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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 1, 1931)


This is a travel article wherein railways will not appear. It deals with Fiji, Tonga (the Friendly Islands) and Western Samoa, and describes a holiday sea trip, nearly four thousand miles in extent, introducing the New Zealander to an entirely new and unique environment. The photographs accompanying this article were taken by the writer.

Only a few days steam northwards from Auckland, on the Tofua, we sight a bold headland, backed by a volcanic peak rising 3,000 feet, and wooded to the top. This is Mount Washington, on Kandava Island, an outlying part of the Crown Colony of Fiji. Some hours later, and we are alongside the wharf in the modern port of Suva, and fresh impressions pile up vividly from that moment for the next few weeks.

Fiji presents a mixed medley of peoples, and the Indians are overhauling the Fijians in numbers. Fifty years ago the natives numbered 115,000, but today their total is 91,000, while the Indian section has a much higher birth rate.