1862 - Richardson, J. L. C. Sketch of Otago, New Zealand, as a Field of British Emigration - Sketch of Otago, p 1-33

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  1862 - Richardson, J. L. C. Sketch of Otago, New Zealand, as a Field of British Emigration - Sketch of Otago, p 1-33
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IT has doubtless been within the experience of some of those who will cast their eyes over these pages to have stood on the summit of a mountain range, with the smiling plains outspread as a beautiful picture beneath them, and felt that the guide who would venture to recommend the glorious scene by any words of his own, would be justly regarded as ignorant of the first principles of his art. In such circumstances nature speaks for herself, and in accents which woo and win the soul.

In inviting the reader to consider the claims of the Province of Otago as an immigration field, it would not be difficult to draw such a picture as would place it in a most advantageous light; but where there is so much that is attractive and substantial, there exists no need for the exercise of imagination and the efforts of art; all that is requisite is to make known the simple facts, and leave them to speak for themselves.

When Otago was first colonized, New Zealand

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was so little known that, in order to indicate its position, it was necessary to introduce the subject by a geographical lecture. It is now sufficient to mention, that if a railway tunnel were made through the earth, the traveller, starting from London, would emerge close to the southern part of Otago, and when he stepped from the carriage would scarcely find a single specimen of those tattooed aboriginals who, in the imagination of the timorous, are supposed to cluster around the settlers in the middle island of New Zealand; and, come from what quarter of Britain he might, his eas would be greeted with the genuine brogue of the county whence he came, and his eyes would be gladdened by the sight of the rosy cheeks and joyous smiles of the youngsters which hethought could only be seen in his native land.

However captivating the exact spot may be which we are invited to select as our future home, it is a matter of some importance that we should know something of our neighbours before we decide on our location.

The islands composing New Zealand are three in number, and called the Northern, Middle, and Southern Islands, and are situated about 6500 miles to the west of the coast of South America, and about 1200 miles to the south-east of Australia. The extreme length of the whole may be regarded as about 1000 miles, the breadth averaging from a few miles, as in the north, about Auckland, to 250 at the south, about Otago, having an average width of 100 miles.

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The area of the three islands may be roughly, though under, stated as follows:-- The Northern 54,100, the Middle 44,500, and the Southern 900 square miles; forming a total of 99,500 square miles, or 63,680,000 acres. The area of Great Britain and Ireland may be represented as about 120,000 square miles, or 76,000,000 acres. It is not within the design of the present Sketch to embrace any information connected with the Northern Island, the seat of the Maori war. Its four provinces, Auckland, Wellington, New Plymouth, and Napier, have advocates of their own, whose silver notes have not been unheeded by the public. It is divided from the Middle Island by Cook's Straits, which run 100 miles in a south-easterly direction, with a varying width of from 20 to 80 miles, presenting an impassable impediment to any irruption of the native races. Nor is it intended to describe Nelson, which stands on the southwestern extremity of the Straits; nor Marlborough, on the south-eastern, --with their mere handful of aboriginals; nor even to give more than this passing acknowledgment to the Province of Canterbury on our northern frontier, a neighbour well fitted to inspire a wholesome rivalry; nor to our southern sister, the Province of Southland, so lately a part of Otago. Perhaps the time is not far distant when these five Provinces, having a community of interest and a common geographical position, will form a colony of themselves, in close alliance against external enemies, with the confederate Provinces in the Northern Island.

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We must not, however, anticipate the future, but close our outline by noting the locality of the Southern Island, with its 900 square miles of densely wooded and mountainous land, which is indented by fine harbours and occupies a commanding position, separated from the Middle Island by Foveaux's Straits, which are about 40 miles in length, with an average width of 14 miles.

We will not indulge in any reveries as to the future of a country so admirably situated for exercising a commanding political and commercial influence, and possessing harbours where the navies of the world might repose undisturbed, for no mean authority has prophetically called it the "Britain of the South." Sore as the temptation is, we must remember that this is but a Sketch, and avoid all details.


In the early part of 1848, the first band of hardy pioneers set foot on the shores of Otago. The "John Wickliff," with the leader of the expedition, Captain Cargill, on board, arrived at its destination on the 23d of March; and the "Philip Laing," with the Rev. Thomas Burns, now Dr Burns, as the first Minister of the infant Church, a scion of the Free Church of Scotland, on the 11th of April. The former of these, after years of devotion to his adopted country, is at

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rest; the latter survives, and has been permitted to see the Church to which he belongs, and in which he ministers, taking a firm hold of the soil, and, in a spirit of an enlarged charity, extending a friendly hand to all those who embrace the essentials of faith, whatever may be the peculiar form under which they worship.

