Charles Grimes – Survey of Port Phillip

Board 10: The Turning Basin

The next day, Sunday, everyone got back into their costumes and headed to the Turning Basin on the Yarra River.

It was here that Flemming observed the place they arrived at on February 4th in 1803 that he later described as ….
‘The most eligible place for a settlement that I have seen is on the Freshwater River (Yarra). In several places there are small tracts of good land, but they are without wood and water. I have every reason to think that there is not often so great a scarcity of water as at present from the appearance of the herbage. The country in general is excellent pasture and thin of timber, which is mostly low and crooked. In most places there is fine clay for bricks, and abundance of stone. I am of opinion that the timber is better both in quality and size further up the country, as I saw some what is called ash on the banks of the Freshwater River, and the hills appear to be clothed with wood. As to the quantity of good land at the different places, I shall be better able to describe when I am favored with a sight of a chart, as I have not been permitted to see one since I came out. There is great plenty of fish in Port King. The country in general is newly burnt.’