12 – 17 July

CROSS ANOTHER STREAM.

July 12.

At two miles and a half from the spot where we had slept we crossed
another stream flowing west-north-west which I named the Small-burn.
Beyond it the ground was good and grassy, but at this season very soft,
so that the draught was most laborious for the cattle. At seven miles we
crossed a wet flat with ponds of water standing on it, and beyond we

entered on a clay soil altogether different from any hitherto passed on

this side the Yarrayne.

ANOTHER.

About eight miles from our camp we reached a fine running brook with

grassy banks, its course being to the north-west. The bed consisted of

red-sand and gravel, and the banks were about fourteen feet high,

presenting fine swelling slopes covered with turf. On this stream, which

I named the Dos casas, I halted, as it was doubtful whether some of the

carts could be brought even so far before night, the ground having proved

soft and rotten to such a degree, especially on the slopes of low hills,

that in some cases the united strength of three teams had been scarcely

sufficient to draw them through. It was night before the last cart

arrived, and two bullocks had been left behind in an exhausted state.

GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY.

July 13.

We had at length discovered a country ready for the immediate reception

of civilised man; and destined perhaps to become eventually a portion of

a great empire. Unencumbered by too much wood, it yet possessed enough

for all purposes; its soil was exuberant and its climate temperate; it

was bounded on three sides by the ocean; and it was traversed by mighty

rivers, and watered by streams innumerable. Of this Eden I was the first

European to explore its mountains and streams, to behold its scenery, to

investigate its geological character and, by my survey, to develop those

natural advantages certain to become, at no distant date, of vast

importance to a new people. The lofty mountain range which I had seen on

the 11th was now before us, but still distant between thirty and forty

miles; and as the cattle required rest I determined on an excursion to

its lofty eastern summit. Such a height was sure to command a view of the

country between these mountains and the sea in the direction of Lady

Julia Percy’s Isles; and of that region between the range and those less

connected forest-hills I had seen to the eastward.

PROPOSED EXCURSION TO THE MOUNTAINS.

When I first discovered these mountains I perceived that the land

immediately to the eastward of them was very low and that, if I found it

necessary, I might conduct the party in that direction to the coast. I

was however more desirous to level my theodolite on that summit first,

and thus obtain valuable materials for the construction of an accurate

map of the whole country around it. I accordingly left the party encamped

and proceeded towards the mountain, accompanied by six men on horseback,

having previously instructed Mr. Stapylton to employ the men during my

absence in forming a way down the bank, and a good ford across the stream

in order that there might be no impediment to the immediate advance of

the party on my return.

RICHARDSON’S CREEK.

Pursuing the bearing of 193 degrees we crossed, at three miles from the

camp, a deep creek similar to that on which it was placed; and the first

adventure of the morning occurred here. The fordable place was so narrow

that the horse of one of the party plunged into the deep water with its

rider who, while the animal was swimming, incautiously pulled the bridle

and of course overturned it, so that they parted company in the water,

the horse reaching one bank, the rider the other. The latter, who was my

botanical collector Richardson, took his soaking on a cold frosty morning

so philosophically, talking to his comrades as he made his way to the

bank, partly swimming, partly floating on two huge portfolios, that I

gave his name to the creek, the better to reconcile him to his wet

jacket. We entered soon after upon one of the finest tracts of grassy

forest land we had ever seen. The whole country recently crossed was

good, but this was far better, having several broad and deep ponds, or

small lakes, in the woods, and all full of the clearest water. At eight

miles I perceived a forest-hill on my left (or to the eastward) and the

country before us was so open, sloping and green, that I felt certain we

were approaching a river; and we soon came upon one, which was full,

flowing and thirty feet wide, being broader than the Yarrayne but not so

uniformly deep. Unlike the latter river, reeds grew about its margin in

some places, and its banks, though grassy and fifteen feet high, were

neither so steep as those of the Yarrayne, nor so closely shut together.

CROSS A FINE STREAM FLOWING IN THREE SEPARATE CHANNELS.

We swam our horses across, but our progress had scarcely commenced again

on the other side when it was impeded by another similar stream or

channel. In this we managed, with Piper’s assistance, to find a ford but,

at less than a quarter of a mile, we met a third channel, more resembling

the first in the height of its banks and velocity of the current, and

also from its flowing amongst bushes. This we likewise forded, and

immediately after we ascended a piece of rising ground which convinced me

that we had at length crossed all the branches of that remarkable river.

It is probable we came upon it where it received the waters of

tributaries, and some of these channels might be such.

