CYCLING. POPULAR CYCLING TOURS. THE SCENERY AND THE ROADS. NO. IX. YORKE'S PENINSULA.
To many city cyclists the route represented by this week's sketch will open up new ground, though there are few who have not heard of the splendid roads and the records that have been accomplished on Yorke's Peninsula. From the fact that the winds blow more from the south or across the Peninsula than from the north the beat plan undoubtedly is to cross the Gulf in the Warooka to Edithburg, a matter of 5s., and cycle 1s., and proceed thence to any or all of the places specified in our illustration. Leaving Port Adelaide in fine weather say at 9 a.m., tho rockbound coast and dilapidated jetty of Edithburg are reached in five hours. Then you can ride over a magnificent road for nine and a half miles into Yorketown. By following the telegraph line it is impossible to miss the way. Homesteads are met with all along the route, and here and there salt lakes cause the visitor to meditate upon the strange phenomena. Some of the salt is a foot deep, and presents the appearance of a beautiful silver lake. There are dozens of these within a radius of as many miles of Yorketown, and they are the means of providing employment to a large number of people. If you are not desirous of proceeding further into the boot of the Peninsula the best plan is, of course, to make direct for Minlatou, but if bent on a nice quiet holiday, aud you have a weakness for shells and fishing, Corney Point is to be recommended. This is reached via Warooka which lies on the top of a hill fourteen miles from Yorketown. Theroad to it is really superb. A genial Scot in Host McKenzie studies your comfort, and you will probably feel inclined to stay the evening rather than attempt the additional twenty-three miles to the Point. An early start is recommended for the reason that it will take you to your destination before Old Sol gets too warm in his attentions, for though the country is of an undulating character there are no big hills or shady spots in which to rest. Two miles from Warooka, and at the second cross-road, the route branches off to the right. Leaving the telegraph line to the left, in another four miles you come upon Mrs. Hannay's Orrie Cowie Station, with Mr. Angas Johnson in charge. This gentleman is an authority on cattle, and a generous host. Every few miles the cyclist passes a farmhouse or station, and about fifteen miles out he travels through rather pretty scrub country, with the sheaoak predominating. Further on the road deteriorates, though beyond a patch of sand for 100 yards in two or three places there is nothing to complain about. A drawback to the trip is that, you do not view the sea until " you are actually at the Point, which is rather disappointing to the uninitiated ridey, who wonders when his destination will be reached. He is told to look out for the signboard with " Post-office" printed on it in plain figures, and quite unexpectedly this welcome announcement lashes before him. The building is really a school, however, and in a shed at the back there is a tank of beautifully clear water. With not another house in sight, where all the children come from—for there is a large muster under the wing of an obliging schoolmistress—is a puzzle. The lady will direct the wanderer to the few residences in the immediate neighbourhood—that is, within three or four miles —or, should it be holiday time, the best plan is to take the turn to the left for half a mile, where a windmill and a gate will be noticed. Go through the gate and follow the track for half a mile, which will take you to Mr. Klem's substantial homestead, that is hidden behind a clump of trees. I cannot say too much in favour of this warm-hearted household, all the members of which seem determined to make a visit as enjoyable as possible. There is no hotel at Corney Point, and visitors are compelled to call upon the geneicsity of the residents for a "shake down," which in country parlance means most comfortable quarters. Let me here state that it is unfair to leave without recognising their kindness. Corney Point is one of the coolest places in the colony, for the hot winds that are the terror of the northern parts of the Peninsula lose their effect before reaching this neighbourhood. As an instance I might quote November 10, when there was such a sensation in Adelaide over the heat, and the thermometer registered 106°. At Corney Point it was 92°, and I experienced little inconvenience in exploring the country. Conchologists reap a rich harvest from the beautiful shells found on the beach, which is said to be the only part of the world where a sweet little shell termed the Donax is found. On the beach here, which is three or four miles long, this variety is met with in thousands. The Nautilus also could at one time be found here, but it has disappeared during the last three seasons. To get to the lighthouse a short cut may be taken from Klein's, or one may follow the road past the school above referred to, and through a gate about twenty yards away. The track continues for, say a mile and a half to two miles, over sandy country to the beach and lighthouse. Mr. Webling, the head keeper, courteously explains the manner of working his establishment. It is a grand sensation standing here and watching the sea in its fury, lashing against the rocks, with the wind bowling round and almost strong enough to take you off your feet. To be compelled to live year after year in such a lonely spot is not too pleasant, aud a visit will show strangers how the lighthouse-keepers appreciate good literature. A curiosity near by is an eagle's nest on the rocks, which must have taken years to build. It is nearly 3 ft. high.
