23rd March 1770

[Off Cape Farewell, Middle Island, New Zealand]
Light Airs from the Southward, at intervals Calm, the fore part hazey, the remainder clear, pleasant weather. At Noon our Latitude, by observation, 40 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds South, Longitude from Cape West 6 degrees 52 minutes East; the Eastermost point of Land in sight* (* Cape Farewell, the north point of South Island.) bore East 10 degrees North, distant 7 Leagues, and a bluff head or point we were abreast of yesterday at Noon, off which lay some rocks above Water, bore South 18 degrees West, distant 6 Leagues. This point I have named Rocks Point, Latitude 40 degrees 55 minutes South. Having now nearly run down the whole of this North-West Coast of Tovy Poenammu, it is time I should describe the face of the Country as it hath at different times appeared to us. I have mentioned on the 11th Instant, at which time we were off the Southern part of the Island, that the land seen then was rugged and mountainous; and there is great reason to believe that the same ridge of Mountains extends nearly the whole length of the Island from between the Westermost Land seen that day and the Eastermost seen on the 13th. There is a space of about 6 or 8 Leagues of the sea Coast unexplored, but the Mountains inland were Visible enough. The land near the Shore about Cape West is rather low, and riseth with a gradual assent up to the foot of the Mountains, and appear'd to be mostly covered with wood. From Point Five Fingers down to the Latitude of 44 degrees 20 minutes there is a narrow ridge of Hills rising directly from the Sea, which are Cloathed with wood; close behind these hills lies the ridge of Mountains, which are of a Prodidgious height, and appear to consist of nothing but barren rocks, covered in many places with large patches of Snow, which perhaps have lain there since the Creation. No country upon Earth can appear with a more rugged and barren Aspect than this doth; from the Sea for as far inland as the Eye can reach nothing is to be seen but the Summits of these rocky Mountains, which seem to lay so near one another as not to admit any Vallies between them. From the Latitude of 44 degrees 20 minutes to the Latitude 42 degrees 8 minutes these mountains lay farther inland; the Country between them and the Sea consists of woody Hills and Vallies of Various extent, both for height and Depth, and hath much the Appearance of Fertility. Many of the Vallies are large, low, and flatt, and appeared to be wholy covered with Wood; but it is very probable that great part of the land is taken up in Lakes, Ponds, etc., as is very common in such like places. From the last mentioned Latitude to Cape Farewell, afterwards so Called, the land is not distinguished by anything remarkable; it rises into hills directly from the Sea, and is covered with wood. While we were upon this part of the Coast the weather was foggy, in so much that we could see but a very little way inland; however, we sometimes saw the Summits of the Mountains above the fogg and Clouds, which plainly shew'd that the inland parts were high and Mountainous, and gave me great reason to think that there is a Continued Chain of Mountains from the one End of the Island to the other.* (* This is, to a great extent, the case.)

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