Notes on Kangaroo Island
Six instalments (1884-1885) from a correspondent of the Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser
April 23 .—Amongst the various settlements governed by Her Majesty's representatives in South Australia, perhaps none of late has forced itself into prominence more rapidly than Kangaroo Island. While not even now, boasting of a population much above 600 inhabitants, for many years ever since 1824, twelve years before the proclamation of South Australia as a colony under the English crown, it has been the home of a few settlers, who, for reasons best known to themselves, have lived in comparative seclusion, not taking the trouble to enlighten those living on the mainland as to the island's capabilities in a variety of ways. Doubtless regarded by those living on the mainland, as Australia has heen regarded by many of the inhabitants of Great Britain, as a place only fit for savages or the lowest orders of society, they have not taken the trouble to ascertain for themselves the true character and probable resources of Kangaroo Island. Like some men, who in early life dwell in obscurity because their capabilities are not known to the multitude, the day arrives when they emerge from their seclusion and astonish their fellow men by evidences of extraordinary powers, so there are lands quietly resting for years waiting for the day to arrive when they will surpass in some important respects other lands of far greater area.
Such honor we may claim for Kangaroo Island, though perhaps the climax eventually to be reached is away in the distant future. Like many other countries there are some portions of the island that will never invite an outlay of capital in the cultivation of cereals, but who knows but that embedded deep down under the surface there lie vast fortunes of mineral wealth, that will in due time be, rescued of course, the testing of the padding is in the eating of it. In some parts mining operations have been carried out, but for lack of capital and other facilities, their mineral resources remain undeveloped.
Before the land suited for cultivation will be ready for the plough, much clearing will have to be done, there being generally a thick growth of small bushes. But past efforts reveal that the land when cleared possesses almost marvellous producing capabilities. During the past year the average yield has not been equal to that of former years, the rainfall being too heavy for the different grain sown, on some of the holdings where the water has drained the land rather than soaked into it, as many as 60 bushels of oats per acre have been reaped. The rainfall is very great, and while doubtless many will continue to grow cereals at a profit, I think in years to come they will adopt the plan of confining their attention to the cultivation of vegetables and fruit for the Adelaide market. These commodities where tried have proved an unqualified success, and will in the future play an important part in exhibitng the capabilities of the island ; people can content themselves with small holdngs and confine their attention thereto, but unfortunately there seems to be in human nature a stronger ambition to be able to say I am the happy possesor of this large holding, than to be satisfied with calling attention to the possession of few acres which yield the owner a handsome profit. Consequently a long time will elapse before the cultivation of fruit and vegetables will occupy the greater attention of the Kangaroo Islanders, and rank foremost among the Island's productions.
The inhabitants for the most part are very much scattered and anything like a township of any importance is an unknown establishment at present. Townships have been laid out and allotments sold on the north side of the Island. Penneshaw, better known as Hog Bay, about six or seven hours sail from Glenelg, is a very old settlement, consisting of a few primitive looking buildings, amongst which are to be seen the orthodox blacksmith's shop, but not the public house which in this instance is conspicuous by its absence. A few weeks since a neat little chapel was erected by the Wesleyans and opened for divine worship, which at present is the only chapel on the Island. Hitherto service has occasionally been conducted in a small schoolroom, an original looking structure, erected by the Government, also used for a day school, at which an average attendance of seven or eight is registered whilst there are about 22 names on the roll. The necessity for compulsory education has long since been demonstrated by the very irregular attendance of the children, some of whom attend one or two days in a week, and absent themselves for perhaps two weeks " right off the reel." This, of course, is very unfair as well as discouraging to the teacher.
Within a few miles of Penneshaw, some of the best land on the island is to be found, which has been occupied by farmers for many years, principally for the cultivation of barley and oats. There being no jetty accomodation for landing passengers and stores, and for shipping the products of the island, it is at times very difficult, as both the passengers and stores have to be brought in boats from the steamers and then carried from the boats to the shore, a sailor sometimes having to wade through the water up to his knees, carrying one of the fair sex in his arms, and another following behind with a trunk on his back.
