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(PROM OUR TRAVELLING: REPORTER.)
Wo mad© an early «tart from Brutbon, on tho ro! to tho Haunted Stream Goldfields. Tho road is winding ono along tho banka of the Tambo, abc navigation point, whioh, in the early morning, look« very protty ; and, after a Btopforlunoh at the Tami Crossing Hotel, wo started up tho ont traok throng the mountains for some seven milea. After a rong trip we oamo to the lower townahip, whic consists of ono hotel, kent by Mr. Stowar two stores, and a Moohanioa' Institut where the TOWN AND COUNTRY ( JOURNAL i always to bo found ; it being considered by minei the best in Australia for mining news. This littl village in tho heart of the mountains haa only brid! traoksas approaches, and tho packhorse ia need i bringing all that is requirod from tho nearest towns Sevoral good reef a aro in foil swing; among thor being the Hans, in tho upper Btream, wher they wero orushing a largo amount o stone They aro working a ton-head stampe by means of a * largo water wheel. Th reef ia about 10ft wide; and tho last crushing rai over half an ounce to the ton. Tho Brothers claim North Ants, haa also had a good orushing. Bu when I was thero they were driving a tunnol to ou' thereof. The Commotion haBhad a good orushing and at present is driving a low lead tunnel. Th< West Ants claim is about to erect a large watei wheel, a trial of some twenty tons of stone having
zun Hoz of arold.
The Last Chance claim also looks well, and thc holders expect to got over an ounco to the ton. The Exhibition claim has had two oruahmgs, which turned out very well ; and thoy were putting the third through when I waa there. Tho Victoria has mn aa high as 3oz to the ton ; while thoRob Hoy ia about to Btart crushing, having a largo paddock of stone on tho surface. Burt's claim looks well, and they have about twolve tons of atone in their paddook. whioh, I think, will run about 2oz to the ton. On the Mint claim now maohinory ia being erected, and a good paddook of stone is to grass ; while tho KOBO of Denmark had a trial ornahing going 3oz to the ton. At present they aro sinking a winze to oonneot the bottom levol, whioh is about 175ft; and they are down abont 75ft. Many other olaims are on the ground. Thero are three batteries, and abont two hundred pooplo are there; while two Government prospecting partioB are at work near thom. Taking the field all round,
they oxpecfc big things in the future.
A olimb of Bomo ten or more miles over the rnountaina brought mo to Ensey Station, the pro- perty of Irvine and Hamilton, where a aurprise waa in atore for me ; for irrigation ia carried on hore quite successfully. This ia a sheep and cattle station, and is beautifully situated halfway between Bruthen and Ornoo ; and nt present the owners grow just enough hay for their own stock. They have gone quite extensively into keep ing ensilage; and they make it of lucerne, having two good paddocks of tho eame near tho homestead. Last year was tho first time they tried lucerne ; and they find it, they nay, splendid. Stook like it even better than any thing they have yet tried. They use the stick system. They bring tho lucerne in as fresh as possible, and make a porfoct square of it under a large shed. Flat logs are then plaoed over it perfectly even ; and weights are placed on tho loga. Mr. Hamilton at present is using salt as woighto, and about fifteen tons of EBIÍ wero stacked in bags on say 50 tons of ensilage, This amount of lucerne had sunk about three or moro feet when I was thero, and a sample of last year's waa splendid. Thoy even find that tho onttings from tho eido, whioh they do not count aa good, are relished by the cattle; and BO none goos to woat9. Tho wator for irrigating is brought some throe miles from tho Littlo Eivor in the form of a raco, aa if it wore going to bo used for mining. Then channels are ont through the exten- sive garden, where all kindB of vogotables and fruits are grown to perfection. Tho wator ooming near tho houBO, it is also used for the household ; and after leaving the garden it runa round tho lucerne paddocks, and in dry eoaaons ia used for tho same, when good oropa aro always obtained. Mr. Hamilton always expeota sovon crops per year from those paddocks. From hero the raco is taken to the woolsheds, where it is used for dip- ping Bheep and aoouring wool. Then aftor going through agood-sizod paddock it enters tho Littlo Eiver como five muss from the starting point. I havo heon on some dozens of farms and stations whore the same could bo dono with far lesa trouble than on this station ; and tho ownors deserve great praiao. While I was thoro they filled the dip from the race ; the time of filling hoing some oight minutes. About 25,000 ßheop wore dipped on thia station last seaBon ; and the stud flook 1B vory fine, aoino of tho rama having ooat over eighty guineas.