The original design of the founders of this settlement was to form a colony in accordance with the principles of the Pilgrim Fathers, and with the hope "that while the name of Dr Chalmers would be associated with the locality, the principles of Dr Chalmers would be engraven in more enduring characters on the memories and hearts of the Scottish settlers in Otago." The scheme, in a financial point of view, did not succeed; the country, therefore, was thrown open to all who were desirous of investing and settling in it, and the result is, that at the present moment all national and denominational distinctions have given place to more general views; yet it is to be hoped that as the purity and piety of motive, and the indomitable courage and untiring perseverence of the Pilgrim Fathers stamped a character on the land of their adoption, so the principles above referred to may, in all that is large-hearted and common to a Christian people, find a home in the affections of the future inhabitants of this Province.

It has been considered expedient to mention these circumstances, because the tongue of disappointed ambition and thwarted speculation has not been

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silent. The colonists of Otago give a hearty welcome to their fellow-countrymen who desire to cast in their lot amongst them; they care not to enquire whether they come from the merry dales of England, the bonnie braes of Scotland, or the verdant uplands of Ireland; united with the sons of freedom from all lands, they form a people who are not ashamed to meet their enemies in the field, their competitors in commerce, and their fellow-workers in the arts and sciences.

Pre-eminent among the objects contemplated by the founders, and, which is still the cherished object of the Government and the people, is the occupation of the waste lands by an industrious, intelligent, and moral community. A country unpeopled wants the essential elements of abiding strength; the few, as in a strictly pastoral country, may be aggrandized, but the object of all colonization--the peopling of the wilderness--can never be realised.


WHATEVER other advantages a country may possess, if its climate be inimical to human life and comfort, it wants the most necessary element of attractiveness. They whose unreasonable expectations have been damped, and they whose jealousy has blinded their judgment, sometimes speak of the climate of Otago

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as worse than indifferent, --just as our continental neighbours speak disparagingly of the climate of England, representing it as the hotbed of suicidal despondencies; but if physical development, the glowing cheek and the sparkling eye, are evidences of healthfulness, then we may claim for England's climate a proud distinction; and as the climate of Otago is similar to that of the southern parts of England, but warmer in winter and cooler in summer, we may well laugh at our detractors. We acknowledge that near the coast there is a fickleness about the climate, and an occasional boisterousness; but of the one, we may say it breaks that uniformity of climate which is so wearisome in other countries; and of the other, that we prize it as a chief cause of our immunity from disease.

We will not talk of balmy breezes and buoyant elasticity of spirits, but we will say that if our climate is rough, it is friendly in its character, and very conducive to a hearty appetite and a sound digestion. For those who are fond of hard statistics we have provided a liberal supply in the Appendix 1 (A, N); and we have only to remark, that rain is sufficiently abundant to answer all the demands of agriculture, without interfering with out-door occupations so much as is the case at home. Frost and snow, except on the higher ranges, are comparatively unknown: in-

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deed, were their occurrence more frequent and their character more severe, we should rather rejoice at the change. So congenial are the climate and soil to the cultivation of fruits and flowers, that we may say with Cowper:--

----------------Those Ausonia claims,
Levantine regions these, the Azores send
Their jessamine: her jessamine remote
Caffraria: foreigners from many lands,
They form one social shade, as if convened
By magic summons of the Orphean lyre.

There is scarcely a fruit or a flower intertwined with our earliest associations that does not find a representative in our adopted country. The English gardening and farming calendar may he safely used by merely changing January for July.


ONE of the principal advantages which Otago offers to the immigrant consists in an abundance of good land, generally obtainable at a reasonable rate, combined with a right to depasture cattle over the unsold portion of the land, within a certain area called a "hundred," in which the purchase may be made. To this latter peculiarity, to which the colonist clings with an unmistakeable tenacity, may be attributed very much of the success which has attended the

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earlier settlers. Pass through those portions of the country in which the first settlers reside, and ask what was the condition of the resident cultivators when in the old country, and what is their present position, and you will receive but one answer, which will convince you that the system which produces such results cannot but be the right one. Take them at a venture, and the reply you will receive will be somewhat in this form:-- "I was a farm servant at home, earning a scanty subsistence, which, by the strictest economy, and by a rigid abstinence from indulgence in spirituous liquors, only kept my head above water; but now, thank God, times have altered. I have worked hard, but these 200 acres, with that snug cottage, are mine; and I have a tidy little mob of cattle which I never dreamt could own me as master. This, Sir," --and he would look around with an honest independence; --"this, Sir, is the poor man's country."

