has no difficulty in finding grand scenery within a few, hours ride of the City ; and the following narration of a trip over the Dividing Range will we are sure be read with great interest :
" An outing for holidays being suggested by a friend who has a weakness for the grand and sublime in nature, the question arose where were we to go to ? The Dandenong, You Yangs, Macedon, or the Great Dividing Range ? which should it be I A toss up, and the latter was decided upon. A bright sunny morning found us alert at six o'clock at Jefferson's Hotel, in the small but exceedingly romantic township of Fernshaw, which is situated in a valley on the banks of the river Watts, and surrounded on every side by mountains of very con-
siderable elevation, covered with trees of gigantic growth, j the bases of which are interwoven with an undergrowth of ferns, kangaroo, sword and many other grasses, rendering many places utterly impenetrable. As break-fast would not be ready until eight or nine o'clock, we decided on a scramble up to the summit of Mount Romeo, situated on the south side of the town-ship. From this elevation a glimpse of the township through the giant trees, with Mount Mouda in the distance, is a sight not easily to be erased from the memory. The sound of Cobb's coachwheels coming down the Black's Spur, about a mile or more to the eastward, reminds us that it is time to return ; for, putting breakfast out of the question, in all these little country villages the arrival and departure of the coach is the event of the day. We do honours to the culinary department, and then decide for a trip to the eastward until noon. Leaving the village along the Black's Spur Road for about a quarter of a mile, we turn off in the bush to the right on a pack track used by splitters, near the creek, which is named Morley's track and creek. There are many points of interest along this tracknotably the very beautiful fern gullies, then the cross-ing place, which is a tree felled across the creek at the instigation of Mrs. Jefferson, along which visitors may now walk with ease, and extend their explorations to the extent of a few miles beyond. We visit the Three Brothers, or the three giant ferns, as they have been named by the Anglo-Australian Photo. Company, who first discovered and secured an excellent photograph of them. The three giants measure respectively from fifty to sixty feet each in height. We visit many spots along the creek, too numerous to particularise, sometimes climbing up steep pinches to get a glimpse of a gully below, now cutting our way through ferneries to dis-cover a new scene on the river. Gullies were passed through containing ferns of every variety, many of them of prodigious dimensions, hundreds of them being three and four feet thick at the base. Having reached Gold Creek, about four miles from Fernshaw, we retrace om steps along Trasks track until we reach a confluence oi Morley's Creek. The sun had been obscured for many days owing to a continual rain, and had shone out with unusual splendour, hence all insectiferous and animal life was on the move ; great lizards were constantly under one's feet, centipedes were plentiful in the dry fallen timber. Whilst stooping to pick up some curiosity a carpet snake, from four to five feet long, was crawling towards one of our party from under some matted grass at a distance of only a few inches ; we gave chase, anc with some difficulty captured the reptile. In remem brance of the event we named the spot Snake Creek We then visited the Black's Spur, a hill over 3,000 feehigh, to which an excellent road has been made extend ing for three miles before the top is reached. In sonn places the road is very steep ; some idea of its steepnesi may be obtained from the fact that a teamster with si: horses and a loaded dray had taken eight hours to read two miles. The surveyor must have been fond o climbing, ' as a level road could have been surveyec round the brow of the hill near Morley's Creek. Pro bably he followed a track formerly made by the black belonging to the Goulburn tribe, who used to cross tin Dividing range for hunting purposes ; hence it derive< its name of the "Black's Spur." The scenery on tiri mountain is perhaps the best to be seen in the district and well repays the extra effort and trouble of climbing The gullies are grand in the extreme, but many of them although superintended by a forest ranger, are bein: ruthlessly destroyed by splitters. Myrtle Creek take its rise from the summit of the mountain down a cours of precipitous cataracts, falls and glens (Etta's Glen,
waterfall named after Miss Jefferson, is the mos notable), but only a few glimpses can be obtained of it romances, as a sturdy bushman with an axe is require to clear a track. Having heard of Big Ben, the larges tree now standing on the range, we decided on crossing the mountain to see it. With considerable difficulty after many scratches, in cutting our way through sword grass and climbing over dead timber, we reached the ol giant, whose age according to calculation must h between 700 and 800 years. It is 350 feet in heigh" and about 56 feet girth around the base. When felled a family of eight could sit comfortably around a lars table on the stump. Probably much larger trees that this exists, but as only a small portion of the district has been explored, they are not known. The beautiful lyre bird is as common in this forest as the blackbii and thrush are in the old country. It is very shy, but easily caught with dogs, who scent the birds and the bark, which seems to affect them with fright, for aft* hearing the dog bark, these lovely creatures will never stir until the sportsman comes up and secures his game The list of game to be found here is too numerous i particularise. Those who are fond of sport; viz., hoi shooting and fishing, cannot do better than put up for week at the Black's Spur ; they will not come away dis appointed. After leaving Big Ben, we cross the ram westward into Broadbent's Gully, and make towards tl Mount Monda track, for the purpose of seeing some < the beauties of the River Watts. There are so mar pretty spots in this rugged river that it is difficult i choose between them. Striking the Mount Monda track
we return by way of Contentment Creek until we reach the river, which we are compelled to cross on a fallen tree over a hundred feet long. This spot is known as the Bend of the River at the Mount Monda crossing. Here and there, at intervals of a few hundred .yards, there are small islands in the centre of the stream studded in some cases with but a solitary tree. Salmon trout are plentiful at this part of the river. Steep banks, precipices and dense foliage make up a series of scenes lovely and picturesque. Our illustrations have been selected from some excellent photographs taken by Mr Caire, landscape photographer, of Melbourne, showing some of the places described by our tourist. No. 1 is Fernshaw, from the foot of Mount Monda ; No. 2, Etta's Olen Waterfall ; No. 3, Snake Creek, on Morley's Track ; and No. 4, Louisa's Glen, Myrtle Creek.