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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, May 1970

The Green Island

The Green Island

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In Cook Strait there lies a green island. The Maoris called it Rangitoto, but a Frenchman gave it his own name, and by that we know it today. D'Urville Island has been the scene of many interesting events in New Zealand's history. It has seen the coming of Kupe, Tasman and Cook, and the early colonists, on leaving England in their small convoys, made it their rendezvous.

The island is long and slender, the high cliffs of its western side broken by the inlets of Port Hardy and Greville Harbour. In either of these waterways it is easy to find ones self out of sight of the open sea, riding in a bay of green water; the bush, thick and tangled, covers steep slopes and shelters pigeons, tuis, woodhens and deer. Small fawns will stand and gaze at you, only to vanish the moment your eyes flicker.

The northern end is a rugged cape, sprayed by the thrashing sea, and black rocks rear their defiant heads out of the foam.


When Kupe came to New Zealand a thousand years ago, he came to this rugged promontory, and here the canoe, its warriors and women, rested in a little bay. Before resuming his eastward journey, Kupe named two of the jagged pinnacles after his daughters who travelled with him. These rocks are generally known today as "The Sisters", but the survey map gives them the old name—"Nga Tama-hine a Kupe".

Another traveller with Kupe was Kawau-a-Toru. He was either a man of exceptional swimming ability, or else a sea-bird about whom a legend has grown. In the Maori tale there is confusion between men and birds, but it seems possible that Kawau-a-Toru was one of the early fatalities in the French Pass. Here is the story.

At the southern end of D'Urville Island lies Te Aumiti, the narrow channel known today as French Pass. Ships can pass through at certain states of the tide, but the channel is narrowed considerably by the reef which lies across three quarters of the already confined waters. When Kupe was ready to sail northwards again, he sent Kawau to investigate the channels and waterways of Cook Strait, because he was clever in the ways of tides, and drifts, and the set of currents. He was told of a strange place which would tax even his knowledge and swimming ability, and when the creatures, either birds or men, we do not know which, who told Kawau this, offered to take him to the place, he accepted their offer gladly and went with them.

The author, a schoolteacher, lived for twelve years on D'Urville Island. There she married and participated in local affairs before leaving to reside in the Mainland.

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It was slack water when Kawau stood on the cliff and looked down on Te Aumiti. At that time the sea would flow gently, with only the smallest surge over the rocks at the foot of the cliff. But once the tide has turned, great whirlpools form and the sea swirls and twists into a crested wave that throws itself through the channel. At that time it is death to enter the water. Kawau was urged by the creatures who had led him there to try his strength against the current. Were they afraid of this stranger, and anxious to get rid of him?

Kawau went down to the sea, and even as he entered the water the tide changed. He breasted the water, and—now in the story he is definitely a bird—as one of his wings touched the water, it was dragged down by the power of the whirlpool, and he could not recover it. Strive as he would, with his wings extended across the pass, he could not escape. As the water rose about his breast, he was whirled round and round, one wing was broken, and Kawau-a-Toru was drowned. His body was turned to stone, and now is the reef that lies across Te Aumiti. Where the broken wing dropped into the sea, is the narrow channel of deep water where ships may pass. On the cliff perched the sea-birds, shrieking their triumphant cry at the defeat of the foreigner, the invader.


Long after the days of Kupe a Maori tribe settled on the island. The site of the old pa is about halfway along the eastern shore. There lived Hine-pou-pou, wife of Manini-pounamu. Manini had seen another girl whom he wished to marry, and for this reason decided to rid himself of his wife. He planned everything very carefully, so that her disappearance would seem to be the result of an accident, and he almost succeeded in bringing off his scheme.

Fifty miles to the east lay Kapiti Island. One day he set off with his wife and a party of friends to visit Kapiti, and upon arrival the husband induced Hine-pou-pou to go seeking Kopuru, the fragrant moss much prized by Maori women. Hine took her two dogs, and wandered in the bush until she had filled her baskets. When she returned to the camp no-one was there. Out to sea was the canoe, homeward bound. The poor woman was abandoned.

Afraid to wander far on the island, lest she should meet with enemies, Hine at last, in dispair, decided to swim to the South Island, to her own tribe. She knew that her own strength would not carry her so far, but hoped that the sea-gods would come to her aid. On this account, before attempting the journey, she sought for omens from the gods. She pulled up the stalk from the centre of the flax bush; it came out whole and unbroken—a good omen, indicating that page 12her plan had divine approval. Hine now chanted an invocation to the gods, an ancient prayer of her ancestors, asking for help and strength. One last look around her, one cry of anger, and Hine-pou-pou plunged into the sea and began her great swim.