Land may be had at between £1 and £1, 10s. per acre, with a right to depasture stock. The upset price is £1 per acre, but should two or more persons apply on the same day for the same allotment, it is put up to auction between them, and falls to the highest bidder. The whole subject of the sale of land is engaging the attention of Government, with a view of offering every facility to the man of limited means of buying land at a fixed and reasonable price. Generally speaking, the land is easy to clear and bring into cultivation. In certain localities there is a de-

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ficiency of wood for enclosures, but the soil is admirably fitted for the formation of a substantial bank and ditch, which, with a rail at the top, makes a satisfactory fence. The country is well adapted by its undulating character, being well watered, and its mild climate, for combined agricultural and pastoral pursuits; and, so soon as the land of the farmer is cropped off and laid down in grass, he may expect to derive a fair income from the outlay of his capital.

The whole country not included in Hundreds, amounting to about 12,980 square miles, or 8,307,200 acres, is in possession of flock-owners, on licenses for 14 years. In a few years, on an average 7 or 8, the whole country will be resumed, and facilities will then be offered for the profitable investment of capital on terms ensuring a securer tenure to the sheep farmers, and a more handsome income to the Government; in the meantime these properties change hands at a valuation of from one shilling to two shillings an acre for the good-will of the property. Though the land referred to is in the possession of the sheep farmer for a certain period, any portion of it may be resumed at any time should it be required for agricultural settlement. Formerly a purchaser might take up land wherever he wished throughout the country, but this was altered in order that the sheep owner might not be injuriously disturbed in his occupation; the Governor, however, retained his power to take immediate possession of whatever land he required, and throw it into Hundreds--a power which

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has been freely used, and will doubtless so continue to be whenever occasion demands (B).

In ordinary districts, the land unmanured yields 35 bushels of wheat to the acre, weighing 63 1/2 lbs. per bushel; oats, 45 bushels per acre, weighing 43 lbs. per bushel; and barley, 50 bushels per acre, weighing 55 lbs. per bushel; potatoes, 6 1/2 tons per acre; and turnips, 28 tons per acre. The nature of the soil is a clayey loam, with a friable subsoil; in many of the plains there are rich alluvial deposits, bearing heavy crops; but, generally speaking, the soil is the same on the tops of the ranges of hills as in the adjacent lowlands. The number of sheep in the country may be roughly estimated, including lambs, at a million, and the importations are large; the clip of wool is satisfactory, and the per centage increase of lambs particularly so.

Wheat realises on an average about 6s. the bushel, oats about 4s. the bushel, and potatoes £6 the ton.

The revenue received from land for 1854 to 1861 inclusive, is to be seen in the Appendix (D, K).


IF any conclusion may be drawn from the experience of the last few months, Otago has taken a foremost position as a gold producing country. It was but the other day, scarcely ten months since, that a

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gentleman, Mr Gabriel Read, wandering among the ranges to the westward of Tokomairiro, discovered the golden valley, which, after him, is called Gabriel's Gully, from which and Wetherstone's, which is hard by, and the Waitahuna, the Gold Escort brings at the rate of 10,000 ounces weekly. These localities have yielded no less than 328,485 ounces, valued at about £1,272,883, up to 5th March 1862.

The Provincial Council voted Mr Read the sum of £500 as a bonus on account of his discovery. A general impression prevails that the frank and generous manner in which Mr Read placed his discovery in the hands of the Government deserves a far more liberal treatment, and there is every reason to believe that a suitable recognition will yet be made of the services of that gentleman.

Each of the neighbouring Provinces has offered £1000 for the discovery of a goldfield. It is thought by many that we are merely on the threshold of our mineral wealth, and that not only will auriferous deposits be found far and wide as the country is prospected westward, but that deep sinking and quartz crushing will also give profitable returns. The extent of country over which gold is found is very remarkable. Lignite abounds over large spaces, and carboniferous coal, despite the surmises of superficial observers, has been discovered. With a just appreciation of the true interests of the country, the Government has made arrangements, on the recommendation of Sir R. Murchison, for the services of an

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eminent geologist and naturalist, Dr Hector, for a period of three or four years, and important results are expected, not only as regards the mineral prosperity of the country, but also as affording a valuable contribution to science. In the Appendix (C) is a table exhibiting the produce of our goldfields up to the latest date, which will afford satisfactory proof that our visions of the future have some foundation in the realities of the present.