Among the persons of note residing in Penneshaw, is Mr and Mrs. George [Fireball] Bates, the former of whom landed on the island in the year 1824. The old veteran celebrated his 84th birthday on Easter Sunday, and is a marvel of robustness, though too old to do active service. One would not take him to be more than 60 years of age judging from his appearance. The old gent does not forget to acquaint visitors with the fact that he is the oldest colonist having set his foot on Australian soil twelve years before the colony was proclaimed Though he is declining fast—so say the residents—his intellect is remarkably keen, and his memory for dates, not for the year only, but also for the days of the month, on which events have occurred is wonderfully good. With his little black pipe, and books, papers, etc , near at hand he lives very happily, and is far from tired of his life, but does not forget that his day is fast passing away, as he quaintly remarks in his own peculiar style and rapid utterance, " of course, l am getting an old man now and cannot expect to live much longer."
Penneshaw or Hog Bay is the first place of call for the steamers trading between the mainland and the island, in which two are at present engaged, the Dolphin, and James Comrie, making two trips each per week. Owing to the very open nature of the shore very little protection is afforded in rough weather, and, in fact, generally the coast all round the island is remarkable for its insecurity for vessels in the winter reason; American River, which is an inlet about six or seven miles west of Hog Bay, being about the only safe harbour. Dangerous coasts are generally very pretty, and with a good rough sea, the high waves break over the rugged rocks sounding like the booming of many cannons, causing the shore to be lined with foam for miles as the waves break and are dashed several feet in the air. The Moonta Mining Company only last week suffered another loss in the wreck of the Mimosa, a ketch engaged in loading timber for the Mines; fortunately all hands were saved, though the ketch is fast going to pieces. Many sad accounts of wrecks along the coast could be told in some instances where lives have perished within sight of those on shore, who have been unable to render assistance. In one instance on the southern side of the island where the full fury of the Southern Ocean lashes itself against the lofty cliffs, many years ago in the blackness of a winter's night, a vessel bound from Western Australia to Port Adelaide, by some means got out of her course and was wrecked opposite the cliff, and over 30 persons perished, some of their bodies were afterwards seen at the foot of the cliffs, but no one could get near to bury them and there they had to remain. The climate of tho island and other particulars respecting Kangaroo Island may furnish material for another sketch later on when more has been heard and seen.
NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, May 2). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216318580
June 23 .—My last budget penned just two months since, gave particulars of only the eastern end of the island, my observations being confined to Penneshaw ; the capabilities of the land in its vicinity, A few of the leading characteristics of the people, and the rough nature of the coast as seen and heard of. Eighteen miles from Penneshaw, there is situated on a high cliff overlooking the sea, the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, from the heights of which an outlook is kept on all steamers, vessels, etc., coming from the eastern colonies, whose attempt to enter Backstairs Passage is immediately telegraphed to head quarters by the telegraph mistress, occupying a neat office and two rooms erected by the Government, as a post and telegraph office. The only inhabitants within four miles of the Cape are the three lighthouse-keepers and their families.
Good land between Penneshaw and Cape Willoughy is only to be found in very limited patches along the coast, and that about Scuttle Fish six miles and Antechamber Bay twelve miles from Penneshaw. Grass trees commonly called "Black boy" on the island—abound and the general opinion is, that where these are to be found in numbers, the land is utterly useless, being composed on the surface, at least principally of iron, stone, gravel and sand. There are some speculative settlers at the other end of the island who differ in this opinion, and have already placed several acres under cultivation, which looks very well and promises a fair yield.
