1868 - Liverpool, C. Foljambe, Earl of. Three Years on the Australian Station - CHAPTER XI.

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  1868 - Liverpool, C. Foljambe, Earl of. Three Years on the Australian Station - CHAPTER XI.
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ON Saturday, February 24, we left Auckland, at 10.30 A. M., with Lady Wiseman, and Captain and Mrs. Green on board, and after some days' fair wind, and then a calm, we were caught on Saturday, March 3, in a terrific cyclone, which lasted all next day and part of Monday, and again on the 8th there was a still worse cyclone, and we laid to for 36 hours. A man was washed overboard, but be clung to a rope and got in again. On the 10th we sighted Cape Pillar, Tasmania, which we passed at 7 P. M., anchoring 5 miles below Hobartown in the River Derwent, at 11.30 P. M. The next morning having put the ship to rights, we steamed up to Sullivan's Cove, off Hobartown, which is built at the foot of Mount Wellington, a snowy mountain about 4200 feet high; but the snow is now nearly all gone. It is the prettiest scenery and harbour I have ever

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seen. The harbour is surrounded by hills wooded down to the water's edge. Went to call at the Government House and to see the Domain and Botanical Gardens.

On Saturday, the 17th, went up with a large party to the top of Mount Nelson (about 1800 feet high) where there is a signal station; and on the following day walked up one of the valleys to the reservoir, and to Cook's monument.

On the 25th, went up the country with a Mr. Walker, passing through the beautiful Derwent valley, past Bridgewater, New Norfolk, and the Salmon ponds, where they are breeding young salmon and trout with great success. I got up to Clarendon on Monday, the 27th, at about two o'clock, and had some capital sport, rabbit-shooting till dusk, when we found that with three guns we had bagged eighteen couples and a half. The next day we went for the whole day, and killed twenty-eight couples of rabbits, six wallabies, two kangaroos, besides some pigeons, and in the evening got three couples of ducks down the river. After that I rode down to Bridgewater, took the night coach to Launceston, which I reached at 8 A. M. next morning. I went up with several gentlemen, and one of them kindly showed me all that was to be seen. I

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saw a waterfall on the South Esk (the Cora Lynn), and the gorge of the North Esk, also Longford, and the Georgetown Road, and returned by coach to Hobartown, on Thursday, the 29th. The coaches are very well conducted, and in old English style, good horses, and well found, but the operation of changing is decidedly slow. We stopped twenty minutes for breakfast, and the same for dinner, and passed the towns of Perth, Snakebanks, Cleveland, Fingal, Campbeltown, Ross, Tunbridge, Oatlands, Melton Mowbray, Quorn, Greenponds, Bagdad, Jericho, Brighton, and Bridgewater. At Melton Mowbray, there is a jolly old farmer, of the name of Blackwell, who keeps ten couples of harriers, and hunts the kangaroo, and now and then a fallow-deer, for there are some escaped; in Epping Forest, indeed, I saw six (as we passed) close to the road. A Mr. Clarke, also at Quorn, has six or eight couples of beagles, and occasionally has a day's sport on the hills, but the hounds seemed very fat and unfit for work. The coach journey of fifteen hours was very tedious, though the scenery is beautiful. The distance is about 131 miles, so I have been right across Tasmania.

Saturday, 29th. --Went out to Richmond (sixteen miles) to play a match at cricket, but they beat us.

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On Tuesday, the 3rd, went up Mount Wellington, 4200 feet; and on Wednesday, the 4th, we sailed, and came up with the Falcon on the 5th, off the Eddystone, between Swan Island and Banks' Island; and, after passing Goose Island, King's Island, Capes Otway, Nelson, and Northumberland, and Kangaroo Island, we anchored in Holdfast Bay, about ten miles from Adelaide, at 8.30 P. M. on Monday, the 9th. On the 11th, after calling at Government House, rode up Mount Lofty; it is about ten miles from Adelaide, but no great height (about 2200 feet), though, from the extreme flatness of the plains below, there is a very fine view. The next day (12th) we devoted to seeing the town and suburbs, museum, botanical and zoological gardens, &c, and returned to the ship the next day, and started that evening in the Colonial man-of-war schooner Flinders, for York Peninsula, with Captain Douglas, of the Marine Board, twenty kangaroo hounds, and our guns; and on Monday, the 15th, went into the bush where we had splendid sport, and killed twenty-three kangaroos.

