Page:The new British province of South Australia.djvu/61

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I had an opportunity of seeing much of the interior of the island, having crossed the country in company with two sealers, who had been residents on the island for several years. The land wears every appearance of being fertile; a deep loam with coarse grass, abounding with kangaroos and emus: where these animals feed, the grass is much better for pasture: occasional ponds of rain water are seen, and a plentiful supply of pure spring water is always attainable by digging for it. The land here is as good as any I have seen in Van Diemen's Land. In the neighbourhood of Sydney I have not observed any equal to it. Trees are scattered every where over the plains—the Swamp Oak or Beef wood, and the Wattle (both of which indicate good land) are growing in abundance here. Close on the shore, within from a quarter to half a mile from the sea, the wood is very thick; but when this belt of wood is passed, you come on to an open country, covered with grass, where there are often hundreds of acres without a tree; I calculated, by oomparison with New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, there might be on this plain, on the average, three or four trees to an acre. I once crossed the Island, a distance of about sixty miles in two days. Once past the belt of wood which surrounds the Island, we walked straight on end over the plains, found plenty of water in ponds, saw abundance of kangaroos and emus, and met with no difficulty or trouble. As we crossed the Island I looked to the right and left, and saw every where the same open plains, now and then changed in appearance by close timber of great height, on high points and ridges of land. In some places we found the grass very high and coarse in patches, but where the greatest number of kangaroos and emus were found, the grass was short and close. In the other places, close short grass was found between the coarse high patches.