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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

The Tourists' Paradise

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The Tourists' Paradise.

Modes of Travel.

New Zealand has justly been called the Tourists' Paradise. To reach it a sea voyage of considerable magnitude has to be undertaken, and continued with intermissions during the tour. Then there are journeys by rail, by coach, by boat, on horseback, afoot, pickaback, and by Maori canoe. The scenery is as varied as the variety in methods of travel, from the perpetual ice and snow of the Southern Alps to the hot springs and lakes of the northern central regions, and again to the verdant subtropical valleys of the district lying nearest to the Torrid Zone.

The Bluff.

Assuming that the tourist has arrived at the Bluff, which is the most southerly harbour in the colony, on landing the train proceeds a distance of seventeen miles to


the principal town of this part of the provincial district of Otago (formerly know as Southland). No doubt great surprise is felt on viewing the splendid streets of one and two chains wide, with substantial buildings, such as banks, hotels, churches, and shops. Here also are trams, evidence of modern civilisation; the business premises are also connected by telephone. The streets are named after Scotch rivers, Tay, Dee, Don, Spey, &c. Leaving by early train for Kingstown, the terminus of the line at Lake Whakatipu, we pass Lumsden, from whence a start may, be made for Lake Te Anan, whence a newly discovered track leads to Milford Sound, so justly celebrated for its wondrous scenery, which includes the great Sutherland falls.

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Arrived at Kingston, after a journey of 104 miles, the tourist may proceed at once to Queenstown, which is twenty-two miles away across the lake, or remain at the hotel. The lake used to overflow at Kingston, but some ten or twelve years ago a flood occurred which inundated the streets of Queenstown and carried away a shingle bank at Frankton, some thirty miles from Kingston, where the overflow has since taken place. From this point, as from all other places on the Cold Lakes, numerous tracks run up the mountain slopes, and from the summits splendid views of lake and mountain scenery may ever be had. Here, and generally in these lakes and the creeks which feed them, grand fishing may be indulged in by the sportsman, as salmon and trout up to 32lb weight may be hooked and landed. Duck shooting may also be had, to say nothing of rabbits, which maybe seen in abundance and shot ad libitum.


Taking steamer by the Whakatipu S.S. Co's Mountaineer, which paddles her way over the dark waters of the lake, we look on either side and judge the hills, as they appear to be about a stone's throw away. We declare if we had a stone we could throw it ashore, but are undeceived by observing how slowly we pass the points of land, which are really about four miles away from us, the so-called hills being only 6,000 or 7,000 feet high. As we approach Queenstown, the rays of the setting sun light up the rugged peaks of the Remarkables, which rise at Double Cone to an altitude of 7,688 feet above the sea and 6,620 above the level of the lake, patches of snow lying even in summer in nooks on their sides. We pass also pretty wooded bays and grassy slopes; heaving the lead, we find there is 1,400 feet of water, the bottom being thus over 300 feet below the mean level of the sea. Sundry daily excursions may be made from this quiet little town, such as to the waterworks at One Mile Creek, Frankton Falls, Shotover Gorge, Arrowtown, Skippers, or the

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Ascent of Ben Lomond.

This latter is the feat par excellence, which should not be omitted, as only four hours is occupied even by ladies in making the ascent. From this lofty summit, 5,747 feet, there is a magnificent view of lake, glen, and mountain. To the east lie the deep gorges of the Shotover, famous for its gold, the fertile lands on the Arrow River and round Lake Hayes, the Crown Terrace with its shining fields of wheat, while in the far distance is Leaning Rock, on the Dunstan Range. Northward are the peaks of Mounts Larkins, Aurum, and many others, with Moke Lake, calm and placid as a mirror in the foreground below us. Looking west the Richardson Mountains extend with a succession of rugged snow-capped peaks of from 6,000 to 8,000 feet high, while southwards lies the pretty little town from which we have come, with the Remarkables, forming the background. Then we must visit


at the head of the lake, and note the wondrous scenery on the way. Here rise Mount Crichton and Stone Peak, each 6,000 and 7,000 feet high, while here and there are little flats occupied by the miner or woodcutter for his hut. Then, on the other hand, in the distance are the grassy slopes revealing the valleys of the Von and the Greenstone, and at the head the Humboldt Mountains, which rise almost perpendicularly to a height of 8,100 feet at Mount Bonpland, down whose foaming sides cascades may be observed shining in the sun's rays as they hurry precipitately to add to the dark, cold waters of the lake. As we proceed the mighty now-clad head of

