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Picturesque Dunedin: or Dunedin and its neighbourhood in 1890

II.—The Ross Creek Reservoir

II.—The Ross Creek Reservoir.

This favourite resort lies to the northward of the town, being situated on a tributary stream to the Water of Leith. The approaches have lost much of the beauty they once possessed in the days gone by, when the valley of the Leith was filled with a forest of dense bush containing many a noble pine and stately tree which have long since disappeared to supply the inhabitants of Dunedin with building material or fuel, and the picturesque outline of the hills alone remains unchanged. Still, when Messrs. Fergusson and Mitchell's paper mill is passed, the visitor to the locality finds himself in a secluded glen which might be miles from "the busy haunts of men." A wide, well-made footpath (beneath which lie the water-pipes for the supply of the city), raised above the creek bed by a retaining wall, leads up this sequestered gully, whose steep sides are clothed with native-bush, still the home of many a luxuriant fern, while the streamlet in its stony bed below murmurs on its downward way. Emerging from the narrow glen, which widens suddenly at the site of the reservoir, the visitor finds a pretty little sheet of water spread before him, and though here also the woodman's axe has been at work and denuded the surrounding slopes of their covering of bush, there is compensation in the fact that the sides of Flagstaff and other neighbouring hills are more exposed to view. If a longer walk be desired it can be obtained with much pleasing variety of scene by proceeding along the side of the reservoir, and after passing the head of the smaller upper basin a road is reached, and from this point the visitor may regain the Leith. Valley by a longer way than that by which he came, or he may make his way home by crossing the upper end of the Kaikorai Yalley and reaching town by way of the pleasant township of Maori Hill.