Narrative of a survey of the intertropical and western coasts of Australia/Volume 1

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SURVEY OF THE INTERTROPICAL COASTS
OF AUSTRALIA.



Narrative of a survey of the intertropical and western coasts of Australia (Volume 1 frontispiece).png



NARRATIVE OF A SURVEY

OF THE

INTERTROPICAL AND WESTERN

COASTS OF AUSTRALIA.

PERFORMED BETWEEN

THE YEARS 1818 AND 1822.

BY

Captain PHILLIP P. KING, R.N., F.R.S., F.L.S.,
AND MEMBER OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY OF LONDON.

WITH

AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING

VARIOUS SUBJECTS RELATING TO HYDROGRAPHY AND
NATURAL HISTORY.


Narrative of a survey of the intertropical and western coasts of Australia (Volume 1 title page woodcut).png

Vol. I. p. 36 and 3.


IN TWO VOLUMES,
ILLUSTRATED BY PLATES, CHARTS, AND WOOD-CUTS.

Vol. I.




LONDON:
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE-STREET.


MDCCCXXVII



LONDON:
Printed by W. CLOWES,
Stamford-Street.



PREFACE.




The rapidly-increasing importance to which the English Colonies in Australia have now arrived, rendering every subject connected with that extensive contipent of the greatest interest, whether in respect to its geography, or the extraordinary assemblage of its animal and vegetable productions, has induced me to publish such parts of my Journal as may be useful to accompany the Atlas of the Charts of the Coast recently published by the Board of Admiralty.

One of the results of this voyage has been the occupation of Port Cockburn, between Melville and Bathurst Islands on the North Coast, and the formation of an establishment there which cannot fail to be productive of the greatest benefit to our mercantile communications with the Eastern Archipelago, as well as to increase the influence and power of the mother country in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans; and in contemplating this new extension of her possessions[1], I cannot avoid recalling to mind a curious and prophetic remark of Burton, who, in alluding to the discoveries of the Spanish navigator Ferdinando de Quires (Anne 1612), says—"I would know whether that hungry Spaniard's discovery of Terra Australis Incognita, or Magellanica, be as true as that of Mercurius Britannicus, or his of Utopia, or his of Lucinia. And yet, in likelihood, it may be so; for without all question, it being extended from the tropick of Capricorn to the circle Antarctick, and lying as it doth in the temperate zone, cannot chuse but yeeld in time some flourishing kingdoms to succeeding ages, as America did unto the Spaniards[2]."—Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Part. II. Sect. ii. No. 3.

Since the return of the Expedition, my time has been occupied in arranging the narrative, and divesting it of such parts as were neither calculated to amuse the general reader, nor to give information to the navigator; but this has been so much impeded by the more important employment of constructing the Charts of the Survey, as to defer until the present season the publication of the events of a voyage that was completed nearly three years ago.

In addition to the Hydrographical Notices in the Appendix, I have ventured to insert descriptive catalogues of the few subjects of Natural History that were collected during the voyage; these were supplied by some friends, to whom I have in another part of the work endeavoured, inadequately no doubt, to express my sense of the obligation: but since that part has been printed, my friend Mr. Brown has submitted some specimens of the rocks of the western side of the Gulf of Carpentaria, that were collected by him on the Investigator's voyage, to the inspection of Doctor Fitton, by which means that gentleman's valuable communication in the Appendix has been most materially improved. I have, therefore, taken the present opportunity of acknowledging the readiness with which this additional information has been supplied, and of offering Mr. Brown my best thanks.

It now only remains for me to add, that the views with which these volumes are illustrated were engraved by Mr. Finden from my own sketches on the spot: the charts, which are reductions of those in the Admiralty Atlas, were engraved by Mr. Walker; and the three plates of Natural History by Mr. Curtis, from drawings made from the specimens by himself, by Henry C. Field, Esq., and by Miss M. Field; to each of whom I take this opportunity of returning my best thanks, and also of bearing testimony to the correctness with which the respective subjects have been represented.


London, March 20th, 1826.




