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Index:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu

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Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu

CONTENTS.




PART I.

The entrance of the MacLeay River—Trial Bay—Granite headlands—A digression on the nature and appearance of the alluvial jungles or brushes, on the banks of some of the coast rivers of New South Wales—Probable causes of the tropical aspect of the vegetation, and the inexhaustible richness of the soil, which characterise these brushes, especially in the northern districts—Extensive swamps near the estuary of the MacLeay—Successful experiment with rice—Agricultural stations of the squatters—Cedar sawyers—Prevalence of ague at the lower MacLeay—Village of Kempsey—Dongai Creek—Beautiful fertile ranges—Their geological formation the most favourable of any for vineyards—Limestone caverns—Rich fertile well-watered country on the south side of the MacLeay—Densely wooded lofty mountains—Tremendous cataracts and basaltic precipices—Extraordinary altitude of the bed of the MacLeay above the level of the sea, between the cataracts and its sources—Fine table land country of New England—Coldness of the climate from the great elevation of the country—The Nambucca River—Survey of its navigable arms—Murderous attacks of the native Blacks on the Cedar sawyers—Coohalli Creek—First appearance of Pine here, in about 30½° S.—The Bellengen River—Journal of an excursion over the mountains towards its sources—Journal of subsequent examination of the country in the vicinity of its mouth.page 1


Port Macquarie—Pleasing scenery—River Hastings—Rich agricultural farms on the tributaries of the Hastings—The sugar plantation and the success that attended it—Frequent rains in consequence of the altitude of the mountain chains, and their proximity to the coast—Road to the table-land—Capt. King's opinion of the wide extent of fertile country in the vicinity of Port Macquarie—Notes taken during a ride from the MacLeay River to the Hunter—Description of the Clarence River—Fine grazing country—Easy communication between the high table-land and the Clarence—The Richmond River—Extensive tracts of rich land—The Tweed—Moreton Bay—Mr. Oxley's official despatch on the discovery of the Brisbane River—Sources of the Brisbane—Brisbane Town—Great fertility of the country— Its capabilities for maintaining a dense population—Climate equally salubrious with the more southern parts of the colony—Moreton Bay well adapted for the culture of many tropical productions—The Bunya-bunya tree—Great number of Aborigines in the district where this tree abounds—Distinctive features of the north-eastern part of the territory of New South Wales, when compared with the more central part of that colony; its geological formation, lofty chains of mountains, numerous rivers and streams, and adaptation for tropical productionspage 71


The present depressed state of New South Wales—Its causes—Sheep—Their depreciated value—Sheep-boiling—Price of Australian Tallow in London—The practice of Sheep-boiling defended—Sheep, still a profitable investment when purchased at a price determined by the intrinsic worth of their Skins and Tallow—Calculations to shew the income that might be then derived from Sheep—No Foreign Countries, or other British Colonies, able at present to produce Wool and Tallow cheaper than Australia—Price of Australian Wool not regulated by the cost of production, but by the state of the Home Market—Life of the Australian Settlers not necessarily deprived of all the conveniences and comforts of civilization—Horned Cattle—Australian Beef considered of inferior quality in London—Intrinsic value of Cattle when slaughtered for their Hides, Tallow, &c.—Calculations shewing the income derivable from Cattle when they are purchased at a price determined by the value of their Hides, Tallow, &c. only—Agriculture, a very uncertain occupation in Australia—Excellent quality of the Australian Wheat; its capability of supporting long voyages without deterioration, and the high price obtained for it in the London market—Maize of New South Wales superior to that of the United States—Prices to which Wheat and Maize must fall in Sydney to allow of their being exported to England—Grain might perhaps be advantageously grown, in some few favoured localities, at these low prices, by persons purchasing improved farms at their present low value—Calculations on this subject—Districts exempt from droughts—Causes of this exemption—Vineyards—Good quality of the Wines hitherto made in New South Wales—Varieties of Grape successfully cultivated—Remarks on the French Vineyards—Expenses attending them—Calculation of the profit derivable from Vineyards in New South Wales—Remarks on planting and cultivating the Vinepage 125


Australian Field-sports—Kangaroo hunting—Curious mode of shooting the Pademella, or brush-kangaroo—Dingo hunt—Emu chase—Varieties of Quails in New South Wales; very abundant north of Port Macquarie—Varieties of Australian Ducks—Duck-shooting—Geese and Moor-fowl—Brush-turkeys—Very good for the table—Their extraordinary mode of constructing their nests—Large size of the eggs, which are hatched by the heat generated by vegetable decomposition—Pigeons—The Wonga-wonga—Its habits—Very difficult to shoot—Peculiar delicacy of its flesh—The flock-pigeon of the brushes—Easily shot—Bronze-wing pigeon—Black pigeon—Fruit-pigeon—Its brilliant plumage—Doves—Spur-winged Plovers—Snipes—Curlews—Black Swans—Curious method of chasing them in a boat—Pelicans—Quantity of oil contained in them—Divers, Godwits, and Red-bills—Swamp Pheasants, Lyre-birds, Bustards—Snakes of Australia almost all venomous—Description of the different species in the colony—Peculiar action of the poison of the generality of Australian snakes—Account of the symptoms experienced by the author from the bite of a large snake at the MacLeay in 1841—Treatment under which he recovered—Description of a curious salt-water snake of the genus Hydrophis, killed in Tryal Bay in 30° 50' S.—Extreme poison of sea-snakes exemplified by two cases—The Aborigines of the north-eastern part of the territory, vary considerably in some of their habits from those to the southward and westward—The more circumscribed limits roamed over by each tribe—Abundance of indigenous food for the native population in the north-eastern districts—Impossibility of their ever suffering from famine—Exaggerated statements respecting the miserable condition of the Aborigines of New South Wales—Comparison between them and other savage races, in several respects advantageous to the former—Customs of the natives of the MacLeay River—Their Cawarra ceremonies different from those of the generality of the Aborigines—Description of the Cawarra—Accounts of some fights between different tribes of the MacLeay River—Their cruelty and treachery towards the whites—Their civilization almost hopeless—Their wonderful intelligencepage 196




LIST OF PLATES.

Map to face page 1
Halt near a Fern-tree scrub 30
Natives spearing Fish in the Bellengen River 65
Kangaroo at bay 199
Dance at the conclusion of the Cawarra ceremonies 233
Cranky Tom and Dilberree 236
A Fight 237
Dance of Defiance of the Yarra-Bandini tribe Title