Turning our attention to the northwestern side of the island at which there are two rival townships two and a half miles apart, one a government the other a private affair—one is landed into the midst of contention and strife as to which is to be the leading township at the northwestern of the island. These important places are Brownlow and Queenscliffe, the former a standing disgrace as a monument of Government blundering. Here there are two stores and two customers living, which at present comprise the only inhabitants of the place, so frequently figuring in the S. A.' Advertiser ' under the heading of country news as ' Brownlow.' It is doubtless the nearer place for the farmers to go with their produce and to transact their business, owing to ketches calling frequently which land their cargoes wherever the farmers choose. The post and telegraph-offices are two and-a-half miles distant at Queenscliffe, where a good depth of water is contained with two or three hundred yards from the shore, while at Brownlow a similar depth can only be obtained at fully a mile from the shore. Why the Government laid out their township at Brownlow when the post and telegraph-office was built at the place now known as Queenscliffe—since surveyed into allotments and sold as a private township—where a grand harbor and splendid depth of water is to be obtained at an easy distance is beyond all the powers of reason to explain. Both places contend for a jetty, the Brownlow people because theirs is the Government township, on account of which it would be inconsistent for the Government to spend the money to further the interests of a private township, while Queenscliffe people contend that the greater depth of water being within such a short distance from the shore, it would be a gross absurdity for the Government to spend £20,000 on a jetty at Brownlow. when one could be erected at Qneenscliffe to suit all parties for £5,000 So between the two fires the Gov't stand unsinged by either and tell the people they will not think of building a jetty until the people are agreed as to the site. The farmers favor Brownlow, because it would, if erected there, save them at least four miles of carting on every load they cart. Queenscliffe will doubtless become the larger township, but more as a marine residence in the summer for persons from the mainland, and also for yachting on account of the magnificent harbor which it possesses one of, if not the finest in the world, owing to a long land spit running out in a north-easterly point from Queenscliffe towards Point Morrison, about twelve miles from Queenscliffe, which forms a harbor in which the British Fleet could lie in perfect safety during the strongest gale.
At present the only buildings of note in Queenscliffe are the post and telegraph office already mentioned, a building for service on Sunday and day school during the week erected under the auspices of the Anglican Church, to whom it will eventually belong when the debt is liquidated. A boarding house, which is being converted into an hotel, the licence for which has been recently granted, which will prove a sad move for some ot the old islanders who like more than a 'wee drap of the crater,' but where there is a church there is sure to be a pub, an old saying once again verified by fact. Besides the above at present only a few shanties—not grog tents, form the habitations of the few people at Queenscliffe. Several contemplate building shortly. The land for miles around is not rich owing to the presence of a large proportion of sand, but with the splendid rainfall on the Island will doubtless yield better average crops than first-class land in the northern portions of the mainland where the rainfall is so limited. The land has to be cleared of a dense mallee scrub before it is ready for the plough, and "stump jumpers " are as common as the ordinary plough on the main.
At North Cape 4 miles by sea, but 12 by land, West from Queenscliffe, some magnificent land, about 3,000 acres is to be found and with the grand, view over the sea will make model farms and homesteads. At Wisanger, better known as "The Gap," 12 miles from Queenscliffe going towards Emu and Smith Bays, a range of hills runs parallel with the shore from three to five miles inland. Here some of the richest land is in the hands of several farmers who find it very hard to work owing to the heavy rainfall which makes the ground so stiff. The land away to the westward towards Cape Borda is not considered worthy of attention. being principally composed of " black boy and ironstone gravel" country, but which if it be proved will yield fair crops, will be the means of making Kangroo Island rank amongst South Australia's most important territory.
The climate is considered to be very well suited for invalids being so mild in summer, and altogether very wet in winter yet not so keenly cold as the mainland, it has been prophesied that this will become eventually the future sanatorium of South Australia.
In my last I referred briefly to American River. On the west side of the entrance many years ago a number of Chinamen dwelt, who were engaged in fishing pursuits, by whom hundreds of tons of tish were salted and sent to China, in connection with a company in Melbourne, which eventually became defunct, and the Chinamen many of them returned to China. The fishing companv of Adelaide have at present several boats and a small steamer engaged in fishing about the Island but have been unable to make the enterprise pay, like most concerns which try to make the Sabbath a day of gain " instead of a day of rest."
