James Cook - A Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour on a voyage round the world, by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander, commencing the 25th of May 1768 - 23 Oct. 1770 - Page 320
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New Wales or En Coast of New Holland
Water, the small Brooks that then become large rivers, but this can only happ[en] with the Tropick. it was only in Thirsty Sound where we could find no fresh water that no doubt was owing to the Country being there very much intersected with salt creek & mangrove sands, The low land by the sea & even as far as inland as we were is for the most part friable, loose sandy soil yet indifferently fertile & cloathed with woods long grass shrubs plants etc. The Mountains or Hills are checquered with woods & lawns, some of the HIlls are wholy covered with flourishing trees others but thinly & the few that are upon them are small & the spot of lawns or Savannahs are rocky & barren especially to the Northward where the [?] did not afford or produce near the vegetation that it does to the South or nor where the trees in the woods 1/2 so tall & stout.
The Woods do not produce any great variety of Trees, there are only 2 or 3 sorts than can be call'd TImber, the largest is the gum tree which grows all over the forest the wood of this tree is too hard & ponderous for most common uses. The tree which resembles our Pines I saw no where in perfection but in Botany Bay, this wood as I have before observed is something of the same nature as America Live Oak, in short most of the larger trees in this country are of a hard and ponderous nature & could not be applied to any purpose, here are several sorts of the palm kind, mangrove & several other sorts of small trees & shrubs quite unknown to me besides a very great number of plants hitherto unknown, but these things are wholy out of my way to describe nor will this be of any loss since not only plants but every thing that can be of use to the learned world will be very accuratley described by Mr Banks & Dr Solander. The Land naturally produces hardly any thing fit for man to eat, & the natives know nothing of cultivation. There are indeed growing wild in the woods a few sorts of fruit. the most of them unknown to us which when ripe do not eat amiss, one sort especially which we called apples being about the size of a crab apple it is black & pulpey when ripe & tasted like a damson, it hath a large hard stone or kernel & grows on trees or shrubs
In the Northern parts of the Country as about Endeavour River & probably in many other places the boggy of watery sands produces Taora or Cocos which when properly cultivated are very good roots without which they are hardly eatable, the tops however make very good greens
Land animals are scarce so far as we know confined to a very few species, all that we saw I have before mentioned, the sort that is in greatest plenty s the Kangaroo or Kangaree so called by the natives, we saw a good many of them about Endeavour River but kill'd only 3 which we found very