Mount Earnslaw

comes prominently into view, the great glacier sparkling on its bosom, 9,168 feet above the sea. We must try the ascent, and on arrival at Glenorchy, a ride of twelve miles over a good road, brings us to the gorge, and following the left bank of the Rees River, here over shingle flats, there through birch groves which stretch away on either hand up the steep sides of the ranges, we page 45 pass the Lennox Fall, which leaps out of the dark green forest over a black precipice, which is fringed with delicate ferns and mosses. Now we must abandon our horses, and, shouldering our swags, toilfully ascend through the forest so as to camp on the plateau at the foot of the Birley Glacier. We make ourselves as comfortable as possible, and, disregarding the thunder of descending avalanches in distant ravines, we sleep the sleep of the wearied. Refreshed, next morning we continue the climb; long snow grass impedes our action, but patches of the mountain lily relieve the tedium with beauty and sweetness. We reach an ice platform 8,000 feet above the sea, and must abandon the other 1,200 feet, not being equipped with alpine gear. The scene is one of wondrous beauty; looking away from the rocks, ice and alpine plants surrounding us, we see glittering ice-covered peaks and domes of glacier formation. There are numbers of points of interest besides Mount Earnslaw, such as Diamond Lake and several charming valleys, but we must return by our steamer to Queenstown, and pass on to the glories of

Mount Aspiring.

Next day we start by Cobb's coach, securing, of course, the coveted box seat, skirting the waters of Lake Whakatipu, past the overflow at Kawarau Falls, we pass through lovely scenery along Lake Hayes. Thence, ascending again, we cross the fertile Crown Terrace and Range, whence a wondrous view of Mount Aspiring is obtained, and drop down into the Cardrona Valley, and speedily arrive at Pembroke, on Roy's Bay, Lake Wanaka. This lake is considered the most beautiful of all, and as we note the magic transformation made by the rays of the now setting sun on the tops of the towering mountains which environ the lake we consider ourselves in a veritable fairy land. Resting and contemplating the beauties of the lake, we plan an excursion to the vicinity of the notable Mount Aspiring, 9,960 feet above sea level. We have a ride of twenty-five miles up the valley of the Matukituki River, and now view the snow fields and glaciers of the mountain in their splendour and beauty. The nearer and smaller ranges are covered with the dark beauty of the dense forest, behind them rises the giant peak of the mountain, solitary and lone, inaccessible, and culminating page 46 in a pinnacle of rock so perpendicular that not even snow and ice can rest there. Below this steeple-like apex are numerous glaciers, whitish-blue in colour, but cracked and torn with fissures.

We ascend the western branch of the river, and find nature at work in one of her awful moods. Almost above us the great shoulders of Aspiring, below which are almost precipitate cliffs of some thousands of feet in length, but capped with blue glaciers 30 to 40 feet in thickness, beneath which emerge waterfalls and cascades which dash foaming midst rainbow glints into the dark foliage of the forest below. Here and there the colour of the margin of the bush is broken by the resistless avalanche, which tears up and tosses aside as matchwood the giants of the forest steep. While generally surrounding our vantage ground the boom and din of falling glaciers, crashing rocks, crumbling boulders, and the roar of rushing waters almost bewilders. We return to our hotel at Pembroke awed with the grandeur and majesty of the Mountain King.

West Coast Sound.

Our course now lies by coach journey of 152 miles through the mining districts of Cromwell, Clyde, and Naseby to Palmerston, whence we have a three hours run by train to Dunedin, capital city of Otago, and considered the finest commercial city of the colony. Here a rest of a few days may well be taken while the tourist waits for the sailing of the s.s. Tarawcra on her West Coast Sound trip, which occupies eight or nine days, the steamer nightly anchoring in the calm deep waters of these inland arms of the sea, which wind among towering peaks for many miles. They strongly resemble the fiords of Norway, are very deep, and by reason of the precipitous mountains that rise from the water's edge exhibit some of the grandest scenery of the world. Day by day the steamer anchors in the various sounds, such as Preservation Inlet, Dusky Sound, Wet Jacket Arm, Milford Sound, and Doubtful Inlet, all which are teeming with sights worthy of the more notable scenery of Europe. The marvels of the Mitre Peak, the Bowen, and Sutherland Falls cannot be accurately described in word pictures, they must be seen to be fully appreciated.

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As we stand upon the steamer's deck an endless variety of scene passes before us like a panorama. Snow-capped summits, giant rocks, ranges clothed with dark green foliage, relieved by countless cascades and waterfalls, pass in rapid succession. Ashore where we land at one place or another are strange birds, as the kiwi, kakapo, and penguin, while fish of infinite variety are at home in the deep waters. We return filled with admiration at the endless variation in the landscape we have gazed upon.

Mount Cook.

