1886 Railway Guide of N.S.W

1886 Railway Guide of N.S.W for use of tourists, excursionists, and others.

1886 Railway Guide of N.S.W for use of tourists, excursionists, and others.


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Ob 1684-S6


Tms Guide Book is intended as a convenient volume of reference for

excursionists and others who travel by Railway in New South Wales.

The Introduction contains a short history of the Railway system

of the Colony, and subsequent chapters furnish an outline of routes,

and all information as to the various Stations. The illustrated Itinerary,

for the use of the traveller in search of the picturesque, includes brief

notices of places of interest which lie within easy reach of the

Railway line, and the Tourists' Map shows the mountainous country

traversed by the Great Western Railway, from the Nepean River to


The papers descriptive of the Fish River Caves, and explaining

the geological formation of the Blue Mountains, contributed by Mr.

C. S. Wilkinson, F.G.S., will be read with interest, as will also the

treatise by Dr. Woolls, F.L.S., illustrated by Miss Harriet Scott, on

the Flora of that part of the country. The other illustrations form a

novel and interesting feature of the work; they are pictures from Nature,

reproduced by the photo-mechanical processes recently introduced by

Mr. Richards, ex-Government Printer.

The Compiler has to acknowledge his obligations to Messrs.

Burton, Tingle, Lyne, and Wells, from whose descriptive writings he

has derived much valuable information, which he ventures to believe

is now offered to the public in a compendious and convenient form.








Routes on the Western Line

Routes on the Southern Line .. .

Routes on the Sydney to Richmond Subsidiary Line

Routes on the Northern Line ...

Routes of Subsidiary Lines to Northern Line

Route of Main Branch, North-western Line









(!) Sydney to Granville

(2a) Sydney to Waterfall ...

(3) Parramatta to Bourke ...

(4) Wallerawang to Mudgee

(5) Granville to Albury

(6) Junee to Hay ...

(7) Sydney vid, Blacktown to Richmond

(8) Newcastle to Glen Innes

(9) Subsidiary Branch Lines to Northern Line

(10) North-western Line ...












The geological formations of the Blue Mountains

Remarks on the Flora of the Blue Mountains

The Fish River or Jenolan Caves ...

Railway Maps


.. 128

.. 144



Loftus Heights, National Park to face page 1

Lake George 14

George's River ... 26

Guide Map to National Park

Nepean River ... 34

Emu Plains, from Lucasville ...

Residence of A. H. McCulloch, Esq., M.P.

Wentworth Falls

Cunimbla Valley ,,

Katoomba Falls 46

" Carrington Hotel " ...

Jamison's Valley 46

Govett's Leap ... 56

Lithgow Valley Zigzag 65

Menangle Bridge 83

Fitzroy Falls

Lake Bathurst ...


" "






" ,, "

Mulwarrie Viaduct ,,

Singleton Bridge

MacDonald River and Bridge








,. 88



" " "






THE favourable reception which the Railway Guide has met with, and

the increasing demand for it, have made it necessary to publish a

second edition. Advantage has been taken of the opportunity to bring

the information to the latest date, and to include additional illustrations,

witn the object of making the volume more useful and attractive.

This work will be found to be a convenient and valuable volume

of reference for excursionists and others who travel by Railway in

New South Wales.

The introduction contains a short history of the Railway

System of the Colony, and subsequent chapters furnish an outline of

routes and all information as to the various stations. The Illustrated

Itinerary, for the use of travellers in search of the picturesque, includes

brief notices of places of interest which lie within easy reach of the

Railway Line.

The papers descriptive of the Fish River Caves, and explaining

the geological formation of the Blue Mountains, contributed by Mr.

C. S. Wilkinson, F.L.S., will be read with interest, as will also the

treatise by Dr. Woolls, F.L.S., illustrated by Miss Harriet Scott, on

the Flora of that part of the country.

As the Railways are further extended, fresh editions will be

issued, with additional illustrations and descriptions.

Loftus Heights, National PArk.



Early History.-The first combined movement

on the subject of introducing Railways

into New South Wales took place in January,

1846. On the 29th of that month a

public meeting was held in Sydney, and a

Committee appointed, who, on the 26th

August, reported that, from the best ascertained

data as to the products, population,

and traffic, they believed that a line from

Sydney to Goulburn might be constructed

at £6,000 per mile, and that a net profit of

8 per cent. might be anticipated on the

capital expended. In the beginning of 1848

a survey of the line to Goulburn was completed

by Mr. W oore. In April, in the

same year, a petition, based on this report,

was presented to the Legislative Council,

and referred to a Select Committee, of which

Mr. Charles Cowper* was Chairman. A

report was brought up, and on the 15th

June the Council passed a series of resolutions

to the effect that the period had

arrived for the formation of Railways in the

Colony, and that it was expedient for the

Government to offer some inducements to

encourage private enterprise. The resolutions

were transmitted to the Secretary of

State by the Governor-General, with a

recommendation that the encouragement

asked for should be granted. On the 11 th

Septem her, 1848, a Provisional Committee

was appointed, and in November the

prospectus of the " Sydney Tramroad and

Railway Company" was issued. The capital

was £100,000, and interest for ten years at

5 per cent. was guaranteed by the Government.

The expressed intention of the projectors

was that a main trunk line should

* Afterwards the Hon. Sir Charles Cowper,

K.C.M.G., now deceased.

be carried from Sydney to the point from

which it might afterwards he determined

that the Southern and ·western or Northwestern

branches respectively should diverge.

Eventually it was intended to augment the

capital in order to carry the line to Goulburn,

and, if found practicable, to Bathurst


On the 13th November, 1849, the first

general meeting of the shareholders was

held, and the Sydney Railway Company

(incorporated by Act of 13 Victoria) then

entered on its duties, and was managed by

a Directory elected by the shareholders.

The survey of the line from Sydney to

Parramatta and Liverpool was completed in

December, 1849, and on 8th January, 1850,

the first report of the Directors was read.

It congratulated the shareholders on their

position and prospects ; and notwithstanding

the apathy of some persons and the undisguised

hostility of others, the Directors

entertained the fullest confidence as to the

ultimate success of the undertaking. The

sum of £10,000, required by the Act to be

raised before the Company could commence

operations, having been paid into the

Colonial Treasury, the Directors lost no time

in breaking ground. On 3rd July, 18 0,

the first turf of the first Railway in the

Australian Colonies was turned by the

Honorable Mrs. Keith Stewart, in the presence

of her father, Sir Charles Augustus

Fitz Roy, and a large concourse of inhabitants.

The financial prospects of the Company,

however, soon become so gloomy that the

Directors found it necessary to make a




general reduction in the salaries of their

officers. The Directors complained of the

obstacles they met with, and stated that, but

for the countenance and support of the

local Government, they should feel disposed

to abandon a post which was beset at. every

stage with difficulties and discouragements

of no ordinary kind. In this unpromising

position of their affairs the first contract for

41 miles from Haslern's Creek towards Sydney

was accepted. The progress of the work

continued satisfactory until the discovery of

gold in the Bathurst district upset the calculations

of the contractor and the Directors,

threatening the former with ruin and entailing

much anxiety on the latter, from the

sudden and unexampled rise in the price of

labour and materials. Under these circumstances

the Directors ,vere induced to release

the contractor from his agreement, without

enforcing the penalties for non-fulfilment.

The offer of Mr. Randal, the contractor, to

carry out the works to Ashfield, and subsequently

to Parramatta, at a schedule of prices,

was afterwards accepted, and as the attractions

of the Gold-fields continued to diminish

the supply of labour in Sydney, the Government

agreed to import 500 labourers from

England. An additional loan of £150,000

was obtained from the Government, in the

proportion of three-fifths of public money to

two-fifths subscribed, on condition that the

Government should have the power to name

one-half of the Directors. The Company had

- now reached the last stage of its existence,

and its affairs were under the .direction of a

Board, partly elected by the shareholders and

partly nominated by the Government.

At the first half-yearly meeting, on 17th

January, 1854, the Directors stated that from

the enormous rise in wages and materials

tbti cost of the line to Parramatta would be

increased from £218,420, as estimated in

1853, to £320,000, besides £69 OOO for the

Darling Harbour works. To l)rovide for

this, the capital was increased by £100 OOO

and an additional loan of £150,000 obt~inetl

from Government, on the same terms as the

former loan. The estimate of £320 OOO for

the line to Parrarnatta was made id anticipation

of a fall in the rate of wa()'es · but

instead of falling they continued to ~·is:. and

in January, 1855, the Engineer hac~ ~o

increase his estimate to £500,000. This

startling announcement must have satisfied

the shareholders of the hopelessness of carrying

out the works at a profit, and prepared

them for a transfer of the property to the


W11ile the Sydney Railway Company was

struggling with the unprecedented difficulties

of the times, and leaning on the strong arm

of the Government for support, a movement

took place in 1853 for the construction of

a line of Railway between Newcastle ancl

.J.f aitland.

A Provisional Committee was appointed

on 20th April, and a capital of £100,000

subscribed on the spot. \Vith flattering

anticipations, and the promise of aid from

the Government, the Hunter River Railway

started into life; but after an existence of

little more than a year, which was necessarily

exhausted in preliminary arrangements, this

Company had also to yield to the pressure

of the times, and be swallowed up by tho


Railways of N. S. Wales when transferred

to the Government.-Accordingly,

under the Act 18 Victoria No. 4.0, the porperties

of both the Companies wore transferred

to the Government, the Hunter RiYer

at par, and the Sydney Railway with a bonus

of 7 per cent. added. From the elate of these

transfers the Railways became the property of

the Government, and have since been carried

out under the superintendence of Government


The Railways of New 'outh \Vales, though

essentially one entire concern, as the property

of the Government, are at present

separated into two great divisions, viz., the

Southern and \Vestern Railway and the

Northern Railway-the one having its principal

terminus at 'ydney, the other at ewcastle,

upwards of 60 miles apart. Parliament

has, however, authorized the construction of

a line to connect the Northern with the

Southern system, and the work is now in

progress. ·


The line from Sy


Valley, the Clarence tunmil, and the tunnels

at Lithgow Valley Zigzag, Morangaroo, and

under the Mudgee Road, and the bridges

over Solitary Creek at Tarana, over the

Macquarie River at Bathurst, "\V ellington,

and Dubbo; on the Northern line-the

handsome bridges over the Hunter at Singleton

and Aberdeen, the bridge over the Macdonald,

and the tunnels through the Liverpool

and Moonbi Ranges.

Summit elevations.-The summit elevations

above high-water-mark at Sydney on

the different lines are 2,357 feet on the

Southern, 3,658 feet on the Western, and

4,525 feet on the Northern.

in the aid of electricity for that purpose.

For the first mass 3-i tons of blasting powder

were employed, and the Superintendent of

Telegraphs (Mr. E. C. Cracknell) succeed~d

in firing the blast, which tore the moun~am

asunder, heaving huge masses of rock mto

the valley, and leaving the face of the parent

mountain almost as smooth as if it had been

cut with chisels. The removal of the second

mass-the blowing up of a tunnel-for which

3} tons of powder were used, was successfully

accomplished also by galvanic agency; the

electric spark having been communicated to

the powder by the hand of the Countess of

Belmore, in the presence of His Excellency

the Governor, and a large concourse of spectators

who had assembled to witness the

effects of the explosion.

Zigzags at Emu Plains and Lithgow

Valley.- The principal objects of interest on

our Railways are t.he Zigzags at Emu Plains

and Lithgow Valley on the Western line.

Since the opening of the line to Bowenfels

thousands of tourists from all lands have

visited these works, and expressed unbo.unded

admiration at the rugged grandeur of the

scenery, and the engineering skill and pluck

displayed in designing and constructing these

stupendous works, which are probably not

surpassed on any Rail way in the world. But

a description or even an inspection of the

Lithgow Valley Zigzag gives only an imperfect

idea of the difficulties that had to be

encountered, and the vast amount of work

that had to be performed, before it was hewn

into its present shape. From the Clarence

Tunnel to the bottom of the valley there is

a descent of 470 feet, throucrh a deep and

rugged ravine, where forme~·ly there was

scarcely footing for the mountain goat, and

where the surveyor's assistants had occasionally

to be suspended by ropes in the performance

of their perilous duties · but human

skill and enterprise have open~d a pathway

through these broken mountain ran cres for

the railway train that now travers~s the

sides of the mountain on a gradient of 1 in

42. In the execution of these works two

gigantic masses of rock-the one esLi~ated

to contain 40,000 and the other 45,000 tons

-had to be. l?lasted ; and the contractor,

after calculatm.g the cost, determined to call


statistical and descriptive information will

be read with interest. It forms the summary

of the transactions for the year 1885, and is

taken from the Report of the Commissioner

for Railways, Charles A. Goodchap, Esq. Mr.

Goodchap reports that: "The expenditure for

construction on lines open was £21,831,276.

At the encl of December, 1885, 1,732 miles of

line were open for traffic, and 407 miles were in

the course of construction, while an additional

1,28.2 miles have been authorized. The rollinO'

stock at the end of 1885 consisted of 390

locomotives, 856 coaching an


Progressive Utility and Financial Con~

dition.-The following carefully prepared

and authentic Tabular View of the Progressive

Utility and Financial Condition of

the Railways of New South vV ales, from the

opening of the trunk line to Parramatta in

1855 to 31st December, 1885, will be appreciated

by all thoughtful readers.


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Railway System in New South Wales.

-The Railway system of New South Wales

consists of three trunk lines at present,

one of which is unconnected with the other

two: (1) The Great Southern line; (2)

the Great Western line ; and ( 3) the Great

Northern line. The Son them line starts

from Sydney, and has, as a trunk line, a

southerly direction from Granville;. up to

which station it runs in common with the

W estern. The W estern li:o.e also starts from

Sydney, but diverges from the Sonthem line

at Granville (13 miles distant from Sydney).

The Northern line starts from Newcastle, and

has its terminus at present at Glen Innes.

(1) Taking the W estern line first, it may

thus be briefly described :

The Western line (by a north-westerly

turn) passes through Parramatta, and has,

for the most part, a westerly direction till it

comes to Bathurst, 145 miles from Sydney.

Its general direction is then north-westerly

until it reaches Orange, 47 miles further.

Thence the course of this line is due north to

Wellington, and from Wellington north-west

to Bourke. On the Western line there are,

including the termini at Bourke and at

Sydney,* eighty-two stations, and other occasional

stopping places, for the dista,nce of

503 miles. At the Blacktown Junction the

Blacktow1~ to Richmond branch joins the

-Yf./ estern line. This subsidiary branch, 16

miles in length, has a north-westerly direction

from Blacktown, and has four distinct

stations, and one platform or stopping-place.

There is a second branch line from vV allerawang

Station to Mudgee (85 miles). This

branch takes a north-westerly direction from

Wallerawang, and a third, recently opened,

the Molong branch, running from Orange to

* That is, taking in the trunk line from Sydney

t o Parramatta Junction, common to both the

\Vestern ancl Southern Lines.

Molong, a distance of 21 miles. B sicl

these branch lines there arc tramways that

feed the line at intervals-with road m ta,1

at Emu Plains, shale at Hartl y Vale sidiurr,

and with coal at Lithgow and Katoomba.

(2.) The Southern line has _for ah ut

100 miles ( from Parramatta J unct10n to the

neighbourhood of Marnlan) a south-s uthwesterly

direction. From Maru]an t th

station at Bethungra (about 154 mil s) th

general direction of this lino is, for the m st

part, westerly, with a marked south rly

deflection, first for Yass, and finally towar ls

Albury on the Murray. An important

branch, called the South-west rn ]in , starts

from Junee on the Great Southern lin , and

thence runs to Hay, one of the most important

towns in Riverina. The distance from Jun

to Hay is 167 miles, and from ydnoy to

Hay 455. In addition there is a branch

from the South-western line, running from

N arrandra to J erilderie, 65 miles. There are

also three other branch lines, one running

from Goulburn to Bungendore, 43 miles,

being portion of the line to Cooma, a lin

from Murrumburrah to Young being its first

section of the line now under construction

to connect the Southern and Vv estern systemR,

and a line from Cootamundra to Gundagai.

On the Southern and South-western line there

are 116* stations, and other occasional stopping-places.

( 3.) The Great Northern line ( the eastern

terminus of which is at N ewca tle, about

60 miles north of Sydney Heads) has, for the

most part, a north-westerly direction, with a

south-westerly deflection between ·west Maitland

and Muswellbrook. Its extreme lenrrth

from Newcastle to Glen Innes, the pr sent

terminus, is 3:23 miles. On thi Northern

line there are-includinrr the termini at 1 len

* Including the uburl an line.


Innes and at Newcastle-sixty-one stations

and other occasional stopping-places for the

extreme distance traversed. On this line

there is one main branch-the Northwestern-starting

from W erris Creek, and

terminating at N arrabri, a distance of 97

miles. This branch has eight stopping-places.

There are also three subsidiary branches :

First, one from Newcastle to Bullock Island,

vil1 Honeysuckle Point, to the northward,

1 t mile ; second, one from Newcastle to

Wallsend, on the southern side of the line ;

and third, one from East Maitland to

Morpeth, on the north side of the line, 4

miles. (1.) The first subsidiary line is near

Newcastle, and is used for mineral traffic.

(2.) The second subsidiary branch (W allsend

Junction), running south-westerly, commences

l} mile west of the Waratah Station, and is

in length 4! miles. The W allsend branch is

principally used for mineral traffic. (3.) The

third subsidiary branch is the Maitland and

Morpeth branch, which rum from East Maitbnd

to Morpeth (north-easterly) 4 miles.

The Railways of the Colony, with one

exception, nre owned by tbe Stat0; the only

private line in opemtion is that running

frou1 Deniliquin in the Riveriua district to

the town of Moama, on the banks of the

Murray, where it connects with a branch of

the Victorian Railways.· This line which

since its inception has been very successful

is laid on the same gauge as the Victorian

system, viz., 5 feet 3 inches. The Government

Railways are laid to the standard gauge

of 4 feet 8! inches. It is to be regretted

that at the commencement of their Railway

history the adjoining Colonies of New South

Wales and Victoria should have adopted

different gauges; the inconvenience that this

entails has been practically demonstrated

since the Railway systems were connected

on the banks of the Murray, at Albury, a

transfer of the traffic between the Colonies

being necessary at this junction.

Further inconvenience will be felt very

shortly when the Queensland and New South

Wales Railways will be connected, the

Queensland lines throughout being laid to

the narrow gauge of 3 feet 6 inches, and consequently

it will be necessary to have a

changing station at the border of the two

Colonies, and transfer all passengers and


In addition to the Railway lines open,

which will be fully described, the following

brief particulars will be found interesting

respecting the extensions which are now

(June, 1886) in progress.

Starting from Sydney, the first extension

met with is that from Sydney to the Illawarra

district. The first section is open, while the

remaining portion is under construction ; but

it will be some time before the whole line is

completed. From Homebush the line starts

which is to connect the Southern with the

Northern system at W amtah ; the distance

between the two places is 93 miles, which

is under construction. On this extension

the most extensive bridges in the Colony,

viz., across the river Hawkesbury, will require

to be constructed. The sinking for

the cy lindern is said to be the deepest in the

world for bridge work.

On the Southern line the first section ( 40

miles) of the extension from Goulburu to

Oooma is open, while tl1e remaining portion

is under construction.

The first section of the extension to conn.ect

the Southern and Western Railways, from

Harden to Young, 18 miles, is open; the

remainder is under construction.

The Northern line is heing actively pushed

forward from Glen Innes to Tentertield, 58

miles, and should be ready for opening at

the end of the year.

The above complete analysis of the Railway

system of New South Wales, as it at present

exists, may be illustrated (and will perhaps

be rendered more easily understood) by a

perusal of the Tabular View in pages following.


Tabular View in Analyst's of Railway Routes.

The Western Trunk Line-

(SYDNEY (Terminm)


1,f'Donalp, Toten ..•,., ... ,., ... ,, .. , .• ,.. , .. ·,,,,.,,·, .. 1//awarra Section-­


(St. Peters


. j Marrickville

~ Tempe


~ Arnclifie

E! Ashfield

tl Rockdale

tl -< Croyden

i Kogarah

Proposed Branch to con- ~ lBurwood

nect Northern Line from i;




here ...... •.. •.. , ...... · ;e Homebush


:::: Sutherland

CIJ Rookwood

""' Loftus



g~~ille ........... , .. The Southern Main Branch



The Southern Line-

( 1,f errtJland8



Canley Vale




Macquarie Fields




Douglas Park


Picton Lake,





j ~:;6;:;ite

~ if!Z/:noon

! Cable's Siding

.:; Barber'B Creek

.~ ~:~::

0 .; • ~ Towrang

..., s {Joppa Junction .... ,, .... f NGoourtLhBUGRoNulburn. (Line to Cooma under construction from here.)

f] Bangalore ..,

;e ., Lake Ba.thurst ~ Yarra

;:::; ~ Tarn"'O g Breda/bane


i::q ~ Gunning


';; t{


Demondrille Junction

~ ;e Currawong

1- .._o YOUNG


~ -~ ( Brawlin ...... , . , , •• , , , , •, ..

~ g, ) Mnttama

§~) Colve




.~ Yass

~ Bowning

f Rinalong

.., Galong

~ Rocky Ponds

g Cunningar

••• • C/.2 HARDEN. (Line to connect the Southern nnd Western Lines under

i Mur~~:i~~~n from here.)



l,fullally's Siding





,Junee............ ...... .,

Barefield '.~

{Old Junee



"-I Coolaman

W AOOA WAOGA f ;,;, Grong Grong

Sandy Creek ~ ~ Narrandera •. ...• , . ~ .. {Colombo

Hanging Rock : .l:l The Qttarry ·i:: • Widgiewa

Yerong Creek ~ .S Hulong ~ ~ Coonong

Culcairn ~ Darlington ~ ~ Bundure

Gerogery 5 Carathool ,!i Yathong




N.B.-Tbe ordinary places are in plain type, the more important tations in small capitals, and the platforms in italics.



Tabular View z'n Analysis o/ Railway Routes-continued.

The Western Line-

Richmond Subsidiary (Seven Hills

. Branch .. • ••••" • ••" •' BLACKl'OWN


Rooty Hill


South Creek






Emu Plains


Glenbroolc late Brookdale

Blaxland late Wascoe's

The Valley ,


I Faulconbridge




Lawson late Blue Moun.



W ~f!orth Falls late



Black heath


~ Hartley Vale-Tramway

.se llfonnt Wilson

.., I Clarence Siding

§ Eskbanlc •

&s Li:thgow-Trarr.way


Subsidiary Branch '"' I llfarrangaroo

to Mudgee ...... •· .. ~ Wallerawang .. . .. .. . . . . /Piper's Flat

.:: Rydal ~ Ben Bullen

t; Sodwalls ~ Capertee

~ -< Tarana .., llford

~ I Loclcsley late Loclce's & Rylstone

Plat/ orin ~ Lue

!5 Brewongle ..:: Bitnberra .

~ Raglan "" Mudgee

~ I ~!~I~URST

f Orton Park

~ Perth

~ George's Plains

""' Wimbledon

~ Newbridge

~ Blayney

Spring Grove

Spring :am

Huntley ~

~ANG,E .... ... , , . , .. , ..-~ { Cargo Road

.M:u'Ilion Creek ~ Borenore

Kerr's Creek

· Warne





lRONilARKS .;;





llf urrumbidgerie














The Northern Trunk Line-

Subsidiary Branch to (NEWCASTLE ( Terminus)

Bullock Island ... ••• 1 Hon~ysuckle Point

Subsidiary Branch to Hanulton

JYall,end............ Waratah·





Subsidiary Branch to I Victoria-street












Whitting ham


Glennie's Creelc


-~ ~~~:!iree


f Aberdeen

:S IJ;i,n:

8 Wingen

~ Blandford


E-t I Temple Court

Doughboy Hollow

Willow-tree (or Warrah)






Werris Creek ....... ./Gap

Currabubula f Breeza

I T,HIWORTII ~ Curlewis

Moon bi .; Gunnedah

llfacdona.ld Rii:er ~ -~ Emerald Hill

Walcha Road ,S>.., Boggabri

Kentucky 8 Baan Bah

Uralla ~ Titrrawan






Ben Lomond



under construction to

Tenterfield and

Queensland border.

N.B.-The ordinary places are in plain type, the more important stations in sm:111 capitals, and the pfatforms in italics.




Route No. 1.-From Sydney to Bathurst:

145 miles.-In this route, as on all

others, remember to be at the station from

which yon intend to start (especially should

it be the Sydney terminus) in ample time,

more particularly if you are not alone or have

any luggage. Take the morning train if you

wish to see the varied scenery along the line

on the Blue Mountains* and particularly

that of the First Zigzag near Emu P lains,

and the Great Zigzag near Lithgow. Dine

at Mount Victoria refreshment-rooms. The

whole journey occupies about eight hours.

Route No. 2-From Sydney to Oran ge :

192 miles.-Follow directions for Route No.

1, except that you should also take a hasty

" tea" at the refreshment-room at Bathurst,

and come provided with a rug to sleep in

between Bathurst and Orang0. At Orange

there are several excellent hotels. Omnibuses

at the Orange station will convey you anLl

your luggage b any of the principal hotels.

Probable time for your journey by this route,

about ten hours.

Route No. 3- From Sydney to Lawson

(formerly Blue Mountain) Station:

58 miles.-Y ou can go by the morning or ·

evening train to the "Blue Mountains." A

fine prospect is ,-isible from the station itself;

and there is diversified and beautiful scenery

* The " Blue Mountains" were first crossed by

Eur~pe.ans in May, 1813, by an adventurous party

consIStmg of "Mr. Gregory Blaxland, Mr. \Villiam

Wentworth, and Lieutenant Lawson, attended by

four servants, five dogs, and four horses laden with

provisions, ammunition, and other necessaries."

~hey appear t~ have crossed pretty near the present

line of the ra1lroad, previous ineffectual attempts

having been made much further to the southward

'l.'hey got back again to the N epean on the 6th of

Jt:ne, having apparently got past the Blue Mountarns

as far as f':Ome of the plains beyond.-See

J ournal qf a T~u7: of Discove1'y, &c., in the yea1'

1813. [The Wilham Wentworth here mentioned

afterwards became the celebrated Australian statesman.]

on hoth sides of the line, within 2 mil s

distance either way. On th north sicl arc

Dante's Glen and three wat rfalls,


and Orange, which passes the platform at

vVentworth Falls at an early hour in the afternoon.

You may thus be back in Sydney at

6 p.m., and congratulate yourself upon having

had a short, pleasant, and inexpensive trip.

By starting on a Friday evening, or on a Saturday,

you can get a return ticket at a reduced

rate, available until the Monday for return.­

Time of journey, rather less than four hours.

Route No. 5-From Sydney to Blackheath

(i.e. "Govett's Leap"): 73 miles.­

If you should desire to pay a hasty visit to

the lovely and stupendous gorge and waterfall

usually known by the curiously inexpressive

name of "Govett's Leap" (and you do not

particularly care whether you see any other

spot on the occasion or not), take your place

in the train for Blackheath. There are several

accommodation houses here. Govett's Leap

is situated about 1 mile from the line, on

the north side; an easy walk, and an easy

way to :find. Three passenger trains for

Sydney pass Blackheath daily. If you :find

yourself comfortable at Blackheath, and time

permits, you can ride, drive, or walk thence

to Mount Victoria and back, so as to see the

numerom; breaks of scenery to the southward

-away over the Cunimb~la Valley--to the

greatest advantage. But you will :find it too

far to visit the Hartley Vale from this standpoint.-Time

of journey from Sydney to

Blackheath, about four hours and a half.

Route No. 6-Sydney to Katoomba.­

A short time ago Katoorn ba was known to

the general railway travellers as an unimportant

platform; a few, however, were aware

of the glorious views that were found in

the neighbourhood, and occasionally tourists

would come here and make their way to the

waterfalls and dells. Subsequently a few

houses were started, and now as if by magic a

township has sprung into existence. A coalmine

and saW··mill are worked, and the place

is becoming one of the most important on the

mountains. The traveller can leave town by

any of the Western trains, and after a journey

of about four hours reach Katoomba, where

excellent accommodation may · be obtained.

One of the largest hotels in the Colony-the

"Great vVestern" (now "Carrington ")-has

been opened here.

Route No. 7-From Sydney to Mount

Victoria: 77 miles.-Everything is clear

before you in this route, according to the

station lists in the Time-tables, until you

arrive at your destiuation. Mount Victoria

will be for you a good head-quarters, fr_om

which Govett's Leap, at Blackheath, may

conveniently be visited, either by driving in

a buggy, by walking, or by taking advantage

of the train. .The distance from Mount

Victoria to Blackheath is only 4 miles by

road or rail. Near Mount Victoria there is

much beautiful and attractive scenery. The

air, being very bracing and remarkably

pleasant, is much recommended for invalids.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Mount

Victoria are found the Fairy Dell, the

Engineer's Waterfall, the Little Zigzag ( overlooking

the northern part of the Ounimbla

Valley), Mount Piddington, Mount Piddington's

Waterfall and Dell, and many other

picturesque spots. From the back of Mrs.

Perry's hotel, past the Protestant Church,

the old road will take you down into the

romantic and secluded vale of Hartley, the

peculiar scenery of which will well repay a

visit. There is at Hartley, near the two

churches, a decent old-fashioned wayside inn,

kept by Mrs. Evans. The little town, or

rather village, of Hartley, on the borders of

the river Lett (a tributary of Cox's River),

is quaint and pretty; and, from the bridge

over the stream of the brawling Lett, an

excellently kept road winds north-westerly

up the valley towards Bowenfels-passing

on its way under boldly defined and truly

majestic rocks, known as "Hassan's Walls."

Mount Victoria has a number of good hotels,

one of which is very large and handsome,

called "The Imperial." If you make Mount

Victoria your head-quarters-as many do-a

day can be set apart for visiting the -YVeatherboard

Gorge and Campbell Cataract, Blackheath,

or Katoomba. Excursions are also

frequently made from Mount Victoria to the

Fish River Caves, the distance being about

30 miles.

Route No. 8-From Sydney to Lithgow

and Bowenfels : 96-97 miles.­

Starting from the Sydney terminus, you can

reach the busy, rising town of Lithgow in

six hours j the train crossing between Mount


Victoria and Lithgow, the highest. point

reached by the Western Railway - the

Clarence Tunnel-and the celebrated Lithgow

ZiO'zaO', From Lithgow you can make a pleasa~t

10 miles' excursion by going right round

the mountain to the westward and south-westward-where

(thanks to Mr. Henry Cambridge,

the road surveyor, and the energy

and forethought of the Public Works Department)

an excellently kept road, past

Hassan's Walls, will bring you down the

valley to Hartley. Or you can go down to

Hartley by a shorter way (about 6 miles)

right over "Brown's Gap" behind the

easternmost end of Lithgow, up Clyde

Valley. From the last road ( a very clever

piece of practical engineering by Mr. Cambridge)

there is a grand prospect to the

southward, just as you come down into the

valley from the Gap. There are a number

of hotels at Lithgow where accommodation

may be obtained.

Note. - Weekly Tourists' Trains.­

Once a week opportunities occur for conveniently

visiting Lithgow and Bowenfels by the

tourists' trains, which leave Sydney for

Bathurst on Saturdays at 7 a.m., and return

to the Sydney terminus on the following

Monday morning. This weekly tourists'

train is run at very cheap rates: 1st class 2d.

and 2nd class ld. per mile return, and will

enable persons from the Sydney side to visit

either "Blue Mountains" (Lawson), the

Weatherboard, Blackbeath (Govett's Leap),

Mount Victoria, or Lithgow.

[The above will, it is believed, be found to

be the principal routes for tourists, from

Sydney downwards, on the Main Branch

Western Line. Others may possibly be

suggested, when the different stations and

stopping-places shall, in their respective places

come to be particularized. J

Route No. 9-From Sydney to Goulburn

: 134 miles.-In this route, as on all

others, be sure that you are at the station

from which you intend to start (especially

should it be the Sydney terminus) a full

quarter of an hour before the train is to

leave; more particularly so if you are not

alone or have any luggage. Take the

morning train if you wish to enjoy the

varied scenery along the line. You will

be able to dine at Mittagong, which you

will reach about four hours after your train

leaves the Sydney terminus. There is also

a good refreshment room at Goulburn. Be

sure that you get into a carriage that is going

to Goulburn, or to some other placR on the

Southern line ; otherwise, you will have

to look out (sharply) at Gram-ille, and

change into a carriage going South. The

guards-uniformly a civil, trustworthy, and

respectable class of men-always warn the

passengers of every necessary change, and

occasional stopping-place ; but passengers

(especially ladies) are often inattentive,

and get " carried on" in consequence-to


the annoyance of themselves, and the vexation

and worry of everybody else. Goulburn

(a fine, thriving, inland city, the capital

of the south-west, with plenty of good hotel

accommodation) is a healthy and pleasant

place, and one of the prettiest towns in the

Colony. It is the centre of a wealthy and

important district, and lies on the border of

rich and extensive plains.-Time of journey

from Sydney to Goulburn, six hours.

Route No. 10-From Sydney to Gunning

: 165 miles.-Follow directions for

Route No. 9. Change your carriage at

Granville for one going on the Southern

line, if you ham not (more wisely) got into

your right carriage at the Sydney terminus.

Dine at the refreshment-rooms at Mitta()'ona

or Goulburn. The district of Gunn~()' i~

agricu.ltural and past~ral; the country ~urroundrng

the town berng mountainous with

undulating plains. Probable time of jo~rney,

seven hours.


Route No. 11-From Sydney to Campbelltown:

34 miles.-A cheap and quiet

but delightful jaunt may be improvised by

any tourist from Sydney to Campbelltown,

on the Southern line-distant from the

Sydney terminus only 34 miles. There are

numerous hotels at Campbelltown. It is one

of the oldest towns in the Colony, and is

situated in a hilly, well cleared, agricultural

district, celebrated for the salubrity of its

climate. The scenery round Campbelltown is

very pretty, especially in the spring and early

summer. From it there are many agreeable

rides and drives, in all directions. The

roads to Camden and to Appin wind, each of

them, through many charming bits of rural

scenery, now, by the general public, neglected

and well-nigh forgotten. A tramway has

also been constructed from Campbelltown to

Camden, 8 miles. The tram runs in conjunction

with the Railway, meeting all

pas::;enger trains. Nine miles to the northwestward,

near Camden ( where, in a commanding

situation, there is a magnificent

Anglican church, built by the MacArthur

Family), the country will be found highly

cultivated, undulating, and extremely pleasing.

There is good hotel accommodation at

Camtlen. The district adjacent to Camden is

occupied by graziers and agriculturists; and

there are also, round it, many dairy farms.

Close to that township there is a fine bridge

over the N epean. At Appin, 9 or 10 miles

from Campbelltown, in an opposite direction,

on the Illawarra Road, there are two hotels.

Near this secluded villaae will be found

much curious river scffiery, and (a few

miles south from its two churches) a

singularly wild and rocky pass, adjoining

to which is a deep stream with a dangerous

ford. The water supply for Sydney is to be

drawn from this locality, and the extensive

works are now in progress. Time of journey

to Campbelltown from Sydney, rather better

than one hour and a half.

Route No.12-From Sydneyto Menangle

: 40 miles.-(See Route No. 9.)-­

This is a station on the Southern Line, G

miles further than Campbelltown. It has

some characteristic park-like scenery, the

country being more open than usual in this

part of the Colony. Menangle is much

visited by Sydney excursionists, and deserves

its popularity. Cultivation and grazing farms

on a limited flat and fertile area. You can

go to Menangle from the Sydney terminus in

a very short time, and return in the evening.

The surrounding country is elevated, and

undulates to the foot of the mountain range.

The steep ridge known as " Razorback" lies

about 3 miles to the westward. The loftiest

peak in the neighbonrhood is Mount Hunter.

Time of journey from Sydney to Menangle,

nearly two hours.

Route No. 13-From Sydney to Picton

: 53 miles.-Y ou can reach Picton by

the train from the Sydney terminus by a

short and pleasant trip. If you require a

cheerful rest and a reviving repose for a few

days, you may secure what you want by a railway

trip to this picturesque village, formerly

known as "Stonequarry." There are three

hotels here suitable for visitors. The viaduct

over the Stonequarry River is a grand piece

of masonry. The scenery at Picton chiefly

consists of precipitous hills, grassy glades, and

straggling woods. A ramble down the winding

rock-enclosed course of the "Stonequarry"

has delighted and astonished many an artist

and man of cultivated taste. Near this little

township the train passes through the Gibraltar

tunnel, 572 yards in length. This tunnel is

the longest in the Colony. Time of journey

from Sydney to Picton, two hours and a half.

Route No. 14-From Sydney to Mittagong

: 77 miles.-(See Route No. 8.)­

y ou can reach Mittagong from the Sydney

terminus after a comparatively short and

agreeable tra:jet. Grand and impressive views

in tl1is neighbourhood, at the Gibraltar Pass,

and pleasing scenery at Bowral and at Bong

Bong. Near Bowral (a thriving township

with a station 3 miles from Mittagong) there

is a long and admirably constructed tunnel.

Between Bowral and Moss Vale a platform

has been established and denominated Burradoo.

The district around is extremely

fertile and pretty, and as it lieR 2,168 feet

above sea-level, the air is pnre and bracing.

