No corrections yet
(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 EnBey. I rode to Omeo, stopping at Mr. W. Johnson's farm on tho way to soo tho new oheeeo plant ho han jnat erected. Itiabnilt on the Bega plan ; Mr. Keid, of Boga, having ohargo. At prosent 56 oowa aro in milk ; hut ahorfcly thoy oxpeot to milk fully 100. Omeo waa roaohed at night, and is a far larger town than I expected to soe, having a poat and tolograph offiso, throe good hotols, several large Btores, a courthouse, a polioo station, ohnrohes, and a fine park well planted with trees and flower gardens, with a small ornamental pond on ono Bide. Seats aro placed in different parta of tho park ; and tho contre is used for a oriokot ground, and also for Bporta.
Tho town itself is not pretty, although it has some fino buildinga. Liko moat towna whioh havo frown np from gold-mining, tho first houses wore erected as nea? tho fiold as possiblo ; and a good iituation waa not thought of. So ono long street, very orooked, with two big hills to climb if you wish 4o go from one end of the town to the othor, io tho result. It is a great pity that tho town was not built on tho hill, whoro a grand viow can always bo obtained. Gold-mining ia still carried on to a largo extent, and come good finds havo lately como to light. Some eight miles from this town, over tho hills and over also a good road, you get your first viow of Omeo Plains, with tho lako of tho Bamo nam o in ¡ts centre, and hore is ono of tho most beautiful Bpots in Australia. No matter from what point you ontor thia mountain basin, if tho day ia bright, yon will novar forget the firBt view, and you will always recall it with ploaauro. You soe a good-aizod plain of about forty thousand aores, surrounded by rnoun- taina and oovored with farms ; tho lake nianing like poid in its onntre, and having homesteads all around ita banks. When you como down on to tho levol land you aro not disappointed, for what looks BO poncoful and beautiful from tho hill tops improves whon you get to it.
Tho lako ia abont involve miloB around ; and tho homos of the farmers aro well built. Some of tho gardens aro very fino, tho fruit hoing of tho best quality, and tho troos boaring very largo orops. But thoy have no market for fruit or vogotablo. So tong of tho former rot evory yoar. A good road is made round tho lako, and it ia a Bplondid drivo, I took thia road
and enjoyed the ride very muoh. You oan eeo more game or water fowl hero in half an hoar than yon oan m moat parta of Australia in months. There are thousands of ducks, and I oounted no less than eight different kinda ; swans hy tho hundred ; snipe, óranos, and in fact, all kinds of the Australian water birds. I evon saw a oonplo of birds very ranch like the albatross, and wag told that once in a while, a stray ono finda ita way to tho lake. But I hardly think that thia is tho salt-water bird, although very much like it. Parts of the lake wero fairly blaok with ducks and ewans.
At tho lower end of the lake you ride over a good oizod hill, and then you again soe tho plaina before you-this timo under the namo of Little Plains. This part has a largo bog, or morass, running through it, with a good stream of water in its oontro, which oonld be made to act aa a drain, and so ro oluim some hundreds of aores of the best land. All through this bog or morass you oan get good fishing and shooting. The lake has no fish. lu riding or driving over the plains to tho different farms on its bordors you think you have seen tho last of it; but, going around a little hill at tho foot of some mountain, you come to eomo little nook of about 300 aores ; and hero you seo 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, tho Viotoriaus always having gardens and plenlyof fruit around tho boneo. Tho homes hore ara more like tho Eonth ooaat hornea in Now South Wales, where yon will always find nioo gardens.
I spent three days on the plains, and oould have spent three weeks. I strongly advise thoBO people who may happen to vieit Omeo not to forget tho plainB, where the farmers will always make them welcome, juBfc as they do in our own colony. It is no wonder that Mr. MacFarlane when ho firßt saw thia country, when looking for land with some com- panions to gr a zo cattle in 1840, exclaimed in trae Highland fashion, "Ohl Me! Oh!" Thia family has passed away ; but hiB companion, Mr. Pender- gast, has left plenty of deaconaentB and rolationa, who are still living on tho ground.