Our next trip must be to the grandest old mountain of New Zealand, Mount Cook, whose snow-clad sides and heights may be seen for hundreds of miles. We embark on the New Zealand Government Railway at Dunedin, and, having secured for our party a carriage of the latest design, and which is simply luxurious, we have a pleasant journey of 120 miles, accomplished in seven hours to Timaru. Putting up at a commodious hotel, we start early next morning for Fairlie Creek, a distance of thirty-seven and a half miles, occupying two hours and three-quarters by rail. This is by far the easiest and most expeditious way of reaching this region. Speedily seated behind four spanking greys, comfortably ensconced in our rugs, we are bowling over a smooth gravel road on our way to Aorangi (the cloud-piercer). Arriving at Lake Tekapo we alight, and stretch our limbs preparatory to partaking of a good lunch at the half-way house. The calm placid waters of the lake reflect the dark and light outlines of the mountain chains in the background, and the fleecy clouds above them.

We change horses, and dash away over the dreary yellow wastes of the McKenzie Plains, and as the sun sets we sight the waters of Lake Pukaki, on whose banks our hotel is situate. As we alight from our long ride of fifty-six miles, we see far up the valley rising from the Tasman Flats, the great mass of Mount Cook. After a hearty though homely tea, we stroll out in the moonlight to have a further look at the grand old mountain, and the lake at our feet. A brief walk satisfies us, as we are tired by our journey, and speedily we retire for the night, and are safe in the arms of Morpheus. Next morning, refreshed by our repose, we breakfast early, and are page 48 speedily on the road again. We soon arrive at the ferry of the Pukaki River, where a wire rope stretches across, the boat being worked by the current. Our road lies over the tussocky downs of a sheep run till we enter the bed of an old river which has ceased to flow, probably owing to the diminution of the Tasman Glacier. Up this river bed the road is formed by utilising an old bullock dray track, and the engineer has succeeded well if his object was to make the road long and rough. An amusing story is told by the driver of a tourist, who excitedly asked the Jehu to pull up, and, dismounting, took a close scrutiny of the construction of the vehicle. On being asked what was the matter, he replied, "0h, nothing; I merely wished to see if your wheels were square." A good few of the tourists are apt to come to a similar conclusion before this spot is safely left behind. There is no half-way house at which we can lunch on the trip from Lake Pukaki to the Hermitage, so we rest at a little patch of scrub close to a clear stream of water, and eat our sandwiches quietly at the dog's grave, which was erected in memory of a favourite who met an untimely death, and has been honoured with a tombstone, epitaph and railed fence.

As we proceed we get grand views of Aorangi, St. David's Dome, De la Beche, and Elie de Beaumont, and as we approach the Hermitage, a distant view of the Tasman Glacier is obtained, and we also can make out the white ice of the Hochstetter coming down into it from the left of Mount Cook. The Hermitage is nicely situated at the foot of the Moraine of the Mueller Glacier, now covered with bush, and from the windows the steep sides of Mount Sefton, with its wondrous hanging glaciers, are plainly seen. The Mueller and Hooker Glaciers are within easy reach of the hotel, while further a field is the Great Tasman and Murchison Glaciers. It would be impossible to describe the scenery of the various excursions available to the tourist from this interesting spot, where large glaciers run down to within 2,000 feet of the sea level, while luxuriant vegetation, native trees, bright with blossoms, a wealth of fern and alpine flowers all conspire to delight and cheer the visitor. But we must join in an excursion to the wonders of the Ice King, so with tents, ice axes, sleeping bags, and provisions, we start off. We are speedily on the banks of the Hooker River, which roars over its loose boulders and dashes page 49 itself savagely into foam. Means are provided for crossing the tumultuous waters—a wire rope has been stretched from bank to bank, high up, and on this rope a narrow cage dangles over the fearful torrent. Seated herein we resolutely forget our nerves, and pull on the rope, by which we draw ourselves steadily over to the opposite side in safety, and give a sigh of relief accordingly. We have much toiling and climbing and many experiences; our labours are, however, rewarded by the most charming sights, and our rest in our sleeping bags, under the tent, is undisturbed, even by the rattling of the avalanches.

We now stand on the Great Tasman Glacier, which is the largest in New Zealand, being 18 miles long, with an average width of I mile II chains—above us the gleaming ice slopes and dark precipices of Mount Cook, which culminates in a tent-shaped ridge, 8,000 feet higher than where we stand. The Hochsteller Glacier is, perhaps, the grandest of the sights to be seen in these southern alps. It issues (says Ross) forth from the great ice plateau at the foot of the precipices of Mount Cook, descending in a wonderful cascade of broken ice 4,000 feet high. Down from the great ice plateau, between the south-eastern spur of Mount Cook and the Tasman Spur, the Hochsteller icefall poured its beautifully-coloured cascade of broken ice in spires, and tubes, and pinnacles. Every few moments great masses of ice were broken off, and went thundering down the steep declivities and awful precipices below. We are surrounded with marvellous peaks and glaciers too numerous and beautiful for particularisation. We leave this wondrous region by a different route. Taking a buggy, we drive past the lovely scenery of Lake Ben Ohan and the mountains of that name, and arrive at Omarama, and from thence by coach to Kurow, whence by train we arrive at Oamaru,

The White City.

