded three miles of barren brush land, covered with clumps of small cypresses, iron barks, and acacias; the slightest elevation or ascent was always stony, and in one or two places large masses of granite rock were observed. We have hitherto seen no other signs of this being an inhabited country than the marks usually made by the natives in ascending the trees, and none of these were very recent. It is probable that they may see us without discovering themselves, as it is much more likely for us to pass unobserved the little family of the wandering native, than that our party, consisting of so many men and horses, not travelling together, but sometimes separated a mile or two, should escape their sight, quickened as it is by constant exercise in procuring their daily food.

At the end of the brush we came upon a large chain of ponds, the fall of water in which being north, induced us to believe that the Macquarie could not be far distant: we proceeded down them about a mile, when the situation offering us all we could wish for, we halted for the night, it being past two o'clock, determining to remain here to-morrow for the sake of the horses.

The country on the east side of this chain of ponds was again an open forest as far as we could see in that direction; which however was not very far, as we were nearly on a level. I rode down the ponds Six or seven miles, hoping to fall in with their junction with the river. Two or three miles from our halting-place the ground became very scrubby, and was much over-run with brush and small pines; there were marks of flood in the watercourse of the ponds, from eight to ten feet high. I saw several shags, ducks, herons, cranes, and other birds that frequent low or watery situations, but the night coming on obliged me to return.

10th. Sunday. We sent at daybreak two of our people to a small water hole 2½ miles back on the journey of yesterday for some water for our breakfast. We were obliged to advance forward this morning in consequence of the want of water for our horses and selves. About 3 miles at the commencement of our journey the country is fine and open, grassy and thickly clothed with timber common about Bathurst, the Lachlan depôt and the Eastern coast. Onward about 4 miles the land exhibits a miserable barren appearance with irregular risings and scrubs of the description passed yesterday. To our surprise, at 6¾ miles we came suddenly to a rocky creek containing some fine water, at present stagnant, but having the marks of flood and hence suggesting the idea of its deriving its supplies from the hills southward, and running when full northerly and ultimately emptying itself into the Macquarie. Mr. Oxley rode down it 6 miles, when its general tendency was northerly in the character of a chain of ponds. About a mile down the creek (in which Arundo phragmites is frequent), which is about 8 feet wide, we halted and pitched our tent on the side of an old native encampment. Here we saw quantities of the horse-mussel shells with which the creek had furnished them, and some stones on which they had been sharpening some weapons or instruments, perhaps their mogos or stone hatchets. The very recent marks of kangaroo and emu among the fine brown grass and forest land in the vicinity of the creek are proofs of the abundance of those animals in these fine grassy grounds. I gathered fresh specimens of Callitris glauca, those that I had formerly collected having suffered from friction. The Styphelia, first seen on George's Range, I noticed in the brush of this day.

August 11.-Along the banks of these ponds, several transitory encampments of the natives were found, but none that had been inhabited within these four or six months; by all of them were found abundance of the pearl muscle-shell so common on the Lachlan. The soil, as far as we examined round our tents, east of the ponds, was a good sandy loam. The timber very open, and if the country had been divested of the numerous acacia bushes with which the face of it was covered, it would be impossible to wish for land more lightly timbered: the grass anthistiria was very luxuriant. The ponds appear to have not been flooded for a very considerable time, the water in many being of a milky whiteness, and the dry channels are overrun with reeds and grass. These ponds were called Coysgaine's Ponds, and by our observations the tent was in lat. 32. 44. 29. S., long. 147. 46. 30. E., mean variation 7. 18. E.

11th. Monday. We remained the whole of the day at our encampment on this creek, which Mr. Oxley has termed Gaygarne's Ponds, after a friend of his. Our lat. is 32°44'29" S., and long. 148°14'15" East, and mean variation of the compass is 7°18'00" S. Our hunters returned from the chase with three kangaroos.

August 12.-Proceeded on our course, which, as I hoped and expected we were not far from the Macquarie River, was altered to north-east, for the purpose of joining it lower down than our former course would have done; being anxious to know as much of the country in the vicinity of the river as our time and circumstances would permit. An open forest country with tolerably good soil continued for nearly five miles, when we suddenly came upon a large swampy plain surrounded by the acacia pendula. Water was still remaining on several parts of it, and we had no doubt from its whole appearance that it would lead immediately to the river; from the south-west edge of this plain (which was six or seven miles round), we had a distant prospect of a very lofty mountainous range to the eastward, named Harvey's Range; the north extreme of which bore north, and the highest part N. 94. This range was by far the highest we had seen westward of the Blue Mountains. and its elevation could be very little if at all inferior. Crossing this plain and pursuing our north-easterly course, we entered a poor barren country covered with box trees, and low acacia shrubs; our hope of meeting the river was however disappointed. We travelled upwards of six miles through this box scrub, when coming to two or three holes of good water I thought it advisable to halt, rather than proceed a mile or two farther, which was the utmost we could have done; and then in all probability, be obliged to halt at a spot that would not afford us that necessary article.

The inclination of the loftier trees, particularly the cypress trees, for these two or three days past, denoted the strength and prevalence of the south-west and westerly winds: this is more easily discernible from the tops of low ranges; the western side of the tree being generally deprived of its branches, and the trunk bent in a remark-able manner to the north-east. This inclination and prevalence of the winds was not observed in any particular degree westward of Mount Cunningham, and was most remarkable in that elevated range of country lying between the depot on the Lachlan and Bathurst; and which elevated tract continues with little interruption to the western base of the Blue Mountain range, on which there is not a single tree that does not denote prevalence of the westerly wind.

12th. Tuesday. We pursued our journey northerly of the course we have been travelling for some days past in hopes of intersecting the Macquarie River, which from appearances could not be far distant. Course N.E. Having passed the grassy forest land near the creek, we arrived at the margin of an open plain, from which we had a view of a distant range northward of us, which appeared very lofty. Stretching over the plain about a mile we passed through a very sterile scrubby district, somewhat elevated, thickly wooded with Bastard Box, Cypress, and the Casuarina (or Swamp Oak), and having the same character in the botany as before observed. The Acaciae, which are predominant, are not so far advanced towards a flowering state as we had seen them some days previously. This brush continues to the termination of our journey this day (which was 12 miles), and we pitched our tent near some holes of water, where was burnt grass for the horses. I gathered duplicate seeds of Scaevola prostrata and of a species of Myoporum, a common shrub in the brush. The travelling was for the most part soft and boggy this day. The small Adiantum; Lobelia sp., allied to L. purpurascens; and a species of Satureia, all plants of swamps, were observed on the plains. In clear water-holes at our present resting place I discovered a second species of an Alisma, it appears of stronger growth than the species common in running waters in New South Wales.

August 13.-Again set forward, intending to keep a north-easterly course through the day, when if we do not fall in with the river, our future course will be directed more easterly; as we shall be then full seventy miles north of Bathurst, and north of the parallel of Port Stephens. The country through which our course led us to-day was of various description, the first three miles and a half being indifferent forest land, open with respect to timber, but much overrun with small acacia bushes; at the end of this tract was a small stream of water in ponds, having its course in the lofty range east-south-east of us, and which was not very distant from us; this stream was named Allan Water, and its stream was northerly. The next four miles north-east of this burn was through a barren scrubby country, full of dry water-holes, and thickly covered with the casuarina filifolia, box trees, and acacia bushes. The cypress seemed to shun this kind of barren clayey soil, and was more prevalent and flourishing on the open forest land where the soil was light and loamy, and covered with luxuriant broom-grass; this was the case for the last few miles, which consisted of a very good tract of land.

The cypresses here grew into very handsome timber, and indeed were the only useful wood, as the box tree was usually stunted and crooked. At the end of twelve miles we found a small spring of water that supplied some ponds, which also run northerly. The grass being pretty good, although old, we determined to halt for the evening, as the horses were not all arrived having had a considerable detour to make in crossing Allan Water. On the banks of that burn many heaps of the pearl muscle-shells were found, and marks of flood about eight feet. We have for several days past seen no signs of any natives being recently in this part of the country; the marks on the trees, which were the only marks we saw, being several months old, and never seen except in the vicinity of water. Marks of the natives' tomahawks were to us certain signs of approaching water.

13th. Wednesday. Still in hopes of seeing the Macquarie River we continued our route on the same N.E. course on which we had travelled yesterday. In about 2 miles from our halting place we came to a creek or small rivulet from 12 to 14 feet wide, and between 5 and 6 feet deep, which received the waters falling from the lofty range to the southward and eastward, whose elevated summit we occasionally had a glimpse of through the trees. By the motionless appearance of dead leaves floating on its surface the stream was just discernible running to the northward. Crossing this water (which abounds with several common aquatic plants, such as Potamogeton natans, Actinocarpus, etc.), by means of a fallen tree, but passing our horses over higher up at a rocky ford, we continued our journey about 7 miles over a barren scrubby country broken with dry water-holes encircled by swamp oak (Casuarina), cypress and Acacia Pendula. I had occasion in this day's route to make the same observation relative to the backwardness of the plants in a flowering state which we have seen expanded some days past in the south-westward. The land assumes an improving state, being slightly brushed foresty country, covered with flint, strong brome grass and timber of Callitris sp. (common at Bathurst), and Bastard Box of considerable bulk. At the termination Of 12½ miles, arriving at some holes of water, we stopped for the night. This water is tinged with the colour of the white sandy marsh through which it filters, and runs gently over a rushy cypress flat.

