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? mm — - - EXPLORATIONS IN THB CAMDEN HABBOUB DISTRICT.
GLENELG, BY ASSISTANT SUEVETOE COWLE. North District, 2nd Mav 18C5.
We now publish the remainder of the valuable and interesting Reports from the Government Resident (Mr. R. J. Sholl), Mr.T. Q. Sholl, Mr. $. Cowle, and Mr. McRae, relative to the recent explorations at Camden Harbour, and the Glenelg, the Cbairdner, and Prince Regent's Rivers :— BBPOffT OF AIJ rEXPEDrriDN SOUTH OF THE
SniJ — ^Having received orders from you on the 6th ultimo to prepare for an Expe dition which would last about three weeks, but to take sufficient provisions for myself and man for one month, I at once set
about it, and hnished on the bth, and on the lQth we started, the party being com posed of yourself, with Police Constable Jackaman, ; also native Assistant Billy, and myself and. Chainer Graham. Starting . at 8 o'clock qn Monday morning, we pro ceeded to the .head of the inlet, .the appointed place, where the Association people were to meet us (marked A on tracing), and halted for a time to ascertain ifanyof the Association people were coming. The signal was given at the appointed time (9 o'clock), but.it not being answered, we proceeded on oar way, keeping a course (as near as the nature ofthe country, per mitted) south by east, the country being much easier to travel than that we passed over during the first hour of our journey. When about five miles from ihe Camp (Government), I saw some small patches of country very much resembling some of thegoldfieldsin Victoria, which I mentioned to you at the time. Proceeding for another 5 miles, we halted for dinner, and Hnring our stay there three of the Association people came up, namely, Messrs. McRae, ffindhaugh, and Hick, who Were anxious to see as much of the country as possible. Shortly after their arrival we put the packs on the horses, and proceeded on our way again, this time taking an easterly course, which we. kept for about seven * miles, and then camped for the. night on the south bank of the Gairdner. On the 11th we took a south-easterly direction for abont 5 miles, and then an easterly direction again for about 4iniles, passing Mount LyelL Here we halted for dinner, and I took an obser vation and found that we were in latitude south 15 deg. 37 min. and longitude about 124 deg 59 -mm east, Mount Lyell bearing S.S.E., and distant about two miles. Start ing again shortly after dinner, we kept a course S. by E. about 4 miles, and then halted for the night, much disappointed at not reaching the Glenelg. We were on the move early again on the 12th, and on our road, as -usual, in tiie cool of the morning and after about half an hour's travelling, we came upon the. northern bank jbf the Glenelg, which we followed up to the fording place or rapids, where we crossed, and proceeded about three quarters of a mileT steering S. by W., and halted at a short distance from the foot of the W-ireatly Range, where yon formed the first depot (No 1) on tracing. After dinner we went back to the rapids, for the purpose of taking an observation, but was frustrated by clouds. ? I threw my line in tite river and- caught a few fish, after which we returned to the depot. The country north ofthe Glenelg, com mencing' at Hie western part of the Hampton Downs along our course down to the river, and for a few miles on either side of the said coarse, contains good pasture land, producing good though coarse -?rass in abundance ; it is also well watered during this season of the year, and is cer
tainly the finest part ofthe North District that I have seen, and contains about 60,000 acres of good land. The vegetation is prolific here ; eucalyptus averaging from: 3 tp 5 inches in-djiuneter ; Ta smallspecies of acacia, cypresses, cork tree, cotton, tea, baobab, and palm. Greenstone or basalt compose the peninsula, and between that and the 'Glenelg sandstone, ironsfcone,tand ironstone gravel, with a little quarte in places that I nave already mentioned, appear to be the principal composition of the conutry north, of the Glenelg. I be lieve also that the grass is more succulent and nourishing than that growing on the peninsula, caused, I think, by the continu
ous tall 01 aews, .wnicn every nignt are very heavy, and do mot evaporate by the ' heat of the sun till 10 or 11 o'clock in the ' morning, keeping the grass moist and soft, I instead of being harsh and dry, as in those ? places where dew does not fell. j Our depot was placed in about lat. south i 15 deg. 43' mm. and long, east about 124 deg. 59 min. (marked No. 1, -on tracing.) i On ihe 13th we were again on the move, seeking an outlet southwards.