Account of a short Excursion from Albany up French River, by A. Collie

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Account of a short Excursion from Albany up French River, by A. Collie  (1832) 

ACCOUNT of a short EXCURSION from Albany up French River, by A. Collie.

 February 9th, 1832.—After crossing King's river at the usual wading-place of the natives, leading a small pony that sunk so deep in the mire as to render it very doubtful that a heavier horse would get over, the following bearings were taken from station A. on the east side of the lowest north bight of the river.—(see Fig. 2 on accompanying Map.)

Willyungup broke a summit

280°. 15'

A high sloping bank at the bottom of Oyster Harbour, formed by the southern extremity of a conspicuous hill (a)

105. 45

A lower elbow west of the former (b)


Point Henty (c)


North part of bend of river, where there is a prominent large stone (d)

27. 45

Middle of southern elbow (e)

182. 45

Conspicuous bare rock near the middle of the higher part of the slope of Pakeillerup

118. 30

Western bend of river (f)


 On the western side of the hill before mentioned, at the bottom of Oyster Harbour, in a place about one-eighth of a mile from the beach, the bearings hereafter noted were taken:

Garden Island 185°.

Low extreme of eastern side of entrance of Oyster Harbour


The northernmost high projection on the

west side of Oyster Harbour, and first south from Point Henty ... 190°
Mount Clarence ... 216

Station B is about one-sixth of a mile south from the native path that leads from the crossings place, already mentioned, of King's River, to the natives' crossing-place and huts, where boats are stopped at low water on the Kalgan. I afterwards followed this path, passed a native well containing clear water, and then a small stream, and in little more than half a mile from station A, crossed the channel now dry, which I noticed as running into the bottom of Oyster Harbour on 3rd of May last, during an excursion I then made up the Kalgan.

After walking about one mile and three-quarters from the path mentioned, at some distance from and out sight of the Kalgan, I came to Mr. Cheyne's grant, to the stream in it, and to the river itself. The valley, I observed, to extend at first in an irregular western direction for nearly three-quarters of a mile, and then N. 322° E'; and having proceeded in the latter direction for a mile, or thereabout, I saw Mount Gardener bearing N. 125° 50' E.; and five-eighths of a mile further, in the last-named direction, 322°, I observed the bare rocky patch of Pakeillerup, the bearing of which I took from point A, N.154° 45' E. The valley terminated here, having sent off a small branch to the west a little before. From Cheyne's streamlet to lower boat stoppage, along the native path, I calculated the distance to be three-quarters of a mile.

February 10th.—Our party set out, ascending the right bank of the Kalgan from our bivouac, which was on the elbow immediately above the upper boat stoppage, crossed the entrance of a small stream coming from our left, the same which was first passed when I had the pleasure of aocompanying Mr. Roe on a short exploring excursion a few weeks since; then traversed a small flat, encircled by an elevated terrace similar to the flat where we bivouaoed, but distinguished from it at present by the remains of a native Hut in a good state of preservation; some time after, and at a mile's computed distance from our bivouac, we passed the gorge of a deep gully with a dry channel in its middle and in a few yards more the Kalgan, at a place where its waters flow over the projecting rocks of its bed. These rocks are an ironstone or flinty slate, but the banks, which rise above the river, are clay ironstone, or a ferruginous and reddish freestone. The soil passed over from the lower boat stoppage is very sandy, but producing a good proportion of grasses and other herbage, and thickly wooded, for the most part with the marree or red gum. We ascended the left bank of the river, and alter half a mile came to a valley and plain of fine soil and feed, having a small channel, partly dry, in which the water had flowed to the Kslgan. We ascended a moderate elevation, and continued pursuing a N. by E. course for two miles, to a swampy valley then one mile and three-quarters N. by W., and one quarter of a mile N.E. to a valley of tolerable soil, and a good deal of pasturage, where there was a moderate stream, and on its banks, at a common crossing place, a cheveaux-de-frise of wooden spikes, finely pointed, covered thinly with the resin of the grass-tree, and directed to each other and to the bank opposite to that in wMch they were fixed. They formed an angle with the plane of the horizon of about 50° or 55°, and no doubt were intended for staking kangaroo, which, being pursued on one side of the stream, would select their accustomed crossing place to evade their pursuers by gaining the other.