From Ensey I rode to Omeo, stopping at Mr. W. Johnson's farm on the way to see the new cheese plant he has just erected. It is built on the Bega plan ; Mr. Reid, of Bega, having charge. At present 56 cows are in milk ; but shortly they expect to milk fully 100. Omeo was reached at night, and is a far larger town than I expected to see, having a post and telegraph office, three good hotels, several large stores, a courthouse, a police station, churohes, and a fine park well planted with trees and flower gardens, with a small ornamental pond on one side. Seats are placed in different parts of the park ; and the centre is used for a cricket ground, and also for sports.
The town itself is not pretty, although it has some fine buildings. Like most towns which have grown up from gold-mining, the first houses were erected as near the field as possible ; and a good situation was not thought of. So one long street, very crooked, with two big hills to climb if you wish to go from one end of the town to the other, is the result. It is a great pity that the town was not built on the hill, where a grand view can always be obtained. Gold-mining is still carried on to a large extent, and some good finds have lately come to light. Some eight miles from this town, over the hills and over also a good road, you get your first view of Omeo Plains, with the lake of the same name in ¡ts centre, and here is one of tho most beautiful spots in Australia. No matter from what point you enter this mountain basin, if the day is bright, you will never forget the first view, and you will always recall it with pleasure. You see a good-sized plain of about forty thousand acres, surrounded by moun- tains and covered with farms ; the lake shining like gold in its centre, and having homesteads all around its banks. When you come down on to the level land you are not disappointed, for what looks so peaceful and beautiful from the hill tops improves when you get to it.
Tho lake is about twelve miles around ; and the homes of the farmers are well built. Some of the gardens are very fine, the fruit being of the best quality, and the trees bearing very large crops. But they have no market for fruit or vegetable. So tons of tho former rot every year. A good road is made round tho lake, and it is a splendid drive. I took this road
and enjoyed the ride very much. You can see more game or water fowl here in half an hour than yon can in most parts of Australia in months. There are thousands of ducks, and I counted no less than eight different kinds ; swans by the hundred ; snipe, cranes, and in fact, all kinds of the Australian water birds. I even saw a couple of birds very much like the albatross, and was told that once in a while, a stray one finds its way to the lake. But I hardly think that this is the salt-water bird, although very much like it. Parts of the lake were fairly black with ducks and swans.
At the lower end of the lake you ride over a good sized hill, and then you again see the plains before you - this time under the name of Little Plains. This part has a large bog, or morass, running through it, with a good stream of water in its centre, which could be made to act as a drain, and so re claim some hundreds of acres of the best land. All through this bog or morass you can get good fishing and shooting. The lake has no fish. In riding or driving over the plains to the different farms on its borders you think you have seen the last of it; but, going around a little hill at the foot of some mountain, you come to some little nook of about 300 acres ; and here you see the home- stead, near the end, so built to keep it warm in winter. So far through Gippsland the homes are much better than those of New South Wales farmers, the Victorians always having gardens and plenty of fruit around the house. The homes here are more like the south coast homes in New South Wales, where you will always find nice gardens.
I spent three days on the plains, and could have spent three weeks. I strongly advise those people who may happen to visit Omeo not to forget the plains, where the farmers will always make them welcome, just as they do in our own colony. It is no wonder that Mr. MacFarlane when he first saw this country, when looking for land with some com- panions to graze cattle in 1840, exclaimed in true Highland fashion, "Oh! Me! Oh!" This family has passed away ; but his companion, Mr. Pender- gast, has left plenty of descendants and relations, who are still living on the ground.