- Going round the eastern part of the Wheatly Range, we found that we had to keep a little to the eastward, and after travelling for some time through very . broken country, being repeatedly obliged to turn back, we found that it was impossible to get packhorses in tbat direction ; so we halted for dinner, after finishing which we proceeded east ward, to avoid a sandstone range which we had rounded. After about an hour's travelling, over exceedingly rough country, we. came upon the banks: of the Glenelg about two miles from the rapids. The banks wore almost perpendicular, and there -were also rapids here. After passing over «jud down some exceedingly rocky places, we at last reached the small flat on which our depot -camp was fixed between the Wheatly. Range and ihe. river. I have never in any ofthe Colonies travelled over such a continuation of rough barren country in one day as I have travelled over to-day. Sandstone predominates here, having noticed but two sma}| pieces of quartz during this day. - '? r Gtun, pine, and a few honeysuckle trees were all the moderate sized trees I saw 'growing, and after leaving the flat where our camp, was, I scarcely saw any grass ; spinifex I;saw in abundance: On -'the 14th we tried the western part' of the Wheatly Ranges. The ascent here was more difficult than that of yesterday, and after rambling about in every direc tion, we at last came to a nice sandy flat, along which we proceeded till we came to a good-sized stream, where we halted for dinner ; and you were pleased to name the
said stream 'the McRae, after one of those who accompanied us from the Association. In returning .-to camp, we kept the east ward of onr morning's course, arid found a comparatively easy path for the pact horses. Feeling satisfied that we had discovered a pass to the southward, we made a halt during Saturday and Sunday, for the purpose of resting^ the horses, as their feet and legs were very much cat in passing over the rough country we had travelled during the last two days. Sand stone, and very little ironstone, constitute the base of this part of the country. Eucalyptus of many sorts, acacia, and banksia, appear to be very common here ; gum-trees, like stringy bark, appear here also. Plenty of reed-like grass grows on the fnndy plains, and on the better soil kangaroo grass. These we passed on our return round to the depot. On Monday, the 17th, we started for the McRae, taking' with us three days' provi sions, arid having arrived at the point referred to, we found' an opening, which by winding round, we' could manage to proceed very well in the direction required . Just before ' halting-time rny horse cast a shoe, and it was deemed advisable to send him to the depot, which was done ; he was then shod and brought back. This delayed us half a day, during which time we went out to see if there was any obstacle further on in- our way, but, happily to say, there was not. Reeling too unwell, I did not proceed farther than the golly we travelled along the next day; so I sat down' and waited tall yourself and. Mr. McRae returned, and we then proceeded to our
camp, which was situated in latitude about 15deg. 50min. sooth. 18th.— Crossing the McRae, we again continued our southerly course 'along the valley we saw yesterday, and found it good travelling till we came upon the McRae again, which we had to cross and recross several times, arid near its rise we had (in some places) to travel up its bed. We halted for dinner in abont latitode soutn 15deg. 56miri. and for the night in about latitude sooth ICdeg. The country passed over during the last two days is of the, same description, except j that there were . a few quartz rises, con I taining crystallized quartz. The grasses are also of the same sort as those described as seen on 14th, except that they are shorter and more nntritious than those seen on that day, but as there is no extent of it, I imagine that this particular part of the country will prove useless in a com mercial point of view. ' : On the 19th we retraced oar steps to i the depot camp, for the purpose of moving ! it further to the south, which removal occupied two days, viz., 21st and, 22nd. 24th.-^-We were again in our saddles I and on oar way to the sooth, but we were ; baffled in several places ; we managed, however, to reach latitude about l6deg. : 2min. south ; we also ascended a rffll on our route, which I believe to be the i highest point on these ranges, and from : whence I managed to get a few bearings, i sufficient to 'give me an estimate of oar longitude, which was about 124deg. 55min. east. My horse having lost another shoe, all the nails were expended in putting it on, and it was considered necessary to retnrn to the depot, and thenpe to the camp ((Government) again, in case any other shoes should come off the feet of our horses. On the 25th we started for ihe Govern ment Gamp, keeping on our outward trackj and arrived at our destination -without any accident, more than the losjs of a few horse-shoes from one or the other of the horses. . ?/:' Mount I-yell is a very conspicuous
mountain, and Dr. Martin could soever have been on it, when lie says that afc is timbered to its summit, J -lo not think t^;^[rapid^.;1^he|e ^e' 'crossed are sfeetcl^injBieiF proper position in a^y of the maps, it being' more' to the eastwasd of Mount Lyell than is shown on the maps, and I only regret not ' having sufficient instruments and time to prove this. Dr. Martin was on a very remarkable 'hill bearing west by north, and is clothed to its summit hy dense vegetation. I beg to express my thanks toMr. T. C Sholl for his' .kindness ia^keeping the barometrical observations during my. ab sence, as it would have been impossible,
