Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/30

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10
State of the Swan River Colony 1st Jan., 1830.

position, with regard to the points of the compass, is precisely that of the Table Bay of the Cape of Good Hope, has safe anchorage only when the winds are to the eastward, southward, and southwest. But on the southern coast of Australia, about one hundred and fifty miles to the eastward of Cape Leuwin, is the safe and excellent roadstead of King George's Sound, with which are connected two harbours, sheltered from all winds, and completely land-locked—Princess Royal Harbour to the north-east, and Oyster Harbour to the north-west; the former having an entrance an anchorage within for the larest ships; but the entrance of the latter has not more than fourteen or fifteen feet at high water. Plenty of wood and good water are to be had in either of the harbours, and also in the sound. The position, close to the tracts of all ships proceeding to New South Wales, and the inviting conveniences of these two harbours, induced the government, some few years ago, to take possession of them, and to establish a small military post there, under the direction of General Darling. It has now, however, very properly been placed under the authority of Captain Stirling, as a part of the Swan River colony, and will probably become, at no great distance of time, the head-quarters of the settlement. Dr. Wilson, of the navy, an intelligent and enterprising traveller, who has visited every part of Australia, from Raffles Bay in the north to King George's Sound in the south, has given some account of the country contiguous to the latter. In company with one or two others, and a civilized and intelligent native belonging to the post, he travelled about eighty miles in the interior to the northward, and returned by a more westerly course, traversing in the whole about two hundred miles over a country hitherto unexplored. Each of the party being obliged to carry his own blanket, provisions, and water, (the latter, however, being found unnecessary,) the excursion occupied eleven days; but such is the excellence of the climate of this country at all seasons of the year, but more especially agreeable in the summer months, that they felt no inconvenience by sleeping on the ground in the open air, nor did they suffer any privation worthy of notice. Dr. Wilson being furnished with no other instrument than a compass, the points marked down in the sketch of a chart which accompanies this notice, are the result only of the bearings and estimated distances traversed, and must therefore be considered only as conveying a very general description of the nature of the surface travelled over.

It will be evident, from the inspection of this sketch, and still more so from the journal out of which this notice is extracted, that, although in the immediate neighbourhood of King George's Sound the surface is sandy and wears an unpromising appearance, yet in the interior there is no want of good grassy plains, large