Bendigo--Sandburst--Descent into a gold mine--Hospitalities--Desire for confederation--Mount Macedon--Summer residence of the Governor--Sir George Verdon--St. Hubert's--Wine growing--Extreme heat--Mr. Castella--Expedition to Fernshaw--Gigantic trees--A picnic--A forest fire--Return to Melbourne.
BALLARAT is not the only gold-centre. We all remember to have heard of Bendigo, or the New Rush. Bendigo is now the town of Sandhurst, a thousand feet below Ballarat, a hundred miles from it on the interior watershed, where the streams run towards the Murray. To Sandhurst we were next to go. After the Ballaret luncheon the special train received us again. It was a hot afternoon, which grow hotter as we descended. The surface of the country through which we travelled had been scratched and scored by the old diggers; pits, holes, long trenches, with broken wheels and timberwork, indicating where the departed ant-swarms had been busy. All this is over now; 'companies' have taken the mining business everywhere into their own hands, some splendidly successful, some falling to pieces in bankruptcy, and instantly commencing again. It is a gigantic gambling system, which, however, the Colony can afford. The community prospers. Individuals who are down to-day are up to-morrow, and the loss, when there is loss, is spread over so large an area that it is not seriously felt. Nothing can go seriously wrong when the common labourer's wages are 8s. a day.
Hot as the weather was, the land did not seem to suffer