After a pleasant stay of a day or two we again join the express, and proceed to Christchurch, the City of the Plains, a journey of 152 miles, where


we arrive shortly before 9 p.m. A few days may be page 50 happily spent in exploring the rich level country surrounding the Cathedral City; then we start for the

Hanmer Plains Hot Springs.

Travelling by train to Culverden, we cross, the great rivers Waimakariri and Ashley, and pass through the towns of Kaiapoi, Rangiora, and Amberley and the splendid country surrounding them. Arrived at Culverden, the twenty-four miles remaining are covered by coaching, during which we cross the Wairau River by a magnificent iron suspension bridge. Arrived, we have our choice of two good hotels, either of which is about two miles from the springs, to and from which horses and buggies are supplied. The springs vary from 90 degrees to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and possess healing qualities of considerable extent. Four splendid baths have been constructed, to which the hot water from these wonderful overflowing springs is laid on as well as cold water. There is also a large swimming bath. The site is 1,200 feet above the sea level, the air bracing and cooling, affording a charming health resort for the denizens of the vast plains. Returning to Christchurch, the next trip comprises the journey from Canterbury to

The West Coast

and northwards, which includes scenery not to be surpassed by the more frequented grandeurs of this hemisphere. Leaving Christchurch, the plains are traversed for some forty miles past numbers of smiling homesteads until the Government Railway Terminus at Springfield is reached. Here the experienced traveller makes himself comfortable by enjoying a hearty dinner, and soon after the coach journey is begun. After eight miles across the plains the Kowai River is crossed and the Porter's Pass Hotel is reached. A steady climb of an hour on an excellently graded road raises us 1,500 feet, and we reach the top of the pass, 4,000 feet above the level of the sea. The highest telegraph post in New Zealand is here pointed out, not that it is longer than others, but its elevated position leads to a casual interest. On the right the grand old Mount Torlesse stands some 7,000 or 8,000 feet above the sea. The road now passes Lake Lyndon, a small sheet of water which abounds in game of all page 51 sorts. A run of some four miles brings the coach to the Seven Springs, where the first change of horses takes place, and in another three or four miles Castle Hill is reached, where a light luncheon of scones and tea employs the hungry. The wild and uninteresting scenery of this part of the route is here and there relieved by occasional peeps through the hills, of the snow-capped summits towards which we are travelling in the land of the Southern Alps. A few miles beyond Castle Hill is Craigieburn, where the next change of horses is made, and near by is the charming Lake Pearson, famous for the manner in which its calm waters reflect the adjacent slopes. From the lake we pass the Grassmere Station and the Cass, and turn into the Upper Waimakariri cutting, which seems as if it were carved out of the face of a precipice, and is grand and terrible by the light of the newly-risen moon. Below us the dark waters of the gloomy river stretch in dismal shadow, while on the other side of the wide stretch of water nearly a mile in bredth, can be seen grassy slopes flanked with dark masses of the mountain ranges.

Following the course of the Waimakariri the Bealey Hotel is found, and after resting for the night we are early on board next morning. The river is soon crossed and the Bealey Valley entered, the mists of early morning still lingering on the mountain sides and the dark foliage of the timber affording a sombre contrast. As the coach winds alongside the Bealey River the valley narrows considerably, and we note a silver streak, which relieves the dark hill sides here and there, indicating a waterfall. In crossing the Black Bridge, which, by the way, is now painted white, two famous waterfalls are in sight, the one known as "The Devil's Punch Bowl" leaps from a narrow gorge in the mountains for 500 feet before falling into its basin, while the "Bridal Veil" has a fall of about 350 feet. The ascent to the celebrated "Arthur's Pass," or Otira Gorge, now commences in good earnest. On the left is Mount Rolleston with its terrible precipices, glaciers, and snow fields towering up 9,400 feet above sea-level. Reaching the apex of the Pass the tourist has now arrived at the boundary line between Canterbury and Westland, the point being 3,400 feet high. From this spot a wondrous view lies before his enraptured eyes: the celebrated Otira Gorge is in full view, its rugged sides thickly clothed with bush, looking as if a mountain had page 52 been rent in twain. Beyond tower the snow-capped Alps, and far beneath us, thousands of feet below, roars the Otira river, splashing, boiling, and churning its waters amongst the rugged rocks which stem its progress and mark its course till lost in the bush below.

