Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Goyder's Line

They were new settlers
A promised land of milk and honey
He knew it was just damned hard work

Fifty acres of bush land                                                     
Each day he labored hard to clear it                                
While pregnant Sharon milked the goat                         

Noxious weeds thrived there                                            
Trees as iron stubborn as he was                                    
The dog shook his head at the flies                                 

His plough shear struck rock                                            
The creek chose not to flow in summer                          
Finally he now had a son                                                 

They lasted a few years                                                     
But the crops would not grow without rain                     
They walked off the land penniless                                

The land breathed again                                                   
Haphazard bushland reclaimed its own             
‘Til miners and cattle men came                                      

In 1865 George Goyder, Surveyor General of South Australia determined that growing crops in the north of South Australia where the average rainfall was less than 10 inches a year was not viable. The remains of many abandoned farmhouses is still a reminder of that.

Image found at


  1. sad but the plight of poor farmers everywhere

  2. It's never a good idea to build our plans around the way we wish the world was instead of how it actually is. Ask the people who built on floodplains

  3. Very interesting work about a sad subject.

  4. There was something almost biblical in this piece...the hope that crops will thrive through hard labour and toil...there is something to be admired in grit and determination...and its remembrance

  5. Sad that he wasted his years.

  6. Some of the German immigrants who came to Texas found similar situations in the western part of the state.

  7. Moral of the story: Homesteading is hard work, and sometimes you fail at it.