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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 9 (April 1, 1931)

First Stage of the Voyage

First Stage of the Voyage.

On recovering from the shock of contemplating an entire change in his lifelong habits, Mr. Bolton found, on looking into his affairs, that he could well afford a trip, and he had confidence that his assistant could fill his place in his absence. He had hazy notions of geography, but was aware that the P. and O. Company ran steamers to distant countries. So he applied to the P. and O. Company for information. The Company suggested a voyage to Sydney and back, and advised him to consult a firm of outfitters regarding the requirements for the voyage. The outfitters sized up the would-be traveller and listed an outfit that comprised clothes, with the proper accompaniment of hats. caps, boots, sticks, and umbrellas, for all occasions and every variety of climate. After rejecting kits for yachting, polo, golf, fishing and shooting, there still remained a considerable wardrobe for which suitable and adequate packages were required. Now the firm had in stock one of those huge trunks, like a Noah's Ark on casters, known as a Saratoga. Though then popular in America, trunks of this kind were slow of sale in England. This appeared to be an opportunity for getting rid of the Saratoga on favourable terms, page 44 and the polite and informative salesman explained to Mr. Boltom the advantages of having his belongings in compact shape. He mentioned that the luggage would require less supervision when arriving by steamer or train, as his trunk would be conspicuous, and could hardly be overlooked, or removed surreptitiously by a luggage-thief. Accordingly the bulk of the wardrobe was packed in the trunk, and with a suitable dressing-case and a handy portmanteau for immediate requirements, each package, conspicuously marked with his initials, the traveller was equipped for his journey.

In The Sunny Bay of Islands. (Photo, M. Chapman.) Opua Station, the northern terminus of the New Zealand Railways.

In The Sunny Bay of Islands.
(Photo, M. Chapman.)
Opua Station, the northern terminus of the New Zealand Railways.

The voyage was quite enjoyable, even by an inexperienced traveller, until Australian waters were reached in midsummer, when strong northerly winds were encountered. From Cape Leeuwin, across the Australian Bight, rough seas and an oppressive atmosphere made conditions unpleasant. At Adelaide a “brick-fielder” was blowing, and the thermometer stood at about 100 deg. in the shade. The air was full of the red dust from the interior, and at Melbourne, the heat was still more intense.

A fellow passenger on the voyage from England was an enthusiastic resident of New Zealand, who had made the acquaintance of Mr. Bolton, and had told him of the wonders and beauty of his country. When Mr. Bolton was discouraged by the climatic conditions in Australia, he was easily persuaded by his acquaintance to visit New Zealand, and return to Australia when the summer was waning.