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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

Blind River Estate

Blind River Estate.

This property was purchased by the Government under "The Land for Settlements Act, 1892," in August last. It has been surveyed into sections suitable for the country, and is now offered for lease in perpetuity at the rent of 5 per cent, upon the purchase-money plus the cost of administration and the expense of making a few roads.

The property contains 5,163 acres, net area, and is situated on the Main South Road, Blenheim to Kaikoura, about twenty-five miles south from Blenheim, which is the principal town of the Marlborough Provincial District, and has a population of over 3,000.

The nearest railway-station is at Blenheim, but the line has been partially formed for some miles further south, through the Dashwood Pass.

The distance of the nearest point by road over Taylor's Pass is twenty-two miles, or by the new road through the Redwood Pass, about sixteen miles. The road is a good one all the year round, excepting when the Awatere River is in flood.

The boundaries of the property are, generally: On the east by the sea; on the south-east by Lake Grassmere (Native name, "Kapara te Hau"); on the south by the Main South Road, and on the west and north-west by a branch road and a rabbit-proof fence on the Starborough Estate boundary. The Blind River runs in a northerly direction through the greater part of the block, and near the western boundary.

The block consists of low ridges—the highest point being 414ft. above the sea—and flats, covered with tussock and other native grasses. It has not been surface-sown with cultivated grasses.

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The land is in its virgin state, having been held by it; late owner for forty years for grazing purposes only.

About one-third of the block can be easily ploughed.

The formation on the flats is alluvial loamy soil, several feet in thickness, resting on "papa" or blue clay.

The hills are formed of a calcareous clay, and in place along the sea-coast and seashore they are eroded into precipitous cliffs.

The whole of the block is open grassed land; there in however, a little manuka scrub along the Blind River, and in some of the gullies leading from the coast.

On the land fronting the Blind River there is an ample supply of water, but on the higher portions of the estate the water has to be collected or obtained by sinking wells.

Timber for building and fencing will have to be brought from Blenheim; a certain amount of drift firewood can be obtained at times in the Awatere River, distant about nine miles, but the supply is limited and uncertain.

The land is capable of carrying at present at least one sheep to the acre; last year five thousand ewes were wintered on it, and produced 92 per cent, of lambs.

The property has not been loaded with a large sum for the construction of roads, as the formation is light.

The principal works will be small bridges and culvert crossing the creeks, and the diversion of watercourses, to enable roads to be constructed.

A detailed description of each section to be offered for lease will be found on pages 9 to 12.

The localities from which views of the estate were taken are indicated on the sections shown on the accompanying map by stars—thus *.

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View of a Bend in Blind River, Section 13, looking S.E.

View of a Bend in Blind River, Section 13, looking S.E.