A RIDGE OF POOR SANDY SOIL.

We next fell in with some undulating ground different in many respects

from any that we had traversed during the morning. The soil was poor and

sandy; and the stunted trees and shrubs of the Blue mountains grew upon

it, instead of the novelties we expected at such a great distance from

home. We also recognised the birds common about Sydney. On reaching the

higher part of this ground (at nine miles) I again saw the mountain which

then bore 196 degrees. The intervening ground seemed to consist of a low

ridge rather heavily wooded, its crest presenting a line as level as the

ocean. At eleven miles I supposed we were upon the dividing ground

between the sea-coast country and that of the interior, and on what

appeared to be the only connection between the forest mountains to the

eastward and the lofty mass then before us. We found upon this neck huge

trees of ironbark and stringybark; some fine forest-hills appeared to the

eastward and distant only a few miles.

CROSS SEVERAL FINE STREAMS.

At the end of sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, and twenty-three

miles we crossed small rivers, all flowing westward, and the third over

sandstone. After passing the last or fifth stream, we halted on a very

fine open, dry and grassy flat. We found a large fallen tree which we set

on fire and passed the night, a very mild one, most comfortably on the

ground beside it, with the intention of renewing our journey at daylight

in the morning.

TRAP-HILLS AND GOOD SOIL.

July 14.

On leaving our bivouac we crossed some hills of trap-rock which were

lightly wooded and covered with the finest grass in great abundance. The

scenery around them, the excellent quality of the soil, the abundance of

water and verdure, contrasted strangely with the circumstance of their

lying waste and unoccupied. It was evident that the reign of solitude in

these beautiful vales was near a close; a reflection which, in my mind,

often sweetened the toils and inconveniences of travelling through such

houseless regions. At the foot of the last hill, and about a mile on our

way, we crossed a chain of deep ponds running to the south-west. Beyond

them was a plain of the very finest open forest-land, on which we

travelled seven miles; and then came upon a river with broad deep reaches

of very clear water, and flowing towards the north-west. We easily found

a ford and, on proceeding, entered upon a tract of white sand where

banksia and casuarinae were the chief trees. There was also some good

grass but it grew rather thinly upon it. The next water we crossed was a

small mountain-torrent hurrying along to the eastward in a deep and rocky

channel overhung with bushes.

ASCEND THE MOUNTAIN.

Being now close under the mountain, we dismounted and sent our horses

back for the sake of food to the bank of the last-mentioned river. The

first part of our ascent, on foot, was extremely steep and laborious,

although it was along the most favourable feature I could find. Above it

the impediments likely to obstruct our further ascent were two high and

perpendicular rocky cliffs; but I had observed before ascending those

crevices and intervals between rocks where we might most easily effect an

ascent; and through these we accordingly penetrated without much

difficulty. The upper precipice consisted of cliffs about 140 feet in

perpendicular height. Fortunately the ablest of the men with me was a

house carpenter and, being accustomed to climb roofs, he managed to get

up and then assist the rest.

CLOUDS COVER IT.

Having gained the top of this second precipice, we found winter and

desolation under drizzling clouds which afforded but partial and

transient glimpses of the world below. The surface at the summit of the

cliffs was broad and consisted of large blocks of sandstone, separated by

wide fissures full of dwarf bushes of banksia and casuarinae. These rocks

were inclined but slightly towards the north-west and, the bushes being

also wet and curiously encrusted with heavy icicles, it was by no means a

pleasant part of our journey to travel nearly half a mile upwards, either

on the slippery rock or between fissures among wet bushes. At length

however we reached the highest point and found that it consisted of naked

sandstone. The top block was encrusted with icicles, and had become hoary

under the beating of innumerable storms. At the very summit I found a

small heath-like bushy Leucopogon, from six inches to a foot high. It was

in flower although covered with ice.* Also a variety of Leucopogon

villosus, with rather less hair than usual, and another species of the

same genus, probably new. Near the highest parts of the plateau I found a

new species of eucalyptus with short broad viscid leaves, and

rough-warted branches.**

(*Footnote. L. glacialis, Lindley manuscripts; ramulis pubescentibus,

foliis lineari-lanceolatis erectis contortis acutis ciliatis margine

scabris, floribus terminalibus solitaririis et aggregatis, pedicellis

pubescentibus distanter squamatis, calcibus glabris.)

