'Cumnaroy' in
The Australian Newspaper, 1827

A long article about Comleroy (spelt as 'Cumnaroy') was published in The Australian newspaper in 1827. The author is only identified as 'X. Y. Z.' Entitled 'A Visit to Wollombi and Cumnaroy', the article was printed as five letters:

Letter I --- 24 August 1827
Letter II --- 29 August 1827
Letter III --- 31 August 1827
Letter IV --- 7 September 1827
Letter V --- 14 September 1827
Letter VI --- 21 September 1827

In the article, the author explains that the Wollombi and Cumnaroy districts were such vital grazing areas for the Colony, that he was keen to see them for himself. He describes his journey from Parramatta through Maroota, Wisemans Ferry and the Vale of Wollombi, and on to the district of the Hunter called Cumnaroy.

This delightful article contains many picturesque descriptions of these early settlements as they were back in the 1820s. Here is an extract from the sixth letter giving a detailed description of Cumnaroy in 1827.
A Visit to Wollombi and Cumnaroy
Letter VI
--- The Australian, 21 September 1827
'This is the country called by the native blacks, Cumnaroy, or, in their quick mode of pronunciation, Commaroy. It extends along the main river for twenty-five to thirty miles from the mouth of the Wollombi to the mouth of the Goulburn, and contains about fifty or sixty thousand acres of excellent land on both sides of the Hunter, including what is vulgarly called Jerry's Plains, and Big and Little Flat.

The dividing range between the waters that fall into the Hawkesbury, and those that fall into the Hunter here, abruptly terminates within three miles of the river forming the Southern boundary of Cumnaroy. The black precipitous sides of the lofty Bulga, as it is called, present a fine contrast to the green carse (1) below, generally abounding in rich grass, but now, after just six months' drought (August), and depasturing two or three thousand head of cattle, it is for the most part brown and bare, and partakes more of the character of an extensive stock-yard, than a district justly celebrated for its rich abundant pasture.

Two or three small settlers it seems have sate down, as the native term it, on small grants or purchases, not exceeding one or two hundred acres, amidst the rich and hitherto unoccupied flats of Cumnaroy, and have been driving a most gainful trade, by taking in cattle at eight shillings per head per annum; principally belonging to settlers on the Hawkesbury. One of these individuals, I was credibly informed, although possessed of only two hundred acres, was taking charge, as it was called, of twelve hundred head of horned cattle. The consequence is, that the herds roam around in every direction in search of grass in these dry seasons, without any regard to trespassing on their neighbour's lands, and in another year or two, were this system allowed to continue, the ground would be so firmly trampled down, as to be incapable of producing anything. 'Twas only yesterday, as it were, that this fine district of the Hunter, called Cumnaroy, attracted notice. For want of Surveyors the admeasurement of it has not been commenced to this day, and the first section lines were only drawn within these few months...

When the additional surveyors arrive, of course, these difficulties and disappointments in procuring land will not recur. But, after all, what signifies a little difficulty or a little disappointment in comparison of the advantages and absolute value of obtaining two or three thousand acres in such a country and climate as this? You are no sooner thirty of forty miles distant from the sea coast of New South Wales, than you are in one of the finest countries in the world, and the ruddy English complexions of the women and children, stamp the soil and climate at once as excellent.'

1. carse: [Scot] low, fertile land, adjacent to a river.

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