without great delay, to have Joapt them while moving about Mn day to day, as I am obliged, to do when away from the Government Camp.' ' .1 have the honor to -be, Sir, Your obedient servant, . J. QOWLE, Assistanfc^Sarveyor. K J. Sholl; Esq., Government Resident, North District: Government Resident's Office, : Caindeu Harbour, July 24, 18j55. Sib, — Herewith I beg to fi-ansuiit Beport from Mr. A. McBae, 'the gentleman who accompiauied the exploring party to .the Walcotfc, and who has, at my request, kindly furnished me with a statement of his opinion of the capabilities of tiie country travelled over on that occasion. I have the honor to Be, Sir, Your obedient servant, HOBT. J. SHOtL, .. Government Resident. The Hdnl tiie Colonial Secretary, &6., &c^ &&, Perth. Camden Harbor, ^ ^nly ^lati ? 1865. Sib, — As I had the pleasure of accompanying an expedition under, the command of Mr. T. C. Sholl, which left here in June last, haying as its object the exploratioii of the country soath of tiie '. Glenelg River, I trust a few remarks from me upon the district passed over will Hot be deemed ont of place. We left Government Camp, Camden Harbor, on the 5th ult., steering a course for tiie rapids on the Glenelg near your No.. 1 Depot, which we reached in a day aud a hal£ The country lying between Camden Harbor and those rapids aad through which our track for the most part lay, is that known as ' Hampton Downs,' and so highly extolled by Mr. Martin and other writers to the Perth -^Government, upon the capabilities of this district. Those Downs are principally chocolate soil, mixed with ironstone gravel, aud intersected with low traprock ridges, at this season clothed with the most luxuriant fcangaroo 'grass, wild' oats, &c. The' timber is' principally a stunted gum, of little use tor anything other than firewood; some large white-gums, however, are ' found near 'streams that might be split up for fencing purposes. Water is found in abnndanee anywhere ; in feet I never, saw a district, better watered than Camden Harbor. After all I have heard said for and against this as a grazing district, I most Bay at this season it presents many advantages that would lead one to suppose it a passable sheep country, but if seen in the months of November -'arid Deceuibeivwben our misguided Association landed in it, any one, with the least knowledge of country suited for sheep-farming, would at once pronounce it unfit. Horses or cattle however, I am convinced, would do xm it, and for their pasturage about 300,000 acres might be available. . . ? . After leaving the Glenelg, we made for your No. 2 depot, about 18 or 20 miles south 'oT tiie crossing, which we reached in one day. Here the first depot party were left until a pass was found further sooth. The country between this 'camp and the river is j£ ' succession of barren sandstone ranges, rising gradually from the coast and river to an elevation pf alxnfb ,O00 feet near the camp. The priiicipal''grass sf**i is epinifcx ; timber — pine and black-butt £uii';. This, like the other side of the river, is well watenxl. The McRae River is a fine strewn, taking its rise in the ranges east of depot 2, and flows N;W. nulil it forms a junction with the Glenelg a few miles below the rapids. .Some rich grassy flats are' fburid on its banks, but of no extent, tiie largest, that near the camp, not being more than a thousand acres; they would, however, be fouud of * essential -service as' halting places for stock .travelling to the interior,, should it be settled. ' After a day's rest, Mr. Sholl aad myself, accom panied toy Billy, carrying two days' provisions, started in a S.E. direction to try and find a track Farther through the ranges. We travelled' about 12 mites, over some very rough country, of a sandstone forma tion, poorly grassed, when we got to a high .peak, nffording a good view of the surrounding district. To tiie south 'we saw what was taken to be the coarse of a river, running RL& and S.W. through low country, and distant about 8 or 10 miles. A high table-range bounded the view soath, which terminated in a remarkable high Muff, bearing S.S.EL from our position. Leaving this peak, from which the ranges gradually sloped towards the low country/ and Ta-eping a general course S. for abont ,8 miles, ova broken sandstone, we came upon open -fiats, and 2 miles farther on we struck a fine stream running, to the west, through a large tract of low level country, well - grassed and lightly wooded. The main bed of this river, where we ' struck it, is about 30 yards wide j besides two other beds,
not running. After . moving the depot .party on here, we examined the country T or 8 miles to the S.E., and from a high hill about 1,600 feet above sea level (which Mr. ShpU proposed calling Mount Alexander) we had a splendid view of the rich low Downs that surrounded us on all sides, and extending W. 16 or 18 miles. -The country cast was more h'ilLy. Another fine stream was found running through the ranges from the |5.E. and forming a junction with the other G or 7 miles below our depot ; it is' much the finer stream of the. two; and judging from the height of drift- wood in the trees, the low land along its banks must be flooded to a considerable extent at the wet season. A thud dc pot was formed on it bdow the junction, and after being joined by 'another' large stream (upon ' which we formed our fourth and last depot aboat 19- miles to the south), flowed through the ranges to the T. west Tiie country . here is smilar to that to the east — chocolate flats, thickly grassed. There i»Labout 20i» 000 acres in those fiats, which Mr.. Sholl proposes calling 'Panter Downs,' well sorted for horse or cattle stations. This (consider to be superior to any land aboat Camden Harbour j^there is tess stose and gravel mixed with' the saS, and -the grass grows closer and finer. ? . ?