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Navigation of the Murray

The South Australian Register of the 14th instant announced the return of the expedition, accompanied with the following observations :-  

The navigation of this noble river may now be said to have been fully accomplished, both the steamers which started on tho upward trip having returned. The Mary Ann, which left on tho 15th August, arrived at her moorings, noar the Keely Creek, on Tuesday lnst : and tho Lady Augusta, which left the Goolwa on tho 20th of August, passed Moorunde on Wednesday, and will pro- bably by this time havo arrived at the place whence she departed. The former vessel reached Maiden's I'unt, a distance, by the course of tho river, of about 1S00 miles from tho sea-mouth ; and tho latter about 150 miles short of that, or to Mr. Campbell's station, Garrawarra. The distance by land is not more than 700 miles. The Lady Augusta brings down with her a full cargo of wool, left over from last year, and Captain Cadell has mado a> rangements willi the settlers for the conveyance of this season's clip. Sovoral carpenters have been lcft;amongst the fino woods of tho Wakool, with tho necessary imple- ments for building additional cargo-boat», which are to bo completed with all practicable despatch. The Hook owners ou tho Murray and its various tributaries aro de- lighted at tho prospect of getting their wool cheaply and cxpeditiously forwarded for shipment to England, and of receiving their BUpplIes of stores without tho un- certainty and delay involved in an overland trip to

Melbourne.

Tho permanent' navigation of tho Murray will open up for profitable occupation an Immcnso extent of country, which, although it were only used for pastoral purposes, will be of (treat importance In tho supply of food to the daily increasing population attracted to theso shores by the discovery of tho gold fields. Th« number of sheep at present dopas tilling on or ucar the Murray, beyond the South Australian boundary, and whoso wool will now bo shipped at our ports, is soinowhcro about 1,000,000. These, will yield an im mediate addison to our exports of 2,500,000 lbs, of wool, valued at £200,000 sterling. Tho country, however,

is represented as being but very partially stocked,1 tlio distance from1 any markot, and the difficulty of communicating with any of the capitals, O|ioratlng as a veto^upon the location of stock in many of tho dli trlcts. Huns will now be taken up wherever they are available, and'a great incroaso in tho cargo trafile will bo the onsequcnec. Tho passcngor tramo Is also likely to bo considerable, as steamers can approach within a short distance of the principal gold fluids the distance from Bendigo to the Murray being only 65 milo, Goulburn 40 miles, and tbe Ovens 100 miles. The Goulburn is said lo be navigable for a tíonslderablo portion of Hie year, lo within twclvo milos of tho diggings. Tho novelty of tho river passage, in addition to its conven lonco and safety, as compared with the passage by sea, will doubtless induce many to avail themselves of it. To make the new means of transit of groat public utility, it is clear that moro steamer« will bo required. These, wo liavo no doubt, will follow iii due course, and we shall have vessels announcod to leave the Goolwa, Wellington, and Moorunde, for the diggings, as regularly as they aro announced nt Port Adelaldo. The groat problem of the possibility of navi- gating the Murray being solved, tho necessary arrange- ments for taking advantage of such a fact will soon bo

established.

It is probable that tho opinions which have been ex- pressed with regard to tho availableness of the Valley of the .Murray for agricultural purposes, have been hastily formed. Should tho emergencies of the colony ever re- quire it, wo believe that nearly the whole of the scrubby land through which the river passes might bo converted into fruitful corn-fields; but that the alluvial Hats can ever bo protected from tbe periodical overflow ings of the stream is opposed to the bellof of some of the oldest settlors. Nor do wo think it likely, from the information we havo been able to collect from different sources, that it would bo safe to calculate upon tho practicability of navigating the Murray, as far as Swan lilli, for more than six or seven months in the year. The timo of tho rivor floods, however, embraces the moat Important period of tho year, and is amply' sufficient for all the purposes of commerco. It Is calculated that, with a powerful steamer, the yjyago up and down might be accomplished in a month. Tho passage don n is efleeted »vlth great rapidity, owing to tito strength of the current

From the samo journal we continue our extracts from the letters of their special correspondent.

On tho "th September the expedition was at tho juncture of the Murray and tho Darling.

The Daiilixq Djstmot.-Tho distance of tho junction from the Goolwa is hy water about 700 miles; from Ade- laide by land nearly 300; and from Melbourne about 100 miles. The Darling is at present settled for SO or 00 miles, reckoning hyland. Of course by water tho dis- tance would bo much greater. It is partly stocked with sheep and cattle, the number of the former being from forty to liity thousand, but the country wo aid carry at least four or fivo times as many. There is no scab, ca- tarrh, foot-rot, or other diceaso in the district Tho fleeces at present nverago, from 2 to2J<¡ lbs. Business was formerly transacted exclusively through Melbourno, but for tho last two seasons much of the wool has boen sent to Adelaide. The journey to tho latter place and back when tho roads uro good occupies a dray fur eight or

nins weeks.