Adelaide is not nearly so nice as Tasmania, the climate is so hot and dry, and everything is so awfully dusty. They have had no rain for nearly three

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years, and the grass is as brown as the road. It is quite astonishing how the corn and fruit can come to such perfection. There is a great exportation of flour from here, and also of fruit, which, with wool and copper, are the chief exports. A great quantity of wine is made here, sherry, hock, and a kind of Burgundy, but I do not much fancy them, though the

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hock is pleasant in hot weather. The Adelaide Club, where I stayed, is very comfortable, and so is the York Hotel, but the worst of it is the distance we are from the town.

We have to pull more than two miles to the Semaphore Jetty, and then to walk or drive across Le

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Fevre's Peninsula (a road with sand up to your ankles), to the wretched town or street of Port Adelaide, a distance of one mile and a half; after that there are eight miles and a half of railway to be traversed, over which the train "crawls" in half-an-hour, for there are three stoppages, However this is preferable to the road, which is very dusty. When once reached, Adelaide is a very fine city; it is built in a square mile with a good strip of park land round it, which is partly planted with trees, and is to be considerably improved; next to it are the North, South, East, and West Terraces, facing the Park, and opposite to the Club in the North Terrace is the Government House, facing south, behind which are the Barracks, which are empty at present. The Museum is also near, and beyond it are the Botanical Gardens, which at present want rain very much. There are a few animals, and a good many birds there, and the gardens are extensive and well laid out. The Town-hall is a, new and very fine building, and there are a great many churches. There are one or two fine squares, and the Bank and Club are handsome stone buildings. There are no wooden houses here, for good stone is easily procured from the hills, about eight miles off, or even

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nearer. At the foot of the hills and on the slopes are a great many vineyards, whilst the plains are well covered with wheat-fields. The sheep-walks are all on the top of the ranges, and to the southward near the Murray. The suburbs of North Adelaide, Kensington, Norwood, &c, are very prettily situated, there are so many villas amongst clumps of trees. The streets of Adelaide are wide, and all at right angles to one another, but very badly lighted by gas, as there are only about two lamps in the whole length of a street. We had some private theatricals; and cleared £140 (for the Orphan Home), after paying for the house, &c. The Governor, Sir Dominic Daly, is a good-natured old gentleman, and all his family are very kind to us. He has two sons and two daughters.

On Monday, April 23, the Falcon steamed in close to the Semaphore jetty, and, having embarked His Excellency Sir Dominic Daly and about fifty ladies and gentlemen, brought them out to us, where they arrived about 11 A. M., and the Governor was of course received with manned yards, and the customary salute of 17 guns, from both ships. After inspecting the Curacoa, a grand luncheon was provided in the Commodore's cabin, after which the

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band was sent for on deck, and we danced till 6 P. M.., when the party left, all very well pleased. The yards were again manned, and after landing the Governor and party, the Falcon sailed for Perth in West Australia, with £20,300 in specie on board for the Government. We left the anchorage about 8 P. M., under steam, and though there was a fresh breeze from W. and S. W. we averaged 7 to 8 knots all night, passed Kangaroo Island at 5 A. M. next morning, the 24th, and sighted Cape Northumberland in the evening, arriving in Hobson's Bay near Melbourne the following night. Next day I went up with Browne to see his father, Capt. Browne, whose acquaintance I made at Forbes, and with whom I had some kangaroo-hunting about two years ago. He is now the police magistrate at a place in New South Wales, called Hay, about 6OO miles from Sydney, and over 300 miles from Melbourne; it is on the river Murrumbidgee. We went up by the railway as far as Echuca (156 miles), on the Murray, and on our way we passed Sunbury, where the great Volunteer encampment (10,000 men) was last Easter, also the good-sized towns of Gisborne and Kyneton, and the Castlemaine diggings. At Sandhurst (Bendigo), we had to wait three-

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quarters of an hour, and had just time to see something of the diggings, though both the quartz and alluvial claims were much the same as those at Ballarat. Before coming to Sandhurst, we passed through the Black Forest, which is more than thirty miles across, and also Mount Macedon, a conspicuous and wooded hill.