WHEN the gold discovery first dawned upon the Province, and old and young, master and servant, sheep-owner and agriculturalist, flocked pell-mell to the diggings, and might be seen delving and sluicing with a will, it was deemed expedient to suspend for a time the stream of assisted immigration, for it was thought that the attractiveness of the goldfields would induce miners to immigrate, and eventually to settle down in the pastoral and agricultural districts as labourers and shepherds; and, it was apprehended, that even assisted immigrants could not, for a time at least, on the first flush of the gold discovery, resist the fascinations of gold, and would therefore join the mining population. Instead of this occurring, the old settlers have soberly returned to their ordinary occupations, enriched by a short harvest; the Australian

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miners apparently are too much enamoured with the peculiar life they lead to think of taking service; while, strange to say, the immigrants from the home country have readily proceeded to the agricultural and pastoral districts. Under these circumstances, and owing to the increasing disparity of the sexes, the Government has resolved to grant passages on the most liberal terms, and in many cases free, to all unmarried females of respectable character, between the ages of 12 and 35, and to assist approved farm servants and shepherds. The demand for female servants is great, and increasing, for so keen an appetite does success create for domestic life, that the master has not time thoroughly to appreciate his new "treasure" of a servant before she tells him that she is about to be married: the whole affair is settled with a wonderful rapidity, indicative of a brisk demand and a limited supply.

A statement, exhibiting the amount of assisted immigration, may be seen in the Appendix (E), and another statement, shewing the prevailing rate of wages; but we must caution our readers against believing that this high rate will continue for any considerable time. The population of the country, owing to the late immigration from Australia, has much increased during the last few months. In the Appendix (G, F, H, I), may be seen valuable Tables furnished by the enumerator, Mr John Hislop, indicating the population, and the comparative annual population; the live stock; and the cultivation, as they existed

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on the 31st of December last. These will repay a careful examination.


THE Educational system of the Province is based upon the broad principle of assisting parents in the education of their children. Wherever the people desire a teacher, they are formed into an Educational District, the Government giving assistance to the extent of £50 annually, and erecting the necessary school buildings. The funds from which the Government supplements the district contributions (derived from fees, voluntary subscriptions, or assessment) are at present furnished by an annual grant; but, as a certain portion of land is reserved for an educational endowment, these annual appropriations will not be required after a few years. It is a part of the schoolmaster's duty to instruct the children, whose parents desire that they should be instructed, in the principles of religion; the hour appointed for this tuition is at the beginning or the close of the daily studies, so as not to interfere with the secular education. The system has been found to work harmoniously and beneficially; and there is scarcely any part of the populated country without its schoolhouse. The attention of the Government is at the present moment engaged in establishing a High School or College, where the youth of

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the Province may receive a liberal education; a building is now under course of erection in a suitable central situation, and it is intended to make arrangements for an efficient educational stall. When this is carried out, the education of the country may be regarded as fixed on a healthy foundation.

In September 1861 there were nineteen Government District Schools in the Province. The total number of pupils who had been in attendance at those schools in the course of the year 1860-61, was 964, and the ordinary average daily attendance during the same period was 571. It is estimated that there were also about 100 pupils attending private schools in Dunedin at the above-mentioned date.

The branches taught in the public schools of Otago are-- English Reading, Grammar, and Composition; History, Writing, Book-keeping, Drawing, Arithmetic, Mensuration, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Latin, French, and Vocal Music from Notes.

A tabular view of the expenditure on account of Education may be seen in the Appendix (T).


THE representative system of Government is carried out in Otago to an extent which only stops short of universal suffrage. A double form of Government prevails:-- The Provincial, dealing with all local

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matters of an ordinary nature, subject to the revision of the central authority; and the General. The General Government consists of the Governor, with two houses--the Legislative, the members of which are appointed by the Governor; and the Representative, the members of which are returned by the different Provinces in proportion to their population. The Provincial Government consists of a Superintendent, and a Provincial Council, elected every four years, having concurrent legislative functions; the Executive power, residing in the Superintendent, acting with the advice and consent of a Council provided from among the members of the Provincial Council. The electoral franchise is of a most liberal character, and has lately been extended so as to embrace all miners who, by the payment of a pound, are entitled to vote at all elections.


WE now proceed to give some account of the rivers, harbours, 2 and physical and geographical formations of the country. -

Starting from the north, we find the river WAITAKI, the boundary between Canterbury and Otago,

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flowing a distance of 120 miles, but available for boats only under very favourable circumstances.

