Voices from Auckland, New Zealand.
The Kaipara Estuary is an inland sea, into which the rivers Wairoa, Otamatea, Oruawharo, Hotea and Kaipara emerge, flowing respectively from the north, east, south-east, and southward. There is a clear channel, with 51/2 fathoms low water at the entrance of the harbour, and deep water inside the heads, with sheltered space for any number of vessels to lie in at anchor. The Wairoa river is navigable for about 20 miles for vessels of large tonnage; and above that for 30 miles more for coasters. From near Mangawhare, about 40 miles from the Heads, the banks become clothed with page 29forest until near the source of the stream, which extends in all its windings for about 100 miles. The river is deep and smooth, with the forest rising at once from its margin. Sawing and timber-squaring stations are interspersed along its course, and a very large extent of available land lies in the vicinity of Wairoa river and its branch, the Monganui, along valleys towards the Tangihua range, and in the direction of the east coast.
The harbour and creeks of Kaipara cannot have less than 300 miles of water-board. Along this extent of frontage there is a great extent of poor land, and much that will for a long time be only serviceable for timber-cutting and cattle-grazing purposes. About the entrance of the harbour the cliffs are of a similar geological character—tertiary clay rock—to those near Auckland; but, instead of having a surface covering of rich volcanic soil, exhibit only a white clay, with a thin soil and stunted vegetation. In the hollows, where the soil has accumulated from the washing of the hill sides, the ground is more fertile, but there is not much that is attractive about the lower part of the estuary. Up the arms of the harbour the case is different, and there is much good land on each river.
The best site for a settlement appears to be about Toka Toka, on the Wairoa, and thence, to the eastward, upon the Monganui branch. Up the Arohawa and the Otamatea there is good land; and a fine country extends from the Oruawharo towards the Hotea, and eastward, to Pakiri, on the opposite coast, forming an excellent and extensive cattle country, with some good valleys for cultivation.
There is very hilly and broken land about Kaipara, but the district is so extensive that good land also abounds, and water communication is everywhere available.
Kaipara should be settled, not by occasionally arriving and casual immigrants, but by a body of settlers locating themselves at once at Toka Toka, or some other good situation, and affording to each other the advantages of society and mutual support. Their first supplies should be drawn from Sydney, and arrangements could easily be made to send back the vessel laden with timber from some of the existing stations on the Wairoa. The eventual increase of cattle might be driven overland to Auckland, but for other produce the Australian market should be depended on. There are easy means of communication with Auckland by boating, up the rivers, and by bridle-paths; but the conveyance of produce except by sea is not to be thought of. Kaipara, however, as a district, is quite sufficiently large and attractive to be the seat of an important settlement, independent of the capital.page 30
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There are also large blocks, amounting to perhaps 207,000 acres, in the hands of private individuals, These, although not available to the immigrant holding a land order, nor frequently to be purchased at auction sales, must yet be taken into account, in reference to the eligibility of the district for general settlement, as they would very soon become improved and producing lands, if a population were located at Kaipara and labour became plentiful.