From Sandhurst to the Murray, it was a flat country, chiefly bush and grass, and thickly covered with sheep. We arrived at Echuca at 1.15 P. M., having been five and a half hours on the journey. Here at the Murray River, both the railway and the Colony of Victoria end. The Murray certainly disappointed me greatly, having heard so much of its being the largest river in Australia; it is possible that may be the case, but the banks being very steep and the river low, it is not now above 80 or 100 yards across, though in a flood it soon rises, and covers the country four or five miles on either side. Echuca is not a large town, though increasing fast in size, but it has a good hotel, which is, however, very expensive. After luncheon we started in the coach for Deniliquin (a journey upwards of sixty miles), where we arrived at 8 P. M., after passing through fearful dust, and very bad bush roads. The country is nearly flat all the way,

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and covered with what would be fine grass after rain, interspersed by belts of bush; the latter sometimes very thick, and covering an extent of five or six miles of ground. After supper we left Deniliquin about 9 P. M., for Hay, and passed a most uncomfortable night in the coach, arriving after a journey of eighty-six miles at Hay, at 11 A. M., the next day. It was a level plain covered with salt-bush and cotton-bush, which is capital food for cattle and sheep, and stands very great droughts. We had some kangaroo, native dog, and emu hunting, while we were there, but we did not get many, as there are very few about just at present, owing to the drought. At night, when the moon shone, we used to go opossum-shooting with dogs, and had good sport; and we set night-lines for the Murray cod, which grow to 50 or 6O lbs., bream, and golden perch, and we were very successful. We also shot a platypus one day. When you see them dive, you must put your gun to your shoulder, ready for their appearance, for they duck to the flash. As Captain Browne had not got into his new quarters, we stayed at a small but good inn. I made acquaintance with several settlers, and went up to stay with one of them, a Mr. Darchy, on the River Lachlan.

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Having ridden about forty miles one afternoon, and as it was after dark, and there was no moon, we stopped at the township of Maude (consisting of one store and an inn), where we had supper, and being very tired, I lay down and was soon fast asleep. Shortly after 2 A. M., I awoke suddenly, and, as I never usually wake in the night, I thought it must be near daylight, so I got up. I noticed that I did not see my clothes, where I had left them the night before, but thinking nothing of this, I was soon asleep again. However, when Mr. Darchy called me at a quarter to five, before daylight (for we wanted to get home thirty-five miles to breakfast), I found that everything was gone, clothes, money, and all, except my watch, which was under my pillow, and my scarf, which seemed to have been overlooked. I was in a ridiculous plight, as you may imagine, without a scrap to put on, but I got rigged out somehow at the store. A search was made amongst all the campers out at daylight, but to no purpose; however there was a very suspicious-looking character in the bar asleep; he had asked for a shake-down the night before as he had no money then, and the next morning after we were gone he spent some silver at the inn. When we questioned him he shrunk away

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as pale as a sheet, and trembled immensely; and I think, if Mr. Darchy had not been in a hurry, I could have frightened him into telling us all about it, but of course we found nothing by searching him or his swag, he had planted them in the bush: so about 7.30 we proceeded on our way for Oxley, on the Lachlan River. I wrote to Captain Browne at Hay, to inform the police. He immediately sent a policeman off on horseback, who arrived at midnight. The suspected man and his mate were camping near, and quarrelling over the spoils, when the latter split upon him; they had burnt the clothes, and hid the bank-notes in a forked tree. They took the police to their camp-fire, and showed the remains of the clothes, boots, &c, in the ashes, each man accusing the other of having done it. The bank-notes were found after much searching. Saturday being the court-day at Maude, I went down, and the accomplice turned Queen's evidence on his mate; so the case was proved pretty clearly, and they were remanded till the quarter sessions, held at Deniliquin, 580 miles from Sydney, on July 8, to which I am subpoenaed; and I suppose, if I do not go up, I shall not recover my £10 (which the police still have), I shall be fined £50, and the scoundrels will get off!

