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bush traveller, here in myriads. The marsh-leech may be mentioned as a tormentor peculiar to these parts. This creature, in spite of all protection, frequently insinuates himself near the skin, and fills the shoes with blood. Then the Aborigines are more numerous and formidable than the tribes inhabiting the country further to the southward ; and the white population being thinly spread over the land, they have opportunities, which they eagerly embrace, of stealing sheep, and sometimes murdering a: shepherd with impunity. Nevertheless, they frequently render services to the settlers at shearing, and harvest-time; and also act as fishermen in catching the dudong, or yangan, as it is sometimes called, a huge animal of the whale tribe inhabiting the sea in this locality, and which, while affording a much prized food for the blacks, yields an abundance of oil of finer quality than sperm.

CHAPTER XII.

.

Squatting Districts-Features of the Country-Moun

tains, Rivers, and Creeks—Stock and Products.

or

IRRESPECTIVE of the foregoing counties, the colony has been laid out into what is called commissioners,"

“squatting districts.” These territories are extensive, and under the immediate control of Government Commissioners, who authorize, by licence, the owners of sheep and cattle to depasture their flocks and herds over certain tracts. Most of the vast shipments of wool and tallow are from these extensive districts ; indeed, prior to the discovery of gold, they contained the staple wealth of

VOL. I.

R

the colony, and as such, demand a brief notice in this place.

Commencing with the southern boundary of the province, we have the Manerro squatting districts. This important pasture tract has been mentioned in Auckland county. Its fertile plains lie at the foot of the Australian Alps. They are elevated to from 2000 to 3000 feet above the sea, and form a square of about 100 miles in extent. The climate is highly salubrious, but cold in winter. Stock: horses, 5000; cattle, 115,000; sheep,

, 400,000.

Murrumbidgee squatting district. This is one of the largest and finest grazing tracts in the colony. The plains are extensive, and the swelling uplands but thinly wooded, and well grassed. The Murray and the Murrumbidgee, the two largest rivers in the province, flow through, and form the northern, southern, and western boundaries of the districts, which is also watered by the Coodrabidga, the Tumut, Burnett's, and numerous other rivers and creeks. The towns are Albury, advantageously placed on the Murray, as the post town of the district, and Gundegai, a village, 250 miles from Sydney, situate on one of the flats of the Murrumbidgee, and which is occasionally flooded to the depth of several feet by that river overflowing its banks.

Stock: horses, 3000; cattle, 100,000; sheep, 400,000.

Lachlan district, is bounded on the south by the Murrumbidgee river, on the north and west by that of the Lachlan, and on the east by the counties of Buccleuch, Cowley, King, and Bathurst. This extensive district, although mountainous, contains much well-grassed, flat, and gently undulating grazing ground. Besides the rivers forming its boundary, it is watered by the Yars, the Boorowa, and numerous minor streams. The lakes are numerous : Quawingame, Cudjallogong, Campbell's, and Goorungutty, being the largest. Plains: Molle, Eurylene, Campbell's, &c. Eminences: Peel's, Taylor's, Goulburn, and Macquarie's ranges;

Mounts Gill, Stunard, Watts, Maud, &c. Stock: horses, 3500; cattle, 100,000; sheep, 250,000.

Wellington district is bounded on the south by the Lachlan river, on the east by the counties of Bathurst, Wellington, and Bligh, and on the north-east by the river Macquarie. It is a well-watered, fertile district, containing about 10,000,000 acres, and affording excellent sheep pasturage. Plains : Wellington, Baird, Gullerong, and Cannil. Eminences : Croker's, , Harvey's, and New Year's ranges; and Mounts Culambals, Camerbergong, Gundobillong, Laid

Rivers : Lachlan, Macquarie, Bell, Bogan, Belabula, and numerous other creeks. Stock: horses, 1200 ; cattle, 60,000; sheep, 250,000.

Bligh district lies immediately to the northwest of Bligh county, and contains about 5,000,000 acres. It consists for the most part of well-watered, undulating country, affording sweet pasturage. Eminences : Arbuthnot's range.

ley, &c.

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