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THE DUNSTAN.

ANOTHER EXPEDITION TO THE WEST C3AST.

THE MQA AGAIN SEEN.

(from otjp. own correspondent.)

Dunstan, 20th July; The surrounding hills have put on quite a wintry appearance (luring the last few days ; a continual fall of snow has taken place on the mountain top?, but in the valley below, it has fallen in the shape of rain. The roads are in a fearfully muddy state,which has somewhat delayed the arrival of the coaches; but, considering the difficulties they are beset with upon any break in the weather, it is almost surprising they arrive at all. On the road to the Teviot the fall of snow has been very heavy—crossing the Knobby Rangesyesterday travellers experienced great difficulty, the path being covered to a depth of from two to three feet. From Campbell's Creek, in the Pomahawk Ranges, there has been no communication ; the last few days expected arrivals have not made their appearance. It is feared that a good many parties jure snowed in in that direction. From the neighborhood of the Nevis several parties have been compelled to beat a retreat through the severity of the weather.- A party who left there last week were making from £3 to £5 per day each, but were forced to retrace their steps. They state that gold is plentiful, but it is impossible to put a pick in the ground. They had considerable difficulty in getting out of the gully in which they were camped, being compelled to shovel a track six feet deep for nearly a mile; they, of course, intend returning in the spring. ; ■•"■■■ °

On Saturday ■ evening, a fatal accident occurred at M'Pherson's station. A man had just taken down his gun for the purpose of shooting ducks, and putting it down somewhat violently on the ground, caused the charge to explode, which unfortunately locked in his body,.,causing almost instantaneous

As a specimen of the productiveness of the soil m the neighborhood of the Dimstan, a Mr Levene, who has a garden some four miles distant from the township, brought in a ba» of potatoes, which, for size and* qnalit", were qmte equal to any saniwks f.'o;n tiie Taieri or Miilyncux. his to Ijl- hoped t.iia? a f .--v ;.Uiv. a will follow Mr Levons's exa!«;'il..-—Vist.seVnut of vegetables is-being much 'elc--three f .-urths of the'cases of sickness o;i the Duns-an being j those of scurvy, which Uislorturiately is becoming very prevalent. The scarcity of nreing isfeit vevy severely, the lignite pit being still underwater; and the shaft which the contractors commenced higher up the bank iuis turned oue a failure. j Kijgour'.s Union XL-tel had a very narrow j escape from fire on Thursday night last, or j 1 rather on Friday morning. The unwelcome I

visitor made his appearance. in: the ofH'cc Lole, Hoyt and Co, and a considerable'H:aoirii ot damage was done; luckily, the .fif" v^a extinguished before spreading "further. r: ~' The river has fallen considerably, and a number of parties have recommenced workeverywhere business is extremely dull the streets after dark being almost deserted I ™°7 °f well stocked establishments where a whole day has passed without the advent of a single customer. MANUHEBIKIA. Here, like the Dunstan, - things are extremely dull, and business well ni«hp rostra'ewhat with the floods in the river, and the rush to the Hogburn, the population has dwindled considerably. Along the banks of the Mamiherikia several parties have set in again, finding it quite as profitable as going to the Hogburn. ° The loss through the flood, to the parties who turned the river, was very great, the work of four months being- completely destroyed. They calculate the disaster, has cost them upwards of L4OO, in the head dam alone there was placed 700 bags of dirt, every one of which has gone. A new rush took place to some dry sinking on the side of the range some two miles up the river; the depth is fifteen feet; the waslidirt is a yellowish quartz gravel, and yields from a quarter to a pennyweight to the bucket. About 200 men were on the ground on Friday last. There are still some few parties who intend sticking to the Molyneux till it does go down. : Near the Teviot Junction one party has commenced a market garden, and intends following that occupation till such time as their claim is workable should it be five years to come..

The body of the unfortunate man Sidebottom, who was drowned while crossing the Arrow River, in charge of Rowley s Express, has not yet been recovered.; Mr Rowley has despatched messengers to make a strict investigation along both banks of the river. From the Hogburn the hews is not very important ; no extensive finds have as yet been made. There are about 2000 people on the ground—numbers going in as well as leaving, daily. A street half a mile long is pretty well filled up with stores, ishanties, and various other buildings usual to a new rush. The prospectors washed four .days, but only had a small torn head of water. \ The yield was poor only 7£dwt. '.for the entire; period. Some of the parties ; cradling; in the creek are doing very well, averaging from 15s to 20s per day eich. ■■:■■;.:;■:- yS. I . '."-.. .. ; ... .., :J.

Police; protection is very much wanted; only one of those useful functionaries having as.-yefi-made his appearance, there.—and the^ only on a'flying visit.",. '.';;■.;,'/ ", r ".