OAMARU is an open roadstead, situated in lat. 45 6' 30" S. and long. 171° 1' 30" E. The anchorage for large vessels is (2) two miles off the shore, in (5) five fathoms water; and for small vessels (1/2) one-half mile in (3) three fathoms water; the holding ground is very good, and is sheltered from the prevailing strong SW. winds; and as the NE. winds, to which the roadstead is exposed, seldom blow strong, vessels of (500) five hundred tons may safely frequent it. Every facility is given for discharging and loading vessels, there being large surf boats under the management of skilful men. The mornings are very frequently calm.

MOERAKI BAY is 16 miles distant from Oamaru, in a south-westerly direction. This bay is (5) five miles from the North to the South Head, and about (2) two miles in depth; the anchorage is safe in (7) seven fathoms water, perfectly smooth in SW. winds, and well sheltered from the NE. by a kelp reef which extends nearly half way across the bay, from N. to S. This roadstead affords safe anchorage for vessels of (500) five hundred tons; within the South Head is a beautiful little boat harbour, in which there are (9) nine feet at low-water spring tides; it is sheltered from all winds, and in it a jetty could be erected, alongside of which our coasting steamers might go with safety.

Proceeding southward you pass the only dangers

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that jut out from the coast: the first is Fish Reef, nearly (2) two miles off the South Head, almost dry at low-water, and breaking heavily in bad weather; the second is Danger Reef, about (9) nine miles south from Fish Reef, tending in a south-easterly direction from the shore to a distance of nearly (3) three miles, also dry at low-water and breaking heavily.

WAIKOUAITI BAY is situated (10) ten miles south of Danger Reef, and receives a small river of the same name. It is navigable across the bar for small vessels drawing not more than (4) four feet water. This bay is (2) two miles in length from N. to S., and about three-quarters of a mile in depth, having safe anchorage in (5) five fathoms water for vessels of (500) five hundred tons, with off-shore winds.

The three roadsteads referred to above, viz.,-- Oamaru, Moeraki, and Waikouaiti, have been visited by vessels over (1000) one thousand tons; but as there is a considerable loss of time in getting such vessels under weigh, which frequently requires to be done on a short notice, these roadsteads should not be frequented by larger vessels than those already mentioned.

OTAGO HARBOUR SIGNAL STATION is in lat. 45° 46' 55" S., and in long. 170° 44' 58' E. This harbour has a very safe entrance, with not less than (18) eighteen feet water on the bar at low-water spring tides. The harbour master, Captain Thomson, reports that, from nearly (7) seven year's experience of the harbour, he finds that it can be safely entered

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every day in the year by vessels drawing not more than (16) sixteen feet water. There is safe anchorage (2) two miles outside of the bar, with off-shore winds. There is a flat or inner bar, over which there is a shifting channel, with only a depth of (17) seventeen feet at low-water spring tides, and across which channel the tide runs, thus rendering it, without the aid of steam, a difficult matter to keep the large vessels that have lately been visiting our port within the channel. This harbour should not be frequented by vessels larger than (1000) one thousand tons, and of a heavier draught of water than (20) twenty feet. Above the inner bar there is a good channel, with not less than (5) five fathoms water, and safe anchorage at Port Chalmers for a fleet of sixty large vessels. Proceeding up the harbour, the water shallows considerably, and will only admit of vessels drawing (12) twelve feet to get up to Dunedin Bay, which is an extensive sheet of water, and capable of accommodating a very large fleet of small vessels. This harbour speaks for itself as being a safe one, only two wrecks having occurred since it was first frequented by whalers, and those not attributable to the port, but to drunkenness in the one case, and fool-hardiness in the other--both vessels attempting the harbour on a dark night without the services of a pilot.

TAIERI RIVER, situated about (30) thirty miles south-westerly from Otago Heads, is navigable for vessels drawing (5) five feet water. It is sheltered by an island opposite the mouth, on which is a signal

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station, from which signals are made to denote the state of the tide, and whether or not the bar is safe to take, and also to steer vessels across it. There is a depth of (9) nine feet on the bar at high-water; on either side of the island there is a channel N. and S.; a prevalence of winds from either point closes the channel that is exposed to its influence. A signal is shewn to indicate which channel is open.

MOLYNEUX BAY is (9 1/2) nine and a-half miles from Coal Point to Nugget Point, and about (3) three miles in depth; affording safe anchorage for vessels of (500) five hundred tons, with off-shore winds.

CLUTHA RIVER, which appears to take its rise among the Snowy Mountains, near the west coast, varies from 100 to 200 yards in width, and flows for 100 miles with a deep and rapid current; it runs into Molyneux Bay, and has a depth of (12) twelve feet on the bar at high-water, and is navigable for sailing vessels of from 40 to 50 tons. There being a constant fresh running out, the trade of this river would be better carried on by steamers of 100 tons for (10) ten miles up, and by a smaller class, not to draw more than (3) three feet, for (30) thirty miles further, there not being anything that would impede the navigation of this river for (40) forty miles from the entrance.

