Tales of the Tops
Acknowledgements: Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society and the Scone Advocate 9 July 1920
Featured Image: Scenic view of Barrington Tops
“Peeps of the Past”: Back in the Sixties (1860s) written for the Scone Advocate by ‘Uandoo’
When we left Tomalla (which is on the Manning waters) for the wild cattle country, the first streams we passed were the Hunter and the two branches it receives a few miles from the head. Further on was Polblue, a swamp on the main waters of Omadale Brook. This was an oasis in summer, well covered with white clover and swamp grass, and we were always sure of finding a wild mob in the vicinity. The English clover had been introduced by Dr Gill, when the world was a good deal younger. Here was an old post-and-rail yard – a wreck, built by one of the Bowmans, who had cattle there in the fifties, from which most of the wild ones were bred. The scrubbers were not a fashionable colour, mostly yellow-brindle, some with black sides and white backs. Naturally, they varied in condition with the season, but ever on the richest pastures they could never be turned into “fats”. After passing the dividing range between Omadale and Moonan Brooks, the country, which on the Hunter side was steep and full of brush, and in parts inaccessible, opens out on the watershed to , Colo, and although swamp in parts, gives good grass for cattle. The first stream is the little Murray, so called by William McPhee, another fine bush rider. Then comes Bean Bean Plain, with the creek running through it. Parts of the swamp I the late sixties were very boggy, but dry seasons have dried it up, very much improving the feeding ground, on which for about five months of the year stock do well. Over the ridge at the head of the Brumlo is the yard (mentioned in the “Wingham Chronicle” by “Kyorie”) built by Jack Marshall and party. Jack was a wild rider, but I don’t think he ever caught enough scrubbers to make them scarce. Four miles further on are the Barrington waters, with miles of beautiful swamps. There is now a trig station at the highest point at the head of Stewarts Brook, overlooking the Mount Royal branch of the Paterson. A bridle track form Stewarts Brook leads onto Barrington Tops, going past the trig station, through Edward and Saxby holdings, and down into Mount Royal Creek, a tributary of the Paterson River.