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to which the name of Murray was given; and further still, in latitude 34°, to a third, formed by a N. E. river, which had all the features and characteristics of the Darling, where he left it in latitude 30° 30'. From this junction it took Captain Sturt nineteen days to reach Lake Alexandrine and the sea (E. long. 139°), the farthest westerly point that had ever been attained in an overland journey of discovery started from the eastern shores of this continent.
The two expeditions of Captain Sturt thus achieved the important discovery, that the drainage of all the westerly waters of New South Wales is effected by one river, which disembogues through Lake Alexandrine into the sea.
Mr. Allan Cunningham, King's Botanist, started, soon after this, for Moreton Bay, by land; and keeping from Liverpool Plains to the westward of the dividing range, which he re-crossed not far from Moreton Bay, succeeded in reaching latitude 27° 50'. His expedition, notwithstanding that the special object he had in view was foreign to geographical discoveries, benefited the latter, as in its pursuit he bisected all the tributaries of the river Darling, and reached its sources.
Sir Thomas Mitchell's three expeditions, which he undertook by order of Government in 1832 and 1836, verified all Captain Sturt's previous discoveries. In his northerly course in 1832, Sir T. Mitchell penetrated farther than Sturt, and came on the Darling in latitude 29°. The westerly limit of his journey in 1835 was longitude 140° 40'; the southern in 1838 was latitude 28°.
The great benefit which resulted from Sir T. Mitchell's expeditions, besides that of corroborating all the geographical features and positions previously ascertained, and determining many new ones not less important, was the discovery of Australia Felix: for the- honour of this discovery must be considered due to him, since, though not the first who saw the region, he was the first to make known to the public what he saw.
It is true that the Van Diemen's Land graziers knew the country well, and grazed it with their stock long before the arrival of Sir T. Mitchell at the Glenelg. They had also similar stations at Port Phillip, as far even as the S. side of Mount Macedon; but, as they kept their knowledge secret, and used it merely for their own benefit and convenience, they can now only boast of their good fortune in having found the country, but not of the honour of having discovered it.
With the admirable surveys of Mr. Tyer between Port Phillip and the river Glenelg, and of Mr. Dixon at Moreton Bay, in 1840; and with the disco very of Gipp's Land made, in the same year, by the ■writer of this Volume, and accounts of which are fully detailed in the parliamentary papers of 26th August,
1841, closes the record of the journeys of discovery in New South Wales.
In Van Diemen's Land, the expedition in 1835 of the late surveyor-general, Mr. Frankland, was productive of many valuable discoveries. They Avere confined chiefly to the upper country of the island, and to the part which lies to the southward of Macquarie Harbour.
My own wanderings in Van Diemen's Land in 1841 and 1842 led to no discoveries of any importance: they secured nevertheless the object which they had in view, namely, the tracing of the great dividing range of mountains from Cape Portland to South Cape, and the determining of the position of the most characteristic and prominent topographical features of the island. Finally, the expedition of His Excellency, Sir John Franklin, to Macquarie Harbour in
1842, not only confirmed all the positions previously
ascertained, but was instrumental to defining the course of that range which flanks the eastern part of Macquarie Harbour.
To the materials thus furnished for constructing a correct map of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, the partial surveys of crown grants and crown lands would have been a most valuable addition, if those surveys had, at the outset, been based, not as they were upon the magnetic meridian, but upon a series of true meridians, each forming the base of a series of surveys of which the lines should have been made to correspond. This oversight must not, however, be attributed to any want of talent in the men entrusted with the surveys in either of the two colonies, but to the erroneous principle which had been laid down for them to act upon, by a department superior to theirs. Startling as it may appear, it is nevertheless true that these partial surveys, which cost the Government the enormous expenditure of more than 200,000/. have given rise only to conflicting claims and interminable litigations amongst the land-owners in both the colonies; while they do not furnish one single element worthy of being used in the projecting of such a map as the present state of topographical science requires.
