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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 9 (December 1, 1938)

“Where Every Prospect Pleases.”

“Where Every Prospect Pleases.”

In contrast to those warring incidents and to the turbulence of whaling days, is the peace and enchantment of this wonderful sanctuary for birds and trees and plants. To-day one can follow through the bush the tracks made by warlike tribes, and encounter nothing more fearsome than an inquisitive weka, or, if one is specially fortunate during a stroll in hours of darkness, a kiwi, that, in a fraction of a second, merges into the undergrowth and is gone.

The steep hillsides are completely hidden by the compact battalions of native trees, the amazing diversity of greens forming a bewildering mosaic. Contributing to this spectacle of arboreal loveliness are nearly every tree indigenous to the New Zealand bush, and practically all of them provide in their seasons some variety of food for the thousands of birds that make the island their home. Principal of these are the karaka, miro, matai, ngaio, tawa, akeake, kohekohe, kohepiro, mahoe, porokaiwhiri, rewa-rewa, hou-hou, kaikomako, titoke, and taupata, while the graceful hekatara, the lordly rata, puka, hinau, kamahi, horoeka, whau and nikau provide delightful aid to the riot of beauty.

Even in the cloistered gullies, where seldom the sun finds its way, there are gems of loveliness in plants that have been introduced by Mr. Wilkinson during his thirteen years as caretaker of Kapiti, and he is constantly adding to the list of approximately 150 that will, in time, make Kapiti a botanical museum. One of his specially-tended treasures is a kauri tree that in ten years has grown to nearly nine feet.