Ahead the road is hardly visible, winding and twisting zigzag fashion—here among vast boulders, there crossing a ledge of rock cut into the side of a giddy precipice. But cheerily down the grade goes the coach, until in seventeen minutes a descent of miles and 1,200 feet has been safely accomplished. Then crossing two bridges at the mouth of the Gorge, the Otira Hotel is reached, and a welcome breakfast is announced as already on the table. After starting again, we cross the Otira River, and have a run through densely wooded country, containing splendid specimens of New Zealand forest trees; past the Kelly ranges, we enter the Teremakau Valley, and the changing stables at the Taipo are in sight, Mount Alexander being passed on the right. Crossing over a fine cylinder bridge, the road lies through a lovely bush, with giant ferns overshadowing the road, and Kumara, the first West Coast town, is speedily entered. At Kumara the tram line to Greymouth branches off, the Teremakau River being crossed in a cage on wire ropes, a steam engine being used for the purpose. The coach rattles on a few miles further, going through the somewhat quaint little villages of Stafford and Goldsborough, and arriving at Hokitika, the chief town of Westland, before 6 p.m. After listening to the thunder of the surf on the Hokitika bar and beach, and taking another look at the glories of Mount Cook, which may be plainly seen on a bright day, we take coach again, and passing back to Kumara, enjoy the glories of the New Zealand bush, as we ride along the tramway leading to Greymouth. We cross

The Teremakau,

like Mahomet's coffin, suspended betwixt heaven and earth, and almost touching the foaming torrent, we are safely drawn up on the other side. Taking a hasty survey of


the centre of the coal trade on this coast, we experience the "barber," a wind which draws down the Grey Valley page 53 with such force, that it is delivered in a state more resembling the East winds of England, than any we have experienced before or since, hence it gets this name, the insinuation being that shaving is rendered unnecessary thereby. Passing along the Government line of railway to Brunnerton (the mining township or coalopolis), we proceed by the Midland Railway Company's line (which is to be continued through to Canterbury on the one hand and Nelson on the other) to


a rich quartz reefing township, which lights up by electric light. Next morning we resume our coaching journey northwards, fording the great Inangahua River, which is sometimes attended with danger owing to the sudden swellings caused by the melting snows. About mid-day we rest and dine at the half-way house at the junction of the Inangahua and Buller Rivers. Thence we have most wonderful scenery, as we travel down the banks of the latter river, till the ferry is reached, the coach and horses driving straight on, and being safely conveyed over by the action of the current. Arriving, we refresh ourselves at one of the excellent hotels at


and may take a trip up the Dennister Hill, to contemplate the views, and see the mines of the gold township of Charleston or elsewhere. Again returning up the Buller Gorge, we pass the little village of Lyell, carved out of the side of one of the steep declivities which abound in this mountainous region, on the banks of its watercourses. Alter a delightful journey of two days we emerge from the wooded ranges, into the charming seclusion of Nelson, the garden of New Zealand. Situated in a pleasant sheltered position, having good soil and almost perpetual sunshine, the product of which is a wealth of vegetation, of which its residents have not been slow to take advantage, every dwelling has its adjacent garden. Nelson has many attractions and a few days can be very pleasantly spent in visiting Zig-zag Hill, Victory Square, Trafalgar Park, and the public buildings of the city, together with numerous points of interest, within a few miles. Leaving by steamer for

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we pass up Blind Bay through the beautiful French Pass and into Queen Charlotte Sound, at the head of which is situate the snug little port of Picton, the principal port of Marlborough Provincial District. We have an hour to look at the town and its surroundings, and thence proceed to cross the proverbially rough passage over Cook Straits. In five hours we are entering the heads of Port Nicholson, on which is situate Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. We cannot rush away without doing the town thoroughly, but must not dwell -on its points of interest, as time will not permit of our doing so.


We may now proceed overland to Palmerston North, a rising township around which is a fine farming country, and thence through the Rangitikei to Wanganui and on to Taranaki, where we may enjoy another of New Zealand's gardens. We may also have a trip up the grand old Mount Egmont, 8,270 feet high, from whose rugged sides the most perfect views of land and sea may be obtained. Many days could be profitably employed in visiting the charming districts of this fertile portion of New Zealand, and in observing the Maori at home at such places as Opunake and Parihaka, the latter being the seat of Te Whiti, the Maori prophet, who was the last to give the Government trouble by his fanaticism, and the influence he exerted on those who used to Flock to his periodical meetings. But we must hurry back to Palmerston North, and proceed through the celebrated Manawatu Gorge. The journey is now made by the newly-finished con-connecting line of railway between the Hawkes Bay and the Wanganni Sections. The gorge is full of beautiful scenery of wooded hill, narrow defile and river view, but much of its beauty has been destroyed by the construction of the iron road, along which we are now travelling. One of the steep wooded banks of this grand river has had its wealth of dark green ruthlessly broken up by the cuttings, embankments, and tunnels made for the free action of the iron horse. We have now arrived at Woodville, the old termini of the Napier-Woodville section, situate in the Forty Mile Bush, which contains a vast quantity of splendid timber country, which, when page 55 cleared, becomes grand pastoral land. We have now a run of 94 miles by rail through the settlements of Danevirke, Kaikora, Waipawa, and others, till we come into the charmingly rich country of Hawkes Bay Provincial District. The capital city is


about 8,000 in population, delightfully situated on and around a limestone hill which affords variety of choice for its residents to select from, and on which to build their residences. Resting here a few days we may start on our grand

North Island Tour.

