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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

26 February 1872

26 February 1872

Next morning we make for Pohui, with our orderly in attendance passing thro’ Bush for a considerable distance, but coming at length to a change of country after riding on terraces of pumice and lake debris. It would appear that the valleys have been previously the bottoms of lakes, which have burst their barriers and escaped cutting in their flow a river bed among the soft deposit some 100 feet below and crossing one high range. We had a most charming and extensive view. The Maoris were at work making roads, and very well they complete them; altho’ they work in capital spirits, and are by spurts altho' they not [gap — reason: unclear] being tied to time for completion, they manage to make good progress. The heights are mounted by a zig-zag route; and we learned that a Coach was running from Napier to within 19 miles of Pohui, and one from Pohui to Taupo with the Mails. Much of the way is self made track, and the road is shaky. When we reached Pohui where we lunched at a page 80 wretched accommodation house, we found Colonel Whitmore had arranged horses and a guide to conduct us to his residence, “Rissington”. On our way we mounted another high range, crossed the Mokau river, and soon came in sight of the extreme boundary of Col. Whitmore’s Station, which is all Bush. After riding thro’ a good lot of fern breast high, for about 20 miles, we arrived at Rissington, Napier in the dark and were welcomed by Mrs Whitemore in her charming manner, and hospitably provided with good eatable food and good beds after our long ride of 50 miles over hill and dale having travelled since day light. I had to ride behind “Tommy” and keep him up with my hunting whip or we should never have accomplished the journey – Both Dunny and I were well shaken, and glad we were to find fresh horses ready. The views from the 2 ranges I have mentioned are the finest I have yet seen, and the grass paddocks of Col Whitmore the only fair grass since leaving Tauranga.