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COAST OF THE NORTHERN ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND, FROM DOUBTLESS BAY ROUND THE NORTH COAST TO TARANAKI, INCLUDING THE HARBOURS AND RIVERS OF AWANUI, HOKORA, PARENGARENGA, HEREKINO, WANGAPE, HOKIANGA, KAIPARA, MANUKAU, WAIKATO, WHAINGAROA, AOTEA, AND KAWHIA.
DOUBTLESS BAY is clear of danger, with the exception of the Fairway reef and Albert rocks.
The Albert reef of the charts is not a reef, but two rocks well above water, with a channel of not less than 10 fathoms between them, and both are steep to all round, and a vessel may run between them as they are not sufficiently high to cause eddy winds.
The Fairway reef is all connected by a few sunken rocks, and a few just above water.
Two miles N. N. W. of Knuckle point is Matai bay.
There are two inner bays, the west having the best anchorage in 5 fathoms sand.
These inner bays (Ohungahunga and Waikata) are divided by a narrow peninsula, on the summit of which has been a most impregnable Pa,
In the East bay is the native village of Orurua, from which fresh water and supplies can be obtained.
The hills rising behind this village are remarkably red, which will point out Matai bay.
The only danger on entering the outer bay (Matai) is a rock just covered at high water, and in mid-entrance it has 25 fathoms all round it, and will almost always show. It is 1 1/4 mile N. N. E. of the peninsula, These bays cannot afford a good anchorage in a N. E. wind.
South east of Matai is a small bay also having a rock at its entrance. It is called Orurua bay.
North of Matai bay to Cape Karakara the shore is bold. The near off laying rocks being generally uncovered.
West of Cape Karakara are the Moturoa islets. The extreme islet is 3 miles west of the Cape, and no rocks without it. There are deep channels between some of these islets, and between them and
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the main; but there are also sunken rocks midway between some of them, which only occasionally break, and therefore should not be attempted by a stranger, or indeed by any thing but small coasters.
From Karakara the land trends S. W. There is from 10 to 12 fathoms of sand across Karakara bay, which terminates with a flat topped hill 300 feet high, called Puheki, and which is a guide to Rangaounou or Awanui river, being 2 1/4 miles east of it.
The entrance to this river is in a bight 7 miles S. W. of Karakara point of Doubtless bay, a range of hills from 200 to 300 feet from the east head extending 2 miles up the river.
From the west head, which is sandy and low, the sand downs commence, and with the exception of Mount Ohora, are continued to Parengarenga, and occupy the whole neck extending on the west coast from Ahaipara to Cape Maria.
There are rocks above water off the North head, and one two-thirds of a cable off (awash). The channel has not less than 3 1/2 fathoms, and leads to an anchorage in from 5 to 7 fathoms, and if the rocky ground off Te Kotiatia point had a buoy on its outer entrance, it would leave a channel of not less than three cables.
On entering Rangaounou pass two cables from Motu Tara rocks off the East head, for there is one sunken outside those seen dry.
Steer S. by W. 1/2 W. shoaling from 7 to 3 1/2 fathoms until about two-thirds across the entrance. When Te Kotiatia point bears E. 1/2 S. haul up S. E. by E. 1/2 E. and pass fully half a mile from Te Kotiatia point, and when it shuts in the East head, anchor in 3 to 7 fathoms, sand, three quarters of a mile above the point.
This is the deepest water. Half a mile above this, the river flats, with narrow channels, commence.
Te Kotiatia point within 2 miles of the East head, is easily known as being the termination of a range of hills, and has a flat top.
Rocks extend one-third of a mile from East to South of this point.
The West shore again is shoal, but it is sand.
There are rocks also in Kohonga bay South of Te Kotiatia point, but they are above the anchorage.
There is no bar at the entrance of this river, but a mile from the mouth, a spit having 2 fathoms extends North, 2 miles from the West beach, but leaving a channel of 7 fathoms between it and the East head.
The low sandy beach extends from Ranga Ounou six miles E. by N., when Mount Camel rises 820 feet above the sea level.
Immediately to the N. E. of this mountain is a very snug bay, clear of danger and a good anchorage. A vessel might ride out any westerly gale from North to South in 7 to 5 fathoms, and fresh water may be obtained with a little difficulty, and an abun-
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dance of fish. If on reaching the neighbourhood of the North Cape, from the Southward a vessel should meet with a North-West gale, instead of contending against it, they should at once proceed to Ohora bay.