This place is much resorted to by families

seeking change of air. Time of journey from

Sydney to Mittagong, about three hours and

a half.


Route No. 15--From Sydney to Moss

Vale : 86 miles.-(See Route No. 9. )-The

Sydney tourist to Moss Vale had better take

his wayside refreshment at the Mittagong

station, and secure such hotel accommodation

as he may require here on his arrival. Moss

Vale is considered to be one of t.he prettiest

districts in the Colony. The country around

is undulating, very fertile, and has the

appearance of an immense English park.

Here a country seat has been secured for the

Governor of the Colony, and in the vicinity

are fo-qnd the country seats of many influentia1

gentlemen. Good accommodation can be

secured either at Moss Vale or at the township

of Sutton Forest, 3 miles out. Moss Vale, on

account of its climate, is very much resorted

to by invalids, while those in search of the

picturesque will be satisfied by the views of

glen and waterfall that are to be seen within

easy distance of the station. Sportsmen

also may, by journeying some little distance

away, get a splendid day's shooting after either

the marsupials or after the feathered game

that is found in the district. Time of journey

from Sydney, rather better than five hours.

Route No. 16-From Sydney to Bungendore:

174 miles.-The recent opening

of the Railway to Tarago and Bungendore

has opened up a unique and delightful district

to the people of Sydney and the Colony.

The principal want in the matter of scenery

inland is the varied charm that is imparted

to a landscape by the presence of water either

in the form of lakes or picturesque views, but

in one district this want has been supplied

by the splendid sheets of water, known as

Lakes Bathurst and George, which are more

fully described in the itinerary. 'rrains run

daily from the metropolis to the stations

named, and the locality is one of much beauty

and fertility, the land in the vicinity of

the lakes sloping gracefully to meet their

waters, the lakes being also often thick with

flocks of wild fowl and abound with fish. In

addition to the enjoyment that is derived in

viewing the delightful scenery about the

lakes and from boating, fishing, and shooting

on its waters, the district possesses a splendid

climate and will no doubt attract, as facilities

are offered, thousands of visitors in search of

health, sport, and change of scene.

N ote.--Weekly Tourists' Trains.­

Once a week opportunities oceur for conveniently

visiting Campbelltown, Menangle,

Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, at cheap fares,

by the Tourists' Trains, which leave Sydney

for Goulburn on Saturdays at 8·30 a.m., and

return to Sydney terminus on the following

Monday morning, at a convenient hour.

This train will enable persons from Sydney

to visit either of the five above-mentioned

places; but the excursionist should wisely

elect before hand as to which of those places

he will stop at, until the return of this train

to Sydney.

[The above will, it is believed, be found to

be the principal routes for tourists from

Sydney downwards, on the Main Branch

Southern Line. Others may possibly be

suggested when the different stations and

stopping-places shall, in their regular and

consecutive order, come to be particularized.]



Route No. 17-From Sydney to The

Hawkesbury, Wiseman's Ferry, and the

Macdonald River, via Windsor: 100

miles.-If the Sydney tourist wishes to visit

the Haw kesbury* and the Macdonald Rivers,

at a small expenditure of time and money,

he had better get a railway ticket to Windsor

at the Sydney terminus some afternoon-say

on a Saturday--and he may then, about

two hours afterwards, find himself in the

pleasant old town of Windsor, elsewhere

described. Three miles from the Windsor

Station stands Pitt Town, to the vicinity of

which the tourist may either walk or go by an

omnibus. From that point on the Hawkesbury,

so reached, a steamer starts. If the

excursionist, avoiding the numerous sinu-

. * ~he Hawkes bury (Deerubbum) is remarkable for

its smgularly tortuous course. Its basin has three

distinct slopes in the eastern watershed-a southern,

eastern, and western. The main stream comes from

the southern slope, and is first called The W ollondilly.

It successively receives the Mulwarree, the

Cookbundoon, the Wingecarribee, the Guinecor

Creek, and the N attai and Cox Rivers, and is then

ca.lled 'The W arragamba. ·when the Cowpasture

River has next contributed its waters the river

becomes known as The N epean, a name which it

bears until its junction with the Grose, which flows

down into the main river through a cleft in the

Blue Mountains. The river so constituted is, from

that point, known as The Hawkesbury, a name first

bestowed in order of time on this stream of many

aliases. After receiving the South Creek at

Windsor, and then the Colo and the Macdonald

Rivers, the Mangrove Creek and other minor

streams next become its tributaries; the Hawkesbury

finally discharging itself in the Pacific, at

Broken Bay. The entire length of the Hawkesbury

is generally estimated at 330 miles (130 miles longer

than the river Severn, in Great Britain), and it

drains a much disconnected area of about 9,000

miles. Owing to the immense area drained by the

Hawkesbury, and the flatness of the country in the

lower portion of its stream (but chiefly, perhaps, in

consequence of the confined and winding channel

below Windsor, through which the enormous

volume of accumulated waters cannot always with

sufficient velocity be discharged), the lower course

of this river is liable to sudden and dangerous floods.

The Hawkesbury received its name from the first

Governor of this Colony, Captain A. Phillip, R.N.,

in honour of Lord Hawkesbury.

(Connected with the Western Line.)

osities of the Hawkesbury, prefers to walk

(or ride) along the road to vViseman's Ferry,

he will .find his line of transit about half

the distance-from 24 to 25 miles only.

The scenery, both on the river and on the

road to the east of it, is, for the most part,

extremely interesting; but the best way to

see the Hawkesbury is, of course, to see it

from the river itself. Portland Head and

Sackville Reach are much admired; but all

along the banks of the Hawkesbury, from

vVindsor to Wisernan's Ferry, the frequent

farms and flourishing homesteads give a

cheerful British air to the ever changing

scene. A little way off the road the traveller

by land-at a place known as "Stone

Chimney," about half . way-will .find an

excellent stream of water. The " Maroota"

road, on which he journeys, having been

joined by the Great Northern Road, crosses

the Hawkesbury near its celebrated confluence

with the Macdonald, at a place called

Wisernan's Ferry. From the "Ferry" the

Northern Road stretches away northerly,

through a wild and desolate country, to W ollombi.

Two miles before reaching the

Hawkesbury the traveller, by land, has to

keep along a lofty ridge, which, descending

abruptly to the river, discloses a most enchanting

prospect. The Hawkesbury, about a

quarter of a mile wide here, sweeps round in

a semicircle; its calm, deep, lake-like expanse

being enclosed on all sides by forest-clad,

precipitous hills. At vViseman's Ferry the

traveller-whether he arrives by the road or

in the little steamer-will find cleared land,

an inn, a school-house, and an old ruined

church. The entrance to the Macdonald

River is about a mile or so below this picturesque

but decayed township. The still

waters of the little known Macdonald are

navigable by small craft up to the wharf near

St. Alban's, about 12 miles from the Hawkesbury.

The adjacent levels and banks of the

Macdonald are remarkably fertile and beautiful.

8t. Alban's-the only township in the

valley of the Macdonald-is secluded and


picturesque. The houses are built on the

sides of the hills surrounding this quaint

little town, in which will be found a stone

church, stores, a smithy, and a comfortable

inn, known as " The Settlers' Arms." From

this convenient stand-point an adventurous

tourist might, after crossing the" Ferry," pay

a visit ( via Snodgrass Valley) to the " Mangrove,"

in the Brisbane Water district. From

the Sydney terminus to Windsor the distance

by rail is 34 miles j from Windsor to Pitt

Town, where the steamer starts on her

riverine voyage, 3 miles j from Pitt Town to

Wiseman's Ferry (by the windings of the

Hawkesbury) about 50 miles j from Wiseman's

Ferry to the Wharf near St. Alban's

(on the Macdonald), rather more than 12

miles. Total distance from Sydney (say) 100

miles. The steamer returns from St. Alban's

to Pitt Town almost immediately after her

arrival. This route seems to suggest the

cheapest and most convenient way for any

family or party of friends to view the grand

and ever-changing scenery of the Vale of the

Hawkesbury and of that of the Macdonald.

The scenery on the Hawkesbury was much

admired by the celebrated novelist Anthony

Trollope, who considered that it compared

favourably with that of the Rhine. Excursionists

from Sydney and Parramatta can

easily reach Windsor by the train, and be

conveyed thence to where the steamer liesusually

at Pitt Town. Excursionists for the

Hawkesbury may also leave Sydney by

steamer to Manly, then travel overland to

Newport, from whence steamers start at

intervals, and run up the Hawkesbury. The

visitor can then return to Sydney from

Windsor by rail. Time of journey (by rail)

from Sydney to Windsor, about two hours.

Route No. 18-From Sydney to the

Kurrajong Heights, &c., via Richmond:

41 miles :-The Sydney tourist intending to

visit the Kurrajong Mountains (a northeasterly

off-shoot of the Blue Mountains commonly

so-called) will do well to possess

himself of a ticket at the Sydney terminus

some fine afternoon, and tu.king his seat in a

railway carriage he will find himself, about

two hours and a half afterwards, in Richmond,

a very pretty little country town,

elsewhere described. At the Richmond

railway station he can readily hire a commodious

car, in which he may-for a few

shillings-be whirled off, with all due expedition_,

to one of the many comfortable

accommodation houses to be found near the

top of the Kurrajong. This car, after

leaving Richmond by the cutting near the

Anglican Church, passes over a wide, dreary,

alluvial flat, at the northern limit of which

flows the Hawkesbury River (just after the

junction of the N epean with the Grose)

and here running easterly. Crossing the

river by an excellent bridge, the traveller

is first taken past the little hamlet q_f Enfield,

through some miles of an agreeable, undulating

country, with homesteads, orange

orchardR, and farms j over Wheeney Creek,

past "Lamrock's," and then up the steep

mountain side until he reaches his destination,

Belmore Lodge, or wherever else it

may be that he is determined to go. The

ascent of the road after Wheeney Creek is so

sudden that the alteration of the atmosphere

to a more bracing and healthy climate

becomes very perceptible, and is, moreover,

strikingly evidenced by a concurrent change

in the vegetation. From the windows of his

bedroom on the following morning the tourist

will find himself looking down upon a broad

and partly ·wooded expanse of hill country,

on the misty plains beyond which the

Hawkesbury is, here and there, to be seen

winding along towards the Pacific. The

towns of Richmond, Windsor, Pitt Town,

Wilberforce, Castlereagh, and Penrith-are

more or less visible j and even the exact site

of the metropolis, with its wide-spread

suburbs and adjacent coast ridge, can be

traced (beyond the blue hills of Parramatta)

in the extreme distance. In fact nearly

the whole of the broad county of Cumberland-hemmed

in towards the west and

south by far-off shadowy mountains-lies

before the enraptured view of the visitor to

the Kurrajong. At the back of Belmore

Lodge an abrupt ascent brings the visitor

to a well-known sylvan seat, whence the

prospect of the lower country can be seen

to the greatest advantage. On the summit

of the ridge a pretty sheltered path, trending

ea.sterly, leads through the woods to Mr.

Comrie's residence, from the grounds of

which there is a grand view to the south-


ward. When staying at the Kurrajong

the tourist should seize the opportunity of

visiting "the Vale of A voca"; so called from

the "meeting of the waters" of the Grose

with those of a large mountain stream,

unnamed, flowing out of one of the many

wild ravine1:1 of the Kurrajong. The best

way to view this lovely landscape is to hire

a horse and guide on the Kurrajong, and so

to make a day of it. The tourist will first

have to descend the mountain as far as

Lamrock's, and then to turn off and travel

for several miles in a westerly direction.

The Vale of A voca 1:1hould be approached

through a gum-tree forest, on a gradual

elevation from the southward, so that

nothing can be anticipated, and thus the

full grandeur and singular beauty of the

prospect allowed to burst suddenly upon you.

The Grose comes rapidly down its own

dreadful precipitous gorge to the left, and

the nameless stream hastening to meet it

rushes from the heavily wooded crags of the

Kurrajong, down before you from the right.

The last.mentioned stream sweeps onward

past the base of the rock on which the

spectator stands, and a mile or so away

unites with the Grose on its headlong course

to the Hawkesbury. In front, many hundred

feet below, a broad densely timbered

green peninsula---the colours softened by the

dizzy distance, as it rises from the water's

edge into a gentle eminence-contrasts

agreeably with the more sombre outlines of

the rude dark cliffs and lofty, forest-clad

mountains on either side, forming the frame,

as it were, to this charming picture. "The

meeting of the waters" is deemed by all who

have seen it to be well deserving of its distinguished

and poetic name: No tourist

should, if possiule, omit to pay a visit to this

locality. There are many agreeaLle rides

and drives about on the Kurrajong, commanding

a great variety of mountain and

forest scenery. Time of journey (by rail)

from Sydney to Richmond, about two hours

and twenty minutes.




Route No. 19-From Newcastle to

Tamworth: 182 miles.-The tourist who

leaves the Newcastle terminus for Tamworth

will in five hours and three-qun.rters reach

Murrurundi. If he starts by the first train

in the morning he had better take his breakfast

at Singleton, where there is a refreshment-room,

and where all passenger trains

stop for fifteen minutes. If he takes his

departure from Newcastle by the 9 o'clock

morning train (passengers and goods) he may

conveniently dine at Singleton at l ·35 p.m.,

before proceeding to Murrurnndi-which he

will, in that case, reach at about 10 minutes

past 7 in the evening. He will find Murrurundi

a prosperous inland town, situated on

the Page River, which ( conjoined with the

Isis) forms a western tributary to the Hunter.

Leaving M urrurundi he has then before him a

journey of 62 miles, and to pass eight stations

and stopping-places before he arrives at his

destination. The first of these is Temple

Court Platform, 1 mile from Murrurundi;

the second is Doughboy Hollow, a platform

5 miles further on; the third, Willow-tree

( or Warrah), a station 8 miles further ; the

fourth, Braefield Platform, 6 miles further ;

the fifth, Quirindi station, 4 miles further;

the sixth, Quipolly station, 6 miles further;

the seventh, W erris Creek station, 5 miles

further ; the eighth, Currabubula station,

9 miles further. 18 miles beyond Currabubula.

ttation Tamworth is situated. Of

these stations and stopping-places it may

here be remarked that Quirindi lies on the

northern slope of the Liverpool Range, 24

miles from Murrurundi, on the banks of the

Quirindi Creek, an eastern tributary of the

Namoi River. The line penetrating the

Liverpool Range arrives at Quirindi through

a well-formed tunnel 528 yards long, lined

with brickwork set in Portland cement.

Tamworth stands to the northward from

Quirindi, 38 miles ; Breeza is a small town,

west of Quirindi, 25 miles ; and W allabadah,

a pastoral and agricultural settlement, is 16

miles away to the eastward. 1.'ime of journey

from Newcastle to Tamworth, eight hours.




Route No. 20-Newcastle to Glen

Innes: 323 miles.-Following the directions

given in Route No. 19, the traveller

will after a journey of about nine hours from

Newcastle arrive at Tamworth. Leaving

Tam worth, the line passes through very

pretty scenery, running along the valley of

the Cockburn until Moonbi is reached. Here

the ascent of the Moonbi Range is commenced,

and from this station onwards the

line runs almost on a continuous upward

grade, rising over 2,000 feet in 22 miles.

The scenery is wild and diversified throughout,

the mountains clothed with timber

rising bold and majestic on either side. The

.Macdonald River, mileage 217, is crossed by

a substantial iron girder bridge. After a

journey of over twelve hours the traveller

arrives at Armidale, the capital and cathedral

city of the New England district. From

Armidn1e onward the line rapidly ascends

until it reaches the culminating point at Ben

Lomond, 4,525 feet above sea level, this

being the highest point that the rails are

laid in Australia. The districts passed

through are fertile, and largely qevoted to

agricultural purposes, the climate and surrouudings

almost leading one to imagine he

was back in England-thus leading to the

adoption of the title "The New England

District," the produce and fruits common to

England growing here luxuriantly. Glen

Innes is a thriving town, and with the prospect

of the railways to Inverell and the Clarence

must become an important centre. It

is a clean-looking place, possessing many

good buildings, and the district offers many

advantages to those journeying for change of

air, pretty scenery, or health. It is; further,

an important mining centre, large quantities

of tin being forwarded from here to the seaboard.

Glen Innes is 110w the terminus of

the Great Northern Railway, but the extension

is in progress to T~nterfield, while

approval has been given for the further

extension to the Queensland border.

Route No. 21-From Newcastle to

Murrurundi: 120 miles.-For directions

on leaving Newcastle for Murrurundi see

Route No. 19 as to dining at SinglEfon, &c.,

&c. Murrurundi-at an elevation of 1,546

fees above the sea-level-lies 192 miles north

of Sydney, at the foot of the Liverpool

Range, 94 miles distant from the nearest

portion of the coast from the Pacific. This

town, which has a population of 350 souls, is

the centre of an extensive and progressive

district, principally devcted to pastoral

pursuits, but endowed with a varied amount

of mineral wealth not yet fully developed.

The land is in many parts of an excellent

quality, and, year by year, as the population

becomes more numerous, agriculture also

becomes more general, and, what is better, is

found to pay well. The local newspaper is

the Miirruruncli Tirnes. There is much fine

scenery in this district, especially in the more

elevated portions of it, for the Liverpool

Range is a magnificent chain of mountains-­

from 3,000 to 4,000 (sometimes even as much

as 5,000) feet high-rising, at irregular intervals,

into lofty detached peaks, with rugged

cliffs, and traversed by deep precipitous gorges.

Some of these picturesque localitiesare heavily

timbered, and some are well nigh denuded of

vegetation. Murrurundi Gap is 2,314 feet

above the level of the sea. One of the

highest and most remarkable mountains near

Murrurundi is Mount Murrulla, 3 miles

E.E.s. of the township. Mount Murrulla,

like Mount Wingen, is rather connected with

the Liverpool Range than an :1etual part of

that chain, which runs across the country to

the north of both. Mount Wingen, 1,820

feet high, lying a few miles east of Mount

M urrulla, is perhaps better known as "The

Burning Mountain," from the supposed accidental

ignition of a large coal seam beneath it.

The places of note near Murrurundi are as

follows :-Blackville, a pastoral settlement,

45 miles distant ; Blandford, another settlement

(agricultural as well as pastoral) on

Page River and vVarland Creek, 3 miles

south of Murrurundi; and The TVillow-tr ef3

or Wm·rah, the well-known station of the

· Australian Agricultural Company, 15 miles

distant from Murrurundi. Haydonton is a

suburb, now connected with Murrurundi

(since 1864) by the" Arnold Bridge." Tinwr,

on the river Isis, is a locality situated a

few miles to the eastward of M urrurundi,

and chiefly noticeable for its caves. "They

present," we are told, "a series of extensive

chambers, the floors of which are covered

with stalagmites, while stalactites of all ages


depend from the ceilings." Time of journey

from Newcastle to Murrurundi, rather less

than six hours.

Route No. 22-From Newcastle to

Scone~ 96 miles.-The tourist leaving

Newcastle by rail may, if he pleases, in less

than five hours find himself at; Scone, having

en route had the option of breakfasting or

dining at Singleton, according to the train

by which he may have come" down" the line.

(See directions for Route No. 19.) Scone is

rather a pretty little place, ::;ituated on the

banks of a stream oddly called the "Kingdon

Ponds," which, with the Darkbrook, forms a

western tributary of the Hunter, falling into

that river about 9 miles above the township

of Aberdeen. Scone, at an elevation of 680

feet above the sea-level, is reckoned to be

167 miles north of Sydney by the postal

route. It has a population of 600 souls.

It lies 7 miles west of Page River, and 7

miles north-west of the Hunter. The country

round Scone is mountainous, the adjacent

district being chiefly occupied for pastoral

purposes. Near the township is a plain,

on which are found quantities of fossil

wood, the rooted trunks of large fossil trees

standing in the ground, as if still in their

places of growth. Besides Aberdeen, abovementioned,

the principal places near Scone

are Bunnan and Rouchelbrook. In the

mountains and highland glens near Scone

there is much wild and picturesque scenery.

-11- beautiful spot there, called "Flat Rock,"

1s spoken of as well deservinO' of a visit.

Time of journey from Newcastle to Scone,

four and three-quarter hours.

Route No. 23-From Newcastle to

Musclebrook: 80 miles.-(For directions

as to place of stopping for breakfast or dinner

on this journey see Route No. 19.) The

traveller by rail from N ewcastl6 to Musclebrook

(or Muswellbrook) arrives at his destination

in about four hours after leaving the

Newcastle terminus. Muscle brook ( 47 b feet

above the sea-level) lies on the margin of the

lVIusclebrook and the Hunter, that river

skirting the township on its western side.

It is, by postal route, 152 miles north of

Sydney, and contains about 1,100 inhabitants.

There is a very handsome Anglican Church

here, noteworthy as being one of the finest

ecclesiastical edifices at present erected in the

northern portion of the Colony. The visitor

should go and see it, especially the interior.

The country around Muswellbrook is favourable

to the growth of wheat, maize, sugar,

tobacco, and the vine. Denman is a small

town, lying 16 miles south of Musclebrook,

about 2 miles above the confluence of the

Goulburn and Hunter Rivers, on the main

road from Maitland to Merri wa, Cassilis, and

Mudgee. The other settlements in the neighbourhood

of Musclebrook are Goorangoola,

Grass-tree, Gungal, Kayuga, and Wybong.

Time of journey from Newcastle to Musclebrook,

three hours.

Route No. 24-From Newcastle to

Singleton : 49 miles.-Singleton, the centre

of the rich and flourishing district of Patrick's

Plains, is an agreeable, well-planned country

town, on the Hunter River, 123 miles

north of Sydney by the postal route. Tbe

station is 135 feet above the sea-level. Here

there is a good refreshment-room, and trains

carrying passengers stop fifteen minutes.

Singleton is a wealthy, thriving place, with

comfortable inns, several churches, and other

handsome public edifices. The Court-house

is one of the finest buildings of the kind in

the Colony. The town (which has a good

local newr-ipaper) contains nearly 2,000 inhabitants.

The district, in which Singleton holds

the chief place, has many advantages for

pastoral and agricultural pursuits. The vine

is largely cultivated, quantities of good wine

being produced ; copper, iron, freestone, and

limestone are found in the adjacent country.

Jer1·y's Plains is a township on the Hunter,

19 miles west of Singleton, on the road from

Singleton to Cassilis. Coal abounds in its

neighbourhood, and other valuable mineral

deposits. The noticeable settlements nerrr

Singleton are :-Belford ( on the line 10 miles

south-east from Singleton), Bridgeman, Camberwell,

Glendon Brook, Howe's Valley,

Ravensworth, Scott's Flat, Sedgefield, St.

Clare, Vere, W arkworth, and vV est brook.

Time of journey from Newcastle to Singleton,

about two and a half hours.

Route No. 25- From Newcastle t o

West Maitland : 20 miles.-Maitland (by

many once not unfairly ranked next after the


~ - )'{• ..


capital of the Colony, for its wealth and importance)

is divided into East Maitland and

West Maitland by Wallis Creek, over which

there is an excellent bridge. East Maitland

was the original Government township; but

when " Maitland" is now spoken of West

Maitland is generally meant-it being, of the

two, by far the larger and more important

place. Maitland lies low-only 124 feet above

the sea-level. Maitland is 12 miles south

of Paterson, the chief town of the Paterson

District. Maitland is also reckoned to be

95 miles from Sydney, by the ordinary postal

route, 20 miles by rail from the Newcastle

Terminus, and 29 miles from Singleton. West

Maitland contains several good hotels and

fine public buildings, with many commodious

churches and schools. The population of

-West Maitland in 1881 was 5,703 souls.

The townships, villages, and settlements

near East and West Maitland are: Anvil

Creek, Bishop's Bridge, Branxton, Buchanan,

Creswick, Elderslie, Farley, Greta (late

Farthing's), Hinton, Largs, Lochinvar,

},[orpeth, Mount Vincent, Rothbury, and

W oodville. Of these, Lochin var, Greta, and

Branxton are stopping-places on the Great

Northern Railway, to the west of Maitland ;

and Morpeth is to the north-eastward, at a

distance of 6 miles. Morpeth is the head

of the navigation of the Hunter River, and

steamers constantly ply between it and


Route No. 26-From Newcastle to

East Maitland: 18 miles.-East Maitland

station-reached by the railway traveller

after a trip of rather less than one hour's

duration-is situated in a pleasant spot, with

rising ground near it, the station itself being

not more than 18fe et above the sea-level. E ast

Maitland is considered to be one of the best

laid out towns in the Colony, and when the

numerous trees, so judiciously planted, shall

have grown up, it will be one of the most

picturesque. In its wide and well kept

streets there are many excellent and substantial

buildings, churches, banks, hotels,

and shops. The Government gaol and the

adjacent Court-house are both fine and commodious

buildings, standing on a gentle

eminence to the north-east of the township.

The population of East Maitland in 1881

was 2,302 persons. Courts of Quarter

Sessions and Circuit Courts are held here.

You can go from East Maitland direct by

the subsidiary line, which starts from here

to Morpeth. Near East Maitland (to the

eastward) are Morpeth, Wickham, Woodford,

and Hinton. Time of journey, about fiftyfive


Route No. 27-From Newcastle to

Waratah: 4 miles.-Waratah is a busy

thriving township, only 4 miles west of Newcastle,

and not more than 13 feet above highwater-mark.

It is said to have a population

of about 3,000 souls, the principal industries

being coal-mining, stone-quarrying, and

copper-smelting. Coal is shipped from shoots

into vessels lying in the lower waters of the

Hunter at Point W aratah. At the distance

of about l} mile west of Waratah the

Wallsend subsidiary line joins on to the

Great Northern Railway. There is no particular

beauty in any of the surroundings of

Waratah, but it is outside of the "great coal

city" into something like the country, and

the place is consequently a favourite resort

to the citizens of N ewcastle, from which it

lies about 10 minutes' distance, by rail.

Besides Waratah the places near N ewcastlo

are Stockton, Honeysuckle Point, Hamilton,

Lam bton, Minmi, New Lambton, Plattsbnrg,

Wallsencl, Brookstown, H exliani, Alnwick,

Adamstown, Charlestown, Onoygamba, and

Tighe's Hill. W allsend and H exham are

connected (by rail) with the terminus at

N ewcastle.



There are three sn bsidiary lines to the

Northern line, but they are not of such

length and importance as the subsidiary

line from Blacktown to Richmond, or the

line from Wallerawang to Mudgee. 1. The

fi1·st of these is the subsidiary li1rn from

Newcastle to Bullock Island ; 1} mile. This

joins the main line at Honeysuckle Point,

just outside Newcastle. It is not much used

for passengers, but is used for the conveyance

of coal and other mineral products. Over

1,000,000 tons of coal are carried over the line

annually and shipped at the steam cranes here.

2. The second of these subsidiary lines to

the Great Northern line runs from Newcastle

(westerly) to Wallsend-a distance of

8 miles. There is a morning and afternoon

train every day (including Sundays) and the

trajet is made in 35 minutes. The trains

between Newcastle and W allsend call, either

way, at Waratah (at Hamilton only if required)

and at Honeysuckle Point. Wallsend,

the terminus of this subsidiary line, is

a busy, rising, incorporated town, with

adjacent collieries. It already numbers at

least 5,000 inhabitants. Wallsend is 20

miles north-east of Cooranbong, by which,

after a journey of 32 miles to the southward,

Gosford, tl1e pretty chief township of Brisbane

Water, may conveniently be reached. There

is a good road, and the telegraph line runs

along the same all the way. Cooranbong can

ahio be reached by a road southerly from

Maitland. 3. The third subsidiary line-­

that frdrn East Maitland to Morpeth-is, in

its extreme length, 4 miles long. There are

several trains on it every day (including

Sundays) and the trajet is made in half an

hour. The trains between East Maitland

and Morpeth call at Northumberland-street,

which is the only intermediate stopping-place

on the line. This subsidiary line is one of

great practical use to the inhabitants of the

towns it connects, especially when it is

remembered that Morpeth is the head of the

navigation of the Hunter River.


The North-western line leaves the main

Northern Rail way at W erris Creek and

runs to N arrabri, a distance of 97 miles.

vVerris Creek is 155 miles from Newcastle,

and N arrabri is consequently 252 miles from

the seaport. The line was opened to

Narrabri in October, 1882, but at times

between the 15th March, 1879, when the first

section from vV erris Creek to Breeza ,va.s

completed, various sections have been opened

for traffic. The line passes through the

well known Liverpool Plains District, which,

although almost entirely at present devoted

to pastoral purposes, may, now that the

Railway has reached the district, be in tirne

devoted to agriculture, the soil, it is said,

being very suitable for wheat-growing, and

it is confidently expected that a system of

irrigation can be carried out on these plains.

The stations on the North-western branch

are Breeza, Gunnedah, an important town,

containiug 1,331 inhabitants, Boggabri and

N arrabri. The line will at some future date

be extended to the river Darling, the Government

having promised to submit a proposal

to Parliament to construct .a line from

N arrabri to the town of W algett on the

river named, and it is anticipated that little

or no opposition will be raised to this





I .-S Y D N E Y T O G RA N V I L L E .


N.B.-" Suburb::m Trains" to the Town of PARRAMATTA, I mile beyond Granville to the N.,v.

Eveleigh 1 mile; 70 feet above sealevel.-Eveleigh,

only a short distance to the

left, beyond the Redfern Railway Tunnel, is

reckoned a mile from the Sydney Terminus.

Short as this distance is by rail, this platform

is found to be very convenient for persons residing

at Alexandria, Redfern, and Waterloo.

As the passenger leaves the Sydney terminus

he may have a good view of three handsome

stone edifices near the line-the Railway

Mortuary Station, with the Wesleyan Church

to the right, and St. Paul's Anglican Church

and Tower to the left. The Railway workshops

at Eveleigh, now in course of construction,

will bewhencompleted the mostextensive

south of the Equator, a~cl are to. be £tted up

with all the most modern appliances for the

construction and repair of engines and other

rolling stock. The buildings on the lefthand

side are the boiler, steam-hammer, and

smiths' shops, and foundry, under one roof

300 feet long, in four bays of 60 feet each;

the next block, 550 feet by 300 feet, will

comprise the other worshops in connection

with the locomotive department. The engine

running-shed is 303 feet by 300 feet, and is

capable of accommodating 126 engines of the

largest type. On the right side of the line

are situated the carriage and waggon repairing

shops, in a block of buildings 600 feet by

351 feet ; also, the rail way stores and other

buildings. At night the yard is lit up with

the electric light.

M'Donald Town 1! mile; 80 feet

above sea-level.- Having passed Eveleigh,

the passenger by the train has, at once,

to tl:e left, a fine prospect of Botany

Bay in the distance, across a level, open,

country, with the church and viJlage of St.

Peter's on elevated ground to the westward.

On the right of the line can now be seen the

grand architectural outlines of the Sydney

University-to the west of which ( on the

ridge of the hill, close to Newtown) stands

the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Asylum-a

curious red brick building, in marked contrast

to its more pretentious neighbour. The

M'Donald Town Platform is placed at a

siding, just where the Railroad winds to the

right before it enters Newtown. It is between

Eveleigh and M'Donald Town that the Railway

to Illawarra joins the Main Southern


Newtown Station, 2 miles ; 96 feet

above sea-level.-The Railroad, ascending

gradually from the terminus, now runs under

a bridge and through the pleasant suburban

township of Newtown. Emerging from the

shadow of a second bridge, the traveller

usually finds that the train halts for a few

moments at the Newtown Station, close to a

pretty Gothic church erected by the Roman

Catholic communion. Appointed time for

train to reach the N ewt,own Station after leaving

the Sydney terminus, about six minutes.

Stanmore, 2! miles ; about 100 feet

above sea-level.-This platform stands

about half-wav between Newtown and

Petersham St~tions, and is for the convenience

of the residents of Stanmore. In

the neighbourhood is the vV esleyan Training

College, N ewington.


Petersham Station, 3 miles ; 100 feet

above sea-level.-Having left Newtown,

the traveller by the train is pleased to observe

an excellent and comprehensive view stretching

away to the northward-to the heights

of the picturesque surburban hamlet of

Balmain, the church towers and houses of

which here first become plainly visible.

Beyond Balmain the North Shore hills

extend in the extreme distance. On the

southern side of the line, houses, villas,

gardens, and slowly developing streets are

successively presented; where (not long since)

there was nothing but open country, or shady

" bush." On approaching Petersham Station

a forn view over the country unfolds itself to

the right-the celebrated "Blue Mountains "

becoming visible far away to the westward.

Petersham Station is now the centre of a

thickly populated suburban district, and on

the slopes around it are many really delightful

villas and gardens. Usual time of tmjet

from Sydney to Petersham, about twelve


Summer Hi11, 4 miles; about 90 feet

above sea-level.-A few years ago Summer

Hill formed one large estate (Underwood's).

It was subsequently subdivided and sold,

and from its proximity to the city, commanded

a ready sale. Houses were soon

built and a platform established, and now

the traffic to and from this place is very

considerable. Quitting the Petersham Station

the Railroad for a while traverses a rolling

country, numerously inhabited. The burialground

and Roman Catholic Church of St.

Mary and St. Joseph then stand together for

a moment near the advancing train to the

right ; and, after that, the old village of

Petersham comes directly in view, down in

the hollow, lying on the side of the Parramatta

Road. The course of the train brings the

tourist next, somewhat abruptly, by a viaduct

over Long Cove Creek, a stream which flows

along the bottom of the gorge, down whichaway

towards the Parramatta River-is suddenly

disclosed .a long v.ista of picturesque

woods. The slender spire of St. David's

Presbyterian Church is seen amongst the

trees to the north-west in the mid distance.

Ashfield Station, 5 miles ; 86 feet

above sea level-A mile from Summer Hill

the important suburb of Ashfield is reached.

After leaving Summer Hill the southern edge

of the old Ashfield Racecourse is gained, with

the old Southern Road from Sydney on the

right hand ; and so, passing under a briJge

and through a deep cutting between houses,

orchards, and gardens, the train comes

thundering into Ashfield. Ashfield is the

centre of a very populous district. To the

left, about 2 miles distant, is the old township

of Canterbury, situated on the Cook's River.

The suburb contains many residences with

very tastefully laid out gardens, while the district

around contains many charming drives

and bits of scenery. Time between the

Sydney and Ashfield Stations, about fifteen


Croydon Station, 6 miles ; 86 feet

above sea-level.-The railway passenger,

on leaving Ashfield Station, is now (for about

a mile) hurried past an agreeable bit of home

scenery, diversified by gardens and trees,

with a wide, uneven space on either side of

the road in the back gronnd, where Nature

has not yet been ruthlessly h11provecl away.

Streets (for the most part mere lanes) intersect

this tract, whereon stand villas and

gardens belonging to Sydney people, displaying

a considerable amount of domestic comfort,

originality, and even elegance of design.

Vistas of plen,sant country roadways-green,

and as yet innocent of dust and mirestretch

up the gentle eminences to the left

and right.

Burwood Station, 7 miles; 68 feet

above sea-level.-After passing Croydon

platform, the railway traveller will at first

only see a continuation of such scenery as

he has been observing between Ashfield and

Croydon. Nevertheless (just before he arrives

at the prosperous village of Burwood) he may

catch a passing view of the Congregational

Church to the right, near the Burwood

Station ; and he may likewise-beyond that

pretty little ecclesiastical edifice-observe the

Anglican Church on the Parramatta Road,

with a good view of Balmain and the North

Shore hills in the distance. To the left he

will doubtless notice another handsome


Anglican Church (with an adjacent schoolhouse)

on Burwood heights ; also more bush

sceneE", presenting a series of gardens and

woodland glades. Near Burwood, on the

line, he may likewise get a hasty glimpse .to

the north-west of the hill country near Parramatta.

The p9,ssenger traffic at Burwood

is largely fed by the residents of Enfield and

Bankstown on the one side, and of the district

between Burwood and the south bank of the

Parramatta River on the otlrnr. Appointed

time from Sydney to Burwood, usually about

twenty-four minutes.

Redmyre Platform, 7! miles; 60 feet

above sea-level.-A half-mile beyond Burwood,

to the westward, is a platform named

Redmyre, for the convenience of residents in

the adjacent honses and villas. The line to

connect the Southern with the Northern

Rail way system will join the Great Southern

Railway between Redmyre and Homebush.

The works are now in progress.

Homebush Station, 8 miles; 32 feet

above sea-level.-Between Burwood and

H omebush there is a considerable descent on

the line, amounting to not less than 36 feet.

After passing the Redmyre platform the

railway traveller has a distant view of the

country to the north-west, across an open

range of forest. The hills beyond Parramatta

now more plainly appear; and there is

also an unexpected prospect of the long

settled country about Ryde across the Parramatta

River. The tops of the Blue Mountains

are again visible to the westward. On

the right the traveller (if a sporting man)

may observe, with some interest, the old

Homebush Racecourse-which, before the

establishment of Randwick, was the one

great arena for race-horses, jockeys, and

bookmakers. Homebush, like Summer Hill,

was until recently thinly populated, on

n.ccount of the land in the vicinity being

locked up. After the subdi-rision of the land

in 1878 houses commenced to spring up on

all sides, and Home bush is now fast becoming

well peopled. In the vicinity several works

have been establishetl. A little beyond the

station extensive cattle yards have been corn

pleted The yards are capable of holding

1,200 cattle and 12,000 sheep, and have cost

upwards of £60,000. They cover not less

than 40 acres of ground, and are intersected

throughout by . Railway sidings, and everything

has been arranged that can make them

convenient. The yards were built under the

supervision of the City Council.