CATLIN'S RIVER, situated about (6) six miles south-westerly from Nugget Point, is well sheltered by (2) two small islets near the entrance. This river is navigable for (1 1/2) one and a-half miles from the

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mouth by vessels of from 20 to 30 tons; there is a plentiful supply of heavy timber adjacent to the harbour.

TAUTUKA is (13) thirteen miles in a south-westerly direction from Catlin's River. It is a sandy bay of (6) six miles in length, and affords good shelter for small vessels in off-shore winds.

WAIKAWA is (13) thirteen miles in a south-westerly direction from Tuatuka Bay. This river has a very narrow entrance, but a depth of (18) eighteen feet water on the bar. It is of easy navigation for vessels of from 40 to 50 tons. Heavy timber abounds in this locality; there is one saw-mill now in full operation, and exporting largely. Vessels do not get up to the mill, but, by means of rafting, the timber is easily conveyed alongside.

MATAURA RIVER has been frequented by vessels of (30) thirty tons; but, owing to the shifting nature of the bar, which is open to the prevailing strong SW. winds, and which occasionally shoals from (9) nine to (3) three feet, the river will never be safe to navigate.

The North-Eastern and Interior Districts may be generally defined to include that part of the Province that stretches from Dunedin to the Waitaki, and from the Ocean to the ridges of the Southern Alps.

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THE formations of a sea-board are principally sedimentary to a distance inland of 30 miles; in the interior the prevailing formations are plutonic and metamorphic.

The most prevailing class of plutonic rocks is trappean, graduating from blue compact rock to light and drab coloured cherts. The most prevailing of the metamorphic rocks are schist and clay slates. These are abundantly met with on the Waikouaiti Downs, Rock and Pillar Mountains, Roughridge Hills, and Blackstone and Raggedy Ranges, in which the sharp serrated edges of the formations protrude, giving the country a most peculiarly tuberous and rough appearance.

In neither the plutonic nor metamorphic formations were any indications of minerals observed. The sedimentary formations on the sea-board and adjacent country possess much more interest by their containing minerals that may be of practical advantage to the Province. These consist of coal and limestone. Excellent flagstone is found on the Kakanui, and roofing slate at Waianakarua and Maruwenua.

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THE Northern and Interior Districts of the Province of Otago, in regard to their soil and climate, are eminently adapted for pastoral as well as agricultural settlement; but the great paucity of forest, while it does not materially militate against the former interests, acts as an effectual obstacle to the latter; it is, therefore, only in such parts where forests exist that an agricultural population would have a tendency to overspread. Excepting in the far inland districts, forest lands are confined to a strip on the sea coast, stretching from Blueskin Bay 40 miles northward, and having a general breadth of 10 miles. This district, though circumscribed in limits, besides those advantages of climate and soil and abundance of timber, has facilities for the shipping of produce at the little harbours of Blueskin, Waikouaiti, and Moeraki, whence the connection with the capital is easy and rapid. These advantages induce us to believe, on any great increase of the influx of immigrants into the Province, under the present regulation relating to land, that the agricultural population will have a tendency to spread in this direction.

The South-Eastern Districts may be generally defined to include that part of the Province stretching from Dunedin to the Mataura River, and from the Dunstan and Rock and Pillar Mountains to the Ocean.

These districts are divided by the Clutha River

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into two portions, somewhat different in their general features. The eastern portion may be described as a succession of ranges and alternate valleys, parallel to the coast and to each other, extending from the sea to the valley of Manuherikia. These ranges have few well defined peaks, but consist mostly of long rounded or flat-topped spurs, traversed by deep gullies. The first range runs along the coast from Saddlehill to the mouth of the Clutha River; its average height is not above 900 feet, the well defined peak of Saddlehill rising to 2565 feet. The second range extends from Flagstaff to Mount Stuart, running down in long spurs to the Clutha River, towards Ivikatea Ferry. The flat summit of Maungatua is 2985 feet at its highest elevation, but the average is not above half that height. The third range stretches from the Rock and Pillar Mountain to Lammerlaw, from whence it also runs down in long rounded spurs to the Clutha River. On the top are two or three parallel ridges, rising on a flat summit, with an elevation of 3820 feet. These ranges average about 3200 feet high, and, from their peculiarly bleak, moorish appearance, have been called the Lammermoors. The fourth range in order is the Roughridge, rising to a height of nearly 4000 feet; and the fifth is the Raggedy Range, attaining an elevation of 3000 feet. These last are thickly dotted with blocks of schist rocks of all forms and sizes, giving rise to some strikingly peculiar scenery. The valley between the first and second ranges contains the Taieri and Tokomair-

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iro Plains, the general level of which is low, not above 10 to 150 feet above the sea. The space between the second and third ranges is occupied by part of the second Taieri Plain, rising from 800 to 1500 feet above the sea. To the south-west is the valley of Waitahuna, intersected by deep gullies and long flat-topped spurs.