(**Footnote. E. alpina, Lindley manuscripts; ramulis brevibus rigidis

angulatis, foliis alternis petiolatis ovato-oblongis viscosis basi

obliquis, umbellis axillaribus paucifloris petiolis brevioribus, operculo

hemisphaerico verrucoso inaequali tubo calycis turbinato verrucoso

breviore.)

A NIGHT ON THE SUMMIT.

All around us was hidden in mist. It was now within half an hour of

sunset, but the ascent had cost so much trouble, and the country this

summit commanded was so interesting to us that I was unwilling to descend

without trying whether it might not be clear of clouds at sunrise. We had

not come prepared in any way to pass the night on such a wild and

desolate spot, for we had neither clothing nor food, nor was there any

shelter; but I was willing to suffer any privations for the attainment of

the object of our ascent. One man, Richardson, an old traveller, had most

wisely brought his day’s provisions in his haversack, and these I divided

equally among FIVE. No rocks could be found near the summit to shelter us

from the piercing wind and sleet.

NO FUEL.

The thermometer stood at 29 degrees, and we strove to make a fire to

protect us from the piercing cold; but the green twigs, encrusted with

icicles, could not by our united efforts be blown into a flame sufficient

to warm us. There was abundance of good wood AT THE FOOT OF THE

CLIFFS–huge trees of ironbark, stringybark and bluegum but, had we

descended, a second ascent might have appeared too laborious on a mere

chance of finding the summit clear; so we remained above. The men managed

to manufacture some tea in a tin pot, and into the water as it boiled I

plunged a thermometer which rose to exactly 95 degrees of the centigrade

scale. We got through that night of misery as well as might have been

expected under the circumstances, and we succeeded in keeping the fire

alive although, while twigs were blown into red heat at one end, icicles

remained at the other, even within a few inches of the flame. In order to

maintain it through the night we divided, at eleven o’clock, the stock of

branches which had been gathered before dark into eight parcels, this

being the number of hours we were destined to sit shivering there; and as

each bundle was laid on the dying embers we had the pleasure at least of

knowing that it was an hour nearer daylight. I coiled myself round the

fire in all the usual attitudes of the blacks, but in vain; to get warm

was quite impossible, although I did once feel something like comfort

when one of the men gave me for a seat a flat stone on which the fire had

been blown for some hours. Partial cessations in the fall of sleet were

also cheering occasionally; but the appearance of stars two hours before

daylight promised to reward our enterprise and inspired me with hope.

VIEW FROM IT AT SUNRISE.

July 15.

At six o’clock the sky became clear, the clouds had indeed left the

mountain and, as soon as it was day, I mounted the frozen rock. In the

dawn however all lower objects were blended in one grey shade, like the

dead colouring of a picture. I could distinguish only a pool of water,

apparently near the foot of the mountain. This water I afterwards found

to be a lake eight miles distant and in my map I have named it Lake

Lonsdale, in honour of the Commandant then or soon after appointed at

Port Phillip. I hastily levelled my theodolite but the scene, although

sublime enough for the theme of a poet, was not at all suited to the more

commonplace objects of a surveyor. The sun rose amid red and stormy

clouds, and vast masses of a white vapour concealed from view both sea

and land save where a few isolated hills were dimly visible. Towards the

interior the horizon was clear and, during a short interval, I took what

angles I could obtain. To the westward the view of the mountain ranges

was truly grand. Southward or towards the sea I could at intervals

perceive plains clear of timber and that the country was level, a

circumstance of great importance to us; for I was apprehensive that

between these mountains and the coast it might be broken by mountain

gullies as it is in the settled colony and all along the Eastern coast.

If such had proved to be the case the carts could not have been taken

there; and I must have altered the plan of my intended route. Before I

could observe the angles so desirable clouds again enveloped the

mountain, and I was compelled to quit its summit without completing the

work. The wind blew keenly, the thermometer stood as low as 27 degrees,

and in the morning the rocks were more thickly encrusted with ice.

DESCEND WITH DIFFICULTY.

The difficulty of our descent under such circumstances was therefore

increased but no impediment could have arrested us then, the lower

regions having so many attractive charms for such cold and hungry beings.

MEN TAKEN ILL.

That night on the summit materially injured the health of two of my best

men who had been with me on all three of my expeditions. Muirhead was

seized with ague and Woods with a pulmonary complaint; and although both

recovered in a few weeks they were never so strong afterwards.

NEW PLANTS FOUND THERE.