Rookwood Station, 10 miles ; 55 feet

above sea-level.-Between Homebush and

Rookwood Station-a distance of 2 milesthe

country adjacent to the Railroad is of a

dreary character, somewhat suitable to the

locality approached-the great Metropolitan

Cemetery or N ecropofoi, at Haslem's Creek.

The grounds have been laid out with great

taste, and present to the passing traveller a

cheery picture, taking away the melancholy

thoughts that would arise in viewing the city

of the dead were it not relieved by tasteful

parterres and shrubs and handsome mausoleums.

The buildings connected with this

cemetery are really handsome edifices-the

Mortuary House, or Station, at the end of the

siding on the ground particularly so. The

Jewish Burial-ground adjoins that appropriated

to all the various denominations of

Christians, who here sleep peacefully together.

This station was once known as "Haslem's

Creek," but it has assumed the name of

"Rookwood"-a name borrowed, it would

appear, from Harrison Ainsworth's wellknown

"deadly-lively" romance. The trains

reach Rookwood from Sydney in half an

hour. Funeral trains stop at Rookwood,

and are shunted into the cemetery sidingwhich

is about a quarter of a mile long.

Auburn Platform, 12 miles; about 40

feet above sea-level-Auburn is a platform

recently established. The locality was

formerly covered with scrub, but now buildings

are going up rapidly, and the scrub is

fast making way for the erection of handsome

villas and the laying out of ornamental

grounds. A mile beyond Auburn, Duck

River is reached, and here numerous manufa.ctories

have been started. On the banks of

the river or creek, the extensive range of buildings

for Hudson Brothers Company have been

erected. These buildings are for the manufacture

of Railway rolling stock, and are the

largest and best works of the kind in the

Colonies. The erection of these works has


necessarily created population, and now

numbers of workmen's houses are fast being

put up. There are also in the vicinity other

important works-Ritchie's Railway Stock

Works, Thompson, Maxwell & Co.'s fellmongery,

Messrs. Bergin's tweed manufactory,

meat-preserving works, and numer~us

brickworks. A platform has also been established,

denominated Clyde.

Granville Station, 13 miles; 32 feet

above sea-level.-'I 1 his Junction is 1 mile

from the Parramatta Station, and is a place

which owed its existence originally to the

Rail ways. Here the Southern Main Branch

joins the Western Trunk Line; the Trunk

Line itself turning to the N.W., to go through

the old town of Parramatta. The suburban

trains go past the Junction into the town of

Parramatta, and stop there/ but in all other

trains there is a change here for passengers

or goods destined to go South. The suburban

trains, of course, travel more slowly than

the other trains, but the usual time for the

journey between Sydney and Granville is

reckoned to be rather more than half an hour.

Through the establishment of the works

in its vicinity Granville is rapidly rising to

be a place of some importance, and has been



In 1881, Parliament approved of the

extension of the Railway to the lllawarra

district, the line approved of running almost

parallel with the coast. The Railway was

soon afterwards commenced, and in 1884 the

first section viz; from Sydney to Hurstville,

10 miles, was thrown open for pnblic traffic.

Other sections of the line are in progress

but it will be 1888 before the wholo is

finished. The route traversed is one of tlie

deepest interest both on account of the

magnificent scenery passed through, and

for the extensive mineral resources it will

develope. In regard to scenery there is first,

the view at Como on the George's River,

the Railway crossing the river by a handsome

iron bridge of 900 feet in length. The

crossing is at a spot where two rocky promontories

approach each other, but on either side

the river widens into broad reaches, and from

the bridge a magnificent view is obtained, on

the east of a long stretch of river, the banks

rising in many parts abruptly from the water,

while in other places the river is bounded

by sandy bays ; on the west the mouth of

a tributary stream is first discernible at a

sharp bend of the river, which a little further

on appears as if shut in by the rugged hills

that close upon it. Beyond Como the line

touches the National Park of the Colony,

a magnificent heritage of some 36,000 :wrcs,

boasting an excellent port, a river, and glens

that vie, in regard to scenic beauty, with

a.nything in the world. There arc also the

Bulli and the Il1awarra districts, which

are admittedly the natural gardens of the

Colony, while they possess splendid mineral

resources, even now largely worked, and a

large area of cultivated Janel. ·

Returning to the opened portion of the

Illawarra Railway it may be mentioned ,that

the line branches from the Main Railway at

Eveleigh, and the first station reached is

Erskinville, one mile from Sydney. This

proves of great convenience to a large

body of workmen who have homes in the


St. Peters Station, 2 miles ; 35 feet

above sea-level-St. Peters proper is a

municipality touching the adjacent boroughs

of Alexandria, Newtown, and Marrickville.

The municipal population of the borough,

which was proclaimed in 1871, is 778 and

the annual value of property, £24,576. St.

Peters boasts of two Post Offices, a Telegraph

Office, Money Order and Savings' Bank, six

hotels, five places of public worship, two

schools, and a private Lunatic Asylum. St.

Peter's is the centre of the brickmaking in-



dustry and to the left nearing the station may

be seen numerous kilns bespeaking the extent

of the works carried on.

Marrickville, 3 miles ; 13 feet above

sea-level.-The principal features of this

not very attractive Suburb are market gardens

and brickvards. To the west lies the more



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magnificent bridge which spans George's

River. There area Public School, Post Office,

Branch of Bank of Australasia, and two hotels

here, while the residential population is rapidly

increasing. Between Kogarah and Hurstville

the line rises 150 feet, the latter station

commanding an extensive view over Botany,

while the white sands of Cronulla Beach are

seen glistening to the eastward. George's

River is two miles from Hurstville Station.

Como, 13 miles ; 50 feet above sealevel.

-After leaving Hurstville, the line

passes through a locality which is commencing

to show the benefit of railway extension,

as numerous substantial dwellings have been

or are being erected ; and to provide for the

people in the neighbourhood, a platform is

now being erected at Penhurst, about one

mile from H urstville. Between this and

Como there are few signs of settlement, and

the land stands in its natural state ; provision

has, however, been made for a platform

at Oatley's, midway between Penhurst and

Como. Shortly after passing Oatley's some

pretty glens are seen, the country becoming

more broken, sloping to the river, and the

shrubs and trees more varied. Soon the

river is seen gleaming through the trees, and

the train speeds on, bringing the traveller to

the river, which is crossed by a handsome,

iron-lattice bridge of 900 feet in length.

The view from the carriage is a very fine

one, the river below and above the bridge

being a majestic stream offering a long,

straight course, which will no doubt, in time,

be the scene of many aquatic contests. On

either side the river brP-aks into many miniature

bays and picturesque woodlands, while

to the right may be seen the junction of the

W oronora with the main river, this tributary

running for many miles back, in places parallel

with the railway. Como is situated on

the banks of the main stream, near the

junction, and the land here is the property

of the Holt-Sutherland Company. The owners

have done much to make the surroundings

pleasant, and it is now a favourite pleasure

resort, being within such easy reach of

Sydney. Boats are always obtainable, and

fish are plentiful, and excellent picnicking and

camping grounds are available.

Sutherland Station, 15 miles ; 360

feet above sea-level- At about }-mile

from Como Station the line turns southeasterly,

bringing again into view that

excellent example of engineering work, the

Como railway-bridge, and the enchanting

scenery of the bays and inlets of George's

River. The line then proceeds · southerly,

continuing up a steep incline of 1 in 40 till

Sutherland is reached; and here the line first

touches the National Park. It contains an

area of 36,300 acres, and extends along the

main Illawarra railway-line from within 200

yards of Sutherland Station to the range 800

feet above sea-level, bounding the southerly

watershed of Waterfall Creek, and 800 yards

beyond Waterfall station, 24J miles from

Sydney. The railway-stations within the

park upon the main line are Heathcote, 630

feet above sea-level at 20 miles, and Waterfall,

730 feet above sea-level at 24 miles from

Sydney. The situation of the National Park

relatively with Sydney, Botany, &c., is shown

upon the map in appendix. The Park has

7} miles frontage to the ocean (including a

boat-harbour at W attamolla, and inlets with

ocean beaches at Marley Beach, Little Marley

Beach, Curracurrong, and Garie) and 4 miles

frontage to the southerly side of Port Hacking

River. Within the park, Port Hacking

River flows for 9! miles, including 5! miles

navigable for boats, namely, 4 miles fresh

water above the dam at Audley, and l!

miles salt water below that dam. Kangaroo

Creek, fresh water, flows into Port

Hacking River at Audley, and is similarly

navigable for 1 i mile.

The land in the National Park rises from

sea-level to table-lands, at altitudes varying

from about 350 feet to over 800 feet, and

from which excellent and extensive views are

from many points observable. The tablelands

are partly fair land, and partly barren

stony heaths. The table-lands are generally

separated by deep valleys.

The valleys of the principal watercourses,

notably at Port Hacking River and Bola

Creek to a large extent abound in rich

foliage, including cabbage-tree and bangalo

palms, tree-ferns, christmas, myrtle, and

other handsome shrubs, numerous well grown

black-butt, woolly-butt, turpentine, and

other noble forest-timber trees rising, at the



southerly and south-easterly part, above the

confluence of Bola Creek with Port Hacking

River, to heights up to nearly 200 feet, and

bordering adjacent beautiful streams, having

occasionally long reaches of deep and shaded

fresh water.

Principal features in the :Park are Port

Hacking River and Kangaroo Greek, each

vastly improved by works instituted by the

park trustees, and carried out under their

directions. One important and very necessary

improvement effected is the removal

of thousands of tons of fallen timber and

detached rocks from the streams. Prior to

such improvements, boat-navigation of the

most beautiful parts was very difficult,

except at high tide, and impossible at low

tide. Now, as the result of the removal of

obstructions and construction of the dam

near Audley, a long length of the river and

Kangaroo Creek are 11t all times navigable

for very large boats and small steam-launches.

Bola Creek, an important confluent. of

Port Hacking River, South-west Arm Creek,

and Cabbage-tree Creek, each will repay

inspection, Bola Creek on account of the

richness of the foliage and the other creeks,

mainly owing to the beautiful, bold, and

varied scenery. Further detailed information

will be found under the headings, Loftus,

Heathcote, and Vl aterfall Stations.

In the park, within}-mile east of Sutherland

Station, a grand, extensive, and very beautiful

view of the waters and valley of W oronora

River is visible, and of the land as far as

Peakhurst Heights. Standing at the easterly

margin of the gorge, 300 feet above, and not

m:)re than 400 yards distant from the river

at its confluence with Forbes Creek, the

spectator cannot fail to be pleased with the

prospect. If time permits, the walk should

be continueJ to the confluence of Forbes

Creek, where there are excellent bathing

places ; the water (salt) clear as crystal,

shallow or deep as may be desired, with

good diving and landing places.

Loftus 17} miles; 390 feet above sealevel.-At

1 i mile beyond Sutherland, a

branch line leaves the main line and proceeds

south-easterly, for l} mile, over the

clear area of 220 acres recently (April, 1886)

used as the military encampment and review

ground, and from which very beautiful views

are obtained of Redfern, Randwick, Botany

Bay, Captain Cook's landing place, La Perouse,

the Ocean, Cronulla Beach, Jibbon

Beach at Port Hacking. The branch line

terminates at Loftus Station, 17 ! miles from

Sydney, 390 feet above sea-level. At this

place a hotel has been erected, now kept by

Mr. Sebastian Hodge.

Before proceedi1{g to the river, it will

well repay the visitor to walk easterly about

-i-mile along the summit or range, between

Port Racking River and Temptation Creek.

The views therefrom of the river and ocean

are superior, and looking back, the large

cleared area intersected by the branch railway

line, and bounded upon the north-west

by the main railway line and the southwesterly-the

upper side-by scrub and

forests presents decidedly an effective picture.

Returning to the vicinity of Loftus Heights,

the visitor should next proceed to the river

by the zigzag pathway laid out for the convenience

of pedestrians and equestrians.

Upon reaching the river, the use of a

boat should be obtained if the visitor desires

sport with a fishing-line upon the salt

water, or to enjoy an exploration of the

many pretty bends and inlets of the river

and port. As there are several shallow fiats

at this part, it is well to look to the tide, as

transit with the tide is naturally more expeditious,

and at very low tides the difficulties in

rowing are very largely increased. A -!--mile

below the zigzag, upon the left-hand side of

the river, a rocky precipice, prettily marked

with ferns, mosses, &c., rises upwards of 200

feet, and presents a striking appearance. A

mile lower down and opposite Mangrove

Creek-a pretty little inlet-is a remarkably

hollow rock jutting into the stream, and

known as Swallow Rock. One mile still

further down, and most charmingly situated,

opposite Mangrove Island-a pretty isletis

a substantial hut known as Fountain

Cottage, where a Park Ranger resides upon

the National Park, in the midst of the

deer park. Upon the right-hand side of

the river, 100 yards southerly from the

cottage, a fountain gushes out of the rock

into a miniature bay; boats can readily

come alongside the fountain, and the pure,

fresh water is easily obtained without the


necessity of landing. The fountain and

cottage are within the deer park, upon which

are running and thriving a number of deera

donation from the trustees of the Parramatta

Park. The deer park has a waterfrontage

of nearly 2 miles, and contains 135

acres, in the main well grassed, with a never

failing supply of fresh water. In the positions

indicated upon the map, and opposite the

National Park, are the extensive inlets known

as North-west Arm, Gymea, Ewey, Burranear,

and Gunnamatta Bays, and within the

boundaries of the park are the South-west

Arm and the charming inlet Cabbage-tree

Creek; the latter can, however, only be

entered by boat for about an hour before or

an hour after high tide, as there is a sandshoal

at the entrance. Persons who mn,y

be able to spare the time are, however,

strongly advised to watch the opportunity

and row up the creek to the head of boatnavigation,

lf mile-the scenery is varied

and beautiful. After proceeding up a

shallow channel f-mile, the visitor will be

agreeably surprised by suddenly coming into

a grand basin, nearly circular and about 400

yards in diameter ; then the creek narrows

and is bordered by varied foliage, including

a few tree-ferns and some small, elegant

cabbage-tree palms. Half a mile northwesterly

from the entrance of Cabbage-tree

Creek is Port Hacking sand-spit, about 600

yards long, and which adds effect to the

scenery, especially when viewed from the

water on a bright day. Half a mile easterly,

beyond the entrance of Cabbage-tree Creek,

Mr. Simpson's accommodation house, "Tyreal

House," is reached; next, and just beyond

that commanding rise, Cabbage-tree Point,

is the Yarmouth Estate, upon which is

erected the comfortable bungalow of W. W.

Richardson, Esq. On the frontage in this

estate is an excellent beach of hard, clear,

white sand. One mile further easterly is

Port Hacking Point. At the entrance to

Port Hacking, before reaching this point,

there is another beautiful sand-shore known

as Jibbon Beach, upon the frontage of the

Government village reserve of 500 acres.

Points of Interest along the Coast.­

About 3} miles southerly from Port Hacking

Point there is a Government reserve having

frontage to the ocean at Marley Beach. Partly

within this reserve and partly upon the

National Park is a fine lagoon or lakelet,

formerly a favourite resort for wild duck and

other game; and as shooting is prohibited

upon the park, game should ultimately

again become plentiful in the neighbourhood.

Half a mile southerly is Little Marley, a

small ocean-beach. About lf mile further

south-westerly, or 5! miles from Port Hacking

Point, the pretty boat-harbour and good

fishing-grounds of "\V attamolla are reached.

"Within !-mile of W attamolla, still southwesrerly,

there is the ocean inlet of Curracurrang,

and at the south-eastern corner of

the park, and extending for !-mile northerly

therefrom, is the beautiful ocean-beach Garie.

It is :fittingly backed by charming valleys,

bedecked with cabbage-tree palms, tree-ferns,

myrtles, &c. Garie beach, which adjoins Mr.

Collaery's Garie Estate, is distant in a direct

line 9 miles from Port Hacking Point, 10

miles by road from Simpson's "Tyreal House"

or from the Spit, and 8 miles by road from

Audley (National Park camp). At frequent

intervals the views from those roads, which

are generally along the summits of ranges

which intersect the park, splendid and extensive

views are visible.

The beautiful bays of Port Hacking, Cronulla

Beach, Botany Bay, the Ocean, Bulgo

Mountain, &c., are seen to advantage.

Starting again from the foot of the zigzag

path below Loftus Station, the visitor may

now (as a result of the judicious improvements

effected under tho direction of the park

trustees, including the construction of the

dam at Audley, Lady Carrington Road, &c.,

and clearing Port Hacking River and Kangaroo

Creek of snags ( fallen timber) and

detached rocks formerly in the channels)

comfortably inspect the beautiful foliage, landand

water- scapes of the valleys of these

streams, and of Bola Creek, &c., either upon

foot or riding, driving, or for over 5 miles by

boat-the latter, perhaps, the most enjoyable

means so far as can be availed of. The dam,

300 feet across, solidly constructed of clay,

stone, &c., with a roadway 33 feet wide on

top, is a great advantage; and its successful

construction, with the result of converting

insignificant, salt-water streams, which

could not be rowed over in the smallest boats

- ~ .


at low tide, practically into a charming freshwater

lake, 5} miles in length, and continu- ·

ously navigable at all times by the largest

boats or by small steam-launches, is an

achievement in respect of which the park

trustees may well be congratulated. Vegebtion

characteristic of fresh-water rivers is

now thriving, and will in the future aflord

fine cover for game, which will increase in

number, as shooting in the park is strictly

prohibited. The trmitees have caused to be

introduced to the river trout and English

perch, obtained from Lake Wendorure, at

Ballarat, thanks to the kindness of the

municipal authorities of that city.

Three hundred yards above the dam, at

the confluence of Kangaroo Creek with the

Port Hacking River, Audley, the main

National Park camp, is charmingly situated,

and is well worthy of a visit. When in the

vicinity of the main camp, the visitor should

proceed about 200 yards up the hill, towards

Loftus, and at a rocky pass, known as

" The Demon's Gate," inspect a very remarkable,

hollow sandstone-rock, which, externally,

has an appearance of solidity, but

internally is honeycombed in a marvellous

manner. This hollow rock formed an excellent,

dry, gunpowder-and-fuse store when the adjacent

park-roads were under formation.

At present, the most comfortable way of

exploring the navigable part of Kangaroo

Creek is by boat ; the bordering foliage

of this creek is not so varied as that on the

banks of the main river. There are, however,

on its banks num.erous specimens of handsome

pine-trees, christmas-bush, &c., which

present a pretty appearance. The many

beauties of Port Hacking River above the

dam and its immediate surroundings may be

seen to equal advantage from the road as

from a boat ; the road is at a level generally

of about 20 feet above the water. It may

not be amiss here to describe the road along

the right, back of Port Hacking River, from

the dam to the southernmost boundary of the

park. This road is named Lady Carrington


Proceeding southerly from the dam, the

road which forms a pretty walk or drive,

skirts the easterly margin of a fine flat of

about 10 aeres; to the left, the newly constructed

road towards the deer park and

Garie branches off. At half a mile from the

dam, on Lady Carrington Road, two beautiful

canopies of wide-spreading tree ferns

upon the second flat are passed.

At i-mile this road passes under . thB

picturesque cliff named Gibraltar, and 100

yards further southerly Mullion (Eagle)

Brook is crossed. In the early summer time

the valley of this small brook usually appears

gay with torch-lily plants in flower, a truly

striking spectacle.

At vVarrul (Bee) Brook, about 1 mile from

the dam, tall christmas-bushes 30 feet high

are in view, and in some seasons the topmos3

branches bend over nearly to the ground with

the weight of the blossoms. At this part

fine views are presented of the luxuriant flat

upon the opposite side of the river, and from

which are growing cabbage-tree palms, tree

ferns, vines, numerous mimosre, myrtle, and

several specimens of the specially beautiful

plant or small tree, aralia panax. Throughout

the road beautiful glimpses of the river

are frequently seen.

Two miles from the dam, Karoga (White

Crane) Brook, opposite a charmingly picturesque

curve in the river, is reached. The

road then traverses a pretty . jungle at the

base of a fine cliff, and at 2-l- miles the river

again comes into view, with some splendid

foliage on each bank. Upon the left bank the

vista is especially fin~. The cabbage-palms

at this part are very beautiful; the dense,

glossy vines, with occasional tree ferns, the

lillypilly plants, and turpentine trees showing

in becoming contrast. At 3} miles Birumba

(Plover) Brook is attained. Opposite, across

the river, is the patch of rich brush-land

known as the Lower Peach Trees, where forty

years back some sawyers planted some peach

seeds, and for many years afterwards fine

peach-trees :flourished ; but nearly all have

of late been destroyed by bush-fires. At

3f miles distant the locality of the Upper

Peach Trees is reached. This also was a

sawyer's camp. At Dumbul (Crow) Brook,

4 miles southerly from the dam, the river

Lends to the south-west, and at 4f miles

from the dam, in the dense brush upon the

left-hand side of the river, and seen to

advantage from Lady Carrington Road, is

perhaps the finest and most varied foliage

within 100 miles from Sydney. The tall


forest-trees, upwards of 100 feet in height,

are covered with beautiful vines, some of

which bear immense numbers of creamcoloured

flowers towards the end of September.

Intermixed are magnificent specimens of

Bangalo palms (seaforthia elegans), cabbagepalms,

birds-nest ferns, tree ferns, several

specimens of aralia panax, with a number

of lillypilly, myrtle, and mimosa bushes.

Through the vines, marvellously long native

canes are in places growing to the height of

about 100 feet, and the spectacle is simply


For some distance further along the road

the scenery, except at the creeks, which are

all crossed by extra-strong, well constructed

bridges, is not specially interesting until

Polona (Hawk) Brook, at 5-!- miles is reached.

At the easterly side of the road, a few yards

from the creek, stands a handsome, majestic,

turpentine tree, upright as an arrow, and

fully 120 feet high. Between Polona Brook

and Bola Creek Bridge, the latter 6 miles

from the dam, the foliage immediately adjoi1:ing

each side of the road is singularly

varied; tree ferns, and cabbage-tree ferns are

very numerous, and occasional specimens of

aralia panax come into view, and at all times

the perfume from the shrubs and flowers at

this place is very marked and pleasant.

Upon each side of Bola. Creek there are

majestic forest-trees, principally blackbutt

and turpentine. Midway between Polona

Brook and Bola Creek, Lady Carrington

Road diverts from the river bank, and after

crossing Bola Creek over an admirably constructed

timber bridge of great strength,

built mainly of turpentine piles and girders,

deeply embedded, mortised, and fixed into

the hard, smooth rock at creek bed. The

road still diverts from Port Hacking river,

and keeps for half a mile under the easterly

side of the isolated high hill known as the

Island. At 6-l- miles, the crest of the saddle

between the Island and the range dividing

the waters at Bola Creek from Port Hacking

River is crossed, and the road by an easy grade

again decends southerly towards that river.

At 6! miles is marked, to branch to the

west, a line for a road to cross Port Hacking

River, and to lead to Waterfall Station. At

7 f miles from the dam, Lady Carrington

Road crosses by a substantial bridge a lovely

glen, fitly named. Palm Creek from the

numerous cabbage-palms growing there.

·within 100 yards southerly from the bridge,

between the road and the river, is an

unusually fine red-cedar tree, upwards of 70

feet high. The red cedar is one of the few

Australian trees which shed its leaves in the

winter; and at 8} miles the southernmost

boundary of the park is reached. Near the

corner tree is a very fine blackbutt conspicuously

marked 43 over N.P.R. This road

will, probably, be continued by private enterprise

through private lands until it reaches

the Illawarra railway at about 29f miles

from Sydney, near Otforcl, and about 41

miles beyond the southernmost boundary of

the National Park.

Heathcote, 630 feet above sea-level,

20} miles.-Beyond the junction of the

branch line the main Illawarra railway curves

to the south-west, and proceeds in a direct

line for 2! miles ; then a southerly course is

takeni passing Messrs. Rowe & Smith's brickworks

at 19! miles, and Mr. Riggison's

bee-farm, Bottle Forest, at 20 miles, and

Heathcote station is reached 20k miles from

Sydney. The platform is a few yards easterly

from the main road, where the park

boundary joins Mr. Harber's estate. Half a

mile further east, at the northerly side of

Still Creek, there is rich brush-land, partly

upon the park and partly upon Bottle Forest

freehold land. One mile north-easterly from

the platform, upon a hill 700 feet above sealevel,

excellent views are outained on clear

days. The ocean and Port Hacking are

visible from this hill-summit. Joining the

westerl,y side of the main road, immediately

opposite Heathcote Station, a Government

village, to be known as the village of Heathcote,

has recently been surveyed (May, 1886)

in suitable allotments, and extending northerly

and southerly from Bottle Creek. About

600 acres have been subdivided into 130

suburban portions from about 2 to 10 acres.

The lands surveyed and cleared (by the

unemployed) are at altitudes from about 500

to 700 feet above sea-level, and will form

very healthy residential sites. Early in

September next (1886) the allotments and

portions "Vl'ill be offered for sale at auction

upon the ground.

- ~ .


Waterfalls Station, 24 miles, the

present terminus of the Illawarra Railway,

730 feet above sea-level.-From

Heathcote the line proceeds south-westerly for

li mile to the railway water-tanks at 720 feet

above; thence the direction is southerly to

Waterfall Station at 24 miles 32 chains-the

first crossing,at 23 miles,highest level 780feet,

of the Illawarra railway. Direct west f-mile

from Waterfall Station is erected the Trigonometrical

Station, at the altitude of 880 feet

above sea-level, upon the summit of Mount

W estmacott, a most conspicuous land-mark.

Between the railway station and that mountain

a deep gorge intervenes, the base of which is

about 600 feet below the Trigonometrical Station.

·within the National Park, and immediately

easterly from Waterfall Station, is a

source of Waterfall Creek which, after running

! -mile easterly, is joined by a northerly

afiluent; thence it becomes a permanent brook

with a succession of fine pools of the purest

fresh water. One of these pools, at li mile

from the railway, affords an excellent bathingplace

with a clear, smooth, rocky bottom and

a miniature sand-beach at the lower end.

One mile further easterly the waterfalls are

reached. The first, a sheer fall of 46 feet,

and the second 111 feet. The scenery at

this part is well worthy of inspection, and is

of a bold and varied description. From the

summit of the second fall an uninterrupted

view of the excellent forest in the Valley

Creek, and extending beyond Port Hacking

River, is obtained. immediately below the

falls the foliage is richly varied, comprising

tree ferns, birds' -nest ferns, and other ferns,

cabbage-tree palms, coach wood, and turpentine

trees, with a few sassafras trees. Three

quarters of a mile northerly from Waterfall

Creek, upon each side of Port Hacking River,

there is probably the finest forest within 100

miles of Sydney. Within it are blackbutt

trees attaining to the height of about 200

feet, and turpentine trees np to 150 feet.

To the waterfalls, and through the forest in

the valley of the creek below, a line for a

roadway has recently (June, 1886) been

marked upon the ground, to cross Port Hacking

River and join Lady Carrington Road,

about fmile north-easterly from Palm Creek

bridge. This road will shortly be cleared,

and doubtless will become a favourite resort

of pedestrians or horsemen.



Parramatta Station, 14 miles; 49 feet

above sea-level.-The traveller proceeding

from the Granville to the Parramatta

Station, first (by a sharp turn and deep

cutting) passe:::; through a short hilly piece

of bush country, and then he has before him

a charming view of Parramatta, with its

many fine churches and other public buildings.

Parramatta* (originally called "Rose

Hill"), situated at the head of the navigation

of Parramatta River, communicating

directly with the waters of Port Jackson,

is one of the oldest towns in the Colony.

Indeed it was once, by all accounts, and

curiously enough, intended for the capital,

* Parramatta is connected with Sydney by

steamers, plying to and fro daily on the Parramatta

River. By these steamers, Subiaco, Newington,

Ermington, Kissing Point or Ryde, Gladesville,

Villa Maria, Hunter's Hill, Biloela, Fitzroy Dock,

and other places on the said river (or rather estuary)

may be most conveniently reached,

or at least the chief seat of Government;

in proof of which it is alleged that St.

John's Church was (somewhat pretentiously

for those early days) built with its two

towers-exactly copied from the "Reculvers"

in Kent-to serve for a Cathedral. For

many years the Governors continued to

reside here, and the town flourished as the

second place in the Colony. Then, for an

interval, it not only made no progress,

but actually appeared to be hastening to

decay. The Railway, however (which is

said to have destroyed some of the old

inland towns) has most certainly given an

invigorating impetus to the existence of

Parramatta; for it is now, year by year,

extending, and becoming more and more a

distant suburb (as it were) of our sea-side

metropolis. Some fine houses have now

been built near the Railway Station. The

present population of Parramatta is about

8,500 persons. It supports three local news-


papers (" The Cumberland Merwry," "The

Independent," and "1'he Ouniberland Tirnes").

There are numerous Government and charitable

institutions at Parramatta, such as the

Gaol, the Orphan Schools, the Lunatic and

Benevolent Asylums, &c., &c. There are

several good hotels. There are also in Parramatta

a Free Public Library, a flourishing

Mechanics' Institute, three Public Schools,

and six Churches. The King's School, near

Parramatta Bridge, was long the only grammar

school in the Colony, and is still a most

useful scholastic institution; revived of late

years by the Rev. G. F. Macarthur. The

old Government Domain, which is one of the

prettiest in the Colony, is now utilized a a

beautiful park, belonging to the townspeople.

Mr. Purchase's and .Mr. Sheather's nurseries

are also well worthv of a visit. Parramatta

has been an incorporated municipality since

the year 1861. The villages and places

which are more or less connected with this

town are--Castle Hill, Dural, Enfield, Field of

Mars, Gannon's Forest, Guildford, Hornsby,

Liberty Plains, Pennant Hills, and Prospect.

Seven Hills Station, 20 miles; 113 feet

above sea-level.-After leaving the Parramatta

Station the traveller in the " down

train" (that is the train proceeding to the

westward) passes over a viaduct, and along

an embankment, from which there is a fine

view of the town and of the neighbouring

country to the north of it. The picturesque

old Ge01·gian brick Parsonage may then be

noticed, yet standing on the hills to the left ;

whilst nearer still, lying only a few yards

from the Railroad, the old Burial-ground

claims a passing glance, as the resting-place

of that well-beloved "stainless patriot" Robert

Campbell, and of other historical celebrities.

Further on, and to the right, a glimpse is

next caught of the ci-devant Government

House, with the adjacent undulating glades,

gardens, and shrubberies of the Public Park

-scenes of many a gay and festive event,

and of some very sorrowful ones-the oaks,

pines, and other choice trees, reviving pleasing

recollections of a distant fatherland.

Then comes a deep cutting, and the train

sweeps past the site formerly occupied as

the show place of the Australian Agricultural

Association-when the yearly exhi-

hitions of that body were more local than

national ; chiefly confined to ploughing

matches, and manifestations of cattle, horses,

sheep, fowls, and dogs, and farmers' machinery.

The country now becomes much

more interesting, frequent orange groves of

dark green foliage, decked with "the golden

fruit of the gardens of the Hesperides,"

imparting a new and delightful charm to the

beauty of an ever-changing landscape. In

the centre of this district a platform called

Toongabbie has been established. Well

grassed apple-tree flats, with undulating and

more open country, and farm-houses, gardens,

and cottages succeed; until after a run of

6 miles from Parramatta the train stops for

a moment, at the quiet little rural station

of Seven Hil1s-a locality once, by early

colonists (less ambitiously, and, after a comical

outburst of vice-regal impatience, rather

fcwetiously) designated as "Now here."

Blacktown Station and Junction, 22

miles; 183 feet above sea-level.-Two

miles from the Seven Hills Station ( through

a somewhat uninteresting but useful country)

stands the station of Blacktown ; a locality

owing its name to an institution which was

unavailingly formed here many years ago by

Governor Macquarie, for the education and

civilization of the aborigines. In the

country between Seven Hills and Blacktown,

on either side of the road, numerous herds

of cattle and flocks of sheep are usually to

be seen, browsing in serene and blissful

unconsciousness of their approaching fate;

as though abattoirs were things that had no

possible existence, and metropolitan butchers

and their hungry city customers were

nothing but nonentities. As you come

along pretty bits of scenery may here and

there be observed; open, partially wooded,

hills-with occasional signs of cultivation,

farms, ponds, orchards, and flats-appear to

the right, and orange groves and pretty

country residences are unfolded to the left.

There is, however, nothing here calling for

particular remark; except, perhaps, a quaint

and unexpected piece of the Old Western

Road, with its broken-down wayside inn,

visible for just a moment, before the Railroad

turns abruptly away to the right, so bringing

the railway traveller to the Blacktown



Station. At Blacktown there is a miniature

terminus for the Richmond and Sydney subsidiary

branch, which here joins on ~o the

Western Trunk Line. Blacktown is at present

a small place, chiefly depending on the Railway,

with two or three stores and inns of a

humble and unimportant character; but as

land in the vicinity has recently been subdivided,

and Blacktown forms the depot

intended for goods going to the Prospect

reservoir the place is rapidly waking up. As

the train approaches the Blacktown Station

you catch sight of a distant and limited view

of the far-famed Blue Mountains.

Rooty Hill Station, 25 miles ; 131 feet

above sea-level.-After leaving the Blacktown

station a lovely view of the Blue

Mountains is disclosed to the right, peeping

over the trees across a flat and uninteresting

country. This tract, immediately adjoining

the line, is but partially wooded, huts and cottages

appearing occasionally, some with holdings

and gardens, and some without. Before

Rooty Hill is reached ( after an interval of 3

miles) there is a grand outline prospect of

the Blue Mountains to the westward, across

an open country, with the seat of Walter

Lamb, Esq., in the distance. Large quantities

of :firewood are hence despatched to Sydney.

Through the instrumentality of that wellknown

sportsman, Mr. Walter Lamb, a

coursing ground has been established about l

mile from the station, and at certain periods

very successful coursing meetings, under tbe

auspices of the Sydney Coursing Club, are held.

St. Marys (formerly South Creek

Station), 29 miles; 113 feet above sealevel.

-The country on either side of the

Railroad, after it paE'.ses by the Rooty Hill

Station to the westward is, for the most

part, open, flat, and poor. Here and there

the line passes through the bush, but there

are not many trees near it. Before arriving

at the South Creek Station (which is 18 feet

lower than Rooty Hill), the traveller may

get another fine view of the Blue Mountain

Range, which he is now approaching. St.

Mary's Station is about 4 miles west of Rooty

Hill, and about half a mile away to the north

of St. Mary's-an old, pleasant, and prosperous

village, on the Sydney and Penrith Road,

chiefly dependent upon agricultural and

grazing pursuits. Dairy farming, and wine

making are also carried on. Large supplies

of timber and firewood are likewise cut here,

and forwarded by the line to Sydney, for use

on the Railway and for sale. Tanning is

largely carried on at this place, and a large

number of bricks are also made. The principal

hotAls are the "Commercial" and

" Volunteer" kept by Messrs. Brynes and

Cullen. Metropolitan sportsmen can often

get a good day's shooting here, as hares, much

to the annoyance of the farmers, are becoming-

fairly numerous in the district. South

Creek takes its name from a considerable

tributary to the river Hawkesbury, into

which it eventually flows near Windsor.

Parkes Platform, 31 miles; about 100

feet above sea-level.-After passing by the

South Creek station a fine view of the Great

Western Highlands is gained to the right of

the line and to the westward. There is then

a flat partially wooded country for 2 miles

until you arrive at the Parkes Platform and

Siding, 3 miles from Penrith.

Penrith Station, 34 miles ; 88 feet

above sea-leve1.-Penrith, 12 miles west of

Blacktown, is a quaint old inland township,

the last station reached by travellers in the

so-called " down" trains before they begin to

ascend the Blue Mountains. In the "coaching

and bullock-driving days"-when the

neighbouring river had to be crossed by

vehicles in a punt-Penrith was a very bustling

and flourishing place, and it appears

sufficiently prosperous at present-certainly

far from going back. It is surrounded by

broad pasture lands, and alluvial plains, of a

great extent and singular fertility; bounded

westerly by the river N epean, soon to

assume the better known name of the

Hawkesbury. The town itself is a municipality,

with ratable property reported to be

of upwards of £120,000 value; the population

of the township was in 1881 1,467 ; it

has 45 miles of streets, roads, and lanes.

There are four churches, belonging respectively

to the Protestant Episcopalian, Roman


Catholic, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan Communions,

and a fine Town Hall has recently been

erected. The course of the N epean runs

parallel to the town, at the distance of about

a mile from the station, where it is crossed

by a boldly designed and admirably constructed

iron tubular bridge-supported by

four huge piers of solid masonry, the two

centre ones being 58 by 17 ! feet at their

foundation, with an extreme height of 59

feet. These piers are 186 feet apart. Altogether

it is one of the finest works of the

kind in the Oolony, and of itself worth going

to Penrith to see. (See view of Nepectn.)

5 miles to the south of the town the river

flows down northerly through a tremendous

gap in the hills ; and, the heights on either

side being well-wooded, many charming effects

are produced. The visitor will find good

accommodation at Mr. Squire's private establishment,

situated on the banks of the N epean.

