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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 6 (September 1, 1934)

The Long Trail

The Long Trail.

Our dogged little missionary, strong in his faith, made some long and difficult journeys. In 1840, after a few weeks at the home station, Waikato Heads, he set out on an expedition to the villages around Lake Taupo, two hundred miles away, by canoe and foot. He had a most hospitable welcome from the great Heuheu, at Te Rapa; the grand old chief was overwhelmed with fifty of his people in the landslip at that pa in 1846. Te Heuheu listened to the missionary's exhortations, but preferred his own ancient religion; he however said to his visitor in a most courteous way, “I shall consider what you have been saying.”

In 1841 Ashwell visited Wellington in a schooner which happened to call in at Waikato Heads. He walked home all the way, a journey of about four hundred miles, which occupied three weeks. He visited thirty-two villages on his great tramp, and he recorded that everywhere he received a hearty welcome excepting at Rangitikei.