We found upon the mountain, besides those already mentioned, various

interesting plants which we had seen nowhere else. Amongst them:

A most beautiful downy-leaved Epacris with large, curved, purple flowers,

allied to E. grandiflora but much handsomer.*

(*Footnote. E. tomentosa, Lindley manuscripts; foliis ovatis acutis

planis crassis tomentosis, floribus cernuis, corolla arcuata

infundibulari laciniis obtusis apiculatis.)

A most remarkable species of Phebalium* with holly-like leaves and bright

red flowers resembling those of a Boronia. It was related to P.

phylicifolium but quite distinct.

(*Footnote. P. bilobum, Lindley manuscripts; ramulis tomentosis, foliis

glabris cordato-ovatis retusis bilobis dentatis margine revolutis,

pedicellis axillaribus pubescentibus folio brevioribus, ovario tricorni.)

A new Cryptandra remarkable for its downy leaves.*

(*Footnote. C. tomentosa, Lindley manuscripts; undique dense tomentosa,

ramulis racemosis, foliis fasciculatis linearibus obtusis marginibus

revolutis contiguis, capitulis terminalibus congestis, calycibus

campanulatis bracteis acutis scariosis parum longioribus. Next to C.

propinqua.)

A beautiful species of Baeckea, with downy leaves and rose-coloured

flowers resembling those of the dwarf almond.*

(*Footnote. B. alpina, Lindley manuscripts; tota pubescens, foliis

lineari-ovatis petiolatis obtusis concavis, pedicellis axillaribus et

terminalibus foliis longioribus supra medium bibracteatis: bracteis

oppositis obovatis cucullatis, laciniis calycinis cordatis obtusis

petalis denticulatis duplo brevioribus, antheris apice verruciferis.)

A new Pultenaea allied to P. biloba, but more hairy and with the flowers

half concealed among the leaves.*

(*Footnote. P. montana, Lindley manuscripts; foliis obcordatis muticis

lobis rotundatis supra scabris utrinque ramulisque hirsutis, capitulis

solitariis terminalibus sessilibus foliis parum longioribus, calycibus

villosis laciniis subulatis appressis.)

A new species of Bossiaea which had the appearance of a rosemary bush,

and differed from all the published kinds in having linear pungent

leaves.*

(*Footnote. B. rosmarinifolia, Lindley manuscripts; ramis teretibus

villosis, foliis linearibus pungentibus margine revolutis supra glabris

subtus pallidis pilosis, floribus solitariis axillaribus.)

A beautiful new and very distinct species of Genetyllis, possessing

altogether the habit of a Cape Diosma, the heath-like branches being

terminated by clusters of bright pink and white flowers.*

(*Footnote. G. alpestris, Lindley manuscripts; ramulis piloso-hispidis,

foliis linearibus tetragonis scabro-pilosis, capitulis sessilibus

terminalibus nudis rachi lanata, tubo ovarii pentagono pubescente,

sepalis petalis pluries brevioribus, stigmate glaberrimo.)

Several species of Grevillea, particularly a remarkable kind with leaves

like those of a European holly, but downy.*

(*Footnote. G. aquifolium, Lindley manuscripts propria; foliis oblongis

extra medium incisis: lobis triangularibus apice spinosis; adultis super

glabratis: subter mollibus pubescentibus, racemis pedunculatis, calycibus

villosis, ovario hirsutissimo, stylo glabro.)

Another fine new species with leaves like those of a European oak.*

(*Footnote. G. variabilis, Lindley manuscripts propria; incana, foliis

cuneatis angulatis oblogisve basi cuneatis pinnatifidis sinuatis

angulatisque subtus tomentosis lobis mucronatis triangularibus vel

rotundatis, racemis tomentosis pedunculatis.)

And a third with brownish red flowers and hoary leaves; varying from an

erect straight-branched bush to a diffuse entangled shrub.*

(*Footnote. G. alpina, Lindley manuscripts Ptychocarpa; foliis

lineari-oblongis tomentosis muticis margine revolutis supra subtus pilis

appressis sericeis, racemis paucifloris, pistillis basi hirsutissimis,

calycibus ferrugineis tomentosis. alpha, ramis erectis, foliis

longioribus angustioribus. beta, ramis diffusis intricatis, foliis

brevioribus nunc mollibus nunc supra scabris.)

Lastly a new Leucopogon, besides that found on the summit as already

mentioned.*

(*Footnote. L. rufus, Lindley manuscripts; ramulis foliis que subtus

pubescentibus, foliis ovatis acuminatis apice spinosis erectis concavis

supra laevigatis subtus striatis margine laevibus, floribus subsolitariis

sessilibus axillaribus, barba corollae cinnamomea.)