Her two dogs had followed her out on to the rocks, but now they whined fearfully, trotting backwards and forwards. The gods took pity on them, and turned them into rocks in the sea.

Hine-pou-pou swam strongly, and before she had time to become weary, Kaikai-a-waro, the sea god, the grey dolphin, appeared to help her, and with his assistance she safely crossed Cook Strait. Her family on the South Island took her back to friends on Rangitoto, where she bided her time.

One day Manini-pounamu, the faithless husband, went out to fish, taking with him the friends who had helped him to cast off Hine-pou-pou. When the canoe was a long way from the shore, Hine called once again upon the gods, this time for vengeance. And again the gods heard her. A bank of cloud appeared in the southeast; the sea darkened; a gale of wind whipped the water into great waves, and sheets of rain blotted out both land and sky. Harder and harder the wind blew, driving all before it, bending trees on the land, snapping the masts at sea. Suddenly, the storm was over. But where were the canoes of Manini-pounamu and his friends? All were swept away. Not a man returned. Hine-pou-pou was avenged. And to this very day the eastern shores of D'Urville Island are swept from time to time by these sudden, short-lived gales from the south-east.,

On the western side of the island is Moawhitu, and the Maoris tell this tale about that place. In Taranaki lived a tribe, the Ngati-Tarapounamu. Once whilst the canoes were at sea, a storm arose and swept many of them southwards, until they reached this place called Moawhitu. The men liked this harbour, finding it well provided with eels, fish and birds, and decided to bring their families to settle there. When the weather was favourable they did this, and were settled in their new home, about a thousand of them, before the natives of the Island discovered them. As the original people were not strong enough to oust the newcomers, they made friends with them, marrying the young maidens, and showing the men the local fishing grounds.

Now one fishing ground, round a rock, was guarded by a Taniwha, who had to be propitiated by certain ceremonies before the hapuka, so plentiful in that spot, could be eaten. The new settlers were carefully instructed by the Tohungas, and taught the rites they must perform, because if they failed the Taniwha might bring disaster page 13on all. One day the women were called together to prepare a great feast of a thousand hapuka. The ovens were prepared, and the fish left to cook. But before all was finished there came into the village a woman who had been out gathering kopuru to make sweet oil. She was very hungry, and went straight to the ovens to get food. She picked out a few tlt-bits here and there, before her friends could stop her. Loud were the lamentations, and everyone was very angry. Her husband beat the woman, who thereupon ran away. Great fear seized the tribe, for the food had been eaten before the rites had been performed, and no-one doubled that disaster would now come upon them.

All day the tribe wailed and moaned; then at night they slept, Just before daybreak the Taniwha took his revenge. A great wave rolled in from the sea, and completely engulfed the whole tribe. As the wave receded, it swept away the village and the people, and that place, which had been green and fertile, was now left a barren, sandy waste.

The only person who was saved, out of all that tribe, was the woman who had caused all the trouble, for she had run up into the hills, and the wave had not reached her. It was she who told the tale of how it happened. Even now, after a rough sea has pounded on the sand-banks of Greville Harbour, the wanderer may find washed up on the beach the greenstone ornaments, the fishhooks, the weapons and other treasures of that long-lost tribe.


The first white visitor to D'Urville Island was, as far as we know, the explorer Abel Tasman. He has left an account of his visit in his Journal, and another source of information is the log kept by a sailor on "Heemskerck".

On December 19th, 1642, Tasman's men had had an encounter with Maoris in Golden Bay, and had accordingly made haste to leave "this murderous spot". The two ships, "Heemskerck" and "Zeehaen", sailed to the north-east, and by daylight on the twentieth found themselves in the great curve which Tasman named "Zeehaen's Bocht", bounded on the north by the sweep of land from Mount Egmont to Cook Strait, and in the south by the hilly coast of the South Island. During the night the vessels had passed Stephens Island and land was visible on all sides. In an endeavour to leave this enclosed water (for Tasman missed the entrance to Cook Strait, though suspecting its presence) the ships tacked to the north, and sailed on, until, on the morning of December 21st, he again saw the coastline near the Patea river. His next southern tack brought him in sight of "a round, high islet", later to be named Stephen's Island, lying just to the north of D'Urville Island.

