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healthy. The town of Bourke may be taken as an example. Seated in the midst of the great plain of the interior, it illustrates peculiarly well the defects as well as the excellences of the climate of the whole region. Bourke has exactly the same latitude as Cairo, yet its mean summer temperature is 1:3° less, and its mean annual temperature to less than that of the Egyptian city: New Orleans also lies on the same parallel, but the American city is 4° hotter in summer. As regards winter temperature, Bourke leaves little to be desired. The mean winter reading of the thermometer is 54.7°, and accompanied as this is by clear skies and an absence of snow, the season is both refreshing and enjoyable.

The rainfall of New South Wales ranges from an annual average of 64 inches at Port Macquarie, on the northern coast, and Kiandra, in the Monaro district, to 9 inches at Milparinka, in the TransDarling country. The coastal districts average about 42 inches of rain per annum; on the table-land the mean rainfall is 32 inches, but in the western interior it is as low as 20 inches, while at the ten stations in the far west the average was only 14 inches. The average rainfall of Sydney during forty-two years was 50 inches, while during 1901 a fall of 40 inches was recorded.

The climate of Victoria does not differ greatly from that of New South Wales; the heat, however, is generally less intense in summer and the cold greater in winter. Melbourne, which stands in latitude 37° 50' S., has a mean temperature of 57-3°, and therefore corresponds with Bathurst in New South Wales, Washington in the United States, Madrid, Lisbon, and Messina. The difference between summer and winter is, however, less at Melbourne than at any of the places mentioned. The mean temperature is 6° less than that of Sydney and 7° less than that of Adelaide—the result of a long series of observations being :—Spring, 57°; summer, 65•3°; autumn, 58.7°; winter, 49.2°. The highest recorded temperature in the shade at Melbourne was 110.7°, and the lowest, 27° ; but it is rare for the summer heat to exceed 85°, or the winter temperature in the day time to fall below 40°.

Ballarat, the second city of Victoria, about 100 miles west from Melbourne, and situated at a height of about 1,400 feet above sealevel, has a minimum temperature of 29°, and a maximum of 104.5°, the average yearly mean being 54:1°. Bendigo, which is about 100 miles north of Melbourne, and 700 feet above the level of the sea, has a rather higher average temperature, ranging from a minimum of 31.2° to a maximum of 106.4°, the average yearly mean being 59.4'. At Wilson's Promontory, the most southerly point of Australia, the minimum heat is 38:6°, and the maximum 96.4°, the average yearly mean being 56-7°.

During the year 1900 the rainfall at Melbourne amounted to 28-09 inches, the second highest total during the last ten years, while for a long series of years it averaged 25:58 inches, with an average of 131 days during the year on which rain fell. At Echuca, during 1900, 15.80 inches fell, and 32.82 at Portland. At Wilson's Promontory the rainfall was 42:80 inches.

As about one-half of the state of Queensland lies within the tropics, it is but natural to expect that the climate should be very warm. The temperature, however, has a daily range less than that of other countries under the same isothermal lines. This circumstance is due to the sea-breezes, which blow with great regularity, and temper what would otherwise be an excessive heat. The hot winds which prevail during the summer in some of the other colonies are unknown in Queensland. Of course, in a territory of such large extent there are many varieties of climate, and the heat is greater along the coast than on the elevated lands of the interior. In the northern parts of the state the high temperature is very trying to persons of European descent.

The mean temperature at Brisbane, during December, January, and February, is about 76°, while during the months of June, July, and August it averayes about 60°. Brisbane, however, is situated near the extreme southern end of the colony, and its average temperature is considerably less than that of many of the towns farther north. Thus. the winter in Rockhampton averages nearly 65°, while the summer heat rises almost to 85°; and at Townsville and Normanton the average temperature is still higher.

The average rainfall of Queensland is high, especially along the northern coast, where it ranges from 60 to 70 inches per annum. At Brisbane 50.01 inches is the average of thirty-five years, and even on the plains of the interior from 20 to 30 inches usually fall every year. During 1900, 34:41 inches of rain fell in Brisbane, the number of wet days being 110.

