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A Colonial Tramp: Travels and Adventures in Australia and New Guinea

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Published in 1891, this two volume set by Hume Nisbet describes his extensive travels through the Australian colonies and New Guinea. His journey commenced in 1886, travelling to Australia via Pantellaria, Malta, the Suez Canal and Ceylon before landing at Albany in Western Australia.

In fifty-four chapters he touches on life at numerous places – Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Lorne, Cape Otway, Ballarat, Deniliquin, Gippsland, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Bourke, Brisbane, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Mount Morgan, Cape York, Thursday Island, Milne Gulf, Port Moresby, Hobart, Launceston, and many others in between. He also addresses topics of significance at the time – convicts, the land question, causes of massacres, missionaries and traders.

BRISBANE, with its wooden houses all painted white, and the trellised verandahs round about them , some with grape vines and Passion fruit clustering up, and the dripping, tattered fringe of a banana tree growing round the end, is picturesque after the first shock is over - the first shock of eternal glare, dry dust and white or red sand - fields of caked earth instead of grass, for that is all fired up by the sun; and all vegetation is useless unless watered by the owners .It is a gay city, in spite of the ragged loafing emigrants who stalk about by the hundred in rags that would make even a Belfast beggar blush, and that is going a long way down the social scale of tatters.