A steam launch is kept here, and by it the

visitor will be enabled to take a trip up the

river. The views of river scenery are

unrivalled, and 12 miles from Penrith, near

where the W arragamba flows into theN epean,

you will reach the basin, an immense natural

bath. The depth of the water in it has never

yet been ascertained. A writer says, '' It

would be difficult to conceive scenery more

beautiful than that which characterises the

junction of the N epean with the Warragamba.

The Blue Mountains close in upon the rivers,

while the latter winds round about all the

points and corners as though loath to leave

places so pleasant." There are several good

inns in Penrith, one of these being not far

from the station. Penrith is the place of

nomination for the N epean Electorate. The

places near Penrith (besides those already

mentioned as having been traversed by the

line), are Mulgoa, Greendale, Regentsville,

Luddenham, Bringelly, Castlereagh, and


Emu Plains Station, 86 miles ; 87 feet

above sea-level - The attention of the

traveller by the train leaving Penrith for the

mountains must ( even previous to his .arrival

at the tubular bridge over the N epean) be

agreeably occupied with the scenery before

him to the westward, where he observes

verdant plains, fringed in the distance by the

winding edge of a rolling country, the grassy

knolls of which are pleasingly dotted here

and there with clumps of trees. Beyond this

charming picture the majestic "Blue Mountains

" rise abruptly, like a vast natural

fortification, overgrown almost everywhere

with sombre foliage, and extending for many

miles from the south to the north towards

Castlereagh, their base being washed by the

N epean. ( See view of the Nepean-evening.)

Along the broken face of this grand barrier,

not cerulean here but dark, green, and grey,

the Railway line may be seen winding upwards-past

huge rocks and deep declivities,

alternating with dense woods, the noble

viaduct across Knapsack Gully being hence

already distinguishable. The train sweeps

noisily over the tnbular bridge above described

; crosses the rich alluvial plain beyond

the river and under cultivation-where grain,

fruit, and vegetables appear to be the chief

products-and at the distance of 2 miles from

Penrith, quickly reaches the Emu Plains

Station, where the first ridge of the mountain

begins. This station commands a comprehensive

view of the First Zigzag, by means

of which the heights of Lapstone Hill are to

be gained and passed. The immediate neighbourhood

of the Emu Plains Station (having

been successfully occupied as an agricultural

settlement from the earliest day of the

Colony) presents many pretty rural pictures

of gardens, orchards, corn-fields, homesteads,

and villages-assimilating, in many of its

features, to portions of moorland scenery in

the west of England.

Lucasville Platform, 39 miles; about

700 feet above sea-level.-Lucasville Platform-standing

on the upper edge of the

eastern face of the Blue Mountains, where

the line turns off to the westward-is merely

a solitary spot at which the train stops when

signalled for; but between it and the Emu

Plains Station beneath there is a shifting

series of panoramic views of all the lowland

country in the county of Cumberland, such

as for extent and beauty can hardly be surpassed.

As you leave the Emu Plains Station

and begin gradually to ascend the steep incline-away

to the south towards Mu1goa,

Greenda1e, and Luddenham-your eyes can

first feast themselves for a moment on that


fair prospect in mid distance--the already

mentioned Gorge of the N epean. Then, a

few yards further on, as the train rises more

slowlytowardsthe FirstZigzag,you arecarried

past trees and woodland scenery to the left,

with a deep gully (or "ghyll," as Wordsworth

would have termed it) to the right; after

which, "as from the stroke of an enchanter's

wand," a wide and magnificent expanse of

level county, stretching away far below,

bursts, in all its unexpected glory, upon your

dazzled sight. In this great range of open

plains-the extreme limits of which are faintly

defined by the ethereal outlines of the light

blue hills on the coast--the to,vn of Penrith

(at the distance of 4 or 5 miles) is displayed

to the greatest advantage, with its public

buildings and churches on the other side of

the N epean. The winding course of this

truly royal stream, stretching for miles and

miles like a broad blue "garter ribbon," is

seen traversing the westerly portion of this

unequalled champaign, the land near to its

banks being, for the most part, treeless/

although a long thick belt of forest landmore

or less enveloped in hazy atmospheric

tints of grey, cobalt, or purple--is visible

beyond the plains. All the nearer portion

of the lowlands is either cultivated or laid

out in bright verdant pastures, especially

rom1d about Penrith, along the N epean, and

to the north-eastward ; the open country

being dotted here and there with villages,

farms, homesteads, and orangeries-and intersected

by narrow roads and picturesque

remnants of forest. As you continue to rise,

and shift from slope to slope of the " Zigzag,"

the prospect before you is more and more

displayed,-back to the south-east, towards

Camden, and directly to the southward,

whence the N epean flows placidly do-,':"n, from

the junction of the Cowpasture and vV arragamba

Rivers, on its way to the distant sea.

You have by this time arrived at the Knapsack

Gully Viaduct (245 feet above Emu

Plains), boldly erected across a steep and

stony gorge by the genius of the Engineerin-chief

John Whitton. This admirable and

imposing structure (which Imperial Rome,

in her palmy days, might have been proud

to claim), consists of seven successive

arches-five of 50 feet span, and two of 20.

It is of solid masonry throughout, the

stones having been set in the best Portland

cement-built for a single line of railway,

and with an incline along it of 1 foot in 30

feet. The length of this viaduct is 388 feet,

and its greatest height, from the foundation

in the rock to the level of the rails, is 126

feet. Several panoramic views of Cumberland

increasingly developed are shown to the

traveller and abruptly withdrawn, as the

train proceeds. First, it goes 200 or 300

yards in one direction, rising slowly every

yard until it stops; then, by the co-operation

of the skilled engineer and the watchful

pointsman, the train is quickly "reversed"

and launched back upon another ascending

gradient, in an opposite direction, up to a

corresponding point. From that, the zigzag

mode of progression is once more resumed ;

until at length (by successive changes of direction,

and in an incredibly short time) the

train is found to have deftly climbed to an

elevation of nearly 700 feet. The consequent

alteration of climate at the top of the Zigzag

is very remarkable; exhilarating and sudden,

not unlike what may sometimes be experienced

after ascending to the summit of a very

lofty tower, like the campanile of the Town

Hall of Sydney. This mode of ascent incidentally

develops in a very striking manner

the beauty and the variety of the scenery.

Glenbrook Platform, 41 miles ; 766 feet

above sea-level.-After passing the Lucasville

Platform the line is continued, first

westerly, and then with a bend to the northward,

until after an interval of rather more

than 2 miles the summit of :Gapstone Hill,

near "The Old Pilgrim Inn," is attained.

About half way between Lucasville Platform

and the summit of the hill is Glenbrook,

formerly known as Brookdale or W ascoe's

Siding, where water for the engine is obtained.

This platform is properly the first of the

mountain stations and on the comparatively

level land running alongside the railway

between here and Mount Victoria, numerous

country residences have been erected which

provide a cool and quiet retreat for busy

city workers in the summer time "after the

heat and burden of the day " Glenbrook

is well laid out and the provision of wide

reserves will in time make this place very



* Bla'dand's Platform, 42 miles ; 766

feet above sea-level.-This platform, formerly

designated "W ascoe's," is 1 mile north

of Glenbrook. An accommodation house has

been established here for visitors who desire to

make a stay. Many fine views can be obtained

in the vicinity of the platform, and the gullies

abound in choice specimens of ferns and

flowers. Leaving Blaxland (about half a

mile from " The Old Pilgrim Inn") the line

directly proceeds to follow the main range,

dividing the tributaries of the N epean and

the Cox from those of the Grose River, to

the north and to the north-westward. The

Railroad naturally winds considerably as it

follows the top of the range, but takes for the

most part a north-westerly direction, continuing

still to rise until it comes to Springwood,

rather more than 4 miles further on.

The Valley Platform, 46 miles ; 1,048

feet above sea-level.-N ear this quaintlynamed

platform in the br:~ezy highlands

stands " Wyoming," on the north side of

the Railroad, with its pretty garden and

grounds. Wyoming offers excellent accommodation

for visitors. Near by is the post

and telegraph office, and the country residences

of Mr. Russell, Mr. John Rae, The

Hon. Geoffrey Eagar, Mr. Deane, and other

citizens, who have sought here the re-in-

* The nomenclature of three of the stations on

the vVestern line of Railway has recently been

changed, viz., Wascoe's, now named ''Blaxland,"

Blue Mountain, now named "Lawson," and

Weatherboard, now named "Wentworth Falls," to

commemorate the first successful exploration of the

Blue Mountains. "It was not till 1813 that a

route across these mountains was discovered. A

severe drought had aroused grave apprehensions for

the safety of the flocks and herds of the Colony,

which were even at that early date beginning to be

appreciated at their true value. Many an arduous

search for water was the result. At length, when

every resource was apparently about to fail, Mr.

W entworth, the pioneer of material and social progress

in Australia, in conjunction with Messrs.

Blaxland and Lawson, organized an exploring party

to endeavour to penetrate to the interior through

some of the mountain gorges. After encountering

many difficulties the party were fortunate enough

t o discover a pass by wa.y of the valley of the

Grose, which soon led them to the land of plenty,

a~1d the route was immediately marked out as the

lughway to the interior, and has ever since formed

part of the old Great Western Road. The Railway

follows nearly the same course."

vigoration of mountain air and the refined

pleasure afforded by the contemplation of

beautiful scenery. " The Valley " derives

its name from a very lovely far-off prospect

commanded herefrom down the valley (which

is beautifully grassed, open, and park-like)

to the eastward towards the N epean. A

considerable extent of land has of late years

been here taken up on the ridge to the north

of this hamlet, and west of Fitzgerald's Gully,

dividing the watersheds of the Grose and the

N epean. This gully or creek is well worth a

visit, and has the recommendation of being

convenient to the station and easy of access.

Springwood Platform, 47 miles; 1,216

feet above sea-level.-Leaving the charming

little mountain village designated " The

Valley," the Railroad winds away westerly

for a mile, and after rising l 00 feet it

brings the traveller to Springwood. The

visitor to Springwood will find excellent hotel

accommodation at the Royal, immediately

opposite the station, or accommodation can

be secured at Martyn's Hotel, a short distance

off. The chief site at Springwood

is Sassafras-so called from the number of

sassafras trees-or Flying Fox Gully. Formerly

in the fruit season the trees were black

with thousands of those strange creatures,

half animal, half bird-flying foxes-and the

sportsman could have plenty of sport, while

doing a good service to the fruit-growers, but

the flying foxes have recently been so much

hunted that they have sought fresh haunts.

The road to the gully starts from the ba0k

of the Hon. J. B. Hoare's new residence.

After a walk of about three-quarters of a

mile, the visitor leaves the main track, to take

a not well defined one on the right.-It would

add much to the convenience of visitors if a

finger-post were placed at this junction and

the road to the gully better cleared.-After

following this track for a short distance the

head of the gully is reached, and the visitor

descends and follows the course of a stream

which increases in volume as it flows on.

From the stream- the sides of the gully,

thickly timbered, run up in places to three

or four hundred feet. The gully contains

several small but pretty waterfalls. Som,~

little distance down there are some large ponds

of water, the largest being at the junction of


Sassafras with Clear Water Gully, and here

the luxury of bathing may be enjoyed. The

gully is the home of many varieties of ferns,

fine specimens of the tree, staghorn, and

bird's-nest ferns growing here in profusion;

there are also splendid specimens of the

sassafras trees, which unite overhead and

give a grateful shade. In addition to Sassafras

there is a pretty glen called Madoline,

opposite and but a few yards from the

station. Springwood is said to be one of

the finest places on the mountains for all

kinds of ferns and lycopods. It possesses an

equable climate-in winter it is not too cold,

and in summer the mountain air, morning and

evening, is fresh and cool. A number of

influential gentlemen have residences here,

including the Hon. James Norton and the

Hon. Mr. C. Moore.

Faulconbridge Platform, 49 miles;

1,463 feet above sea-level.-Still following

the topmost ridge of the mountains to the

westward for 2 miles further by a sinuous

course, the traveller reaches the Faulconbridge

Platform, named from the adjoining

property of Sir Henry Parkes, about 500

acres in extent, and chiefly valuable perhaps

for the salubrity of its situation and the

singular beauty of the scenery it commands

to the southward, -overlooking a rugged and

broken country forming part of the watershed

of the N epean. In the neighbourhood

of Sir Henry Parkes's residence-a pretty

mountain chalet, the Terrncecl Gardens, the

Rocklily Glen and the Rocklily Cave, are

very characteristic and charming localities

much admired by visitors. As you pass

Faulconbridge to the westward, the top of

Mount Hay becomes vis-ible about 9 miles to

the north-westward. The scenery on either

side of the road now becomes intensely

interesting, presenting surprises which seem

like gorgeous glimpses of fairy-land, so suddenly

are they manifested and withdrawn.*

* A recently published work of standard merit,

compiled under authority by Mr. James Tingle,

speaking of the Hartley District, says : '' We have

said that this is a remarkable district, and justly

so, because for magnificence of scenery, wealth of

mineral resources, and monuments of engineering

skill, it is probably without a rival in the southern

hemisphere. The Blue Mountains, with their innumerable

hills and ravi1tes, present extensive

panoramas of the grandest description. As the

Numantia Platform, 52 miles; 1,672

feet above sea-level.-When the tmin has

passed the platform at Faulconbridge its

course for a few hundred yards is due west;

it runs south-south-west for about a mile,

passes the residence of Mr. A. H. M'Culloch,

M.P., on the left, and so trending somewhat

westerly reaches the platform at N umantiathe

classical name selected for the mountain

residence of His Honor Sir James Martin,

the Chief Justice. N umantia lies 3 miles

from Faulconbridge,-to the south-west of it.

There are some good views from N umantia

to the southward.

Linden Platform, 52 miles.- This place,

recently established, is more useful at present

to the Department than to the public. The

scenery in the vicinity is singularly wild and

romantic, and the bush abounds in a great

wealth of ferns and wild flowers. Here the

engines take water, the supply being drawn

from a dam romantically lying in the basin

of the hills about ! a mile from the station.

Woodford (late Buss's) Platform, 55

miles ; 2,191 feet above sea-level.-As

the traveller proceeds on his journey westward

past N umantia, he can catch a lovely but

fleeting glimpse of home view scenery to the

northward; another view-nearly in the same

direction-of the Pass of Broken Back in the

far off Sugar-loaf Range, in the county of

N orthumherland; two views over the rugged

ravines to the southward and south-eastward;

and distant but approaching views of Mount

Hay and Mount King George. The line

after leaving the Numantia Platform takes a

sharp turn to the southward, and continues

on the ridge in that direction for nearly 2

miles, in the middle of which stands a handsome

stone gate-house where the Old Road

(which has been running parallel with the

Railroad nearly all the way from "Blaxland")

traveller in the Railway is sped along the summit

of the range, and catches glimpses of the thousand

valleys stretching like ocean waves to the horizon,

on both sides of the line (which for a considerable

distance is laid on a narrow causeway that looks as

if built up for thousands of feet out of awful depths

of precipice and ravine), he finds it difficult to

imagine a nobler representation of the grandeur and

sublimity of nature. "-Scind.s' Official Post Office

Country Directory and Gazetteer of New South

· JV ales for 1878, 1879, page 267.


again crosses the line. The gate is now but

seldom opened, for the Qld Road is practically

superseded by the Railway. This gate-house

is 53 miles from Sydney. 1 mile south-west

of this gate-house and 2 miles in the same

direction from Numantia stands the Woodford

Platform, about 520 feet higher than Numantia

and Alphington, &c. Mr. Alfred

Fairfax's late residence and large gardens

(Woodford), from which the Woodford Platform

takes its name, has been opened for the

accommodation of visitors. Before you get

to Woodford there are several :fine glimpses

of scenery, and especially the grand unfolding

of a long pale blue broken line of mountains

in the extreme distance to the north-eastward

beyond the Brisbane Water district, and in

the direction of Maitland. Woodford is only

3 miles from N umantia ; and, although

perhaps somewhat exposed in wintry weather,

it is noted for its fine bracing atmosphere,

which resembles that of the more elevated

portions of the West of England.

Lawson Station (" Blue Mountains"),

58 miles; 2,399 feet above sea-level.-At

about 1 mile due west from the Woodford

platform the line takes a turn and runs for

a mile to the west-north-west; then due west

for another mile, and then west-south-west for

a fourth mile; to the "Old Blue Mountain Inn

Station," now proposed to be distinguished

by the name of "Lawson"-the vague,

equivocal designation of "Blue Mountains,"

often misleading unobservant travellers.

Lawson has a telegraph station and post

office, &c. Close to the station are establishments

where accommodation can be secured.

Lawson is noted for having near it several

views of great beauty and deep interest on

either side of the line, and at comparatively

short distances in places easy of access. This

place is much resorted to by invalids, who

can here without fatigue enjoy the mountain

scenery, and the pure, invigorating air.

There is a fine prospect to the north from

near the station. It takes the railway

traveller about three hours and a half to

arrive here by train from Sydney, and about

two hours to come up to this spot from Penrith.

Here the tourist can conveniently visit the

Adelina Falls (two of 40 feet descent, one of

60, and one of 70 feet), or the Junction Falls

on the south side of the line; with Dante's

· Glen and three other waterfalls on the

northern side-one of 40 feet, one of 90, and

one (the most remarkable of them all) with a

descent of 120 feet. Perhaps a short description

of these two adjacent localities may not

be unacceptable to the reader.

The Adelina Falls.-The Adelina Falls

are, all four of them, grouped together,

at a distance of a mile or so to the southeastward

of the station; and from the platform

to the first and most important of

these beautiful cascades ( see View) there

is an excellently formed road, by which the

visitor soon arrives at the edge of a line

of rock, whence he can readily descend into

the immediate vicinity of the waterfall by a

convenient flight of rudely constructed steps.

A smooth path leads him from the foot of

the steps straight down to a craig on the

eastern side of a small ravine, over the

rocky (northern) wall of which the clear cold

waters of a mountain stream leap headlong

into an abyss. These Falls-the Adelina

Falls-are not less than 70 feet in their

unbroken descent, and are justly admired,

tumbling over a mass of dark shining rock

into the scene of sylvan beauty represented

by our artist. This water-formed chasm ( or

" gh ·wy 11 " as the Welsh would call it) is

fringed with masses of green brushwood and

long reedy grass, well shaded everywhere by

the white-trunked eucalyptus, the narrow

semi-circular valley itself, into which the

streamlet dashes, being partially filled up

with tall straggling gum-trees. Near the

base of the grand cascade there is a fine display

of ferns and such like plants. Ferns

and creepers overhang this beautiful waterfall

like waving tresses, and bedeck the

sombre wall of cliff over which the sparkling

rivulet descends. Near to this Fall are

several elegant coachwood trees and other

arborescents such as are usually seen in

these moist and secluded localities. The air

is deliciously fresh and cool, even during the

hottest summer day. Seated in the shadefrom

his dry and elevated look-out on the

solid rock-the visitor may pass many an hour

of delicious repose listening to the murmuring

plash of the water, the faint whisper of the

wind, and the joyous "sweet jargoning" of


the birds. To reach the three other cascades

on the south of the road, the visitor must

cross the head of the Adelina Falls-an old

track to the westward, here running southeasterly,

being available for that purpose.

The streamlet is one of the many minor

tributaries of the Cox, a river which falls

into the Warmgamba, destined, when joined to

the Cowpasture River, to become the N epean.

Dante's Glen and Waterfalls.-Leaving

the Blue Mountain or Lawson Station, and

proceeding for a few yards to the northnorth-west,

by a well-formed road, the visitor

passes two stone tanks or reservoirs for the

supply of the engines with water ; and then

following a recently cleared downward path,

trending northerly, he arrives (after walking

for about half-a-mile) at the edge of a sloping

r eedy marsh draining into the watershed of

the Grose. A little beyond the eastern

extremity of this out-of-the-way and desolate

spot, a rough but well-defined path for

awhile leads him on, until at length by an

abrupt descent he reaches the precipitous

side of a wide and dark tree-shaded valley,

suddenly revealed in all its immensity, and

resounding with the continuous rush of concealed

waters in its mysterious depths. The

lonely devious path and the steep declivities

of this. cavernous glen are difficult enough

and wild enough to remind the student of the

"selva oscura" mentioned in the opening of

the grand and gloomy poem of the " immortal

Florentine," there being a weird

character about the whole place calculated to

inspire the soul with admiration and with

awe. Hence, doubtless, the expressive name

of Dante's Glen by which this valley has

lately been distinguished. In Dante's Glen

there are three waterfalls which can be

reached by an adventurous and active tourist.

The :first-about t hree-quarters of a mile

from the station-is seen to the right, soon

after you enter the glen. The easterly stream

here falls over a ledge of rock to a depth of

40 feet, and becomes invisible during the

r st of its course down the valley. Beneath

thi first, a few chains further on, there is a

second waterfall of 90 feet. A small steep

track lead down towards both of these from

th topmo t rid e of the v~lley. The lo_wer

rtion of th path thus wmding down mto

this sequegtered locality is thickly wooded,

and ends in two deep precipitous gorges,

uniting at an inaccessible rocky northern

outlet. To the right is the lower (or second)

cascade already mentioned-the largest waterfall

of all three being away in the gully up

to the left. The western extremity of this

intersecting ravine is a huge black cliff,

hemmed in on all sides by tall trees, and

overhung with ferns, creepers, and parasitical

plants. Over this dark precipice a fine

stream falls 120 feet in sheer descent, its

broken feathery sprays being caught and

collected at the foot of the cliff in a basin

like a Naiad's bath hollowed out of a flat

rock. The course of this stream, descending

therefrom to its junction with the other, is,

like the rest of the glen, densely timbered

with coachwood, tree ferns, a kind of alder,

and sassafras. There is a _rocky shelf beside

the pellucid pool at the bottom of the cataract,

curiously over-arched by the cliff, and of

course a favourite haunt for excursionists.

You can pass right under this Fall if you

choose to be so foolhardy, but you had much

better not do so, for the feat is not unattended

with danger. Looked up to from the end of

the over-arched ledge above referred to, the

effect of this waterfall is exceeding solemn and

grand. It has been justly said by an excellent

authority (Burton): "There is nothing

more beautiful to be seen in the whole of the

Blue Mountains than this wonderful spot."

In addition to the views fully described,

there are many other scenes of great beauty

around Lawson-one of these, the Junction

Falls, is reached by following a track leading

from the Adelina Falls ; after a short walk

the visitor reaches a lonely glen which is

almost hidden with magnificent ferns. Here

. three creeks empty their waters into the

glen forming three separate and pretty waterfalls.

Another waterfall and romantic glen

in which some splendid fern-trees are growing,

are reached by following the main road westward

for about 2 miles, and then turning off

at a track leading to the left. The track is

not, at present however clearly marked, :1-nd

the services of a guide will almost be reqmred

to reach the spot.

Wentworth Falls, or Weatherboard

Platform, 62 miles; 2,856 feet above

Wentvvorth Falls.


sea-level-On leaving Lawson Station near

the "Old Blue Mountain Inn," the line runs

for 2 miles along the ridge to the westsouth-west,

and then (by a sharp turn) trends

wes~-north-west for 2 miles further, when it

reaches the locality generally known as the

"Weatherboard," where there is a platform

and a pointsman's house. The railway excursionist

is now on the confines of that

considerable extent of level ground upon the

mountains, about 24 miles in length, and

formerly known by the appellation of "The

King's Table-land," a name given to it (as

early chroniclers inform us) by Governor

Macquarie himself, during an adventurous

vice-regal tour in this direction, when deeply

impressed with the "majestic grandeur of the

situation, combined with the various objects

to be seen from the spot." On the southwest

side of this table-land the mountain

terminates, as an old colonial annalist informs

us, "in abrupt precipices of immense depth;

at the bottom of which is seen a glen as

romantically beautiful as can well be imagined,

bounded on the further side by mountains of

great magnitude, terminating as abruptly as

the others, and the whole thickly covered with

timber." The glen thus graphically described

-and named Prince Regent's Glen by Governor

Macquarie-appears to be identical with

one of the north-westerly prolongations or

branches of that great Cunimbla Valley,

which is now known to be more or less connected

(at its north-westerly extreme) with

the beautiful Valley of Hartley. The name

of "Prince Regent's Glen" should therefore

now, perhaps be judiciously restricted to a

north-westerly and less extensive ravine,

reaching from its intersection with the great

Cunimbla Valley back to an abrupt rocky

end in the neighbourhood of the far-famed

Waterfall of the Weatherboard, the true

historical appellation of which, by the way, is

Campbell's Cataract--a name bestowed upon

it by Governor Macquarie in honor of the

Colonial Secretary of the period. The upper

or north-westerly extreme of Prince Regent's

Glen is, it may be remarked, of a somewhat

circular form, presenting a grand coup cl' ceil

of mountains rising beyond mountains, with

stupendous masses of cliffs in the foreground

and in mid distance, reaching almost round

the vast and deep well-wooded hollow to the

west and to the southward; except, indeed,

where the Prince Regent's Glen opens out

on to the great sunken valley above-mentioned,

and so displays a glorious, many-tinted

and distant view of vast shadowy walls of

precipice on the other side of that valley,

many long miles away. 'fhis circular termination

of the Prince Regent's Glen, at its

northernmost end, was named by Governor

Macquarie the "Pitt Amphitheatre" in honor

of the Right Honorable William Pitt, and is

what is usually referred to by tourists under

the very vague and most inexpressive name

of the ·weatherboard. From any good point

on King's Table-land-such, for example,

as the verandah of Mr. Charles Wilson's

accommodation house, about 2,900 feet above

the sea-level-the light-house at the Sydney

South Head, on a clear night, looking due

east, is distinctly visible at a distance of 62

miles. The same well-known beacon can,

it is said, at times, be seen from Blackheath,

nearly 500 feet higher, and 11 miles further

away from the coast.

General Description of the Weatherboard.-Mr.

C. A. Wilson's accommodation

house lies about 50 yards from the pointsman's

house, on the southern side of the

Railway, not far from the semaphore, and an

old powder magazine in the open-both conspicuous

objects. Near the semaphore is a

tombstone-" Sacred to the memory of James

Ferguson, who was killed by lightning on

21st December, 1859; aged 22 years and 10

months." Formerly, as it would appear,

there was a burial-ground now traversed

by the Railway in this seclnded spot,

of which this ndw seems to be the sole

remaining tomb. A few cottages are to

be found in the vicinity. The air is fresh

and wholesome, as might be expected at such

an elevation ; but in stormy weather it is

not a locality where there is much that can

be pleasant for the tourist out of doors.

The old Western Road, between the Weatherboard

and Blackheath, is now almost wholly

disused, except when fat cattle are occasionally

driven over it by night. In many

places this picturesque old road is utterly

dilapidated, torn and worn away by the

wind and rain. At the back of Wilson's

there is a ruined bridge, through the broken


arch of which a fine stream (Jamison' s Creek)

flows away southerly for lk or 2 miles to

the neighbouring gorge. The road to the

Weatherboard Falls from the so-called

"station " leads by this broken bridge,

through the bush south-westerly to the edge

of that celebrated chasm and most enchanting

view. There is als9 a pleasant walk on

the north side of the line, to the north-west

of the semaphore. North of the Railroad,

but somewhat more to the eastward, lies the

winding track to " The Water Nymph's

Dell," which is difficult to find unless under

the guidance of some resident.

Visit to the Weatherboard Gorge and

Falls.-" Starting from the accommodation

house with a guide, I crossed," says a recent

visitor, " the ruined bridge at the back of

Wilson's, struck into the bush to the southwest,

and-after walking along a pretty fair

road for about I} mile-I reached at the end

of a rather devious path the framework of a

hut erected by the Government for tourists

and others, a~d wantonly and basely destroyed

(like that at Govett's Leap) by

thoughtless or selfish persons. (A commodious

hut has since been built here.) From the

elevated point thus arrived at on the topmost

edge of this titanic gorge, there is a steep

and almost precipitous descent to the southward,

partly shaded with stunted trees, and

terminating-after passing a flight of steps,

cut boldly out of the solid rock-in a broad,

natural platform of waterworn stone, immediately

opposite to "The Campbell Cataract,"

or .Falls, and overlooking that vast amphitheatre

named after the renowned statesman

William Pitt, which here terminates the

Prince Regent's Glen. The platform seems

actually to overhang the Great Falls, which

are, however, at some distance from it

to the left (the eastward), across a huge

semi-circular abyss, hollowed out of red and

grey rocks, and overshadowed everywhere with

trees and ferns. In front of the spectator is

the chasm's edge, stretching along like the

elevated margin of a bay; and beyond this

rough but well-defined line is that fairy-land

of mountain, cliff, and forest which no pencil

can perfectly depict or pen adequately describe.

To the left is a small tract of barren

and mountainous country, of an immense

altitude, coming up from the southward, and

forming the easterly frame of this vast and

marvellous picture. Its westerly frame presents

rude cliffs and a wooden talus towards

the entrance to the Pitt Amphitheatre ; and

on its upper surface are seen mountain streams

and rivulets hastening to unite themselves to

the main stream coming from the opposite

direction (J amison's Creek) and then to dash

themselves into a cylindrical abyss, whose

falling waters resound in your ears like an

everlasting sigh. Approaching cautiously to

the edge of the platform, or (what is perhaps

more safe) lying down to look over, you

see the stream wildly precipitated over

broad stratified rings of grey, red, and black

rock, into the bottom of this grand mountain

glen, a distance of (apparently) not

less than 1,000 feet in sheer descent. The

waters of the cataract drain away into the

far off depths of the densely wooded valley

beneath, the lowermost line of which seems

ultimately to indicate a south-easterly direction.

When I first approached thi8 spot at

about 9 a.m., the falls were threefold in

their development, and stood in a deep and

misty shadow. Near the bottom of the first

fall, breaking into feathery spray, long before

it reaches a slightly projecting mass of

broken fragments of stone, about half-way

down, there is to the south a long thin line

of forest trees, the foliage of which looks

dim and soft when seen from the great

height of the platform on the rock. These

trees, half-way down into the abyss, spread

all along the surface of the small projecting

ledge in the precipitous wall on the eastern

side of the gorge ; their irregular masses of

greenery contributing greatly to the charm

of the scene. Below these broken masses

of stone and trees and brushwood a second

dreadful precipice descends, and a second

fall may, by a daring spectator be seen, far

below the dizzy altitude-so far that no

murmur from this and the next succeeding

fall ascends to break the silence. It is only

the everlasting sweep of the upper portion

of the cataract which makes itself distinctly

audible. Below, as I have intimated, the

stream follows unseen its appointed course

through the sylvan depths of that enchanted

valley. Anything more sublime and aweinspiring

cannot possibly be imagined. On


the western side of the gorge of the Weatherboard,

at the distance of about f a mile,

there is a second wall of parti-coloured rock,

with a huge talus of rocks and trees, and a

towering royal crest of trees and undergrowth.

Further away to the south-westward

(on the north-west side of the amphitheatre)

comes an abrupt break; and then

more cliffs and declivities, and another wide

valley of low-lying forest and hill scenery is

displayed, enclosed by another and yet more

extensive range of rocky wa11 and talus, or

slopes formed of detritus or decayed rock.

This range of brightly-tinted cliffs (in which

deep red colour predominates) trends easterly

£or some miles, and at last-having almost

traversed the entire picture-ends with an

abrupt descent into the Prince Regent's

Glen. Beyond the eastern extremity of the

distinct line thus furnished in mid-distance

is another stretch of woodland, dim and

cerulean in its many shadowy gaps and hollows.

Beyond that line again comes another

more shadowy tract in bright cobalt; and

beyond that yet again appear the far off

outlines of a mountainous country, wrapped in

a mantle of denser blue, its summits crowned

with cliffs in exquisitely blended tints of

pink and yellow. Over all that again at

intervals (and especially from the ruined hut)

can be seen an ethereal light blue outline of

lofty hills in the extreme distance. On the

rocky platform which overlooks the Falls,

the aspiring mind of Young .Australia has

prompted the inscription of names and surnames

of parties not yet otherwise distinguished.

These names have been boldly

carved on the ledge of stone, in the vain hope

of thereby securing some adventitious immortality.

The whole of the rocky ledge which

overlooks the gorge is public property, but

some of the land in the vicinity has already

been alienated. ' The Weeping Rock,' for

instance, is on private property, belonging to

Mr. D. Fletcher, of Sydney. This 'weeping

rock,' an object of great interest to those

who visit the Weatherboard, stands above

the 'Great Fall,' on the east side of the

gorge, and well deserves the name which

has been given to it. The continuous flow

of water which trickles over this curious

half-isolated mass of stone is occasioned by

a rivulet breaking away from the main

stream, known as Jarnison's Greek-the same

which feeds the Great Fall, or Campbell's


Another description of the Campbell

Cataract and the Gorge at the Weatherboard.-The

following description of the

Campbell Cataract and the adjacent gorge is

taken from Mr. Ed win Burton's Guide, an

admirably compiled and useful little work.

Mr. Burton's Guide, page 118, says:-" The

Campbell Cataract is, however, the great

attraction to tourists. The water leaps over

the tremendous precipice into the glen below.

The scene has thus been depicted by the

Rev. Dr. Lang:-' .At the point where the

rivulet from the Weatherboard hut discharges

itself there is a break or bay in the line of

cliffs on that side, as if a vast portion of the

wall of rock had been quarried out £or the

purpose, the two points appearing from behind

like two lofty headlands jutting out into

the valley, and bearing a remarkable resemblance

to the Heads of Port Jackson. The

rivulet, which in its course of 2 miles and

a half has been swelled by one or two

smaller streams issuing from lateral valleys

to the size of a common mill-stream, precipitates

itself all at once over the rocks at the

head of the bay and is lost in the abyss, the

fall being at least 1, OOO feet. On gaining

the edge of the precipice the waters of the

rivulet seem to shrink instinctively from the

frightful leap to which they have been conducted

in their course down the valley, each

individual drop appearing endowed with

separate volition, and seeming determined to

shift for itself, and the whole mass of fluid

resolving itself into what appears like innumerable

particles of frozen snow. Many

hundred feet below, the tops of apparently

lofty trees are seen at the bottom of Prince

Regent's Glen, and so completely do the

cyclopean walls of rock which form the

glen defy aJl direct communication between

the heights and the hollow, that the shortest

practicable route from the place where the

rivulet leaps over the precipice to the bottom

of the cliffs, over which it falls, is 16 miles.

Governor Macquarie named the waterfall the

Campbell Cataract, in honor of the Colonial

Secretary of that period. At the time we

visited the Fall there was a strong wind


blowing up the glen. The wind caught the

falling waters before they had time to reach

the bottom, and scattered them into mist,

carrying them to great distances. The sun's

rays falling on the particles produced the

phenomena of innumeraole rainbows, the

effect of the whole scene being indescribably

beautiful.' Connected with this wonderful

place there is a legend about the inhumanity

of the keeper of a 'shanty' near by the

precipice, in the ea.rly days of the Colony.

Before railways were thought of, lucky diggers

had to use the road, and this 'shanty,'

where grog was sold on the sly, was often

resorted to by those who wanted shelter and

rest. As the story goes-and there are

more improbable stories-the keeper used to

lure them to the precipice, rob them, and

then pitch them over into the valley beneath.

The Falls are about l!- mile from the railway

platform. There is a small accommodation

house near the platform, where a guide may

be procured. Persons may leave Sydney by

the morning train, visit the Falls, and return

to Sydney the same night."

The Water Nymph's Dell.-Directly

opposite to the Weatherboard Station ( or

rather Platform) there is a very pretty waterfall,

in a curiously secluded narrow glen ;

both waterfall and glen being ·well worthy of

a visit. You cross the Railroad a little to

the west of the pointsman's house, and turn

do,Yn at once into an adjacent scantily

wooded valley, wherein flowering shrubs and

rushes appear as the principal features. A

path leads down a continuation of this valley

to the eastward, on somewhat firmer ground,

for about a mile and a half; and then, by an

abrupt turn to the right, a winding and precipitous

track takes you down into the upper

encl of a deep and rocky gully. The hottom

and sides of this gully are shaded with tall

trees of coach wood and sassafras, everywhere

interlaced with vines ; and in the lower

portions of the gully there is an abundance

of ferns, mosses, and lycopods of all descriptions-some

of them very choice and rare.

Tree ferns-the Alsophila aiistralis and the

Dicksonia antarctica) display their graceful

fronds on all sides of you, in this cool umbrageous

place ; and when you stand upon

the lower ledge of rock, at the ba e of the

tortuous path, the pleasant rippling sound of

falling water becomes distinctly audible.