The country on each side tho Darling Is admirably adapted for Buccp farming, and was formerly settled as far as Lake Mlnindle, 200 miles from the junction ; but tho more distant stations bare been abandoned, on ac- count of native outrages and the enormous cost of ear- ring«. The land, however, is likely soon tobo taken up again ; indeed it Is generally supposed, by tho best in- formed sottlcrs, that tho whole will ero long be occupied, principally by fehocp, as far as Fort Bourke, a distance of 500 miles from tho junction. Tho neighbourhood of Lake Mlnindle was about two years ago mado n nativo reservo by the Now South Wales Government The locality was probably selected on account of a kind of corn which grows abundantly around the lake, aud which the blacks use extensively

as food.

THE ABORIGINES. -There was a large gathering of natives during our stay at the Darling. They are mostly powerful and well made. One of them, named Jacob, who seems to claim a kind of doubtful authority, and who assumes the title of king, is particularly stout mut athletic. Ho is apparently about fifty years of age, and possesses more than tho average Intelligence of his race. There were numerous women, but only one child. I lind that the adult natives are fast disappearing, and that no population Is growing up to supply their place, it ¡s said that infanticide prevails among them to a great »steut; aud I hear from Mr. Jamieson that oven tho I rewards In tho sh«.pc of blankets and rations ofTured by

tho Commissioners for children havo been found inef.

| feet ujl to check the practice.

The Inuxoatiox or tub MuniiAT.-The Hurray, near the junction of the Darting, usually commences rising in June, and is at its highest in ordinary seasons during the month of October, after which it may bo expected to begin fdlhug, and to reach its lowest point in about April, at which time there.is not, iu some places, moro than 2J.Í feet depth of water, and in a few Instances oven drays hâve been ablo to cross. It has not, however, been so low as that for these last eighteen months, and only onco within the lost five year». It was an unusually low Henson when Captain Start came down the river, For nine, or at Hast eight months in tho year, steamers of far greater draught than tho Lady. Augusta would bo ablo to get aloug with ease, and fortunately the period of high water includes that when the wool Is ready for shipment.

A settler on tbe Darling, whom wo met at tho junc- tion, mentioned that he had a station on the Murray, near Albury, some years ago. The land, ho says, Is mont excelleut for pasture, and he has grown as much ns seventy bushels of wheat to the acre. I hare tinea heard that Sir Thomas Mitchell, the Surveyor-General of New South 1\ aleiy »taUd, some years ago, in a report to Go-

vernment, that ho believed the Murray would, at some future day, support a large population, adding that it

would irritate the neighbouring country, and becomo , eventually tho Kile of Australia. AU 1 have seen and heard tends to confirm his opinion.

SOMETHING BETTER THAN DAMPER - Mr. Cole, the Com- missioner, who has a remarkably good bush house, built

by the New Sou.b Wales Government, gavo His a very ' hearty welcome. Ills pmdenls productive and in good order. Already the " Euston salads'' have, acquired a world-wide celebrity-that Is, in tho little world of tho

Middle .\tu.ray, the Darling, the Murrumbidgee, and the ! lVach'an. Wo of tho Lady Augusta eau certainly tes- tify lo their excellence; they deserve nil praise, and their ha<pitable disponier may confidently challenge tbc bush to produce crijpor lettuces, richer eggs and cream, or bottled condiments, moro juJIolously com- pounded.

llombany, on the Victoria «ido, Is Mr. Grant's station. Tie lives there with his family In a very comfortable bush residonce, and has a garden of two acres, in which thore arc peas, |>otatoes, grcons of various sorts, lottuccs, rad- ishes, and several other esculents, all looking well and strong.

Another settler's residence Is thus described:-"Mr. Beveridge'* garden Is tho most beautiful I have seen on the Murray. It is laid out with much tasto, tho acacias being trained into hedges, ond the willows into bowers while an artificial canal leading from a bitlebong gives the whole a cool and pleasing appearance. Our table was liberally supplied with now potatoes, carrots, tur- nips greens, loUuccs, and mint; while the well-tended beds displayed, in various stages of advancement peas, garllck, onions, cauliflowers, and asparagus, besides more herbs than I eau enumerate, aud all doing weil. The garden also coaiains vines, plum-trees, and peach tiecs. Thorn Is a patch of healthy-looking wheat, and Mr. Beveridge says, he has «very year abundanca of melons and pumpkins."

LiTEiuTuKEis the Buen,-I must not omit to men- tion that the settlers of this district, soma of whom arc as gentlemanly and Intelligent men as ever it has been my happiness to meet, havo not only, for the most part, excellent libraries, but maintain among themsolvC9 a book-üocloly, supplied with the best English periodicals and other new publications. Think of this, for the dis- tant bush 1 Think of this, yo who liavi imagined that the Murray banks were tenanted by semi-savages I

(To be amti.iucd.)_

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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