The splendid coaching accommodation now offers the maximum of comfort with the minimum of fatigue. Leaving in the early morning the coach proceeds to the Spit, the port, whence a drive of a few miles brings us to the pretty little village of Petane. Thence the road lies up the luxuriant Petane Valley, crossing the river of the same name no less than twenty-four times. Leaving this lovely river the coach crosses the Kaiwhaka Creek almost an equal number of times, and then ascends the Rangipapa Range, the road, here a narrow siding with steep banks, descending abruptly to the creek bed below, there bending elbowlike round a wooded gully and descending nearly in an opposite direction. From the top of the Rangipapa a capital view is obtained of the Kaimaniwha Ranges, followed by a descent full of elbows and zigzags, bringing us past the Pohui Lake, a pretty little sheet of water where a small pleasure yacht floats at rest. The halting place at Pohui is then reached, where we are regaled with good things, and are soon again on the move towards the celebrated

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

Lake Taupo

at their feet. A gradual descent of about eleven miles bring us to the lake, and after completing over 100 miles in clouds of dust, the attention and refreshment offered at the hotel are very grateful. Soon we sally forth to do the lions. The "Crow's Nest" is first visited, an exhibition in the shape of a geyser sixty feet high. Other points of interest are "The Devil's Punch Bowl," "Witches' Cauldron," "Porridge Pot," Little Crow's Nest," and "Big Ben," all wonders of various kinds filled with boiling water or mud from mother earth's subterranean cooking range. These wonders are all situate on the banks of the Waikato River, which takes its rise in the lake, and page 57 are within easy reach of the tourist, either riding, driving or afoot.

Huka Falls.

Next morning we visit the celebrated Huka Falls, where the newly-formed Waikato River dashes roaring, foaming, thundering through a narrow channel, which its waters have worn for themselves in a mass of rocks, whence they emerge in a wild cataract. Leaving this grand sight, we drive on to the wondrous

Valley of Wairakei,

where we could enjoy the luxury of a swim in the hot bath, and by way of variety an immediate change into one that is deliciously cold. This is but an introduction to the wonders of this Wizard's Vale. As we cautiously pick our way along the fern track leading up the valley, we see steam issuing in puffs in all directions. Presently we come suddenly upon a mud volcano, which bubbles more or less continually, but occasionally throws up boiling mud for some feet. Then we come upon sundry geysers which play intermittently to a considerable height; one known as the Whistler makes a distinct whistling sound when in action; others are marvellous for the encrustations which are formed upon the stones, branches, and twigs, upon which they act. Then we are led to the steam hammer. We are shown a mild-looking and not over clear little lake, and are invited to stand and listen for the hammer. Suddenly a loud thud like the violent falling of some unfortunate individual from an elevation occurs, then another and another, while the very ground we stand upon vibrates as if shaken by an earthquake. These are followed by some moments of profound silence, then the hammer proceeds as before to give these intermittent blows. No one can satisfactorily explain how the sounds are produced, but the fact remains, and many superstitious tourists have taken to their heels fearing the presence of the evil one. The whole valley abounds in steam jets, fumaroles, solfataras, and geysers, but perhaps the most beautiful and remarkable is the Champagne Pool and Tuhuatahi Terrace. The latter presents in miniature the character of the marvellously curious and beautiful terraces which, however, perished in the unfortunate volcanic disturbance of June 10th, 1886.

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Although this generation may never again behold wonders on so large a scale as were the pink and white terraces there are here and there dotted about this northern wonderland, sundry terraces in course of formation, and, perhaps, one of the most beautiful is the Tuhuatahi Terrace, on which I have stood and gazed into the glistening depths of the Champagne Pool. The waters appeared constantly sparkling, and exhibiting many varied and lovely colours, while again and again the thermal action below would force up the surface into one boiling fountain several feet high, followed by a cloud of steam. Then there are numerous other wonders which time will not permit of a description, such as the Great Wairakei Sulphur Pool, the Heron's Nest, the Petrifying Geyser, Nya Mahanga (the twins), Prince of Wales' Feather, the Boilers, the Funnel, the Eagles' Nest, the White Springs, and last, but not least, the Donkey Engine. Another wonderful valley is the Wai-o-tapu, which cannot be excelled for the marvels in number and variety of its hot springs, the brilliant colouring of its lakes, the exquisite loveliness and charming weirdness of its geyser-terraced cauldrons, the satanic horrors of its endless fumaroles, which seeth and screech incessantly, the dazzling beauty of its silicious deposits, or the remarkably fantastic forms they assume. Then there is the curious Orakei Ivorako, famous for its alum caves and terraces, with numberless hot springs, and the varied forms of thermal action found elsewhere in this strangely weird district.

