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498

town (named after Governor Sir George
Bowen
) appears to be judiciously
selected on a small ridge on
the northern side of the bay. It
is proposed to connect this with
the peninsula forming the northern
entrance of the bay by means
of a causeway.

The Great drawback to the
settlement seems to be a deficiency
of fresh water. This all essential
article is at present supplied
from some native wells. Such
a source must evidently be limited
and precarious. The river Don, which
is within four miles, will, however,
it is said, furnish, if needed an
adequate supply of water to the
inhabitants, if the native wells
fail.

The country immediately
adjacent to the township and beyond
the mangrove swamps, consisits of
a rich, light, sandy soil, apparently
well adapted for the growth of
cotton and other tropical vegetable
productions. An extensive and
fertile tract of country, consisting
of open bush, is said to extend
for a considerable distance inland,
and to be well adapted for grazing
purposes. A station has been
already formed forty miles from
the township and the natives have
as yet given no serious trouble to
the white population.

From all that I can collect
we may, I think, safely infer, that
the future town of Bowen will
acquire

499

acquire a considerable degree of
importance as the centre of a fertile
country, and as an outlet for the
pastoral districts of the Kennedy - for
the wool and tallow which they will
ere long produce. There are however
I apprehend, some drawbacks to its
prosperity. These will be chiefly found
to be in the insuffcient supply of
fresh water, in the shallowness of
the basin of the harbour, the low
shelving beach, and the difficulty
and labour which now attend
the landing of goods and passengers.
These drawbacks are, however, capable
of removal or mitigation.

I believe that an important
step has been taken in the occupation
of this part of the coast of North-
Eastern Australia. All credit and
honour are due to Mr Dalrymple by
whose zeal and energy this new
locality has been opened up and
is now being settled upon what
I trust will be a prosperous basis.

Before leaving the settlement
I met with several parties of young
men who had first returned from
explorations to the North and
North West, in search of pastoral
"runs". It is impossible not to be
struck by the courage, enterprise,
and endurance of these pioneers
of civilization in the Australian
wilderness. One party, consisting of
three Europeans and an aboriginal
boy, had been absent in the bush
for upwards of five months, during
which interval they had never
met

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