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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 65

New Plymouth

New Plymouth.

Hotels.—White Hart Hotel. Imperial. Coombes's.

Place of Amusement.—Alexandra Hall.

The town of New Plymouth contains much that is of interest to the traveller. Here is a church built by the troops, and numerous monuments and graves, which speak of those who fell fighting the Maori and are now almost forgotten. The Gardens and Lake are still in their infancy, but will repay a visit, and some day will form the show place of the province. The hotels and shops differ in no way from those of Wanganui, Palmerston, or Wellington, and visitors intending to ascend the mountain must, at any rate, make New Plymouth their headquarters. The Public Hall is a very large building, with stage and every convenience for entertainments. A splendid view is obtained from Marsland Hill of the country round about.

The Sugar Loaves are remarkable conical hills,—one of them being on the main land which the coach passes on the road from Opunake, called Paritutu,—and are volcanic in their origin. The others in the Bay are called Ngamohu by the Maoris, and are being utilised for the formation of the fine breakwater, which is already far enough advanced to allow vessels to come alongside and to discharge and take in cargo. The plans for the breakwater were prepared by Sir John Coode, C.E. When completed, it will be 2,330 feet in length; there will be jetties or wharves capable of allowing vessels of the largest size to load and discharge in the heaviest gales. The benefit of this work to the district will be of the utmost importance. Formerly the Union Company's vessels passed New Plymouth, when the weather was too rough to allow the surf boats to work, and passengers had to be carried on.

The Province of Taranaki was settled in 1841. Mr. Carrington, the New Plymouth Company's surveyor, fixed the present site, and

page break
New Plymoutn Breakwater.

New Plymoutn Breakwater.

page 65

the barque William Byron, was the first vessel to arrive with emigrants.

At present, New Plymouth has over three thousand inhabitants. The soil is exceedingly fertile, and there is a great deal of land yet open for settlement. All round the slopes of Mount Egmont the rich volcanic soils will amply repay whoever settles on them, and if at present the district is languid, it is because the population is so sparse.

Vine-growing will no doubt be a flourishing industry at some future date; at present there is very little carried on. Tobacco of a very superior quality can also be grown with considerable profit. The timber will prove of great value in the future, as the farther back the settler goes into the ranges the more superior is the quality of the timber.