Three-quarters of a mile from the last stream, in a north direction, I observed the eastern of the two middle hummocks of Porrongurup N. 334° 45', and the summit of the eastern shoulder of the gorge 339° 30'. A quarter of a mile further, in the same direction, we came to the Kalgan, and having continued in its general direction N.N.E. two miles and a half, crossing some small streams, we arrived on a slope of dark gravelly soil. About two miles further, observing an occasionally deviating course N.N.E., I obtained a sufficiently clear view to ascertain that the eastern gorge of Porrongurup bore 315°, the eastern hummock 313°, and the northern summit, now seen standing out from the rest of the mountains, 310°. A sixth of a mile further I could see the Kalgan valley serpentining with gentle bends for about three miles N.219° 30' E., and then apparently three points more easterly. I looked in vain for some hill in the vicinity of the Sound. The atmosphere not only being very hazy but thickened with the smoke of native fires, we now descended half a mile obliquely to lunch on the bank of the river at half-past 1, at a place where we saw the droppings of horned cattle, and where 1 found a granite rock having garnets embedded. Five minutes' walk from this we entered upon the fertile slope of three quarters of a mile, I described in my former excurnon, on the 28th April, 1831, and found its extent still greater than I then observed. The river, at its northern boundary, makes a sudden bend to the eastward, which I ascertained more exactly to be N. 299° 15', whilst from the same station C, the eastern Summit of the gorge of Porrongurup bore 306°, and the western summit of that mountain 302°, the hummocks being concealed by the eastern summit of the gorge.

Continuing nearly north from this station C) about half a mile, the ground rising considerably, and being of tolerable soil, I had these bearings from station (D); eastern summit of Gorge of Porrongurup, the only point seen, 300°; a hill towards the Sound, obscure, 220°. Two miles N. ½ E. from point (D) over the feruginous claystone, commonly called iron-stone of the country, I took the bearings of the mountains of the Koikyennuruff range that had presented themselves, not yet certain of their names, thus:—(see Fig. 3 on accompanying Map.)

Hill T ........Mondurip ........332°

Hill M ........Panganoe ........336

Hill Y........ Ditto ...........346

Eastern Eminence of Porrongurup (not the summit of the Gorge)........298

Two miles further N.N.W. brought us to the river in front coming from the east, which direction we took for a quarter of a mile, and stopped for the night on its bank, opposite an isolated conical hill, partly covered with trees and partly bare rock.

February 11th.—We ascended the river in a S.E course for one-eighth of a mile, when I saw the following mountains of the Koikyennuruff Range and also Porrongurup (place uncertain) 288°; Toolbrunup 5°; and two hills, bearing, the one 7° 50', the other 12°; Flattened conical hills ( Yoong-giamere of Mr. Dale,) l7° 50'; and the hill of last night*s bivouac (distant one-sixth of a mile,) 340°<* These bearings were taken from station F, and one-sixth of a mile further, at station G, the east summit of Porrongurup, 285° 15'. The Western Peak, now visible off the Koikyennuruff Range Mondurip ...331°15' Hill T Panganoe 343 43

Hill Y (Talyuberlup) 348 20

Toolbrunup 3 5

Bivouac Hill 307 50

Station F 236 30

After going N. by E. ½ E. for three-quarters of a mile, the eastern part of the distant range came into view where a conspicuous hummock low down, near the eastern part of the base of Koikyennuruff, bore 39° 5'.

The Summit of Koikyennuruff... . . 3l° 30' Toolbrunup 2 50

Western extreme Peak of the Range Mondurip 331 Eastern Summit of Porrongurup Gorge 281 55 One-fourth of a mile from last station, that of H, on a N. 39° 5' E. course, we encountered the river coming from E.S.E., which direction we took, and then S.E. by E. for half a mile, rounding to N., which we kept for one mile and a quarter, when, being joined by three natives, and attaining a considerable elevation, in a country with very few trees, I availed myself of the opportunity to take bearings of several places not seen before, in conjunction with others.

Western Peak, or Hummock of Mount Manypeak 154° 10,

Eastern Height Porrongurup Gorge ......... 273 30

Toolbrunup ..................................3 20 Bivouac Hill (Ma-tyee-tyip) of the natives 203 15 Ram-liei-up, a moderate hill in the plain, (distant twelve miles) .............. 158

Mooleeup .... ditto .... (thirteen miles).. 166 30

The bend of the Kalgan, which has received the name of Moorrulup, was now within view before us; and in descending to the river we passed over the peculiar siliceous formation, for the extent of few yards, which I formerly noticed. At the present time I found it on the S.W. side and left bank, whereas I discovered it last year on the opposite side only. The specimens I now collected presented the indubitable impressions of shells and other organic remains. Having crossed the channel at a rocky and dry place, we ascended the heights on the north side, whence I had the following bearings:

Warrecup, just seen above the horizon .. 99° 50'

East of two Hummocks on eastern side Mount Manypeak .................. 147 50

Western and highest Hummock, Mount Manypeak ...................... 154 30

Mount Gardener .................... 172

Eastern Hummock of Porrongurup Gorge 263 30

Westernmost of two Peaks (Madyé-rip) my former Magerip (Madyerowe of these Morrulup natives) of the Koikyennuruff range ........................ 321