-..., 'Panter Downs' are bounded on the south by a liigh table-range rising ; abruptly, from the plain. This we crossed in a S. direction. The table-laud is well grassed, aithongli of a Hght sandy-Wture. Ten miles from oar depot No. 4 'we' found ourselves on the edge of a high precipice^ Ttnudng E.;tod,W, 2,000 feet below us, and extend^ ^ or 8 miles south lay a low country,, with a lar^e/tidal -river limning through it from EJS.E. to W.SwW. PVnm the number of native fires and openings tiirongh the ranges across the river to the S.E., I think it likely a good tract of country ?wfll be found tp east there; bnc the best route to it , would be S.E. from onr depot No. 2. The pass down to the low land was made with difficulty even* by leading bur horses. The flats ore not so good here as **Panto&. Downs.' We crossed abont 6 miles of them in a«outherly direction before coming to tiie mod and mangrove Hats, which extend 1£ mile from the main river-bed. .As the tide was out, we had a good opportunity of judging the breadth of the main channel, which could not have been less than 600 yards, through which its dark muddy water? swept at tiie rate of 5 miles per hour. 1 The rise and fell of tide is from 10 to 16 feet, and I think it most be navigable for ships of consi derable tonnage even farther up than where we struck it. This noble river (certainly the finest I liave seen in this territory),- Mr. Sholl proposed -adling the Walcott. It will doubtless be of great importance ehonld- the country in its vicinity be settled, as affording the best mews for the trans mission of provisions, &c, ffroea , t)te coast to the interior, for there' seeing little pr3bal»Uity_ of a practicable dray-route beiag frend through the ranges which stretch along the coast and south bank
?of the. Oenelg. -Stock -& coarse : coald be driven from Camdea-'Hirboi', orionie of the 'parts to 'the . sontkv The total extent of .oonntaryieeB by to on. or ','? abontribaBe rivers Quiteel-fi»v^gnuQiiR.jpmposes. would ./ te-*bjwn^ 3^00fta«^ on t^ Wdoott would b^^abo^S^ miks south of your Kb. $ id^ofc We tt*Sirned by oar outward track to Csmden Harbour on theme, after a trip of, three weeks, which I. mart admit I spent very pleasantly. ' ??.??.? ? ? r ' I have. tte honor: to be/ Sir, * ;,..'?. Bespecfcfully yours, A. McRAE. Robert J. Shofl, Esq, Government Bendent, Camden Harbour. . . .
Gorerranrarf. Beadenfs Office, Camden 3^arbour, May 29, 1865. Sib, — I intend dispatching a party to the south ward -of the Gknete for the -purpose of continuing the exploration intfcat directSon, commencing from tbespot at which I fi*med my aecopd jdepot. To iBcygrPit regret 1 find it advisable, on account of thePiahfic Service, that I remain in. camp. Ton win. therefore^ take command of the party, and upon you I efcall depend that it is properly equipped and provisioned.-: ' ? . You will ascertain by personal inspection that the horses are properly shed, that the saddles and other harness are in good order, and that the saddles, pack and riding, fit the horses. You will also take care that at least one set of norse-Bhoes, and four sets of horse-shoe nails* are. taken. - The expedition will be out three weeks, but, as it is desirable to pnrride for any nnforesjpn emergency; yon will take wifli you fonr weekB? pTOTisions. ' The expedition will start oh Monday, 5th June, and -will consist of the .following . persons, besides ^j0(mr-elf, vis. j— P.O. W. X3fee, native assistant Billy; ijiJtwltJoiin-Stainer. Yen will ride, my pony; the - ?*;jipw» w»n be mounted on Government 'horses, of ^j&SS&jhjELve will be required, three for saddle, and two JiSpHi^Bfin&erp of the expedition must all be well VfpBedr Ju^jS^jsirfBciency of -ammunition must be, ' '^%J5e^*ijtt least iStijjB fowling piece, and enough jun s&unition fee procunttg-game must be taken. : -Shoeing tools, an toe fin: cutting firewood, and a tomahawtVS^fe necessary. ' -.' The object ^)f the expedition is to penetrate the ranges in a southerly direction, and, if possible, to * travel owar the flat country towards Roebuck Bay. As 3a? as I^cau judge, some westing 'wSH have to be ' made before a Southerly course is followed. Should' you be «iable 'to obtain a southerly course, yoa will try to make the sea coast, and ascertain the nature of the country, in the direction of-. Qoubtfol . Bay, returning1 by George Water, and along the left ' bank of the (jlenelg, until a Ending place is found, /whemtt straight course will'be made to the Govern ment (imp. . ...' ??...? A depot will be formed in tile first-instance, at the spot. jDccupied by the second depot in tine former expedition. From ;this depot the lightly equipped party must never be distant more than 20 miles, or absent more than three days. As soon as a practi cable track for pack-horses is discovered, the depot '_ will be moved on to a selected spot, and from thence 'further explorations will be made. Never less than two men must lie left behind in depot. .You'; will