The need of schools is greatly felt by the inhabitants of the Island numbering over 600 and rapidly increasing, for whom only one school is provided at Penneshaw. The rising generation are growing up in sad ignorance, to remedy which the establishment of day schools will do much provided compulsory education is enforced, and if the education be made free, instead of 35 days being the number of days per quarter demanded'for the attendance of the children at least four days a week should be the number onforced some in case of sickness as it is really almost criminal to see the care taken by parents to see that their children do not attend more than 35 days per quarter keeping them at work in and out, during which time the children forget nearly all they learned while at school. Some parents seem to realise little of the responsibility they incur by undertaking the parentage of human beings, "but as it was in the beginning, so it will be for ever and ever world without end,"—I won't say amen, for the scribe who would for such a state, of things to continue, should never take a pen in hand again. However if only by little may the ignorance grow less and the elevation of the masses—as Matthew Burnett would say—become one spoke in the wheel of perpetual motion. And now I will leave your readers to form their conclusions as to Kangaroo Island, and whether they would like to come down and live on pork and wallaby—sometimes I mean.
NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, July 1). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216319077
August 13 .—Like Robinson Crusoe we are still existing on our Island home with its healthy climate, pretty scenery, antiquated dwellings and other natural conveniences *' too numerous to particularise " as the knights of the hammer would say. Owing to the splendid season, with its heavy rainfall opportunely interspersed by fine weather—mild and not keen—the crops generally look remarkably promising, in addition to assisting greatly in affording a very picturesque back ground to the rugged coastline and foaming sea breaking o'er its mighty rocks, with the exception of a few conscientious individuals whose principles are indicated by a badge of blue ribbon the majority of cereal farmers have devoted their attention to the cultivation of barley for the brewers—barley paying better than wheat—caring little for what purpose their products are used so long as their pockets are well weighed with " the almighty dollar." Cape oats and peas also—by a number of farmers—are preferred to wheat, being more lucrative in their returns. If not visited by rust, blight, takeall or other such pestilences, the thought of which always wrings from wapstraw a heavy sigh or makes him pull the characteristic long face, the crops on Kangaroo Island will doubtless yield
returns of more than an ordinary character. I heard the other day of two gentlemen conversing on the state of the crops during one of the past seasons, and the gentleman owning the crop in question observed that "it would be a very poor crop if it did not go 35 or 40 bushels to the acre ;" of course this was one of the best plots of land. A great quantity of the land under cultivation will do well if it yields 15 bushels to the acre. In providing machinery for grubbing and clearing the obstructions of the human heart, and preparing it for the eternal seed, much is being done.
—On Sunday, August 3rd, at Queenscliffe, an Anglican schoolroom was opened by Dr. Kennion, Bishop of Adelaide, who held a communion service in the morning, baptismal in the afternoon, and preached or gave an exposition of the creed in the evening. On Monday tea and public meetings were held, which were well attended. At the public meeting Dr Kennion presided, and also delivered a very interesting and instructive address on 'Early Christianity in Yorkshire' which was greatly appreciated. Other addresses were delivered by Rev Canon Morse and Mr E. Childs on the history of the new building. A hearty vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. A. D. Bennett and seconded by Mr. Reeves, and presented to Dr Kennion for his visit, which brought a very pleasant gathering to a close. On Sunday, 10th instant, the very Rev Dean Russell conducted two services, and opened a Sunday School in the new building. The growing importance of the island is evidently being recognised in certain quarters if the visits of anglican ecclesiastical dignitaries be considered.
— We can certainly claim one evidence of civilization unknown on the mainland viz, the entire absence of aboriginals. Of other evidences I will not venture to write at present.
—After much noise and many applications for a medical man Dr. Kelly White, at one time in Moonta for a short time, has commenced practise on the Island, without the assistance of the Government subsidy granted to his predecessor. The need of a reliable doctor has been keenly evidenced of late, three or four very sudden and painful deaths liaving occurred. As a rule little sickness lhas been known beyond opthalmia, and ordinary colds, the latter being very prevalent at present. Great pressure has been brought to bear upon the Government in order to have the roads cleared and rendered more fit for ordinary traffic, these being almost impassable in some instances.