August 14.-We had now come from the river Lachlan upwards of an hundred miles in a north-east direction, without being so fortunate as to fall in with the Macquarie; we were also near seventy miles north of Bathurst, and much about the same distance west of it: it was therefore evident that the Macquarie must have taken at least a north. north-west course from the place where it was last seen; how much farther north it had gone, of course we were ignorant: it is however probable, from the watercourses we have lately passed leading northerly, that the above point would be nearly the course which it has taken. To travel farther to the north-east would lead us very far from our proper route to Bathurst; farther indeed than we had provisions to enable us to travel, having only from Saturday next enough for fourteen days at a reduced allowance; and that time I calculated would be barely sufficient to take us to Bathurst on a direct course, presuming no local obstacles to arise. These considerations induced me to alter our course to east, which however would be nearly at right angles with that which we imagined the river to have taken, and would therefore enable us to reach it perhaps as soon as on any other course, as we could only infer its probable situation from the nature of the country over which we travelled. At half past eight o'clock, we again set forward on the above course (east): it led us generally through a good open grazing country for about eight miles, when it became more broken and hilly; these hills were all covered with grass, their summits and sides rocky, with small stones: the colour of the soil had been apparently getting darker for some miles, and was now a light, hazel-coloured, sandy loam. The small blue eucalyptus, so common in the neighbourhood of Bathurst, again made its appearance, taking the place of the box tree; iron and stringy barks of small size were also common on the tops and sides of the hills: two Sydney or coast plants were also seen. Between the eighth and ninth mile we ascended a small hill, whence we had a distant view from the south round by the west to north, taking in that tract of country over which we had passed. Not a hill or eminence of any kind broke the dead level surface of the country in those quarters; and the day was so clear, that had any been within sixty or seventy miles they must have been seen. From the east to the south was the lofty range before mentioned, and now distant five or six miles: it was broken and rocky; iron bark trees were however growing on the very summit. To the north-east and north our view was not more than ten or eleven miles, being broken into low grassy hills of pretty much the same elevation with that on which we stood. The smoke of several natives' fires were seen in the range to the eastward, and some to the north-west. Proceeding about four miles farther to the eastward among those hills, we halted in a pretty valley, having a small run of water in it falling northerly. We had just pitched our tent when hearing the noise of the stone-hatchet made by a native in climbing a tree, we stole silently upon him, and surprised him just as he was about to descend: he did not perceive us until we were immediately under the tree; his terror and astonishment were extreme. We used every friendly motion in our power to induce him to descend, but in vain: he kept calling loudly, as we supposed for some of his companions to come to his assistance; in the mean time he threw down to us the game he had procured (a ring-tailed opossum), making signs for us to take it up: in a short time another native came towards us, when the other descended from the tree. They trembled excessively, and, if the expression may be used, were absolutely INTOXICATED with fear, displayed in a thousand antic motions, convulsive laughing, and singular motions of the head. They were both youths not exceeding twenty years of age, of good countenance and figure, but most horribly marked by the skin and flesh being raised in long stripes all over the back and body; some of those stripes were full three-quarters of an inch deep, and were so close together that scarcely any of the original skin was to be seen between them. The man who had joined us, had three or four small opossums and a snake, which he laid upon the ground, and offered us. We led them to our tent, where their surprise at every thing they saw clearly showed that we were the first white men they had met with; they had however either heard of or seen tomahawks for upon giving one to one of them, he clasped it to his breast and demonstrated the greatest pleasure. After admiring it for some time they discovered the broad arrow, with which it was marked on both sides, the impression of which exactly resembles that made by the foot of the emu; it amused them extremely, and they frequently pointed to it and the emu skins which we had with us. All this time they were paying great attention to the roasting of their opossums, and when they were scarcely warm through, they opened them, and, taking out the fat of the entrails, presented it to us as the choicest morsel; on our declining to receive it they ate it themselves, and again covered up the opossums in the hot ashes. When they were apparently well done, they laid them, the snake, and the things we had presented them with, on the ground, making signs that they wished to go; which of course we allowed them to do, together with their little store of provisions and such things as we were able to spare them. The collection of words which we had made at the depot on the Lachlan, we found of no use, as they did not understand a single one. They had neither of them lost the upper front tooth, though apparently men grown.

14th. Thursday. At an early hour we advanced on our journey over a continuance of the same grassy forest land on which we had halted last night. Thickly wooded for about 5 miles, and becoming hilly as we approached the lofty range before us. On the first rising ground, which is clothed with western iron bark, I discovered a new species of Acacia impressa and a species of Leucopogon; the Acacia forming a small tree 10-12 feet high, and in young fruit and flower. The timber on the succession of hills and grassy valleys was unvaried until we had passed 8 miles, to another rocky eminence, where Eucalyptus micrantha or Bastard Box becomes less frequent, but is succeeded by the stringy bark of the eastern coast. I likewise observed plants that are indigenous near Sydney, such as Zamia spiralis, Xanthorrhaea, Hakea, Kennedya monophylla and Calythrix tetragona. A glaucous, oblique-leaved Eucalyptus, first observed in the Vale of Clwyd, is frequent in the valley.

Passing several gullies or water courses that ran through the valley, we ascended a rocky mount near to but detached from the range, whence Mr. Oxley took several bearings. The country appeared perfectly flat, presenting a clear horizon from N. to W. and round to the south. Finding it necessary to change the course to due east, we continued until we had cleared 12½ miles, when we halted at a creek, whose waters ran through a thick cypress channel.

We had scarcely unladen our horses and pitched the tent, when some of our people distinctly heard a continual hammering, as of a native with his hatchet. Mr. Oxley with some of our people went towards the spot whence the sound proceeded--about a quarter of a mile from our encampment--and discovered a native upon a tree, cutting out an opossum from its hollow trunk, in which the little animal had taken refuge from its pursuers. He became alarmed as we approached the tree, crying out to his companions, which soon brought another native from the hills--loaded with kangaroo, rats and snakes--to his assistance. It was with much persuasion, and more particularly when he observed that we were kind to his comrade, that this native was induced to descend the tree to us. We led them to our tent and sat them down by our fire, at which they roasted the fruits of their labours entire, gutting the opossum, and when sufficiently baked, devouring the entrails first, as a great delicacy, which they appeared to enjoy the more when powdered and peppered with fine wood-ashes! Although exceedingly intimidated by our numbers, and lost in wonder at our colour and all things belonging to us around them their shyness and fears gradually disappeared when they experienced our kind treatment. They ate of our bread and drank of our water from a tin pot, which they had never seen before, and became very loquacious. Mr. Oxley exchanged for a green jade hatchet of theirs an old iron one of ours. We showed them with what despatch and great ease we could cut horizontally through a gum tree, which with their mogos or stone axes woould be a work of great labour, and would be only bruised through diagonally. We showed them their image a glass, and took them to our horses, the sight of which with everything about them was a source of much surprise, which they manifested in wild extravagant gestures and grimaces. Mr. Oxley presented them with a knife and a handkerchief. They were young men of 5 feet 4-6 inches, of well-proportioned features, and with large bushy heads of hair, which gave them a wild ferocious appearance. The cartilage of the nose of one of them was perforated and a stick or reed passed through it. They did not want for their front teeth. The pain occasioned by the deep tattooing process on their backs and breasts must be almost intolerable. Large cartilaginous pieces of flesh projected from their backs--almost an inch--forming various figures. They were perfectly naked, and had no spears or weapons of defence. Desirous of departing to their companions, whose numbers (perhaps their women?) they gave us to understand by their fingers were five--and whose faces we saw from the rocky hill to-day, they walked off without the least signs of fear or distrust.

August 15.-We were somewhat disappointed in not seeing anything more of our native acquaintances, as we hoped the treatment and presents they had received would have induced them to return to us with their companions, as they had endeavoured to make us understand by signs they would. At eight we proceeded on an easterly course, when a mile of gently rising ground brought us to the edge of a fine valley, in which was a chain of ponds connected by a small stream; alternate hills and valleys of the best description of pasture land: the soil, a rich, light, sandy loam, continued until we halted, at the end of eleven miles, in a spacious, well-watered valley; where to our great surprise we found distinct marks of cattle tracks: they were old, and made when the ground was soft from rain, as appeared from the deep impression of their feet. These cattle must have strayed from Bathurst, from which place we were now distant in a direct line between eighty and ninety miles. From several of the hills over which our route led us, we had the most extensive and beautiful prospects; from thirty to forty miles round, from the north to south, the country was broken in irregular low hills thinly studded with small timber, and covered with grass: the whole landscape within the compass of our view was clear and open, resembling diversified pleasure grounds irregularly laid out and planted. The animation of the whole scenery was greatly increased by the smoke of the natives' fires arising in every quarter, distinctly marking that we were in a country which afforded them ample means of subsistence; far different from the low deserts and morasses to the south-west.