keep a. journal of your proceedings, stat ing therein the' course travelled, the nature of the soil, a description of the vegetation, and of the physi cal character of the country, recoBecting that nothing connected with a new country is too minute or trifling for record. You will also give -an estimate of daily distance travelled, being careful not to fall into the common error of over-estimating, the distance. -Upon your' return you will prepare a report, based upon your journal, and as tall as possible, addressing the same to me. As fer as practicable you will collect samples of plants, flowers, and seeds ; also mineralogical speci mens, . and in fact anything which will tend to illustrate any description contained in your journal, or add to our kjgiiwledge of the country. Yon will be careful not to exceed the allotted time, and in the event of heavy tains, commence a retro *' grade movement before the rivers in your rear are flooded. The extra week's rations* are for the pur . .._? pose of providing against the probable detention of the-jj8jiy_fram flooded rivers, sickness, accident, or other causes. The extra supply would not justify your moving onward. Sunday wfll be a day of rest, except in cases of extreme emergency. Watch must be kept every night, from dusk nntil sunrise. Your camps and halting places must be well marked, so that, in the event ef the arrival of & .skip, and it is necessary to recall the expedition, lite searching party- will have no difficulty in discovering your whereabouts. Jfr McRae, a gentleman who accompanied the former, expedition, a thorough bnshman, and in whose judgment and skill - 1 place great reliance, has pro mised to form one of your party. I wish you to be guided by him in all matters not connected with the management and 'control of the Government party, every member 'of which most yield implicit obedience to your orders. ' * '/'? I -earnestly trust that the expeffifion^will be success ful, that oar knowledge of the country south, of the GJene^-may be exteaded, and, at any rate, that the members^ of iiie party w31 return, without accident, at the appointed time. - ;:' ':.;..' - liiavetijehorior to be, Sir, '??? ;; Yonr obedient seryanti EOBT. J. SHOLL, -'-.? ? ? . Government Resident./ Mr. T. C- SboB^ Camdon Harbour. . .' ? . v ? . : - Port Gamden. 6th July, 1865.. .' SiK,r— Having received orders from you to take command of a small party you' intended sending to contisne the «xploration south of the -3lenelg, to; be absent three weeks, and to start Qn the 5 in June, aba that 1 .was to form my -first depot at your farthest or No. 2 depot, and from thence penetrate tbe ranges in a southerly direction, keeping to tbe westward as far as you ocmld judge before a southerly coarse could be made, I beg to state that upon arrival jaTthi? depot and from a view obtained from one of the sandstone hills, 1 conld see no pass to the westward,Jjuta likely one to the eastward of south; I tfaererere departed from this part of your - instructions, going to the eastward instead of west, as yoo ordered, . Whether I have done so wisely or not'yott will judge from the following report :— - On tbe,15th June at. ^ past 8 *.m. I left the Government camp; my party consisting of p.c Gee. . oatire - EjjMy, and John Stainer* with 4 saddle and 3 pack-lurses. Mr. McBae, a gentleman who was whh^ former expedition, also accompanied ns. We proceeded along your old track as far as Mount LyeE, wnere we camped for the night. On ftp 6th, in cona^uencebftwoof the pack horsesstraying, Mt. McKae andniybelf— duiingthe . time' they .ivere sought foV— ascended Mount Lyell. --' Afe there seems to be some tliflferenee of opinion with legaYo^o this mouHt, I wUl describe it as far as I am able from the short time I'was on the summit, as wdl«s add a few bearings taken at the time. - Ob ibe TSM. (the side wte ascended) about half way -up, is a -basalt precipice 20 or 30 feet high, wWen ^orinBJiB it were 'a ring round the hill, but this precipice is not so high at -any other point On tbe Jt^. apex is. an kregolar pile of basalt apon ' - which we erected a small heap of stones,' and upon which we left our iratials. The; side of ihe hill is _y thicklj. cjothed with coarse grass; the summit is. * lightly grassed. The mount is -thinly timbered to tbe : sainmit, small gam ; and cotton being the *}-reva|CTrti^s. : F«-om the iiprth apex »e took this : followrngjoeanags :— -T^BEj^d of the 'McDonald B^griwreNjNJl, Mount ?PBtienWJJ.W., Bnff Head in Camden Harbor W.NiW. § W^ a remarkbble^conted hill tp tbe north of the, Ppfwer iiapids of the Gleneig E.S.E. i E^ what we supposed to be Mount Stuart S.W., and Mount Eyre ?WfS.W. We had a beautiful view of Glenelg to tbe Bodlhward, bm codid not see Ae Princs Eegent Biyer, ira '-the ^dajr was hazy. To the S. of this mount u i a beaubrul grassy level flat about half a . mile in -extent^ throngh which runs a clear stream winding around (he mount towards the Glenelg. .We^till after iearing Mount LyeU follbwed 4ie eld track as far as your Ho. 2 Depot, where we: arrived .-and. locmed our i^o. . 4% on Wednesday, the jdi. l£B8ling,liere:one day I started on the 9th, accompanied by far. McRae and Billy, taking with ^^bee'saddki-horses.^LBd proceeded 21 miles xtbout T^pr'ffnn depot. We then returned about one mile mpar tra^#nd h^^ifor.jthe qjgb* on the banks rf« river wh^ I nameurtBB Sale. This river is tettipg .&Regh-3§ ?«! ^assy^ati it has ^w-. beds ?about 800 yards distant from each other.: ^Chese Leds
