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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
23 August 1770

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Description of New South Wales


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Description of New South Wales (continued)

If we may judge by the appearance of the country while we were there, which was in the very height of the dry season, it is well watered: we found innumerable small brooks and springs, but no great rivers; these brooks, however, probably become large in the rainy season. Thirsty Sound was the only place where fresh water was not to be procured for the ship, and even there one or two small pools were found in the woods, though the face of the country was every where intersected by salt-creeks, and, mangrove land.

Of trees there is no great variety. Of those that could be called timber, there are but two sorts; the largest is the gum tree, which grows all over the country, and has been mentioned already: it has narrow leaves, not much unlike a willow; and the gum, or rather resin, which it yields, is of a deep red, and resembles the sanguis draconis; possibly it may be the same, for this substance is known to be the produce of more than one plant. It is mentioned by Dampier, and is perhaps the same that Tasman found upon Diemen’s Land, where he says he saw "Gum of the trees, and gum lac of the ground." The other timber tree is that which grows somewhat like our pines, and has been particularly mentioned in the account of Botany Bay. The wood of both these trees, as I have before remarked, is extremely hard and heavy. Besides these, here are trees covered with a soft bark that is easily peeled off, and is the same that in the East Indies is used for the caulking of ships.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 623 - 624, 2004
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