Page:The new British province of South Australia.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
11
SOUTH AUSTRALIA

opinions concerning natural circumstances, this is the country, beyond all others, in which we may trust to the guide of analogy. Amongst the most useful means of forming a correct judgment as to South Australia, are the published accounts of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; and indeed it may be said that he who is not familiarly acquainted with the general features of Australia, is hardly qualified to form a confident opinion, one way or the other, as to the natural circumstances of the southern coast[1].

2. In the southern hemisphere, owing to the large proportion which sea bears to land, the temperature does not agree with that of corresponding latitudes in the northern hemisphere, but is generally found to be cooler by two or three degrees. Thus the temperature of Port Lincoln in 35°, South, may be expected to agree with that of places on the sea-coast between 37° and 38° of North latitude.

3. Except where the land is gaining on the sea by the deposits of great rivers, land close to the sea is generally less fertile than land some way removed from it. This is peculiarly the case in every known part of extra-tropical Australia. Here, it seems, the sea is almost universally separated from land of superior fertility by a stripe of very poor land, commonly of sand, bearing only stunted brushwood, and varying in breadth from two or three, to twenty or thirty miles.

Very fine land close to the sea, where the sea is not touched by a range of high land, is a rare exception to the general rule of sameness already noticed.

Hence we are never to presume from the known ste-

  1. For a List of Publications relating to Australia, see the end of the volume.