are each ttbout 15ot 20 yards wide; there is now wily a 6maU Btream of water running throngh them ; the banks are steep, and there is-drift wood in tbe trees about 20 feet above the bed of . the river, .and vhicfaIbel^ve-dAer hea^-rainsisdvfir^pir^ig, *^oe whole* of 'onf travelling ito-day with liie excepiioa of ttie last mile or two has been across the Sandstone Range, which,, in some places is. very roughs the range is timbered with, stringy bark, pine^coUon, cork, &c There is grass on the range, bat it is coarse and only in occasional patches. The land rbout the feanks of the Sale is good and richly grassed; ' Abpnt 3 miles to the N. of this river our track passed about 5 miles, to the westward. of tushrngtbn'a farthest in' 1838. His farthest from this spot bears about E.&EL, distant about 6 miles. On the. 10th we returned on our tracks to depot; rested on Sunday 11th, and on the 1 2th moved the depot party to the banks of the (Sale, there forming Depot No. 2. « On the 13th Mr. McEae, myself, and Billy, started from depot * with three saddle-horses, and proceeded about 5 miles E.S.EL, when we anived at the foot of a mount which Mr. McRae and myself ascended, leaving the horses at the foot; this I named .Mount Alexander; it is abont 1,600 -feet above sea level, thickly grassed and lightly timbered to tbe very summit; from this mount we had a beautiful view of fine level grassy .country- extending E. and W.; this good country I named the Panter Downs. Eaages appeared to sarrouad theua. Daring oar journey of the 19th 1 noticed a* remarkable bluff point, being evidently the same mentioned by Grey in his account of Lieuteuaot Lushington's journey S. of his fartbest; this point from here bore about K. and was distant about 2 miles. On the high ranges abont 25 miles to the eastward there were bush fires. We cut our initials and the broad arrow on a tree on the summit of Mount Alexander add descended; we then went a course S. 19 degrees YV. for ^about 5 miles, tbe greater part over a sandstone range, when we . struck the banks of a good-sized river, dividing as it were two large ranges; where we struck it the banks were so high and rocky that we conld not get down to it. The river was here about 100 yards 'wide, with running falls of about 20 feet, and about 200 yards below this the river hbd widened to about 200 yards; -here were Calls of about 30 feet; on the opposite bank the shore was of white sand and a gently shelving beach, totally different to the bank we were now on; there were tracks of natives seen here. This river I named the Berckleman, Alter leaving this point we went about 3& miles S. 5Sdeg. W. nearly parallel to the bank of the river, -but distant from it in some placets nearly a mile, in others close to the bank; the river was, here joined by & good-sized stream running in from from the IS.; this we crossed,, and leaving the river proceeded for abont 6 miles N.N.E., when we arrived in depot. Since descending the range shortly after striking, the Berckieman we travelled through beaetift^ grassed level country, the grass fine and green; oD^tbe sandstone range there was gram, fine pine, sUlngy bark, pum, small stiakw«pd» £yc . . On the I4th'we removed the depot about 5' miles' to the &W.' and formed Depot No. S on the southern bank of the Berckieman near where the Sale forms a junction with it; here we saw recent tracks of 8 or 9 natives in the bed of the river, following its coarse downwards. ' Leaving the depot party, Mr. McRae, myself, and Billy continued along the banks of the river for about 3 tniles S. 80 W.; tbe river here seemed to. form three branches, distant from each other not mote than 20 yards, two were dry bnt the thir-i was a deep river. About 3 miles farmer to the westward the Berck ieman' appeared to run out -between an opening in the range, but as it was getting: lute we had not time to go farther, and returned on our tracks to depot. . . On the' 15th Mr. Mcttae; myself and Billy, left; depot; and proceeded about 4 miles due S. over tolerably level and well -grassed land, when we arrived at the foot of a hilt, about 1,400 feet above sea level, of iron stone and trap formation. This hill Mr. McEae and myself ascended, leaving Billy at the foot in charge of the horses. From the top we took the bearings of a remarkable conical hill, which I named Mount Lochee; it bore S.V/., distant about 2 miles. The river Berckieraan appeared to run out between ihe ranges to the N.W. The spot where we first struck it on the 13th Lore nearly E., Slount Alexander N. 55deg. E.; the junction of the Berckieman, with a large stream, E., apparent openings in the ranges to the S. and S.W. We saw good grassed laud' all around us, in some places level, in others undulating and hilly. Before de scending this hiU, which I named Mount Hind haojih, we cut our initials and the broad arrow on a tree on the summit. . This mount is thickly grassed ^nd lightly timbered, ir Is not Unlike Mount Alexander. After leaving here we proceeded for about 6 miles S.W., when we struck a ??pall fiver; at this point it was very deep, with steep oanks, and