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On the 21st December Tasman ran under the island shore, as the wind freshened, and with Stephen's Island to the N.N.W., Tasman cast anchor. The ships remained in this anchorage until December 26th, and as the weather was very unsettled, everyone had an uncomfortable time.

Tasman was not the sole master of the expedition, but had to abide by the decision of a council composed of the officers of both ships. When he wished to spend more time in seeking another outlet to "Zeehaen's Bocht", it was necessary for him to call this council together and place his views before it. On December 24th he hoisted a white flag, signalling the officers of "Zeehaen" to come aboard "Heemskerck". He then endeavoured to persuade the Council to search in the south-east for the passage which he felt sure existed. He writes:

"We then represented to them (the officers of "Zeehaen") that since the tide was running from the south-east there was likely to be a passage through, so that it would be best, as soon as wind and weather would permit, to investigate this point, and see if we could find fresh water there."

It is worth noting here that during his first expedition to New Zealand, Captain Cook anchored only a mile or so from Tasman's anchorage, and took on board both wood and water.

December 25th, 1642, is specially worthy of note because it was the first Christmas Day ever celebrated in New Zealand. Tasman's Journal does not record any particular celebration, but the sailor's Journal gives a more detailed entry. According to this log the day was grey, with some drizzling rain. At noon the master of "Zeehaen" came on board "Heemskerck", the Commander's guest for Christmas dinner. The crew was not forgotten; Tasman ordered two pigs killed for their dinner, and besides the ordinary ration an extra tankard of wine was ordered for each mess, "as it was the time of the fair". A different hand noted alongside the sailor's entry, "Have the merchant from "Zeehaen" on board as a guest. Made merry". So these sailors, far from home, tossing in an unsatisfactory anchorage, on a grey drizzly day, still had a merry Christmas.

On the 26th December, at dawn, the wind being favourable, the two ships sailed away to the north, and the Island saw no more of Abel Tasman.


The next European visitor to arrive was Captain James Cook. In March 1770, having completed for the time being his work in New Zealand, and wishing to prepare "Endeavour" for the return to England, Cook anchored in a bay on the east coast of the Island. Inpage 15teresting details of this short stay are learned from "An Endeavour Log". It is not known for certain who wrote this, but the contents indicate that it was an officer on board this ship.

The entry for March 27th, 1770, gives the compass readings of the two headlands at the entrance to the bay chosen by the captain for his anchorage. The extreme points of the cove were half a mile from the beach, and away to the north-east were "remarkable peaked rocks in the offing". These rocks would be the Jags, a fearsome line of stony teeth rising steeply out of the water, fortunately well out of the direct shipping route. This day the men spent at work in the hold, taking empty water casks ashore, and hauling the seine. This last operation was apparently not as successful as it might have been, as the writer gives much more enthusiastic reports of line fishing on subsequent days.

On the 28th the weather was hazy, with the fine, warm, drizzling rain that comes sometimes in autumn. The crew cut wood, and filled water casks, and a boat, "fishing with hooks and lines, caught enough for all hands". Fine blue cod, no doubt, and a few groper. They had fish every day that week.

On the thirtieth the Captain went off in the pinnace to examine the country to the south-east. It is a mystery how he came to miss the waterway Te Aumiti, but no mention is made of it. He named the wide stretch of water "Admiralty Bay", after his employers, and "the round, high islet" became Stephen's Island, after a Secretary to the Admiralty.

No Maoris were seen at this time, though the remains of a village were examined, and it was believed that it had been abandoned about a year before.

By the thirty-first the weather was fair, with moderate breezes. The men finished loading, and the ship was cleared for sea. A pleasant time was had by all during those few days, and at the end of them "Endeavour" was ready to begin her voyage home.

From the details given in this log—the compass readings, the distance from the headlands to beach, the position of "The Jags", the abundance of water and wood, easily obtained, and signs of Maori settlement, it appears that Captain Cook had cast anchor in the Cove known as Whareatea Bay. It is now mentioned in "The New Zealand Pilot" as a ship's anchorage, and coaling boats, riding empty and high out of the water on their way to the West Coast, still use it as shelter if caught by an unfavourable wind.