The tops of the hills were generally stony (granite of different degrees and qualities), but the broom-grass grew strongly and abundantly in the interstices. We never descended a valley without finding it well watered, and although the soil and character of the country rendered it fit for all agricultural purposes, yet I think from its general clearness from brush, or underwood of any kind, that such tracts must be peculiarly adapted for sheep-grazing; there being no shelter for native dogs, which are so destructive and annoying in other more thickly wooded parts of the country. In the fine valley where we pitched our tents, our dogs had some excellent runs, and killed two large kangaroos; the clearness of the country affording us a view of the chace from the beginning to the end.

Some of the baggage horses, which were a mile or two behind the others, came up to the tents, with nine natives, who had joined them on the road: they were entirely unarmed, and there was but one mogo, or stone hatchet, among them; we had reason to suppose that their women and children were at no great distance, as they were observed to hide themselves when the men were first seen. The greater part of them had either seen or heard of white men, as they were neither alarmed nor astonished at what they saw. I should think that the loss of the front upper tooth is not common to every tribe, as several of these men retained it, although others were without it; the wearing a stick, or bone, through the cartilage of the nose, appeared common to all of them. They remained about an hour with us: we gave them the fore-quarter of a kangaroo, and putting our remaining pork into a bag, we distributed the iron hoops of the keg in small pieces among them; these were received with as much pleasure as an European would have felt at being presented with the like quantity of gold. It was impossible distinctly to make out anything that they wished to express, by reason of the variety of their gestures; but their frequent pointing to the south-east (the direction of Bathurst), induced us to believe that they thought we were going there, a conjecture which we did all in our power to confirm. Wishing, if possible, to learn if they knew anything of the river, a fishing hook was given to one of them, but he did not seem to understand the use of it until Mr. Evans drew the resemblance of a fish, and made signs that the hook was to take it, when they immediately understood him, and pointing to the east made signs that the fish were there; but our endeavours to learn the distance of the river were wholly fruitless. They appeared a harmless, inoffensive race of people, extremely cautious of giving offence, and never touching anything until they had first by signs obtained permission. Many of the words collected at the depot were known to them, others were not; but ignorant as we of course were of each other's meaning, we found it a vain task to endeavour to learn their names of things. To collect a vocabulary of words in a strange language, it is in some measure necessary that the party who is to afford the knowledge should understand for what purpose he is questioned, which it was impossible to make these simple creatures comprehend. They left us about an hour before sunset, highly gratified with their adventure.

15th. Friday. Resuming our journey easterly about 9 o'clock we were obliged to steer our course more northerly, in order to avoid some lofty parts of the range by passing over the lower risings or bends of the same. The whole of this day's journey was a succession of hills and valleys, well watered by creeks running in various bends through them, generally inclining northerly; and throughout the whole there is no want or scarcity of water, although there has been no rain of any consequence for a considerable time. The timber is Bastard Box, Western Iron Bark, and some few specimens of the Eucalyptus and Stringy Bark on the hills, on which there were some fine fragments of red granite and some pieces of limestone.

The plants observed to-day were not different from any before seen, Acacia impressa is frequent on the rocky hills, with several others of its congeners. Our courses from the nature of the country were various, generally easterly; the continual ascents and descents were very fatiguing to our horses and ourselves, and induced us to halt at 10½ miles on a spot where we could furnish ourselves with abundance of dead wood and water from a reed-grassy creek that was in a running state.

It is a singular fact that we came upon the footmarks of oxen very deep on the banks of a water course in the valley. We traced them along the creek a considerable distance in order to ascertain beyond doubt this remarkable incident. They may be the Government cattle that were missing from Cox's River, and which were supposed and reported accordingly to have died in the mountains. Our baggage horses were followed by nine natives (men) during the last 6 miles of this journey to our tent. They manifested no symptoms of fear when they came up to us, were very talkative, and expressed their surprise at different objects around them. They appeared to be acquainted with iron nails, and from this circumstance it is very possible they had seen some white men in or about Bathurst, or had been in company with some stock-keepers and cattle drivers on the Macquarie River, which they appeared to be well acquainted with, and made signs as to the direction that stream bore from us which gave us hopes of seeing it in a few days. Our dogs had killed for us some kangaroos; we therefore gave them the forequarters of one of these animals, which they roasted at our fires. Having served out to ourselves and people the ration of pork and flour, we broke up the casks and converted the iron hoops into swords with which we furnished each of them one, presenting to the most intelligent man (apparently), an old file, the use of which we learned him by sharpening the edge of his cimetar. They appeared highly delighted with these pieces of iron, which they would soon turn to a variety of uses. We likewise gave them each a piece of pork, which they did not appear to relish--on account of its saltness. After our people had enjoyed a dance or corroboree with them, these harmless inoffensive natives left us, returning the road they came. They were two elderly, six strong younger men and a lad; and their appearances and habits were the same as of those seen yesterday. They were quite naked and unarmed and the lad appeared to be related to a person of eminence from the circumstance of his seating himself at a small distance from the rest, and from the respect they appeared to pay him, and the tattooing on his back was more diversified and different.

August 16.-Quitted the valley (which was named Mary's Valley) on our eastern course, anxiously hoping that we should reach the river in the course of the day. We had heard last night and this morning the screams of the white cockatoo, which we have always looked upon as a certain sign of approaching water.

The same fine grazing tract of country continued over irregular hills and valleys for about four miles, when ascending a high hill (named Mount Johnston), a little upon our left, we had a very extensive view to the north-east and east. In the former quarter, a beautiful range of hills stretching north and south, bounded at a distance of about eight miles the fine extensive valley before us; under those hills we would fain have found the Macquarie, fancying that we could distinguish the haze arising from water. To the northward, two hills skirted the valley at a distance of six or seven miles, which might be about the medium width of it from north to south, in which quarter a rocky range, clothed with pines and iron-bark, prevented us from seeing to any great distance; to the east and south-east, the same low irregular country appeared, thinly covered with trees and grass.

Desirous of ascertaining if our conjectures were well founded in respect to the river, we altered our course, which was east, to north-east, keeping down the south side of the valley or plain, which we had seen from Mount Johnston. A finer or more fertile country than that we passed through for about four miles and a half cannot be imagined: the soil, a light brown, sandy loam, covered with broom-grass from four to five feet high. After travelling the above distance, we most unexpectedly came upon a stream, which from its high grassy banks and rocky bottom we were obliged to conclude must be the river we were in search of; but so diminished in magnitude that the motion of the water connecting the long chains of reedy ponds, was so slow as scarcely to entitle it to the appellation of a living stream. The whole country from where we quitted the Lachlan to this spot had borne evident marks of long continued drought, and in no part was it more apparent than in the present stream which was so much smaller than it was at Bathurst, even after the great drought in 1815, that after going up it three or four miles, I began to entertain great doubts of its being the same, hoping that it might be one of the channels which must convey the waters from the high ranges of hills, lying nearly midway between the Lachlan and the Macquarie Rivers.

Observing a fine and extensive flat on the opposite side of the stream, which having been formerly burnt, was now covered with good grass, we crossed over at a place not ankle deep, and about six or eight feet wide, over a bottom of sand and stone, and halted for the evening; intending also to remain the ensuing day, to refresh the horses, as they had performed an excellent and continued week's work, and much required it.

On reaching the present stream numerous cattle tracks were observed, and although not very recent, I do not think they were more than four or six months old, since the marks of young cattle were among them; it is probable they were those that have been missing for a length of time from the government herds at Cox's River, and are now straying wild through this beautiful country, abounding in every thing that can tempt them to remain here.

The plants on the banks and in the stream were precisely similar to those on the Macquarie in the vicinity of Bathurst; but I have observed that no certain conclusions can be drawn from a similarity between the botanical productions of two places, a truth which has been exemplified more than once in the course of this Journal.

