THE EUCLA COUNTRY. ? *
The representative of a pastoral Company largely interested in the Eucla District recently made a visit to that part of the Colony, and subsequently submitted his report to the directors in Melbourne, and it has since been published in the The Austra lasian. The report will be found very interesting, and to dispel a good deal of the belief obtaining as to the sterile and water lrKf. condition of- that rorHoiL Affar narrat
ing some of the preliminary incidents of his trip from Adelaide in the s. Franklin, the writer says : — We see that proper attention has been paid to the stowage of the supplies, which consist of 75 Canowie rams, a boring machine from Messrs. Wright and Edwards's manufactory, some hnndreds of feet of piping, and several tons of stores, &c., for the Eu-da Land and Pastoral Association Limited, of Melbourne ; also four horses and plant, the property of the English syndicate, whose representative was on board, being on his way to inspect and report on their hands. After some 40 hours' steaming, the weather having con tinued favorable throughout, we arrived at Port Eucla on Saturday morning, shortly after daylight. No apparent difficulty was experienced by Captain Greer in piloting the steamer into the port, the soundings being never under four fathoms ; all neces sary caution, however was observed in entering. We dropped anchor immediately opposite the Eucla telegraph station, in three fathoms and a quarter, standing oat from the shore some 500 or 600 yards. The residents, who mustered in good number to witness our arrival and debarka tion, declared the Franklin anchored nearer the beach than any of the schooners trading to the port. The boats were lower ed without delay, and the work of discharg ing the cargo under the supervision of the ship's officers was commenced forthwith, and carried out in a systematic manner to the entire satisfaction of the uart ies interest
ed therein. The port is naturally favorable to the discharge of cargo by botts, and there are no breakers, and the .vater is perfectly calm within the reefs which en circles it on the south and south-west, the passage being in a south-easterly direction. To facilitate the discharge of cargo, it has been suggested that a jetty should be run out to allow the steamers of a limited draught going along-ide. This would prove of immense advantage to this grow ing little place in the near future, and could be erected at a in .derate outlay. It is only fair to presume tiiat the dues would soon pay the interest on the cost of con struction. The township of Eucla, which boasts a telegraph station, is conveniently situated and within half a mile of the shore. It is the terminus of the South and West Australian telegraph lines, each Colony having its own separate official stationed here, both occuping the same building. That part of it which is designated the West Australian office is in the charge of Mr. Farrant,- that of South Australia is presided over by Mr. Barbar, who takes the meteorological observations every three hours for the Adelaide Observatory, his record of the rainfall for the past seven years giving an average of 11 inches. This season ha& been even more favorable, over five inches having fallen from the beginning of the year to the end of April. The land in the vicinity of Eucla, which is of a salt and cotton bush character, and beautifully grassed, is under lease to Messrs. Muir and Sons. The surrounding country appeared remarkably pretty, the represen tative of the English syndicate expressing himself highly pleased with all he saw. The country is of a limestone formation, with a fair depth of red friable loamy soil. To the north of the Hampton Range, on the table land, it is undulating; on the rises the limestone rock becomes visible, stones of different shapes and sizes being plentiful. In the valleys the soil is a rich loam of good depth, and clothed with salt and cotton bush, besides being in some parts beautifully grassed. The slopes for a distance of some twenty miles north of the range are timbered with sandal wood, myall, and mallee timber. The mallee does not extend on an average more than four miles north of the range, and has an undergrowth of edible bushes, also grasses of a saline nature possessing fattening qualities. Further north, the slopes, al though devoid of timber, are well covered with bushes. On the flats the herbage con sists of grasses, or salt and cotton bushes ; in some places of both. The carrying capacity of the country, with a permanent supply of water, is estimated at about one sheep to four or five acres. Starting from Fort Eucla, and fallowing the coast in a westerly direction, the country is of a similar formation and character, the whole area being admirably adapted to the growth of sheep and wool, aud only awaits develop ment. This is about to be undertaken by a Melbourne companyan and Sydney syndicate, who have secured the pre-emptive right to 300,000 acres. They are largely interested in the district, aud purpose testing the country for water. At Madura station, the property of the Eucla Land and .Pastoral Association, very extensive improvements have been under taken, and are in course of completion. These improvements comprise fencing, tanks, wells, &c Brackish water has been found in quantities, awd the boring for fresh water is still g'Ao-s oa through the
hrackisii, aud great hopes are entertained of the efforts proving successful. There are ten wells in the E.ucla district in all, two only of which aie unfit for stoc«. One of these, that which is situated at Mun drabella station, owned by Messrs. Kennedy and ftlagill, has been in use for domestic purposes for s^uie time. This, however, is not used except for stock, for which it is very suital.le ; the water for domestic use being procured from an underground tank. It is worthy of note that water has always been struck at sea level, and (he further from the coast the better the water. When struck, the water in all these wells appears to come from a north and north-easterly direction, and in each case an unlimited supply is obtainable. The stock were in splendid condition, the mutton being a little too fat to be palatable. The residents in the district affirm that horses iu the lowest stage of poverty will .-.oiue fat within three weeks. The horses v.liich were not iu work; had clean, silky, glossy Qoatf, and presented a healthy appearance. The climate is most salubrious, and it being most unusual for the uight6 to be hot, blankets are always required, even in the middle of summer. The highest reading of the thermometer recorded is 1O4 iu the shade, but this has only wcurred on three occasions during a summer. It has beea confidently stilted that th' country is well adapted for tbe growing of wheat. A gentleman who has been con nected with farming in South Australia for
20 years has taken up 20,000 acres for that purpose, and has commenced preparing the ground, which he considers equal to any por tion of South Australia. It is needless to add that he is sanguine of success. One is compensated for the small rainfall by very heavy dews. In this respect this part of Australia strictly resembles Queensland. The country from Eucla to the Bight, a distance of about 140 miles, is somewhat similar in formation to that of Eucla, which has already been described. Any quantity of fresh water can be obtained at the Bight from Oft. to 12ft. From the Bight to Yal lata, on which there are 140,000 sheep look ing exceedingly well, the country is sandy with a great quantity of mallee scrub. To the north of the Hampton Range there are numerous large rock holes, which generally contain from 50 to 2,000 gallons of water. These are frequently found at intervals of from 10 to 12 miles, and afford great facilities for the exploration of the in land country, which, as a whole, strongly resembles the Albert district in New South Wales. This, the southern portion of West Australia has undoubtedly a bright future before it. One of tbe great advantages the leaseholders have is the right to purchase within seven years the fee simple at halfa crown per acre. The annual rent is only 5s. per 1,000 acres, and there are no clauses to compel leaseholders to stock the country or make improvement.