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When this man found what his friend had done, he immediately told of his companion having stolen some calico from a store, for which the said friend got three months, and then retaliated on his friend by saying he had killed two sheep belonging to a Mr. Palmer, so I suppose he will get an extra punishment for that too in July. This is what is called honour among thieves!!

After leaving Mr. Darchy's we went down the Rivers Murrumbidgee and Murray, in the steamer Riverina, which is the name they propose giving to this part of the country, if they make it a separate Colony. All the trade comes from Melbourne and Adelaide, as they are so far from Sydney, and the duties are very heavy crossing the Murray, still they do not wish to be annexed to Victoria. I believe the objection to separation is, because they have no sea-coast line or port, and the rivers are not navigable in a very dry summer. The scenery is monotonous all the way down (1500 miles), the banks are steep and high, and covered with trees, which grow in a kind of belt along most of the Australian rivers. Lower down, the river is nearly a quarter of a mile wide, bounded by extensive swamps, and high perpendicular cliffs, 300 or 400 feet high, under which you

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sweep quite close in the steamer. About 40 miles of hilly country have to be traversed by coach to Adelaide; and while there I paid a short visit to the copper-mines at Wallaroo, where the steamer the Aldinga called for a short time. We also called at Port McDowell, Guichen Bay, Warnambool, Portland, and Belfast, but they are none of them worth speaking of as towns, but in the bush there are lots of game, kangaroo, &c, and it is a fine grazing country At Melbourne I went to see the museum, where there are some excellent models of gold-mines, also the library, which is a splendid building, and the Houses of Parliament and the Treasury.

Another day was spent in seeing the Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, which are beautifully laid out and very well kept, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is very prettily situated. I also had a look at Government House, Toorak, which is no better than many of the private houses, and I saw South Yarra, Richmond, Kew, Brighton, Elstonwick, and most of the pretty part of the suburbs.

Left on Saturday, May 19, in the Derwent steamer for Launceston, and made a very good passage across in 17 hours. The Tamar is a beautiful river, and it is six miles from the Heads, Port Dalrymple, or George-

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town to Launceston. The scenery is quite beautiful. I saw a little snow on the top of Ben Lomond (5500 feet high), near Launceston, and the weather is bitterly cold, much more so than I have felt it since leaving England. Left Tasmania on the 25th, and steamed down D'Entrecasteaux Channel, calling at the Huon River, which scenery is quite beautiful. After rounding Cape Pillar, we had to steam against wind for some hours, and we crossed Banks' Straits, passing Flinders' Island, and the Furneaux Group, on Saturday (26th), and were abreast of Cape Howe the next day; and as it was blowing hard we put into Twofold Bay for the afternoon. The town of Eden is a quiet little place, but there is nothing remarkable about it; and after getting a glimpse of the beautiful and fertile Illawarra Plains, we reached Sydney on Monday, 28th, at 1 P. M.

The Kaikora, the first steamer that is to take the English Mails via Panama, came out in fifty-five days to Melbourne, she lost two blades of her screw, but as she did twelve and a half knots easily on her trial here, I hope she will be a success. She is a splendid-looking steamer, and is most magnificently fitted up. A very melancholy thing occurred here a fortnight ago, the young Prince de Conde died rather

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suddenly from the effects of a cold, caught by foolishly jumping overboard, and sitting in his wet clothes while out fishing, he has been in bad health for some time, and was very delicate. He was buried with great pomp at the Roman Catholic Cathedral, St. Mary's.

