Sat 12 Aug 1882, South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889) Trove

In company with another I left Edithburgh on Monday morning, July 24, in order to visit some friends in the hundred of Carribee, the last and most southerly settled portions of Yorke's Peninsula. A drive of about ten miles along one of the best pieces of road in the colony brought us to Yorketown, 'tiie first corporate town south of Moonta, The place seems in a fairly prosperous condition considering the depression which the agricultural interest has experienced during the last few years, for Yorketown is emphatically an agricultural township. Besides church buildings, schools, and institute, there are between twenty and thirty places of business within the bounds of the corporation. The institute, one of the most recently added buildings, is a. fair-sized but not a particularly handsome structure. From Yorketown we took the mail track to Warooka with a real Peninsula wind bringing up hail showers right in our faces. As we were crossing the 'Big Swamp' we had an encounter with one which our memories still retain. The ' blustering brother of the sky' who drove along the shower was travelling at such a rate that I could not help remarking to my companion tbat I had never before felt or seen horizontal rains or haiL But the Big Swamp must be notorious for such displays, for my friend replied by saying that on a former occasion while crossing the place, he had actually seen the water blown out of the little depressions on the road by the force of it ; indeed, the shallow water in the swamp seems to be blown backwards and forwards at the will of the wind between the two bays on either side (Etardwicke and Start.) A few miles from the swamp, on the summit of the Peasy Hills, we came to Warooka, a township not yet arrived at the corporation stage, still it can boast of two chapels, one belonging to the Boman Catholic and the other to the Wesley&n denomination, A public school is also in course of erection. These, with apublichouse, general store, and blacksmith's shop, may be said to constitute tbe township. Leaving Warooka a drive of about, fourteen miles brought as to Levens ; there we remained for a few hours, baited tbe horses, made remarks on the progress of settlement, and then proceeded on our journey. We reached the most southerly agricultural selections in the hundred of Carribee jnst before 'all the paths grew dun.' But even there, with 'a vast howling wilderness' on one side, and a storm-beaten shore on the other, we found friends and experienced snch hospitality as the bush could afford under tbe circumstances. This, I need not say, after a drive of between 50 and 60 miles we knew how to appreciate. Whether or not the bottom end of the Peninsula is suitable for a permanent agricultural settlement it is perhaps too soon to hazard an opinion. The settlers themselves, so far, look exceedingly healthy ; the amount of ozone which they are bound to inhale, produced by the everlasting chafing of the sea on a granite coast, must of necessity give the system a strong tone; and considering the lateness of the locality even the crops all along the hundred of Carribee look very promising. If present appearances continue, I do not think the farmers there will require the extraordinary assistance of a generous Go vernscat, The settlement of the Carribee area, beginning a little to the w«st of Levens P.O., lias followed the coastune, seiuQzi reaching back further thaa two miles from the sati-water. The most easterly portions is of a candy formation, long, low, ridges run parallel with the coast (east and west) for miles — to alter slightly some lines of Byron's— -*' lake waves \rhich have leaped tbe border Of huge moles, but kept their order.' The greater portion of this sand country is now under cultivation, and the wheat seems to toe doing very well on it ; 'but I certainly think the- farmers there are making a mistake in not attempting to introduce lucern or some other fodder plant ' to take the place of the uncertain wheat. I also think a mistake is being made in several places in removing timber from the seaward side. Shelter from the gulf wind means a great deal to Peninsula farmers, and a strip of wattles a few chains wide near the coast will do much to preventthe sand from drifting. I believe the wattle could be established there without much difficulty, and the cultivation of it in time might prove even more . prontame tnan tnat ot tne goiaen grain. Near Corney Point, where the land takes a turn southward, the soil is of a different char, acter,- being of a light limestone formation, : with an admixture of fine sand. Bat all the exposed land on the Peninsula is similar in quality, and generally covered with the same short black grass or spiaifes, A considerable extent of unsurveyed, unsettled malice land still remains to the south of the Carribee. In quality I believe it is much the same as malleeland elsewhere. With a liberal Scrub Lands Act and the stumpjumper, in a very few years it might all be bi ought under cultivation. As I have alluded to the Land Act, I may as well say that I put the question to several farmers whether or not they intended to retain liheir holdings. One said that unless the Government made the land laws more liberal he would leave them his place to farm on their own account. Another believed that the Government were now taking a step in the right direction. A third thought that the proposed measure would confer the greatest benefit on those who least deserved it^, viz., those 'who promised exorbitant prices for land. A fourth thought that it would be wiser on the part of the Government were they to leave the present Act alone until it had had a fair trial. Most of the farmers I spoke to were in favor of alienating by lot, and instances were given of the unsatisfactoriness of the present auction system. The best portion of Southern Yorke's Peninsula for the establishment of a rural population, evidently lies between the Big Swamp and Edithburgh ; though even there, as in the north, the tendency seems to be towards the enlargement of holdings. About Warooka in particular a noticeable quantity of land appears to have passed out of cultivation for a time at least. But this is a new colony ; everything must be wrought according to its merits. So far we have only been experimenting, and more yet requires to be done before the permanent ways are laid down. No one familiar with what Yorke's Peninsula was a few years ago can visit it now (as did the writer of this) without being favorably impressed with the energy and enterpriseof our brother colonists. That they may be amply rewarded is the sincere wish of a flying visitor.