Thus, as regards New South Wales, the construction of the existing map entailed upon Sir Thomas Mitchell, the surveyor-general, the necessity of making a new survey of the already surveyed country; which latter survey, based this time on true meridians, and on triangulation, and conducted with an accuracy highly creditable to the surveyor, produced the only topographical work of merit which has appeared.
Thus again, Van Diemen's Land, deprived as it has been of a trigonometrical survey, has actually no chart deserving the notice of science.
To our summary of the hydrographical and topographical labours which have determined the hori
zontal aspect of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, we must add here the results of the hypsometrical survey, which has furnished data illustrating the vertical configuration of the two colonies.
The elements of that survey are of the highest value, as they tend not only to the deduction of the mean altitudes of the. colonial areas to which they refer, hut each separate element forms a valuable adjunct in the prosecution of the geological, mineralogical, climatological, botanical, and agricultural inquiry which will follow.
In the absence of any trigonometrical survey, the altitudes of all the mountain chains and peaks, the lakes, plains, and rivers, which we shall now give in a tabular view, with the names of the observers, have been determined by the barometer.
With the exception of the instrument carried by the late Mr. Cunningham, all those used in the survey were Gay Lussac's Syphon mountain barometers. Those of Captain P. P. King, R. N. and of his son, Mr. P. G. King, were of French construction: those used by me (12 in number) had been made under my directions by Messrs. Troughton and Simms, with a division carried to one-thousandth part of an inch; and in the excellent results they gave, could stand a comparison with the best mountain barometers constructed by Bunten.
The check on the errors which may have arisen in the barometrical survey, was the back survey, whenever such could be effected. In addition to that precaution, I used two barometers in each observation, and took the mean of their indications. I also used the boiling-water apparatus of Dr. Wollaston, constructed by Messrs. Troughton and Simms. *
* The computation of the altitudes was made according to the formula of the "Astronomical Tablet," &c. of Francis Baily, Esq.
Altitudes, in English Feet above the Level of the Sea, of the most remarkable Mountains, Lakes, Watercourses, Plains, and Stations in New South Wales and Van Diemeris Land.
NEW SOUTH WALES.
Peel Plains, New England - - - 1800 Cunningham.
Mount Mitchell - - - - 4120
Mount Lindesay .... 5700
Mount Sturt ... - 3735
River Condamine (Lat. 28° 10' long. 151° 40') 1402
Rocky Creek .... 1717
Brushy Valley (Lat. 28° 20' long. 151 °20') 1504
Apple Tree Flat - - - - 1091
Dumaresq River (Lat. 28° 55' long. 150° 40') 840
Glen River - 29° 151° 35' 1049
Gwydir River - 29° 85' 150° 25' 895
orHarkwick- 30° 15' 150° 25' 2545
Barrow Valley - 30° 40' 1503 20' 808
Wallambora Ford 30° 40' 150° 25' 1016
Mount Bathuret 31° 5' 151° 50' 4000 Oxley.
Glen Apsley River 31° 6' 152° 1000
Bathuret Cataract, New England - - 235
Beckett's Cataract „ - 150
Mount Sea View „ - - 6000
MacquarieCataract(Lat.31°55' long.1480 10') 680
Summit of Lapstone Hill (Cook) - - 747 Capt.P.P.King.
Springwood (depot) (Cook) - - 1147
Station on the Mount Road, Cook (Blue Moun-
Caley's Rupulse, Cook (Blue Mountains) - 1868
Twenty-four Miles Hollow, Cook (Blue Moun-
King's Table Land, Cook (Blue Mountains) - 2790 Strzelecki.
King's Table - - - - 2882 Capt. P. P. King.
Weather Board Hut - 2844
Mount Hay ... - 2425 Strzelecki.
Mount Tomah ... - 3240
Foot of Mount Victoria (Flagan's House) - 2607 Capt.P.P.King.
Mount George - 3620 Strzelecki.
Bridge over Butler's Rivulet, Vale of Clywd - 2188 Capt. P. P. King.
Mount York, Vale of Clywd, Blue Mountains 3440 Strzelecki.