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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 (March 2, 1936)

Variety In Brief

page 62

Variety In Brief

New Zealand is abundantly provided with thermal attractions, but two on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, in the Rotorua district, are particularly interesting. One is a steam vent and the other is a boiling pool, and both are within a few dozen yards of each other. Interest in the former lies in the fact that poisonous gases are emitted with the steam. The vent, which is entirely surrounded by scrub, is in a very inaccessible position. Its presence is not advertised, for it is considered that the gases escaping from it are dangerous. In fact, history has it that an inquisitive Maori was overcome by the fumes, his body being found by a search party some days later lying beside the vent. However true this may be, the fact remains that the fumes are fatal to birds, for in the past many small feathered bodies have been found in the vicinity of the blowhole.

To look at there is nothing particularly interesting about the boiling pool. It is famed in the district, however, for its health-possessing properties as the water is practically pure soda water. When cool it is similar to the soda water contained in bottles, and in its natural hot state it provides a very refreshing drink, especially when taken with the beverage generally associated with soda water. Within a few feet of this boiling pool is an icy-cold spring, and the overflow from both water holes meets in a channel leading into Lake Rotoiti. The water in this channel is ideal for bathing, and the Maoris and settlers in the district make use of it for their weekly hot bath. A year or two ago it was no uncommon sight to see three or four buggies drawn up on the side of the road and their owners and their families disporting themselves in the soda water bath.

This spot is some distance off the main road from Rotorua to Whakatane, but service cars and sight-seeing 'buses sometimes deviate to give passengers an opportunity of sampling what nature has to offer.


* * *

“Name The Rail-Cars” Competition.

In the issue of the “Railways Magazine” for December and also in advertisements which appeared in the principal newspapers of the Dominion, prizes were offered by the Railway Department for the best groups of names suggested for 10 rail-cars to be introduced on the Wellington—Masterton—Palmerston North and the Wellington—New Plymouth routes.

So popular did this competition prove that the work of sorting and assessing the entries has proved a formidable task. It is now hoped, however, that it will be possible to announce the prize-winners in the April issue of the Magazine.

My small nephew, who has lived most of his brief life on an outback farm, has a passion for trains, of which he has seen few. But he has many books on trains and possesses quite a good “Hornby.”

Recently we discovered this essay which he'd written. It is entitled “When I Grow Up,” and reads: “When I grow up, I am not going to be a farmer, but an engain (engine) driver. I am going to drive an engain on rails. I am going to some towns where there are lots of people. I am going to see lots of tunnels, staishons (stations), signals, trucks, cranes, boats and men. My train is going to be a goods train. It is going to have lots of trucks and things, and it is not going to be robbed by bandits. I am going to get two pounds ten and found, and four pounds a week for wages. Then if I get the sack I am going to be a sailor on Queen Mary, the sea liner, and the skipper is going to treat me in a good way.”

Bound Copies Of The Magazine.

The publication of this issue of the Magazine (March) completes the tenth volume. Readers are reminded that they may send forward their accumulated copies (April, 1935 to March, 1936) for binding purposes. The volumes will be bound in cloth with gilt lettering at a cost of 5/6d. per volume. Those desirous of having their copies bound may hand them to the nearest Stationmaster (with the sender's name endorsed on the parcel) who will transmit them free to the Editor, “New Zealand Railways Magazine,” Wellington. When bound the volumes will be returned to the forwarding Stationmaster, who will collect the binding charge. In order to ensure expedition in the process of binding copies should reach the Editor not later than 31st May, 1936.