News from Tumut

Empire, Sydney

7 June 1860

June 2nd.-

Nothing of importance to communicate this week.

Business is not very brisk. I have noticed several parties passing through here on their way to Kiandra.

The weather is fine, but cold, frosty nights, and the waters have returned to their former channel, and once more our verdant fiats are passable.

I hear something about a survey being made of the different roads leading to Kiandra.

If a party of men were employed during the winter to cut through the big hill leading from here to the Snowy, it would be of great benefit both to the Tumut and the surrounding districts.

Now we have a new township marked out at Talbingo, immense quantities of people will be attracted there, and the country between here and Maneroo will have a chance of being thoroughly prospected, which it has not hitherto had.

I am convinced that the country between here and Maneroo abounds in reefs and rich goldfields, but this aide of the country has not had the same opportunities as Melbourne.

Now that one has been discovered I hope it will lead to many more, and vast numbers of people will be scattered over the country, seeking far the bidden riches amid the snows of the Australian Alps, or the deep gullies that abound in this district.

Any individual, coming fresh from our fatherland, and travelling through this part of the country cannot fail to be enraptured at the magnificent panorama of nature which presents itself;- the clear running stream, winding in its course, and islands here and there clothed with luxuriant herbage, while the wild cattle are indolently running or scamporing off in herds, frightened at the approach of a human being; now on some high mountain where you can scan the country round, thickly studded with timber, then down into some deep valley, where the beams of the noon-day sun are shining on some projecting rock, and the sudden stillness of the scene, combined with the beauty of the landscape, invite you to recline under the branches of yon spreading tree. But cold and dreary are the wide wastes here at times.

The snowstorm may overtake some poor traveller and clasp him in its deadly embrace. Hunger may compel him to stop, and, famished, wearied, and dispirited, he lays him down to his cold sleep without one to raise his drooping head, or to hear his last adieu.

I understand that another gentleman of the legal profession, a Mr. Ellis, from Yass, has come to settle in the district, thus giving us two lawyers for our future disputes.

Although, at present, matters are dull both here and on the Adelong, owing to the Kiandra diggings, I hope that Mr. Ellis will find sufficient business to remunerate him.