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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 6 (September 2, 1935)


This report of Haast's covering those great coal-finds abounds in eloquent descriptive passages and quite thrilling adventures and narrow escapes and the inevitable spells of hunger in an all but foodless land. The geologist was also a good deal of an artist and a poet. Up in those wild ranges, where it was so cold that it was difficult to hold a pencil to sketch or write, he could not resist setting down this evening vignette:

“… It was wonderful and beautiful to see the valleys below us in deep shades, while the summits of the mountains around glowed in the rich red tints of the declining sun. As the night advanced, the stars shone with extreme brilliancy, the splendid constellations of the Southern hemisphere rising one after the other above the sharp serrated outline of the eastern mountain chain, and the dazzling snowfield around us, illuminated by the flames of our campfire, imparted additional grandeur to the scene.”