In the western portion of the district, the Kaihiku Ranges, and their continuation, form a northern limit to a tract of country differing in its features from all the other parts. This tract is characterised by rasor-back ridges and conical hills, so similar to each other as to be perplexing to travellers: it also contains by far the largest quantity of wood in the district.

The geological formations of the district appear to belong to the primary and transition periods, except on such places as the basins of the Pomahaka and Mataura, Tokomairiro, Coal Point, and some other places where sedimentary deposits of a very recent date are met with. The eastern portion, from the coast to the Manuherikia, appears to be composed almost entirely of rocks belonging to the mica schist systems. Towards the south-west, clay slate and altered rocks appear as at Tapanui, the lower part of the Pomahaka, and the Clutha; below the Tuapeka, south-west of the Kaihiku Ranges, a hard compact sandstone is common. It appears to be a good building stone, is of a dingy brown colour, and, in some places, splits into good flags. It seems to have been

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driven up by some disturbing cause into the sharp ridges and conical hills so peculiar to this part of the country. The curiously crested summits seem to have been caused by the strata breaking at the ridge. All these ridges, where sharp and well defined, are found to be almost exactly parallel to each other, ranging WNW. and ESE. nearly. The Kaihuku Ranges have also this general direction; and appear to be formed of the same rock, in a more altered state. Clay slate and conglomerate also occur in several places among these ranges. Fragments of granite are found on the surface and in the streams, but were not observed to crop out anywhere; no igneous rocks of any kind having been met with, except the whinstone, in the neighbourhood of Dunedin. Considerable beds of coals, or lignite, occur in various parts of the district. The principal deposits are found on the coast at Coal Point, and in the Pomahaka, Tokomairiro, and Tuakitoto Valleys; it is also said to be found about Saddlehill and the Mataura, and some drift pieces were picked up in the bed of the Waikaka. Pieces of gum or resin are found imbedded in this formation; also half-bitumenised wood and branches of trees. There is, generally, only a bed of loose conglomerate between it and the superficial deposits; in one place, it was observed to rest on a bluish clay, full of impressions of bi-valve shells, similar to those to be found on the present shores. This clay was encrusted with white crystals having an astringent taste like alum, so that it may proba-

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bly be similar to the clay or shale from which the alum of commerce is derived. In another place, were found oyster shells very little changed or decayed. The thickest beds of coal at Coal Point and the Pomahaka probably exceed 20 feet at both places, the water preventing the full thickness from being seen; this coal, however, does not extend in seams of regular thickness like the true coal, but appears to occur in patches, which thin out and disappear in a very irregular manner. One of those beds at the Pomahaka has been on fire for several years, and has been long known by the name of the Burning Plain. It was still burning away pretty briskly when we passed it this season. Traces of gold were found in the gravel of several of the streams and rivers. The trials were all made on the very surface, at such odd times as would not interrupt the proper work of the survey, by one of the party who happened to have previously visited the Australian gold-fields. The gold found was in every case small and scaly, varying from the smallest specks to about the roughness of bran, which it seems to resemble also in the manner of its formation, by being ground about among the stones of the streams. It was found in the Clutha River above the junction of the Manuherikia, and in the Tuapeka stream, in sufficient quantities to make it probable that it would pay to work, if set about in a proper manner, with some wholesale system of washing, such as sluicing. Specks were also found in the Manuherikia, Pomahaka, and Waitahuna,

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and it will probably be found also in some of the tributaries of the Mataura and Pomahaka. Along with the gold was found black sand, in some places fine, and resembling emery, in other places, coarser, and sometimes in square block crystals, which are probably oxide of tin. Limestone crops out about the Horseshoe Bush and Tokomairiro Gorge, but was not observed in any other place; it is of a gray and white colour and very crystaline texture. 3

The principal extent of bush-land in this district is found near the coast. The forest of Tautuku stretches from the mouth of the Clutha nearly to Otara Point, and covers an area of more than 500 square miles.