  1. The distance between Melville Island and Hobart Town in Van Diemen's Land, the former being the most northern, and the latter the most southern, establishment under the government of New South Wales, is more than 2700 miles, and comprises an extent of coast nearly equal to that of the British possessions in India!
  2. Since the land that Quiros discovered and called Terra del Espiritu Santo was, at the time Burton wrote. considered to be the Eastern Coast of New Holland, I am justified in the use I have made of the above curious passage.



TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

THE EARL BATHURST, K.G.,
HIS MAJESTY'S PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR THE COLONIES,


AND


THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE LORD VISCOUNT MELVILLE, K.T.,
FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY,

THE FOLLOWING
NARRATIVE OF THE SURYEY OF THB INTERTROPICAL
COASTS OF AUSTRALIA,
PERFORMED UNDER THEIR LORDSHIPS' JOIN DIRECTIONS AND
FLATTERING COUNTENANCE,


IS, BY PERMISSION, INSCRIBED

WITH THE GREATEST RESPECT,
BY THEIR MOST GRATEFUL SERVANT,
PHILLIP PARKER KING.



CONTENTS.



VOL. I.


Page
Introduction i
 

Intended Intended mode of proceeding, and departure from Port Jackson:—Visit Twofold Bay:—Natives seen:—Passage through Bass Strait and along the South Coast to King George the Third's Sound:—Transactions there:—Voyage to the North-West Cape, and Survey of the Coast between the North-West Cape and Depuch Island, including the examinations of Exmouth Gulf, Curlew River, and Dampier's Archipelago:—Loss of Anchors, and Interview with the Natives:—Remarks upon Dampier's account of Rosemary Island, and of the Island upon which he landed.

1
 

Examination of Rowley's Shoals, and Passage to the North Coast:—Survey of Goulburn Islands, Mountnorris and Raffles Bays:—Meet a Malay Fleet, and communicate with one of the Proas:—Explore Port Essington:—Attacked by Natives in Knocker's Bay:—Anchor in Popham Bay:—Visit from the Malays:—Examination of Van Diemen's Gulf, including Sir George Hope's Islands and Alligator Rivers:—Survey of the Northern Shore of Melville Island, and Apsley Strait:—Interview with the Natives of Luxmore Head:—Procure wood at Port Hurd:— Natives:—Clarence Strait:—Leave the Coast, and arrival at Timor.

57

Transactions at Coepang:—Procure Water and Refreshments:—Description of the Town and Productions of the Island:—Account of the Trepang Fishery on the coast of New Holland:—Departure from Timor, and return to the North-west Coast:—Montebello Islands, and Barrow Island:—Leave the Coast:—Ship's company attacked with Dysentery:—Death of one of the crew:—Bass Strait, and arrival at Port Jackson:—Review of the Proceedings of the Voyage.

126
 

Visit to Van Diemen's Land, and examination of the entrance of Macquarie Harbour:—Anchor in Pine Cove and cut wood:—Description of the Trees growing there:—Return to the entrance, and water at Outer Bay:—Interview with the Natives, and Vocabulary of their language:—Arrive at Hobart Town, and return to Port Jackson.

150
 

Departure from Port Jackson, and commence a running survey of the East Coast:—Examinations of Port Macquarie and the River Hastings in company with the Lady Nelson, colonial brig, and assisted by Lieutenant Oxley, R.N., the Surveyor-general of the Colony:—Leave Port Macquarie:—The Lady Nelson returns with the Surveyor-general to Port Jackson:—Enter the Barrier-reefs at Break-sea Spit:—Discover Rodd's Bay:—Visit the Percy Islands:—Pass through Whitsunday Passage, and anchor in Cleveland Bay:—Wood and water there:—Continue the examination of the East Coast towards Endeavour River; anchoring progressively at Rockingham Bay, Fitzroy Island, Snapper Island, and Weary Bay:—Interview with the Natives at Rockingham Bay, and loss of a boat off Cape Tribulation:—Arrival off Endeavour River.

164
 

Transactions at Endeavour River, and intercourse with the Natives:—Examine the River:—Geognostical Remarks:—Leave Endeavour River, and resume the examination of the coast:— Anchor among Howick's Group, and under Flinders' Group:—Explore Princess Charlotte's Bay, and the Islands and Reefs as far as Cape York, anchoring in the way on various parts of the coast:—The cutter nearly wrecked at Escape River:—Loss of anchor under Turtle Island:—Pass round Cape York and through Torres Strait, by the Investigator's route.

