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their respective courses; indeed, the whole structure of the spurs about this locality imparts to them the character of bold outworks in advance of that prominent group of mountains, known in New South Wales under the name of the Australian Alps.
Conspicuously elevated above all the heights hitherto noticed in this cursory view, and swollen by many rugged protuberances, the snowy and craggy sienitic cone of Mount Kosciuszko is seen cresting the Australian Alps, in all the sublimity of mountain scenery. Its altitude reaches 6500 feet, and the view from its summit sweeps over 7000 square miles. Standing above the adjacent mountains which could either detract from its imposing aspect or intercept the view, Mount Kosciuszko is one of those few elevations, the ascent of which, far from disappointing, presents the traveller with all that can remunerate fatigue. In the north-eastward view, the eye is carried as far back as the Shoalhaven country, the ridges of all the spurs of Moneiro and Twofold Bay, as well as those which, to the westward, inclose the tributaries of the Murrumbidgee, being conspicuously delineated. Beneath the feet, looking from the very verge of the cone downwards almost perpendicularly, the eye plunges into a fearful gorge 3000 feet deep, in the bed of which the sources of the Murray gather their contents, and roll their united waters to the west.
To follow the course of that river from this gorge into its farther windings, is to pass from the subUme to the beautiful. The valley of the Murray, as it extends beneath the traveller's feet, with the peaks Corunal, Dargal, Mundiar, and Tumbarumba, crowning the spur which separates it from the valley of the Murrumbidgee, displays beauties to be compared only to those seen among the valleys of the Alps.
From Mount Kosciuszko, the chain, resuming its S. W. direction, still maintains the same bold character, but with diminished height. To the right and left, its ramifications are crowned by peaks, rendering the appearance of the country rugged and sterile. With the exception of the vicinity of Lake Omeo, and a part of the Mitta Mitta valley, lying between the spur crowned by Mount Yabbarra, and that surmounted by Mount Ajuk, a tract resembling a vast basin, without trees, and scantily supplied with water, but covered even during a parching summer with luxurious pasture, the whole region westward of the chain, towards Western Port, is rent by narrow gullies almost inaccessible, either by reason of the steepness of the ridges which flank them, or of the thick interwoven underwood which covers the country. The region eastward of the chain in the direction to Corner Inlet presents a totally different aspect. At the latitude 37°, or about the sources of the river Thomson, the spurs are less ramified, and of considerable height and length, shaping the intermediate ground into beautiful slopes and valleys, which ultimately resolve into a fine open plain, richly watered, clothed with luxurious grasses and fine timber, and offering charming sites for «farms and country residences. Viewed from Mount Gisborne *, Gipps Land resembles a semi-lunar amphitheatre walled from N. E. to S. W. by lofty and picturesque mountain scenery, and open towards the S. E., where it faces, with its sloping area the uninterrupted horizon of the sea.
The spur which bounds the southern limit of that area, and another which, on the western side of the chain, studs the territory of Australia Felix, and the neighbouring district of Western Port, with some
• Named after my lamented friend, the late Mr. H. J. Gisborne, son of Mr. Gisborne, M.P.
remarkable eminences, again change the face, of the country, and by contrast enhance the beauty of Gipps Land. These two spurs constitute a broken inhospitable region, frequently unsupplied with water, and almost always ill furnished with either quadrupeds or birds. In the direction of Western Port, some parts of that country are rendered nearly impenetrable by the dense scrub, interwoven with grasses and encumbered with gigantic trees, fallen and scattered in confusion. The writer, obliged to cross this region from Gipps Land to Western Port, was forced, at its very outskirts, to abandon his packhorses and collections, and, with his companions and men, to devote twenty-six days of incessant labour to extricate themselves from a situation, in which they were in imminent danger of perishing. Such were the difficulties encountered on that occasion, that, with the utmost exertion, stimulated by the sense of peril, a progress of from two to three miles per day was all that could be accomplished.
In the vicinity of Corner Inlet, the chain of mountains dips under a low and marshy ground, above which its crest appears rising only at intervals. Ten miles beyond, it is seen again erect, jutting out boldly into the sea, and exposing its granitic flanks for a length of thirty miles to the lash of the infuriated surf.
At Wilson's Promontory the sea interferes with the visible continuity of the range, but does not terminate its course.
On a fine day, that course may be traced from the top of the headland, beautifully delineated by the chain of the islands of Bass's Straits. These islands, whether high and crowned with peaks, or low and crested only by the white sparkling foam of the sea, appear, in their winding and lengthened array, like the glittering snow-capped domes of the Andes, when
seen above the region of the dense clouds which bathe their lower region.
Rotondo is the nearest conspicuous island to the promontory: Moncur's, Sir R. Curtis's, and Kent's group follow, as if only to indicate the direction of the chain, which on Flinder's Island displays again an uninterrupted course of about seventy miles long. From the top of its rough and naked ridge, 2550 feet in height, are seen, to the eastward and westward, small islands, with reefs scattered alongside, which are so many crests of the branches and ramifications of the range. To the southward, Barren Island, Clark's Island, and Cape Portland are arranged, with their respective heights, in such perspective that, shutting out the intervening sea, the eye may glide uninterruptedly from the heights of Flinder's Island down to the far summits which crown the elevations of Van Diemen's Land.
Barren Island — worthy of its name — deeply indented with caves and strongly projecting headlands, exposes a bare denuded surface to the incessant stormy weather of the straits. Clark's Island and Swan Island partake of the same character: all three have nothing to offer but scenes of desolation.
From the granitic peaks of Clark's Island, the chain is seen beyond Cape Portland, in a southerly direction, gradually emerging from the ocean, and plunging into the interior of Van Diemen's Land. For thirty miles, its height does not exceed 700 feet. On arriving, however, at the point where it is commonly called Blackridge, it suddenly rises to above 3000 feet, and is seen casting to the right and left, in its S. W. course, towards St. Patrick's Head, three long ramified spurs, which, as it will be seen, stamp the whole of the north-eastern section of the island with a most striking and characteristic configuration.
The first of these spurs branches off at the source
of the river Bobiala, and terminates in a cluster of conspicuous granitic hills, of which the most prominent is Mount Cameron; next to it is that spur which is crowned with the greenstone protuberance of Mount Horror, Mount Barrow, Mount Arthur, and Mount Direction, and which, stretching as far as George Town, ends with Mount Royal. The last spur is characterised by the highest elevations of Van Diemen's Land, namely, Ben Lomond and Ben Nevis, and which are likewise composed of greenstone.
It is impossible to give an adequate idea of the relievo which the above spurs have produced; of those endless sharp-edged ridges, which run in all directions, interbranch, and form as it were, a net-work of mountain chains woven intricately together. At times the eye can seize upon their distinct and independent courses, radiating from a common centre, and gradually sloping into flat-bottomed valleys; at times, their flanks are erect and perpendicular, imparting to the ridges an appearance of having been rent asunder, and presenting, between, dark chasms and gorges, from which roaring torrents make their escape.
From no point is the grandeur and infinite diversity of this mountain scenery better viewed than from the lofty, craggy, and precipitous battlements of Ben Lomond.
The northern extremity of the mountain overhangs profound tortuous abysses, and commands an uninterrupted view of Ben Nevis, Mount Barrow, Mount Arthur, Mount Cameron, the northern coast, and the most conspicuous peaks of the islands of Bass's Straits.
From the southern side is seen the whole eastern labyrinth of ridges and chasms, the fertile valley of the Break o' Day, together with the beautiful outline of the bays and promontories of the eastern coast.
The central part of the mountain's top, as the spectator recedes from the verge of its precipitous flanks,