16th. Saturday. Slight frost. We left our last night's resting place, pursuing an easterly course through grassy valleys bounded by gentle hills, covered loosely with lamina of red slate substance, fragments of red granite and some tolerably fair specimens of agate, some of which were, however, fractured. At 4 miles on our journey we ascended a lofty tree; from thence we had a view of the country to the N.E. and S.E., which consists of hills and vales thinly clothed with timber. The general inclination of these hills is from the southward to the north. A misty line of exhalation arising between the hills induced us to change our course to N.E., on which route we advanced about 4 miles and a half when to our surprise we arrived at the right bank of a stream[*] which we supposed might possibly be the Macquarie, the river we have so long calculated upon and wished to see. The water is clear and there is enough current in it to state it is not stagnant. It is now about 4 feet deep and is in places overrun with Arundo phragmites, and had marks of flood 12 feet above its present level. Its banks are rocky, occasionally very high and perpendicular, of red earth. In some places it formed handsome straight reaches, which gave to this rivulet a pleasant picturesque appearance. The cattle tracks were very distinct and deep on its banks, which are now dry and dusty, proving to us that no rain had fallen for some time.

[* Named by Oxley, Molle's Rivulet.]

We traced the rivulet for 3 miles and crossed it, availing ourselves of a shoaly rocky part to ford over to the opposite high bank where we encamped. The hills on this side were fired by the natives, the flames making rapid progress in the dry high grass. The plants now became exceedingly uninteresting. The timber is small iron and stringy bark on the hills: several Bathurst plants are common on the lower lands. Eucalyptus perfoliata of the Vale of Clwyd, with Persoonia spathulata are common on the grassy flats. Our journey was 12½ miles. A lofty mount seen northerly from the hill on which we ascended this morning has been called Mount Johnson. The channel of the river abounds with Azolla pinnata, floating on its surface.

August 17.-During the whole day the weather did not permit me to make the usual observations; it was not however uselessly passed, as the country was examined several miles to the north-east and east of our tents, and every report concurred as to the general beauty and goodness of the tracts passed over. Mr. Evans and myself ascended a high grassy hill about a mile and a half north of the tent, and the prospect round was highly pleasing. The general appearance of the country southerly made me still adhere to the opinion I entertained that the stream along which we were travelling would prove to derive its source from a very lofty range in that direction; whilst the Macquarie would be found still farther to the eastward, in which quarter I must have deceived myself greatly, if we do not find a stream superior to the present; and my hopes in that respect are much strengthened when I consider that we are not above fifty miles in a straight line from the spot where Mr. Evans left the Macquarie, a strong and powerful stream, and that too in a season as long and even longer dry than the present one. In these hopes and expectations I shall continue an easterly course until nearly on the meridian of Bathurst, when they must either be realized, or the negative indisputably established, that there are no considerable rivers rising in the interior of New South Wales. From the hill on which we stood, bearings were taken to the most remarkable objects, which were but few; for the country, as far as the eye could reach, was a continued series of low grassy hills and valleys; the whole thinly covered with wood, and in many places entirely bare of it. The hills to the southward and south-west on the west side of the stream, and immediately bordering on it, were rocky and irregular; a few cypresses were growing on their sides and summits. We named the hill on which we stood Mount Elizabeth, and the extensive flats or plains north of it, and on the east side of the stream, McArthur's Plains.

The tracks of cattle were observed in various places on these plains, some very recent, perhaps not a month old. A fish was also caught, of the species common both to the Lachlan and the Macquarie. The soil of the country round, is far as we had time to examine it, was a rich, light, sandy loam, most abundantly covered with long broom-grass: the rocks and stones on the hills were granite of various qualities. Nothing was found new to the botanists; in truth, this is not a country adapted to their pursuits.

17th. Sunday. Mild morning. We rested the whole of this day. Hibbertia cuneata, Swainsona coronillaefolia, Croton acerifolius, Indigofera australls, and Croton, are all plants on the banks of the rivulet. From a fine grassy hill bearing three quarters of a mile N. by E. I gathered specimens of a bulbous rooted Cyperus with woolly leaves; Eucalyptus glauca, forming a tree 30 feet or 40 feet high, with an angular umbel of flowers, is frequent, and, being now in flower, induced me to gather specimens. Fraser, who had been sent away a few miles in order to ascertain, if possible, something more satisfactory respecting the rivulet, returned having made no new discovery. On the highlands and rising grassy spots I gathered specimens of an Acacia appearing distinct from A. decurrens, not only in the habit of its inflorescence but in the position of its glands and form of its foliage. It is an arbuscula and apt to form thick bushes.

I accompanied Mr. Oxley and Mr. Evans to the summit of a hill of steep ascent, which has been called Elizabeth Hill, where some bearings were taken of remarkable points on the course we intended to pursue. Between a range of hills running north and south and bearing E.N.E. 10 miles, there is an appearance of a river, from the steep perpendicular banks descending to a valley or hollow, and we could trace a line of haze for a considerable length south and north, above the summits of the hills over the valley. From these appearances we are inclined to believe that the Macquarie is there situated, running northerly, and that this watercourse on which we are encamped is only a conductor of the rain in a body to the river north-westerly of us. We caught a fish in this rivulet.

August 18.-In pursuance of the intention formed yesterday of still continuing an easterly course, we again set forward at half past eight o'clock.

The general description of country was nearly the same as that which we passed over on preceding days; several pieces of limestone were found, which proved of good quality. On going between three and four miles, ascending a range of hills which lay directly across our course, we had a prospect of a fine and spacious valley, bounded to the east by low grassy hills; there was every appearance of a watercourse being in it, but it was distant five or six miles, and our access to it was rendered difficult by lofty rocky hills forming deep and irregular glens, so narrow that I feared we should not be able to follow their windings, the rocks rising in such vast perpendicular shapes as seemingly to debar our passage. After some little hesitation, we found a place down which the horses might descend in safety. This being accomplished, we traversed the bottom of the glen along all its windings for nearly three miles and a half: a fine stream of pure water was running through it. Here, doubtful of being able before dark to gain the valley we were in search of we halted for the night. It is impossible to imagine a more beautifully romantic glen than that in which we lay. There was just level space on either side of the stream for the horses to travel along, the rocks rising almost perpendicularly from it to a towering height, covered with flowering acacia of various species, whose bright yellow flowers were contrasted and mingled with the more sombre foliage of the blue gum and cypress trees: several new plants were also found, of beautiful descriptions.

The stream in the glen running north-easterly encouraged us to hope that we should ultimately be rewarded by finding a considerable stream in the valley, which was the cause of our deviation from our more direct course to Bathurst. The glen which was to afford us access to it, we named Glenfinlass: it might, perhaps, be properly termed the glen of many windings, as it was formed of several detached lofty hills; between each of which deep ravines were formed, communicating in times of rain their waters to this main one.

18th. Monday. Previous to leaving our present encampment I planted some peach stones on the rich bank of this supposed rivulet. Our course this day is east-southerly over a country for the first 10 miles appearing somewhat different from the aspect it presented some days previous, being scarcely so open and more encumbered with small timber, less hilly, and occasionally covered with Acacia. The soil is good and the whole fine grazing land, flats or valleys, producing an abundance of Dalea, with procumbent stems, frequent at the depôt on Lachlan River. Crossing a deep dry creek, we passed a flat burnt tract and ascended a range of rocky hills in our course, which there is no avoiding. From their summit the country to the southward and eastward appears very hilly and broken as far as the eye could see. We could clearly distinguish in a north easterly direction, between the opening of the hills, a strip appearing like a sandbank or a body of reeds on the bank of a river.

It is evident from the uneven and broken nature of the country before us that there must exist a considerable channel to receive and carry off the great bodies of water that fall at different seasons on these hills and collect in the deep gullies below. Our present course being stopped by deep ravines and water courses, we descended with some difficulty with all our horses, and followed the windings of the gullies upwards of 3 miles But finding we were not near their termination we halted at dusk on the margin of a swamp formed by the stagnant waters. This connexion of ravines, winding in different directions (generally north-easterly) and bounded by rocky elevated hills on each side, has a very picturesque appearance, and has been called Glen Finlas. Fragments of limestone were picked up by our people in a half-burnt state.

Some beautiful plants are found in this glen, of which the following are the most material. Pullenaea sp., rich in flowers--a beautiful shrub--and Oxylobium sp. The rocky declivities were covered with a beautiful Acacia, having small, oblong, oblique, villous leaves, and axillary racemes of flowers, forming a tree 16-20 feet high--A. conspicua. Bignonia australis is very common, supporting itself on shrubs. Cryptandra ericifolia is likewise in great profusion.

I here observed with surprise Correa speciosa, reminding us of a part of Western Australia that none of our party cares to see or visit again. Croton viscosus of Mount Flinders and Macquarie Range formed here very strong plants. Pimelea colorans is very fine, and shows its character in the shaded excavations. A new Helichrysum with slender fine leaves and terminal white flowers. H. linifolium, is very common. A small Westringia triphylla, first observed in the low country N.E. of Mount Aiton, is common beneath the shelving rocks of the glen. A species of Cassia with 6 or 7 pairs of leaflets, which are lanceolate and revolute, the glands pedicelled, and the stipules subulate. I gathered specimens of this shrub in pod. Hibbertia sp., a weak, trailing, shrubby plant, on rocks. Our journey this day was 14½ miles.

