THE EARLY NAVIGATION OF THE MURRAY.
. (Continued from previous issues.)
From an interesting address, delivered , before t the Royal ''.'Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian branch, by j - the Hon. John. Lewis, M.L.C, and pub lished in the report of the proceedings on October 29, 1917, we are permitted to make the following extracts :— | On Friday, October 3, at 1.30 p.m., the Melbourne- got up steam and started on her homeward journey. Mr. David Reid.
joined the steamer, and proceeded as tar as- his station at Jmjindra, where lie was building a large house. On the oth, Fcord's Station /was again reached, at which place the steamer Leichhardt was met— Jier , barge had been snagged 'a-nd sunk, and her cargo greatly damaged. . / The next day the Junction statiba, be longing to Mr* Clarke, was reached, and it was here that the. Mel bourne' was joined by the steamer -Gundagai, with passengers. Dr. R.ankine, Messrs' J. B. Hughes, and Thonias Elder, and Captain Hall, of Ade - laide, also Mr. acid Mrs. Livingstone from/: . Adelaide, and Mr. and Mrs. M 'Donald from . their istation on the river. The party .arrived at Mr. G. Bagot's sta tion; Paa'acoota, on the evening, of Octb ? ber 8j and at Swan Hill on the 10th, at 9 a.m. j making the passage, from Foord's within' four clear steaming days — the quickest 'rua then recorded on the iriyer. _ The : distance was .estimated at about .566 ' ?miles, -the Melbourne having _ steamed^ at the rate of about 10i miLes per hour. ;.'?. ' About four miles below Tyntyndyer, at - Mr. Beveridge's station, .the steamer, un der the mate's management, ran ashore at about: 1 pirn, on Friday, and remained ; aground until the afternoon of the follow ing Monday. ? On all fides were immense flats and marshes. There were reither shooting nor 'walking cor riding, and for nearly four days the party had the oppor tunity of exercising the Christian' virtues --? of patience. 'and'. '.resignation, ? cheered hyk the reflection that they at least ran no.: risk of being put on a short allowance,, of water, however '.'?.'protractac'l the;r stay might be. The Governor, unable to make any distant explorations, expended much: energy in rowing round 'some of the neigh bouring .lagoon's when the clingy cculd be . spared at night. ;;: ... '.,.' V ;.'?'.- -.'.-? ?'???':'. I. While ilia question was being discussed .. . as to what course should be adopted to get back/ to; Adelaide, and just before the ar-: rival'1 from Swan Hill of a strong.'- punt . rope' (intended to, assist tlie.Captaici in his operation? to haul the vessel cif),*she svid v' denly swung , to s'the- current,' and floated, ,' greatly to the Vrelief. of- all oh aboard.' ? , One of the most tortuous courses of the river, is about. 30 miles above the junction; cf the.Wakool, li'iown. as Ccghil.l's Bend— -'?' £O.-called from the . st a ticci on ' tli e ; Victo rian side .belonging to Mr. Coglnll— -which was, passed on. tlie.14.th, and Mr. Ross's station (Meealman) was .readied the same day, where 137. bales of wool, were taken oir board'.. Later. 23 bales were taken on at' E-us'tbn from . Mr. Morey. On the 15th ; 46 more bales were placed on board, acid on1'. the 17th Mildiu'a was .reached,, where Mr. jamiesori boarded the steamer. The Darling was reached1 the same day, and more wool shipped, when the Governor and Mr.ATamiescn pulled in a dingy four miles below -th;^ Darling. to an aboriginal reserve. There we're only. six. natives at this .reserve ?? Mb the time visited, in charge of Mr Tho*: fli. Goodman, . the Superintendent em ployed by the Church of England. '; A ''jniil of .two hours against the cur rent, through the darkness, brought the Governor back to the. DarLng, just as.. the vessel got under weigh. Mr. Jamieson left the steam er-^the. following 'day at Moor na, the residence of Mr. Perry,- the New South 'Wales Commissioner, of Grown Lands for that. district, where the. Governor land ed for a short time. At midnight the boundary of South Australia was; passed, and Paririga, Mr. Chapman's, station, was reached at 5 a.m. on .the 19th, and the Overland Corner 12 hours later. The fol lowing day. the Governar landed near the lower part of M'Bean's P,ound en the right bank, about live miles' above Blanche-.' town, arid also at the latter place, for the. purpose of comparing, the relative advaii- ; tages of .each locality as the future ter '' minus of a proposed tramway connecting Gawier- with the River; Murray. The; re £11'. t of . this comparison was seen in the establishment of the superiority cf Blanche-'' town, as originally chosen!^ by the Cover- ..;' nor, it affording the easieit access for drays from the level of the scrub to the j ... water's edge, the best wharfage,' and /..the ? ?greatest amount of water frontage— ad- - vantages to which must be added that of its being some mile's nearer Truro than., M'Bean's -Pound. In March, 1856, a- party of equestrians; 'visited the Murray. Sstting out from Acle- . laide. they, passed through C'amjpbelltown, j. Paradise, ? Anstoy's Hill. Houghton, Chain of Ponds, Victoria Creek, Lyndoch Valley, Tanuada, Angastori, Angas Park, Penrice, ' ?? Wheal Barton, Truro, Moorundee, and the..', first halting place on the Murray was at ? the old Whipstick, a house built by, Mr. Heywood, the owner of the run. which was \ at this, time being rebuilt after having : been rrducedyio ruins by a_flood some throe or four years previously,'' the. waters of ?which almost reached the tops' of the. wi.i dows ; v an ? idea of the damage wrought by , the- flood was seen in the cellars, Avlrich . ?were full of sand. It avjis in the vicinity ;. of; the Whipstick that 'the little steamer ? Waterwitcli .was -sunk, her exact locality ' ?being shown by the top of her mast, which '
was visible above the water; this vessel/ under the direction of Captain Pullon, was the first to enter the Murray '.?.?mouth, in 1841. / ? -',?'??-??;:-:'.??. ' From the AVhipstick. the party rode to the North-West Bend; a- .': distance\pf 2* miles; The 'Blanche t'owhl Hot-el was^tlien being built by Mr. G. Green, aad was to be named in compliment 'to the newly planned Blanchetown, surveyed by order of Sir Richard Graves' MacDonell a' shore- time previously. In a report of the^trip a m ember of the party expresses the opki iori that. ''Should a railway be completed to; Morundee,- 'Blanchetown would . be .the most delightful inla,nd retreat in the colony.' Between Blanchetown and the North-AYest Bend the country ,-.was°occii-, 'pied' by Messxs. Heywood, M'Bean arid others. The party halted at Murpka, the station of the.' late Mr. Walsh, for a few hours, and then proceeded to' an open, ele vated stretch of country, several miles from which they came n upon tlie Great Lagoon, a vast shallow lake, in whose milky-white waters myriads of leeches abounded. Some time /previously a\ . pig- breedi.ng and feeding establishment had been set-up on the shores of. this lake, but it was found that by feeding the ani mals on iish, the pork was not eatable, trrnd;the speculation had to be' abandoned.: ''?It was suggested that a leech fishery 'might have met with better_ sucrcV-s. Jn^tJiis neighbourlipod' a. colony of white cockatoos were met Vith, A\rho, to 'all appearances, were holding a political meetihg and en deavouring : to clamour down an unpopu lar /orator ; their iinited uproar was'jsaid to have exceeded;'deSu'ripti6u. ? :? - :?: ..The;;only :humaa liabitation I between; M_u rpka . a n d N or th-Wes t' B end , was Von Rieben's 'Hotel; situatad' in a. lonely .part, of the busl^-cii the banks of a vast lagoori,\ about five miles rfrbin the Ncrth-AVest Bend; of .the . river.. /.After staying the ..aiglit at Von Rlebjii's'.. the /party), set ; out at day^ break for 'the- BuiTa Burra, a. distaifce- of; about sixty iniles-^-fcvty miles or ;, so of whjch; had' to lieu 'traversed over an^open plain- without water. ? Shortly after set ting out: the; party, missed the track which h ad been left by - th e /dray ..of t h e Burra ?Burra Company,' which had; passed -over this- desert so nie years previously in search of a pai-ticular sandifrom the baciks of the Murray found to be\of great assistance , in the smelting: of ore/ The track was soon found-again, and after an extremely ar duous journey the. equestrians; reached Bai dina Creek, a copious and beautiful stream ? of-,'.water. about ten miles from their des tination,., wher^e numerous cattle and sheep were depasturing. At the end of an hour's wanderings in thepit:-]! darkness the party reached the Burra a-nd. rested at Barker's Hotel. A day, or so later, March ',17, the Burra Burra Mines were visited under the supei'visioh- of Captain Roach. 