Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/31

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verge of Clybucca Swamp, and the experiment was very successful. The continuous brush renders the aspect of the lower part of the MacLeay very monotonous to the admirer of picturesque scenery; however, an occasional glimpse of the azure tinted peaks of the distant mountain ranges, with green islands covered with palms, now and then varying the uniform sameness of the reaches of the river, not to speak of the air of cheerfulness imparted to the scene, by the large flocks of aquatic birds, of wonderful variety, all busily engaged, and fish leaping out of the water in every direction, renders an excursion on the waters of the MacLeay pleasant enough.

At the distance of twenty miles from the mouth of the river, and from thence to the point where the river ceases to be navigable, the brush land is interspersed with small alluvial plains, clear of trees, and varying in extent from fifty to a hundred acres. These clear patches of ground possess all the exuberant fertility of the brush land, and have now been cultivated for several years by squatters, (the MacLeay river being beyond the boundaries). This part of the river, however, has the great drawback of giving ague to those residing there, which is not to be wondered at, when one considers the immense extent of the surrounding swamps. This disorder was particularly prevalent among the cedar sawyers, who lead a life, compared with which, the life of the lumberers, or wood-cutters in Canada, is civilization