The Norfolk sailed, as has been already stated, upon this voyage of discovery about the 7th of October last, with Lieutenant Flinders and Mr. Bass; and on the 11th, when nearly off Cape Howe, being met by a fresh gale at SW they bore up, and anchored in Twofold Bay. This bay had been visited by Mr. Bass when he was on the coast in the whale boat; but he had not at that time so good an opportunity of examining it as he desired, and now had. He found Twofold Bay situated at the southern end of a short chain of hummocky hills, one part of which is much more conspicuous than the rest, and lies immediately behind the bay. The land on the west side, being a part of this chain of hills, is high and rocky. The shore is divided into steep cliff heads, with small intermediate beaches; the one formed by the most prominent of the ridges, the others by the sand thrown up at the foot of their valleys. Behind the beaches are ponds of brackish water.
The abruptness and sudden rise of the hills for the most part permit the vegetable earth to be washed down into the vallies as fast as it is formed. Some of the more gradual slopes retain a sufficiency of it to produce a thick coat of tolerably succulent grass; but the soil partakes too much of the stony quality of the higher parts to be capable of cultivation.
The dark luxuriant foliage of the valleys points out the advantages which they had received from the impoverished hills. Their soil is rich and deep, but their extent is narrow and limited. Some three or four hundred acres of excellent soil might be found upon the edges of the ponds, and by the sides of the occasional drains that supply them with the fresh part of their water.
Both hill and valley produce large timber and brush-wood of various heights; upon the hills, the brush grows in small clumps; while in the valleys it not only covers the whole surface, but is also bound together by creeping vines, of every size between small twine and a seven inch hawser.
In the SW corner of the bay, is a lagoon, or small inlet, that communicates with the sea, through the beach at the back of which it lies. The chain of hills here runs back to some little distance from the water, and leaves a few square miles of rather good ground, through which the inlet was found to take its course in a winding direction to the SW for six or eight miles, where it ends in small swamps and marshes. Large boats might enter this place at a third flood, and proceed to the farther part of it. Upon its banks from five to seven hundred acres of a light sandy soil might be picked out, in patches of from fifty to a hundred acres each; but on the side next the mountain it soon became stony, and on that next the lagoon it was wet and salt.
The country along the back of the bay lies in rounded stony hills scarcely fit for pasturage, but covered with timber, and patches of short brush.
On the south side was another shallow inlet, larger than that on the SW running in by the end of a beach, and winding along to the SSW with little or no cultivable or low ground upon its borders. The returning tide did not allow time enough to proceed to the head of it.