South Australia, extending as it does over about 26 degrees of latitude, naturally presents considerable variations of climate. The southern portions have a climate greatly resembling that of the coast of Italy. The coldest months are June, July, and August, during which the temperature is very agreeable, averaging for a series of years 53.6°, 51.7°, and 54° for those months respectively. On the plains slight frosts occasionally occur, and ice is sometimes seen on the highlands. The summer is the only really disagreeable portion of the year. The sun at that season has great power, and the temperature frequently reaches 100° in the shade, with hot winds blowing from the interior.

The weather on the whole is remarkably dry. At Adelaide there are on an average 120 rainy days per annum; during the last sixty years the mean rainfall has been 20.88 inches per annum, while farther north the quantity recorded was considerably less. The country is naturally very healthful, and in evidence of this it may be mentioned that no great epidemic has ever visited the state.

The climate of the Northern Territory of South Australia is extremely hot, except on the elevated table-lands. Altogether, the temperature of this part of the state is very similar to that of Northern Queensland, and the climate is equally unfavourable to Europeans. It is a fact worthy of notice that the malarial fevers which are so troublesome to the pioneers of the northern parts of Australia almost, and in some cases

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entirely, disappear after the land has been settled and consolidated by stock. The rainfall in the extreme north, especially in January and February, is exceedingly heavy. The average yearly rainfall in the coast districts is about 63 inches.

Western Australia has practically only two seasons--the winter, or wet season, which commences in April and ends in October; and the summer, or dry season, which comprises the remainder of the year. During the wet season frequent and heavy rains fall, and thunderstorms with sharp showers occur in the summer. The extremes of drought and flood experienced in the other states are almost unknown in Western Australia, but during the summer months the north-west coast is sometimes visited by hurricanes of great violence. In the southern and earlysettled parts of the state the mean temperature is about 64°; but in the more northern portions the heat is excessive, though the dryness of the atmosphere makes it preferable to most tropical climates. At Perth, in 1900, the mean temperature was 64°, the maximum being 106° and the minimum 39°; and the rainfall for the same year was 36-61 inches, rain having fallen on 124 days. Observations extending over a period of twenty-two years show the average rainfall at Perth as 33 inches. Although the heat is very great during three months of the year, the nights and mornings are almost always cool, and camping out is not attended with danger owing to there being so little moisture in the air.

Tasmania, protected as it is by its geographical position and by the tempering influence of the surrounding ocean from extremes of heat or cold, enjoys an exceedingly genial climate. The greater part of the island in the settled regions is characterised by a mild and equable temperature, ranging between the extremes of 20° to 44° in winter and 78° to 96° in summer. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons of the year, especially the latter, when the mean reading of the thermometer is about 57o. The mean temperature of Hobart for the last fifty years has been 55 . The richness of its flora is an evidence of the genial nature of the climate of the state, while the purity of its atmosphere is proved by the small proportion of zymotic diseases recorded in the bills of mortality. The hot winds of the continent of Australia are felt in the northern parts of the island only, and even there they are greatly reduced in temperature by their passage across Bass Straits. Generally speaking, all through the summer months there are alternate land and sea breezes which tend to cool the atmosphere even on the hottest days. The climate is fresh and invigorating, and is much recommended as a restorative for those whose constitutions have been enfeebled by residence in hotter climes. Large numbers of tourists in search of health visit the island every summer. The rainfall, except in the mountain districts, is moderate and regular. The average downfall at Hobart for a long series of years was 25.10 inches, with 167 wet days per annum. In 1900 rain fell on 135 dars, the total recorded for the year being 19.14 inches.

