Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia eBook

Philip Parker King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 567 pages of information about Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia.

The general direction of the rocky shore, from North-west Cape to Dirk Hartog’s Island, is from the east of north to the west of south.  On the south of the latter place the land turns towards the east.  High, rocky and reddish cliffs have been seen indistinctly about latitude 27 degrees; and a coast of the same aspect has been surveyed, from Red Point, about latitude 28 degrees, for more than eighty miles to the south-west.  The hills called Moresby’s flat-topped Range, of which Mount Fairfax, latitude 28 degrees 45 minutes, is the highest point, occupy a space of more than fifty miles from north to south.

Rottnest Island and its vicinity, latitude 32 degrees, contains in abundance the calcareous concretions already mentioned; which seem there to consist in a great measure of the remains of recent shells, in considerable variety.  The islands of this part of the shore have been described by MM.  Peron and Freycinet;* and the coast to the south, down to Cape Leeuwin, the south-western extremity of New Holland, having been sufficiently examined by the French voyagers, was not surveyed by Captain King.

(Footnote.  Peron volume 2 page 168 etc.)

Swan River (Riviere des Cygnes) upon this part of the coast, latitude 31 degrees 25 minutes to 32 degrees, was examined by the French expedition, to the distance of about twenty leagues from its mouth; and found still to contain salt water.  The rock in its neighbourhood consisted altogether of sandy and calcareous incrustations, in horizontal beds, enclosing, it is stated, shells, and the roots and even trunks of trees.  Between this river and Cape Peron, a “great bay” was left unexplored.*

(Footnote.  Peron volume 1 page 179.  Freycinet page 5. 170.)

The prominent mass of land, which stands out from the main, between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, and runs nearly on the meridian for more than fifty miles, seems to have a base of granite, which, at Cape Naturaliste, is said to be stratified.* The same rock also occurs, among Captain King’s specimens, from Bald-head in King George’s Sound; but nearly on the summit of that hill, which is about five hundred feet high, were Found the ramified calcareous concretions, erroneously considered as corals by Vancouver and others;** but which appear, from Captain King’s specimens, to be nothing more than a variety of the recent limestone so abundant throughout these shores.

(Footnote.  Peron volume 1 page 69.)

(**Footnote.  Vancouver 1 49.  D’Entrecasteaux 2 175.  Freycinet 105.  Flinders 1 63.  See the detailed descriptions hereafter; and Captain King’s Narrative volume 1.)

The south coast, and the southern portion of the east coast of Australia, which were surveyed by Captain Flinders, are described in the account of his voyage, and do not come within the object of the present paper.



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