Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People
Roads, Tracks, &c
Roads, Tracks, &c.
Considering the very rocky nature of the island, the people are deserving of praise for the main road round the island, which passes page break page 9 through eight of the eleven villages. Its length is between 35 and 38 miles, and is suitable for wheeled traffic except in two places where it ascends from the lower terrace to the plateau. The greater part of its length is under the shade of the forest, either of coco-nut or the rao-motua, and is therefore pleasant to travel in hot weather. Occasionally it is very pretty. As a rule this main road (hala-tu) runs very direct from point to point, a remark which equally applies to the minor tracks (hala, or puhala). These latter are all available for horse traffic, but are frequently exceeding rocky. There are horse tracks of this nature leading into Alofi from Hakupu, Liku, and Lakepa. It is said they follow the old war trails used by the kau-tau, or war parties, of former days. The track from Alofi to Liku has been converted into a carriage-way for three-fourths of its length by the energy of the Liku people. It passes the old settlement (māga) of Palūki, which appears at one time to have been the residence of the kings, and is often mentioned in the songs. There are but two vehicles (a buggy and a cart) on the island, but horses are numerous—very sorry steeds generally speaking, which have mostly been introduced from Tonga. Roads are made by the combined efforts of the different villages, but in modern times offenders against the law are required to work out their sentences on the roads.