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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

Appendix. — Tourists' Guide to Taranakl

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Tourists' Guide to Taranakl

In the succeeding pages it is proposed to furnish a brief guide to the province of Taranaki for the information of intending settlers and tourists. As a field for settlement no part of the colony offers greater advantages, while for historic interest and the beauty of its scenery the district is unsurpassed. Commencing with the capital and chief port of the province,

New Plymouth,

this town may be made the starting-point of many attractive excursions. The town itself is not without interest, the chief attraction being the Recreation Grounds, a public reserve of about ninety acres, planted with native and English trees and shrubs, through which shady paths wind in every direction, a beautiful artificial lake in the centre and two smaller ponds adding variety to the scenery. A part of the grounds is devoted to the purpose of a Botanical Garden, while another portion is being formed into a sports ground, which, when completed, will be unrivalled in the Colony. The grounds, as a whole, are pronounced by visitors to be second to none in Australasia, and are well worth the time spent in exploring the beautiful nooks and glades.

Within three minutes' walk of the centre of the town is Marsland Hill, whence a very fine view is obtainable. The hill was at one time the site of a strong Maori pa, called Pukaka, and during the wars with the Maoris, barracks for Imperial Troops were situated there, being subsequently used as a temporary home for immigrants. Immediately beneath the hill are St Mary's Church, a picturesque stone building well worthy of a visit, and the New Plymouth Bowling Club's green, which is one of the best in the colony, and where visitors are always welcomed.

Western Park is a new recreation reserve, now being laid out in the west end of the town, and from here, too, comprehensive views of the town and surrounding district may be obtained.

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A View in the Famous Recreation Grounds. New Plymouth, Taranaki, N.Z.

A View in the Famous Recreation Grounds. New Plymouth, Taranaki, N.Z.

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The golf links are situated about a mile from the centre of the town, and for the beauty of their surroundings, as well as for their "sporting" character, they will hear comparison with any other links in the colony. Visitors here, as at the bowling green and tennis courts (the latter conveniently situated near the centre of the town) are always heartily welcomed.

The cemetery, which is situated on the banks of the Henui River, at the east end of the town, is a pretty spot and contains some interesting memorials of the troublous times with the Maoris.

Paritutu, the largest of the Sugar Loaves at Moturoa, about two miles west of the town, may easily be ascended. It is 503 feet high and the view from the summit is particularly fine, embracing, in clear weather, the whole country across to Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe in the east, with Mount Egmont and its ranges to the south, the whole coast line of the North Taranaki Bight stretching eastward and north-eastward, with the town of New Plymouth in the foreground, and the Moturoa Harbour at one's feet, almost. Paritutu was once a great Maori stronghold, while close at hand stood the Ngamotu pa, at one time the second strongest fortress of the Ngatiawa tribe.

Between the breakwater and the town are the butter freezing works and the petroleum works belonging to the Taranaki Petroleum Company, whose derricks will be seen from the toad.

Pleasant short excursions may be made to the Meeting of the Waters, about four miles from town, where the Mangorei River empties itself into the Waiwakaiho; to the Kaitake Ranges, twelve miles, the road to which passes the battlefield of Waireka, where British Volunteers were for the first time engaged with an enemy; to Barrett's Lagoon and Burton's Hill, four and six miles respectively; and in other directions. At New Plymouth, some of the licensed Hotels are "The White Hart," "The Imperial," and "The Red House." The private Hotels are represented by The Coffee Palace," and "The New Trocadero."

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On Mokau River. Taranaki, N.Z. The Scenery on this river is asbeautiful as that on the famous waranauni River.

On Mokau River. Taranaki, N.Z. The Scenery on this river is asbeautiful as that on the famous [unclear: waranauni] River.

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Waitara and Urenui.

A charming drive is to Urenui, about twenty miles, passing through Waitara half-way. The route abounds in spots of historic interest connected with the wars with the Maoris. Waitara possesses fine freezing-works and does a considerable shipping with Onehunga, Raglan, Kawhia and Mokau. From Urenui, the drive may be extended over Mount Messenger, where the hush gorge scenery is wonderfully fine, and down the Tongaporutu valley to

The Mokau River.

