Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)


The great North Auckland sub-province, where railroad communication was longer delayed than in the southern districts, has now come into its own so far as easy and inexpensive transit is concerned. The Government railway through the heart of the north gives direct access to the Bay of Islands and many another place of beauty, history and good sport. In this article the writer epitomises some of the charms of our North Country, a pleasant land at any season, but doubly pleasant as the summer time approaches.

Writing these lines in a city where the climate is usually euphemistically described as “bracing,” one's thoughts go longingly to a land where there is real warmth in the sunshine. Manifold charms call one to the great north peninsula that is almost islanded by the narrowness of the Auckland isthmus, but just now the magnetic quality most insistent in the long list of attractions for the visitor to that part of our Dominion is its climate, mild but not enervating, the nearest approach to the perfect climate that New Zealand, at any rate, can give the traveller and the permanent resident. It is not without its little imperfections; sometimes there is more rain than one would desire. But there is a soft caressing quality in the air, a brightness, an invitation to live the out-of-doors life that lasts practically all the year round. Inland, or on the greatly-indented coast, that is the abiding charm of our Northland. Warm as it is, the heat is always agreeably tempered by the nearness of the sea. I have felt the heat more on a long day's ride across the Kaingaroa Plain, and even on a midsummer traverse of the great Tasman Glacier, than in the northernmost parts of the Far North.

Climate first, then soil. Varied as it is in quality, there is no part of the North that will not grow food, grow the world's best timber-tree, grow a glory of flowers, produce wealth, in abundance, if properly. page 26 treated. There is no part of New Zealand better fitted for man's comfortable subsistence. The world, or some of it, is making that discovery; people who came originally as tourists and sportsmen have decided to cast anchor for good in such places as the Bay of Islands.

The great sea sport developed of recent years takes many to that coast of bountiful waters, the warm blue seas where the giant swordfish and the fierce mako shark show desperate fight to the rod and line enthusiast. But to many more of us there is plenty of interest in the inland parts, exploring places of mingled beauty and history, such places as the Waipoua Kauri Forest, the shores of that solitary lake of the North, Omapere, set in the midst of an ancient nest of volcanoes, the wooded valleys and hills where the nikau palm is in its glory, the battle-grounds where once British bayonet met Maori long-handled tomahawk and where British cannon pounded Maori stockade. Beauty everywhere, and story and legend everywhere, they join hands in this early-settled Northland, which more than any other part attracted Maori-Polynesian sea-rover and pioneer pakeha voyager and trader.