August 19.-Full of the hopes entertained yesterday, at half past eight o'clock we pursued our course down Glenfinlass. A mile and a half brought us into the valley which we had seen on our first descending into the glen: imagination cannot fancy anything more beautifully picturesque than the scene which burst upon us. The breadth of the valley to the base of the opposite gently rising hills was, between three and four miles, studded with fine trees, upon a soil which for richness can nowhere he excelled; its extent north and south we could not see: to the west it was bounded by the lofty rocky ranges by which we had entered it; this was covered to the summit with cypresses and acacia in full bloom: a few trees of the sterculia heterophylla, with their bright green foliage, gave additional beauty to the scene. In the centre of this charming valley ran a strong and beautiful stream, its bright transparent waters dashing over a gravelly bottom, intermingled with large stones, forming at short intervals considerable pools, in which the rays of the sun were reflected With a brilliancy equal to that of the most polished mirror. I should have been well contented to have found this to be the Macquarie River, and at first conceived it to be so. Under this impression, I intended stopping upon its banks for the remainder of the day, and then proceeding up the stream southerly. Whilst we were waiting for the horses to come up we crossed the stream, and wishing to see as much of the country on its banks northerly, as possible, I proceeded down the stream, and had scarcely rode a mile when I was no less astonished than delighted to find that it joined a very fine river, coming from the east-south-east from among the chain of low grassy hills, bounding the east side of the valley in which we were. This then was certainly the long sought Macquarie, the sight of which amply repaid us for all our former disappointments. Different in every respect from the Lachlan, it here formed a river equal to the Hawkesbury at Windsor, and in many parts as wide as the Nepean at Emu Plains. These noble streams were connected by rapids running over a rocky and pebbly bottom, but not fordable, much resembling the reaches and falls at the crossing place at Emuford, only deeper: the water was bright, and transparent, and we were fortunate enough to see it at a period when it was neither swelled beyond its proper dimensions by mountain floods, nor contracted by summer droughts. From its being at least four times larger than it is at Bathurst, even in a favourable season, it must have received great accessions of water from the mountains north-easterly; for from the course it has run from Bathurst, and the number of streams we have crossed all running to form it from the south and south-west, I do not think it can receive many more from that quarter between us and Bathurst, at least of sufficient strength to have formed the present river.

Reduced as our provisions were, we could not resist the temptation of halting in this beautiful country for a couple of days, to allow us time to ascertain its precise situation, and to ride down the banks of the river northerly as far as we could go and return in one day. The banks of the river in our neighbourhood were low and grassy, with a margin of gravel and pebble stones; there were marks of flood to the height of about twelve feet, when the river would still be confined within its secondary banks, and not overflow the rich lands that border it. Its proper width in times of flood would be from six to eight hundred feet, its present and usual width is about two hundred feet. The blue gum trees in the neighbourhood were extremely fine, whilst that species of eucalyptus, which is vulgarly called the apple tree, and which we had not seen since we quitted the eastern coast, again made its appearance on the flats, and of large size; as was the casuarina filifolia, growing here and there on its immediate banks.

The day throughout was as fine as could be imagined, and it was spent with a more cheerful feeling than we had experienced since we quitted the depot on the Lachlan. The river running through the valley was named Bell's River, in compliment to Brevet Major Bell, of the 48th Regiment; the valley Wellington Valley; and the stream on which we halted on Sunday, Molle's Rivulet.

19th. Tuesday. Our journey this morning continued through the Glen, tracing the several windings of the water-course for the space of 2 miles, where it terminated, opening to us a most beautiful spacious valley, thinly clothed with timber of moderate size and covered with brome grass, growing very luxuriantly in a very rich black soil, and plentifully watered by a rapid, limpid rivulet[*] winding through its centre, which being connected with the encircling lofty hills, thickly covered with cypress to their summits, beautifies the vale exceedingly. The rivulet is about 3½ feet deep and 10-12 feet wide, having the reed grass on its margin, and the Azolla in great abundance on its surface. Casuarinae are also scattered on the banks--of large size.

Tracing the rivulet down through the vale, we crossed and continued on its north bank. Mr. Oxley traced it to its junction with a large fine stream about 2 miles down the vale, which we doubt not is the long wished for Macquarie River. Its banks are high, shelving and rocky, and thinly clothed with several of the Eucalypti, among which are abundance of that irregular tree called the Apple Tree in New South Wales. In the course of our advancement from the north bank of the Lachlan River to this vale, which is a distance of 150 miles, we crossed 7 creeks all tending northerly to this river, which accumulates as it runs the accession of water it receives on both sides from the country around. The soil continues uniformly rich and good through the vale to its immediate banks. The bottom or bed of the river is sandy and gravelly, and very large horse-mussels are found in it. Our huntsmen, who left us early in the glen and who were the first persons to come upon the vale, saw a large flock of emu feeding, of which our dogs could only get one bird. There can be no doubt, by diligent search, that limestone in quantities might be found on the hills, as we noticed some few fragments yesterday, and there are timbers of various kinds by which, added to the luxuriance of the soil, all the desires of the industrious settler are granted. In clear rocky waterholes in the glen there is a species of Potamogeton with ovate, alternate, broad leaves, and lanceolate undulated ones beneath the water sheathing the stem. It was not in flower or seed. Tracing the river up 2 miles we encamped on its banks. The valley is called by Mr. Oxley, Wellington Vale.[**]

[* Named by Oxley, Bell River, in honour of Major Bell.]

[** Where now stands the town of Wellington.]

August 20.-The day proved as favourable as could be wished, and the observations placed our situation in lat. 32. 32. 45. S., and our compared long. 148. 51. 30. E., the variation of the needle being 8. 38. 38. E. A valuable discovery was made in the course of the day by the men who were out with the dogs, the hills bounding the east side of Wellington Vale being found of the purest limestone, of precisely similar quality with that found at Limestone Creek. We were never due north of that place, and it is more than probable that the same stratum extends on the same meridian through the country.

20th. Wednesday. We continued in the vale all the day in order to make some general observations relative to the natural productions that would be so beneficial to the settlers in this fertile tract of country. Among the plants indigenous to its banks, I noticed Solanum laciniatum, common on the eastern coast, now in fruit, which is ovate and of an orange colour; and a species of Rubus. Urtica dioica, and Croton acerifolius. Some of our people, who had been in pursuit of game, brought from the hills some fragments of stone, which appeared to them to be similar to the limestone of the creek of that name in long 149°00'00" or thereabouts, which we crossed on the 22nd April on our way to the Lachlan Depôt. This stone very strongly effervesced on the application of acids. By reference to our situation on the charts it appears that the doubts we have had respecting our longitude are unfounded; our computations are correct. We are exactly on the meridian of the Limestone Creek. It is hence that a singular hypothesis has arisen that the stratum of lime runs N. and S. on that very particular meridian, which is likewise applicable to the vegetable productions. Metrosideros saligna, Croton acerifolius, Callitris sp., and some other plants of the above-mentioned creek are in great abundance in the vale here and in Glen Finlas.

August 21-At eight o'clock, accompanied by Mr. Evans and Mr. Cunningham, set out on our intended excursion down the Macquarie River. Crossing Bell's River in the valley, we came in a mile to where the steep rocky hills forming the west side of the vale advance their perpendicular cliffs directly over the river. These hills we soon rounded, and entered the vale north of them: I shall not in this place attempt to describe the rich and beautiful country that opened to our view in every direction. Alternate fine grazing hills, fertile flats and valleys, formed its general outline; whilst the river, an object to us of peculiar interest, was sometimes contracted to a width of from sixty to eighty feet between rocky cliffs of vast perpendicular height, and again expanded into noble and magnificent reaches of the width of at least two hundred feet, washing some of the richest tracts of land that can be found in any country; the banks were in those reaches low and shelving, and covered with pebbles, whilst even at the highest floods secondary banks restrained the river from doing the smallest damage: these secondary banks might be from six to eight hundred feet in width, and I think the highest marks of flood did not exceed twenty feet perpendicular. The rapids were usually formed by small stony islands, which. dividing the stream rendered it shoaler in those places than in others, but they never extended above one hundred yards, and were none of them fordable. Limestone of the best quality and of various species abounded; and it appeared to me to be as common as the other stone forming the hills, which was a fine and hard granite. We passed through this charming country for upwards of twelve miles, the course of the river during that time being nearly north, and from appearances we thought it must continue in that direction for a considerable distance farther. A perpendicular limestone rock overhanging the river terminated our excursion; adjoining to this rock (which was called Hove's Rock, from its being covered with a beautiful new species of hovia), a stratum of fine blue-slate was found. A little lower down, the bank on the east side was formed of perpendicular red earth cliffs at least sixty feet high, extending along the reach nearly three quarters of a mile; this bank was named Red Bank: a fine grassy hill thinly covered with wood rose eastward of it.