—As the "pub " at Queenscliffe is growing nearer completion, some are advocating the construction of a Police Station. How remarkably some institutions go hand in hand; strange to say the former always appears first in the relation of cause, which when an accomplished fact very soon is followed by the " sots dormitory " as an undoubted effect.
—It is about time " women's rights," at least one phase of them were allowed viz, to decide whether public houses should be licensed for the sale of intoxicants, the gentler sex often being the greatest sufferers indirectly. Local optionists bestir yourselves and invite the co-operation of the fair sex in trying to lessen the facilities for the demoralisation of mankind. It is a very great pity the need for waging such a war against alcohol was ever demonstrated. If people had always restrained and could give a guarantee that they would henceforth and for ever; restrain their appetite, what strife and contention would have been saved in the past, and would be quite unnecessary in the future. The past is gone for ever its dark deeds can never be undone: the future is before us, and we must be careful lest its history he as uninviting to contemplate.
NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, August 22). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216319607
[October 1884] Matters generally have not created any very great stir of late. In many respects the present may be regarded as the most idle time of the year, but of course, farmers always say they can find sufficient work to keep them employed from daylight until dark. There are some people in the world who never take the trouble to find work for themselves, but always wait until it comes to them. Such a class of people are found on Kangaroo Island as well as elsewhere, and one cannot go about without noticing the past. The most prosperous are those who are always busy on their own holdings, and never seem to have sufficient time to do the work they would like to accomplish. The more easy going class who cannot thus find employment in their own holdings, engage in snaring wallaby, a very easy hum drum sort of a life, walking being the hardest part of the work, though fairly lucrative when skins are selling at a moderate price. Such has been the occupation of some since sowing was finished.
As in newly opened agricultural districts, there are generally a few who take up useless selections and swamp their hard earned possessions, so on Kangaroo Island the exodus of some has already told a sad tale. Really one wonders how the Government or their surveyors have had the conscience to open some of the land for agricultural purposes, and more so why some people were such— well donkeys—as to take up the land with a view of growing crops. ' Carlyle has said, that a great proportion of the world is composed of fools, and one is at times compelled to admit the truth of the assertion, though it sounds harsh. He would have been all the more convinced of the truth of his observation if he had visited South Australia and seen some of the land people expect to reap crops from. Some of the second rate land can be turned to good account by using manure, such as bonedust and other like auxiliaries. The crops on the good land are looking splendid, and no doubt if spared the destructive red rust, take all, blight etc., many of the farmers will receive a handsome return for their year's work.
—In religious matters, the Islanders have been favored with a visit from Rev J Young Simpson, secretary of the Wesleyan Conference, who preached three times on Sunday, 28th September, in the Wesleyan Church at Penneshaw. On the following day a public tea was held which was very largely attended. Some even coming from a distance of 18 or 20 miles. The spread would have done credit to the Moonta people, even though they take the pre-eminence for magnificent teas. After the tea the Rev J Young Simpson delivered his popular lecture on "Scotch Characteristics " the home missionary taking the chair. On the following Wednesday, the foundation stone of a Wesleyan Church was laid by Rev J Y Simpson at Cygnet River, 30 miles distant from Penneshaw, after which, a public tea was held, patronised by representatives from almost every part of the western side of the Island. Here let it be said that the spread surpassed anything that the writer has ever seen on the Peninsula—though held in a barn. In the evening the Rev Mr Simpson lectured on " Old fashioned gateways," to a very attentive and appreciative audience. For years prior to the Wesleyan denomination sending a representative to the island, the inhabitants were visited by an Anglican clergyman about twice or three times a year, but since the appearance of the Wesleyan missionary matters have taken quite a new turn, and the Anglicans have already commenced the erection of another place of worship—the first at Queencliffe being opened some time since —the present one being built at Penneshaw. Competition— not opposition— even in religious movements is better than an absolute absence of facilities for divine worship, although the erection of a second church at Penneshaw is premature at present.
NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, October 21). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216320068
[Jan 1885] Rambling notes have from time to time been communicated to your readers on certain portions of the island visited by your humble servant in his travels, but it has not, up to the present time, been my pleasure to forward you a budget on an unbroken trip from Cape Willoughby, the most easterly point, to Cape Borda, the most westerly inhabited point on Kangaroo Island. When contemplating the trip, I thought from East to West, that will not be a bad trip providing one has a good steed properly shod (I pity the poor horse that is made to travel over some parts of the island without shoes, suitable riding accoutrements, such as strong pantaloons, top boots, etc) I knew the pants were right, as to the boots, I would have to ride nearly 50 miles ere I could command them to my assistance. The 50 miles compassed to my chagrin the boots were not ready for their tenants, although shoemakers' promises had repeatedly been made but as often broken. In my unenviable position I muttered "shoemakers promises, ah ! made to be broken" and with not very comforting anticipations as the end of my trip, I resumed my journey heaping my anathemas on the drink rather than the unfortunate man and I almost vowed within myself that I would henceforth oppose with might and main the opening of public houses in small communities, if only to save the shoemaker the ignominy of breaking promises through getting on the spree.
The leading characteristics of the country from Cape Willoughy to Smith's Bay have long since been described. I will only trouble your readers with a few passing remarks on the state of the crops noticed en route between the aforenamed places. In the Hundred of Dudley, the crops this year, with a few exceptions, have been remarkably good. Around Cuttle Fish the land is not of a first-class quality, hence the second and in some cases third rate crops yielded. In and arouud the neighborhood of Hog Bay some surprising averages have been reaped, and all the more so, when we are reminded that some of the holdings have been cultivated year after year for about 30 years past, without signs of the land failing. The December gales robbed some farmers of no small amount of the precious grain. At American Beach, four miles from Hog Bay, the finest crop on the island was to be seen, prior to the gales, which with the grubs reduced the average from over 50 to considerably less thau 40 bushels per acre. The owner expected ahout 1000 bags, but has to console himself with the anticipation of shipping only 750 bags to market. If I ever start farming I think I shall be satisfied to work under the motto— Blessed is he that expects 1000 bags from 200 acres and only gets 750.
In the Hundred of Menzies, Queenscliffe side of the island, no such prizes will be obtained by the farmers. Some capital crops have been reaped but the highest average will not exceed 25 bushels while numbers will have to content themselves with from ten to fifteen, while some will not have more than seven or eight bushels per acre. The grubs in places have been very destructive. "The take all" has been contented with leaving a little to reap here and there, while the rust has not improved the sample of some of the crops. On the whole the season may without the least exaggeration be called a good one and if Kangaroo Island farmers could rely on obtaining such a good average yield, in two years out of every three, their occasions for much worry and grumbling would be very limited.
From Smith's Bay to Cape Cassina, about 25 miies from Queenscliffe, no signs of cultivation are visible. Until recently Cape Cassina formed one of the small sheep runs on the island but has been surveyed, and the best of it selected for agricultural purposes and next year doubtless its owner will help to swell the total amount of grain produced on the island. Stokes Bay is the next spot of importance, aud forms another small sheep run, to reach which one has to travel over some wretched country. Passing through some of it I was led to exclaim well "what hungry looking country this is. I am sure man could not live on it, cattle would die on it, and sheep would be starved."