The Mokau hears very favourable comparison with the more famous Wanganui, and it has this advantage over the latter, that the beautiful scenery commences practically from the mouth. It is navigable for small steamers for about 23 miles, to the spot where coal is mined and shipped. Fair accommodation can he obtained at the township near the mouth of the river, and a launch may be hired to convey parties up the river. By hiring a Maori canoe and a crew the river may be ascended many miles further to the Wairere Falls, a beautiful spot, passing Totoro, a deserted Maori settlement which at one time was an important place.


About thirty miles from New Plymouth by the Main South Road is Parihaka, the largest native settlement in the district, and the home of the Maori prophet, Te Whiti, who usually accords visitors a courteous welcome. The village has lost its distinctive native appearance, there being quite a number of weatherboard houses, villas and accommodation houses, but the visit is one well worth paying.

Mount Egmont.

The greatest attraction of Taranaki is Mount Egmont (8,260 feet), which is not only one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most accessible mountains in the world. It may be ascended from New Plymouth and back in a summer's day. A drive of about fifteen miles from town brings one to the Forest Reserve, whence a drive of four miles through the primeval forest on a good road with an easy grade takes one to the mountain house, where decent accommodation can be obtained at a very moderate tariff (beds 1/- and meals 4/6 per day), or, if preferred, visitors can take their own bedding and provisions, paying 1/- per day, each, for bunks and cooking

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Mount Egmont, Taranaki N.Z., from North Mountain House in Mid Winter.

Mount Egmont, Taranaki N.Z., from North Mountain House in Mid Winter.

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utensils. The 1/- is also levied in the case of those who are provided for by the caretaker, in addition to his tariff. A private cottage containing two sleeping rooms and a living room may be hired by parties at a rental of £2 per week for four, or £3 10/- for eight visitors. This charge, of course, does not include provisions or bedding, which visitors may take themselves, or arrange for the caretaker to supply. Those who wish to reach the summit will find it advisable to secure a guide, as it is an easy matter to get lost in the event of clouds enveloping the mountain. There are shorter excursions, such as to Bell's Falls, which can he made, particulars of which can he obtained from the caretaker, Mr. Morris. Mrs. Morris assists her husband in the management of the house, so that ladies and children may rely upon having every attention paid them. Tourists wishing to visit Mount Egmont and other places from New Plymouth can safety entrust themselves to those skilled whips—Mr, J. West of Tattersall's stables; Mr, W. H. Jury of the White Hart Stables; and Mr. M. Jones of the Criterion Stables.

Mount Egmont may also he ascended by way of Dawson's Falls, on the southern side, by the Pembroke Road track from Stratford, and from Rahotu. There is an accommodation house at Dawson's Falls, in charge of Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair, which may be reached from Hawera, Eltham, or Stratford, and where comfortable quarters at a moderate tariff are obtainable. On the Stratford side there is a cottage, but no caretaker, and there is also a sheltershed on the Rahotu track. Full information as to ways and cost of ascending Mount Egmont can be obtained from the Egmont Mountain House Committee at respectively, New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera or Rahotu.

The Pouaka1 Range.

One of the side shows of Mount Egmont is the Pouakai Range, over which the route to the summit formerly went. A drive of about twelve miles from New Plymouth by way of the Junction and Mangorei Roads, lands one at the foot of the range, which attains a height of about 3500 feet. A negotiable foot track exists over the range to the Stony River swamp, upon the opposite side of which is Holly Flat, an old camping ground, from which Bell's Falls and the mountain summit may be reached. If the summit is the objective the other routes are to be preferred, but the Range trip is a delightful outing in fine weather.

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Town of Inglewood, Taranaki, N.Z., with Mount Egmont and Pouaki Rangou.

Town of Inglewood, Taranaki, N.Z., with Mount Egmont and Pouaki Rangou.

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Inglewood is a thriving town, on the main line of rail-way, seventeen miles from New Plymouth, with water supply, drainage, and electric light, situated in the midst of good dairying country. Mount Egmont may easily be reached from here by a drive of about ten miles to the Forest Reserve. Excellent hotel accommodation will he found here, and there is good trout fishing in the neighbourhood. The industries include a sawmill and sash and door factory, a bacon factory and several dairy factories within a short radius, while two companies have been formed to bore for petroleum in the neighbourhood. Inglewood's elevation (657 feet) above sea level gives it a bracing air. An interesting, and in places beautiful drive may be taken along the Junction Road, East-wards through Tarata to Purangi, where the road crosses the Waitara River at the site of an old Maori settlement.