The timber was unusually fine, consisting chiefly of very large and straight blue guns; beautiful large casuarina trees were occasionally growing at the very edge of the water. The tops and sides of the rocky precipices on the west side of Wellington Vale were clothed with cypress trees, which had all the appearance of the pinus silvestris, that adorns the mountains and glens of Scotland. It was nearly five o'clock before we returned to our tent, highly gratified with our day's excursion.

Nothing can afford a stronger contrast than the two rivers, Lachlan and Macquarie; different in their habit, their appearance, and the sources from which they derive their waters, but above all differing in the country bordering on them; the one constantly receiving great accession of water from four streams, and as liberally rendering fertile a great extent of country; whilst the other, from its source to its termination, is constantly diffusing and extenuating the waters it originally receives over low and barren deserts, creating only wet flats and uninhabitable morasses, and during its protracted and sinuous course is never indebted to a single tributary stream. The contrast indeed presents a most remarkable phenomenon in the natural history of the country, and will furnish matter in other parts of this Journal, for such conclusions as my observations have enabled me to form.

no entry

August 22-Among the other agreeable consequences that have resulted from discovering the river in this second Vale of Tempe, may be enumerated, as not the least, the abundance of fish and emus with which, we have been supplied; swans, and ducks, were also within our reach, but we had no shot. Very large muscles were found growing among the reeds along some of the reaches; many exceeded six inches in length, and three and a half in breadth. Traces of cattle were found in various places as low as Hove's Rock, which are now doubtless straying through the country.

Our horses have recruited themselves exceedingly within the last ten days, and being lightly laden, I have great hopes of being enabled to reach Bathurst before our provisions are altogether expended; we have now left but four pounds and a half of flour, and the same quantity of pork per man; our chief dependence must be on the success of our dogs for any additional supplies, and in such a country as the present, we have no fear of being in want of food.

We had scarcely laden our horses and began to proceed up the river, when the rain recommenced, and continuing without intermission, obliged us to halt after we had gone about six miles; which we did upon a reach of the river, that for magnitude and extent equals if not surpasses any in the Hawkesbury, and exceeds that much admired one on the Nepean River, winding round Emu Plains. The country on both sides was of the greatest possible fertility, and beautifully diversified by hills and open valleys. Timber is good, and in two places where the hills on this side nearly closed on the river, immense quantities of fine limestone were again found, the rocks being entirely composed of it. The rapids were few and unimportant, and occasioned as usual by the river dividing into two channels forming small islets. They did not appear to me to impede in any manner the navigation of the river; the open reaches had apparently depth to float the largest vessels, and there was certainly breadth sufficient for that purpose. Nothing in fact can be imagined grander or more beautiful than we have hitherto found the river, and that too so near Bathurst that no reasonable expectation could have been formed of finding it such as we did. Many good specimens of agate forming on granite were found on the hills, chiefly where the limestone appeared in the largest and most continued stratum. We indulged ourselves in the probable speculation, that where limestone was found in such abundance as in this country, quarries of marble would also be discovered not far beneath the surface, as is usual in other countries most abounding in this useful stone. Fish and emus were procured in great quantities in the course of the afternoon.

Aug. 22nd. Friday. Opposite our tent we strongly marked a Blue Gum tree of considerable magnitude on sides facing the four principal cardinal points as a mark of our first encampment on the Macquarie River; and I planted on the bank the two last of my peach stones and the remaining seeds of quinces. The rain threatened much about the period of our leaving the vale; we were, however, the more desirous of proceeding forward to Bathurst as our provisions were daily diminishing. The country as we advanced is a succession of fine valleys, with gentle rising hills covered with grass and not encumbered with timber. On a hill running down to the river about 3 miles from our late encampment we observed considerable quantities of limestone, and some few specimens of agate, as well as lamina between granite, as we detached loose pieces of irregular form and slaty substances of divers colours. The rain that had set in very heavy about noon obliged us, by its incessant continuance, to stop for the day at about 5½ miles journey. Fair at dusk. The hills around us abound with a delicate species of Pimelea differing from P. curviflora in the leaves being more lanceolate, and the lobes of the calyx (or corolla) being of an orange-red colour and somewhat more acute. Our people caught several fish of 2 or 3 lbs. weight, and our dogs secured kangaroo and 2 emu.

August 23-The last allowance of our provisions was now distributed, and at half past eight o'clock we proceeded up the river, which this day might be said to come through a mountainous country. Rocky points of hills frequently terminated on the river and occasionally opened into fine valleys and flats: in every valley a watercourse conveyed the waters from the back country to the river. I think the north bank was most frequently the lower: several small runs of water also fell in on that side. The hills, uniformly stony and rocky as they were, were covered with good grass to their summits. The scenery on the river was beautifully picturesque, and more magnificent reaches cannot be found in any river; these were interrupted in their uniform course by rapids, which having a much greater fall than any we had seen lower down, would materially impede the navigation of the river by boats farther than this station, up to which point I conceive it navigable. No falls had yet been seen that boats could not easily pass over; but in seasons of greater drought than the present, some difficulty might be experienced.

The travelling was excessively bad along the sides and points of the hills; and as we had every reason to believe the country was much lower back from the river, I determined to quit its immediate banks, and endeavour to make a more direct course than we found it possible to do in following its windings, which, even if it were practicable, our provisions will not permit.

23rd. Saturday. Continuing our journey on the banks of the river, which, with the grassy hills, produce a strong luxuriant grass and are thickly wooded with Eucalyptus sp., Blue Gum and Apple Trees, with very few Callitris. The travelling near the river becomes difficult, by reason of some deep gullies that conduct the water from the neighbouring hills to the river. We noticed some lofty hills on the opposite side, but more distant from its immediate bank than those on this side, which frequently run down to the water's edge. The Acacia sp., (allied to A. decurrens), form some magnificent small trees from 25 to 30 feet high, decorating as well as the hills the margin of the stream with its tresses of golden flowers. Our dogs chased a large buck kangaroo from the hills into the river, over which he swam, but was followed by them and after being turned swam back again and was ultimately killed. Perhaps there are few instances, as we have seen none in our journey, wherein a greater tenacity of life had shown itself than in this instance. We traced the river up about 11 miles, crossing several deep water-courses, which were very fatiguing and harassing to our pack-horses. The river, which ran generally from the southward, had formed a gentle wind from the south-west when we stopped for the day. It was running rapidly over a stony bottom, forming a kind of slight fall, called a ripple. A species of Acacia oleaefolia [= A. lunata], and another species, more common on the margin of the gullies, viz. Acacia sp., with lanceolate, oblique leaves having 3 glands at equal distances on their interior margin; flowers axillary and panicled. Some of the Papilionaceae of the class Decandria, before mentioned, are now very frequent. The height of former flood is about 25 feet above its present level.

August 24.-A very thick fog arising from the river prevented us from setting forward until nearly ten o'clock, till when we could not see fifty yards in any direction. Taking the earliest opportunity to quit the river, we passed through a mountainous tract of country extremely irregular and stony, but full of springs of water, and good grass. We found it impossible to accomplish more than eight or nine miles, the tops of the hills standing quite detached and unconnected into regular ranges. We seemed ascending the ranges, which in some measure separate the country farther westward from the river; as it was much lower in a direction from south-south-west to north-west, and appeared to be fine open grazing land. At four o'clock, we halted in a small valley for the evening. Our course made good on a variety of bearings was 8. 6. W., seven miles.

24th. Sunday. Although we had travelled yesterday over about 11 miles in a winding circuitous route, tracing the river, yet on our direct course to Bathurst we had not made good more than 4 miles. This delay, added to the great difficulty of travelling immediately on the river in consequence of the many deep, sharp gullies, obliged us to quit the river's bank altogether and steer a course more southerly in order to travel straight to the settlement. We served out the last of our flour and pork this evening, which ration is to serve us a week, until our arrival M the plains.

Upon leaving the river the country becomes very hilly, and we were unable to keep any direct line of course, but chose those elevations easiest of accession. Had we continued on the river bank, although we might have met with deep gullies from the hills, we should have generally experienced much better travelling, and firmer for the horses feet, and a more clear interesting tract of country than we have had on this day's journey, which only entangled us among hills covered with loose fragments of granite. Passing the first mile or thereabouts, the land is thickly burdened with small timber and becomes bushy and scrubby. Daviesia mimosoides (H.K.), D. acicularis, Oxylobium sp., allied to 0. cordifolum, very common. Acacia sp., allied to A. armata, but furnished with longer spinescent stipulae, the pubescent variety of A. obliqua of Persoon: Veronica perfoliala, Dianella sp., and some common species of Pimelea. The timber is very small, of Eucalyptus glauca and E. sp., leaves obovate, with flowers in umbellated racemes, terminal and crowded. On the rocky hills I gathered specimens of some of Orchidaceae allied to Arethusa; Diuris sp. Our horses were so much fatigued as to oblige us to halt in a stony situation on the margin of a gully containing some running water, which we found very hard, and hence we suspect it originated in a spring. We travelled 8½ miles. Soil excepting in the brushy spots generally good.

