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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]


Johnsonville, the third station on the Wellington-Manawatu Railway line, and distant from Wellington some seven miles, has many attractions for tourist or traveller, poet, painter, or artist, and may be reached either by rail or road; if by the former rare peeps of hill and dell, mountain and rock, ocean, and the dancing waters of tortuous rivulets are vouchsafed en route, together with the charming little centres of Crofton and Khaudallah; while if by road, which is capital for vehicular traffic, the traveller, after leaving Ngahauranga, negotiates some three miles of picturesque gorge with an agreeable grade and gains the township some 450 feet above the Empire City. The accommodation here is fairly good, and the sights are the mountains, grassed and bush-clad, immediately above and around. From the top of an easily-gained hill at the back, or southern side of the main street capital views of Wellington City. Port Nicholson, its shipping, and all its natural surroundings are obtainable


page 1067 Further off, Pencarrow Lighthouse, at the Wellington Heads, the long sloping heights separating Wainui-o-mata from the Lower Hutt, the blue Kaikouras across Cook Strait, and the beetling rocks of the broken coast may all be picked out from this vantage in clear weather, whilst turning face about birds-eye views may be obtained of the fertile rolling country of the Ohariu Valley, and the thousands of prime Romney-Lincolns feeding upon the well-grassed hills; further north a bit of blue water flashes up from between two gigantic rocks, and proves to be part of Porirua Harbour. Another point of altitude worthy of conquest is Kaka Peak, rising to the north-west of the township, and from it on a quiet evening one may hear the chimes from the General Post-office at the Capital.

Johnsonville, although a farming centre, boasts amongst its immediate nooks and vales several villa residences of prominent Wellingtonians. It has two churches, one State school, two hotels, and several other business places. The sheep-farmers surrounding it are well-to-do, and the land to be found in the vicinity is good and easily kept.

Johnsonville is a town district in the Porirua riding of the Hutt County, and at the census of April, 1896, had a population of 493—249 of which were males and 244 females. Its distance from Wellington by rail is seven miles, and by road about eight. The other settlements adjacent are Tawa Flat and Porirua, four and seven miles respectively to the north and Ohariu Valley to the north-west.

The little cemetery is situated on the English Church reserve. The town is on a natural slope, and needs no artificial drainage. The staple products are wool, and mutton for freezing and the meat markets.

The educational requirements are provided for by the State school, further mention of which will be made in the following pages. There is only one resident minister, the Rev. J. W. Chapman, of the Anglican denomination.

Mails for Johnsonville close daily at Wellington at 6 a.m. and 12.45 p.m., arriving at Johusonville at 7.20 a.m, and 1.55 p.m.