Page:The new British province of South Australia.djvu/67

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48
NATURAL FEATURES OF

Bay. Near the water's edge on the north side of the Island the land was barren; but about three or four miles from the shore they saw large trees. They dug a pit about five feet deep, and so found plenty of very good water; they dug through sand first, and then light earth till they got to the clay, where they found water.

He remained on the Island three weeks, and the weather was very fine the whole time.

The report of the Island by MM. Baudin and Freycinet is not inviting, and shows that they were not disposed uniformly to praise. It is worthy of remark that although they describe the soil as sterile, they corroborate fully the account of the vast number and large size of the kangaroos found there; and if their picture were strictly correct, it would be difficult to imagine how these animals could be supported.

"From Cape Bedout to the Ravine des Casoars, the country exhibits a range of hills exactly like those of the south, but higher; and although destitute of wood of any kind, one may perceive here and there some traces of verdure. The Ravine des Casoars cutting through this chain exhibits to us in the interior other hills, some parts of which are wooded. The northern coast is arid and naked like the southward, and exhibits throughout an analogous appearance. The shores of Nepean Bay consist of hills of small elevation; but the verdure by which they are covered, and the forests, the tops of which are seen at different points, give to this part of the Island a more smiling and agreeable aspect.

The picture which I have just traced, though strictly correct as regards the coast of this Island, would doubtless have been more interesting and more varied, had we had an opportunity of penetrating into the interior of the country. Destitute of mountains, and devoid of that active vegetation which a humid soil supports, Kangaroo Island appeared to us to be almost without fresh water. It is true that it was then the hottest sea-