'The day following the party set cut on their return trip via Sod Hut, Apoinga, Pasley's, Tot hill's Creek, Light Plains, Hamilton, Han lan's, Saady Creek, .Kapuhda, Bagot's Gap, Sheoak Log, Gawier, Little Para , rDry Ci-eek, Nailsworth', and so on to Adelaide. SIR THOMAS ELDER, G.C.M.G. Sir Thomas Elder, G.C.M.G., to whom this society is indebted for the bequest which principally enabled us to acquire our splendid library published in 1893 a pamphlet entitled 'Notes from a Pocket Journal of a Trip up the River Murray in 1856. In it he states that in company with Captain Hall M.L.C., he left Adelaide on September 5, 1856, for Goolwa. They travelled via Willunga, and stayed there the first night, riding the next day to Port Elliot, where they saw several vessels that had been driven ashore by a gale on the previous day, including a fine schooner called the Swordfish, loaded with flour for Sydney. The ship and cargo were ulti- mately got off without material damage. At Goolwa they were joined by Mr. J. B. Hughes, M.L.C'. On Sunday, September 7, at '8 a.m.. the pairty boarded the river steamer Gundagai (this steamer, was imported, in pieces and put together at Gcolwa), which was ac- companied by the barge Wakool, laden with flour and lashed alongside under the pilotage of Captain Mennie. They arrived at Wellington. ? about sixty miles, .from Goolwa-, at' half-past six in . the evening, wherev Dr. Rankine. M:L.C, joined the party.-.; Th«; depth of the, stream nt Well ington Aval' said to be 40rt., and . the breadth 100. to1. 180 yaj-ds. , ??''...?« Thefbllowin is a dessription of the Gun dagai, given by Sir Thomas Elder :— 'The saloon is raised above the deck with windows on both sides, a large and' airy space, used as .a dining and sitting I'oom dui'iilg' the day, and as a sleeping apartmen t for gentlemen .by. night, cur tains ext&nding from the roof ensuring the requisite privacy. Several state cabins at fho stern wore reserved -for th© Indies and
children. One of the; firsts things pasjen gers do on coming ou board is to select the place 'Ayhei'e they propose to sit at table, which is kept during the voyage ; and our party made choice. of a locality at one end of the salooa, whiclv was never afterwards interfered with. Cons'dering the small sum charged for passage money from Gool wa to Albury, a distance of 2000 miles, namely £15 including provisions, yfe had abundant . reason to be satisfied with our fare and steward's1 attendance. We all know that the slightest touch of sea sickness takes away the poetry of the oae.an, ?but here, on; the ?unruffled surface of the Murray, we had three-, excellent meals a day, which all cculd. enjoy. We were,' indeed, a' party ? of ?kindred spirits, pleasure -seekers- -released; from the ?.tram- mels;, and''' the anxieties /of' business', and. bent, for the time/on: .thoroughly ....eujoy 'iiig-'_ ourselves.''---': A whist- party was or ganised and~k'e'pt un during the voyage, but ;wa never commenced till after tea, never played for money /,aiid irivariably-ceased at ten b'clock. ??:v.;-'Diirjng^the''.':day--tliie'-;-chang- ?ing. scene? andT*ca'istaht A'rioyelty . was one co'ntiniial 'feast. Wlieii the' vessel stopped to take' in wood, . m .usually landed^to pay a visit to tho neighbouring settlersj-Zbr en joy a. walk in tlie' shadyv glades orAch-rough the- sileiit woods. 'Sometimes we obtained hoa-ses^ aad rode' across.? the /country to places; where the steaiher picked ; us up, the. circuitc'us course, 'of. the -river .affording ample time for 'Tsiich. pleasant deviations. The roof of the saloon' at all times, afforded u»: a -healthful promenade, .-.varied o.ccasion ally. by the. deck of the.barge, which was sufficieiitiy rooiny for purposes of .recrea tion. 