Proceeding further still, the noise of a waterfall

is soon heard, and over the grey cliff

opposite, across the gorge ( draped in the

glittering, dark foliage of trees and arborescent

plants) a charming cascade comes

down, whispering and mur.muring into the

glen. Following the rough and difficult path

to the westward, up this lovely but lonely

place, the end of the gorge becomes suddenly

revealed. At the termination of the path,

and below the cliff, lies a pool of limpid

water, wherein Egeria herself might not have

disdained to bathe. This pool is supplied by

the waterfall, descending at the back of it,

from the precipice, in several broken rills, for

more than 50 feet. The dark sides of the

rock and the edges of the basin in this Water

N yrnph's Dell are fringed and decked with

mosses and creeping plants of a wonderful

beauty and variety. The path down the hillside

appears to be by no means an easy one,

but the youthful, smiling guide speaks admiringly

of the indomitable energy and

daring of the lady visitors to thir:i beautiful

and romantic spot. Another less hazardous

ramble may be found by leaving the semaphore

near the line, and following up a

bubbling stream, by the edge of a marsh, to

the north-westward. The visitor may do this

for some considerable distance and find his

gravelly path bordered by a profusion of

mountain flowers, ferns, lycopodiums, and

those other plants which, in Australia, appear

to take the place of the heather in the

uplands of Scotland and other parts of


Katoomba Platform, 66 miles ; 3,349

feet above sea-level.-Leaving the platform

at the W eatherboar


splendid climate, Katoomba is fast becoming a

township of some importance. Two large

hotels have been established, one of which,

the "Great Western" (Carrington) is equal to

the "Imperial" at Mount Victoria, for the

amount of accommodation it gives, and for the

excellence of its appointments. Biles' hotel,

opposite the station, is a well kept and comfortable

hostelry. A Public and Private

School has also been erected. Probably there

is no place on the mountains where so many

beautiful views can be so easily and conveniently

seen within a short distance of the

Railway as at Katoomba. The main attraction

is the Katoomba Falls and the views of

Cunimbla Valley. Passing along a well laid

out road, starting from the southern side of

the Railway Station, the visitor, after a walk

of about a mile, reaches the edge of the

Cunim bla Valley. Here, standing on a

rocky promontory, a glorious view of the

extensive valley is presented, the mounds in

the valley thickly covered with timber, rising

like waves in a deep sea; afar off on the

opposite side groups of rocks are seen, their

heads mantled with a wreath of white fleecy

clouds, resembling some old baronial castle;

and in the centre of the valley the course of

a creek is clearly marked, its waters as they

flow onward being hidden by a thick growth

of brushwood. Just before reaching the

rocky promontory overlooking the valley the

road crosses the creek which makes the

waterfall, and a considerable body of water is

generally flowing. At Katoomba, unlike the

'\Veatherboard and Govett's Leap, the visitor

can reach the bottom of the valley, and the

waterfall is seen best from a point in the

track as it leads to the bottom of the valley.

The track, overhung with ferns and :flowering

shrubs, is clearly marked, and for some

distance comparatively easy of descent. Somo

little distance down a view is obtained of a

section of the valley, and through an opening

in a thick growth of ferns and umbrageous

trees, the water resembling a beautiful bridal

veil, is seen tumbling down upon the dark

depths of rocks below. The pathway then

passes between two massive rocks, the main

walls of the valley on one side and a detached

mass standing alone on the other. This rock

towering up for a couple of hundred feet like

some turreted castle, receives, on account of

its isolated position, the name of the Orphan

Rock. If the visitor is not afraid of a little

exertion, he can follow the track: until it

brings him to the bottom of the valley, where

he will reach the coal drive opened up by Mr.

North. A tramway runs from Katoomba to

the mine ; it is on a gradient of 1 in 2 from

the rocks fringing the valley to the minea

stationary engine at the top drawing up

by a wire rope the trucks of coal. In addi-­

tion to the coal there is a good seam of shale

in the valley, which promises to create a large

trade. A great deal of the prosperity at

Katoomba is due to the enterprise of Mr.

North in developing the coal and shale mines ;

and since the tramway has been made, a sawmill

has been started in the valley, a large

quantity of timber of excellent quality being

obtainable. In the vicinity of the saw-mill

and mine numerous splendid specimens of

fern trees are to be found. There is much

else to occupy the notice of the visitor at

Katoomba. At the proper season mountain

mosses, ferns, and :flowers are numerous and

beautiful. Although the main Katoomba

Falls, on account of their volume, attract the

greater notice, there are others smaller but

not the less beautiful ; particularly the Leura

and Lurline Falls.

A writer describing Katoomba., says:­

Katoomba is situated on t.he Blue Mountains,

66 miles from Sydney by rail, and

3,349 feet above sea-level. Leaving the busy

Redfern Railway Terminus, in about thirty

minutes we pass the pretty town of Parramatta

; then on either side may be seen some

fine orchards and orange groves, lightly timbered

grass lands, hills, and small streams.

We arrive at the quaint old town of Penrith

; here the train stops about ten minutes

for refreshments. Proceeding on our journey

we pass the N epean River, with its romantic

and picturesque scenery, and its massively

constructed iron tubular bridge. We soon

commence the ascent of the Zigzag, and as

we near the top a grand. panorama spreads

out before us. The scene is indescribably

magnificent ; we begin to breathe the deliciously

cool mountain air, being now about

700 feet above sea-level. The language of

the poet can alone describe the splendour of

the scenery which meets our view as we are


whirled along over gullies and hills ; the

hurrygraphs of scenery that come and go

like the sliding scales of a magic lantern, the

windows framing picture after picture, till at

length we get a fine view on our left of the

Kanimbla Valley; then there is a grinding

of the brake, and the station-master is seen

bustling about the platform, informing us

that we are at Katoomba. The hotels must,

of necessity, be a subject of interest to those

who visit the Mountains. Of these there are

three, all good and respectable, besides boarding-houses

for all classes-from those who

take their champagne, to those who hire

humble lodgings and take their own provisions.

The "Great Western Hotel" which is situated

on a high eminence just above and to the

left of the station, commands the only real

mountain view to be obtained without travelling

some distance from the line. The design

of the hotel is on the modern American style,

with a larg~ flat-top roof, from which can be

seen the city -of Sydney and its noted harbour.

It has accommodation for seventy to eighty

persons, contains nearly sixty rooms, consisting

of a large dining-room, general ladies'

drawing-room, and gentlemen's smoking and

reading-room. These are arranged, with

their necessary retiring rooms, at opposite

ends of the building, while the intermediate

space is divided into suites of private sitting

and bedrooms. A remarkable feature in the

planning of the structure is its large, wide,

and lofty corridors, which, in wet weather,

serves admirably as promenades, as also a

large verandah in front of the building, which

faces the east. All the principal rooms have,

therefore, in summer and winter, the benefit

of the cheerful early morning sun. Gas is

laid on, electric bells, and hot and cold water

baths are fitted to all the rooms. An excellent

provision for water-supply is now being

made by means of a Blake's hydraulic ram,

which is situated in a large spring of water in

the valley, about 1,000 yards distant.

Biles' Hotel, which is situated immediately

to the right of the station, is a large,

well-conducted hotel. Mr. Biles, who it will

be found is a most agreeable Boniface, has a

reput,ation for the abundance and excellence

of his dinners.

"Katoomba Hotel," about i of a mile on

the Bathurst road, is a wayside inn, where

every attention is shown to visitors by Mrs.


The principal sights of Katoomba, all of

which are within easy walking distance of

the hotels, are the following !-

Katoomba Falls.-The I~oomba Falls

are as pretty, and as well worth a visit, as

any on the mountains. Although an excellent

view is obtained from the rocks overlooking

the valley, the Falls are seen best by

taking the track on the right, and from an

opening near the Orphan Rock a splendid

view of the Falls and the valley below is

obtained. The Orphan Rock, standing solitary

like a sentinel on duty, is a prominent

object from the rocks near the head of the


The Witch's Leap.-By following the

winding path at the foot of the Falls you

will pass Maud's Wonder, from which can be

had a splendid view of the Falls and the

Glen, and pursuing the path by the first

opening on the left, the excursionist will

come upon M. Q. Any sound produced here

will be reverberated for several seconds.

Another very good view of the Falls can be

obtained from this point. Passing the Orphan

Rock, and descending the Gully, the

scene chanaes at every step. On the right

may be see~ the coal-tram ~merg~ng out of a

cleft in the rock. Descendmg a little further

(carefully) the valley can be reached, and following

the track to the left past the Sawmills

you will arrive at the foot of the Falls.

The tree ferns hereabouts are very fine.

The Bluff at Engine Point.-To the left

appears the Three Sisters, in front is the

Corowal or Solitary Mount, and on the extreme

left of the Mount and near the top is

the Crouching Lion, inclining to the right is

the Ruined Castle, Megalong, Mount Clear,

and in the distance some 50 miles away are

the Picton and N attai Ranges.

Grace's Hill.-From this point you can

see Jamison Valley to the south-east. ·when

stationed on this ~ill, the Three Sisters, a

portion of the Kanimbla Valley, Blackheath,

Mount Victoria, and the Boar's Head, &c.,

can be seen.

Katoomba Falls.






The Gap and the Neck of Land.-The

sight of this rugged and grand crater-like

abyss should not be missed by the tourist.

Birdie's Dell or Silver Spray Waterfall

is an enchanting spot, from which can

be caught a glimpse of the meeting of the

waters at Nelly's Glen.

Nelly's Glen is a remarkable gorge extending

from the top of the mountain to the

Kanimbla Valley, sloping rapidly for about

500 feet, and varying in width from 20 to 60

feet. At the top a meeting of two watercourses

forms the cascade. A thrice repeated

echo is heard here.

Leura and Lurline Falls.-A little above

these will be seen some beautiful cascades,

and .the meeting of two water-courses which

flow over beds of moss and rock to the verge

of a precipice, down which it suddenly leaps

in an almost unbroken sheet a descent of 800

feet, creating a deep hollow sound, while the

trembling waters shoot up their silvery spray

sparkling and flashing and foaming with tbe

dancing sunbeams bright and perfect rainbows.

The Fossil Rock is another marvel which

should not be forgotten.

The Coal-mine is well worth a visit. The

tramway is one mile and a quarter in lenO'th

from the Railway Siding and the trucks ~re

drawn by a steel cable, measurinO' 2J_ miles

0 2

and weighing 5! tons.

_The . Jenolan (formerly called the

Fish River) Caves.-Many inquiries have

been made as to the new route from Katoomba

to the remarkable caves which lie

a_t a dista~ce of about 18 miles in a straight

line, and m a S.W. by W. direction. As

the journey via Tarana and Oberon is

about 90 miles in length from Katoomba,

a shorter cut has long been a desideratum

ancl as a step in this direction the hotel~

keepers of Mount Victoria some years ago

cons~ru?ted a ~uggy track from that place

to withm 2 miles of the caves. The distance

between the two places is 44 miles,

and from one cause or other this track has

not been made much use of by the public.

Of course, from Katoomba this route, though

shorter than that by Tarana, would also be

very roundabout, and several attempts were

accordingly made to find a track direct ;

among others by Mr. Peter Fitzpatrick, of

Burragorang, who was connected with some

mining operations near Katoomba, and who

brought the matter under the notice of the

late Premier (Sir A. Stuart) on one of his

visits to that favourite resort. The result

was that first Mr. Rossbach, road surveyor,

and, later on, Mr. W. M. Cooper, Surveyor

of Public Parks, were sent to inspect and

report on the feasibiljty of the route and to

find the best line for a horse track. Mr.

Rossbach's inspection was only a preliminary

one, extending over a single day; Mr.

Cooper, who followed, spent ten days on the

work, and marked out a line from end to

end. The number of detours necessary to

earry a track with reasonable gradients

over so mountainous a country caused the

distance traversed to be 25 miles from the

starting point, or 26} from the "Great

Western Hotel," Katoomba. Special care

was taken to mark the line, so that it could

not easily be mistaken, by blazing trees in

a distinctive manner, and by affixiDg to the

trees at various intervals, corresponding

to the nature of the ground, squares, or

rather diamonds, of white calico, with black

figures conspicuously printed thereon, running

consecutively from 1 to 105. The

work wa8 completed in April, 1884, and

the following is a description of the route

which has been adopted between the two

places, and of the country passed through

on the way. A number of persons have

already made the journey on foot; any one

accustomed to walking can do it comfortably

in twelve hours ; and as the track becon1es

opened up, an increasing num~er of s_eekers

after health and pleasuro combmed will probably

follow their example. Whe~ t~e

proposed horse-track is completed it will

be a very enjoyable ride. of five. hours.

There is a good deal of variety and mtcrest

in the scene en route, and a short account

of its principal features will doubtless prove

acceptable to tourists, whether on foot or



Of the nature of the country passed

through it may be generally remarked that

it consists, first, of the great depression of

the Cox Valley, some 7 miles wide and 2,500

feet deep, and then of three spurs of the

Main Dividing Range of the Colony, the

range itself being followed for about a

mile, but not crossed, and attaining the

summit level of 4,040 feet at 21 t miles from


On leaving Katoomba, the Main Western

Road is followed for lf mile until the

E xplorer's Tree is reached. This is a

venerable relic of the early history of the

Colony, an old battered W and L cut in its

trunk (the B which was originally also there

having become obliterated by decay) telling

the story of the first successful attempt made

to surmount the hitherto impassable Blue

Mountains and penetrate the unknown interior,

by Wentworth, Lawson, and Blaxland.

The tree is fenced round and buttressed

with masonry, and bears the following inscription

affixed thereto :-

This wall and fence has (sic) been erected by the

H on. J. S. F arnell, Esq., Minister for Lands, to

preserve this tree marked by




being the farthest distance reached in their first attempt

to cross the :Blue Mountains in the month of


A.D. 1813.

The expedition, which consisted of William

Charles Wentworth, Gregory Blaxland, and

Lieutenant William Lawson, started from

South Creek, near Penrith, the residence of

Mr. Blaxland, on May 11, 1813, and reached

its farthest point on June l. The following

passa,ge from Oxley's Journal refers to the

state of things at this time:-

They now conceived that they had sufficiently accomplished

the design of -their undertaking, having

surmounted all the difficulties which had hitherto

prevented the interior of the country from being explored.

They had partly cleai:ed, or at least marked

out, a road by which the passage of the mountain

might be easily effected. Their provisions -were nearly

expended, their clothes and shoes wer~ in _very bad

condition, and the whole party were 111 with bowel


The expedition completed its return to

South Creek on June 6, having thus been

out less than a month. In order to do justice

to the courage, perseverance, and public

spirit displayed on this expedition, it should

be remarked that many previous attempts to

penetrate the barrier of the Blue Mountains

had returned unsuccessful, the first of which

was undertaken by George Bass in 1796.

Bass reported, on his return, that it was

" impossible to find a passage, even for a

person . on foot." In consequence of the

success of the former expedition, Governor

Macquarie dispatched George William

Evans, Deputy Surveyor of Lands, to extend

the discoveries. He crossed the N epean on

the 20th November, 1813, arrived at the termination

of Messrs. Wentworth, Blaxland,

and Lawson's journey on the 26th, and prosecuted

his undertaking for about 100 miles

further to the west to the Bathurst Plains.

On December 18 he commenced his return,

and on January 8, 1814, he arrived home

again. The construction of a road across

the mountains was immediately commenced,

and carried on so vigorously that on January

21, 1815, it was completed from Sydney to


At this point the route to the caves commences,

following at first a cart track, which ·

turns off to the left, and presently turning

off to the left again it arrives (2 miles from

Katoomba) at the head of the Megalong

Cleft. This is a na,rrow chasm in the great

sandstone wall, which is so remarkable a

feature in the Blue Mountain scenery. It

is quite practicable for travellers on foot,

though steep and slushy, from the con~tant

trickling of water from its head and sides,

and almost filled with magnificent tree and

other ferns, which thrive luxuriantly in the

constant shade and damp. Halfway down

the steep incline the musical sound of

falling water is heard, and a cascade of

some 30 ft. in height is seen on the left.

The cleft is about 3,280 ft. a born the sea at

the top (Katoomba is 3,350) and 2,690 at

the foot, thus making a descent of some

600 ft. in 21 chains, or an average grade of

1 in 2t, which might be impr?ved by zi~zaging

to 1 in 5 or 6. On emergmg from this

gorge of gloom, profound even at mid.-d:1y,

and from many points further on, strikmg

views are obtained of the long line of sandstone

cliffs behind and on each side, the


outlines and the great masses of light and

shade bein~ very bold and varied, and the

colouring of yellow, red, purple, and green

superb. In many places the cliff overhangs,

and one craggy mass to the west of the cleft

bears a strong resemblance to a huge castle,

with its great square towers, battlements,

buttresses, and turrets, even the lines and

joints of the masonry being distinctly visible;

and another to the e:1st, on which has been

conferred the name of the Boar's Head, is

curiously like the head of an heraldic dragon,

with pomted ears and open jaws. When

flushed with the morning or evening glow,

this mighty natural rampart is a sight worth

going far to see.

Proceeding onwards, a mile or so of rough

ground is passed over, a slope strewn with

angular rocks of different shapes and sizes,

the accumulated wreck of ages from the cliff

above, and covered with rather thick bush

and scrub. After this the track pasrns

through capital walking country, with sandy

or gravelly soil, open bush, and no scrub.

It is almost level for the next 3 or 4

miles to Megalong Station, where some

huts are seen on the right. After striking

the S.E. corner of the paddock fence the

track runs alongside the fence for about

a mile, and at the S.W. corner (6-! miles

from Katoomba, and 1,870 ft. above the

sea) lea,es the course of Megalona Creek,

which we have followed from the cleft thus

far, and, bearing to the left, sidles the

sloping ground on the left bank of the

Cox, which foams a.long its rocky bed far

b~low. An easy gradual descent for 3l

miles takes us to the crossing, passing on

the way, between marks 47 and 48 some

picturesque granite rocks, which h~ve in

past ages come tumbling down from the hill

a?ove . ( called the Pinnacle) like colossal

mne-prns ; one group, to which, from its

shape, the name of the Toad has been given

bei~g curiously perched one upon another:

wh1ls~ across the river a ridge, with three

promrne~t knobby peaks, attracts. attention

on the right. At lOi miles we arrive at

the crossing of the Cox, at its confluence

with the Gibraltar Creek, the level of which

is only 940 ft. above the sea, so that we

have descended no less than 2,500 ft. since

we left the Western Road. The river bed is

well worth noticing : it is composed almost

entirely of grey granite, mostly solid, but

with loose rocks and boulders strewn about,

some of them of huge dimensions, whilst the

clear green water forms deep mirror-like

pools among them, or tumbles over in

brawling cascades. A mile or so further up

the stream the valley is crossed by a dyke of

red granite, of a lovely rose colour, well

worth turning aside to see, if time allows,

or it could be taken on the return journey,

and a cut across made afterwards to rejoin

the track above. In its ordinary state the

river can be crossed dryshod, and if the

water should be unusually high a log whieh

spans the stream a few chains below is

available, but in the case of a flood it would

not be wise for an inexperienced person to

attempt the passage, whilst it is needless to

say that during a high flood nothing can

cross without swimming. Ralf a mile below

the crossing is the comfortable hut of Peter

Reilly, a free selector, who acts as stockrider

on the adjacent hills, which are well

grassed. H~ and his wife are the only residents

on the route, for Megalong Station is

only occasionally inhabited. Any travelJer

who spends an evening with Peter will be

entertained with a number of racy anecdotes

concerning the wild bush life which he and

so many others have led in the days gone by.

The track follows up the Gibraltar Creek,

and after crossing it three times, sidles up

the steep slopes of its right bank. It is easy

going, with the exception of two sharp

pinches, which can be avoided by side cutting

when the track is made, and brings us at 121

miles to a low saddle (2,310 ft.) across the

Mini Mini Range, an off-shoot of the Main

Divide, forming the northern boundary of

the Little River Valley, into which we

descend by an easy spur, and at 13t miles

we reach the bank of the river, 1,830 ft.

above the sea. Here, bordered by low hills,

is a small flat which will be a capital position

for a half-way house hereafter. Follow_ing

the left bank of the clear, pebbly, musical

stream for half a mile, we cross it and commence

the ascent of the Black Range, another

off-shoot of the Main Divide,runningeasterly

from it, and separating the waters of the

Little and J enolan Rivers. By a long easy

spur we rise 1,400 ft. in the next mile and a



half, this gives an average grade of 1 in G,

so that it is a task of no difficulty, except

for one stiff pull, where the grade of the

natural surface is about 1 in 4 for 60 cha.ins,

and where the going condition of the traveller

jg put to the proof. On reaching the top

(15t miles, height 3,200 ft.) the bron,d and

apparently flat range extends westward for

4 miles, then turns north for a mile so as to

head a gully of great depth, in which rises

one of the heads of the J enolan River; and,

bending to the west again for half a mile,

joins the Main Dividing Range of the Colony

at 20{ miles, and at a height of 3,980 ft.

above the sea. All along the Black Range

an olcl cart track is followed, used in former

years for the transport of bark to Bindo and

Hartley. Although: as might be expected,

pursuing a very serpentine course, it makes

a cn,pital walking track, quite equal if not

superior to the average Sydney foot pavement,

and much better than the Sydney

macadam. Here and there, where the track

approaches the edge of the ridge, extensive

views are obtained to the north, north-east,

and south-deep gullies plunging steeply

down into the great valleys, seas of dull

green foliage out of which rise the bluegreen

hills, with light yellow scars on their

distant flanks, plainly denoting the ss.ndstone

formation. About a mile further, at a point

4,040 ft. high, the Main Range, which in this

part of its course forms a remarkable ru

curve, turns to west and north-west, and our

trar.k leaves it and follows a spur trending

almost due south right away to the caves.

Along this spur runs the buggy track from

Mount Victoria before alluded to, which,

being cleared 10 or 12 ft. wide, and the ridge

being nowhere steep, affords another 3t miles

of excellent walking. Some extensive views

to the eastward are to be had from several

points on this part of the route, embracing

to the left Katoomba, with the "Great

\V estern Hotel" standing out against the

sky ; to the front the Cox Range, Medlow

Gap, and the striking two-peaked hill of the

Brothers visible through it, reminding the

travelled Australian of the Mythen on Lake

Luzern ; and to the right the profound recesses

of the great J enolan Gorge, terminating

in the mount of that ilk, one of the

hills which has the honor of being named

on Sir Thomas Mitchell's excellent feature

map, still by far the best in existence of

the mountain district within 100 miles of

Sydney. On the west is the deep gorge of

the J enolan Creek, clothed in luxuriant

timber, and on its further side the long wall

of the Main Range stands up high against

the sky. The descent of the spur we are

on is so easy that at 25 miles we are still

3,770 ft. above the sea; and then commences

the descent to the caves, which are 1,200 ft.

below. The spur plunges irregularly down

to its termination at the caves, so that it is

inexpedient to follow its ridge, and hence a

narrow track has been trenched in its side,

up or down which it is easy for man or horse

to walk except after dark. This brings us

to the Easter Arch of the caves-a natural

bridge of limestone striding over the J enolan

(M'Keown's, or M'Ewan's) Creek, from the

spur we have come down, to another which is

followed by the road from- Oberon. The

top of this archway is strewn with slippery

limestone rocks, and sundry holes descend

to the regions below, so that wary walking is

necessary in this neighbourhood. A track

is, however, marked out which there is no

difficulty in finding by daylight; and following

this down we come at" last, after a journey

of 26! miles, to our destination. In 11armony

with the philosophy of the American, who

said that there was no prospect, however fine,

which was not improved with a good hotel in

the foreground, the traveller who has come

thus far will probably deem the sight of the

accommodation house stretching across the

narrow valley in front of him one of the

pleasantest on the journey, the more so as

for the last 13 miles since leaving Little

River there is only one place where, excepting

just after rain, water is conveniently to be

had. He will be sure to receive every comfort

and attention from Mr. and Mrs. Wilson,

and under the experienced guidance of the

former or his brother can proceed next

morning to explore the caves, which may

be aptly termed the Australian fairy land,

and to the examination of whose charms

several days should be devoted. For extent,

variety, and wonderful beauty combined, this

series of caves has few equals in the world.

The present writer is aware of only one, the

grotto of Adelsberg, in Carniola, 12 miles



S.E. ·of Trieste, where the features are very

similar, and command the unbounded admiration

of travellers from every part of

Europe. Considering their attractions, it

seems surprising that our caves have not

been visited by every intelligent person in

the colony who possesses the time and means

necessary to enable him to make the expedition.

No doubt a ]arge number have been

deterred by the tedious and roundabout route

at present employed, and the limited number

which the house at the caves has hitherto been

able to accommodate. Both these difficulties

areincourseof being remedied to some extent:

the one by the horse track which is in course of

construction along the line marked out by Mr.

Cooper, and the other by an enlargement of Mr.

Wilson's house, which has been recently completed,

thoughit appears to be still inadequate

to public requirements on special occasions.

It 1s understood that arrangements are in

contemplation to exhibit their marvellous

beauties in the only way by which anything

like justice can be done to them,-by lighting

up the caves by electricity. This, if carried

out, will add tenfold to their charms, and

cannot fail to induce a much larger number

of persons to visit what will then certainly

be one of the sights of the world.

In conclusion, we can confidently recommend

any one of good health and vigorous

constitution, who has an eye for natural

beauty, and a love of fresh air and exercise,

t? take. this trip. By starting early, say 6

o cloc~ m the morning, it can be comfortably

made m ~he day on foot, and it will probably

~e of assrntance to him and give an additional

u~terest to his journey if he will carry with

him these notes and the accompanying map,

showing the natural features of the country

traversed by the track. It will be observed

that it is intersected from north to south

and south-east by the great deprernion of

the Cox Valley, from 2,000 to 3,000 feet

deep, bounded on the east by the long wall

of sandstone cliffs which is so well known

to tourists in the district. The remarkable

shape assumed by the island-like hills hereabouts

cannot fail to strike the observerislands

and promontories they once were,

no doubt ; they once bathed their feet in

the surge of the Pacific, and the oceans of

ancient days hollowed out their cavernous

sides, at the time when the coral insects

were slowly building up the limestone ridge

which now contains the wonderful series of

caves that are the object of the journey.

On the west of the valley, and ut an avern,gc

distanc·e of about 8 miles, it is bounded by

the line of the Main Dividing Range, a.bout

4,000 feet in height; numerous lateral spurs

rising from it divide the intervening space

into tributary vulleys, and along one of

these spurs, called the Black R.ange (from a

dark-coloured stone found upon it), the

track is taken to its junction with the Main

R.ange. As the range at this point bends

almost back again on itself in a curious (\)

curve, the track leaves it and takes udvantage

of a spur running southwards right to

the caves themselves.

A sum of £2,500 has been voted by Parliament

for the construction of a horse track

by this route, and the work has been commenced

at the Megalong Cleft, where a zig-zag

is being cut, partly in solid rock, which when

completed will be usable by horses without

difficulty, the steepest gradient being I in 5!.

Summary of Distances and Heights on Track from Katoomba to Jenolan Gares.



Distn,nce from

Railway Station,

















~at~omb,a Railway Station • , •.... , , , , , • , , , . , .... , , , , , , , , . . ... , . , •.... , ....... .

T xp of~ s Tree ......... ,., ....... ,,,,,, , ,, .. ,, ... ,,,,,,, ........ ,,,,,,,,, .... .

F~~t 0 0£ J[o~af {:; 0 Jf !it · · · · · · · · · · · · · ' · · ' ' ' ' · · ' · · · · ' · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ' ' · · · · ·

~t~f Q}l;:.:/!//!/!Iti!\//

Main Dividing Range and bu"'gy track fro~1 ·M~uht vi~t~;·i~ · · · · · · · · • · · · · · · · · .....

Top of descent ....... , , .... ~ ........... , , , ..... , ..... , . , : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Caves ...... , , ......... . , ............. , , . , . , .. , .•.. , .. , . , .. , .. , , ...... , ...... .



1 40

1 73

2 14

3 22

6 61

10 17

12 38

13 62

15 25

21 29

24 73

26 37
















When you leave Katoomba there are peeps

to the left as you proceed for about 2 miles

further to the westward. Mountains then

become visible to the right, and distant

views are to be seen to the left, with lofty red

cliffs and dark blue and grey ranges. Then

the road-at Pulpit Hill-takes a sharp turn

to the northward, and runs through many

deep cuttings on this prolongation of the

table-land still lying between the two great

watersheds; winding a good deal, and showing

many glimpses of blue mountains and

magnificent cliffs of red and grey sandstone.

To the left, over the Cunimbla Valley, views

are occasionally to be seen of wondrous

beauty, and strangely diversified with rich

varieties of colour and atmospheric effects.

The line passes a pretty Gothic gatehouse

(for the benefit of those drovers· who may

still have occasion to use the Old Road) and

soon after you catch sight of the far off

ranges of mountains, which lie in the direction

of Windsor and Richmond, and even of

Brisbane Water-the " Gap" beyond Cooranbong,

in the Broken Back or Sugar-loaf

Range, being readily distinguishable on a

clear day by those who know where to look

for it. Then there are several hastily displayed

and as rapidly withdrawn views of

the Cunimbb Valley away to the southwestward

; and so, after a very pleasant

t1'a:J°et of 7 miles, the traveller finds himself

arrived at Blackheath, in the immediate

vicinity of Govett's Leap and Gorge, overlooking

to the north and north-eastward the

Great Valley of the Grose.

A visit to Katoomba, Blackheath, &c., has

been pleasantly described by Locksley in the

Melbourne" Argus." He says:-

" You take the train at Redfern at 9 o'clock

in the morning, and soon leave the city and

its straggling suburbs behind. The day was

bright and sunny when we began our trip,

and the country was fresh and green from the

recent rains. We pass groves of oranges,

where the winter crop of the golden fruit

shines out brightly from the rich green foliage.

The considerable town of Parramatta is

passed, and further on that of Penrith, on

the banks of the fine N epean River, which

flows just at the foot of the Blue Mountains

which here rise steep and high, a colossal

barrier, right athwart our course. The line

runs straight for them, and soon you feel by

the heavy beats of the engine that you are

labouring up a very stiff ascent. Some

distance further on you come to the first

Zigzag in ascending which you obtain in

various aspects some very charming views of

the plains you have quitted, with the gleaming

river winding through them. As you

advance you steadily rise, and climb up to

the higher part of the great mountain mass.

The road presents constant changes to the

eye; now you are looking over miles of blue

hills and bluer valleys, now passing some

wild fantastic glen, now looking onward to a

strange notch in the ridge of a


all covered with small ranges of hills like the

blue, storm-tossed billows of a mighty sea.

But in the midst of the valley right before

us rises a massive hill, level with the ground

we stand on, and showing on its red-tinted

cliffs lines of stratification exactly corresponding

to those visible in the bounding-walls of

the valley. This is the Solitary, but its

savagely isolated, inaccessible look, and its

general conformation, first a huge talus, then

a wall of perpendicular cliff, and on the top

a forest-covered table land, reminded us of

views we had seen of the great unscaleable

mountain of Roraima, on the borders of

British Guiana. Below where we stood on a

jutting point of cliff, a huge rock, fantastically

shaped like a colossal natural cathedral, stood

in the valley below. A walk of a mile or

two took us to another point of view, just

over the Katoomba Falls, where a slender

stream leaps as though with fear and reluctance

over the lip-edge of a great precipice,

and descends in finely divided, wavering,

lace-like tracery to the depths of the valley

below, where it is lost among the trees of

which we just discern the tops. On the

other side of us rises from the profound gulf

a tall, rudely pinnacle-shaped rock, all

shaggy with trees which found root-hold in

its rugged joints and recesses. But the sight

of all was the long lines of battlemented

cliffs, now redder than ever in the light of

the afternoon sun, while the depth of the

valley was growing bluer, as though by

reflection from the sky above. They seemed

like mighty fortifications remaining from a

time when giants warred with gods, with

their curtains and ravelins, scarp and glacis,

and jutting bastions, the dimensions of which

were not in yards but in furlongs. And so

these enormous ramparts stretched away for

miles down the valley, where, at its lower

end, the strange formation breaks up into

formless disorder, and confused masses of blue

hills bound the prospect.

" The afternoon air at the altiLude of this

magnificent sanitarium for the people of

Sydney is warm and genial, but as the sun

approaches the horizon and the shadows

grow long the temperature rapidly falls, and

you are glad to get inside the house. But the

air is al ways light, and fresh, and free, and

as stimulating as champagne. From the

verandah of the hotel the great electric light

in the lighthouse at South Head, which

iJlumines the whole harbour with its revolving

blaze, can be seen scintillating and flashing,

like a more brilliant Venus, on the horizon.

" When we rise in the morning the easterly

plains are covered in patches with a low mist,

and seem as though covered with the sea.

From the great valley close at hand rise the

ragged edges of enormous boiling mists, which

dissipate as soon as they ascend ab.ove the

sides of the mighty cauldron. We take a

walk of about a mile to the historic tree

where the three gallant explorers, Wentworth,

Blaxland, and Lawson, in their first attempt

to penetrate the huge barrier of the Blue

Mountains in 1813, carved their names before

turning back, as they were forced to do, for

fresh supplies. The tree is now protected by

a wall, built by the Government, containing

a large inscribed stone to commemorate the

circumstance. It then became a question

what was to be the programme for the day.

We could not, indeed, reach the Lithgow

Valley, or even the Second (which is the

greater) Zigzag, and get back to Sydney, as

we wished to do, that night. But we could

go on as far as Govett's Leap and see the

similar, and it is said even more awful, Valley

of the Grose ; or we could go down to the

next station and see the Wentworth Falls,

at the famous Weatherboard. We were

persuaded to choose the latter, in which

I think we made a mistake, inasmuch as

we thereby only saw one of the great

gorges instead of the two. Not that the falls

themselves were anything less than wonderful.

Their depth must be enormous, including the

space where the little stream rushes down for

perhaps one or two hundred feet in white,

foaming, plashing, rapids between the rocks,

then falls for hundreds of feet through the

air in slender threads, projected on the black

background of the overhanging cliff, swaying

in the breeze, and at times caught by the

gusts and whirled wildly about 'like a .mad

witch's hair,' and carried right back agam to

the top of the fall, but all ultimate~y descending

in spray and rain among the nch :7eg.etation

at the foot, where it collects agam rnto

a stream before taking its final plunge over

another vast cyclopean wall into the valley

beneath. From this point you undoubtedly see


the valley in its most impressive aspect. The

precipices here are more imposing, the effect of

the mighty containing walls of the gorge

is grander, and the great Solitary looks more

like Roraima than ever. When you try to

analyse the impression these sights stamp on

the mind you find a difficulty in resolving it

into its elements. It is too strange for sublimity,

too overpowering for beauty, too stern

for the fantastic, too severely wild for the

grotesque. The impression, like the scene, is

unique, and will not come in place under any

of the familiar terms of description. The

feeling which rises in the mind as you look

at the scene and give yourself up fully to the

sentiments awakened by the view of these

awful precipices, these vast distances, these

strangely contrasted colourings of bright red

cliff ancl intensely blue valley, these enormous

depths, that ·wildly confused floor covered

with hills and forests many hundreds of feet

below, is that you have been brought nearer

than you ever stood before to the workings

of some strange and mighty and unsuspected

forces in the great arsenal of nature.

'' And with this our views of the Blue

Mountains had for the time to encl. They

are well and happily named. All of our Australian

mountains are blue in the distance,

but none I think so blue as these. Their

blueness, or 'blueth,' as some of our old

writers used to write the word, seems a

positive colouring and not a mere effect of

distance. It begins so very close to you, and

deepens into such deep ultramarine farther


One more word about the Blue Mountains.

These are capable of being regarded in many

different aspects. For a long time they were

looked upon as an enormous tract of waste

and useless land, lying like an enormous

obstruction in the middle of the Colony. It

is impossible to regard them in this way now.

They have been proved to be amazingly

rich in mineral treasures of the most varied

characters. Few places rival the famous

Lithgow Valley in the abundance and variety

of their mineral wealth. And even here,

in these nearer parts we have visited, the

same character of mineru.l richness holds

good. Just within sight of the picturesque

Katoomba Falls the upper works of a

coal-mine are perched on the very edge of

the vast prec1p1ce, and the coal is hauled

from the pit by a wire rope right to the side

of the railway."

Mount King George, Mount Hay,

Mount Toomah, and Mount Wilson.­

Lying north-eastward and north of the linP,

between Katoomba and Blackhe~th-from 6

to 13 miles away, and in the almost inaccessible

country which constitutes the watersheds

of the Grose and the Colo RiYers-are

the four lofty mountains of King George,

Hay, Toomah, and Wilson. Mount King

George, on the north-west side of the Grose

-the Saddle-backed Hill, visible from

Sydney-is 3,620 feet high; Mount Hay,

on the south-east side of the same river,

2,400 feet; and (more northerly between the

Colo River and the Wollangambe Creek)

Mount Wilson, 3,580 feet. Eastward of all

these stands Mount Toomah, 3,240 feet high.

These mountains, the most conspicuous points

in the whole range, can be seen from Sydney,

and are sometimes spoken of collectively, as

" The Dromedary." Some of them can :first

be seen from the verandah of the " Old Blue

Mountain Inn," at the Lawson Station; but

as the traveller proceeds to the westward,

they become gradually more and more developed.

"Mr. Charles Moore, of the Sydney

Botanic Gardens," says Burton's Guide (page

121), "has drawn attention to the fact that

on these four hills the soil is of the richest

kind, composed principally of disintegrated

trap, and clad with noble timber trees of a

brush character, the undergrowth being

chiefly tree and other ferns. This is the

more extraordinary from the fact that they

are surrounded in all directions by others of

a sandstone formation, covered by a wretched

and sterile scrub, and some eucalypti of

miserable growth." For long after the opening

of the Main Western Road, Mount Hay

was supposed . to be inaccessible, until -that

indefatigable explorer, Count Strzelecki, successfully

crossed the ravines and ascended

the summit. "Some idea," says Sir Thomas

Mitchell, in his work on Australia, "may be

formed of the intricate character of the mountain

ravines in the neighbourhood, from the

difficulties experienced by the surveyors in

endeavouring to obtain access to Mount Hay.