Extreme western Peak of former observations, (Mondurip or Kaildarrup of Morrulup natives) ................ 329 50

Next Mountain east (M of former observations) .......................... 341 20

Tal-yoo-bal-up ...................... 348 30

Toolbrunup ........................ 5 45

East Hummock of Koikeynnuruff ...... 45

Crossing-place at Moorrulup .......... 79 Proceeding N. ½ W. three-eighths of a mile, and descending to a valley that curved from west to east and round to Moorulup, and which I now only ascertained to be the curvature and continuation of the Kalgan, we crossed its bed in so many places dry, and with so little mark of the channel or banks of such a river as the Kalgan, that had I not been able to trace the connexion of this, with the parts above and below, I should not have been satisfied of its identity. From having seen a number of emus at this place, it may be designated Emu's bend or beach.

A mile further on, in a northerly direction, we came to the ravine and valley of good soil, mentioned on the 29th April in my last year's excursion. but found the latter of smaller extent than I then thought; however, from last night's bivouac to this valley, the ground is, on the whole, better than on either side; the elevations are considerable but little encumbered with trees; the rock mostly granite, and soil a gravelly loam. Keeping to the N.W. we arrived at the river, after walking about three-eighths of a mile further, and skirted it for a few hundred yards, where its channel was deep, wide, and filled with water, to a place where it became narrow and the water interrupted, affording a place for crossing, of which we availed ourselves, and changed our course outward for one in returning; and having advanced one mile one-eighth in a south-westerly direction, I obtained the following bearings from . K:

Western Peak of Mount Manypeak .... 152°

Mount Gardner .................... 168 50'

Eastern Height of Porrongurup Gorge.. 253 30

Toolbrunup ....................... 9 20

Emus bend or reach .................. 114 Having deviated westerly during the last mile to gain an eminence, I observed the eastern height of the Gorge of Porrongurup to bear .... 270° 15'

Western Peak of Mount Manypeak .... 145 20

Toolbrunup ...........................11 30

From station (L) to station (M ), two and a quarter S.S.W.; whence east summit of Porrongurup bore 291°; and from station (M) three quarters of a mile to station (N), where the same eminence was observed, 304°, and the eastern shoulder of eastern part of Porrongurup {see Figures 4 & 5) .......311° 25' Summit of east shoulder of Porrongurup, ...306 20 and eastern slope ...301 Toolbrunup .................................13 25 East Hummock of Koikyennuruff before taken .43 40

One mile and a half S. ¼ E. from point (P.) where I now had a view of the real eastern summit of the Gorge of Porrongurup, bearing 315° 10' as well as of the eastern of the two hummocks, which was 311° 5'; and of the western summit, bearing 306°; and of the eastern summit of the three preceding stations 322°; I noted the following outline: (see Fig. 6 on accompanying Map.)

One mile in advance S. by E.; amd one mile S.S.E. brought us into an extensive hollow, from which Mount Gardener bore N. 150°. E., and the eastern summit or height of the Gorge of Porrongurup, 327° 30'. One third of a mile S.S.E. and two-thirds S.E. down and across the hollow, and along a fertile grassy slope, brought us to the banks of the river where we stopped.

The ground passed over on this side of the rivor is generally sandy, covered with trees and shrubs on the heights and in the hollows, having a thin surface of clayey sand, producing rushes, cypress grass, and similar tough and hard vegetation. We crossed no streams or channels, but the water evidently stands for a great part of the year in the hollows. The ferruginous claystone lay upon the heights nearest the river, but we saw little of it further west.

Continuing our return on the 12th, we went one mile and a quarter W., then S. by W. two miles and three-quarters, when we came to a tolerably fertile slope leading down to the river, and S.W three-quarters of a mile, arrived in a valley having patches of good soil and a dry channel, beyond which, one mile and one-eighth S.S.W., we crossed a considerable stream (the Napier) in one of the deepest valleys we had yet passed, supposed to be a continuation of the stream on which I bivouaced on a former excursion on the 2nd May, 1831.

One mile south from the above stream I observed Mount Gardener bearing 136° 45', and in one-sixth of a mile more S. by W. came to a moderately sized running-stream, supposed to be that lately passed by Mr. Roe when farthest north. One eighth of a mile S.½ E. from this the eastern summit of Porrongurup Gorge bore 349° 30'; the western peak of Mount Manypeak 303° 30'; and one sixth of a mile south Mount Gardener was seen bearing 134° 20'; one mile more S.E. brought us upon the banks of the river, where we found a native path, and in about one hundred yards crossed a ravine and dry channel; and in one-quarter of a mile south came to Hut flat, mentioned on the morning of the 10th.—{see page 170.)

This work is is in the public domain because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council (ACC), (Duration of Copyright) (February 2012).