about from 20 to SO feet wide; at this place we sub sequently caught a great many fish, some over a foot in length, I here determined to form depot No. 4. This river I named the ; Middleton; the, sandstone ranges are about £ a mile to theS.,extending around from S.S.E to t*.W. From here we followed the course of this river for about 2J miles N.W., and abcut 5 miles N. 30 deg. E. . From this point the Middleton -appeared ^to take a turn and join the Berckieman.' about 2'miles dbtant, bearing, from as near as we could see, N., 10: deg, W-. From here we continued abont 4£ miles N. 55 deg. E , and arrived at depots ' ' . On the 16lh the whole party left Depot No. 3, and proceeded about 5$ mites on a course S. lOdeg. W^ when; we struck our track of yesterday; we followed' this to the banks of the Middleton and formed Depot No. 4. We stayed here during the' remainder of the day to rest the horses. ; - : 1 On the 17th Mr. McKae, myself, and BiUy again* left Depot, our object being to try and find a pass through tbe fianges, to the S.; we steered a course S- W. for about JJ- mile over good and tolerably level grassed land, which terminated in a ragged pass up the range ; after leading the horses to the summit we continued a coarse for about 5£ miles due S. along the table top of this range, when we found ourselves on a small hill, or I should say a higher point of this range, from which we had a good view of tte country from N. around by W. . to S. There appeared nothing bat ranges and hills, all which «eemed well grassed. .We could get no new towards the E. 1 took the bearing of a very large and conspicuous hill, distant about 15 miles So the S.W. ; as this is the largest hill I have seen I name it Mount Page. From here we proceeded for about 4£ miles S.E., when Mr. McKae and myself dismounted, leaving JBjljy with the horses; we walked out upon a narrow peak, about 2,000 feet high, running out a short distance from the range, almost precipitous; one false step on this peak would entail great danger; if a. person fell be would fall many hundred feet without being- able to 'recover hfmsel& This I have named Peak Edw-trd ; from here we had a most magnificent view, apparently at our very feet; thongh distant about 5 miles, wound the conrse of a large river 'flowing around from E. to S.S.W. The river from here appeared not less, than J of e mile in width with low sandy, banh s. There were fires all around us, some native, others bush. The country appeared passable to the S.E^ though hilly ; there Still appeared to be bills and ranges in all directions. From here we could see 'no pass from the ranges .we were on into the plain below. As it was now 'getting late we had not time, to look fur one, but determined to start' out ' again :on Monday. We returned along our outward track to Depot. The range we passed over to-day is tolerably well grassed, and on the wliole easy : travelling. Pine, stnogy-bark, gam and cotton are the principal trees. This range I named the Harding.' - On , Sunday the. 18th we rested ourselves and the horses. ; ' Oa the 19th Mr. Mcfiae, myself, and Billy again etarted from '-depot, our object being to try pnd get as far as the large river seen' on tbe r17th. We followed oar old track to within %\ miles of our farthest on Saturday, when we struck off and steered a course due *. for 2 miles; we were then on the brink of the range, the river before us. The side of the Jange, at this point was so precipitous that we debated for* some time whether we should attempt to lead the horses down or try and fiad , a be ter .pass, bat as we had not muck time for- the latter; and then upon ihe chance of not finding one; 1 determinBd to do the. former ? we therefore commenced 'the descent, which was no jeasy matter, bnt after heading the horses in a. zigzag manner w_e, ^^ arrived'', at the. foot,.*fier being over an hour from the lime we left the top until we wereron the level ground. We soil continued our S. course over average; grassed laud, thickly timbered with plum, gam, cotton, &c* (the largest cotton trees I have yet seen were here, they averaged about 1 foot in diameter.), There were also a great many
baobabs both on the. level ground and on the side of the range. We struck the river about 8 miles from where we commenced descending tbe range; this was' indeed, a fine river; I at once name! it the Walcott t at the spot where we struck it it was ai leasiiof a nvile across ; it wis a tidal river, the tide being now at its lowest or nearly so. : The rise and fail I should say, judging from the -wet muddy banks, would be about 15 feet ; ike tide was running out at the rate bf about 5 miles per hoar; (he shore was lined with mangroves; the tide in falling had jnst left a large «tmd patch- above -water auout fioO yards from the .bank. we were on, between which sand patch aud as there was a sweeping body of water rnnning oat from E.N.E. to W.S.W. I believe this river as far as this pbiiit is navigable. -'About; I mile before reaching the banks we passed mud flats quite hard, bat close to the banks soft and. thiniy crusted with salt, with aiany tracks of alli gators; this at spring tide is under water. No fording place I am sure could be found either here or below, it would have to be sought lor above. I noticed large fires in different directions at some distance from the river. 