Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/90

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the sea. This conducted us to the bar of the Bellengen, which is joined by the Odalberree close to its mouth.

The Bellengen river, viewed from the grassy point on which we now stood, formed here a wide and extensive reach, fringed by mangroves, and backed by tea-tree and myrtle thickets. The main river stretched away to the northward of the bar, for two or three miles before it turned inland, and was upwards of a mile wide, containing extensive sand-flats, covered by curlews, white cranes, spoonbills, and other aquatic birds. The water appeared to be very shallow, and the bar did not seem to be practicable for the ingress of any but very small vessels. The high range, dividing the Bellengen and the Clarence river, throws off, near the mouth of the former, a lower range of hills, extending along the coast, and which continued past the Solitary islands. The country between these hills and the sea, appeared to be grassy forest land.

As there was a large mangrove creek between the point on which we stood and the beach, we now traced it up, in order to head it, and arrive on the sands. This creek abounded in fine oysters, and I was glad to follow the example of the blacks, and swallow some of them. We were now caught in a violent thunder shower, which drenched us completely, and rain continued to fall during the remainder of the day. V^e travelled south again towards the Nambucca, but a little before nightfall