Mr. Dixon, in an unsuccessful attempt, pene-


trated to the Valley of the Grose, until then

unvisited by man, and when he at length

emerged from the ravines in which he had

been bewildered four days, he thar.ked God

(to use his own words, in an official letter)

that he had- found his way out of them."

Even Count Strzelecki tells us, that in the

course of his researches he was engulphed in

the endless labyrinth of the almost subterraneous

gullies of Mount Hay, and was

unable to extricate himself and his men until

after days of incessant fatigue, danger, and

starvation. "But," he adds, "the ascent of

Mount Hay, whEn these difficulties are once

surmounted; repays richly the exertions and

fatigues which it entails. From its basaltic

top the distant views to the south and

weRt are somewhat intercepted by King's

Table-land and other mountains somewhat

higher than Mount Hay ; but to the east,

the sea-coast, bordering the interesting basin

through which flows the rivers N epean and

Hawkesbury, the vicinity of Farramatta

River, together with Sydney and Botany

Bay, are distinctly visible. To the north also

the prospect is extensive. In the intervening

space may be noticed the vast gorge at the

head of the Grose River. In a westerly direv

tion, in the valley, lie the towns of Hartley

and Bowenfels, ,vith Mount Lambie in the

background." Mount King George, Mount

Hay, and Mount Toornah, form conspicuous

objects in the grand view from the edge of

the gorge near Blackheath, which generally

goes by the odd but well-known name of

"Govett's Leap."

l Blackheath Platform, 73 miles ; 3,494

feet above sea-level.-The visitor may

either leave the train here, where he will find

good accommodation, or journey on to Mount

Victoria, from which place Blackheath may

be readily visited either on foot or on horseback,

there being a good road near the line

all the way, a distance of about 4 miles.

On the eastern side of the hotel standing near

the station a road branches off to the northeastward,

and leads the tourist, after a walk

or ride of 2 miles, to the edge of the gorge.

Mount King George is found rising to the left

of the traveller when he reaches this interesting

spot, and Mount Hay appears in front

of him, at the distance of rather more than 5

miles. "as the crow flies." Between the hut

and lYiount Hay there is a general and almost

continuous descent to the extreme depth of

1,850 feet, the vast densely wooded basin

beneath converging towards the gorge of the

Grose, presenting a coup d'(J!,il which can never

be forgotten. On the right of the ruined

hut, at the distance of about half a mile, is

the "G.ovett's Leap," or Falls, an unbroken

descent of about 500 feet. Far below, in the

valley, is "The Trinity Cascade," and to the

westward (nearly on a line with Govett's

Leap) is another waterfall, not so easy to see,

known as "The Left-hand Fall," for want

of some more fitting designation. There is

also yet another cascade formed by one of the

minor tributaries of the Grose, away to the

eastward, at the distance of 2 or 3 miles

from the hut. Another track-ending on the

west side of the accommodation house-leads

to " Ferry's Look-clown" into the Grose

Valley, near Hat Hill-some miles further to

the north of Govett's Leap. From "Ferry's

Look-down" the track is continued past

"Docker's Ladder," down to a place called

"The Gap," and so on to "Junction Camp,"

in "the Gorge of the Grose," properly so

called, 2,150 feet below the Blackheath

platform ; but no ordinary visitor should

on any account attempt to visit these lastnamed

spots without a thoroughly competent


Govett's Leap: Waterfalls and Gorge.

-From a bold and rugged mass of rock in a

J;ay or bend at the southern extremity of

the valley or chasm, and near the ruined

hut at the end of the road, the visitor may

perhaps obtain the best general view of this

wondrous spot. To the right, at the distance

of about half a mile, the Govett's Leap, or

Fall, pours itself, headlong, over a perpendicular

wall of dark tinted rock, 520 feet in

sheer descent, on to a mass of black fragments

of stone which has in the course of ages

accumulated at the base of the cataract.

This descending mass of water-white and

misty as the driven snow-sways, as the

wind blows, to and fro, like the veil of a

bride ; the vast height of the waterfall, the

strong contrast of colour, and the undulating

motion so produced, imparting a very singular

and most charming effect. When the sun


attains to a certain altitude, a rainbow plays

for hours around the cloudy folds of this

Fairy Veil. From the neighbourhood of the

hut the other cascades are not visible ; but on

turning a few yards to the westward the deep

whisper of the Left-hand Fall may be distinctly

heard. The whole of this rock-enclosed

valley before the spectator is for the

most part hemmed in with titanic walls of red

and grey rocks from 400 to 800 feet in height,

and from the irregularly defined base of these

outermost and uppermost walls of the valley

there is everywhere a steep rocky incline, or

talus, covered with thick woods down to the

lowest depths, 1,200 feet below the level of

the rock on which the traveller stands. Here

and there in this broad and verdant expanse

of tree-tops, rising and falling according to

the varied surface, may be seen a few grey

patches of half denuded rock; but for the

most part all these lowest slopes (on either

side of the devious but invisible central

stream) are densely shaded with primeval

forest trees, the tops of which, from the alt.itude

occupied by the spectator, appear

strangely soft and dim in their outlines.

Beyond the " Leap" -apparently a Cumbrian

provincialism for wate1fall, named after W.

R. Govett, a Government surveyor, who first

explored these parts-and round the first

point to the eastward, there is another deep

" bay" of precipitous rock ; and from the

furthest limit of this bay there is a winding

channel leading down to the centre of the

whole tableau. From the easternmost end of

the Govett's Leap Gorge the rocky walls trend

north-westerly, until, ending sharply as before,

the semicircular barren top of Mount Hay

becomes visible, with long lines of blue hills

in the extreme distance. The Govett's Leap

Gorge is shut in on the western side of its

northern limit by a boldly projecting termination

of cliff and talus; and thence inside of

that outer boundary a grand sweep of rocks,

mountains, and declivitous slopes comes back

to the left of the spectator. To the west of

the hut, as you go towards the Left-hand

Falls, there is a most extraordinary echo, by

which short sentences are distinctly repeated

nearly half a minute after they have been

uttered. In the slopes many hundred feet

below, in the vicinity of the Left-hand Fall,

there are large and lovely groves of tree fern

and such like products, the rocks behind

them being beautifully decked with trailing

creepers and arborescent plants. Mount

King George (here assuming the outline of a

couchant lion) overlooks the western side of

the Govett's Leap cha~m-a southern offshoot

of the Valley of the Grose, the course of

which, by the way, is here from north-west

to south-east. The glorious character of the

entire scene, in all its vastness and sublimity

-cliff, mountain, forest, and shadowy distant

hills-impresses the beholder with admiration

and with awe, the never ceasing sigh of unseen

and remote waters naturally conducing

greatly to the general effect.

Another description of Govett's Leap.

-The following description of the Govett's

Leap Gorge and Falls is from the accomplished

pen of Mr. E. Du Faur, F.R.G.S.: "Leaving

the Blackheath Platform (7 3 miles from

Sydney) the tourist follows a road trending

east-north-east, through an uninteresting

scrubby forest, for about 2 miles (having

gradually descended about 320 feet), when

he arrives at the edge of a gorge hemmed in

by perpendicular cliffs of sandstone, lying in

horizontal strata, and varying generally from

400 to 800 feet in depth. From the foot of

these cliffs a steep talus descends to the

centre of the gorge, at a depth of 1,850 feet

from th.e edge of the precipice. The width

of the gorge varies from three-quarters of a

mile to a mile and a-half, and its length, in a

straight line, to its confluence with that of

the Grose River, is 3-l miles. At a distance

of 520 yards from the end of the road a small

watercourse abruptly terminates in the Falls

known as Govett's Leap, the perpen


limited, being confined to the northern slopes

of the main ridges along which the Railway

passes; but being fed from swamps or

'sponges,' they are perennial, and show little

variation in the quantity of water passing

down them in winter or summer, except immediately

after heavy rains. The descent to

the foot of the Falls is at present impracticable

from their immediate neighbourhood. It was

reached for the first time-at least for many

years-in the month of October, 1875, from

a sketching camp formed by the writer, at

the junction of Govett's Leap Gorge with the

Valley of the Grose, to be hereafter described.

That junction is situated about 12 miles

down the Grose Valley from the Hartley

Vale Siding (80 miles from Sydney), and

2,270 feet below the Railway _; thence, owing

to the roughness of the upper part of

Govett's Creek bed and the denseness of the

scrub, fully three and a half hours are

required to reach the foot of the Falls,

although the distance, as above stated, is only

about 3-1- miles in a straight line. As

described by its visitor'l3 on that occasion, the

scene at the bottom of the Falls is, if possible,

grander than that from above. From the

top you can see nothing distinctly, only an

awful gulf, with a confused mass of foliage

far b~low; but from below it appears a large

amphitheatre, filled with trees of luxuriant

growth, and ferns and mosses. The water

corning down sometimes like falling rockets,

sometimes dissipated by the wind into clouds

of spray before it has half completed its

downward course, is wafted over a large area,

and insures the conditions of perennial

moisture so plainly evidenced by the luxuriance

of the surroundin()' verretation. Then

, f O 0

agam, rom below you have a sky-line broken

into many fantastic shapes, and lighted up in

parts with delicate bright hues, while others

are in deep shade, in lieu of the almost

uniformly level horizon seen from above.

Standing at the basin at the foot of Govett's

Leap, which is only about 25 yards from the

perpendicular wall of rock, it is almost impossible

to look up at the Falls. The better

plan is to lie on one's back, and look upwards

to the zenith, when the 700 feet cliffs forming

the ends of the horse-shoe bend in which the

Falls are situated tower above you on either

side, while the waterfall appears to be coming

down from a depression in their centre almost

on to your face. Few persons perhaps could

lie in that position for more than a minute

or two at a time without feeling giddy, the

sight is so grand. Besides the three principal

falls above referred to, there are many others

in this valley and in that of the Grose of

almost equal depth, which have not yet been

clm;ely approached; while some of the minor

cascades-notably the 'Trinity Falls'-are

of excessive beauty. Before leaving the

subject it may be as well to record the origin

of the name of' Govett's Leap.' Mr. W. R.

Govett was a Government surveyor who, in

the year 1832, under instructions from Sir

Thomas (then Major) Mitcell, the Surveyor­

General, 'to survey the features of the county

of Cook,' is supposed to have first discovered

the Falls. He made some unsuccessful

attempts to descend into the gorge ; but his

plarn; of the contour of the ranges and gorges,

as partly traversed and otherwise sketched in

from above, and which illustrate an area of

some 650 square miles, are proved to be

remarkably accurate, when the early date and

limited means at his disposal, in country

of so remarkahly difficult a character, and

entirely uninhabited, are considered."

Another description of Govett's Leap.

-Mr. Edwin Barton's description of Govett's

Leap and its vicinity will also Le re.ad with

interest. That indefatigable litterateiir says :

" One of the greatest natural ,vonders of the

world is Govett's Leap, 6 miles from Mount

Victoria Station. The goods train, which

leaves soon after 10 o'clock every morning,

will drop the excursionist at Blackheath

Platform, and a walk of a mile and a half

through some pretty scenery will bring him

to the Gap itself. There was once a stockade

here, and the ruins of the officers' quarters

may still be see.n lying on the ground, whilst

on the opposite side of the station is an old

graveyard. The track leading to the 'Leap,'

which is wide enough for buggies, is entered

amidst some tea-tree scrub a hundred yards

or so to the left of the Main Western Road,

and not far from the hotel. Once on the

track the visitor has nothing to do but to

follow it up until he reaches the tremendous

rent or depression in the earth, which is said

to be the deepest chasm with perpendicular


cliffs in the known world. It is almost sur-·

rounded with these cliffs, which are believed

to be nowhere less than 3,000 feet above the

level of the sea. The full sublimity and

majestic grandeur of the scene is not realised

at a first glance. After contemplating it for

a time the mind becomes filled with awe and

wonder as it vainly strives to comprehend

" ---The vast immeasurable abyss

Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild."

The trees in the valley below, although one

or two hundred feet high, or perhaps more,

are undistinguishable in their individuality.

Standing on the abrupt precipitous wall, one

cannot help feeling a strong desire to reach

the depths of the gorge. But the closer one

seeks for a spot at which a descent can be

made, the more certain does it appear that

such an object is unattainable. It is recorded

that Sir Thomas Mitchell (formerly

Surveyor-General for the Colony) endeavoured,

first by walking ancl then by crawling between

the great fragments of sandstone, to ascend

the Gorge through which the river Grose

joins the Nepean, but in vain. Near to the

shed which was erected by the Government

on the occasion of Prince Alfred's visit, and

which overlooks the ravine, a track may be

noticed winding down 200 or 300 feet, to

where a rock juts out, and on which those

who are fearless enough may recline, and

endeavour, if they can, to form some conception

of this wonderful place. The scenery is

full of grandeur, and to add to its beauty

there are two streams, which are precipitated

into the mighty chasm, and a~though meeting

with no impediment but the atmosphere in

their descent, they are dissipated into mist

long before their waters can reach the bottom

j and often when the wind is favourable

the spray is wafted upwards and along for a

considerable distance. To a few members of

the New South Wales Academy of Art is the

horror due of having explored the valleys which

lead up to this tremendous gorge. For some

days this gallant band made their home in the

ravines, and succeeded in ascertaining the

heights of the hills, and taking a number of

excellent photographs of the scenery."

The Mermaid's Glen.-The visitor to

Blackheath should 11ot omit to pay a visit to

a pretty dell known as the Mermaid's Glen.

To reach it you leave Blackheath platform,

and after following the Railway line in the

direction of Sydney for about half a mile the

word "Cave" will be found written on the

~ailway fence (southern boundary), a little

distance beyond the furthest distance signal

from the station. From the fence a welldefined

track leads into the valley. At the

bottom of the glen the track passes between

two rocks into a lovely natural basin, dense

with ferns, into which a streamlet falls.

Leaving this and passing to the right a larger

stream is found running through the valley j

the stream is hidden in many parts by masses

of ferns and shrubs; in places forest trees,

. their trunks covered with moss of years'

growth, have fallen across it; while the living

trees, with foliage beautifully green and dense,

t!1row a grateful shade over the whole glen.

Mount Victoria Station, 77 miles;

3,422 feet above sea-level.-4 miles northwest

from the Blackheath PlaHorm is the

Station of Mount Victoria, not the less remarkable

for the centrality of its position

and for its bracing atmosphere than for the

grandeur of its scenery. Mount Victoria is

a place of some importance, being a very

favourite place of resort for tourists and invalids.

Already it contains numerous villa

residences, a post office, a telegraph station,

two or three stores, and three excellent

hotels-the "Royal," Perry's "Imperial,"

and the " :Manor House." There is also

a Public School and an Anglican Church.

The "Imperial Hotel" is a large castellated

edifice, occupying a commanding situation

between the two other hotels. In the immediate

vicinity of Mount Victoria are many

localities of great beauty and peculiar interest

to the traveller. Amongst these are: Mount

Piddington; the Fairy Dell; the Engineer's

Cascade ; the Little Zigzag ; the Fairy Bower;

Cox's Cave and Waterfall, below Mount

Piddington; and the Mount Victoria Pass.

There are few places throughout the whole

Blue Mountain Range where a more pleasant

variety can be found for the lovers of the

picturesque or more comfortable accommodation.

. It is usual for tourists to make Mount

Victoria their head-quarters, and thence to

make excursions in different directions-up


and down the line, away into Hartley Vale,

and into the great Cunimbla Valley and


Mount Piddington.-A favourite much

frequented spot is Mount Piddington, to the

south of Mount Victoria, one of the highest

points in the vicinity, and about a mile from

the Station. Mount Piddington received

its name in commemoration of the enterprise

and public spirit of the Hon. W. R. Piddington,

who felled many trees on the summit,

formed the roads, and caused seats to be constructed

by the Government for the convenience

of pedestrians. The place is now

vested in the hands of three Trustees (Mr.

Cousins, Mr. Benson, and the Hon. Mr.

Piddington), who have done a great deal

towards making the many places of note easy

of access to the crowd of tourists who visit

hero. On Mount Piddington a commodious

hut has been erected, from which the visitor,

protected from sun or rain, may see the glorious

view spread out before him. Thi::i grand

eminence, Yisible from the Railway on the

Sydney side, overlooks a portion of the Vale

of Hartley and the broad Cunimbla Valley,

amongst the undulating hills and forests of

which there are numerous homesteads. To

the south-east are the uplands of the country

near the town of Camden; and to the north

may be seen the distant ranges which lie

away in the direction of Singleton, on the

Hunter. Much nearer, at the distance of

only a dozen miles or so, may be recognized

the four mountains of King Georg0, Hay,

,vilson, and Toomah. The view from Mount

Piddington ( everywhere traversed by admirable

roads) is extremely fine in the early

morning, when the varied depths of the whole

Valley of Cunim hla often lie whelme:l in a

misty moving se:i of blue ( cobalt) tipped here

and there with the rosy ( or golden) light of

the sun. Mr. E. Vickery's country residence,

on some far-away hill in the great valley

below, is at all times a conspicuous and

interesting feature in the charming prospect

here unfolded to view. It is near Vickery's

only 2 or 3 miles beyond it, that the Blackheath

Creek falls into the river Cox.

The Engineer's Cascade.-The Engineer's

Cascade is a fine waterfall a mile or so

at the back of Ferry's " Family Hotel," about

midway between Mount Piddington and the

Little Zigzag-a little to the left of the road

as you go down towards the Pass. Here,

as in many of the other dingles and glens,

wild flowers, mosses, and ferns abound. The

view from this spot to the south-westward is

very highly spoken of.

The Little Zigzag or Cunimbla Pass.­

Not far from the Old Main Road, and to the

rear of "Ferry's Hotel," there is a bridle-track

laid out by the Roads Department, leading

from the mountain down the face of the

precipice into the Cunimbla Valley. This is

generally known as the Little Zigzag or

Cunim bla Pass, and is well deserving of a

visit. This pass, formed with much shill on

a series of zigzags, is 46 chains in length.

There are sixteen of these traverses on the

side of the mountain, each averaging about

190 feet in length. The scenery from these

successive terraces ( and especially from the

upper ones) is very grand. To the. right is

Mount Victoria, with its connecting pass on

the Old Road, in full view, and there is

moreover an unbroken prospect stretching

over all the lower country. Half-way down

this road are some remarkable :fissures in the

rocks, known as the Cunimbla Caves. These

extend into the mountain for some depth.

The Mount Victoria Pass.-The Monnt

Victoria Pass-ahout 2 miles from the Mount

Victoria Station, on the Old Road to the

westward leading towards Hartley-was constructed

many years ago by prison labour,

under the supervision of Sir Thomas Mitchell.

In the old clays, before the existence of

Railroads, it was regarded as a triumph of

engineering skill, and it is still well worth a

visit. After passing through a deep cutting

at this spot the visitor should turn off the

road for a few yards to the right, and he will

then have spread before him a magnificent

panorama of mountain, vale, and forest ;

Little Hartley lying at his feet, Great Hartley

beyond, and Bowenfels in the distance. Here

Hartley Vale ( containing the measured lands

of the New South Wales Shale and Oil Company,

with Mount York and Mount Clarence

adjoining-in fact the whole upper basin of

the river Lett and other minor tributaries of


the Cox) lies away to the north and west of

this road and pass, hemmed in by the steep

mountain ridges upon the east and north.

Mount York.-Another pleasant walk

from Mount Victoria may be found along the

ridge to Mount York, one of the most prominent

elevations on the western side of the

range. This mountain-which is named after

Her present Majesty's uncle, the Duke of

York-terminates abruptly to the westward

(at about 6 miles from the Mount Victoria

Station) in precipices of over 750 feet in

height; its topmost point being 3,292 feet

above the level of the sea. On the one hand,

at the base of this mountain lies the Valley

of Clwydd·:


and Lithgow. The principal hotel is the

"Imperial." It is one of the largest out of

Sydney, contains seventy rooms, and has

accommodation for eighty people. Opposite

the hotel the proprietor has laid out a recreation

ground for his patrons, tennis-court, &c.

Guides, horses and vehicles, are always to be

obtained, and excursions are now frequently

made from here to the Fish River Caves, the

distance being 31 miles. The oldest established

house, kept by Mrs. Perry, and the

"Royal,." are also comfortable well-appointed

hotels, situated in close proximity to the

station. Visitors who desire more private

accommodation can secure it at Manor

House, a private hotel, well conducted and

favourably situated. In addition there are

several other private establishments, so that

a large number of visitors can be here accommodated.

Excursion from Mount Victoria to

the Weatherboard.-An artist, or any real

lover of the picturesque, may take a very

pleasant excursion from Mount Victoria to

the "Weatherboard," by starting early in

the morning, and walking all the way down

by the side of the Railway, a distance of 15

miles. Much lovely scenery may thus be

observed by a pedestrian tourist, which he

cannot otherwise see, either from the line

or the Old Road. At about a mile to the

eastward of Mount Victoria he will come,

al ways looking to the right, upon a bold

bluff in the foreground, fringed with woods

along its outline; sweeping round from the

Railway range to where it ends, in a cliff

with a well-wooded talus. Beyond this

stands disclosed an enchanting prospect of

the Great Cunimbla Valley to the southeast-spread

out before you as on a model

map. These distant reaches of country are

beautifully diversified in outline and colour,

and when seen early in the morning, or

(better still) in the evening, are full of great

effects of light and shade. Further on, at

the top of a deep perpendicular cuttingnear

the staff of the telegraph line-there is

another grand view of the same valley, the

chrome-coloured cliffs in the foreground

lending to it a strange but striking attraction.

Then the tourist has to scramble,

at some risk, past three precipitous cuttings,

and he will at length find himself rewarded

with the unexpected prospect of a curious

grey rock to the west of a great gR.p to the

southward-best seen from an old disused

road to the south of the line. Another

grand view is next disclosed further on to

the eastward, the Great Cunimbla Valley

appearing over the broken edge of a shelving

semicircular basin of rock, with sloping

woods, set off (laterally) by tall and brightly

tinted cliffs. The next ·change presents a

modification of the same kind of scene,

· dotted everywhere with broken fragments of

isolated grey rock and rough pyramids of

stone; Mount Piddington reappearing in

the distance to the westward. This pretty

well occupies the first 4 miles of the trip;

but (near the Blackheath Platform) there

are still occasional peeps of the Great Valley

worth going many miles to see, and not

visible from tlie adjacent line. Passing

Blackheath and continuing along the line

towards Katoomba there will be found a

varied succession of views to the south and

south-east - at least six - that are well

deserving of the artist's pencil. Having

reached Katoomba-11 miles from Mount

Victoria-the tourist will find several grand

views of huge parti-coloured cliffs and

shadowy ranges-especially one which he

will open out soon after he has passed the

siding and telegraph station. Good accommodation

can be had at Katoomba, and

after obtaining refreshment the visitor can

resume his walk to Wentworth Falls, distant

4 miles.

Hartley Vale Platform, 80 miles; 8,818

feet above sea-level.-After leaving the

Mount Victoria Station the Railway takes a

northerly and sometimes even a north-easterly

direction, along a narrow ridge, known as

the "Darling Causeway," and dividing the

watersheds. The waters fall into the Grose

to the eastward ; whilst, on the western side

of the ridge, the heads of the river Lett, and

other affiuents of the Cox, although eastern

waters, commence their course by flowing to

the westward. As the traveller proceeds

towards Lithgow and Bathurst, he may first

observe a fine view to the left opening up a

deep well-wooded valley-that of Clwydd;

whilst to the right (the eastward) Mount


King George, with its singularly stratified

cliffs, is · seen in mid-distance. Next he

catches, on the same side, a passing glimpse

of a wild and stony country ; and then-as

by a magic shift of the camera-a grand and

more distant view is seen of Mount King

George and Mount Hay. After that (still

to the eastward) he has a brief out-look over

the upper portion of the gorge of the Grose,

stretching past the northerly mouth of the

gorge of Govett's Leap. To the westward

the traveller can occasionally see peeps of the

beautiful Vale of Hartley, which, curiously

enough, gives its name to the next Railway

platform after Mount Victoria, upon the

mountain ridge.

Kerosene Mines in Hartley Vale.~

"The Kerosene Mines in Hartley Vale," says

Burton, "are well worth seeing, not alone on

account of the scenery but also becaus~

there is some interest attaching to a successful

and important industry. There is a

siding laid down from the Great Western

Railway, about 3 miles from Mount Victoria,

and the goods and passenger trains may be

availed of. Visitors will be put down at the

Hartley Vale Siding if previous notice be

given to the guard. Then a walk of a mile

and a half will bring them to the face of an

almost perpendicular rock 600 feet high, up

which the shale is hoisted by a wire rope

worked by steam. The shale is conveyed to

Sydney, the bulk of it for making oil at the

Western Kerosene Company's Works at

Waterloo, some for the manufacture of gas,

and some for export. The main road from

Mount" Victoria to Bowenfels passes within 4

miles (to the south) of the mines." The best

seam of petroleum oil coal here is 3 feet 2

inches thick. It has been pronounced by the

Examiner of Coal Fields to be equal to any

known seam in any other part of the world.

It yields from 150 to 160 gallons of crude

oil to the ton, with an illuminating power

equal to forty candles.

The Valley of the Grose.-From the

Hartley Vale Platform, on its eastern side,

the traveller may, with some necessary assistance,

find the best track down into the Valley

of the Grose, following that river from its

head down to the " Junction Camp," already

spoken of under the section of Blackheath

and Govett's Leap, a distance of about D

miles. The Valley of the Grose, says Mr.

Du Faur, "may be taken as typical of the

character of the ravines by which the Blue

Mountains are intersected in all directions;

their geological character will be treated in

a separate paper. Possessing at present

but a limited watershed of about 268 square

miles, it is bounded on the south by the

main ridge which has been chosen for the

Railway line; on the west, for about 6 miles,

by the Darling Causeway above referred to ;

and on the north by the main ridge along

which 'Bell's Line of Road,' a route for

stock only, passes over Mount Tomah and

the Kurrajong Hills to Richmond. Its

course in a direct line, from the Darling

Causeway to its confiuence with the Hawkesbury

River, a little above Richmond, does

not exceed 26 miles; yet within this limited

area, through which flows a stream that

may generally be forded, though at times

an impetuous torrent, are everywhere present

evidences of the silent workings of

Time and Nature on a stupendous scale ;

no sudden upheavals of volcanic force, hut

the gradual disintegration due to atmospheric

and pluvial forces, commenced probably

under very different condition& to those

obtaining at present, but still continuing.

The valley was traversed throughout in 1859

by a party of sappers and miners, with a

view to testing its practicability as a route

for the Western Railway; since that date

it has only been visited occasionally at long

intervals. In 1875 it was determined to

form a sketching and photographic camp at

about 12 miles down the valley, with a view

to roughly illustrating it, in order to bring

it under the notice of artists and lovers of

natural scenery ; and also, as previously

stated, to explore a route to the foot of

Govett's Leap Falls. On a preliminary trip,

made in July, it was found that the sappers'

and miners' track were so overgrown, encumbered

by fallen trees, and obliterated in parts

by landslips, that a considerable amount of

clearing was necessary to enable packhorses

to pass down the gorge with reasonable safety.

This having been done, two camps were at

last formed in October-the upper one at

about 7 miles below the Railway, and the


lower at the junction of Govett's Leap Creek

with the river, under the magnificent cliffs

of Mount King George. The transport of

instruments and chemicals, by hand, down

such a path, and the limited time for which

the services of the photographer (supplied by

the Commissioners for the Philadelphia Exhibition)

were available, precluded any hope

of obtaining results of finished excellence.

Each spot, previously selected, had to be

taken when reached, irrespective of adverse

conditions of light or weather, and of chemicals

constantly disturbed; and the strength

of the party was altogether inadequate for

making the clearings in timber and scrub,

without which many of the finest views could

not be favourably reproduced by photography.

At the utter camp, at which operations commenced,

a depth of 1,880 feet had been

reached; but between that point and the

Junction Camp, although the actual difference

of level was only 390 feet in 5 miles, the

track was particularly hilly, passing over the

lateral spurs which descend very abruptly to

the river bed; in some places also the width

of the gorge is so little, in comparison to the

stupendous heights of the adjacent cliffs, that

the latter subtend a larger angle than can

be compassed by the camera. The scenery

in many pa1·ts of the river bed is remarkably

picturesque ; the colours of the rocks of most

varied hues; the foliage on the river bank,

more especially on its left bank, of a luxuriance

so seldom met with in the Colony; while

the rush of the water amongst the obstructing

boulders, and its perfect transparency in

the still pools or slighter rapids, affords fresh

charms to the artist at every turn-charms

·which, unfortunately, cannot be reproduced

by photography."

Mount Wilson Platform, 88 miles;

3,478 feet above sea-level.-3 miles north

of the Hartley Vale Siding, and 6 from the

Mount Victoria Station, stands the Mount

Wilson Platform, erected at the western

termination of the Bell's Line of Road from

Richmond, between 4 and 5 miles to the

westward of Mount Wilson, from which it

takes its name.

Mount Wilson.-Speaking of Mount

Wilson itself, where the scenery is as striking

as it is uninteresting at the "Platform" of

that name, Mr. Du Faur has remarked on

the beauty of the vegetation, and the fertility

of the soil. That gentleman says-" The

scanty vegetation and miserably stunted and

gnarled timber which everywhere surround

the tourist on the Blue Mountains and

obscure his view-except when, standing on

the edge of a precipice, he looks down on the

more luxuriant growth which is barely

visible in the gorges beneath him-detract

immensely from the interest of the scenery.

There are but two striking exceptions to this

general condition, viz., at Mount Tomah, on

Bell's Line of Road (which is unfavourably

situated, owing to its distance from the

Railway), and at Mount Wilson, the position

of which has already been generally described.

A ride of about 5 miles (from the Mount

Wilson Platform) along the northern watershed

of the Grose, and of about 3 miles

further along a spur trending to the northward's

from Bell's Line of Road, and leading

down into some of the heads of tne Wollangambe

Creek and the Colo River (also

affiuents of the Hawkesbury River), brings

the tourist to the foot of a ridge, which

on his right hand appears to be bounded

by the usual perpendicular escarpment of

horizontal sandstone of the Hawkesbury

formation; but the denser undergrowth,

the increased size and improved symmetry

of the trees, and the rich black soil beneath

bis feet, tell of a sudden change. A few

yards further on, along a rather steep ascent

of about 1 in 7, is disclosed a charming

avenue cut through this dense undergrowth,

on a steep sideling bordered with clematis,

wild tobacco plants, native raspberry, and

ot~er luxuriant shrubs, amongst which tower

lofty blue gums (Eucctlyptiis botryoides),

stringy-bark (E. amygdalina), black butt (E.

pilularis), and other eucalypti, interspersed

with clumps of sassafras (Doryophora sassafras),

acacias, and tree ferns (Alsophila

australis, and Dicksonia antarctica) of an

unusual height. The cause of this sudden

change is at once apparent. The upper bank

of the road is studded with boulders of

basaltic rock, a dyke of which has burst

through and overcapped the sandstone, and

its disintegration has formed the rich black

chocolate-coloured soil which has favoured

- - ------


this special vegetation. A rise of 260 feet

in less than half a mile leads to the summit

of the ridge, which extends in an east-northeast

direction for about 10 miles, but has not

been fully explored for more than half that

distance. Bounded on all sides by steep

thickly wooded slopes, penetrable with difficulty

by man or beast, and by precipitous

cliffs, this remarkable oasis appears to have

been scarcely visited until ten years ago,

except by Mr. Surveyor Govett, who traversed

the western portion of it in 1832.

In 1869 the present road up the mountain

was cut by the Government, and the richer

portion of the land measured for sale ; it

remained, however, unnoticed until 1875,

when the sixty-two allotments previously

measured, and containing in all about 1,025

acres, were taken up by thirty-three purchasers.

The distance of Mount Wilson

from the Railway,* and the large amount of

available land, barren as it is, within easier

access, has hitherto militated against its

settlement; but there can be little doubt in

the minds of those who have once visited it

that it will eventually become a favourite

resort by those requiring a change from the

relaxing climate of Sydney, as it affords a

climate as bracing as that of Tasmania, and

a vegetation and scenery not inferior to that

of New Zea.land. In the winter season occasional

falls of snow occur, and ice lies in the

shady spots for several days together-the

thermometer falling at night as low as 22°

]'ahr., and for weeks in succession below

freezing point, but the shelter afforded by

the vegetation protects the locality from the

bleakness experienced in the more exposed

parts of the mountains ; and in June and

July it is not uncommon on still bright

mornings to find the thermometer standing

at 60° in the sun, while the frost still lies

untha wed in the shade. The summit of the

ridge is chiefly covered with a dense growth

of eucalypti (the mere trunks of which almost

obscure the horizon), and in the undergrowth

* About 8 miles, by Bell'a Line of Road. After

the turning-off to Mount Wilson, " Bell's Line"

continues to take a south-east direction for nearly 2

miles, and then follows up a ridge to the north-east,

between the waters of Bowen's Creek and the

affiuents of the Grose, passing Mount Bell on the

right, and '' The Haystack" on the left, towards

Mount Tomah and the Kurrajong.

it is no exaggeration to say that thousands

of tree ferns, ranging up to 30 feet in

height, are' visible in every direction; it is on

the southern slopes that the sassafras jungle

is found, in which mosses and orchids luxuriate,

and festoons of lianes hang from the

topmost branches. There are two peculiarities

in this vegetation which are worthy

of notice : (1) that the tree ferns (Alsophila

aiistralis) frequently bifurcate at a short

distance from the ground, and in many cases

divide into three or four, and sometimes into

five and six stems, from one root; (2) that

tree-ferns (which must be of very ancient

date) are frequently almost entirely absorbed

by the growth of forest trees ( Qiiintinia

sieberii) which germinating in the axles of

their fronds, send down suckers to the ground,

and enclose within their solid tim her the fern

stems from which they derived their first

support. In some cases are seen ferns which,

having attained a growth of 20 feet in height,

have been laid low by the wind, and where

some portions of their heads have touched

the ground a second growth of equal altitude

has succeeded,· which, in its turn, has been

subsequently enclosed by a quintinia of large

diameter, while the roots of the original treefern

still retain their vitality. The measured

lands on l\fount Wilson include the greater

part of the rich basaltic formation interspersed

with poorer sandstone soil, which

frequently leads to abrupt precipices forming

its boundaries ; from the edge of these,

extensive views are obtained over the

broken uninhabited ranges and gorges which

surround it in all directions. 'I'his scenery

extends as far as Capertee, 32 miles distant.

From other points the dividing ranges forming

the watershed of the Hunter River are

visible (W arra W olong, distant 60 miles in

one direction, and W erong and Coricudgy, 50

miles in another), while from the cliffs first

mentioned as lying to the right hand of the

traveller when ascending the mountains, the

view has been considered almost unsurpassed

on the Blue Mountains : it embraces Barranjuey

(Broken Bay Heads), on the horizon to

the east, and Mount ,J elore (60 miles distant),

to the south ; the Flagstaff Hill, Mounts Victoria,

King George, Hay, and Tomah, and

the Haystack in the middle distance; and

the northern watershed of Bowen and W ol-

Lithgow Valley Zig-Zag.


langambe Creeks, a succession of broken

ravines more than a thousand feet below the

stand-point, form the foregronnd." Mr. E. C.

M erewether, Mr. E. King Cox, Mr. vVynne,

Mr. Stephen, and others, are the owners

of land in this picturesque and beautiful


Clarence Siding Platform, 88 miles ;

3,658 feet above sea-level.-The line

having made a slight descent between Mount

Victoria and the Hartley Vale Siding, rises

160 feet before it reaches the Mount Wilson

Platform, and continues to rise 180 feet more

during the next 5 miles to the north-west,

when (at the Clarence Siding) its greatest

altitude is attained-upwards of 3,650 feet.

Here there are signs of cultivation, a large

siding and several houses for persons employed

upon the line. At a short distance

to the west of the platform there is a tunnel

539 yards in length, lined with cemented

masonry throughout. The Mount Clarence

Tunnel is about a mile on the Sydney side of

the Lithgow Valley Zigzag. The features of

the country hereabouts were such that the

surveyors who marked out the line had to

be lowered down over the rocks with ropes,

the contractor having also to commence his

work in a similar way. Emerging from the

long dark tunnel the traveller finch; abundant

occupation in lookin


situated, and it is at Eskbank the principal

portion of the Rail way business is done, the

Lithgow platform being merely for passenger

and parcels traffic. "Attention," says a

journalist, "has rather despondently been

drawn to the supposed circumstance that an

extension of Railway to some retired inland

towns, both here and in England, not only

fails permanently to advance their relative

importance, but even that such a direct connection

with the more stirring centres of

population and commercial activity appears

frequently and actually to cause a sort of

retrogressive effect-especially when the

line passes further on into the depths of

a hitherto wholly undeveloped country.

There is, as in all such generalizationEI, no

doubt a certain degree of truth in that remark;

but it by no means conveys the true assertion

of an absolute and general fact, for very often

a decaying inland town (like Parramatta, for

example, in this Colony) will, through the

action of a Railway, gradually, and in the

answered the call of Australian enterprise,

and what no longer back than eight years

ago was almost untouched bush, boasting bnt

one or two inhabitants, is to-day a busy

manufacturing community, who are solving

some of the most important problems connected

with industrial pursuits in New South

Wales. Bountifully supplied as the locality .

is with rich deposits of minerals and clays,

and well provided as it is with means of communication

by which markets in various

directions can be found, the land lay for some

time uninterfered with, and then, its great

value suddenly becoming better known and

understood, a mania to possess it seized upon

various persons and it was speedily taken up,

principally under lease."