1 liad not JUine to BxwmHiB the Walcott more closely, as our absence from Camden Harbour being limited to three weeks we would have as much as we could do to arrive home . within that period, and we had also to find a suitable spot for camping for the night. We there* fore returned for about 2 miles on our track, when Hr. Mcttae and myself cot oar initials and tbe date, together with the broad arrow, on a large baobab, die nearest one we saw to tbe river; it measured 30 feet in circumference; after leaving this tree we continued along the homeward track for about 1J mile, when we camped for the night at a small creek with one water hole, which I believe is the only fresh water near herelfrom the fact that a great number of birds came to drink, especially pigeons; 1 called this Figeou creek. The land between the foot of the range and the banks of tbe Waicott is tolerably well grassed, but not equal to Panter Downs. . ' On the 20th, we followed back our tracks to the range, which, after some difficulty, we ascended all safe, both men and beasts j at the top where we commenced descending yesterday and finished as* cending to-day, I cut my initials, the date, and the broad arrow on a small baobab; we had from here another good view of the Walcott, and the tide being now in it looked much larger than when we saw it from here yesterday. We also noticed abont 20 milts 8. ol' the Walcott evidently die coarse of another large river. We retaruedoa. the Qkl track to Depot. On the 21st we rested the horses in depot, so as to have them fresh for a start homeward to-mur row. On the 22nd we followed our old track over the Pantcr Downs to Depot No. 2, where we halted lor the wgbt. The Panter Downs I may here state as far as 1 'could see, judging from our different jour neys in many parts of. them, as also from the views obtained from the different hilts and ranges, averaged 18 miles from j£ to W., and at least 12 miles from £1. to g.a with three distinct rivers running. through and forming a junction towards the western ex tremity. A great portion. ot these downs in ihe viciuity of the riven after very heavy raius I believe to be inundated, judging from the drift wood seen in the trees, sometimes distant from the river banRS about a quarter of a mile, utid then 3 or 4 feetabpve the ground. Tue grass averages about 3 feet in height, a tine kangaroo grass, at this time very green; the soil is chocolate-coloured, iu come places covered with irunstoue gravel, intermixed with qnttnz. ? '? With regard to the Elvers Berckieman and Wal cott I believe, from the lay of the country and the coarse of these rivers, that the former debouches iuto the sea at or near Secure Bay, and the latter at or near jStokes' Bay.. The Walcott at its point of deuouchement is evidently a river of some magni tude, perhaps as large if not larger than any other in Western Australia. Tbe weather we. had during the whole, of onr journey was delightful; the nights were icy cold — neavy dews nearly every night. Sometimes during the day we experienced strong K.E. winds. The timber on the whole was small; on the banks ot the ?Sale there are some large flooded gum. On the Hardiug Hauge there is as fine pine, stringy bark and other trees, die names of which I ami unac quainted with. On the flat near the river Walcott, iiium, baobab, cotton, and cork, are the principal trees. Tiie grass on the Panter Downs is the best I have seen; 1 think it superior to the grass on the Hamp ton Downs, which is much coarser. All the bills we saw ou these Downs were well grassed. We were never inconvenienced for want of water; there was abundance along our track. We were troubled very little by mosquitoes, the nights were too cold for them. We saw.no natives, but numerous recent tracks and mauy. fires. . . . .- On the whole we saw very little game, on an average from six to seven kangaroo a day, bat they were so w|id we could uot snout one. The only game we could get; and we tried hard, were cock atoos, pheasants, and pigeons. 1 have the honor to be, Sir,. Your most .obedient servant ?.:.... T. O. &UOLU B. J. Sholl, Esq, Government Resident, . . Korth District. Goverainent Resident's Office, Caraden Harbor, July 8, 1865^' Seb, — ^Herewitk I beg to forward, toy Journal of the Expedition south of the Glenelg, together with Keport and tracing fnrnished by Mr. Assistant-surveyor Cbwle. With'reterence to this Report, there is but one portion respecting which. I have to. ,offet any remark. . You will observe that Mr. Cowle, in describing the vegeta tion travelled .over on .the 13th April, states that he saw scarcely any grass,; but that there: was spinifex in abundance. Now my Journal states that spinifex .was only eeen in the crevices of the otherwise bare rocks. I can only state that I was very caxefiil in this respect, and at every halt -made the entries in my note-book, which, supplied the iacts for my Journal. I still report that the valleys and flats were well grassed, and that on the iiills grass was the rale, and spinifex the excep tion. I have the honor to be, Sir, ?c Your obedient servant, . ROBT. J, SHOLL, ? Oovernment Resident. The Hon. the Colonial Secretary, &c.7 &c., &c.j Perth. [Mr. Cowle's Report, referred to above, appears in the preceding page.]