212
 

Cross the Gulf of Carpentaria, and resume the survey of the North Coast at Wessel's Islands:—Castlereagh Bay:—Crocodile Islands:—Discovery and examination of Liverpool River:—Natives:—Arrive at Goulburn Island:—Complete wood and water:—Attacked by the natives from the cliffs:—Leave Goulburn Island, and pass round Cape Van Diemen:—Resume the survey of the coast at Vernon's Islands in Clarence Strait:—Paterson Bay:—Peron Island:—Anson Bay:—Mr. Roe examines Port Keats:—Prevented from examining a deep opening round Point Pearce:—Discovery of Cambridge Gulf:—Lacrosse Island:—Natives:—Examination of the Gulf:—Death of one of the crew:—Leave Cambridge Gulf:—Trace the coast to Cape Londonderry.

247
 

Examination of the coast between Cape Londonderry and Cape Voltaire, containing the surveys of Sir Graham Moore's Islands, Eclipse Islands, Vansittart Bay, Admiralty Gulf, and Port Warrender:—Encounter with the natives of Vansittart Bay:—Leave the coast at Cassini Island for Coepang:—Obliged to bear up for Savu:—Anchor at Zeeba Bay, and interview with the rajah:—Some account of the inhabitants:—Disappointed in not finding water:—Leave Zeeba Bay, and beat back against the monsoon to Coepang:—Complete wood and water, and procure refreshments:—Return to Port Jackson:—Pass the latitude assigned to the Tryal Rocks:—Arrival in Sydney Cove.

310
 

Equipment for the third voyage. Leave Port Jackson. Loss of bowsprit, and return. Observations upon the present state of the colony, as regarding the effect of floods upon the River Hawkesbury:—Re-equipment and final departure:—Visit Port Bowen:—Cutter thrown upon a sandbank:—Interview with the natives, and description of the country about Cape Clinton:—Leave Port Bowen:—Pass through the Northumberland, and round the Cumberland Islands:—Anchor at Endeavour River:—Summary of observations taken there:—Visit from the natives:—Vocabulary of their language:—Observations thereon in comparing it with Captain Cook's account:—Mr. Cunningham visits Mount Cook:—Leave Endeavour River, and visit Lizard Island:—Cape Flinders and Pelican Island:—Entangled in the reefs:—Haggerston's Island, Sunday Island, and Cairncross Island:—Cutter springs a leak:—Pass round Cape York:—Endeavour Strait:—Anchor under Booby Island:—Remarks upon the Inner and Outer routes through Torres Strait.

344
 

Cross the Gulf of Carpentaria, and anchor at Goulburn's South Island:—Affair with the natives:—Resume the survey of the coast at Cassini Island:—Survey of Montagu Sound, York Sound, and Prince Frederic's Harbour:—Hunter's and Roe's Rivers, Port Nelson, Coronation Islands:—Transactions at Careening Bay:—Repair the cutter's bottom:—General geognostical and botanical observations:—Natives' huts:—Brunswick Bay:—Prince Regent's River:—Leave the coast in a leaky state:—Tryal Rocks, Cloates Island:—Pass round the west and south coasts:—Bass Strait:—Escape from shipwreck:—Botany Bay:—Arrival at Port Jackson.

388





LIST OF PLATES.



VOL. I.



View in Raffles Bay, with Croker's Island in the distance Frontispiece
General Chart of the North-west and West Coasts page 1
View in South-west Bay, Goulburn Island 66
—— of Inner Harbour, Port Essington 86
Interview with the Natives of St. Asaph Bay 112
Views of the Entrance of Port Macquarie and up the River Hastings 168
View of Mount Cockburn in Cambridge Gulf 301
—— of the Encampment in Careening Bay 430
 

Wood Cuts.

 
Native of Dampier's Archipelago on his Log Title Page.
Natives of Rockingham Bay in their Canoe page 200
———— Endeavour River in a Canoe, fishing 225
Manner in which the Natives of the East Coast strike Turtle 245
Huts of the Natives at Careening Bay 431