The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62
Hot Lakes District
Hot Lakes District.
Rising rapidly from Pohui, we ascend the Titrokura Range, over a road where the metal varies in size from a man's head to a prize pumpkin, and are rewarded on the top by a distant view of Napier. The descent is romantic, but the beauty of the scenery is marred by the economical road metal, which gives the coach a motion page 56 perhaps good for the liver, but nevertheless decidedly unpleasant. Another hill is climbed, and another rapid descent, bringing us to the Mohaka River, which is crossed close to a waterfall some 20 or 30 feet high. From this point the scenery is of the most striking description, especially when the descent of the Turangakuma is reached, where the view baffles description. In a short space of some twenty minutes a descent of 3,520 feet is made, the distance being four miles, and the road zigzaging sharply, but being dexterously negotiated by our cool Jehu. The distant steep mountain sides clothed in shaggy woods, the strange shaped hill tops, and conical peaks pass before the eye in grand panoramic order, while the silver waters of a streamlet glisten in the dark hollow below. Again we ascend towards Horato, facing the Maori Pah and Old Block House, perched on the highest coign of vantage, and again descend, crossing the Saddle and Stony Creek, viewing the Waipanga River, and soon reaching Tarawera, the resting place for the first night. Starting again in the morning, after more ascents, descents, and zigzags, we enter the cool grateful foliage of the Pakeramu Bush, and after a final descent find ourselves on the arid pumice plains of Kaingaroa. These extend for thirty miles along our road to Taupo, the most marked feature in the beginning of our course being the mountains of Tauhara (the lone lover). After refreshment at the half-way house at Rangitaiki, we are again whirled onwards, now catching sight of the towering forms of snow-capped Ruapehu and burning Tongario, with here and there a glimpse of