ON THE APPLICATION OF NAMES.

In adding this noble range of mountains to my map I felt some difficulty

in deciding on a name. To give appellations that may become current in

the mouths of future generations has often been a perplexing subject with

me, whether they have been required to distinguish new counties, towns,

or villages, or such great natural features of the earth as mountains and

rivers. I have always gladly adopted aboriginal names and, in the absence

of these, I have endeavoured to find some good reason for the application

of others, considering descriptive names the best, such being in general

the character of those used by the natives of this and other countries.

Names of individuals seem eligible enough when at all connected with the

history of the discovery or that of the nation by whom it was made. The

capes on the coast I was then approaching were chiefly distinguished with

the names of naval heroes and, as such capes were but subordinate points

of the primitive range, I ventured to connect this summit with the name

of the sovereign in whose reign the extensive, valuable, and interesting

region below was first explored; and I confess it was not without some

pride as a Briton that I more majorum* gave the name of the Grampians to

these extreme summits of the southern hemisphere.

(*Footnote.

Procedo, et parvam Trojam, simulataque magnis

Pergama, et arentem Xanthi cognomine rivum,

Agnosco. Aen. lib 3.)

REPOSE IN THE VALLEY.

We reached the banks of the little river where the horses awaited us in

three hours, the distance being eight miles from the summit of Mount

William. There we found a large fire and, under a wide spreading

casuarina during a delightful interval of about twenty minutes, I enjoyed

the pleasures of eating, sleeping, resting, and warming myself, almost

all at the same time. To all who would know how to enjoy most intensely a

good fire, shelter, sunshine, and the dry soft turf I would recommend, by

way of whet, a winter night on a lofty mountain, without fire, amidst

frost-covered rocks and clouds of sleet. I shall long remember the

pleasure of those moments of repose which I enjoyed on my arrival in the

warm valley after such a night. We could afford no longer delay however,

having brought provisions only for one day with us, whereas this was the

morning of the third of our absence from the camp. Retracing our steps we

reached the little river only at eight in the evening and, as I hoped to

find a ford in it at daylight, we lay down on its bank for the night.

NIGHT’S REST.

July 16.

I slept on a snug bit of turf within two feet of the stream; so that the

welcome murmur of its rippling waters assisted my dreams of undiscovered

rivers. As soon as morning dawned I succeeded in finding a ford on that

branch across which we swam our horses on the 13th. We thus met with less

cause of delay and reached the camp at an early hour, with excellent

appetites for breakfast.

NATIVES AT THE CAMP DURING MY ABSENCE.

Two natives had visited the party during my absence and had slept by the

fires. They had been at cattle stations and could say “milk.” They

consequently approached our camp boldly, and during the night showed much

restlessness, endeavouring to decoy the gins away with them. But The

Widow gave the alarm, and very properly handed over these insidious

wooers to the especial surveillance of the man on duty. Notwithstanding

they were vigilantly watched they contrived to steal a tomahawk, and went

off leaving their wooden shovels at our camp, saying they should return.

I had now several men on the sicklist, but under the treatment of

Drysdale, our medical attendant, they speedily recovered.

CHAPTER 3.9.

Plains of stiff clay.

The Wimmera.

Difficult passage of its five branches.

Ascend Mount Zero.

Circular lake, brackish water.

The Wimmera in a united channel.

Lose this river.

Ascend Mount Arapiles.

Mr. Stapylton’s excursion northward.

Salt lakes.

Green Hill lake.

Mitre lake.

Relinquish the pursuit of the Wimmera.

The party travels to the south-west.

Red lake.

Small lakes of fresh water.

White lake.

Basketwork of the natives.

Muddy state of the surface.

Mr. Stapylton’s ride southward.

Disastrous encounter of one man with a native.

A tribe makes its appearance.

More lakes of brackish water.

Escape at last from the mud.

Encamp on a running stream.

Fine country.

Discovery of a good river.

Granitic soil.

Passage of the Glenelg.

Country well watered.

Pigeon ponds.

Soft soil again impedes the party.

Halt to repair the carts and harness.

Natives very shy.

Chetwynd rivulet.

Slow progress over the soft surface.

Excursion into the country before us.

Beautiful region discovered.

The party extricated with difficulty from the mud.

PLAINS OF STIFF CLAY.

July 17.