August 25.-We again set forward, hoping soon to clear these lofty hills, among which we seemed to be entangled: four or five miles, on various courses, through a very rugged, but grassy country, freed us from the dividing range, as we found by the streams all running westerly, and apparently joining the river in Wellington Vale. Just before we descended what we considered the principal range, we saw Mount Lachlan bearing south from this point; and we were enabled for the remainder of the day to make a direct course towards Bathurst, through a good open grazing country of gentle hills and dales, abounding in beautiful rivulets, having their rise in the mountains east of us, which bending round to the west and north-west, and watering the finest districts in their course, contribute their waters to the Macquarie.

The country now passed over was generally good, and although the hills were stony, yet the soil upon them was equal to the flats or valleys, and covered with grass. We saw no good timber, it consisting chiefly of small box trees, thinly scattered over the sides and tops of the hills. There was plenty of kangaroos and our valuable dogs killed two fine ones.

Coarse gravel and small slate were the most common stones, but the bottoms of the rivulets were composed of a species of black jade. Quartz was very frequent.

Few traces of natives have been observed, either on the river, or since we quitted it. The population of this country must be extremely small: as the natives derive their chief support from opossums, squirrels, and rats, which are known to frequent barren scrubs and hollow trees, such neighbourhoods are unquestionably frequented by them in preference to the open country and river banks. It must be a mere accident that enables the natives to kill either a kangaroo or emu: as to fish, they certainly are ignorant of the manner of taking them by hook and line.

25th. Monday. Mr. Oxley rode forward with our tomahawkman, to mark a road for the baggage and horses to pass over the hills and the easier descents to the valleys, which expand to a greater extent as we advanced a few miles, being covered with high brome grass and small timber of Bastard Box. About 7 miles from our last night's resting place we arrived at a small stream of water, very fine and clear, running westerly over a rocky bottom, and doubtless having its source in the hills. Passing from this rippling stream of water over some gentle hills that had been very recently burnt by the natives, the country becomes less difficult, and the valleys are fine and grassy, abundantly watered with creeks of running water meandering through the lower lands. The general inclination of the gullies and water-courses, is to the westward, and hence it may be inferred that they collect themselves into the rivulet which runs through Wellington Vale, and ultimately empty themselves into the Macquarie.

The valleys abound with game. Our dogs killed a buck and doe kangaroo. To the nipple of the abdominal pouch of the latter was attached a small young kangaroo, which appeared to have grown out of it. It was perfectly naked and blind. By what means the young of these animals are brought forth and placed in the pouch is not ascertained and it still remains a mystery. I gathered specimens of a species of Hakea, a weak twiggy plant, frequent in high grass. In low brushy spots I observed Cryptandra amara, Dodonaea heterophylla, Veronica perfoliata, Zamia spiralis and Acacia armatoides. Exocarpus cupressiformis, a native cherry, is very common on the hills. Arriving at some running water in a valley our perambulator showed that we had travelled 11 miles. We therefore halted at 2 o'clock and pitched our tent. Mount Lachlan bore from us due south very distant.

We could distinguish its lofty summit over an elevated range north of it and from its blueness of appearance it could not be less than 40 miles from us. We have made about 10 miles south which was our general course this day.

August 26.-At eight o'clock we proceeded on our course towards Bathurst. The country throughout the day's journey was extremely hilly, with steep descents into fine valleys, in every one of which was a running stream. It appeared to me, that we were pursuing a course which, intersecting the streams near their sources, rendered our road much more irregular and difficult than it would have been either a few miles farther westward, or even on the immediate banks of the river, the line of which we several times saw during the day. The country north-east of the river was very elevated and broken. The tops and sides of even the most mountainous parts were covered with grass, and thinly clothed with wood.

Many of the valleys were composed of extremely rich soil: the hills were also generally good land and covered with grass; though there were occasionally barren stony summits, and ridges producing nothing but iron and stringy bark trees of diminutive growth. These tracts were however too inconsiderable in extent, to be considered other than what ought naturally to be expected in such an irregular tract as that which we travelled over.

Had not the appearance of the country round the Macquarie, where we first reached it, fully accounted for its magnitude, the course we have pursued since would satisfactorily have explained the cause; it is in point of fact a country of running waters: on every hill we found a spring, and in every valley a rivulet, either flowing directly north-east to the river, or taking a course westerly to join the river in Wellington Vale. Of the waters that may fall into it from the north-east we were of course ignorant, but the appearances of the country indicated that they were at least as numerous as from the south-west.

After proceeding a few miles, we halted for the night in an extensive valley, watered by a rivulet running through it directly to the river, from which I think we were distant six or seven miles.

26th. Tuesday. We left our last night's encampment at an early hour on the course we travelled yesterday. About 4 miles from our camp a fine creek of water runs through the valley easterly to the river, which is a few miles distant from us. Some brushy patches afforded me handsome specimens of Acacia verniciflua, a new species seen on the Lachlan River, but not until now in flower; it is highly glossed with a viscid gum. I likewise discovered Acacia vomeriformis, a new species, with triangular leaves, differing from A. biflora in the elongation of the exterior angle of the leaf, and the floral capitulum being solitary, axillary and many-flowered. The flowers are sulphur coloured. The little Hovea heterophylla is as frequent on the hills as it is abundant among the grass in the valleys. Several Eastern coast plants now begin to appear such as Stylidium gummifolium, Tetratheca ericifolia, and Gompholobium latifolium. I gathered flowering specimens of a species of Hakea microcarpa, with the lower leaves flat and entire, while those of the branches are filiform. Loranthus aurantiacus, parasitical on the Blue Gum, which timber succeeds the Eucalyptus called Stringy Bark at about 8 miles on this day's journey. We had advanced about 10 miles when we into a valley, crossed a creek of running water and, passing through a thick brush of Pultenaea, descended a hill to the hollow and halted, having made on our southerly course 12½ miles, which with some to easterly amounted to 13½ miles. Some of the hills produce a slaty stone, and it is the opinion of some of us that coal might be found beneath its surface. Abundance of kangaroo in the valleys. They were, however, too fleet, and only one small buck was taken.

August 27.-Nothing could be more delightful than the climate and the temperature of the season.

At eight o'clock we took our road through a very rugged and broken country. The glens were enclosed on either side by almost perpendicular rocks, mostly slate of fine quality, mixed with coarse granite. In these glens or defiles were fine running streams. The declivity and steepness of the road delayed our progress, in seeking for better paths for the horses; and after riding a few miles we came to the edge of a very steep glen or valley, at the point of junction of two large streams, the largest coming from the south-west, the other from the north-west. Both united formed a very powerful stream, rushing with great impetuosity over a rocky bottom, with frequent falls or rapids. The hills being on both sides too steep even for the men to descend in safety, we were obliged to pursue the ridge of them up the north-west river, until we found a place where we could descend and cross, which we did about five o'clock in the afternoon with considerable difficulty. So steep indeed was the side on which we now were, that we could not find a level space sufficient to pitch our tent upon. The rocks consisted chiefly of slate and coarse granite intermixed. There appeared in each river to be more water than usual; and marks of flood were visible at a height exceeding eighteen feet.

Finding that we were entangled among the streams of the Macquarie, I determined on the morrow to proceed by the mountains dividing the north-west and south-west rivers; and if they should lead me considerably westward before their junction, to cross the south-west river, which, from its apparent direction and vicinity to Bathurst, I considered to be the only stream of consequence which we should find between our present station and that place.

Rugged and uneven as the country generally was during this day's journey, there was considerable intermixture of the good with the barren; many portions consisting of excellent pasture land, and even the rocky hills were divested of the appearance of being so barren as they actually are, by being covered with shrubs and grass intermingled among the box and small gum trees, that find support between the interstices of the stones.

27th. Wednesday. From the valley we pursued our route with an unwearied perseverance in hopes of reaching the settlement at Bathurst on Saturday evening next. We commenced our journey over a very rugged broken country, particularly to the southward; the high lands to the eastward were enveloped in a thick mist, which however, evaporated as the day advanced. I observed on a lofty hill some 6 miles on our journey some good specimens of blue slate, in thick lamina, which I traced down its declivity to a deep running rocky gully of water. Mr. Oxley was of the opinion that coal might be found beneath it, but the difficulty of turning such productions found here to any colonial use or benefit, on account of the extreme rugged nature of the country, renders its examination scarcely worth the expense it would naturally incur. We found likewise some specimens of ironstone. On the summit of some small hills, which are covered with Eucalyptus dumosa, Acacia verniciflua and A. vomeriformis, very luxuriantly in flower, I gathered seeds of Hakea microcarpa.

