The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 1, 1938.)
Oats and Irrigation
Oats and Irrigation.
Past the Government fish hatcheries it opens out in wide, clean, gentle slopes to the sharp upthrust of the Kirkliston Range. On the Hakataramea Downs Station, a block once more extensive than the present holding, owned by the New Zealand and Australian Land Company, as much as 3,000 acres, were at one time sown in oats for winter feed for the sheep, and to-day one can still see what is probably the largest consecutive acreage of oats anywhere in Canterbury.
The sun falling brilliantly in this air across the range, and flood-lighting the twenty or more stacks in one paddock, makes a fine, keenly sharp and prosperous picture that fixes itself for all time photographically upon the mind.
And one carries away another very clear impression. The floor of the valley has so gentle a slope towards the river, and it is here so interspersed with trickling streams whose water goes unutilized that it appears, and is, an ideal place for irrigation. Round an occasional homestead where the water has been coaxed across a paddock or a garden, the luxuriant and vivid green is like a banner proclaiming fertility.
Perhaps I have betrayed the beauty of this valley, in that in the midst of panoramic landscapes broken along the road by near views of picturesque ruggedness, as suggested in such names as “Rocky Point” or “Cattle Creek,” I have descended into the utilitarian.
The fact is I do not wish to drown the ears in rhapsody—though the grand strains are here—nor to take any sort of gasping exclaiming traveller over the next turn, which leads off