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See my despatch
No 92 8th Dec 1860.

excellence of the harbour, the
salubrity of the climate, and
the beauty of the surrounding
scenery combine to render
Gladstone an eligible site for
a flourishing city; but the
river Fitzroy, further north,
affords a more ready access
to the interior of the Colony,
and consequently the settlement
of Rockhampton on its banks
has advanced more rapidly up
to the present time.
9. The town of Rockhampton
was founded in the autumn
of 1858, and was then the
extreme point of European
settlement in this part of Australia.
As the outlet of the vast regions
watered by the river Fitzroy and
its tributaries, it is even now
a flourishing place; and pastoral
occupation has already extended
to the Peak Downs and to the
shores of Broad Sound, fully
two hundred miles further
inland and northward. As
I have reported elsewhere, the
Queensland Government is about
to found a new settlement
at Port Denison, as the outlet
of the recently proclaimed district
of Kennedy, which will reach
to within about three hundred
miles of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
10. Though Rockhampton
is within the tropics, the climate
of the neighbouring districts -
especially on the Upland Downs
and

377

and beautiful prairies of the interior
- is, in a high degree, healthy
and invigorating. Fresh settlers
are fast arriving from New South
Wales
and Victoria, and bringing
their flocks and herds with them.
Nor is the value of the wool
of the Merino sheep deteriorated,
to any sensible extent, in these
warm latitudes. What the fleece
loses in weight, it gains in softness
and delicacy.

11. It will afford some
idea of the great space already
covered by the settlements of
this Colony, to mention that on
my official tours during the
past twelve months, I have
myself visited two flourishing towns
in Queensland (Warwick and
Rockhampton,) which are distant
from each other by the nearest
road at least five hundred
miles; that is, much further than
Galway and Kirkwall, respectively,
are distant from London. There
is something almost sublime
in the steady, silent flow of
pastoral occupation over
north- eastern Australia. It
resembles the rise of the tide,
or some other operation of nature,
rather than a work of man.
Although it is difficult to ascertain
exactly what progress may have
been made at the end of each
week and month, still, at the
close of every year, we find
that the margin of Christianity
and

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