From Stokes Bay to Middle River, nine miles distant, one travels over country capable of sufficient improvement to carry sheep. From Stokes Bay right away to Cape Borda the country rises gradually, and in places is very thickly wooded with massive gum trees. Stokes Bay, Middle River, Western River and Snug Cove form a series of very pretty coves along the coast, and are very similarly situated. Travelling along high hills you abruptly are compelled to descend to the foot of the hills as you come to the places named, in hollows surrounded by tremendous hills forming a very dark back ground to the homesteads, the dull appearance of which is greatly relieved by the sea peeping through the slopes of the sandhills between the houses and the coast. (To be continued). NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1885, January 23). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216320845
[Jan 1885] The sight as one commences a nightly decent from the surrounding hills into the valley through which Middle river runs is strikingly grand. Away towards the south on the left one looks upon a dull and apparently immeasurable range of hills gradually losing all form In the darkness of night. On the right the roar of the troubled sea breaking against the rugged cliffs, disturbs the hitherto monotonous stillness of night's darkuess. Whilst in the valley before us as we enter it the quiet murmer of the stream is faintly heard at the feet of towering gums and loftier hills it gently flows on losing its waters in the absorbing sea beyond. Leaving this delightfull scene one has with as much abruptness to ascend and scale mountainous heights as he had formally to descend into valleys below, and when the summit of Constitutional Hill -as it is called - is reached a sigh of relief escapes from a grateful heart. From Middle to Western River—nine miles—one is shaded from the uncomfortable heat of the sun in summer, but drenched with drops of rain in winter by the branches of the gums through which one travels on a narrow bridle track. The situation of Western River is similar to Middle River though not nearly as picturesque as we leave Western River for Snug Cove—nine miles distant — some rough travelling has to be done over hills that may sometime in the future come into prominence on account of their silver lead deposits.
Snug Cove - as also Middle River —is the head of another small sheep run which possesses some splendid patches of land in the valleys and along the lower slopes of the hills. At Middle River from 2½ to 3 tons of hay per acre has been grown during the past season, near which also a splendid plot of lucerne claims inspection planted 14 years ago. It still gives its planter 6 crops a year. From Snug Cove to Cape Border the ride of 24 miles is more monotonous than interesting. The De Mole River has to be crossed when practicable—certainly not immediately after heavy rains— during winter when at times huge bolders weighing fully half a ton are hurled down the river and into the sea by irresistable torrents of water at rush from the distant hills The meeting of the water at the mouth of the river on a rough day in winter is terribly grand as the De Mole waters rush on discontented with moving in limited river space and determined to unite with the mighty ocean in its ceaseless flow from shore to shore. It seems as though the waves of the ocean gather themselves together and with a mighty rush are deiermined to resist all further additions to their unfathomable depths as with deafening crashes the waters meet and with foming rage dash each other several feet into the air, after which the ocean waters recede to gather additional strength again to resist the river's rush as it buries its waters in the ocean in spite of all resistance offered.
From the River De Mole to Cape Borda one has to travel for 15 miles along rugged and almost perpendicular cliffs ranging from two hundred to five or six hundred feet above the level of the sea. At times the track runs so closely to the edge of the cliffs that one feels as though it would not be much trouble to drop from the lofty heights into the sea some hundreds of feet below, were it not for the fact that one would be very much like the glass tumbler used by a young Scotch preacher some time since in an evangelistic service when illustrating the difference between annihilation and destruction. Taking up the tumbler from the table close by he startled his audience by banging the tumbler on the floor several feet beneath him exclaiming There ! you see that tumbler is destroyed, but not annihilated. Though if one tumbled from such precipitous cliffs the tumbler would certainly be destroyed if not quite annihilated.
At Cape Borda the cliffs are not as high as some passed en route, although I believe the base of the lighthouse is 250 feet above the level of the sea. Some years ago a child of one of the lighthouse keepers accidently fell over the cliffs and when found the next morning the remains presented a terribly mutilated appearance. It appears the poor child was playing with three or four other children and overbalanced itself and fell over the cliffs. The other children were so terrified that they did not for some hours make known what had befallen their brother and only then after some time had been spent in searching for the lost child. In winter time Cape Borda is a terribly bleak spot with a strong 'sou wester' blowing one could not with safety venture within several feet of the cliffs. Owing to the roughness of the coast great difficulty is experienced even in the calmest weather in Iandling stores at a little cave some three miles east of the lighthouse. Only a few weeks since a boat was broken and a man narrowly escaped losing his life while attempting to land stores for the keepers of whom there are tour residing at Cape Borda. A telegraph operator, in addition to the families of the keepers, and of course the keepers themselves are the only inhabitants at Cape Borda. Returning by the same route as I had gone, was just in time to enjoy the Xmas festivities arranged.
NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND (1885, January 27). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216320857