Post from Yass to Fort Phillip

The Australian

October 1837

Memorandum on the subject of establishing a Post from Yass to Port Phillip.

From the Post-office at Yass to the crossing of the Murrumbidgee River, opposite Mr Stuckey's station, where there is a punt belonging to Mr Stuckey, with which he at present accommodates the public - distance, fifty-four miles, partly hilly and watered;

from Mr Stuckey's station to Mr Manton's, at Umbrage - distance, forty miles, a good road and well watered;

From Mr Man ton's to the Rev Therry's station called Billybung - distance, thirty miles, good road and well watered;

from Mr Therry's to Mr Dutton's station, near Battery Mount - distance, thirty four miles, a good road and well watered;

from Mr Dutton's station to the ford below Mr Ebden's, and below the junction of the River Oxley and Hume - distance, sixteen miles, good road, and where a station and punt will be required;

from the crossing place at the Hume to the River Oven's - distance, forty-two miles, good road and well watered. [About twenty-four miles after crossing the Hume, this route joins that of Major Mitchell's on his return from Portland Bay, he having at this point kept to the west until he reached Murrumbidgee at Guise's station, there is a great want of water on this line, at the Oven's a punt and station will be required.]

From the Oven's to Swampy River, which at present is only a chain of ponds - distance, twenty-seven miles and a good road. [At Swampy River a station and punt will be required, as during a wet season the river is high, but during dry weather there is a want of water on the immediate line of road for twenty-three miles before reaching it.]

From Swampy River to the Goulburn - distance, fifty-six miles, road excellent, and so well watered that an intermediate station may be placed where most required; from the Goulburn to a deep creek about W.S.W. from Mount Macedon, the road is still good, with the exception of two small ranges, but not exceeding in all three miles - distance, thirty-five miles, and well watered. [At this creek the route to Port Phillip leaves that of Major Mitchell's on his return from Portland Bay, and where a station will be required.]

From the deep creek mentioned to Mount Macedon - distance, thirty-two miles, the road is good and well watered. [From the high plains on each side of the creek the top of Mount Macedon is seen by about S. by E., here a station will be required.]

From Mount Macedon to Port Phillip - distance, about forty-two miles and the road good. By this route the distance from Yass to Port Phillip appears to be four hundred and eight miles, but when the country comes to be better known, there is no doubt but it may be reduced from fifty to eighty miles.

For instance, from a station six miles north-west of Umbango to Billybung, the road may go in a straight line without going by Umbango, and which will cut off eight miles, and by leaving Mount Macedon range on the right, and after crossing the Goulburn, the distance may be shortened from twenty to thirty miles, and further, if the road was to leave Major Mitchell's line about ten miles before reaching the Goulburn, and crossing that river higher up, it would still shorten the distance, which, as the crow flies, is only about seventy-four miles, whereas the route having Mount Macedon on the left is about one hundred and nine miles.

Mr Hoddle could soon ascertain this, and it is probable that by crossing the Goulburn higher up a punt might not be required, and only one station between the Goulburn and Port Phillip, but by leaving Mount Macedon on the left two stations will be required.

On the whole, the country in so level that a mail cart or coach may be used with greater ease than from Yass to Sydney.

At the time we traversed it in March, April, and May, we forded every river with our light cart, but this cannot be expected to be done all the year round, and the following stations and punts will be required:-

Between Yass and Murrumbidgee, one station; Murrumbidgee, one station, one punt;

Umbango, Billy Bung, and Battery Mount, each one station;

River Hume, Oven's River, and Swampy River, each one station and one punt;

between Swampy River and Goulburn, one satation; Goulburn River, one station and one punt;

Deep Creek, Mount Macedon and Port Phillip, each one station; total, thirteen stations and five punts.

At the Goulburn it will be necessary to have some mounted police or military for the apprehension of the runaways, as several men have already taken that direction.

(Signed) William Ryrie, Stewart Ryrie.