General description of Lithgow.-

Lithgow, 96 miles from Sydney and 49 miles

east of Bathurst, is now a rising mining and

industrial township, situated in the wider

and westerly portion of that secluded, rocky,

most astonishing manner, revive and receive glen into which the "\Vestern Railway

a new and healthy impetus ; such an un- abruptly descends by the well-known Great

expected reinvigoration as may also be seen Zigzag. This town, called into existence

already manifesting itself at Bathurst, Goul- by the Railway, and not above ten years

burn, and elsewhere. Nor is that all; for in old, already numbers over 2,000 inhabitants;

many places (such as Lithgow and Blayney, having several excellent hotels, stores, and

for example) which hut for the Railroad must dwelling-houses, with a handsome and cornhave

remained mere picturesque solitudes, the modious Bank, Telegraph Office, Court-house,

arrival of the 'iron horse' has shown a really Public School, Insurance Offices, Assembly

marvellous tendency to create industrial Rooms, Club-houses, and such like comcentres,

thriving townships, and busy mercial and social institutions. Everywhere

populous communities. We may take Lith- substantial buildings are in the course of

gow as an instance of this creative action of erection in its long wide streets, and every

the Railway everywhere, and especially in day some new sign of the rapid developsuch

a country as New South Wales." ment of this Railway township is forced

Another writer, referring to its progress, upon the observation of the astonished visitor.

writes-" In no place out of Sydney within Lithgow stands in the entrance or more

the Colony are there to be fonnd greater open part of Lithgow Valley-a picturesque

evidence of progress in the past and solid locality, enclosed by precipitous, well-wooded

prosperity in the future than in the little mountains, and is undeniably a place which

thriving town of Lithgow-or Lithgow, Esk- but for the Railway would most certainly

bank, and the Vale of Olwydd, for the three have remained to the end of time-as it did

are in reality one-situated just the other side for countless ages after creation, and for

of the Blue Mountains, and within easy reach many long years subsequent to the foundaof

Sydney by means of the Great -western tion of this Colony-unknown to the civilized

Railway. As in the instance of the won- world, and utterly useless and unproductive.


factory, a tannery, a brewery, and such like

industries. Coal is of course cheap and

good, and firewood (as yet) abundant; water

also is plentiful and of an excellent quality.

At almost all of the collieries coal is readily

obtained by running " drives" into the hillsides,

which is a decided economy of labour.

Good pi pecla y and firecla y are to be found everywhere,

and potteries and brick-kilns are therefore

attached to most of these establishments.

The Lithgow Valley Colliery Company's

Works are carried on at the distance of about

a quarter of a mile from the Lithgow platform,

and close to the mouth of the colliery the

same Company are engaged in brick, pipe,

and tile making. The seam of coal operated

upon by the Lithgow Valley Coal Company

is 10 feet in thickness, and is worked from

the adit. There is a tramway with a

siding to the adjacent trunk line, by means

of which the coal can in all weathers be

expeditiously despatched to the market.

The coal, on "skips" or trucks~ is drawn out

laterally from the mine by a small steamengine

with a tail rope of wire. The tramway

on entering this mine follows the dip

of the seam for about a quarter of a mile,

and then the skips are loaded from the

workings. The coal is finally transferred

from the skips by a platform and shoot at

~he pit mouth into the waggons, in which it

1s thence taken away to the line by Government

engines. The number of men constantly

employed on this colliery is twenty.

Two horses are engaged for wheeling the coal

in the skips inside of the mine. The brick

and tile works of the same Company, adjacent

to the mine, within half a mile of the

Railway, are well deserving of a visit. Here

(by machinery) are made fire-bricks, pressed

bricks, and common bricks. They also make

sanitary drain-pipes (for sewers) of a very

superior quality and of large size-from 3

inches to 2 feet in diameter. Drain-pipes of

a small size, for the purpose of draining land,

are also here made to order for agriculturists.

These are from 2 inches in diameter up to 6

inches. Tiles of various shapes and colours

are here also deftly manufactured. A firstclass

machine is here now for the 1rnrpose of

making bricks by steam, and this enables the

Company to turn out 12,000 bricks per diem,

and to furnish tiles of various descriptions to

order, with equal expedition and perfect

finish. The bricks are made by the dry

process and by the semi-plastic process.

Olay for that purpose abounds ; and the fireclay

(supposed to be quite equal to any found

in the Australian Colonies) is all obtained

from the shale, crushed by a disintegrator

worked by steam. In the kilns the bricks,

pipes, and mouldings for windows, &c., &c.,

are burnt by the over-draft. The fire-bricks

here made have been well tested, and have

been proved to be of far better quality than

than those commonly sent out from the Horne

Country. Jn the brick and tile works of

the Lithgow Valley Coal Company there is

a steam-engine of 40-horse power, working

with a wire-rope on a barrel, by means of

which coal is not only brought up for immediate

consumption, on a tramway from the

pit mouth, but all the elaborate machinery

is moved for the pipe, tile, and brick making.

The same engine is also connected with a

pump to keep water out of the mine and to

supply the same element for the brick-making,

&c. There are large sheds for drying the

bricks, pipes, and tiles ; and hard by also

stand constantly shifting stacks of all that

has been manufactured for sale. The brickmaking

machine on a new model (by Whitehead,

of Preston, in Lancashire) is the

first of the kind ever imported into this

Colony. The new disintegrator works at 500

revolutions per minute, having a double

motion of the wheels. To an inquiring min


property of the Company ; the ore operated

upon is found in quantities on the low

fiat near the foundry (just beneath the

surface) on a neighbouring hill to the

north-east, but a considerable quantity is

brought from outside sources. Coal may

be readily procured for this Company on

their own ground, and freestone, loam, and

sand are all ready to hand. Here the

Proprietary Company have a large blast

furnace, capable of producing from 100 to

120 tons of pig iron per week, a 70-horsepower

engine, two boilers, and all other

needful apparatus. There is also a foundry

connected with the great furnace producing

castings for the rolling mills. The Company

make their own castings for use, and can

supply whatever may be in


Vale of Cl wydd Colliery, though close to factory. To the south of the factory, on

Lithgow, is shut out from it by a gentle the road towards Hartley, at the distance of

emirnmce. A sort of village, or rather a mile or so, and soon after you have passed

hamlet, embosomecl in the hills and woods,

has here sprung up, the miners' homes in

the village near the station, there is a


this spot being perhaps less comfortable than

picturesque. Their habitations are for the Excursion from Lithgow to Hartley.-­

most part huts of mud or wood ; but some, A pleasant excursion may be made from

manifesting an Arab-like independence, Lithgow to Hartley, either on horseback or

apparently prefer to live in tents. In in a buggy; starting from Lithgow at an

this colliery there is a perpendicular shaft

sunk to about 250 feet below the surface ;

and from this shaft there are long drives

in various directions, the prevalence of water

in one of them, which runs under a neighbouring

swamp! being often rather troublesome

early hour, and going round the mountain

past Bowenfels. Bowenfels and Hartley, two

small townships on the Old Western Road,

are separated from the Lithgow Valley by a

steep chain of sandstone hills, forming a

spur or off-shoot of the Blue Mountain

to the engineer and inconvenient to the range to the west,vard. These eminences,

miners. Good limestone is found with the on their southern face, terminate ahruptly

coal, and is burned on the spot, for use and towards the Valley of Hartley, in boldly

for sale. H ere also (as in the neighbourhood defiu ed precipices, which go by the fanciful

of Mr. T. Brown's colliery) copper-smelting name of '' Hassan's Walls," and overhang

works have been established. A tramway the road, south-easterly, to Hartley, for

connects this colliery with the ,V estern several miles. The views from the summits

R ailway.

On the northern side of the R ail way, and

connected ·with it by a branch line, is the

of these grey masses of rock are said to

be grand and extensive; and along the

irregular line which they disclose and guard

Bowenfels Coal-mine. This mine is the furthest

are several cascades and almost inaccessibie

west of the Lithgow Collieries, and is at glens, of more wildness perhaps than

present least actively worked.

beauty. From the heights of Hassan's

About a mile or so from Lithgow, on the Walls the country in the direction of

other (western) side of the township, and Mudgee and of Bathurst is distinguishable

not far from the Bowenfels Station, is a for a great distance. The tourist's road

tweed factory, built by lVIr. Andrew Brown. from Lithgow lies first to the westward,

In this long brick and stone building (which along the side of the Railway, for rather more

contrasts curiously with lVIr. A. Brown's

pretty rural homestead and gardens) about

forty hands find constant and remunerative

than a mile; he then turns sharply off to

the left (near the schoolhouse to tlte east of

Coerwull) aud so follows down the Old Road,

employment. In the factory are twenty-four southerly, as far as Bowenfels, just round

power looms, three sets of carding machines, the end of the mountain range. In this road

and all the other requisite appliances, £18,000

having been here invested in the best and

there is much agreeable scenery-first, the

tweed factory, away in the fields, with l\Ir.

most recently devised machinery. 4,000 A. Brown's horn,e and gardens ; then a

yards of good tweed are here manufactured

every week, the beautiful fabric so made

finding a ready sale at Sydney and in the

tannery, a good country-house, and an old

road-side inn; then a quaint old church and

churchyard; and last, not least, a lock-up.

adjacent Colonies, where (for the integrity of This is Bowenfels. On gaining the elevated

its workmanship) it is justly esteemed. The ground to the west of the end of the sandstone

wool used is of course Colonial-brought

range a fine view of the Hartley

from the interior to this spot by the Railroad, Valley is obbined. When you get round

and here prepared for use. The machinery into Bowenfels another and more extensive

is driven by steam power. Cottages have view is opened up to the south-east-looking

been erected for the workpeople, of whom clown towards the Victoria Pass. The now

forty are employed, near to the walls of the somewhat decayecl village of Bowenfels has


still many large houses in it, and is a cheerful,

healthy, and pleasantly situated spot.

By a turn in the road, soon after leaving it

en route for Hartley, you come full in sight

of Hassan's Walls, at an end of which (to

the southward) towers a curiously isolated

rock, presenting a singularly exact facial

outline peculiar to the " Great Iron Duke,"

but loyally and rather absurdly called " King

George's Head"-being probably one of the

discoveries of the Georgian era. Some of

the distant country of the Great Cunimbla

Valley may now be perceived as you come

clown the winding road ; where, ii1. many of

its essential features of copse, headland, and

streamlet there is a great resemblance to the

scenery of South Devon in England. The

road itself is pretty, and along it are poor

but picturesque homesteads-such as cottages

and gardens, old inns with oak-trees, and

other attractive features-until you reach

the end of the wall of cliffs already mentioned.

Then there is a dull mile or two

before you come to the edge of the deep

descent into Hartley, standing on the rocky

banks of the murmuring Lett, about a mile

or so above the point where it falls into the

river Cox, draining the whole region from

beyond Bowenfels, until it :finally falls into

the W ollondilly. At the foot of the last hill

you pass over the Lett by a very fair wooden

bridge, and so, entering Hartley, you :find it

a quaint old-fashioned place. Here you can

put up at the village inn, and either return

by the road you came, or ( sending back the

horse or trap) regain the line by walking on

to Mount Victoria ; or you may ride across

the mountain to the north, over the "Gap,"

and so back again into Lithgow. For an

invalid or an over-wrought jaded man there

can be few more acceptable retreats than

Hartley. It has two pretty stone churches,

a Uourt-house, and a store or two; but it is

quite a rural village. The distance from

Lithgow to Hartley, as above indicated, is

about 10 miles. Across the mountain, by

the new road over the "Gap," it is not more

th::m 6.

Bowenfels Station, 97 miles ; 2,972

feet above sea-level.-Bowenfels station-

3 or 4 mile north of the town of Bowen£ els,

and 1 mile north-west of Lithgow-is by no

means a large place, the majority of the

houses being at Cooerwull, a short dist11nce

from the line. The district is agricultural,

pastoral, and mining. The surrounding

country is mountainous and well wooded.

Between this place and the next Railway

Station--Wallerawang to the north-westthere

is a rather dreary track, with tunnels

and cuttings.

Marangaroo Platform, 101 miles;

3,073 feet above sea-level.-Marangaroo

is a platform, 4 miles west of Bowenfels

Station and 4 miles east of W allerawang.

It is one of the most elevated spots between

the Great Zigzag and Bathurst. A short

distance beyond the platform the train passes

through Marangaroo platform, 264 yards in


Wallerawang Station, 105 miles; 2,928

feet above sea-level.-Wallerawang is a

small but busy place, being the spot where

the line to Mudgee joins the Great Western

line. Wallerawang has a small street, with

Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian,

and Wesleyan places of worship-and a

Public School, capable of holding 120 children.

The Inns are-the "Royal Hotel,"

the "Commercial Hotel," and the "Railway

Inn." 7 miles from W allera wang is W olgon,

a sunken valley, which is very beautiful, and

well worth a visit. The district is principally

agricultural, although it possesses mineral

resources which only need developing.

Rydal Station, 111 miles; 3,117 feet

above sea-level.-Returning to the Main

Western line, soon after passing Wallerawang

the line trends sharply to the south-west, and,

rising to a somewhat higher level; passes to

the eastward of Honeysuckle Hill. Before

the line takes its southerly turn the road to

Ry ls tone (which has been running near to

the rails) branches off to the northward.

Rydal is but a small place, with a quaintlooking

stone church and three inns. These

inns are th~ "Globe Hotel," the " .Freemasons'

Hotel," and the "Commercial Hotel."

Country adjacent-agricultural and pastoral;


Near Rydal, on the southern side of the lme,

is the extraordinary rock known as "Evans'


Crown." Within the last few years a great

impetus has been given to the trade of Rydal

by the discovery of the rich silver mines at

Sunny Corner (Mitchell) 15 miles from the

Station. A. large population bas already been

gathered to the vicinity, and the field promises

to last for many years giving large


Sod walls Platform, 114 miles; 2,850

feet above sea-level.-A.fter passing Rydal

the line begins to descend, and continues to

do so, following the winding valley of the

Fish River, towards Bathurst. The country

adjoining the Sodwalls Platform is of an

agricultural character, with farms and some

sort of cultivation ;-rather pretty. The

traveller has now left the County of Cook,

and is pushing on, westerly, through the

County of Westmoreland. It is hereabouts

that he catches the first glimpse of the Fish

River-a stream which he has to cross nineteen

times before he finally leaves it, not far

from Macquarie Plains. The Fish River

having joined the Campbell River, a few

miles south of Bathurst, becomes thenceforth

known as "Macquarie," the native name of

which is "Wambool." The Macquarie is an

affluent of the Darling.

Tarana Station, 120 miles; 2,561 feet

above sea-level.-At Tarana Station there

is a watering-place for the engines. It is a

pretty place, but dull. The country round

about is partly used for agricultural and

pastoral purposes. In the Isabella District,

50 miles away, a large quantity of tobacco is

grown. There is one hotel at Tarana­

Fa wcett' s. Here you can get a carriage or

buggy and go to Mutton Falls, westerly,

about 4 miles off. From the Mutton Falls

you can ride or drive to a small township

called Oberon-agoodagricultural settlement,

with mineral resources-and go on thence to

the Fish River Caves. Tarana, 35 miles

from the Fish River Caves, is the most convenient

point of the line to those vast

limestone caverns. There is some nice

scenery along the road in that direction.

The Fish River Caves.-The celebrated

limestone caverns on the Fish River (near

O'Connell in the neighbourhood of Bathurst),

commonly known as the Fish River Caves,

are of vast extent, and singularly attractive;

having a great variety of very intricate

galleries or passages, only to be traversed

safely under the care of the experienced local

guide employed by the Government. The

subterraneous scenes herein disclosed are

indeed magnificent-well worth the time and

trouble of paying them a visit. There is a

whole group of these grand subterraneous

halls and bewildering galleries, and each one

of the series is known by a different name;

the New Cave, Lucas Cave, the Bell Cave,

the Lurline Cave, the Imperial Cave, the

Elder-tree Cave, &c. Several oqiects of great

interest are to be viewed at and in the Fish

River Caves; and amongst these are the

Great Archway, the Carlotta Arch, the

Meeting of the Creeks, the Pinnade Rock,

the interiors, the outside entrances, the

waterfall, and adjacent woodland scenes.

The Carlotta Arch-a curious natural archway

in the rocks--excites much astonishment

and admiration. These caves, so remarkable

for their stalactitic and stalagmiticformations,

are of such an immense 8xtent that whole

days are necessary for their due exploration.

One of these enormous caverns is estimated

to be not less than 500 feet in height,

and of a proportionate length and breadth.

The strange forms gradually assumed by

the drippings of the limestone rocks throughout

are almost infinite, and not to be anywhere

else surpassed in beauty. In one

place there is tbe weird, rock-like semblance

of a well-stocked menagerie; and in another

place the pendants from the roof and slabs

below are of a still more fantastic and

extraordinary character. ,vhen lighted up

with the magnesium wire these sublime

palaces, "which Nature's hands have deftly

formed," present a truly gorgeous spectacle,

being filled with delicate pendants and

drooping sprays, gigantic columns and

shadowy arches-all resplendent with

dazzling, illusive gems. In the "New Cave"

the scene developed by the magnesium light

is described (by Burton) as "one of surpassing

loveliness," the appearance of a heavy fall of

snow being produced; the rocks in the rear

presenting to the imagination a black, frowning

sky. Occasionally a sparkling waterfall

heightens the effect of the scene. The caves


are in the charge of Mr. Jeremiah Wilson,

who receives remuneration from the Government.

It was found desirable to place

them under control, as visitors often committed

ruthless destruction. The Government

has had constructed a number of wire

ladders for the convenience of . visitors in

ascending and dey letter) Mr. Wilson will meet a party at

Tarana with horses or a waggonette. It will

greatly lessen the fatigue of the journey from

Tarana to the Fish River Caves and increase

the comfort of the tourists if the party of

excursionists stop for the night en route,

either at Mr. \Vilson's house, at Oberon, or

at one of the two hotels, Yiz., the " Royal"

and" W elcome Inn."

A fuller description of the caves, contributed

by C. S. Wilkinson, Government Geological

Surveyor, will be found in the Appendix.

Locksley's Platform, 130 miles; 2,428

feet above sea-level.-The country in the

neighbourhood of Locksley Platform is on

the whole not interesting, hut there are

views on the line near it not unworthy of

some notice. This platfor m was formerly

known as L ocke's.

Brewongle, 135 miles; 2,476 feet

above sea-level.- Leaving Locke's P latform

behind him to the eastward, the railway

traYeller passes through an open treeless

country, having only here and there a few

patches of bush. Then undulating plains,

with sheep and cattle feeding, are opened

up ; and so the traveller, after an interval

of 5 miles, finds himself opposite to the

well-built station of Brewongle-being

on the easterly boundary of that singular

tract of country adjoining Bathurst, and

giving to that city one of its distinctive

appellations. A good deal of wheat is grown

in the vicinity of Brewongle. The district

offers good shooting to sportsmen ; hares

are very numerous, and excellent sport can

be had at but a little distance from the

station. Brewongle receives traffic for

O'Connell, a township with a population of

about 200, 3 miles distant, and for Wiseman's

Creek, 7 miles, where a copper-mine

is worked. Tobacco is also cultivated in the

district. ·

Raglan Station, 140 miles; 2,436 feet

above sea-level-Raglan is a station in the

midst of the Macquarie Plains, where a road

from the north of that tract joins on to the

Old -western Road. Here you first catch a

distant but impressive view of the city of

Bathurst, to the westward. At Raglan there

is an Anglican Church and a Public School.

Kelso Station, 143 miles; 2,154 feet

above sea-level.-Kelso Station is the

stopping-place on the Railway for Kelso, a

populous suburb of Bathurst, on the eastern

side of the Fish River, or (:ts it is here

called) the "Macquarie." The Bathurst city

station is 2 miles distant to the southwestward.

Bathurst Station, 145 miles ; 2,153

feet above sea-level.-Bathurst, the "City

of the Plains" and metropolis of the western

geographical di \-ision of the Colony, is

situated on the left bank of the Macquarie

River, 145 miles from Sydney. Originally

founded by Governor Macquarie, on 7th of

May, 1815, just after the discovery of the

country beyond the Blue Mountains, it has

gradually risen to its present position of great

influence and established wealth. A whole

book might be written about this city, but

the description of it in an "itinerary" must

necessarily be very brief; notwithstanding its

political, social, and physical importance. A

few miles before reaching Bathurst, the

traveller cannot help being struck with the

altered appearance of the country. I nstead

of wooded mountains and ridges of sandstone,


the eye rests everywhere on a fine open

tract, about 12 miles square, almost devoid

of trees, and covered with a rich soil. This

treeless character becomes still more confirmed

when the traveller passes the Brewongle

Station, but the aspect of the

country is undulating, and even hilly at

times, though usually and familiarly spoken

of as "plains." Bathurst occupies a commanding

situation, on a gradual westward slope

down to the Macquarie, with a beautiful and

extensive prospect in every direction for miles

around. Within comparatively a short distance

of the city gold and copper mines are

worked. The climate, like that of a town in

England, is frequently very cold in the

winter months, but extremely healthy and

invigorating. In some respects Bathurst

is entitled to be considered as nRxt in rank

to the capital. It is laid out in blocks of

10 chains square, with many miles of streets

99 feet wide lighted by gas; and it is the

seat of a Bishopric, both in the Anglican

and the Roman Catholic Churches. There

are two Cathedrals, with colleges in connection

with each of the largest communions,

and a handsome Presbyterian Ohurch; also

a Wesleyan Church, and other places of

worship. The Roman Catholic Cathedral,

although not quite completed, is a noble

structure, and near it stands the convent

and its school, in buildings of an imposing

appearance. There is a School of Arts, with

4,000 volumes, a fine Hall, excellent stores,

banks, and hotels ; local newspapers are

here published, as at n.11 the principal inland

towns. The annual receipts of the Bathurst

Hospital amount, it is said, to over £500.

Bathurst also possesses a large gaol and a

splendid range of Government buildings, Post

and Telegraph Office, &c., which are probably

tho best out of Sydney. Bathurst enjoys

the advantage of a great variety of local

institutions, and was proclaimed a munici-.

pality in 1862. The population of Bathurst

and its environs is now 7,500. At the

Bathurst Station (on the south side of the

city) there is a large and convenient refreshment-room

for the use of travellers. Persons

intending either to go inland towards Orange,

or "up" the line, towards Mount Victoria,

will do well to remember this. The places

near Bathurst are-Black Springs, Box

Ridge, Caloola, Cow Flat, Dirty Swamp,

Dunkeld, Duramana ( or Back Creek), Evan's

Plains, Glanmire, The Lagoons, Lirnekilns,

Meadow :Flat, Mitchell's Creek, Oberon,

O'Connell, Palmer's Oakey, Peel, Quartz

Ridge, Rockley, Sofala, Trunkey, Turon, and

.Wattle Flat. Coaches run from Bathurst to

Sofala, Hill End, and districts.

Perth Platform, 149 miles ; 2,225 feet

above sea-level.-The platform of Perth,

4 miles from Bathurst, presents nothing

remarkable. The adjacent country is of an

open character, with peculiar-looking bare

hills beyond it. Between Bathurst and Perth

several country residences and farms are


George's Plains Station, 151 miles;

2,260 feet above sea-level.-There is some

fine scenery, with a wide stretch of arable

country, lying between Perth Platform and

the George's Plains Station, a distance of

about 2 miles. The Station is the centre of

an extensive agricultural district, and a large

traffic is done. 6 miles from the station are

the Cow Flat Copper Mines, and 13 miles the

Thompson's Creek or Burraga Mines. Burraga

is an extensive and rich mineral district, •

and gives employment to a considerable

nnmber of men.

Wimbledon Platform, 158 miles; 2,737

feet above sea-level.-The Wimbledon

Platform is a convenient stopping-place for

tl1e inhabitants of an extensive tract of

agricultural country, 34 miles from Orange

and 13 from Bathurst. Near Wimbledon is

the fine country residence of Mr. Joseph


Newbridge Platform, 164 miles; 2,877

feet above sea-level.-:N' ewbri


tract of cultivated country. Near the Trunkey

Creek Diggings are the Pine Ridge and

the Grove Caves, &c. There is a fine and

comprehensive view over the whole country

to the north-east, a mile or two to the westward

of the N ewbridge Platform-on the

line towards Blayney, at the Stringy-bark

Cuttings. Newbridge was formerly known

as Back Creek. The name by which it is

known in the Post Office Directory is the

aboriginal name of Duramana. The roads

lead south by the shortest way to Caloola,

where alluvial gold is still being worked, to

Tuena, and to Trunkey, at one time the scene

of great activity in quartz-mining. Quantities

of wool and live stock also arrive at the

station from the surrounding districts, so

that N ewbridge is likely to become a very

important position in connection with the

traffic on the Great Western Railway. An

iron mine has been opened within 300 yards

of the Railway Station. A deposit of asbestos

has been discovered about 2 miles away.

Blayney Station, 172 miles ; 2,841 feet

above sea-level.-Blayney is one of the

new and rising townships owing its prosperity

like Lithgow, to the Railway. It is quite a

new place, and promises soon to be a large

town ; for it is the centre of a great squatting

district, and is closely connected with mining

interests, while in the surrounding districts

large quantities of wheat are grown. The

town possesses four churches, two flour-mills,

a brewery, Court-house, and handsome Post

and Telegraph Office. The principal hotels

are the "Royal," "Club House," "Albion,"

"Cosmopolitan," "Commercial," "Exchange,"

and ''Criterion." Blayney stands on the Belubula

River, 8 miles from the junction of the

roads from Calder and ·Grenfell. From this

station fat stock are sent "up" by the trains,

in large numbers for the Sydney Market.

There are churches for the Anglicans and

Presbyterians; and a Roman Catholic church

is building on the right side of the line.

There are also two large flour-mills at

work. To the right, as the traveller goes

towards Orange, there is (beyond Blayney) a

curious conical hill. Coaches run from Blayney

to Carcoar, Cowra, and Grenfell, and

districts. Blayney will in a few years become

a place of still greater importance, for it

is from here that a Railway-line is being constructed

to meet the Great Southern Railway

at Murrumburrah. In addition to this line,

opening up much fertile country, and providing

for many populous districts, it will afford

travellers from the far Western to reach the

Southern districts without the necessity of

first going to Sydney. It will also encourage

~ommunication between Melbourne and the

far distant Western districts, and no doubt

when the line is constructed large numbers of

cattle will be sent from Dubbo, Bourke, and

other pastoral centres to the Victorian capital.

The construction of the line will shorten the

rail journey between Melbourne and the

western towns beyond Blayney to the extent

of 375 miles.

Milthorpe Station, 179 miles; 3,138

feet above sea-level-This Station is the

most elevated of any on the Main Line

between Lithgow and the Western terminus.

The country around is open bush land,

and used for pastoral and agricultural purposes.

Goods are received at Spring Grove

for Icely, Byng, Gulgong, Forest Reefs,

Cadia, &c. Spring Grove is in the centre of

a mining district, rich gold-mines being situated

at Forest Reefs, 6 miles, and extensive

copper-mines at Byng. A large flour-mill is

noticeable after leaving the station.

Spring Hill Station, 183 miles; 3,086

feet above sea-level.-The country hereabouts

is not very interesting. The land,

divided by queer-looking fences, is used for

agricultural and pastoral purposes.

Huntley Platform, 186 miles; about

3,000 feet above sea-level.-A small platform

between the Spring Hill Station and

Orange, about 6 miles from the latter township.


Meat-preserving Company have established

works. Large paddocks surround the works,

in which the stock are kept till required.

The machinery, refrigerators, &c., are of the

latest and most approved kind. The works

are divided into five chambers, capable of

holding some hundreds of sheep and cattle.

The meat is dispatched by special trucks to

Sydney, and loaded without delay into the

refrigerating chambers of the steamers ap-


pointed to receive it. A number of shipments

of meat from this Company have been

placed successfully on the London market.

At the present time this industry is not in


Orange Station, 192 miles ; 2,843 feet

above sea-level.-Between Spring Hill

and Orange the railway traveller will find

arable land under cultivation on either side

of the line. Orange is one of the most

progressive towns of the Colony, remarkable,

amongst other things, for the unusual

excellence of its hotels, stores, and banks.

It adjoins a fertile and wealthy district,

and is the busy centre of a considerable

amount of trade of all kinds, agricultural, pastoral,

and mining. The manufactories include

three breweries, three large flour-mills, sawmill,

boot factory and tannery, brickworks,

timber-yards, &c. The town is well laid

out j the wide, well-built streets presenting

an imposing and well nigh metropolitan

appearance. The population by last Census

was 2,700. Orange has a School of Arts, a

Masonic Hall, a Hospital, Churches for the

four chief Denominations, and other places

of public worship. There are two large

Schools, a commodious Court-house, and

three local newspapers. The principal hotels

are---The "Royal," the "Club-house Hotel,"

the "Occidental Hotel,"and "Kenna's Hotel,"

opposite to the Railway Station. Orange is

in the centre of a large and rich auriferous

di::;trict, and it was here ( at Ophir) the first gold

was discovered in Australia. Ophir is still

worked, and reefing is being carried on with

considerable success in the fields around, viz.,

at Belmore, Lucas Gully, Jaw-bone, Golden

Point, Blacksprings, and at Lucknow. Orange

is surrounded by a reliable agricultural district,

rust being unknown, and even in the

dry seasons the crops around Orange have

not been affected as in many other parts of

the Colony. Orange is also the centre of

a large and important pastoral area, goods

being received here for Parkes, Forbes, Condoholin,

stations on the Lachlan, Cudal,

Cargo, Cadia, &c. A large portion of this

traffic will however be lost when the Rail way

line to Forbes is constructed. Orange possesses

a handsome Railway Station, the appearance

of which is much enhanced by the well-kept

garden, gay with flowers, immediately in

front of the Station-house.

For some time Orange was the terminal

station for the Western line. In June,

1880, the extension westward was opened to

Wellington, and since then extensions have

been opened to the '\V estern Terminus,

Bourke. A railway has been approved of

by Parliament from Orange to Wilcannia, on

the Darling, via Forbes.

Extension, Orange to Molong.-The

extension from Orange to Molong was

opened at the close of last year (1885), and

it has proved a great boon to the many

settlers in and about the district. The

extension joins the '\Vestern Railway two

miles from Orange, and is about ~2 miles in

length. The line passes through a country

well watered by t,he Cheeseman's, Boree, and

Molong Creeks, and the district is largely

devoted to agriculture. The country is of

basaltic formation and the timber principally

box. · There are stopping places between

Orange and Molong at Amaros, Borenore,

and Cargo Road, -provided for local traffic.

Molong is a town of some importance, numbering

over 1,000 inhabitants, and is a

municipality. It possesses ample hotel accommodation

and a considerable husincss is

transacted. As the district is well settled

principally by farmers, the crops grown

being wheat-in connection with which there

are two fiour mills-oats, maize, and Hay,

while a large variety of fruits grow particularly

well in the district, including grapes,

cherries, apples, and plums. This place also

possesses mineral resources, being the centre

of a gold-field, and in addition silver has

lately been discovered and copper. Splendid

flagging is obtainable and abundance of lime.

Molong being the terminns of the line

receives a large quantity of goods. Forbes

(partly), Parkes, Obley, Cummock, Buckinbar,

Yarra Bell River, etc., drawing supplies

frorn this station. The distri0t is not devoid

of the picturesque. The country is billy, and

some splendid views are to be had of the

Conoblas and in the Continubul mountains.

Mullion Creek, 203 miles : 2,827 feet

above sea-level.-After leaving Orange a

fair amount of cultivated land is seen on


each side of the Railway, but the greater

portion of the country is devoted to pastoral

purposes, grass being plentiful in good seasons.

11 miles from Orange, Mullion Creek is

reached, the line crossing the creek by a

bridge of three 26-feet timber openings. The

Railway between these two places is comparatively

level, Mullion Creek being only

16 feet lower than Orange. The only signs

of population about Mullion Creek are the

Railway Station buildings and a few scattered

hamlets in the vicinity. The station

only receives a small local traffic, principally


Warne, 217 miles : 2,072 feet above

sea-level.-After leaving Mullion Creek the

line commences to descend from the higher

table-lands towards the lower interior plains,

there being a fall of nearly 800 feet between

Mullion Creek and Warne, a distance of 14

miles. The cuttings between these two

stations are both numerous and heavy, and

some of the gra


vicinity of Wellington there is much that

is interesting and beautiful to be seen.

There is first the celebrated Wellington

Caves, 6 miles out on the Ironbarks Road.

A writer in speaking of them says,-" The

vVellington Caves have always had a large

amount of interest attached to them, not

only on account of their natural beauty and

peculiarity, but because of the strange remains

of a bygone time that every exploration of

their depths brings to light. Remains of

men have been found there, ::tnd strange tools

and weapons; grotesque drawings, indicating

a poetic conception and stirring times, tell of

a people who have passed away as entirely as

has the time in which they lived. Save the

deeply graven lines on the face of the rock,

the strange and petrified forms of tools and

utensils for household use, the footprints of

ages ago firmly fixed in a clay that has long

since turned into rock, no record remains

of the people or the period when the Wellington

Caves were places of common resort,

either for purposes of security or comfort."

A little distance from Wellington the waters

of the Bell and Macquarie unite, the place

receiving the poetic name of the "Meeting

of the Waters." Towering above the town

is a majestic hill called Mount Arthur, from

which a splendid view of the rivers is obtained,

as they wind like streaks of silver over the

plain. The scenery along the banks of the

river is in places very pretty, and the rivers

themselves furnish plenty of sport-the cod

and silver bream, delicious fish, being caught.

Wellington is also rich in minerals, and

should ere long become a more important

town. Copper is obtained here. A coal-field,

the Belmore, is situated 15 miles away; and

in the district are the gold-fields of vVoolaman,

Goodrich, and Mitchell's Creek. Ample

and good accommodation can be had here ;

the principal hotels being the "Royal,"

" Exchange," "Occidental," " Commercial,"

"Bridge," "Railway," and "Telegraph."

Railway refreshment-rooms have been esta:blished

at Wellington, and as the train passes

through at seasonable hours the refreshmentrooms

prove a great convenience to travellers.

Maryvale, 254 miles; 1,000 feet above

sea-level.-A little distance beyond W ellington

the Railway crosses the Macquarie, by

a handsome iron bridge, of 3 spans of 150

feet each and two of 60 feet each, with brick

abutments, &c. The total length of the

bridge is 648 feet. The height of the rails

above the level of the river is 70 feet. It

will be remembered that this is the second

time the Macquarie is crossed by the Railway,

and further west, at Dubbo, the line

again crosses the su.me stream. In the

vicinity of Wellington the land is largely

under cultivation, a considerable quantity of

wheat and oats for hay being grown. Maryvale

is in the centre of wide-stretching

wheat-fields, and a large quantity of produce

is annually sent from this platform. At 267

miles there is another platform, Murrumbidgerie,

from whence a large quantity of

timber-principally Railway sleepers, which

are obtained in the vicinity-is despatched.

Dubbo, 278 miles; 865 feet above sealevel.-The

country between Maryvale and

Dubbo is uninteresting, and is used almost

entirely for pastoral purposes. The line

between Wellington and Dubbo generally is

level, although at one point there is for a

short distance a gradient of 1 in 40. The

sha1:pest curve is 40 chains radius. Dubbo

is au important trucking place for cattle,

and just before reaching the station the

train passes extensive trucking yards. The

town is situated on the edge of the salt-bush

or pastoral country, and is the centre of

one of the richest mineral and pastoral

districts of New South Wales. The population

of the town, according to the Census of

1881, was 3,324, and of the surrounding

district 12,000. Dubbo is, though one of

the most recent of the new townships which

have sprung up during the last twenty years,

op.e of the most flourishing. Its buildings

are handsome and substantial. Some splendid

stores are to be seen. In public buildings

the most noticeable are the Church of England,

Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan

Churches. The first three are built of white

sandstone, taken from the quanies at West

Dubbo, 2 miles from the town. The supply

of this stone is unlimited. The Government

buildings-viz., the Court-house and

Post Office-are soon to be replaced by str11ctures

more in accordance with the present

wants of the place. The Railway Station is



an imposing building, erected in 1880. It is

constructed of stone. There is a nice Stationhouse

attached, around which a well

arranged garden has been planted, in which

the choicest plants and flowers are blooming

in all seasons. The Masonic Halla

roomy building-is also one of the most

prominent edifices. It possesses a fine hall,

a roomy stage, and besides there is one

of the best lodge-rooms in the Colony.

There are three Banks-Commercial, Joint

Stock, and New South Wales. Dubbo is

the circuit town for the whole north-west,

as far on one side as the Queensland boundary,

north and south-west. There is a firm

wooden bridge spanning the Macquarie at

Dubbo ; it is 300 feet long. About half-amile

higher up the river, the Railway bridge

( a very fine bridge) is in course of construction.

The educational requirements of the

town are well attended to. Besides private

and denominational schools, there is a large

public school with an average attendance of

about 400 pupils. The leading hotels are

the "Royal," "Macquarie View," "Great

Western," "Post Office," and "Imperial."