The climate of the eastern parts of these districts does not differ much from Dunedin, except that the north-east drizzling rains, so common there, seldom extend far into the Taieri Plain, and scarcely ever reach the Tokomairiro at all.

The country adjacent to the west coast remains unsurveyed, and is estimated to comprise 11,233 square miles, the whole area of the Province being 26,640 square miles, or 17,049,609 acres. The unsurveyed districts have not yet been penetrated by any parties known to the writer, but a general idea of them may be gained from the following extract from the 'New Zealand Pilot':--"A view of the

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surrounding country from the summit of one of the mountains bordering on the coast, of from 4000 to 5000 feet elevation, is perhaps one of the most grand and magnificent spectacles it is possible to imagine; and, standing on such an elevation, rising over the south side of Caswell's Sound, Cook's description of this region was forcibly called to mind. He says-- 'A prospect more rude and craggy is rarely to be met with: far inland appeared to be nothing but the summits of mountains of a stupendous height, and consisting of rocks that are totally barren and naked, except where they are covered with snow. We could only compare the scene around us, as far as the eye could reach-north to Milford Sound, south to Dusky Bay, and eastward inland for a distance of 60 miles --to a vast area of mountains of every possible variety of shape and ruggedness. The clouds and mists floated far beneath us, and the harbour appeared no more than an insignificant stream.'"

THE Sketch we undertook to furnish is now finished, and we unhesitatingly present it to the intending emigrant, be he the man with a moderate capital, or the man whose dependence is on a willing heart and a strong arm; neither of whom has anything to fear in casting in his lot among us, success being as certain as if it were guaranteed. The climate is good; the

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land fertile, abundant, and cheaply obtained; education within reach; political institutions liberal; and evidences of rapid advancement on every side.

Here are facts--hard unassailable facts:-- Population doubled in one year, --Imports more than doubled, --Exports ten times as much as in the previous year, --General Revenue almost double, and the Tonnage of vessels arriving and departing, almost four times as much as last year (M,L).

From morn till dewy eve, are heard the sound of the carpenter's hammer, and the ring of the smith's anvil; houses spring up as if by magic, and many of them of imposing appearance; auctioneers are busy on all sides, and the sales are frequent, and realizing good prices; land in the town is fetching fabulous sums, and the immediately adjacent country partakes in the rise of property; river steamers arrive constantly from Melbourne and Sydney with their living freight of men, horses, and sheep; --all is life, unceasing motion, steady rapid progress, with comparatively little crime; a police, whose efficiency is not excelled any where, is ubiquitous; and we venture to assert that in no part of the world is property left so little protected with so little loss. Not content with our direct monthly mail service with Melbourne, we are now about to subsidize two steamers, one to bring the English mail from Melbourne, and the other to take the Otago mail for England--Electric Telegraphs are on the eve of establishment--daily mails to the interior are in existence; and even railways are being

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confidently talked of as a necessity. Not content with our two weekly newspapers, we now have an admirably conducted daily newspaper, The Times, under the spirited co-partnership of Messrs Cutten and Vogel, teeming with advertisements, and having correspondents in the remotest corners of New Zealand; this is the only daily paper in the Colony; one of the weekly papers, The Colonist (conducted for the benefit of the widow of the late William Lambert, whose loss the community had a short time since to deplore), has been enlarged into a tri-weekly paper.

Our escorts bring weekly nearly 10,000 ounces of gold from the diggings. Day labourers are receiving from 5 to 7 shillings a day, other farm servants from £50 to £70 a year, and female servants from £20 to £60 per annum.

Surely these are attractions enough for the sorely pressed small capitalist at home, and the labourer and mechanic struggling for a precarious existence, jostling and being jostled, with doubt and anxiety for a growing family gnawing in to their very vitals. The public revenue is principally expended in public works, so that the demand for labour is continuous and steady. We have only produced a true sketch of the present, and our hopes for the future are full of promise. We need what England can well supply, capital and labour, both of which will be amply remunerated in this province. Our resources have yet to be developed, and our staples to be worked by machinery on the spot. There are many young men

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sighing for the lasses, who are equally sighing in the old country for companions in the journey through life. Let these British maidens come to our shores, and the only difficulty they will experience will be that of selection among the aspirants for their affections.

1   The Appendix referred to will be found, in the shape of a series of Statistical Tables, in the Otago Provincial Government Gazette.
2   The information respecting the Harbours has been principally derived from Captain Thomson, the Harbour Master.
3   These geological remarks are taken, almost verbatim, from the Report of Mr Thomson, the Chief Surveyor, and his assistant, Mr Garvie (lately deceased).

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