Among the grass a secondary variety of the little Hovea with white flowers appears. At 10 miles ran a fine large deep rivulet of water on a very rocky bottom. We were obliged to keep along the range for a short space, until an easy practicable descent enabled us to drive our horses without danger down the ravine. We crossed this rivulet, which is about 3 ft. deep and has a rapid current, and encamped on the rocky bank opposite. We noticed marks of flood 18 feet perpendicular height over the slender waving heads of the Casuarinae skirting its channel, in which I gathered seeds of a dead plant of the Umbelliferae, they are like those of Trachymene. The steep rugged falls abound with Correa virens of the Eastern coast, a plant I have not seen throughout the whole of the expedition. A rigid stiff leafless shrub, with apposite spines, not in flower, suspected to be a Daviesia, is likewise frequent with the Correa. Some fine groups of crystals were found in the channel of the creek or rivulet. The day continued fine throughout. Gathered seeds of Hakea microcarpa, with specimens in fruit.

August 28.-At eight o'clock we proceeded on our journey, and pursuing the ridge which separated the two streams, we found that their general direction was from the southward, opening, as we advanced, into fine valleys, rounding gentle rising hills, thinly wooded and covered with grass. The ridge itself was chiefly of slate-rock, intermixed with masses of coarse siliceous granite. We followed the ridge for about six miles, when we descended into the valley through which the south-west rivulet ran, and after travelling about four miles farther, we crossed it when it was running a strong stream. Waiting for the horses at this spot, I took the opportunity of ascending a very lofty conical hill, forming part of the range bounding the north-east side of the valley. From this hill our hopes and expectations were gratified by a view of Bathurst Plains, which I estimated to be distant about twenty-two miles, bearing on the course we were pursuing. A Journal is but ill calculated to be the record of the various hopes and fears, which doubtless in some degree pervaded every mind upon this intelligence: these feelings, whatever they might be, were soon to be realized, and in an absence from our friends and connections of nineteen weeks how much might have occurred in which we were all deeply interested!

After travelling about three miles farther, we stopped for the evening, under expectations that we might possibly reach Bathurst on the morrow.

From the hill whence I saw Bathurst the view in every direction (except north-east, where it was bounded by a range of equal height between me and the river) was very extensive; the country to the southward and south-west was broken into low grassy hills with four intervening valleys. The rivulets derive their main supply from those hills, and from the range upon which we had travelled the greater part of the day: almost every hollow contained a running stream, having its source in springs near the summit of the hills.

Stringy bark trees were seen most generally on barren ridges, the larger sized blue gums in the valleys. In the evening the weather was unsettled with flying showers.

28th. Thursday. We calculate that we are not more than 36 miles south-easterly from the settlement and hope to arrive at the plains on Saturday evening. We had not travelled a mile and a half before we were obliged to change our course, in consequence of the S.E. rivulet which we had observed yesterday forming a junction with the other which we had crossed last night, taking a long winding turn and running southerly. The country in our route is a continuation of the very broken hilly tract we have travelled over for some days past. The lower lands grassy, while the more elevated spots are barren and scrubby. I discovered on these hills a new species of Acacia cuspidata (a variety of A. diffusa); a shrub of the Proteaceae, which appears to belong to the genus Anadenia [= Grevillea ilicifolia], and a Helichrysum with wrinkled calyx, now in flower. Several eastern coast plants occasionally appear, such as Patersonia sericea, Pultenaea stipularis, and Billardiera mutabilis [= B. menders], now in fruit.

About 8 miles on a south easterly course we descended into a valley bounded by a lofty range running N.W. westerly and S.E. easterly. The valley is very swampy and covered with very long grass. The timber on the elevated grounds as well as the surface of the soil, which is very rotten and boggy, has much the appearance of that at Bathurst. On this range there is a remarkable subconical point, which Mr. Oxley has called Mount Laver, and another to the northward of it is entitled Mount Fraser, after His Excellency's collector. Mr. Oxley ascended the summit of the range and distinguished clearly the plains of Bathurst above 21 miles distant. The rivulet above mentioned we crossed in the swampy valley at 10½ miles, at a place where there is a picturesque narrow fall Of 4-5 feet. It runs to the N.W. parallel with the range. Flood marks are seen to the height of 6 feet above the level of the river, which of course inundated the whole of the lands to the base of Mount Laver. Continuing our journey up the valley, and passing over some short rugged sharp stony hills and small valleys for about 2 miles, we arrived at a sandy water-course, in which we found some little water and accordingly halted, having made good 12¾ miles. The Blue Gum is more abundant now, and, from the dampnes's of he rising grounds, it is evident rain has lately fallen. The travelling was tolerably good, considering the rugged hilly parts over which our route led us. The descents, however, were more gentle and easy.

August 29.-At eight o'clock we proceeded towards Bathurst, hoping to reach it by the evening; this we effected between eight and nine o'clock, passing over a very hilly country with numerous running streams, joining the river near Pine Hill, and afterwards keeping along its banks.

The hospitable reception which we met with from Mr. Cox went far to banish all present care from our minds: relieved, as they were, by the knowledge that our friends were well, we almost forgot in the hilarity of the moment, that nineteen harassing weeks had elapsed since we last quitted it.

Although the winter at Bathurst, we learnt, had been cold and severe, there had not been much rain; little or none had fallen in the depot on the Lachlan, although the people there had observed some very high floods in the river; one particularly that would nearly correspond with the time when an unexpected fresh surprised us on our return down the Lachlan on the 11th of July.

29th. Friday. We suspect we are distant from the settlement 19 miles S.E. easterly, and we left our last night's resting place in hopes of approaching near Bathurst this evening. Crossing several small water-courses that intersected our course we ascended to the summit of a very rocky eminence about 1½ miles from our last night's encampment, and from thence the long wished for plains were presented to our view. On this rugged height I observed Acacia conspicua, from which I gathered a few more seeds. I discovered two new plants on this extremely sterile elevation, viz.--Hovea heterophylla, leaves linear, short and reticulated, furrugineous on the under side, a new, exceedingly beautiful species, forming a small shrub, now in flower. I gathered from a plant of it one seed; and Zieria sp., a bushy dense shrub, with ternate ovate tomentose leaves, and axillary peduncles of flowers.

We had had a very long campaign in Western Australia, and were literally upon our last legs in point of dress throughout the whole of us. We all felt a degree of joy when we cherished the hope that a few hours would restore us to permanent habitations and to the society of friends and countrymen. Although a hilly long journey, but having a fine day before us, we determined if possible to reach the settlement this evening, and accordingly we each set out a fresh man and horse, with good spirits, and at a brisk pace on an easterly course.

Banksia compar [= B. integrifolia], which we have not seen, or any of its genus, since April last, is now become very common. Pteris aquilina or common brake is likewise abundant on the grassy hills. Crossing several little running waters and particularly the stream running through Princess Charlotte's Vale we made the Macquarie River 2 miles below the Pine Hill, and then ascertained that our great anxiety to advance forward had got the better of our reason and had driven us far too much to the eastward. We are 11 miles from the settlement. The day is well advanced, and a broken track is before us. I endeavoured on all occasions, and more particularly during the last 5 months, to turn such contingencies to some account. In passing through the romantic rocky scenery at Pine Hill I furnished myself with seeds of an Acacia distinct from A. suaveolens, of which I have never before been able to procure seeds, although repeatedly sought for. Grevillea sericea, observed at the Fish River, is here in flower, of which I gathered specimens. Dodonaea heterophylla, so common on the south-westernmost range of the hills in Australia (Macquarie Range), is here very rich in flower. The Cypress of the Eastern coast crowns the summit of the hill, and hence its name. The soil is very poor and sterile, being a course sandy quartzose grit, in which Daviesia latifolia and Indigofera anstralis (plants that abound here), grow very strong. We again crossed the water of Princess Charlotte's Vale, which after many windings runs into the river about 8 miles N.W. of the settlement, and continuing our route to a clear, thinly wooded hill, called Mount Pleasant, at the base of which we arrived at 4 o'clock. We had travelled 15½ miles, and halted here upwards of an hour for our packhorses, which were far behind. A slender-twigged Sida, not in flower, is frequent on the immediate banks of the river and in low swampy situations near it. Casuarina, as usual, is very strong on the river bank, whose stream forms--below and about the Pine Hill--some very fine picturesque winds over a stony bottom. Had we bore away more southerly we should not have subjected ourselves and horses to the inconvenience of our route being intersected by several deep gullies running into the river. At nightfall we arrived at the settlement having travelled about 19 miles.

We have been absent from Bathurst 19 weeks and have in our route formed a circle of upwards of 1,200 miles within the parallels Of 34°30' and 32° S. lat: and between the meridians Of 149°43'00" and 143°40'00" East, and have ascertained that the country south of the parallel Of 34° and west of the meridian of 147°30' East is altogether uninhabitable and useless.[*] We have all, Mr. Oxley excepted, walked since we left the boats in May last a circuitous route Of 750 miles.

[* Fortunately sheep and cattle stations have made it rich and comparatively populous.]

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