5,000 MILES TOUR. THROUCH THE KIMBERLEY DISTRICT. RICH PASTORAL AREAS. (By CF.) No. 2i The trip along the north-west coast was full of interest. but the members of the Ministerial party were looking forward with eager expectancy to the great overland tour. Of all the passengers on the Gorgon only two possessed an intimate knowledge of the route to be taken. They were Mr. M. P. Durack, M.L.A., and one of the chauffeurs in charge of the cars, who bad previously motored through the Kimberley district with Mr. Tindale, the engineer for the North-West. A start was made from Derby on the morning of Friday. May 21. For 200 miles the valley of the Fitzroy River was traversed. All the land on both sides of the river is taken up for either sheep or cattle stations. At Yeeda station, where the first stoppage was made, the property consists of 1,000,000 acres carrying from 19,000 to 20.000 head of cattle. A charming homestead which is occupied by the manager, Mr. F. English, and his wife, is surrounded by a garden containing a glorious profusion of trees. shrubs, and tropical creepers. Yeeda station is one of the oldest in West Kimberley. It was taken up on behalf of Mr. J. A. Game, of New castle-on-Tyne, in 1882, and was held by him until a few weeks ago, when it was sold to Mr. S. Kidman. At Lower Liveringa a receiving depot for Emanuel Bros. Gogo station, which was passed some 50 miles out of Derby. Mr. Durack, one of the earliest pioneers of East Kimberley, pointed out the spot where he camped 25 years ago when taking into Derby the fast mob of bullocks shipped from West Kimberley. Mr. G. C. Rose. the owner of Mount Ander son station, 62 miles from Derby. is another pioneer, being one of a party of nine Pin- jarra settlers who landed in Beagle Bay in 1882. He was manager of Yeeda station for a number of years, and subsequently took over the control of his own property of 200,000 acres at Mount Anderson, which he bought in 1883. At one time it carried 24,000 sheep, but owing to losses due chiefly to dingoes and a couple of dry seasons, not more than 12,000 sheep were shorn this season. Upper Liveringa. where the mana ger, Mr. Butler, and his wife, have a com fortable homestead commanding a magnifi cent view of the surrounding country, is the property of the Kimberley Pastoral Company. It has an area of 1,000,000 acres and carries 10.000 head of cattle and 40,000 sheep. The managing drzector of the com pany. Mr. Percy Rose was on a visit to the station when the Ministerial party arrived. Mr. Rose said an additional hold ing of one mililon acres was about to be stocked and when fully developed be antici pated that the two million acres would carry 30,000 head of cattle and 50.000 sheep. The property runs on both sides of the Fitzroy River and consists of rich alluvial flats, open grassy country, and ridges covered with soft spinifex and edible bushes. In the wet season the river floods much of the low-lying country. Mr. Rose stated that in 1914 when the biggest flood in the history of West Kimberley occurred, the water rose to a great height. At Upper Liveringa a wonderful sight was presented. The Rushing Torrent of Water spread itself over an area of 40 miles wide and looked like a vest inland sea. Much devastation was wrought, the loss at Upper Livermga alone being 18,000 sheep and 5,000 cattle. Mr. Rose is also part owner of the Quanban station of 70.000 acres. 170 miles from Derby, which is regarded as the pick of the sheep country in the district. There are 40,000 acres, principally Mitchell grass, fenced and subdivided which it was stated had carried 10,000 sheep for 18 years prior to last year, when the exceptionally dry season was responsible for some loser. This year 8,000 sheep were shorn. Noonkanbah station, the property of Emanuel Bros., 139 miles from Derby, is a sheep run of half a million acres, fenced and subdivided. on which from 50,000 to 60,000 sheep are de pastured on Mitchell Flinders, and white grasses with soft spinifex and feed shrubs on the ridges. The soil is deep red alluvial flats along the river frontages with pindan country further back lightly timbered with bloodwood, coolibah, small gums, bohemia, and peach bnaush. The shearing shed at Noonkanbah is claimed to be one of the most up to date in the State. Twenty Lister machines are installed and the wool presses are of the latest pattern. This sea son's clip realised 715 bales of wool averag ing 3cwt. each, the averge fleece for the whole flock being about 4 lb. In the Klm berley district shearing starts early in April. The shearers had finished at Noonkan and were on their way to the coast when our