'Altogether ship-life on board the Gundagai was the most enjoyable that can be., conceived, and aothing occurred, so long : as , we remained, to mar the harmony ;cir ?;/ diminish- the delightful .': sensations of bur^novel; situation.'^. .;: : // ? ;- '// :. :..„ ?} 'Atvaaylight^on; ^September 8 j\ir. David Taylor's station was passed, .the r'steamer Albury hove in sight about half ..past-six, -and at elevea 'p.m. tlie Gundagai an .chbred -;'ai---: Moorundee. :Early;; on .the fol :lbwing day the ship's -'cargp; was further addect to/ by ithe furniture ?'. .and stock of Mr.' E. B.; Scott,' -who'liad .lately resigned his oifice as Inspector .of ^Police: and Sub r.nspector of Abbrigiiiies-at Moorundee. a,iid was rembving . his v whole ' establishment to ^[ootherier' a, sheep 'station he had pur chased ,370 miles further up the river. A visit was made to the house occupied by Mr. Edw-ard ? J. Eyre,/ which had been dismantled since his departure. The only buildings were; the house' in which Mr. Scott lived, ''built by- tlie Government for a soldiers' barracks, a police . station . .and two, or three; s'mall 'houses. The river here was fully 2000 . yards'' wide', bordered on the right by steep sandstocie cliffs rising f.rom 80ft. to ; 100ft. ? above the level of the water, and on the. left by lowlands thickly wooded — average depth of water 2^ .fathoms. The steamer, stopped for wood about seven miles above Morundee, -and the' party landed on tlie i pound, visited Mr. M'Bean's house, 'and walked some dis . tance' inlaad. Eight miles further on an extensive flat .was reach.ed, stretching .seven miles along the' -bank of the river. -It was a special survey, -j comprising 4000 acres, selected by Goverabr Gawier. On Gawler's Flatj as', it .is; called^' there is some good arable *l.and-ji:'but.: the /greatest proportion of it seems /.to be sandy and unfit .for cultivation.. /? / - The North-West B -.id ,-'; forty m vies from Alborundee was reached at 7 p.m.. The sandstone cliffs continued, appearing al. ternately oii 7 'the right/and left hand side of the river, and presented an exceedingly bold and picturesque .'appearance,' --.resemb- ling at times, in. the -distance, ancient .ruins. . /:/?:?/ ; ?/'. ? ??? ? : : ^-.'4 ; The voyage was resumed at six o'clock the next/morning, and on arriving at Mr. Wigley's station, Mr. Wigley himself came on board .bringing with him we.lcome sup plies of fresh milk and butter; : Up to this point the steamer. was still in what Sir Thonias Elder termed the 'Val- ley of the Murray.' This so-called avtvl loy'1 commences near Wellington, and is
formed by the steep sandstone cliffs ris ing on each side, averaging in their dis tance apart from two or three miles. From Wellington these cliffs gradually increase in height until they reach. Morundee, wher.9 their elevation above the surface of the water is 100ft. Between these cliffs the River Murray flows, and the appearance' of them on either side is naturally 'caused by the different -turns or bends of the river in its windings to the right or left. The intervening flats between the cliffs, though liable, in many places, to inunda tion, contain a large ' amount of rich, al luvial soil, suitable in every respect for ; cultivation, and which is enriched annu ally by the desposits carried down the river. Sir Thomas Elder expresses me opinion, 'When settled and cultivated pro perly the Valley of the Murray may yefc (who knows?) rival in productiveness the far-famd ba.nks of the Nile.' On September 8, the Lady Augusta (the pioneer steamer) was met with on her * return trip 'to the Goolwa. The following day the Gundagai reached Parmga, where the cabin passengers visit ed Mr. Chapman's house, and had lunch there. Mr. Chapman, with his son and two daughters, accompanied the party a few miles up the river, and returned in their own boat. Sir Thomas described the native canoe as being a very primitive construction, simply formed of an oblong piece of gunirtree bark, with embank ments of mud at either end. to prevent' the influx of water. He considered the na tives at this place a much finer race of ' . men than those in the vicinity of Adelaide. (To be continued.)