One mile S. W. of the bay, is Ohora river, which on the approach of a N. E. gale, might be entered by vessels not drawing more than 15 feet. The high land on the north shore must be kept on board within half a cable on a West course, until a small round islet (Motu Otuna) is seen just opening to the left of Tokoroa Islet W. N. W., which is the course in.
Moor well over on the North shore soon after passing the South sandy point. Having the summit of the mountain bearing N. W.
As a sand spit extends half a mile from the South shore, the channel is rendered very narrow and the room for anchorage small, and the tide being very rapid, this river should only be run for under favourable circumstances, or on the first approach of bad weather.
There is another bay to the N. (3 miles) of the mountain, but the anchorage is not equal to Ohora bay. Between it and Ohora bay are two rocks awash, a quarter of a mile from the steep cliffs.
Leaving Ohora, three islets stretch to the northward, 1 1/2 miles from the coast, steep to.
The coast then trends N. E. by N. for six miles, low cliffs and sandy bays.
Then a sandy hay of 11 miles in length is terminated by Parengarenga. The soundings are regular off the coast, having 12 to 16 fathoms, from 1 to 2 miles off, sandy bottom.
Parengarenga is six miles South of the North Cape, has a Bar of 15 feet, a narrow entrance, but plenty of water within. It branches into three extensive creeks.
The bar generally breaks, but our open boats crossed it twice during Westerly winds. In N. E. winds it would be very heavy.
The outer part of the bar is 1 1/4 miles from the shore, and when at the entrance, Kohau or Coal point (a point 2 miles from the entrance) bears N. E., steer in West until a low sandy point is on with the point of Kotihau bearing W. S. W.
N. B. Kotihau is a cliff point 20 feet high, a mile beyond the sand point.
This course leads to a safe anchorage in 4 or 5 fathoms, but until this river is buoyed, the channel will be best seen from aloft.
When within the bar, the south shore is steepest.
From North Cape to Cape Maria is 21 miles direct.
The bays within the North Cape offer good anchorage in 5 to 12 fathoms in moderate westerly winds, but the back swell rounding the North Cape would render them bad anchorages in strong breezes.
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Off the North Cape islets, foul ground extends for one-third of a mile N. E. by E., at the extreme of which is a rock which is only uncovered at low water. After rounding it, the steep red cliff rising at the Cape to 740 feet, gradually slopes for three miles,
An open bay (Tom Bowlin's Bay) has been a temporay anchorage for whalers receiving supplies from a native of that name; but it is a very exposed anchorage.
The coast now takes an easterly direction, bold and precipitous, with bare hills rising to 900 feet.
Midway to Cape Maria an islet extends from a rocky point, within this a sandy bay stretches W. S. W. for 3 miles, having a small stream at each end. From thence to Cape Reinga, the coast is rocky and precipitous, but apparently free from dangers, if we except a whirlpool which is spoken of, but which we have not yet seen.
From off Cape Reinga, Columbia reef extends eastward 2 miles, constantly breaking. There is a channel within it and the main for small vessels. But the soundings on this coast will undergo a closer examination this season.
Off Cape Maria is the Pandora bank (officially reported on December 11th, 1851). It is 6 miles S. S. W. half W. from the Cape, having 5 fathoms and generally breaking. Within it and the main is a channel of 15 fathoms.
Cape Maria Van Diemen is a projection from a sandy isthmus, and appears like an island, and not more than 100 feet high. Immediately N. E. of it, is a double islet about half a mile in circumference, but no channel within.
The long beach from Cape Maria Van Diemen, south, is a uniform hard sand. Twelve miles down is the small rocky islet of Motu Pea, 100 feet high, half a mile from the shore; it is the only unconnected spot on this coast, there appeared to be deep water within it; but the constant rollers would prevent a vessel from taking the channel.
The rocky (almost islet) of Monganui connected with the sands at low water, and about 10 miles S. E. of Motu Pea, are the only varieties in this monotonous sandy beach of 45 miles, ending at Ahaipara.
At the extreme of the 45 miles sand beach extending S. S. E. from Cape Maria Van Diemen, is Ahaipara bay, in which under favourable circumstances, a vessel of any tonnage could ship the produce of the Victoria plains, and of the fertile country at the foot of the mountain range extending from reef point to the eastward.
There is a small bay (Ongonga) within, where boats can ship cargo.
The approach is clear, and the anchorage is after bringing Taw-roa reef point, to bear S. W. and the soundings will be
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found to decrease gradually from 10 fathoms-the bottom fine sand.
Reef point (improperly so called) is a long low point sloping down from hills chequered with sand. A spit of sand extends from it westward which generally breaks, but does not run out above half a mile from the point.
