Australian Town and Country Journal at KellyGang 5/4/1873 (2)

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The Gundagai, or more properly, the "Prince Alfred" bridge is one of the most extensive and finest works of the kind in the colony. It spans the Murrumbidgee, stretches across the flats (the site of old Gundagai township, the scene of the disastrous flood of 1851), and connects North and South Gundagai. The total length of the bridge is three-quarters of a mile, and the cost £45,000. Adelong crossing, eight miles; Mundadoo, twenty miles; and Lower Tarcutta, twenty seven miles from Gundagai, where the road branches to Wagga Wagga, occupied the remainder of the second long dark night's travelling by coach. At daylight we reached Tarcutta, the station of Mr T H Mate, and we breakfasted at the hotel there. We had now travelled 282 miles from Sydney, and were still upwards of ninety miles from our destination.

The country immediately about looked well, but there were few habitations, with the exception of hotels (Lund's, O'Brien's, and Heelan's), for over thirty miles beyond Tarcutta. The next stage was Garryowen, where Garry's hotel and post office is situated, forty-five miles from Albury. Seven miles beyond Garryowen we arrived at the Ten Mile Creek, a small township thirty eight miles from Albury. It was recently called Germantown, in consequence of the number of Germans settled there, but on a remonstrance being sent to the Government, its old name was restored. The country presented a better appearance after leaving Ten Mile Creek, and it seemed as if we were getting into civilisation again. Grass was everywhere abundant, and stock appeared to bo rolling fat. Dixon's Swamp, now called Woormagama, the station of Thomas Mitchell, Esq, and Madden's Traveller's Rest Inn were then passed, and we soon reached Mullengandra, seventeen miles from Albury.

We changed horses at the Rose and Crown, a good wayside inn kept by Mr Richard Pankhurst, an old resident of the Albury district. Opposite to the hotel is a capital garden, belonging to Mr Pankhurst. Grapes in a splendid state of perfection, magnificent apples of many varieties, and almost every kind of English fruit attracted our attention in this garden while strolling through at the invitation of the jolly host. A few miles beyond Pankhurst's we came to Plunkett's Wheatsheaf Inn, Wyndham, and a mile beyond to Bowna, where there is a small township in which are schools, churches, an hotel (Chant's), and post office and store.

The remaining twelve miles to Albury is a pleasant drive past school-houses, farms, and vineyards. Albury was reached at half-past six pm., fifty hours after leaving Sydney. The township of Albury is the most important on the Murray. It isa pretty, clean, township, having wide streets, and many fine buildings. It is without question the winegrowing district of the colony, and the number of wine shops and vineyards on the roadside the district would almost remind one of "La belle France." My stay in Albury was short, but I had time while there to visit Victoria, by crossing the Murray to the rising township of Belvoir or Wodonga, on the opposite side. It is expected that the railway from Melbourne will be open at this place in a few months, and preparations are already being made for the erection of the station.

At three next morning, I was awake to commence my return journey to Sydney. The coach left Albury at 4, and at that hour we started, and towards daylight reached Bowna; by dinner time made Garryowen, and late at night Gundagai. The second morning we breakfasted at Nanny Byrne's; had dinner at Yass, and tea at Goulburn where we arrived shortly after 10 pm. Little of interest took place on the return journey by coach with the exception of one incident, perhaps worthy of mention. When passing Mutbilly near the Broadalbane Plains, the mail driver Johnny Daly took the precaution of lighting his lamps.

He had scarcely done so when we met a large number of persons in vehicles and on horseback. It appears that a young girl had died on St Patrick's Day, and that these were friends returning from the funeral. 'The majority of them were evidently "glorious." Our driver took great pains to steer clear of the carts, but at last a collision occurred. A woman approaching with her horse at a gallop, Daly shouted out, to beware, but without effect. There were four horses in the coach, and the female on the horse, dashed between the leaders. She was unseated but quickly regained the saddle. It was almost a miracle that she was not killed.

When we drew up at the public-house some distance nearer Goulburn, the sight was a strange one. A dozen carts, and thirty or forty men and women on horseback were before the door, and about a dozen men and women inside the house, some "rather jolly" while others were loud in their wailings of sorrow and urgent in their sympathy and desire to press drink on those whom I judged to be the chief mourners. It was a strange sight. We left Goulburn at one a.m. and arrived in Sydney at half past seven a.m. after a journey of fifty-one and a half hours from Albury.


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