Imágenes de página

in the agony

of death. In a minute or two the young wallaby being sufficiently done, Gnunnumbah drew it out of the fire with a stick and eat its hind quarters without further preparation, throwing the rest of it away. It is the etiquette among the black natives for the person who takes the game to conduct the cooking of it. As soon, therefore, as the skins of the wallabies had become stiff and distended from the expansion of the gases in the cavity of their bodies, Tomboorrowa and Sydney each pulled out one of them from the fire, and scraping off the singed hair roughly with the hand, cut up the belly and pulled out the entrails. They then cleaned out the entrails, not very carefully by any means, rubbing them roughly on the grass or on the bushes, and then threw them again upon the fire. When they considered them sufficiently done, the two eat them, a considerable quantity of their original contents remaining to serve as a sort of condiment or

The tails and lower limbs of the two wallabies, when the latter were supposed to be done enough, were twisted off and eaten by the other two natives (from one of whom I got one of the vertebræ of the tail and found it delicious); the rest of the carcases, with the larye snake, being packed up in a Number of the Sydney Herald to serve as a mess for the whole camp at Brisbane. The black-fellows were evidently quite delighted with the excursion; and on our return to the Settlement they asked Mr. Wade if he was not going again to-mor



[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


“And Moses sent them to spy out the land

and said unto them,Get you up this way southward,

and see the land, what it is ;

whether it be good or bad ; whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein or not.

And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they told him and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with MILK and HONEY.”_NUMBERS xüi. 17-27.

AMONG the natural productions of this portion of the Australian Territory, I include those for the raising of which, although they may perhaps be considered rather as artificial productions, no species of cultivation is required. It is the distinguishing characteristic of the Australian Colonies, as compared with those of British America and the West Indies, that their vast territory is immediately and directly available for the purposes of man. If the colonist in these regions be a keeper of sheep, like the patriarch Abel, or if, like the sons of Jacob, he have much cattle," he has only to rear his tent, or rather his bark hut, in the wilderness, leaving his flocks and herds to range freely around him; for, whether he go to the northward, to the westward, or to the southward, he will be sure to find pasture.

Of all the natural productions of Australia the native grass is, beyond all comparison, the most valuable, and in this valuable production the territory of Cooksland is by no means deficient. Taking into consideration the fact that the district of Moreton Bay was only thrown open for free immigration, on the discontinuance of Transportation to New South Wales, in the year 1841, the extent to which the native pastures of the district have already been occupied by the flocks and herds of enterprising colonists, and the amount of wealth already realized from that one source, will appear truly surprising. The following list of the Exports from Brisbane for the year ending the 31st July 1844, the third


of the existence of Moreton Bay as a free settlement, will exhibit the capabilities of the country in this respect, and its extraordinary powers of production, in the clearest light.


31st JULY 1844.*

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The following Return of the Live Stock in the districts of Moreton Bay, Darling Downs, and Clarence River —the country to the Northward of the 30th parallel of South Latitude—for the year 1845, will also exhibit the growing importance of this division of the territory as a pastoral country.

* This is exclusive of the Exports from the Clarence River District.

RETURN of Live Stock in the country to the Northward of the

30th parallel of South Latitude, in the Colony of New South Wales, on the 1st January 1846.

[blocks in formation]

As the export of wool in New South Wales is found to increase annually in the proportion of one-third above that of the year preceding, wherever the extent of pasture-land occupied will admit of the usual increase in the quantity of stock depasturing upon it, the export for the year ending 31st July 1845, agreeably to this ratio, would be 2650 bales, or thereby, and for the year ending 31st July 1846, 3500 bales, or thereby. And this export, it must be recollected, is independent of that of the Clarence District, which is forwarded to Sydney direct. Now, each of these bales will weigh on an average 300 lbs., and at 1s. Bd. per lb., or £22, 10s. per bale, the export of wool alone from the Brisbane River, for the year ending 31st July 1846, would amount in value to £78,750. This increase, I was given to understand, would go on at the same ratio for ten years to come, without taking into account the vast extent of pastoral country recently discovered by Dr. Leichhardt and Sir Thomas Mitchell ; there being grass enough in the country previously known for the increasing quantity of stock necessary to yield this increased export. And as a proof that I am not overestimating the capabilities of the District, the estimate of persons well qualified to offer an opinion on the subject in New South Wales was, that the exports from Moreton Bay, for the year 1846–1847, would considerably exceed £100,000. Now, I question whether there is any other part of the habitable globe where so small a population as that of Moreton Bay is at this moment raises so large an amount of exportable produce.

The Stations on the Darling Downs are principally sheep stations : to the eastward of the Coast Range, where there is a comparatively large extent of land too low, too moist, and too rich for sheep, there are generally both sheep and cattle at the stations. On the Downs, where the pasture-land is quite clear of timber, from 2000 to 2500 sheep are usually seen in a single flock. This is a great saving of expense to the squatter; for in those parts of the country where the pasture-land is of the character designated by the term

open forest,” not more than about 800 sheep can be run in a flock. The Downs are traversed, at moderate distances from each other, by streams, or creeks, as they are called in the colony, rising in the lofty Coast Range and running westward to the Condamine River; and the usual extent of a sheep-run or station is twenty miles in length by six miles in breadth, or three miles on each side of one of these creeks. The extent of the station is therefore 120 square miles. On the east side of the Range towards the coast the stations are not unfrequently quite as large.

The climate of Moreton Bay appears to be remarkably well suited to the constitution of the sheep, although the average weight of the fleece is considerably under that of Port Phillip, ten degrees farther south ; the average at Moreton Bay being 21 lbs. and at Port Phillip 3 lbs. It is a problem of the deepest interest to the colony, in an economical point of view, especially since the recent discoveries of Dr. Leichhardt, how far the constitution of the sheep will bear the gradual increase of temperature to the northward in Australia, without occasioning a deterioration in the quality of the wool. Dr. Leichhardt has discovered extensive tracts of country to the northward, far within the

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »