Extract from Bathurst Free Press
Cowra – Wednesday 6 February 1861 (From our own correspondent.)
Making an early start next morning, I pushed on in the direction of Grabine (Mr. John Ford’s station). Climbing a very steep hill in sight of Cassidy’s, I stretched across the mountains for 5 or 6 miles, getting occasional glimpses of the river from some of the more open peaks, until Grabine came in view, at the bottom of the hill there is a reach of the river, probably a mile and a half, or two miles long, one of the best and deepest on the river; it completely fills up the whole extent of the valley, forming almost a perfect lake, lined throughout by the never failing river bank. Here I turned out and had another swim, my horse quietly feeding alongside, the animal then took the water and rolled and tumbled about, seemingly in the very height of enjoyment. .
As I could see I had a high and lofty range to get over, I remained here for nearly three hours; then saddling up, I began my ascent which continued for nearly three hours; having gained the summit, I sat down and was delighted(?) with one of the most extensive views I have yet met with, the distant country on all sides seemed crowded with hills of even shape and form; flat hills, round hills, square hills, hills east, hills west, hills north, hills south, hills above, hills below, hills everywhere, paths everywhere, roads nowhere.
Like Barney Reardon (?), I followed my “nearest course” or more properly speaking, “my nose”, and by dint of poking that somewhat prominent member into all sorts of “onco(?) places”, stumbled across a somewhat passable gully which led down from my perch. This I followed for three or four miles, when I came to “Spring Vale” the residence of Mr. E.Markham – here I was at home – so went in and had a tough yarn with the Patriarch of the Vale, ate some of his Sunday dinner – a fine goose stuffed with no end of good things. The yarn at end, and my dinner safely stowed away in my own particular paunch, I bid my old friend good bye and started to follow out the object of my journey.
About 3 miles from Mr. Markham’s I came on the Abercrombie (sic Lachlan]) again round a bend of which I passed and came upon Clifton Park, the snugly situated residence of Mr. N. Jordon; another yarn, and another feed, a fresh start and a journey of 3 miles more brought me safely to “Daleys’ Springs” occupied by Mr. Lowe and others. These farms are beautifully situated on the edge of a small black flat of the richest soil, with high grass hills all around.
After a little delay I retraced my steps to the river along which I directed my course, arriving in succession at Rossman’s, Doyle’s, Halpin’s, Whitty’s, and O’Brien’s farms. I passed the junction of the Burrowa (River), and the old Police Barracks, and thence to Paddy’s Plains and Cudgelong.
The last ten or twelve miles of my journey the country assumed a more lowland aspect; the farms I have named have all been purchased within the last two or three years, and I was much pleased with the cleanly and comfortable appearance, and the evident good taste that had been displayed in their selection, and the arrangement of the various farm buildings. The huts were neatly built, several of them whitewashed, and all detached from the other erections, gardens were being laid out round them, and altogether they had a most creditable look, and they speak well for the taste and industry of their various owners. Numbers of other farms of a like description are to be obtained along the river, (here called for the first time the Lachlan) and I hope that when I next pay that part of the country a visit, I shall find that other farmers have taken advantage of this fine locality, and settled down.
This is certainly another spot for “free homes for free men”, possessing all the advantage of good soil, a flowing river, and a fast rising neighbourhood. Leaving Cudgelong and passing through a country smothered with thistles, and eaten up with sheep, I come to what is called the mount; here a small cluster of settlers have made themselves homes in rather primitive style and affording great room for improvement.
Still following the Lachlan down, I reached Cowra; and here my journey ends for the present.