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In 1827 Dumont D'Urville came in "Astrolabe". He had been more successful with the natives in Golden Bay than had Tasman, and had sailed round the coast examining the southern edge of the bay. He hoped to find a gap that would give entry to Admiralty Bay without having to sail northwards round Stephen's Island. He had seen Croisilles Bay, naming it after the district in which he used to live. The name is now spelt "Croixelles" or "Croixilles". As this harbour was approached in the evening, the wind had fallen, and the ship was becalmed. In order to escape being driven by the swell upon the rocks, which are very numerous along this coastline, he had to anchor two miles south of Cape Souci. This is the southern headland of the Croisilles bay, and though shown by that name on the ordnance map, the name has been anglicised, in pronuciation at least, to Cape "Susie", calling up visions of some fair, young maiden, rather than the grim care or anxiety that D'Urville assigned to it.

Next day, "Astrolabe" made the first attempt on the narrow pass of water that separates D'Urville Island from the South Island. The tide surges through this confined space, and the mad whirlpools twist wildly as the water makes its hurried way through the narrow gap left by the reef, the bones of Te Kawau-a-Toru. In the late afternoon the ship was standing for the pass under all sail when the lookout called out a warning that the way ahead was barred with breakers. At once, not a moment lost, all sails were lowered, and the anchor dropped in mid-stream. Two boats were sent out to examine the sides of the channel. They were away for four hours. The boat which explored the southern side of the bay said that it seemed safe, but the boat from the island shore had almost been tossed on to the rocks by a very violent current.

The night was a terrifying one for the men on the corvette. The wind freshened rapidly from the north-west, and by ten o'clock it was blowing so hard that the waves swept right over the ship, covering the forecastle. When this sudden storm had passed, the sea went down and the sky cleared. Next morning it was discovered that the cable had parted, only a single anchor chain had held, and even of this anchor one fluke was broken. Had that last chain snapped, the corvette would have been swept on to that rocky coast, all lives lost.

Next morning the ship approached the Pass once more. On the left hand lay the island, covered with forest. His officers insisted that their commander should give it his own name. On the right lay the rugged cliffs and rocks, the ferny hillsides of Te Wai Pounamu. Ahead of them, visible through the Pass, lay the islands and headlands of Admiralty Bay. D'Urville says, "Such was the extraordinary spectacle that we could have enjoyed, if care of the vessel had not prevented us."

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A second attempt on the Pass also failed, as the water came "rushing through in whirpools of unbelievable violence". The vessel was swept back into Current Basin, and she spun round several times, almost grazing the rocks. It must have been a fearsome ordeal for captain and crew. However, D'Urville was not deterred. That evening he took the whale-boat and examined the Pass. It was during this visit that he decided to make the attempt at low water. In his Journal he mentions the crowds of sea-birds—cormorants, he calls them—perched on the bushes. Shades of Kawau-a-Toru!

During the next day he actually traversed the Pass in the small boat, being carried through by the tide as he was taking soundings. He was able to return at slack water.

Whilst waiting for suitable weather to make the attempt D'Urville visited the Island. His efforts to become acquainted with the natives were unsuccessful.

On January 28th he decided to make the attempt. Very early in the morning he climbed the ridge overlooking the Pass. This would be on the point where the light-house now stands, and where Kawau-a-Toru had first seen it. From the steep cliff D'Urville looked at the dangerous reef and the narrow passage below. He could not hide from himself that the enterprise might end fatally. He looked across at his beautiful ship and thought of the lives for which he was responsible. Soon they might be drowned, or at best living a miserable existence on a hostile shore. For a moment D'Urville almost gave up the idea of navigating the Pass. "Such reflections for a moment shook my resolution, but I strengthened myself shortly, and I returned aboard and decided to try my fortune".

Soon after 7 a.m. the tide was slack, and the attempt made. But as the ship approached the Pass, the wind failed, and the current caused the ship to swerve towards the reef. Twice she touched the reef, and the second time heeling over, until the crew cried out in fright. But D'Urville called out, "It is nothing, we are over it!" and in a moment they were indeed, the current dragging them off the rock, the wind freshening again and sweeping them into the calm waters of Admiralty Bay. In the wake of the ship floated bits of the false keel, detached as she struck. One can only imagine the relief of that moment.

Now D'Urville anchored in the sheltered bay now known as Catherine's Cove, a few miles south of Cook's anchorage. The peninsula that protects it from the north is called Point Bonne, anglicized now to Bonnie Point.