Before leaving the Tanpo district, we must look across the lake if our time does not permit of an excursion to the wondrous Tokanu, and the fiery mountain of Tongariro, and also Ruapehu, respectively 7,000 and 9,000 feet high. The lake is some 600 square miles in extent, and to stand on its shores and view the snowcapped mountains on the further shores, and observe the cone of Tongariro, from whence issues a small cloud of steam, is to behold a scene of strange contrast and enjoyment.

Lake Rotorua.

We must now proceed from the township on Lake Taupo by coach to Ohinemutu, on Lake Rotorua; the distance is about fifty miles. The road for the first twenty miles is over plains and mountains, which are page 59 generally covered with timber, exhibiting the usually dark green foliage of the country. We then arrive at Ateamuri, where we cross the Waikato River at a point where the stream rushes foaming and booming through a somewhat narrow defile, forming a series of rapids and cataracts. Climbing up from this point of interest, we soon come in sight of the rugged crags of Horo Horo, a rocky mountain 2,800 feet high, which claims our attention as we gradually approach. There is a slender crag on its sides, which resembles the female form divine mantled, and said by the Maories to be the form of the goddess Hinemoa. Before sundown we arrive on the shores of Lake Rotorua, and take up our quarters at one of the excellent hotels in the little township of Ohinemutu.

Before partaking of our dinner we are advised, as we have an hour to spare, to go clown to the Sanatorium and have a swim in the lovely Blue Bath, to which we proceed and regale ourselves in the luxury of a dive into its clear and truly blue waters, so warm and refreshing after our dusty ride on the coach. Having amused ourselves sufficiently we take the cold shower, and return quite ready for our inner refreshment. In the evening the hotel is filled with numerous Maories and would-be guides, all anxious to conduct the tourist to any of the wonders which the district supplies. Making up our minds and arranging our party for the scene of the great volcanic upheaval, we retire early to sleep and to rest. Early next morning we are astir, and hastily taking our breakfast we mount cur horses, and accompanied by our guide take a smart gallop past the Sanatorium; drawing rein as we approach the cemetery, we alight to view the monument erected to the memory of young Bainbridge, who met his death so heroically, and with such Christian fortitude on the terrible night which proved so disastrous to many. We pass through the once beautiful Tiki-tapu Bush which looks so forlorn midst the superincumbent weight of the now solid mud. Arrived at

Te Wairoa,

the ruined village on the hill just above Lake Tarawera, we see the ruins of the hotel where young Mr. Bainbridge met his death. Descending the steep slopes we embark in a native whale-boat, in which we cross the waters of page 60 the once beautiful but now muddy Lake Tarawera. Passing the site of the now buried village of Te Ariki, where some 100 Maories lie entombed, we land near the site of the beautiful terraces on Lake Rotomahana.

As we climb up the grey sides of dried mud or walk up the furrows formed by the rains, we gain soon the scene of desolation which has been produced by the pent up forces of volcanic energy which found vent on that sad night in June. Not a green thing relieves the eye—nothing but the dull gray mud, and as we rise to the margin of the once lovely Rotomahana, we see nothing save the vast volcanic chasm, resembling an immense cutting, perhaps two and a half miles long, with a varying breadth of from half a mile to one mile one hundred yards, and an average depth of perhaps 500 feet. The sides are sometimes gradual and easy, and elsewhere precipitous, while along the bottom are numberless mounds of ejected mud and stones, interspersed with craters, from several if which issues steam. To our left is the Tarawera Mountain; the mighty crater so lately blown out of its side is plainly visible with its scarred and blackened sides. But we must not dwell, as we have other wonders to behold, and on our way back to our hotel will view the extraordinary display of geyser action at


Here we are at the foot bridge which spans the small rivulet on the other side of which we are met by the Maori authorities, who levy a toll of 6d., as they are empowered to do. The place swarms with them. They surround us, proceed us, mostly Maori damsels anxious to show us the way and equally desirous to receive a "hickipenny" (sixpence), which they are not slow to solicit. At one of the hot bathing places they are all anxious to dive for a penny. We anticipate fun, and several are thrown, and the girls enter the water and soon have the pennies without diving, as they sit on the bottom and quietly pick them up with their hands. We are sold. The chief wonder is the great geyser, which is in eruption very frequently, a vast column of boiling water being thrown up a height of sixty feet every few minutes. The whole country abounds in marvels too numerous to be particularised, and all of which must be seen to be page 61 believed. This Hot Springs District extends from Mounts Tongariro and Ruapehu in a N.'N.E. direction for about 150 miles to White Island, in the Bay of Plenty.