The climate of New Zealand is in some respects similar to that of Tasmania, but the changes of weather and temperature are often very sudden. As the colony extends over more than 10 degrees of latitude, its climate is very varied. That of the North Island is somewhat similar to the climate of Rome, Montpellier, and Milan ; while the Middle or Southern Island more resembles Jersey, in the Channel Islands. The anean annual temperature of the North Island is 57°, and of the Middle Island 52°, while the yearly average of the whole colony for each season is as follows:-Spring, 55°; summer, 63°; autumn, 57°; and winter, 48°. The mean temperature of New Zealand is lower than that of similar latitudes in Europe, though higher than is experienced in America on corresponding parallels. The mean temperature of the South or Middle Island is less by about 5° than that of the North Island. Snow very seldom lies on the ground at the sea-level in the North Island, and only occasionally in the South Island. The summits of Ruapehu, the highest mountain in the North Island, and of the great mountain chain in the South Island, are covered with perpetual snow from an altitude of 7,500 feet above the level of the sea. Ice is occasionally seen in wintertime in all parts of New Zealand. The whole colony is subject to strong breezes, which frequently culminate in gales. The rainfall during 1901 raried very much at the several observing stations. At Auckland it amounted to 38.49 inches, while at Wellington there was a fall of 41.56 inches. At Rotorua, in the North Island, 50:6 inches fell during the year, and at New Plymouth, on the west coast, 58.4 inches were recorded. At Dunedin, on the east coast of the Middle Island, the rainfall amounted to 37.65 inches, while at Hokitika, on the west coast, no less than 134 inches fell during the year. Periods of lasting drought are almost unknown in the colony; indeed, it is very seldom that the records of any station show the lapse of a whole month without rain. The number of days in the year on which rain fell varied from 134 at Lincoln to 245 at New Plynouth.

The following table shows the distribution of rainfall area in Australasia :

Rainfall area in square miles.

Rainfall.

Australia.

Tasmania, New Zealand.

Australasia.

9,440

Under 10 inches

10 to 20 20 to 30 30 to 40 40 to 50 50 to 60

60 to 70 Above 70

1,219,600
843, 100
399,900
225,700
140,300
47,900
56,100
14,100

93

69,650
17,410
17,410

8,380
8,380

1,219,600

852,540 469,550 251,490 166,090 47,900 56,100 14,100

3

Total.....

2,946,700

26,200

104,470

3,077,370

356

FOOD SUPPLY AND COST OF LIVING.

"ONSIDERING the comparatively high rate of wages which prevails,

food of all kinds is fairly cheap in Australasia, and articles of diet which in other countries are almost within the category of luxuries are largely used even by the poorer classes. The average quantities of the principal articles of common diet annually consumed in the various states are given below :

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Grain

lb. lb. lb. Ib. | lb. lb. lb. lb, Ib. Wheat

357:3 312:8 334.8 380.0 513:1 | 434.2 3497 | 4632 369-0 Rice 9.7 6.9 1707 102 19.9 6:3 10-0 8.9

98 Oatmeal

7.0
6.9
4:1

5.4 10.0 15.6 70 9:3 75 Potatoes...

1977 250 2 1653 128.4 179.2 528:1 218.8 495 4 264.9 Sugar...

107.8 93.0 123.8 100-2 114.5 90·5 | 103.5 93.9 101.9 Tea... 7.9 6.9 7.4 8:1 9.8 6.2 7.5 6:3

7.3 Coffee

0.5 0:7 0.5 0.8 0.8 0.3 0.7 0:4 0.6 Cheese 3:7 3.2 4.2 2.6 6.2 2.6 3.6 4:3

3.7 Butter

19:6 12:6 12:5 122 28:1 12:3 15.8 18.8 16:3 Salt

42:8 17.2 62:7 17.0 18.8 19:3 34.0 31-0 34.0 MeatBeef

166.5 122.1 280.0 127.0 147:3 1324 165.6 90.0 1511 Mutton

118.8 75.7 90.0 75.0 147.9 89.8 98:3 1100 100 5 Pork and Bacon 11:9 11:5 12:5 11:4 28.7 15.7 12:4

12:5 12:4

It will be seen that the consumption of wheat in the Commonwealth is 350 lb., ranging from 313 lb. in Victoria to 513 lb. in Western Australia, the average consumption for Australasia being 369 lb. per head. There is in all the states a tendency towards reducing the consumption of bread-stuffs, the place of bread being taken by potatoes and other vegetables. In Western Australia and in Tasmania the large influx of miners materially increased the consumption of breadstuffs, as shown by the high figures in the above table, but of late years the tendency in these, as in the other states, is towards a smaller consumption. The consumption of rice remains about the same from year to year, the average being 9.8 lb., varying from 6-3 lb. in Tasmania to 19.9 lb. in Western Australia. The use of tea is universal in Australia, but there has been a perceptible decline in the quantity used during the last fourteen years. The consumption is largest in Western Australia, with 9.8 lb. per head,

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