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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

“Huskies” on the Glaciers

“Huskies” on the Glaciers

For the first time in the history of our great mountain resorts, dogs from the far northern lands of snow are being used in the development of the Southern Alps for travellers. The fifteen Alaskan dogs which were brought out from America for the Byrd Antarctic expedition are inland at the Mount Cook Hermitage, and are doing excellent work in hauling sledges up across the moraine and the ice for new huts high up in the valley of the Tasman Glacier. Formerly everything for the higher hut of the two, that at the Malte Brun range, 6,500 feet above sea level, has had to be carried up on the guides' and porters' backs. The half-wolf breed from the northern wilds have saved the Mount Cook staff many a weary journey.

The dogs are to be taken down to the Ross Sea, in Antarctica, for the Byrd explorations in the coming summer, probably early in December.

Friend of his Fellow Men.

Who was it said that the cleverest man that ever lived was the fellow who invented interest? Our Jewish friends say that this genius was a Scot, and the Scot says he was a Jew. At any rate it was a wonderful discovery. Seventeen years ago Mr. T. G. Macarthy, a wealthy business man, of Wellington, left in his will a sum of about £200,000, the income from which was to be devoted to educational and charitable institutions in Wellington provincial district. To date a total sum of £138,527, the business profits and accrued interest, has been distributed amongst various institutions. The amount varies from year to year, but every year a great number of deserving causes receive much-needed gifts. Under skilled management by the Public Trustee, the estate of this benefactor remains in perpetuity, a monument to the generosity and far-sightedness of a man who all his life was a kind-hearted friend of all in need.

Our Richest Gold Mine.

Many millions worth of bullion have been won from New Zealand's gold mines, but the great treasure-producer of the future will be the Dominion's tourist traffic. The Prime Minister is a great believer in the possibilities of this always-increasing business; a widely travelled man himself he well knows that there is nothing in the world to surpass these Islands in natural wonders and wild beauty. When in Nelson some time ago, opening a new bridge to develop the back country, Sir Joseph Ward spoke of the great national importance to New Zealand of developing the means of travel and opening new and strange sights.

“Not even the great meat and dairy industries,” he said, “will bring into this country as much as the tourists will leave behind them.”

Birds of Fiordland.

New Zealand is fortunate in possessing so many small off-shore islands, seemingly designed by Nature as places of sanctuary for the too-quickly vanishing native birds. There are page 30 quite forty of these islands set aside by the State as reserves for the preservation of indigenous feathered life. Then there are the mainland sanctuaries, and the largest of these is the huge Fiordland National Park, the south-western corner of the South Island. This is all as wild can be, all forest and gorge and crag and snowy alp—a tremendous tameless region. Even here those foreign pests, the weasel, the stoat, the Norwegian rat, and the wild cat have penetrated, and the comparatively helpless native birds suffer. Nevertheless there is teeming bird life in the more remote parts, as reported by explorers.
New Zealand'S National Sport. A special train at Cross Creek station (Wairarapa line) conveying football enthusiasts to Carterton for the interprovincial match between Auckland and Wairarapa.

New Zealand'S National Sport.
A special train at Cross Creek station (Wairarapa line) conveying football enthusiasts to Carterton for the interprovincial match between Auckland and Wairarapa.

Mr. Kenneth Sutherland, of Te Anau, says that the curious flightless bird, the kakapo—the night-roving ground parrot, extinct in most other parts, is still to be found in all the bush country between Doubtful Sound, on the West Coast, and the north arm of Lake Te Anau. The kiwi, found in its several varieties in many parts of New Zealand, is plentiful on the seaward ranges. It is pleasant to know that all these species of birds, as reported by Mr. Sutherland, are still abundant: bellbird, bush wrens, pied fantail, wood robin, tomtit, kaka parrot, and kea or mountain parrot. Pigeon, too, the beautiful kukupa, is still fairly numerous. Only a few of the sweet-voiced tui were seen, but this bird is accustomed to migrate from one feeding-ground to another, like the kaka.

It is good to hear that the weka has been known to kill its enemy, the stoat and the weasel. It is about the only native bird that can hold its own against those imported curses of the Maori bush.