June 22nd. -- Having to go up the country, to the Deniliquin Quarter Sessions, I left Sydney by the six o'clock train, and got to Picton the same evening (fifty-three miles). It is not a large town, and very much like all colonial inland towns. We had half an hour for supper, and then the coach, journey began. We got to Goulburn at 6.30 next morning. It is one of the largest inland towns in this colony; indeed I suppose it ought to be called a city, for there is a bishop and a cathedral, and a population of 8000. We had breakfast there, and started again at 8 A. M., and crossing the Blue Mountains (about 4000 feet), reached Yass at 2 P. M., on the 24th, where we dined. We got to Gundagai by 9 P. M., and after supper again started, passing the townships of Tarcutta and Tumut in the night, and arriving at Wagga Wagga the next morning at 8 A. M. After breakfast we proceeded again, the country here became very flat, and we were on the salt-

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bush plains, running right to the forks of the great rivers, hundreds of miles without a rise in the ground. It is about 400 feet above the sea. We reached Urana by dark, and Yanko Creek at 10 A. M. on the 26th, arriving at Deniliquin at 8 A. M., on the 27th. We were five days and five nights without going to bed, though the distance is under 600 miles; but since the late heavy rains the roads are in a dreadful state. I have not given any details of the journey, for it was most tiring and monotonous, the same small townships, the same grim forests, the same blackened remains of the late bush fires, the same roadside public-houses and log-huts, which would be as tedious to describe as for any one to read. The Quarter Sessions were on the 28th, when the burglars were tried and sentenced to two years with hard labour for their pains. I went down to Hay with Captain Browne the same night. We picked up his son, and proceeded in the Booligal coach, and then went on in a buggy to a settler's house, about ten miles on, where we stayed two nights to rest, and then rode up the course of the River Lachlar, for the buggy could not get on, on account of the state of the roads. We got as far as Forbes by Monday, July 2, stayed at a settler's house, rode

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about 45 miles the next day, and 55 on Wednesday, the 4th, having a relay of fresh horses, for we were in a hurry. We started by coach at 3 A. M., on Thursday, arriving at Orange the same evening, Bathurst at 10 next morning, Hartley at 9 P. M., and Penrith at 5 A. M., on Saturday, the 7th. Here the railway commences (33 miles from Sydney). We started by the 8 o'clock train, and after changing our clothes, and a good breakfast at the Club, went ou board at 11 A. M., very glad that the next day was a, day of rest.

The Kaikorai met with a terrific gale on the 20th and 21st in Cook's Straits. New Zealand, her decks being swept, and she lost two boats, --however, she left Wellington at her proper time; and while she was there a grand dinner and ball was given, in honour of the starting of the Panama line, at which Sir George Grey presided. A large ship of 1000 tons, the Lady Bowen, ran ashore, near the entrance of this harbour, and I was sent down with the launch and fifty men to get her off; we were two days at it. They had been trying at first to haul her off broadside on and ahead, when she only sank further in the sand, and got more among the rocks; they had carried away a large chain cable twice, and

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four hawsers, when I suggested that we should try hauling her off astern; so we laid out two anchors, and she came off at once. She is not much damaged, but we thought her very badly found in every way, and wretchedly rigged. The steamer Cawarra foundered on the Hunter River bar, at Newcastle, in the same gale, with all hands but one, who managed to cling to a buoy, and, strange to say, he was rescued by a seaman named Johnson (in the lifeboat), who was the only survivor from the dreadful wreck of the Duncan Dunbar, which took place at Sydney Heads in 1858.