Being situated at the junction of the Wellington-New Plymouth railway with that which is to connect with the Main Trunk line at Ongarue, Stratford is a town which has an important future. The population is over 2,000, and it is supplied with water, electric light, drainage, public abattoirs, and other modern conveniences. It, too, is surrounded by good dairying country, while to the east there is a large area of fine sheep country. The Ohura Road, which connects with the Main Trunk Railway at Ongarue, runs for nearly sixty miles through settled country, through the township of Whangamomona, whence the Wanganui River may be reached and connection be made with the steamer service on that river. The Ohura Road passes through some exceedingly fine scenery and at about 57 miles from Stratford reaches the Tangarakau Gorge, one of the finest gorges in New Zealand. This may be reached on wheels, but through the gorge there is only a bridle track. The Stratford Dairy Factory is the third largest in the province. Local industries include a sash and door factory and a tannery and fellmongery.


Eltham is a growing town about seven miles south of Stratford, is provided with water and drainage schemes, and is also the centre of splendid dairying country. It is a convenient starting point for the Dawson's Falls house on

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Part of Town of Eltham, Taranaki, N.Z.

Part of Town of Eltham, Taranaki, N.Z.

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Mount Egmont. Its industries include a large bacon factory and a butter box factory which supplies many of the dairy factories with packages for their produce, and also a co-operative dairy factory which is the second largest in the province. It is also the head-quarters of the Taranaki Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Association. Roto Kare, the lake a few miles from Eltham, is well worth a visit, as it has a sylvan beauty all its own.


A town of over 2,000 inhabitants, with water, gas, electric light, and drainage, Hawera is the chief buisness centre of the Waimate Plains, which comprise a large area of agricultural land, not to be excelled for quality in any part of the colony. "The City of the Plains", as it is called, possesses also a fine recreation reserve of 25 acres, cricket ground, a capital racecourse where the Egmont Racing Club holds its meetings, bowling green, golf links, and is a convenient head-quarters for doing Mount Egmont. Capital trout fishing may be had in the Waingongoro and other rivers in the neighbourhood, and there are numerous interest-ing drives in the vicinity.


Patea is the seaport of Southern Taranaki, doing an important coastal trade, mainly with Wellington. Its chief industries are the West Coast Refrigerating Company, through whose works during the present season it is estimated 120,000 boxes of butter and 28,000 cases of cheese will be passed; the Patea Meat Preserving Company, whose plant is capable of dealing with 24,000 lbs, of meat every eight hours, and which has also a freezing chamber with a capacity of 300 sixty-lb. carcases every 24 hours; the Patea Steam Brick Works, fully equipped for the manufacture of three millions of bricks per annum, besides drain tiles and pipes; and a fellmongery whose output last year exceeded 500 bales of sliped wool, besides 6,000 hides and 150 casks of tallow. The town is lighted with electricity and is very healthily situated. The entrance to the river is being improved by the extension of training walls, and direct trade with the South Island has just been inaugurated, which promises to be a valuable service to the district.

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Patea—the Port of South Taranaki, N.Z.

Patea—the Port of South Taranaki, N.Z.

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Manaia is a small town in the centre of the famous Waimate Plains, one of the most fertile stretches of country in New Zealand, It is distant about ten miles from Hawera, whence it may be reached by coach every day. At the mouth of the Inaha stream, two miles from Manaia, are to be seen the huge outworks of one of the most celebrated old Maori strongholds in the Island—Waimate Pa. Four miles from Manaia is also the Ngutu-o-te-Manu Reserve, where the brave Von Tempsky's brilliant career was terminated. A" monument marks the spot where he felt, shot by Maoris.


About eighteen miles further along the coast northwards, is Opunake, a thriving little town overlooking a bay where some shipping is carried on, and which is capable of being made an important port. Twenty years ago Opunake was the head-quarters of a considerable force of Armed Constabulary, kept there to keep the Maoris in order. Now it is the market town of the dairying country in the neighbourhood. There are daily coach services between Opunake and Hawera and New Plymouth.


Situated about midway between Opunake and New Plymouth (a distance of 40 miles) is Okato, which can scarcely yet be dignified by the name of town, though from its situation it transacts a considerable business. It is all historic country, bristling with incidents connected with the wars with the Maoris, Indeed, Taranaki, as a whole, is extremely interesting in this respect, as well as in respect to tribal warfare before the advent of white settlement.

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Dairy Cattle, Straford District, Taranaki, N.Z.

Dairy Cattle, Straford District, Taranaki, N.Z.