Page:The Visit of Charles Fraser to the Swan River in 1827.djvu/29

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25

"The coast towards Point Cockburn is thickly studded with Cypress; the soil a light sand. Here we found abundance of fresh water on the beach, as well as in Cypress thickets beyond the influence of the sea My observations did not extend beyond Port Cockburn; but, from the appearance of the country, I doubt not its being of the same quality as that already described.

"Between the isles of Berthollet and Buâche is the entrance for ships drawing more than 16 feet of water into Port Cockburn[1]. Vessels drawing less than 16 feet can run directly across the Sound, from the entrance of Swan River to Port Cockburn. Vessels of any burthen can proceed up the Sound to the entrance of the river, where there is good anchorage, with plenty of room to beat out should the wind come to blow hard from the north-west.

"It is remarkable that on the shores of the Sound, at the entrance to the river, there is not a perpendicular height of 5 feet from the line of low water to that of vegetation, a proof that there is never any heavy weather in the Sound. There is no surf, and boats may land on any part of the main. On the bar, at the entrance, there is only 1 fathom of water[2], but that is always smooth. Port Cockburn is only distant eight miles from it, where there is room for the largest fleet, with 7 fathoms of water within 20 yards of the shore, and this perfectly land-locked.

"Proceeding from the mouth of the river along Baie Géographe the appearance of the country is particularly pleasing.

"The shore seems well clothed with timber, and the foliage is of the richest green. The observations taken here confirm me in my opinion that the principal part of the timber consists of Eucalyptus. I saw no trace of Banksia or of Casuarina.

"From the shore the country is seen to rise gradually into gentle undulating hills, separated apparently by valleys of considerable size, the whole terminated by a magnificent range of hills, thickly covered with heavy timber extending all along the bay.

"At the head of the bay the feature of the country changes, exhibiting bold hills, with large masses of granite, in many instances jutting into the sea with considerable grandeur. The hills, too, are clear of timber, with the exception of some stunted Eucalyptus, and are divided by beautiful winding valleys, in each of which is a small


  1. Now called Rockingham
  2. At a heavy expense this bar has been removed, and a channel of 34 feet provided into the Port of Fremantle.