We leave this seat of natural marvels by coach for Taurauga. Passing through charming forest scenery for about twenty miles, we emerge in the fertile dales adjoining our port. The wondrous White Island, constantly emitting steam, and from whose cliffs sulphur can be obtained in quantities, is now visible out in the bay. Presently we rattle into the clean little town, with shelly footpaths gleaming in the sun's rays. This is the port of a large and fertile country, rendered famous by the terrible struggle at the Gate Pah, when so many of our fellow-countrymen met their death in one of those unfortunate struggles with the Maories. The evidences of this are found in the quiet little cemetery, where sleep the remains of many a loved father and fond son slain in manhood's prime in the service of their country. From Taurauga we leave by steamer for the northern capital city, calling at

Mercury Bay,

where we get an hour to stroll round this township of the bush, from which millions of feet of splendid timber have been exported from year to year for many years past. Early next morning we are astir, as we are to arrive in the glorious

Waitemata Harbour

not later than daybreak. As the darkness gradually gives place to the twilight we see the form of Rangitoto, an island with peculiarly volcanic peaks, which look almost the same from each side, and which must be passed on entering the harbour. Now the sun is peeping above the horizon, and we are abreast of the North Head, with our signals flying from Mount Victoria. The view of snug, elegant villas, nestling amongst dark pinus insignis and stately Norfolk Island pines, gives the newly-arrived the idea of an earthly paradise. As we enter the page 62 harbour proper we have a magnificent view of the Queen of the North. Passing the delightful suburb of Remuera, with its stately mansions, luxuriant gardens, verdant lawns, and fruitful orchards, we next see the borough of Parnell, and beyond the city itself, which stretches out before us with noble piles of warehouses and public buildings flanking the extensive wharves of the harbour. The hills are covered with houses, private and public buildings, of which latter may be named the Supreme Court, Government House and numerous large churches.

The public parks and gardens show up well, and beyond them the large districts of Ponsonby and Arch Hill, while towering up in the background are the volcanic cones of the extinct mounts Eden and Albert. Taking a glance as we approach the Queen's Wharf on the other side of the harbour, we see the rising suburbs of Northcote and Birkenhead. We may easily spend a few days in visiting the grand suburbs, and what a charming panorama we get from the top of Mount Eden, to which we drive. Many trips may be taken from Auckland before the tourist bids adieu to the Britain of the South Seas, such as the Waikato, Te Aroha, and Waiwera. In both the latter are hot springs having curative properties of great value, which are utilised by means of bathing contrivances and supplied with good hotel accommodation. Then as the tourist says good-bye to New Zealand, and the steamer proceeds northwards, we pass the Island of Kawau (known as Sir George Grey's Island) and call at Kororareka (now called Russell), Bay of Islands, the scene of the early missionaries' labours, and of the declaration of British sovereignty. Having taken in further supplies of coal at Opua, which is a few miles from Russell, and is the port of the grand coal mining district of Kawa Kawa we loose from New Zealand, and speedily say adieu to the grand little colony as we lose sight of the Islands of Three Kings.


There can be no doubt that New Zealand is destined to become the home of hundreds of thousands of the sons and daughters of Britain. We have the genial climate, the fertile soil, the lovely scenery, the bright pure air, and the millions of acres of land. England has the millions of people who are crowding together to their own disad- page 63 vantage, and the detriment of the young and rising generation. Fathers and mothers are at their wit's ends to know what to do to ensure profitable employment for their children. Many an elderly couple are in straitened circumstances who, had they boldly made a move from this o'ercrowded land ten, twenty, or thirty years ago, might now have been in happier conditions 'neath sunnier skies. Of those who have made New Zealand their home I have known some who have grumbled and wished themselves back; but these have been very few indeed, and in every case there has been some palpable reason why they did not succeed. One of the principal causes for non-success is improvidence and drink, causes which will operate in one certain direction as well in New Zealand as in this highly favoured land, and as surely as water will seek its lowest level. We want a sober, industrious, and provident population, and all people who answer to this description will be cordially welcomed to our shores. But the drunken, lazy, and thriftless need never hope for success anywhere, not even in New Zealand, and we do not require any such.

The Government of New Zealand have established a Bureau where all information concerning the Colony can be obtained by any who contemplate emigration. It will be found at the offices of the Agent General for New Zealand, Westminster Chambers, 13, Victoria Street, London, S.W. Books, pamphlets, and papers concerning the Colony, and Blue Books, with the latest statistics, are here available for reference, and Mr. W. B. Perceval, the Agent General, will be found ready to afford assistance by giving advice to intending emigrants.

New Zealand Information Bureau.

A Bureau has been opened at the office of the Agent-General for New Zealand (13, Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S.W.), for the purpose of supplying all information concerning the Colony. All inquiries regarding the Colony made by letter, addressed to the Agent-General for New Zealand, will be answered, and books of reference, statistics, colonial statutes, handbooks, trade circulars, newspapers, maps, &c., may be consulted, and an officer is in attendance to assist persons to obtain the information required.

March 1st, 1892.

Fleet Printing Works, 14, Whitefriaes Street, Loncon, E.C.