The ground on the sides of the low hills was still so soft (and in this

respect I had found the country we had lately crossed even worse than

that previously traversed by the carts) that the only prospect which

remained to us of being able to continue the journey was by proceeding

over the plains extending along the interior side of the Grampians of the

South. The soil of such plains consisted chiefly of clay, and we had

recently found that it bore the wheels of the waggons much better during

the winter season than the thin and loose soil on the sides of hills;

apparently because this lay on rock, or a substratum so tenacious as to

support the water in or just under the surface. The wheels and also the

feet of the cattle sunk at once to this rocky subsoil whatever its depth,

and up came the water, so that on level parts our track resembled a ditch

of mud and water, and on slopes it formed a current of water and a drain

from the sides of hills. I had observed the plains during my

reconnaissance of the interior from the side of Mount William, and I now

directed our course towards them. We crossed without difficulty

the

little river by the passage Mr. Stapylton had prepared during my absence

and, after travelling about four miles first west and then north-west, we

came upon an extensive plain. The soil consisted of good strong clay on

which the cattle travelled very well, and it was covered with the best

kind of grass. On reaching it I resumed my former course which was nearly

west-south-west towards Mount Zero, a name I applied to a remarkable cone

at the western extremity of the chain of mountains. After travelling 2

1/2 miles over the plain we again reached the banks of Richardson’s

creek, and forded it after some delay and considerable difficulty on

account of the softness of the bottom. We next entered on a tract of

grassy forest land, the trees being chiefly box and casuarinae. At 2 1/2

miles beyond Richardson’s creek we crossed a small run of water flowing

west-north-west, apparently towards it. After passing over similar ground

for some miles further and having had another plain on our right, we at

length encamped near a large serpentine pond or lake which was broad,

deep, and bordered with lofty gum trees.

July 18.

We continued for five miles along good firm ground on which there was

open forest of box and gumtrees; and part of the bold outline of the

Grampians appeared to our left.

THE WIMMERA.

At nine miles we fell in with a flowing stream, the water being deep and

nearly as high as the banks. I did not doubt that this was the channel of

the waters from the north side of these mountains, and I was convinced

that it contained the water of all the streams we had crossed on our way

to Mount William, with the exception of Richardson’s creek, already

crossed by the party where it was flowing to the north-west. The richness

of the soil and the verdure near the river, as well as the natural beauty

of the scenery could scarcely be surpassed in any country. The banks were

in some places open and grassy and shaded by lofty yarra trees, in others

mimosa bushes nodded over the eddying stream.

Continuing along the right bank in a north-west direction we travelled

two miles on a grassy plain; and we then turned towards the river,

encamping on its banks in latitude 36 degrees 46 minutes 30 seconds

South, longitude 142 degrees 39 minutes 25 seconds East. Magnetic

variation 5 degrees 21 minutes 45 seconds East.

Some natives being heard on the opposite bank, Piper advanced towards

them as cautiously as possible; but he could not prevail on them to come

over, although he ascertained that the name of the river was the Wimmera.

DIFFICULT PASSAGE OF ITS FIVE BRANCHES.

July 19.

On examining the Wimmera with Piper’s assistance I found that it was

fordable in some places; but in order to effect a passage with greater

facility we took over several of the loads in one of the boats. Thus the

whole party had gained what I considered to be the left bank by ten A.M.

On proceeding I perceived some yarra trees before me which grew, as we

soon discovered, beside a smaller branch, the bottom of which was soft.

We had however the good fortune to pass the carts across this branch

also. At a quarter of a mile further we came upon another flowing stream,

apparently very deep and having steep but grassy banks. The passage of

this occupied the party nearly two hours, one of the carts having sunk up

to the axle in a soft bank or channel island. While the men were

releasing the cart I rode forward and found a FOURTH channel, deep, wide,

and full to the brim. In vain did Tally-ho (trumpeter, master of the

horse, etc. to the party) dash his horse into this stream in search of a

bottom; though at last one broad favourable place was found where the

whole party forded at a depth of not more than 2 1/2 feet. Beyond these

channels another similar one still obstructed our progress; but this we

also successfully forded, and at length we found rising ground before us,

consisting of an open plain which extended to the base of the mountains.

On its skirt we pitched our tents at a distance of not quite one mile and

a half from our last camp; a short journey certainly, but the passage of

the five branches of the Wimmera was nevertheless a good day’s work. I
had frequently observed in the Australian rivers a uniformity of
character throughout the whole course of each, and the peculiarities of
this important stream were equally remarkable, it being obviously the
same we had crossed in three similar channels when on our way to Mount
William, twenty miles above this point. The shrubs on the banks at the
two places were also similar.