party visited .the station. We pased some of them on the mail coach bound to Derby to catchthefist steamer going south. In a few weeks they would be "cutting out" in the Boebourne and Pilbarra distriet and from there they would gradually work south below the tropic of Capricorn and down into the agricultural areas. Between April and November, many of the 1heare travel from one end of tho State to the other, starting in the far north and fnish inn lp at BnidetTp n. in the South-West. Rich Valley of the Fitzroy, one caught but ocoasional glimnpees or the great river itself. The wet season extends ronm October to April, and by May most of the rivers in she north cease to run. Magnificent stretches of water, however, remaln #1 the year, round. Numerous billabonge and laoons were passed, and / game was fairly plentiful, though. owing no doubt to the dry season experienced. not so abundant as we were led to antiel
and flocks of cockatoos, parrots, and ga labs, disturbed by the passing motor cars. circled overhead. The Fitzroy River was crossed 200 miles from its mouth, and here the members of the party were entranced with the beautiful foliage of the wonderful variety of trees which, enriched with every shade of green, grow along the banks of the channel. After leaving the Fitzroy River the country became more broken and hilly, but splendid well-watered gazing land was passed through. Massty bluffs of sandstone and quartzite, rising to a height of three or four hundred feet, intersected extensive, well-grasscd plains. A gradual ascent to an salttude of abonut 900 fbet brought to view from the sum silt a !lorious panoramie view of the surrounding country. Descending again Onto the lowlands. undulating pastures covered with a variety of rich grases. were passed through. The next call was at Louisa Downs Station, of 900,000 acres, carrying about 12,000 cattle in good sea sons. The owner of the station, Mr. W._ Cox, stated that the losses of cattle from tick fever in the Kimberley district had been very heavy in past years; but, al though the ticks were still had, the mor tality amongst the stock was decreasing. Very rough country was traversed on the next stage of the journey. The Margaret River had to be crossed no fewer than ex times. The Margaret River Station, one of Vestey's propegties, was passed through and on the evening of the fourth day out from Derby the travellers arrived at Moola Bulla, the State Government's na tive reservation and cattle station. The are of the station, which is 360 nile: from Derby, is 1,600,000 acres, on whier there are 14,000 head of cattle The white staff numbers seven, and about 250 natives are segregated on the property. Moola Bulla is 1,300 feet above sea level, and the country divides the watershed of the Fitz roy and Or rivers. Expernents have been made at tanning on the station, and the visitors were shown some Excellent Samples of Leather, locally produced. The tannin used in the process is obtained from the bark of ridge gums. wattle, and mimosa trees which overrun the pindon country. Halls Creek. which is about 21 mdei from Moola Bulla; and 381 miles from Derby, is situated in a belt of auriferousn country, and is named after one of the original discoverers of the EBest Kimber ley goldfields Gold was first discovered in 1886, in the bed of the Elvira River, near Hall's Creek. one of its cributories. There was a gre-: rush of diggers from Neu Zealand andi the Eastern States but bthe gold soon yve out, and a population o 6,000 dwin\i.ed in a few years to a mere handful of people. Today the white popu lation of the township is less then 20. 11 Is a desolate and forsaken region, it which it would be difficult to find on. hundred yards of level ground. The town consists of a little cluster of roughly-built galvanised iron and stone buildings, sur rounded by barren, stony ridges. devoid even of a picturesque setting. The cost of living at Hall's Creek is probably higher than enywhere else in the State. A11 gooA' have to be carted by donkey or came' teams from Wyndham. the nearest port and by the most direct route, the distane i 0 240 milc The journey occupies rrom four e -ix e -k- . and Lmc cost of trans par; t 26 1(0-. a lto. Lncal retail pric-: for tome of ti;' c.itttodjte., are as- fo, low:- gar. 701b. t.ag. £2 1t. 1this price -wa quoted befor ttbe recent increase' flour. 501l. haz. 3l.: tea. 3je. 3d. and .. 6i. lb.. jad 21:. ; n. 2 6d.: rice. 1. 64. in.; 'alt, 84. Ib: kersene-. 12.. gallon; -cap. 2. 4d. ha, . potatoes iwhen obta.u able). L. 6d. d h.: onion. locally grown. Sd. Ib: colonial ale is 4s. a oottle, al± whisky 21, a battle.