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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 6 (October 1, 1930)



The enterprise of the New Zealand Railways in linking up with the motor companies operating on the wonderful tourist routes between Napier and Rotorua via Wairoa, Gisborne and Opotiki, now enables the traveller to purchase, at moderate cost, at any railway station, a rail and motor ticket covering the complete journey. Hotel accommodation is adequate, and the tariffs are reasonable. To many New Zealanders the East Coast is still a terra incognita, but to those wishing to see the sheep country of Hawke's Bay, and the famous Urewera, the facilities now available are unique. A brief description of this very interesting combined rail and motor trip is given in the following article.

The journey from Napier to Rotorua, via Wairoa, Gisborne, and Opotiki, introduces the traveller to a wide extent of country hitherto little known to the tourist, but that is rapidly coming into favour as a district not only rich in historic associations, but abounding in scenery of a grandeur unsurpassed in any other part of New Zealand.

Leaving Napier, the road strikes into a region that speaks eloquently of the immense toil and sacrifice of the early pioneers in redeeming and bringing under cultivation the primeval wilderness.

In parts the country, denuded of bush and now utilised for grazing purposes, is singularly desolate; but here and there the desolation is relieved by lingering patches of exquisite native bush that still afford sanctuary to many of New Zealand's prized native birds. The process of denudation has also brought to view remarkable geological formations. The horizontal stratification of rock perched high in the hills and continuing in a strictly horizontal formation for many miles indicates, even to the uninitiated, what was ages ago the coastline of New Zealand, and proves the well-established fact that many thousands of years ago these islands were under water.

Few motor journeys proclaim the antiquity of New Zealand with such clear and convincing force as that leading northward along the coast from Napier to Wairoa.