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Te Rauparaha

About this time Te Rauparaha was engaged in his conquest of Cook Strait. In Whareatea Bay, where Captain Cook had seen remains of Maori huts, settlements by the natives had been made at different times. On the hillsides may still be found primitive adzeheads, which must have been made a long time ago. There were remains of fires, Maori ovens, and other signs of occupancy. The most interesting feature, however, is the look-out rock two hundred yards or so above the beach. It sticks out of the slope like a stone tooth, and from the foot of it one looks up an almost vertical face. On climbing up the hill, alongside the rock, however, one comes to the upper side of the "tooth", and there in the rock, cut by some long-dead hand, are foot-holds that make it easy to climb to the top. There it is possible to sit safely, and look out over the Strait. On a clear day Kapiti Island is easily seen, a blue, shapely shadow in the far distance. Even when this slope was covered with tall trees, the look-out post would enable a sentry to see out over the treetops.

One day a warrior posted there must have seen the war canoes of Te Rauparaha coming swiftly across the water. He would rush down the hill with his warning, and the tribe would prepare for battle. But it was useless. Te Rauparaha, already well known and feared as a great fighter, and aided by a tribe from Rotorua, swept all before him, slaughtered many of the inhabitants of the Island, and made slaves of the rest. Some members of his own tribe later settled there. Then away he went to the Croisilles, and repeated the performance. In later years Te Rauparaha sold D'Urville Island to the Government agents.

H.M.S. Alligator

In 1834 H.M.S. Alligator was off the coast of Taranaki, preparing to rescue certain white people taken prisoner by the Maoris. Among these people were the wife and two children of John Guard. A gale forced the ship to leave the coast, and Guard piloted her into Port Hardy, the northernmost of the two harbours on that side of the island. The ship was there for three days. During this time the soldiers on board were put ashore for exercise and target practice. This was the first time that British troops landed on New Zealand soil. Some years ago a farmer, Mr. R. J. King-Turner, who had a property in Port Hardy, saw that a sheep had slipped down a small clay bluff, and could not get up again. Whilst going to its rescue, he found a cannon-ball, about the size of a large orange, and weighing approximately eleven pounds. Possible this was a relic of this early gun-play, a shot that had missed the target.

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In October of the same year H.M.S. Alligator was back in Port Hardy, and during this visit Lieutenant Woore completed a piece of work begun on his first visit, a survey of the harbour. A high peak on the Island is named Mt. Woore, but the majority of the names recall a great naval hero. Out in the sea at the entrance to the inlet is a tall pinnacle of rock named Nelson's Monument. The southernmost point at the entrance is called Nile Head; a near-by island called Victory appears to sail on the sea like a ship at the head of its reef, Fleet Rock. Trafalgar Point is nearby, and of course the name of the harbour itself commemorates one of Nelson's colleagues.

Greville Harbour, another good anchorage to the south of Port Hardy, was discovered in 1849 by H.M.S. Acheron, at that time employed in survey work around the coast.

Early Colonists

In 1839 Colonel Wakefield had come to New Zealand with a preliminary expedition of the New Zealand Company, and, before leaving London, had arranged January 10th, 1840, as the date for his rendezvous with the first emigrant ships. The place was Port Hardy. Wakefield did not reach the island until January 11th, but no signs of the ships were to be seen. The Colonel lit a fire on top of the highest peaks, but received no answering signal.

In a bay on the eastern shore, the Colonel saw from his hilltop a Maori village, and decided to call there. The chief was Te Whatu, who had recently, with his followers, become a Christian. He was ill with lung trouble, which since the advent of the white man, had become very prevalent among the Maoris. At this time the tribe was fairly prosperous, having cleared a sloping piece of land where they grew potatoes, selling the surplus to the whalers at Te Awaite.

Near the native settlement lived a whaler named James McKenzie McLaren. He had a native wife, and is the first permanent white settler of whom there is any record in the Nelson Province. Colonel Wakefield was anxious to return to Port Nicholson, so he asked McLaren to keep watch for the ships from England, and direct them to that place on their arrival at the rendezvous. McLaren agreed to do this, but did not put himself out very much. A passenger in the ship "Oriental" describes the arrival at Port Hardy and says that they were waiting there almost a week before McLaren appeared with the Colonel's message. It was February 1st when the settlers finally reached Port Nicholson.

