Thursday, 3rd February 1803
At six o’clock the captain, Mr. Grimes, self, and five seamen went in the boat up the Great River; at between two and three miles it divided into two; [The Saltwater and Yarra River] we took the left hand stream at half-past eight o’clock. The land became high, where we landed and went on a hill. The soil a reddish loam from ten to fifteen inches deep. Saw a large lagoon at a distance.
“Went over the hill to a large swamp. [Moonee Ponds] Soil black, eighteen inches, with blue clay at bottom. No trees for many miles. Came to the boat and proceeded on; passed two dingles; no water; came to a third where we found some water, where we dined and proceeded on.
Opposite this the land is stony soil, stiff blue clay, and no trees only some straggling oaks by the side of the river. We went up the river till we came to rocks; [Solomon’s Ford Avondale Heights/Braybrook] could not get the boat over; crossed it at a place the natives had made for catching fish.
It was still salt though a great fall; went about two miles on the hills which are level at top and full of stones, the land very bad, and very few trees, and appeared so to the mountains, which appeared clothed with timber.