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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 7 (October 2, 1939)

Picturesque Movere — Delightful East Coast Holiday Resort

page 35

Picturesque Movere
Delightful East Coast Holiday Resort

Written and Illustrated By W. A. Froggatt

A glimpse of the pretty bush-fringed stream at Morere.

A glimpse of the pretty bush-fringed stream at Morere.

Nestling in a picturesque valley, on the East Coast highway between Napier and Gisborne, is the charming little hamlet of Morere Springs. It is surrounded by mountainous country which, in the immediate vicinity, is covered with some of the finest native bush in New Zealand. This scenic reserve with its hot mineral spas, is under Government control and is the Mecca of hundreds of people during holiday periods. Campers are catered for in a well-equipped camping ground situated on the bank of a small river flowing through the valley.

Entering the reserve through a modern arched gateway one is attracted by the beautifully-kept gardens and lawns that surround the full-sized open air mineral bath and caretaker's residence. Here, too, are to be found fish ponds, rockeries and rustic bridges. Dotted here and there are small archways and alcoves which have been constructed from the native manuka tree. About a hundred yards from the main entrance one enters the portals of Nature's own domain and follows a well-defined path which will ultimately lead one into the very heart of this scenic reserve. The path now follows the course of a mountain stream whose cool, clear waters, originating high up in the bush, flow over a rocky bed, through fern-lined banks, on its way to join a tributary of the Nuhaka river.

Continuing along the path one reaches No. 1 and No. 2 private bath-houses. These bath-houses are spaced at a distance of about 150 yards, and are used principally by invalids. Passing No. 2 bath-house a little more altitude is gained and, crossing the stream by a suspension bridge, one eventually reaches No. 3 bath-house, which, incidentally, is a public bath and about one-third the size of the usual swimming bath. This bath is the most popular during the winter months, as it is quite near the source of the mineral springs and, consequently, the waters are much warmer than those of the other baths. The predominating minerals in these spas include large quantities of calcium and sodium chloride. There is also sufficient free iodine to give them a pungent smell, and colour them a pale brown. In the stream below No. 3 bath-house are several deep pools which prove popular when the weather is warm. These pools are formed by small waterfalls as the stream finds its way to lower levels.

Leaving this bath the climb becomes slightly steeper; this, however, does not distract one's attention from the surrounding beauty. After about ten minutes’ more climbing the end of the walk is reached. Here, one gazes into a deep, bush-lined chasm, over the brink of which plunges a small though picturesque waterfall. This is a beautiful sight and, as one rests awhile, it is with a feeling of satisfaction that there has been ample reward for the walk. It is not easy to leave this lovely scene and wend the way back to No. 3 bath-house, where one may bathe in the invigorating mineral waters before continuing explorations further. Leaving the bathhouse one turns off the path at a place marked with the sign, “To the Palm Grove.” Actually this track leads through several palm groves and into the very heart of the bush. The track continues up hill and down dale for a couple of miles, eventually circling round to join up with the main path near the No. 1 bath-house.

A view of Morere, showing the Hot Springs Hotel on right.

A view of Morere, showing the Hot Springs Hotel on right.

One may be led to believe that the attractions of this paradise fade with the setting of the sun. This is not so. The darkness brings forth an entirely different aspect of its enchantments. The bath-houses are lighted until 9.30 at night, so it is necessary to walk through the palm grove tracks to cap-

(Continued on page 39 )

page 36