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months—is injurious to the constitutions of the settlers, debilitating the system, and inducing ophthalmia and other organic derangements. It will therefore be well for emigrants who intend settling in this district-on reaching Australia —to prepare their constitutions for the great change of climate, by a few months sojourn at Sydney, or one of the more southern counties.
Northward of the before-named M’Leay river —which, with its numerous tributaries, extends far up through the mountains to the table-land of New England—there are several streams of great width and volume of water, whose long and wide reaches are navigable for steamers for a considerable distance inland.
The valley of the Nambucca, a deep but rather narrow river, is divided from the basin of the M’Leay by a range of thickly timbered, grassy hills, tier rising beyond tier in wild confusion. Northward of these, a ridge of conical-crested mountains, covered with luxuriant grass, and 2500 feet high, divides the river Bellenger, from its tributary, the Odalberree.
Further inland rises a gigantic range about 5000 feet high, which consists generally of a level table-land with steep spurs and perpendicular buttresses of 300 feet elevation.
In the valleys of the Bellenger there is much rich alluvial land, well suited for cultivation. The finest stream in these parts is the noble Clarence river, which rises in the same range of mountains with the M'Leay, and enters Shoal Bay in 291 S. lat. It is remarkable for its great breadth and its large volume of clear water, and although its mouth is obstructed by a sand-bar, it is navigable by steamers from Sydney for a distance of 90 miles or more. The country in the neighbourhood of this river, and its numerous feeders, is rich, grassy, tolerably level, and more extensive, and less mountainous than that of the M'Leay. It is, consequently, occupied by numerous squatters and settlers with their flocks and herds. The communication with the interior is less difficult than at Port Macquarie; wool-drays can descend with comparative ease from the Beardy Plains,
and other rich districts on the table-land near the sources of the Clarence, to its navigable estuary.
Proceeding northward, after passing several secondary streams, we arrive at the Richmond, an expansive river, flowing through well-wooded grassy forests of the greatest fertility. Mangrove, serule, tea tree, and swamp oak thickets, cover the low flats near the mouth of the stream ; and higher up, the river is diversified by brush, abounding in cedar and pine, clumps of bangola palms, reedy swamps, small rich plains, and lightly-wooded forest flats of great richness.
Northward of the Richmond, the country continues equally good and fertile. Passing successively, but at long intervals, the Tweed, which flows through thickly-wooded mountain land; and the Logan, a fine, clear stream, with rich alluvial flats near its embouchure, and beautiful grassy downs further inland ; we at length arrive at the Brisbane, a deep, expansive stream, rising in the mountainous counties of Churchill and Cavendish, and which, after receiving the waters of numerous tributaries from the neighbouring uplands, flows through Stanley county, and enters the sea at Morton Bay, a beautiful harbour, well sheltered by the islands of Stradbrook and Morton, in 27° 30 S. lat.
The scenery in the vicinity of this river is peculiarly beautiful, and the vegetation is most luxuriant; the land is equally adapted for cultivation or grazing ; the timber is abundant, and fit for domestic uses or exportation. The bunya-bunya tree, and a species of pine called the “Morton Bay pine,” are very general, and attain gigantic dimensions. There is a town, or rather settlement, with many substantial buildings, which were erected some years back by convict labour, on the shores of the river, about 25 miles from its mouth. Near the town the land is sterile, and the river banks are high and rocky; but this poor tract is of only small extent, and beyond it the land is of unsurpassed excellence. The wool, &c., from
Pul's Plains, Byron's Plains, the Darling Downs, and other far-out stations, are brought to this part for shipment, the descent being peculiarly easy and gradual.
The soil and climate of the Moreton Bay district are well suited to the cultivation of the sugar-cane, rice, cotton, indigo, arrow-root, tobacco, and other tropical products. Wheat, barley, and grain in general, yield luxuriant crops, but the vine and many other of the fruits and vegetables of the temperate zones will not succeed ; indeed, this portion of Australia can scarcely be deemed an eligible home for the British emigrant. Its climate is tropical, and therefore not adapted for European outdoor labour. Sharks, and shoals of sea-snakes, from the ocean, penetrate the rivers for several miles inland. The thickets and swamps abound in venomous and deadly serpents, the deathadder being particularly dreaded.
Mosquitoes, centipedes, ants, and most of the minor tortures which infest tropical countries are, much to the discomfort of the