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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]


Ohau, some four miles north of Manukau, affords food for author and artist and pleasure for the tourist, for here is variety in open glade and forest land, hill and dell, and lake and river scenery, the last being unsurpassed for the beauty of its blue pellucid waters, its lordly islets, and superbly forest-clad hills, sloping down to the margin of the waters on Sir Walter Buller's lake. The writer spent a day paddling over its sheeted surface in an historical war canoe, bearing time-honoured gashes and dents of the bloody massacre on the island of Papaitonga in 1824, in which the victorious Ngatiraukawas, under the leadership of the dreaded Ti Tiki, did to death over 800 of the warlike Mahopokos. On the south-west headland of Papaitonga stands a wondrous monument commemorative of the spot where the last remnant of a once powerful tribe fell. It is about thirty feet high, made of totara wood, cunningly carved by order of a great Rangitira of the Wanganuis, and erected there by the hospitable knight, who owns both


page 1107 lake and island, and who has in his possession, among many other highly-prized relics of barbarous times, a brief history in the original of the couquest of Papaitonga, with the translation into English. At the close of a fine summer's day, the lake and the tints and reflections on the stilled waters, well fringed by evening primroses, and the silhouettes of the isles, and the shadows of the wood-crested, turretted heights and terraces, make real live pictures for the finest panoramic effects, and an hour spent in this fairyland must indelibly stamp pleasant visions upon the memory. To get to this enchanted spot, however, the tourist, having first obtained permission, negotiates two miles of drayroad going north wards through acre upon acre of Sir Walter Buller's magnificent land, feeding well, as it does, thousands of the knight's well-bred sheep. Away miles to the south east the Ohau River winds through the sinuosities of a fertile valley, on the green banks and slopes of which stand many charming farms and homesteads, and here fairly good roads for vehicles and riding parties offer. Ohau has a population of 256 souls. There is a post and telegraph office at Ohau, but no accommodation, so that travellers visiting the place require either to return to Manukau or go to Levin, three miles further north.

Mails close daily at Wellington at 6 a.m., arriving at Ohau at 9.40 a.m. Mails close daily at Ohau for Wellington at 9.30 a.m., arriving at 10.5 p.m.