Hieing back to Warooka, there is the option of continuing to Yorketown, or taking the rum to the left for a mile, and then to the right tor seventeen miles by the road that leads through Brentwood to Minlaton. You save fourteen miles by the latter route, but if it were twenty miles I should rather go to Yorketown first than plough through the sandhills between Warooka and Brentwood, A more desolate waste I have never crossed. Sand and boulders characterize the eleven miles, and as the place is infested with snakes and adders one does not appreciate tramping mile after mile. It is therefore advisable to get back to Yorketown, and spend a day or two running to Stansbury (fourteen miles) for oysters and fishing, or else make north-west to Minlaton (eighteen miles). This is a busy little township in the midst of a farming district. Mount Rat is the next station, nine and a half miles away, though it would be interesting to know where the mountain is located. From here you can go down to Port Vincent (sixteen miles) via Koolywurtie and Curramulka, or to the opposite side of the Peninsula to Wauraltee, and along to the Mission Station at Point Pearce. Back to Mount Rat again, we so on to Maitland (eighteen miles); which is recognised as the highest point on the Peninsula. Conversing with Host McLeod we soon realized that the good crops on tho Peninsula this season are attributable to artificial manures. Ardrossan lies fourteen miles to the east and Wauraltee the same distance to the west. A description of tho country as " undulating, with magnificent roads" applies to the greater part of the Peninsula, and if there is a wind behind you the amount of ground you cross in a few hours is wonderful, with the monotony relieved by the ups and downs from end to end. Our map shows the distances from town to town, and beyond strongly recommending the run from Maitland to Ardrossan and from the latter place to Arthurton, I must pass on to Moonta and Kadina. Arriving at either of them on a Saturday evening tho visitor is impressed by the size of the places aud the thousands of people whom he meets promenading the principal streets. The shops are brilliantly illuminated, bands of music charm the ear, every one appears to be out, the business establishments drive a merry trade; the Salvation Army is surrounded with a large crowd—in fact the scene is almost comparabie with Adelaide on a Saturday night. Walk round on Sunday morning and you will see a small city with nine buildings and Churches of almost every denomination. Wait until the service commences and you will hear some of the finest music in the colony. Cornishmen are noted for their talents in this direction, and they give them full play in sacred selections. As a boy in Kadina I can well remember how Christmas was celebrated with carols and music., There is no place in the colony, I think, where the festival is move strictly observed than on Yorke's Peninsula. Both Moonta and Kadina boast of extensive suburbs in the mines a mile from each township, and the visitor misses one of the sights of a lifetime if he fails to obtain permission to explore the vast underground workings. In an old suit with a candle stuck with clay in your helmet, there is something novel in being hundreds of fathoms underground midst the copper ore. It is only a journey of ten aud a half miles from Moonta to Kadina, and six miles from Kadina to Wallaroo, the latter place being noted for its gigantic smelting works. Some of the best cycle tracks outside of Adelaide are seen in these towns. Apart from the mining industries, the district is largely interested in farming; and, go where you will, you come across tillers of the soil busily at work. Having got so far, the cyclist can make his way back to town either through the Peninsula again, or on through Port Wakefield, as indicated on our map, which will be completed by showing the route from Adelaide to Port Wakefield. My trip took me from Clare to Kadina via Blyth, Lochiel, and through tho Barunga Range to Paskeville, but the running is so rough from Blyth to Paskeville that it can hardly be classed amongst popular tours. There is practically a main road from Kadina to the city, and excepting sandy patches here and there it is an easy matter to accomplish the journey. The road can hardly be missed by following the telegraph line. Every ten miles or so turns are met, which is of some consideration should the cyclist be unfortunate enough to strike a day when the northern blasts scorch over the plains. The Peninsula trip is, how ever, a capital one, even if only for the purpose of visiting the mining centres.
ON YORKE'S PENINSULA. CYCLING THE ROUND TRIP.
[By our Greens Plains Correspondent.]
Having received a call from the lower Peninsula, your correspondent mounted his trusty bicycle, and, leaving the rural simplicity of the plains, started out for missionary work and coastal scenery, and in due time reached the Hotel Metropole at Arthurton, only to find that the late genial host (Mr. L. Hanrahan) had taken, advantage of the Early Closing Act, and had gone farming. His successor is, however, ably keeping up the reputation of the establishment, and Hanrahan's special brands have not deteriorated either in quality or quantity. After the necessary liquid refreshment we started on the last, lap of our first stage, which, we were informed, was about eight miles distant. Having ridden about six miles we overtook a man and cow crossing the road. Both jumped a bush and faced around at our approach, and, in reply to a question, the man informed us that it was still about six miles to Dowlingville. At an ever increasing pace we covered the next 12 miles, and found darkness overtaking us, and still no sight of Dowlingville. We also found that, like the foolish virgins of old, we had taken no oil in our lamp; in fact, hadn't even taken the necessary lamp. We therefore pushed more vigorously on over what had now become merely a bush track, and in the indistinct light appeared to be walled on each side by towering precipices and overhanging trees. Across the winding track rabbits and other wild animals flashed at "intervals, and once we thought we heard a bear howling in the distance or somewhere else, and before we could decide what to do we ran into and over some monster, whose gleaming eyeballs we had seen on the track just about a quarter of a second before. Without a moment's hesitation we grappled for its throat, hating always understood that that was the proper way to deal with tigers; and, having thoroughly subdued it, struck a light to see how to kill it, kneeling on its neck all the time. We found, to our disgust, that it was only a sheep, and it looked go sheepish, too, that we let it go with a caution. Another mile and we were among friends, and were offered lavish hospitality. One man kindly offered to set his alarm clock for daylight if we would stay the night with him. Dowlingville is the centre of a rich agricultural district, is within easy distance of the coast, and was, we were informed, so named after a man named Whitaker.