The services of a" garden are also mucH ■required, mining disputes having; to be referred to Dunedin or the; Diinstan; - On • Thursday night last, a--dray i loaded iwith^stbfes. the property.ofnMessrs Lawson: and :Swan-. ston, of .jcßlack's, I was':- robbed- ;of 'about £40 worth .of, its .contents.' .Provisions are very cheap.;.. Aleat': has fallen; to "is per lb with aprospect of going still lower; 'A "baker has, at last,, commenced'operations;"the price of bread being 8s per'loaf. Some of the claims have amalgamated for the. purpose of bringing in a supply of water for sluicing purposes. They have, hired, eight men, at the rate of £5 each per week, to cut a race; it is expected that five weeks-must elapse before this work is completed, on account'bf the distance to"fetch tbe jwateribeing iiiuch'''greater than was-at first expected. \ ■':"■''■ ;;';'■— --

EXPEDITION TO THE WEST COASt/ ; On Friday last three men Mho"'originally came from the Maxwell Reef, I^lewbod, re- , turned to'the Dunstan after a trip to the West Coast. The party left IHe Shotqver some 14 weeks ago; and consisted of seven' members employing two pack horses for the purpose of carrying .provisions, tents, :&c. Starting frbin the Shotover, they took the road to the head of Lake Wanaka, and crossed the dividing range at a pass pointed out to them by a shepherd. They state* they had no difficulty' whatever in crossing the range,- the ascent being very steady the whole way, and the descent the same. From the top they: followed Dr. Hector's track, and made his campinoplaces at night. The, Doctor and his party' bad left innumerable records of themselves ou the road by inscribing their names on the trees The Doctor's party having cut through the scrub in a number of places, materially facilitated their progress. On the road they found the Doctor's tent poles, which-they brought back with them to the DtmsttiJ. The difficulties of the road they do not cniisider very great. They .penetrated .to within eight miles of the sea coast, crossed the Burke, Wills arid Hector Rivers, besides numerous other streams, and. proceeded far in advance of any of the camping places of the Doctor. In some parts the timber was excessively thick, while in others it was scrub. There is very little grass, most of: the surface of the ground being covered with adense description" of heather. They only saw one station on the West Coast, and when they approached they found the people all armed to the teeth, ready to receive them. Of meat they obtained a plentiful supply, wild bullocks and strayed sheep abounding in the woods they also obtained goldinseveral places which they tried, but the weather was so wet and the flats so swampy, that nothing 'more th?u a spit deep could be taken below the surface. Black sand they represent as beinom the rivers by tons, there were nS wild animals indigenous to the •: country seen; but of birds there was a great variety, but none took to wing with the exception of wild pigeons. All the rest appeared to burrow in the ground. There was one bird about the size of the common domestic towl, but ia plumage superior to the kin* parrot of STew South Wales. Another description, but of a more dusky/colour, stoo"d about three feet high, and appeared to have peculiar imitative abilities, and apparently amused himself in mocking the" men when talking together at their camp. With the exception ofithe pigeon, alUhe birds came out at night. The Maoris informed the party that if one of these birds were shut up in a dark room by himself it would make a noise exactly like .1 six or seven men in earnest ;. conversation.- And lastly, they saw a .bird, or something like Avhat the inoa" is said to be. This bird they consider stands about nine feet' high. It made its appearance at the camp one ni»ht-'and thrust its head over the fire but only rcm:iiiied a very short .time; the dogs gave chase, and they heard it for. some time making its iway ; through the timber. The impression -left by. its foot was about eight inches in length and about four in width, and pointed in the form of a toe at ea-sh end, and {'rom"appearance^ the leg-bone must he situate about fii« eeniro of t!itffo r; in t ,k?<.-o u-'iore the, sd! w:is soft <}:» ] '?';'■> £i~* >t~ Lai had -.n'r.-:„-^-.:-:jo: sis iiichc". ■ Tiicy !»aii.cd ho-mc .!.u\.--.c cc\ hi. \ks.: rnvin^ sir-».ng l.ui^.u-;;ash« jd, ;v:ih jr-r-imis .ct" the binlies of ivili -pUrif.sis, wh\c\\ biu is must hav-e ta-k, a-' the Jines ~!o:v-\a. broke*; aul svini-.1 .g- oily pi^i 1-x-s C'p-iz.d^ vi th wlvch tiiev !';>rni3.:l ;ti=-iri oi"ii trip. They ci!i>i!-ir :his bid ye y n\nch like the Emu ■■■{ Au^tmlii. Thi^ iyiv'y, :-.:\i? obuiining a supply iirovi^Kiiis' u:i started tor another oq>c;iitkm iv t!io sa:;'io quarter the fo;.l.»'.vi:ig day. They s^v thsv ace very sanguine of .making a captureof this exiraordinary bird thb trip: Aiuieu/ii you "

may consider this story rather romantic and improbable, it is, nevertheless, true. With respect to the amount of gold obtained, I am not at liberty to state, but you will hear more about_ it on the completion of this present trip. That there will be a rush to this quarter there is no mistake, the difficulties of the journey^being nothing like what has been represented, the rain being much more inconvenient than the snow, and the parties consider that provisions can be got there easily oy way of Oamaru. On Saturday evening, a man while leading his horse along the banks of the Kawarau, near Hall's bridge, unfortunately lost the poor animal..^ The narrow ledge, upon which he was leading it, gave way, and the horse rolled over intotthe current and was carried away.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

THE DUNSTAN., Otago Daily Times, Issue 496, 23 July 1863

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1,861

THE DUNSTAN. Otago Daily Times, Issue 496, 23 July 1863

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