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McLaren lived on the Island until 1846, and then moved to Croisilles Harbour. Just before leaving D'Urville Island he built a small coaster of about twenty-five tons, the "Ocean Queen". The Nelson Examiner describes her as "a smart little craft". In spite of the far from easy conditions of living he had a long and busy life. The report of his death appeared in the "Examiner" in December 19th, 1894. He was in his eighty-fifth year. His grave is still to be seen in Croisilles Harbour, and his name is pereptuated in peak and bay.

Since the days of McLaren large areas of the Island have been cleared of bush or scrub, and have been turned into good sheep farms. Families named Hope, Woodman, King-Turner, Leov and Moleta have at various times taken up land there. The older members of the last named family, two brothers, came from the island of Stromboli, and had interesting stories to tell of their life there. On D'Urville Island the homesteads were far apart, and were sometimes isolated by bad weather, but at least there was no danger of red-hot volcanic rocks being hurled into the back yard.

The bush on the island is very extensive and very beautiful. The best way to see it is to climb one of the peaks, thus seeing the changes that take place in the bush itself as higher levels are reached. Mount Ears gives an interesting climb, with a splendid outlook from the top. Crossing the stream on the northern boundary of Whareatea Bay, where Captain Cook filled his water barrels, one climbs up the steep slope to the top of Simmonds Point. Now the climb becomes a scramble up the hillside, through bush consisting of a great variety of trees, bushes, and climbing plants, the kind we usually think of as "New Zealand Bush", the kind that gets its photograph in the papers. The soil is rich and loose under foot, the nursery of ferns and little orchids, and, under the thrust-up roots of trees, patches of scarlet toadstools. The tree-ferns at this level are the pungas. When this tree has finished with its old fronds, it hangs them, brown and dry, down the tree trunk in the untidiest fashion. Higher still we go, across a small hollow where sawyers were working once. As we climb, we find another variety of tree-fern making its appearance. This one nips off the unwanted fronds as soon as it has had enough of them, leaving only a neat horse-shoe scar on the trunk.

Now the mixed bush is giving way to birch trees, and whereas the vegetation lower down the slope was full of wild life, noisy with constant movement of birds and small creatures, in the birch bush silence reigns. The light is not so good here, either, and the dimness adds to the eerieness.

As we climb above twelve hundred feet, the large trees give way to smaller growths, red beech and manuka, and once having pushed page 21our way through that we come out up a gentler slope with the top of the hill in sight. Here once grew stunted manuka, but it has been caught in a fire, and only the white rain-washed skeletons of the bushes remain. The shrubs appear to have grown fairly straight for a height of about two feet and then the wind, fairly constant at that altitude, caused the branch to grow at right angles to the trunk, all pointing up hill. White as they are, growing in that particular fashion, they give the impression of a frozen wind. Having pushed our way through this strange Lilliputian grove, past pools of brown spring water, we come to the top of the hill, fifteen hundred feet above the sea, carpeted with short grass, adorned with flat rosettes of rock plants, clinging for dear life in the face of the wind.

As we stand on the top of Mount Ears, much of the island can be seen. To the north is the long ridge that ends, miles away, in Cape Stephens. Off the Cape, surrounded by rocks, lies that "round, high islet" that Tasman saw, and which Cook named Stephen's Island. Now it has a light-house on it, and four families live there. There is no easy way up to those houses on the top, and every piece of equipment, every mouthful of food, has to be taken up on a hoist. During the last war Stephen's Island was an important signal station, guarding the western entrance to Cook Strait.

The northern end of D'Urville Island has been cleared, and is good sheep country for the hard breed that runs there. Over to the west, fifteen hundred feet below, lie the shelly bays, the yellow cliffs of Port Hardy. To the east the waters of Admiralty Bay lie strewn with rocks and islands, where the sea leaves a white fringe. The depths of the green water, the deep purples and blue, are stained here and there with yellow where a hillside has slipped some of its clay banks into the sea.

To the south of our outlook lie tier upon tier of bush-covered hills. Beyond the bush there is more cleared sheep country, but it is out of sight, round Greville Harbour and the other coast that looks across Golden Bay. The rocks fringe that side of the island too, and the cliffs are very high and sheer.

And so there lies this green island, the scene of important landmarks in New Zealand history, clothed with the pleasant green of the bush, and swept perpetually around its shore by the enriched green of the sea.