Ardrossan, the home of the stump jumping plough and the late Mr. C. H. .Smith, is a thriving little town, picturesquely situated on the banks of St. Vincent's Gulf. Its plough factory, the largest in the State, employs many hands, and has greatly helped to make and maintain the town. It also is now backed up by a prosperous farming community, and ships many thousand bags of wheat annually. From Ardrossan downward the coastal scenery is interesting, and in many places very pretty. The bay between Pine Point and Black Point is very fine, and is be coming a favourite resort for yachts and pleasure boats from the other side. It is only 28 miles from the Semaphore, and almost within sight of the city.
—Wealth in Wheat.—
The country is all taken up at the back, and something like 40,000 bags of wheat will be shipped from Pine Point this year. Postal facilities are not quite as convenient as might be desired along this part of the coast. At Port Julia, where about 20,000 bags of wheat is already stacked, they have no mail at all. This must in the near future become a fairly busy shipping centre, as the whole of the scrub country at the back, which a few years ago was considered to be almost worthless, has now been taken up, and is rapidly being brought under cultivation. Port Vincent is the prettiest little bay around the Peninsula coast, and is the inlet and outlet of a fairly large trade. It is the chief shipping port for Curramulka and the surrounding district. In addition to several other buildings, a flourmill has quite recently been erected, and will shortly be at work.
Between Vincent and Stansbury some large clearings have been made in what was a few years ago simply solid scrub. Along this road is the homestead of Capt. Germein, who some years since gave up ploughing the stormy seas to plough the peaceful shore, where lie has now become an experienced and most successful farmer. Here also is the farm and olive plantation of Mr. G. A. Wurm, one of the pioneer farmers of the district, whose fruit and olive plantation is well worth travelling long distances to see. Stansbury is well laid out from an artistic point of view, and is a busy, thriving little port, with two jetties and a future before it. At one time it was known chiefly for its lime, and is known even more to for that article now, for here, by improved kilns and kilning appliances, limeburning has been reduced to a science, and forms the chief part of the shipping trade of the port. The Stansbury lime is well and widely known throughout the State. A lot of wheat and wool finds its way to the seaboard here from the adjoining agricultural districts. Westward from Stansbury are some fine fruit gardens, notably those of Messrs. Pitt. Cornish, and Anderson, which for quality and variety of fruit are quite equal to the very beat in the State. Wool Bay is a little shipping place with submarine lime kilns under the cliffs. The ascending smoke gives the place a somewhat weired appearance in the gloaming, and reminds one who has never seen a volcano most vividly of these deadly contrivances.
The chief production of Coobowie, situated a few miles north of Edlthburgh, is its famous beach, which extends half a mile or more seaward when the tide is out. Here the hardy settler, knowing that he has no chance of ever getting a jetty, does not waste time asking for it but carts his produce out to sea to meet any incoming vessel. Thousands of bags of wheat is shipped in this way at considerable risk and expense to the owner, and it is a most interesting sight to see six or eight horse teams, almost swimming around some stranded boat as she lies on the sandy bottom loading against time and tide. These are the sort of men who have helped to make our country what it is, men who will help themselves and are not afraid of hardship, but encounter obstacles only to surmount them. More power to them, and long may they have the free run of their pretty beach.
—Traffic at Edithburgh.—
Edithburgh, as every one knows, is the chief shipping port of the southern Peninsula, but every one does not know the immense amount of traffic that passes over that jetty. From a hundred to a hundred and twenty great teams, each carrying from six to 10 tons of salt, may be seen in the town daily, and this goes on nearly all the year round, with wheat and gypsum thrown in at intervals, with the result that the roads are cut up in a frightful manner, almost dangerous to traffic of anything short of a 6-in. tire. The corporation and district council do their best to cope with the traffic, but with the funds at their disposal are able to do little more than fill in boles and do a little levelling up. They have a strong claim for a special main road grant. The salt industry has been a great boon to settlers around in days gone by, and has now become a gigantic industry, yet capable of still further expansion. The saltmills and saltstacks are well worth travelling to see. Having finished our mission on that side of the coast, we beaded westward through Yorketown, the little city of churches, and made for Hardwick Bay, one of the most beautiful spots on the other coast, and finished up with a coastal run of 80 odd miles past Brentwood, Rickaby, Port Victoria, Balgowan, to Moonta. The scenery round the coast is interesting all the way, and In many places beautiful. The roads, excepting in the salt zone, are good, the district was never more prosperous, and the residents, are hospitable to a fault. Tourists desiring an enjoyable holiday could not do better, or at least might do worse, than try a round trip on the Peninsula. It is, strange how at attached one becomes to this mode of traveling, and what a tender feeling he has towards the bicycle, especially at the close of a long day's run over a rough road.