The district in years past was principally a

pastoral district, but within the last fifteen

years a considerable quantity of land has

been taken up for farming purposes. However,

the soil seems best for the pursuits of

grazing and farming combined. The climate

and soil are admirably adapted for the growth

of the vine, and at two vineyards--Eumalgo,

7 miles away, and Mount Olivet, 2 miles

distant--some excellent wines are made.

The Dubbo district is rich in minerals. 20

miles, on the Tollragar or Erskine, is the

Baltimore Coal-mine. A very rich seam of

excellent coal is being worked. About 25

miles from the Railway siding at Tranjie, on

the extension to N evertire, is the Caroline

Copper-mine; and at Girilambone, 25 miles

from Nyngan, is the Girilambone Mine.

35 miles from Dubbo are the auriferous

quartz-reefs of Tomingley. About a dozen

claims are on gold, and the Mint returns

are very promising. There are on the

West Bogan, west of Tranjie and Nevertire,

some as yet undeveloped copper-mines.

The wool traffic is large-about 40,000

bales being loaded at Dubbo. The whole

of the Castlereagh traffic comes to Dubbo,

and the Railway returns show that there has

been a great revenue collected at this station.

The towns which will make Dubbo their

station are as follow :-Cobbora, Obley,

Coonamble, Collie, Gilgandra, Garalgambone,

M undooran, &c. Warren will be served by

N evertire, and on the line is N arramine,

which will be used by the middle Macquarie

residents. Tranjie will serve the Upper

Bogan inhabitants.

Nyngan, 377 miles.-In October, 1882,

an extension from Dubbo to Nevertire, 63

miles, was opened, and on the 9th June, 1883,

the line was completed to Nyngan. After

leaving Dubbo the line runs over the Macquarie,

which is crossed by a substantial iron

bridge. Between this and N yngan no engineering

difficulties have been met with, but

numerous cuttings are passed through; from

the largest of which, near 283 miles, 27,292

loads of stuff were taken. A number of

creeks are crossed, timber openings allowing

their waters to run under the line. The

steepest gradient on the extension is 1 in 50,

but this only occurs for a distance of 30

chains. Generally the line is comparatively

level ; the country for some 10 miles out of

Dubbo is fertile, but then poor land covered

with stunted .pine and ironbark is passed

through. At N arrarnine, 300 miles from

Sydney (22 from Dubbo), the great western

salt-bush plains are entered upon. The plains

extend for miles, in many places devoid of

trees, or covered with small scrub, varied by

occasional patches of myall. A platform is

passed at Trangie, 320 miles, and at 34: 1

miles N evertire is reached. There is no township

at N evertire, the nearest place being

W arren-11 miles off-a pastoral centre with

a population of 429 souls. The line between

Nevertire and Nyngan is of a light character,

being straight and almost level. The

Western District is very rich in copper j

some mines-the Great Cobar especiallyshowing

ore in sight that will furnish

employment to thousands of miners for years

to come. This mine has led to the foundation

of the town of Cobar, which contains

some three or four thousand inhabitants.

To provide for the trade of the district a

railway has been approved of from N yngan,

and no doubt before long it will be corn-




menced, as the working plans, &c., have been

prepared, and only await the final approval

of the Legislature.

Giralam bone, 405 miles ; 637 feet

above sea-level.-When the extension was

opened to Byrock, in September, 1884, a

wayside station was _openecl at Giralambone,

around which some settlement had been

gathered by the development of some copper

rnine8 ; but at the present time the mines are

not being worked. The station is now kept

up by the produce from the sheep stations

known as Murrawombri, Gradweed, Booramugga,

Budgery, Sussex, and Wilga Downs,

and the goods to these runs. The district is

an uninteresting one being very sparsely

settled, level, and used exclusively for pastoral


Byrock, 455 miles ; 499 feet above

sea-level.-Byrock is a town of mushroom

growth called into existence by the opening

of the railway to it in September, 1884, and

judging by appearances does not seem destined

to have a long life as its buildings have been

designed apparently for merely temporary

purposes. At present a fairly large number

of cattle are trucked from here, coming via

Brewarrina, and the station receives the Brewarrina

goods; but an agitation has been set

on foot to have a branch railway to this town

from Byrock.

Bourke, 503 miles; 349 feet above

sea-level.-The Great Western Railway is

an immense chain uniting Sydney and Bourke,

and being in length 503 miles. Its links

have taken many years to form, but the final

one was completed in September, 1885, and

the line was opened on the 3rd of that month

to Bourke, the most important t.own in Central

Australia. It lies on the River Darling,

but it is only at uncertain periods that the

river is navigable, and in times of drought the

town has almost been reduced to famirie,

stores being so scarce and transit so difficult;

but the railway puts an end to all such contingencies,

and the Bourke people are now

brought within a day's journey of the metropolis.

The town is not particularly picturesque,

lying on a long flat stretching back

from the river, but it is the centre of an

immense district, and transacts a large business,

and is every year rising into more

importance. It is a municipality, proclaimed

in 1878, and contains a population of 4,140.

It offers excellent hotel accommodation. The

traffic from Bourke is entirely of a pastoral

nature, wool and cattle being sent away in

immense qnantities, as Bourke is the entrepot

for a pastoral district that stretches through

the heart of Australia away to the far north

of Queensland ; and at times wool is brought

by river to this station. At the present time

Bourke is dependant for grains and greenstuffs

upon the more favoured stations on the

Western Line, such as Wellington or Orange,

where wheat can be grown to advantage; but

if a system of irrigation and water conservation

can be perfected, as it is believed it can,

it will add immeasurably to the wealth and

productiveness of these western districts.


THE history of the Railway Extension to

Mudgee shows a splendid proof of the success

o~ persistency. For many years this extens10n

was fought for determinedly by the

Mudgee people ; but various Governments,

deterred by the heavy estimates given

as to the cost of the line, and the dim

prospect of a remunerative return, would not

for a long time listen to the appeals of those

interested, until at last one Ministry, seeing

beyond the mountain barrier a wealthy land

of promise and the opening up and development

of mineral resources and wide areas of

land, determined to propose the line, a proposition

which met with the approval of the

then Parliament. Accordingly the line was

proceeded with, and in September, 1884, the

Mudgee people heard the whistle of the iron

horse as it gaily made its way across the

plains bordering the quiet Cudgegong. The

line starts from W allerawang, which long

enjoyed a greater share of prosperity by


reason of its position as the junction of the

Mudgee road with the ·western Railway.

Piper's Flat, 110 miles; 3,187 feet

above sea-level.-The line runs north-west

from Wallerawang outwards to Piper's Flat,

the first station j the country is uninteresting,

the land being poor and timbered with stunted

specimens of white gum. The station is kept

busy only by the mineral traffic, the W allerawang

Compa.ny's Coal-mine being in the

vicinity, which, in 1884, had a contract to

supply the Government with some 75,000

tons coal at the remarkably low rate of 5s.

per ton. The district is essentially a mining

one, near the station coal is in abundance,

and spread over the locality are extensive

deposits of lime, which is principally shipped

from the next platform, Ben Bullen, at 121


Capertee, 127 miles; 2,739 feet above

sea-level.-The line from Ben Bullen to

Capertee is uninteresting until within a short

distance of Capertee, when, after emerging

from the darkness of the Capertee tunnel,

the traveller sees spread before him a glorious

panoramic view of Capertee Valley. The

railway skirts round its edges, and down

below him extends the valley, its uneven and

thickly timbered irnrface heaving, it would

appear, like mighty waves. Far back stands

a frowning battlement of dark bold rocks

forming a head and crown to the body of

the valley below, these cliffs wonderfully

square and regular being aptly termed the

Crown Ridge. The train in the fall of

the year clears this spot towards sunset,

and the long golden sunbeams of the evening

as they gleam across the waving tree-tops

in the valley, light up this cro"\'·n with a

golden refulgence of light smoothing down

its forbidding sternness and setting gems

over its rocky face. The railway runs round

this valley for some distance on its way to

Rylstone, and between the steep cuttings

a fair vista of this picturesque valley is every

now and again seen. The valley contains

good timber j but of course the difficulty of

transit militates against any use being made

of the forests. Good sporting is to be bad

in among the tall grey-gums, game being

plentiful in the valley, and the kangaroos are

as thick as sheep on a good run. Capertee

cannot be called a thriving place j it boasts

of one inn and occasionally sends a little

traffic over towards the Turon (14 miles),

where some gold seekers are working.

Ilford, 149 miles; 2,450 feet above

sea-level.-Between Ilford and Capertee

the line runs for some distance as already

mentioned along the head of the Capertee

Valley, the line crawling as it were along the

side of the cliffs that drop down into the

valley. The cuttings are both numerous and

extensive, and at times an uneasy feeling

creeps over the traveller, that one of the

overhanging rocks above him will fall acrmm

the ironway. The nature of the country at

this place is that known as "rotten," and in

order to make traffic secure, and to prevent

the probability of danger, the trains always

run through in the day light. The scenery is

bold and striking, the mountains towering

hundreds of feet overhead and the passing

views are sufficiently varied to show a long

succession of panoramic Yiews as the trains

sped onwards.

Rylstone, 158 miles; 1,993 feet above

sea-level.-From Ilford the line becomes

more even and the country better grassed,

the line running into the large squattages

bordering the Cudgegong River. Rylstone is

a clean and thriving little township, the

Cndgegong running round it, and its fertile

flats giving opportunity for the cultivation of

good crops of grain. Near Rylstone is the

bead of the "Colo" Valley, through which a

route is being surveyed for a Railway to

connect with the Western Line near Penrith.

The line can, it is thought, be made successfully

and without any very sharp curves or

steep gradient, consequently the already overburdened

mountain line can be relieved, and

the far western traffic be greatly expedited.

Rylstone boasts of three churches, and an

equal number of hotels, and a few thriving

stores, &c. In its vicinity a little mining is

carried on ; but it is dependent for its

prosperity on the pastoral and agricultural

interests. In the wool season a large

number of bales of wool are sent away j

while it is not uncommon to find 4,000 sheep

trucked here in one day for the Sydney


market. Rylstone is elevated, and is extremely

healthy, while in its neighhourhood

are many charming views of river, valley,

and of mountains.

Mudgee, 190 miles; 1,635 feet above

sea-level.-Mudgee, the terminus of the

line, is perhaps one of the best known towns

in the Colony, although, until recently, diffi ­

cult to reach. It is at once a centre of two

great enterprises-gold-mining and woolgrowing-for

within comparatively a short

distance lie the well-known gold-fields of

Gulgong, Meroo, Hill End, Tam baroora,

Home Rule, Windeyer, &c., and on the other

hand, its wool has Lefore now gained the

diploma of honor-the highest award in the

world's exposition. The country between

Rylstone and MHdgee is mostly river flats

bordering the Cu


the soil is well adapted for fruit-growing, and

some thriving vineyards and orangeries are

here to be found. A large quantity of firewood

is sent from this station to the metropolis.

A large reservoir in connection with the metropolitan

water supply is to be made at Prospect,

about 3 miles from this station, which

will cover an area of over 2 square miles.

Canley Vale Platform, 19 miles; 40

feet above sea-level.-This is merely a

platform, from which there is not at present

much traffic, 1 mile to the south of Fairfield.

Cabramatta Platform, 20 miles; 52

feet above sea-level.-Cabramatta Platform,

on a creek of that name, is a rural

place, 2 miles north-east of Liverpool. In

the vicinity several country residences are

situated. There is a village of this name

about 10 miles to the westward, with which

this place must not be confounded.

Liverpool Station, 22 miles ; 50 feet

above sea-level.-Liverpool, one of the

oldest towns in the Colony, is 10 miles from

Parramatta and 12 miles from Campbelltown,

by rail. Population-I, 768. Four churches

-belonging to the four principal Denominations,

one Public School, and two Denominational

Schools, and one College for Theological

Students-" Moore'sCollege"-at a short

distance from the town (Church of England).

There is a large Benevolent Asylum for the

Aged and Infirm, accommodating between

800 or 900 inmates ; a Town Hall and

Post Office; also, a number of industrial

establishments, amongst which are several

complete wool-washing establishments and

two large paper-mills. Liverpool stands at

the head of the navigation of George's River.

It was formed into a municipality in 1872.

Denham Court, Glenfield, and other settlements

are in the immediate neighbourhood.

Those who have means and leisure may

here make a pleasant boat excursion down

George's River to Sans Souci, and thence

go by road and rail to Sydney. The

river scenery is picturesque, and many

beautiful views are to be had on some of the

wide reaches of the river. The principal

hotels are the "Horse and Jockey," the

"Golden Fleece," "Ta.ttersall's," the "Royal,"

" Foresters' Arms," " Commercial," and


Owing to the extensive works at Liverpool

a large amount of traffic is done at

this station, the goods in wards being equal to

1,400 tons per month; goods outward (principally

paper, firewood, and bricks), 2,250

tons per month ; wool received for washing,

2,000 bales per month.

Liverpool Paper-milhi.-The property

consists of 13 acres, with frontage to that

.extent to George's River. Buildings cover

an area of 5f acres, built of stone and brick ;

machinery, four 50-horse power steam-boilers;

five steam-engines from 10 to 50-horse power;

twelve rag engines; six rag and fibre boilers;

one very large high-pressure fibre boiler; bleach

house, capacity for 30 tons weekly; papermaking

machine, 84 inches wide, speed 100

to 123 feet per minute ; patent cutting and

repping and winding machinery; four sets of

calender rolls; one set chilled American rolls;

two water-filtering pounds (the ·1argest in the

Australian Colonies); pumping engine,

capable of drawing 100,000 gallons per hour.

Manufacture-22 to 25 tons weekly news

printing, in sheets and in reels 3 to 4 miles in

length, for the continuous web news-printing

machine; engine-sized writing papers; royal

hand and brown wrapping-papers. Number

of hands employed in the works, 115 people,

with agents all over the Colonies.

Established in 1869 by the Australian

Paper-making Company. Eight years in the

present proprietors' hands, who have greatly

improved the property and machinery.

The Company yields a revenue to tl1e

Government Railways exceeding £2,500

annually; and the works are connected by a

branch line of rails which runs into the works.

Material used-Cotton rags and canvas,

with 50 to 65 per cent. fibre, indigenous to

the Colony; an important feature in the

manufacturing of news printing, when it is

computed that not less than 200 tons is

required weekly in the Southern Hemisphere.

Material used for brown and grey wrappings-Rope,

old woolpacks, bagging, and

waste paper, of which there is an ample

supply, and a full demand for the manufactured


Menangle Bridge.


Coal, 90 to 120 tons weekly required,

which is obtained from Eskbank Colliery, on

the Western line, of easy access to the works,

the quality of which will compare favourably

with some of the English coal.

The Collingwood Wool-scouring and

Fellmongering Establishment is situated

on George's River in close proximity to the

town of Liverpool; the works cover an area

of several acres, and are very complete, the

machinery employed being very extensiv~

and capable of scouring, packing, and sending

away about 250 bales of wool weekly. The

fellrnongering establishment is also admirably

adapted for the work, consisting of large

soak-pits, sweating-sheds, and pulling-houses.

About 4,000 skins are fellmongered weekly;

the best of the pelts are sent to be tanned

into basils, and the remainder are made into

glue at a manufactory on another portion of

the premises. A branch of the Southern

Railway runs into the premises, and wool is

received and loaded into the railway trucks

at the wool stores. The works give employment

to about seventy hands.

Messrs. Haigh & Son bave also, on the

opposite side of the river, and in close proximity

to the town, an extensive fellmongering

establishment, fitted with very compl~te

appliances for the work.

Glenfield Platform, 25 miles ; 38 feet

above sea-level.-After leaving Liverpool

the train rapidly passes the works of the

Paper Company and the Collingwood Fellmongery,

and for some distance runs parallel

to the George's River. 3 miles from Liverpool

Glenfield is reached; it takes its name

from the large and beautiful estate of Glenfield.

There is a populous and picturesque

neighbourhood here, bounded on the south by

the George's River.

Ingle burn, 28 miles; 74 feet above sealevel.-At

the Macquarie Fields there is fine

open country, dotted over with trees. There

are hills and slopes on either side of the line.

The country here much resembles that near

Rooty Hill on the Western line.

Minto Platform, 31 miles ; 140 feet

above sea-level.-Minto is a very pretty

sylvan locality, 3 miles out of Campbelltown,

on the Sydney side. In the vicinity are a

number of farmers, who find the platform

very convenient for forwarding their produce.

Campbelltown Station, 34 miles; 210

feet above sea-level.-Campbelltown, a

very old township, is named after a gentleman

who was Colonial Secretary of New South

"'V\Tales in the days of Governor Macquarie.

It is the centre of an agricultural district,

and contains ftbout 700 souls. In the town

are three churches-one for the Anglican

(St. Peter's),.and the other two for the Roman

Catholics and Congregationalists. There are

also several inns, and one Public School.

The surrounding country, consisting of hills, ·

valleys, and plains, is devoted to grazing and

cultivation, and is eminently healthy and

picturesque. In the neighbourhood (10 miles

to the south of it) lies the pleasant little

village of Appin, with much fine scenery not

far from it-at Broughton's Pass, Jordan's

Pa.ss, Pheasant's Nest, the Friendly Falls,

and Bulli Pass. The Pheasant's Nest Pass,

which is at the junction of the N epean and

Cordeaux Rivers, forms the starting-point of

the extensive works for the supply of the

Metropolitan district with water. A tunnel

nearly 5 miles long will connect the waters

of the N epean and Cataract, and the united

streams will feed a tunnel about 2 miles in

length, and hy a series of aqueducts the

water will be brought to a storage reservoir

at Prospect, near Fairfield, which, when

completed, will have an area of about 2

square miles, and contain over, 11,000 million

gallons of water. Parliament has authorized

the necessary expenditure for the carrying

out of this great project, and the work is now

under construction. From Campbelltown a

Tramway has been constructed to Camden,

passing through Narellan. From Campbelltown

tourists start southwards for the Illawarra

District. (See Routes.)

Menang]e Station, 40 miles; 270 feet

above sea-level.--AtMenangle the Southern

line crosses the N epean by means of a fine

tubular bridge, the rails being 63 feet above

the ordinary level of the river. This

bridge and the adjacent viaduct consists "of

wroughli iron, continuous box girders for a


double line, 498 feet in length, extending

over three openings of 150 feet clear span

each, resting on stone piers, the masonry

being set in Portland cement. The height

of the bridge from the level of the river to

under side of the girders is 65 feet. The

approach on the Sydney or northern side is

978 feet long, in spans of 26 feet each. The

approach on the southern side is of timber,

43~ feet in length, in spans of 26 feet." In

the vicinity are numerous fine grazing farms,

with agricultural patches laid out on the

alluvial flats. Menangle has an Anglican and

a Roman Catholic Church, and two schools.

2-! miles from Menangle is the Camden Park

Estate, the residence of the late Sir William

Macarthur. The house is surrounded with

extensive grounds, containing a series of hothouses,

stocked with the rarest plants. The

open gardens are also well laid out, and are

not to be surpassed in the Colony. Close by

the station is a small nursery. Some pleasant

views are to be obtained near Menangle,

along the banks of the N epean. There is a

grand and comprehensive view of the country

from the line on the Campbelltown side of

Menangle-about a couple of miles from the

bridge, with Razorback in the distance.

Douglass Park Station, 45 miles ; 396

feet above sea-level.-Douglass Park is an

agricultural settlement, named after the late

Hon. H. G. Douglass, M.D. In the vicinity

is N epean Towers, at one time the residence

of the late Dr. R. L. Jenkins, who was celebrated

for his noted herds of pure-bred cattle,

which have on many occasions won the principal

prizes at our agricultural shows. A good

deal of traffic has lately come to Douglass

Park, on account of its proximity to the worh

in connection with the Sydney water supply.

There is at present no township at Douglass

Park, but it is understood a township has been

laid out. There are many charming views in

the vicinity of Douglass Park.

Picton Station, 53 miles; 549 feet

above sea-level.-Picton (formerly called

"Stoneqt1arry") is a prettily situated town,

at a distance of 13 miles from Menangle. It

lies in a valley, through which flows the

Stonequarry Creek, and consist of Upper

and Lower Picton. The buildings are substantial

in character, and good accommodation

is provided for travellers. There are churches

for the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and

Wesleyan denominations ; a Court-housP-, and

Public School. Amongst other institutions,

the most worthy of notice is the " Home for

Consumptives," provided and maintained at

considerable expense, by the kind liberality

of Lieutenant and Mrs. Goodlet. The land

in the neighbourhood of Picton is extensively

used for pastoral and agricultural purposes.

The geological formation is chiefly sandstone

and Wianarnatta shale. The scenery is

pretty and interesting. The hills rise on all

sides of the town in gentle undulations, with

rounded tops and grassy slopes, enclosing

many smiling valleys amongst them, which

either under crop or covered with herbage

impart a pleasant and peaceful aspect to the

surrounding country. From the summit of

some of the higher hills many beautiful views

can be obtained, in which the Picton Valley,

with its winding stream, cheerful homesteads,

and pretty orchards, forms the foreground,

and a succession of hills flanked by far-away

mountain chains the background. One of

the highest of the hills in the immediate

vicinity of Picton is "Vault Hill," situated

to the right of Lower Picton, proceeding from

the Railway Station. This receives its name

from the fact that its brow is occupied as a

burial-ground by the family of Major Antill.

The Railway Viaduct at Picton is a work of

considerable importance, built of masonry,

set in cement, and consisting of five openings

of 40 feet each. The length is 276 feet, and

the height from foundation to rail level, 78

feet. The tunnel to the south of the townthrough

the Redbank Range-is 198 yar


fringed with reeds and covered with waterlilies.

Ferns are also plentiful in placesone

portion of the glen being in consequence

known as "Fern Valley." Natural caves

are to be found in the rocks on either side of

the glen. One of these called the " Salt

Cave" is somewhat rema.rkablP, owing to the

fact that the rock of which it is composed is

largely impregnated with salt, and lumps of

the mineral in a pure state have been found

irnbedded in the decomposed sandstone of

which its floor is formed. Other mineral

substances, such as kerosene shale and oxide

of iron, are to be found in the vicinity of this

creek. Perhaps the most pleasant trip that

can be taken from Picton is to Burragomng,

a series of valleys and uplands, amongst which

is some of the grandest and wildest scenery

that is to be found probably in the Colony.

Burragorang lies to the north-east.

Picton Lakes Platform, 59 miles; 1,074

feet above sea-level.-After leaving Picton

and passing through the Redbank Tunnel,

the line during the next 7 miles rises much

more rapidly than it did previously, until at

a place known as "Picton Lakes," it reaches

a height of 525 feet above the level of the

station at Picton. Here there is a platform,

with a watering place for the engines. The

,:7ater is pumped up from several large lagoons

situated to the west of the line, in a singular

precipitous valley about half a mile distant.

These lagoons or lakes, when in ficocl, form

one long body of water extending for a distance

. of about 5 miles, in an oval-shaped valley,

and enclosing a wooded hill in the centre,

and have an average width of about hn,lf a

mile. During low-water the hjgher portion

of the valley becomes dry, or forms a reedy

swamp, while the lowe;r portion forms a chain

of In.goons partially subdivided by the immense

rushes which fringe them on all sides, and

extend across the shallower parts of the

water. ·Even in the driest seasons these

lagoons contain a consjderable body of fresh

clear water, having a length of from 2 to 2!

miles, with a depth of from 10 to 30 feet. A

peculiar feature in connection with this sheet

of water is the fact that it has no perceptible

feeders, and even in flood-time is not supplied

with any stream of importance.

Mittagong Station, 77 miles; 2,069

feet above sea-level.-1\'.Iittagong-also

ca1led N attai-lies in an elevated region,

being over 2,000 feet above the level of the

sea. Around it is a pastoral and agricultural

district. Its mineral resources are coal and

iron; the Fitzroy Iron Mines being immediately

adjacent to the town. The iron ore is of

the finest quality, and apparently of unlimited

extent. Some years ago a large amount of

capital was expended by the Fitzroy Iron

Company in erecting the necessary plant and

appliances for smelting the ore, but owing to

the high rate of labour, and other expenses

connected with the carrying on of the works,

operations have Leen suspended for some

considerable time past. This suspension

cannot, however, prove otherwise than temporary,

as one of the difficulties(thatof finding

coal of suitable quality and within easy

distance) has been overcome by the opening

of a fine seam of coal, a few miles from

the town, within the last twelve months.

Without doubt Mittagorig will eYentually

become the scene of an important industry.

The scenery in the neigbourhood is of a

varied and interesting character. Fine views

of the surrounding country can be obtained

from many of the mountains in its Yicinity.

A favourite one with visitors as well as

the townspeople is that from a cliff known

as the "Gib." This is a peculiarly shaped

rocky cliff situated about 2 miles on the

southern side of the town, and derives its

narne (of which Gib is an abbreviation) from a

fancied resemblance to the rock at Gibraltar.

The road to this cliff leads over several grassy

slopes, most appropriately named the "Green

Hills," and forms a pleasant and by no means

fatiguing walk. From the top of the cliff an

extensive view of the town of :Mittago11g and

its surroundings is obtaine


pleni:wn pcdcaturn, and Adiantum, cissirnile,

while Linclsaya 1nicrophyllcl, Aspleniwrn

fiabellifoliuni, and other rarer species are

obtainable. In addition to the cryptogamous

plants the flora is of an interesting character,

nearly every species peculiar to the mountain

system being here represented. The waratah

grows profusely, also the Clematis aristata,

and many other beautiful climbing plants.

In some of the glens a Christmas bush grows,

which has oblong leaves and whitish blossoms

tinteu. with the palest mauve. The smaller

wild flowers are well represented by orchids,

epacrids, plants of a papilionaceous character,

and others not specially classified, though

bearing in some instances local names of an

appropriate nature. In the geological formation

a good deal of variety also exists;

the coal measures are widely distributed, the

Devonian beds with their extensive deposits

of iron ore are well represented, and basaltic

trap is plentiful. Several fine freestone

quarries have been opened up, and chalybeate

springs are common. One of these, situated

a short distance from the town, flows into a

sma11 well, bricked round, for the convenience

of invalids who may wish to drink the water.

Two miles on the southern side of the station

at Mittagong the train passes through the

Gibraltar Tunnel, believed to be the longest

in the Colony, being over 57~ yards from end

to end. The tunnel is cut tlirough sandstone

and shale, and is lined throughout with brick­

,vork and cement. The trains passing through

Mittagong stop twenty minutes to allow

passengers time for refreshments.

The Joadja. Kerosene Mine.-To any

one interested in the industrial progress of the

Colony and the development of its natural

resources, a visit to the J oadja Kerosene

Mine would prove highly interesting. The

works are about 16 miles from the Mittagong

Rail way Station, and can be reached Ly

means of a light tramway which the Company

has constructed. This tramway commences

from the mine, and is worked by a locomotive,

16 miles.

The mine is situated in a most picturesque

valley, through which runs a stream known

as the .J oadja Creek. The valley is almost

surrounded by high mountain , and accessible

only by foot pas ·engers, by means

of a path down a very steep descent, along

which for the purpose of hauling up the

shale a tramway has been constructed. The

trucks are lowered by a steel wire rope,

controlled and worked by a fixed engine at

the head of the incline. The distance from

the engine-house to the foot of the mountain

is over 3,000 feet,-the incline for 1,500 feet

being 1 in 2, and the remainder of the way

varying from that to 1 in 20.

The entrance to the mine is prettily situated

on the brow of one of the hills, at an

eleYation of about 500 feet from the bottom

of the gully. The distance into the main

drive of the mine is 680 feet; the other

tunnels, which branch off right and left, vary

from ] 50 to 200 feet in length. These

drives and tunnels are well ventilated by the

air being drawn through the mine, and regulated

by a large furnace and air chimney.

The valley is rendered most interesting

not only through its natural beauty, but also

by the substantial retorts, purifiers, and other

buildings erected by the Company. There

are about 150 persons employed on the works.

The Manager is provided with an excellent

house, and the miners, mechanics, and others,

with very comfortable cottages. There are

besides these buildings a store belonging to

the Company, a post-office, two butcheries,

two bakeries, and a schoolhouse is now being

erected, making a total of seventy-five houses

and huts on the estate. Near the mouth of

the mine very good coal is being worked for

local purposes. Altogether the village bears

a busy and cheerful aspect.

The operations consist of shale-mining,

extracting oil from the shale and refining it,

timber-sawing, erecting buildings, _and all the

mechanical operations necessary to carry on

the works. Some fifty men are engaged in

winning 350 tons of shale or mineral per

week, which is either exported or treated for

oil extraction. The lower di vision of the

seam is 10 to 14 inches thick, and that of

the upper one 7 to 10 inches thick. The shale

obtained from the lower division, being the

most valuable, is exported, and contains about

three-fifths of the whole.

,vhen the oil is extracted at the works

the shale is put into the retorts and distilled

at an extremely low temperature. The

oil being carried down by gravitation to the


purifying works, is received into a tank, and

with an addition of sulphuric acid for the

purpose of purifying it by chemical action,

brings off a black viscid tar, corn posed of the

basic substances of the oil. The liquid then

passes into another tank, where it is treated

with a solution of caustic soda and sent on

for a second and third distilling. After being

treated each time with the acid and soda

the kerosene is :finally re-distilled, and then

put into store tanks, filled into 4-gallon

tins, and placed in cases ready for market.

One month is necessary to make good burning

oil, but during its manufacture other valuable

substances are extracted and brought

to market, as is eYidenced by the following

figures :-100 tons of kerosene shale produce

10,000 gallons of crude oil, or 5,000 gallons of

good burning oil, 3 to 5 per cent. of gazoline at

670°, 1 ! to 2 per cent. of paraffine, 6 per cent.

of tar, and 10 to 15 per cent. of lnbricating

oil. In extracting the oil from the shale

fourteen men are employed; and two boys, by

means of American machinery, are enabled to

make 400 tins per diem for holding the oil.

The water used at the works is brought

from a distance of 1 f mile, and is very

clear and good. The estate has an area of

1,887 acres. A.bout sixty-six bullocks and

fifty-six horses are worked upon it.

There is more to be seen at J oadja than

at any similar mine in the Colony. The

processes of extracting and refining the oil

are particularly interesting, and to the lover

of grand scenery the locality has scarcely

a rival. A very large sum of money has

been already expended, and doubtless more

will be required before the Company can

hope to receive the rich reward which is

unquestionably before it, and which it

deserves for its spirited and unostentatious

enterprise. The expenditure of such a large

amount of capital, and the consequent location

of a numerous industrial population, will

have a most beneficial effect upon Mittagong

and the surrounding districts ; and it is to Le

hoped that the people most interested will

rightly appreciate the great manufacturing

undertaking carried on in their vicinity.

There can be but little doubt but that as

soon as J oadja Creek becomes better known

it will have many visitors, who will he well

repaid for the visit.

Bowral Station, 80 miles; 2,171 feet

above sea-level.-Bowral is 0, pretty little

town, situated about 3 miles from Mittagong

and 6 from Moss Vale. There are several

business places, and a number of well-built

private residences. The principal means of

support until lately was derived from traffic

with the Kangaloon farmers. Within the

last year or two, however, the character for

healthiness which Bowral can justly claim

has attracted numbers of city folk, who make

use of it as a place of residence during the

heat of summer. The scenery between Mittagong

and Bowral is of a most picturesque and

romantic nature ; but within the immediate

vicinity of Bowral the country becomes less

wild and broken; and open meadows, grassy

slopes, and gentle undulations are seen, giving

a pleasant and homelike character to the


Burradoo Platform, 82 miles; 2,168

feet above sea-level.-This is a platform

for the convenience of persons residing 2

miles to the southward of Bowral. Burradoo

is a charming summer retreat, and a couple

of days can be spent there with much pleasure

and benefit.

Austermere Platform, 85 miles; 2,180

feet above sea-level.-This is a small platform,

3 miles from Burradoo and 1 mile

from Moss Vale Station. Here the Hon.

John Lackey has a fine estate, extending for

some miles along the Wingecarribee River.

Moss · Vale Station, 86 miles; 2,205

feet above sea-level.-Moss Vale is a town

of rapidly increasing importance, commanding

the traffic of Berrima ( on the Old Southern

Road), Sutton Forest, Bnrrowang, and the

Kangaroo Valley-towards the district of

Illawarra-occupied by prosperous settlers.

Moss Vale is, as its name denotes, situated

in a valley, though during the last few years

it has been spreading over the slopes of the

surrounding hills. It is the centre of an

extensive area of land, well suited for agricultural

and grazing purposes. It has

numbers of stores and hoteh:; the lati.er of

which are always well filled during hoiidaytime.

The scenery about Moss Vale is pretty

and interesting. The country is undulating


and lightly timbered, and abounds in verdant

valleys, grassy slopes, and open forest land.

The Fitzroy Falls.-About 12 miles from

Moss Vale, towards the sea-coast, is situated

a magnificent cataract-or rather series of

waterfalls, called the Fitzroy Falls. A welldefined

road leads from Moss Vale to the

falls, over which the mail-coach travels daily

on its way to places situated further eastward.

The country through which this road passes

is of a similar nature to that snrrounding

Moss Vale, being gently undulating ; so that

the view of the deep sunken valley or glen

in which the falls are situated comes on the

spectator with startling suddenness. Down

this valley a tributary of the Shoalhaven

falls in a sheer descent of about 400 feet

before reaching the rocks below. It then

pours OYer a shelving ledge of rock in a foamy

torrent for a further distance of nearly 200

foet, making a total depth from the top of

the upper fall to the bed of the creek of

upwards of 600 feet. These are distinguished

as the Upper Falls, and the spot is one well

worth going many miles to see. After

reaching the bottom of the glen, the water

continues to course downwards in a series of

rapids and cascades for a distance of about

a mile, when another fall upwards of 200

feet in depth occurs. The scenery connected

with these falls is of the most picturesque

and wildly beautiful character that could well

be imagined. A platform has been erected

in connection with the bridge that spans the

stream immediately above the falls. From

this platform a grand view of the Upper

Falls and the glen itself can be obtained.

Facing the spectator is a gorge upwards of

half a mile in width, nearly 1,000 feet in

depth, and stretching for miles in the direction

of its length. As this glen trends eastward

it widens considerably, and traversing

its centre is a table-shaped mountain-called

Mount Meryla-behind which glimpses of

mountain chains are seen outlined against

the sky. The sides and bottom of the glen

are covered with the richest Vf\getation,

which with ib:; glistening foliage adds greatly

to the beauty of the scene. At the spectator's

feflt the water dashes downwards, breaking

first into thousands of drops, that flash in the

sunlight like a shower of diamonds, and

then changing into feathery spray so light

that quantities of it float for hundreds of

yards down the glen. A pathway has been

formed by which tourists can descend into the

glen just below the first falls, and thence by

a circuitous course downwards to the lower

falls. The descent throughout is rendered

most interesting by the extreme beauty of the

vegetation, amongst which messmate trees,

cedars, and fern trees, form a conspicuous

feature, with here and there a cabbage palm,

while hanging in graceful festoons are various

species of climbing plants. In the undergrowths

are many beautiful species of ferns,

besides mosses, lichens, and rocklilies.

Amongst the ferns, polypodicums and various

species of lomarias are plentiful. The

descent to the lower falls can be made in less

than half-an-hour, but the ascent, without

including stoppages-which, owing to the

perpendicular nature of some portions of the

pathway, are imperative-occupies about an

hour. The spot however well repays the

visitor for the exertion of reaching it, and

should not be omitted from the list of places

worthy of notice by the tourist. Owing to

greater facilities Leing afforded lately for

reaching these falls, they are fast becoming

a popular resort for visitors in search of

beautiful scenery ; and no doubt in the course

of time a house of accommodation will be

provided, by means of which they will be

enabled to increase the length of their stay.

The Berrima Coal-mines.-At about

equal distances from Berrima and Moss Vale

an extensive seam of coal has been opened

and the new industry thus inaugurated

seems well calculated to materially

advance the interests of the district

generally. The coal-seam is situated

about 7 miles from Berrima, in a tract of

land in the form of a peninsula, lying

between the Wingecarribee River and its

tributary the Medway. The scenery in the

neighbourhood of the mine is wild and

picturesque, the bed of the river being in a

deep and tortuous glen, here and there strewn

with huge boulders, while the sides are lined

with tree ferns and oak trees. The descent

to the opening into the ravine is made down

a steep incline leading through a tunnel, and

onward through strong iron doors. On

emerging through these a fine view of the



river can be obtained as it winds its tortuous

way amongst the rocks, forming numerous

rapids ancl cascades on its way. The carboniferous

deposits in this district are of a

very extensive character. For many miles

the course of the coal-seam just opened out

can be traced quite exposed to view. To the

eastward of the mine it sinks below the

sllrface, but again rises to view about a

mile distant, near the bottom of a waterfall

upwards of 200 feet in depth. The works,

which were commenced about two years

since, are under the able management of

Mr .. Atkinson. The property and plant

consist of 680 acres held under mineral

conditional purchase, and 276 acres of freehold

; an engine-house, a 30-horse power

hoisting engine, engineer's residence, tanks,

&c., with 7 miles of rai]wn,y, extending to

Austermere on the Southern line, and so

gauged that the trucks mn,y run to their

proper destination without the necessity of

unloading the coals. One of the first orders

received by the Company was to supply upwanls

of 12,000 tons of coals for use on the

Government Railways. The coal-beds have