NOTES OF A TRIP TO THE PENINSULA.
By a "Visitor.
Starting from the Port at 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning by the steamer Wakefield, I arrived at Ardrossan at 3 in the afternoon, and found on the jetty the friends 'whom I had gone to see awaiting me. We started shortly afterwards for Maitland, a distance of fifteen miles, and reached our destination towards evening. The time of my visit Wa9 particularly favorable, not only for seeing the country at its best, but also for two special events of great interest and importance to the residents of the district.
The first of these was the annual show— agricultural, horticultural, and Agricultural all combined. To one who, takes a lively interest in all these departments of the products of the soil, and had only a short time before seen the show in the first two of these Hues held at Kapunda, the occasion was full of interest to me, and I inspected carefully all that was to be seen. Taking Kapunda as a standard of comparison, which need not be either "odious" or invidious, I should say that, as a whole though on a smaller scale, the Maitland Show would have nothing to be ashamed of. la flowers it nu, of course, greatly inferior to ©urFiurieultura! tihon i in vegetables poultry eggs, and butter, and some other exhibits it was quite equal to Kupunda in draught entires it was superk .ut thoroughbreds were poorly represented oy only one horse -r whilst roadsters were not represented at all, and the show of hack* was but middling. There were some good exhibits in young draught stock; also in cattle and sheep ; whilst agricultural implements, as was proper, made a fair appearance, amongst which I was pleased to notice that our townsman, Mr. Cameron, was duly represented. The attendance was large from the surrounding district, as it is the great annual holiday, the number being estimated at about 1,000.
In the evening there was an entertainment held in the new Institute Hall, which was then used for the Second time. This hall is a credit to the place, and will be a great convenience. It is capable of seating from 400 to 600, and was crowded in every part, even where standing room was available. The entertainment was of the usual kind, the comic element some what prepoudering ; all very good indeed, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the large assemblage.
On Wednesday I started, in the company of my friend and his wife on a tour round the district for the purpose of visiting some old friends from this neighborhood, intending to see the Aboriginal Mission Station on the way, and to make Port Victoria fifteen miles direct from Maitland in the evening,, and to stay there for the night. In this, however, we were disappointed, but in a way very pleasing to ourselves, and I think not without pleasure to others also. We arrived at Point Pearce (the Mission Station) about 5 o'clock in the evening, where we were kindly received by the manager and his wife, and requested to be shown over the establishment. We soon found that it was a special occasion of great interest at the station, for they were to hold a Band of Hope meeting, at which all the natives would be present, together with some friends from a distance, who were to take part in the entertainment. This was, indeed, most interesting, and we were easily prevailed upon to remain for the night that we might see and take part in the proceedings. My friend being a gentleman of importance, and well known in the district, was requested to preside, and delivered an excellent opening address appiopriuteto the occasion, which was most attentively listened to by all present; the lady was pressed into the service, and played most of the accompaniments ; whilst I also, by request, gave a short address, expressive of sincere sympathy and good wishes. It was, indeed, a pleasant sight to see so many natives, about filty of all ages, looking happy, well clothed, and evidently well fed and cared for, and, above all, most intelligent, and deeply interested in all that took place, some of tiieui taking part, the most noticeable being a duet by a man and his wife, in which he played an accorapsnient to her song on the violin, and did it tastefully and well. I shall reserve for an early future occasion a fuller and more instructive account of this mission station, which, I believe, will be generally interesting.
Maitland is finely situated on high ground, forming the central ridge of the Peninsula, with a beautiful view of Spencer's Gulf, ten miles straight across in the distance. There, as well as here, the crops are the subject of deepest interest, and the farmers as a rule feel well satisfied with the prospects. There is a wide difference in the appearance of different crops, sometimes even in adjoining paddocks— 'the result of different methods of farming, so that some are very poor, whilst otheuane as beautiful and promising as the eye could look upon. Some paddocks will riot yield raon* than three or four bushels to the acre, whilst much of it is expected to give from 15 to 20 bushels, was except ioually good patches even more than that. We were told by a most intelligent and euthusinstic farmer that with the saving of labor, and the facility for cultivating scrub land by means of mulienizing, and the use of the stump-jumping plough and scarifier, even so low a yield as four bushels per acre at 15s. a bushel would well clear all expense, i This most useful invention, the stump-jumper twin sister in simplicity and utility to the reaper—we saw at work, which is the only way to thoroughly understand it.
On the following morning we went to Port Victoria, on the western side of the Peuinsula, where we saw some old Kapunda friends, who were glad to see us ; and, after resting there, returned to Maitland, over an excellent road and through a pleasant country, consisting of continuous farms on either side with the primeval scrub for the background.
On Saturday morning I had to set my face homeward, though somewhat reluctantly, and after a pleasant passage, landed at the Port at 4 o'clock. Thus ended a short but exceedingly pleasant holiday trip, in which I hope some of my readers will have accompanied me with interest and shared in my pleasure.