There is a new mail service starting, even newer than the Panama line; though it has been talked of for some time. The line is by the east coast of Australia (which is much safer now, as it has been surveyed and the reefs are well laid down on the charts), through Torres Straits to Batavia, whence a Dutch steamer takes it to Singapore, and of course the P. and O. steamers from China run to India and Suez. There have been tenders from four firms, the Dutch Company, Messrs. Bright and Co., part owners of the steam-ship Great Britain, the Australian Steam Navigation Company, and another firm. The Australian Steam Navigation tender has been ae-

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cepted, it being; the most reasonable, and accordingly the steam-ship Hero is to leave Brisbane on the 4th of August. I had two days' shooting at the Deewhy Swamp the other day, and Lake Tuggerah, and got some black swans. I have also been down to Wollongong, and it is well worth the trip, if only for the sketching that is to be found in the beautiful Illawarra valley.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, I went up to Windsor, 30 miles from here on the River Nepean, where there is some pretty scenery.

Aug. 11. --There was a paper hunt got up here. The line led was a gallop over a country of sandhills, covered with nasty scrub from three to six feet high,. and with sharp stumps sticking up, between the Botany Bay Road and the Coast. They soon finished their scent, near a brook; however we viewed them, and had a sharp gallop of three or four miles, and finished by coming up to them between two hills. There were six of us, and about twenty ladies and gentlemen from the shore. On returning into town we received the following telegrams by the mail; that war was declared by Italy and Prussia against Austria, the evacuation of Venetia, and that Prussia refused France's proposed media-

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tion, and last not least, the failure of the Reform Bill, and the new Ministry (Conservative).

A sad accident occurred the other day, when one of our midshipmen (Hudson) fell from aloft, but, strange to say, he was so little hurt that he was about again in ten days' time. We were furling sails, and the Commander called him down twice because the sail was not furled smartly enough. He was, of course, annoyed at this, and told the Commander that nine men out of twenty-four were away, which must make a difference, and the others did their best. At last Hudson went on the main topsail yard himself, and stood on it hauling up the sail, when the line he was hauling on snapped, and he went backwards, struck the top with his head, turned over and over three or four times down the rigging, hit the muzzle of an Armstrong gun and went overboard (a fall of about. 90 feet or nearly so). Hunt distinguished himself again by being first overboard to save him, and two seamen followed directly afterwards. One of the latter smartly ran down the rigging from the yard, and he was in the water almost as quickly as if he had jumped from aloft. They soon picked up Hudson, and supported him till they reached the

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Homeward Bound

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boat. His head and arms were awfully bruised and cut.

August 24. --Left Sydney at 2 P. M., in fine style for a "Homeward Bounder," amidst cheers from everybody; crowds assembled on every Battery, and every point to see us go, and the harbour was covered with boats of all sizes. Our old friend the French man-of-war schooner Caledonienne arrived about a quarter of an hour before we left, gave us three cheers, and dipped her colours. The Eclipse, too, gave three cheers, and some of the merchant-vessels also. At the Heads we passed one of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, the Crusader, belonging to a Mr. Hamilton, with a number of ladies on board, and they waved their handkerchiefs to us, and gave the parting signal, "I wish you a pleasant voyage," which, of course, we politely answered. Then we parted company with the mail steamer Bombay with three times three, and manning the rigging, steamed on our way, the sea as smooth as glass.

Reached Auckland on Sept. 11th, after stopping a day at Kawau, where we landed a pair of young emus and three wallabies for Sir G. Grey. The Challenger, our successor, arrived on Sept. 28;

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and after playing a cricket-match with her eleven, and beating them easily in one innings, we sailed from Auckland on October 4. We came by Cape York, Torres Straits, Coepang, in Timor, and Mauritius, making the land just south of Port Natal, whence we have coasted along to the Cape of Good Hope, where we arrived on December 13th. I went to Cape Town; there are great improvements here, docks, &c., and a railway is opened to Wynberg. Lady Wiseman and Mrs. Fremantle are both coming home with us. We left the Cape on Dec 18, stopped at St. Helena and Ascension Island, on our way home, and after being on rather short commons for the last few weeks, we were truly rejoiced to see once more, on February 7. 1867, the white cliffs of Old England.

Loudon: Printed by STRANGEWAYS & WALDEN, Castle St. Leicester Sq.

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