A mile west of the point, we found 16 fathoms; the tide which runs from 2 to 3 knots, is imperceptible in Ahaipara bay.
S. W. and S. E. winds are favourable for laying at this anchorage. It would appear also sheltered from N. E., but as the gales from this quarter generally veer to N. W., it would not be prudent to remain.
H. M. S. 'Pandora' weighed at the commencement of a N. W. gale, and had ample time to get a sufficient offing.
Lat. 33° 10' 30'' S.
Long. 173° 7' 00'' E.
H. W. F. & C. 8h. 45m. Rise and fall 7 feet.
Reef Point is a long and table projection. The shoal water extending from reef point appeared inconsiderable, but this we also hope to approach seaward. A mile and a half south is a remarkable sandy ravine. The sea is said to be encroaching here fast.
Herekino, or False Hokianga (nine miles south of Ahaipara) is only navigable for boats at the finest season of the year; at the mouth 9 feet at high water.
There are sand hills chequered with green patches on the North shore; from the south head the bare hills rise suddenly to the height of 800 feet, and continuing the same level to Wangape with a table summit, and deep ravines to seaward. Forty feet of timbers of H. M. S. 'Osprey' are left on the North entrance.
Wangape is 5 miles to the southward of Herekino. It has bold heads, but a rock is at the entrance which we have not seen, called Maniawa, and the channel is not more than a quarter of a mile in breadth.
If a ship came in here with a strong flood, she must inevitably go on shore one side or the other, at every turning the tide sets to the opposite shore. There is however 5 fathoms in the channels.
It must be a decked vessel of small tonnage to enter under canvass.
There is a sunken rock in the channel, but no bar, and the north channel is the best.
No vessel drawing more than 7 feet should approach Herekino.
From Wangape to Hokianga is 11 1/4 miles, S. E., about 5 miles brings you to the sand hills extending to the north head of Hokianga.
The entrance to Hokianga from the Northward is known by the North head of the river being the termination of a sandy range extending for eight miles, varying from 100 to 300 feet high.
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To the southward of Hokianga no sand hills are to be seen until passing Mongonui bluff, when it is all sand again to Kaipara.
Monganui bluff is very high land falling abruptly to the water 20 miles south of Hokianga, and on a tolerably clear day will be seen long before reaching Hokianga. There is no land like it on the coast, and is a good mark to make at any time for vessels approaching ports on the west coast.
A constant swell from the westward breaks heavily on the beach, and the bar is almost always breaking, and when this is the case, a vessel should be prepared for shipping a sea.
Three rollers, and you are over it.
No vessel should approach without a leading wind. She should be there so as to carry the flood into the harbour. But should the first of the ebb have made, and the bar should appear to be passable, it must still be borne in mind there is a tide of 5 knots per hour to contend against, with a chance of the wind failing; and the anchorage between the bar and heads is very bad.
Steering S. E. until you are within 4 or 5 miles of the heads, keep over to the eastward until you bring Martin's White Cottage on with the south head E. by N. 3/4 N. Keep this cottage (which may be seen five mites) a cable open for the deepest channel.
The outer edge of the bar is miles from the heads, it will be found to shoal from 8 fathoms to 3 1/2 at one cast.
Mongonui bluff is then in transit with a low point about six miles distant, and the shoalest of the bar is when Mongonui bluff is in transit with a nearer point, and when three points are in transit, the bar is crossed and the water deepens.
There are then two dangers (north of the channel) to be avoided --the Nine Feet rocks and a patch off the North head, making the channel at the heads narrow, but by keeping the south head on board, and the cliffs extending from it to Martin's bay just open, they are avoided.
It must be remarked, the ebb sets directly upon the south head spit, and in going out due allowance must be made for weathering it. On it the 'City of Edinburgh' lost her rudder, and small vessels have drifted on it during light winds.
There are no dangers in Martin's bay, and the holding ground is very good, but there is generally a considerable swell. It is therefore better not to anchor until passing the middle ground.
N. B. Vessels anchor in Martin's bay to wait an opportunity of crossing the bar which might be lost by being further up.
There is a good channel either side of middle ground, but the east channel is the broadest.
There is foul ground off the Wairohea, which frequently causes a race, and the outer ledge is only dry at springs.
When the south head is S. S. W., steer N. E. until Young's point
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bears N. half E. Steer for Young's point until midway between the low Sandy point Rangi and Young's point. Then edge over to westward to avoid the bank south of Young's point, but do not shut in the north head with point Rangi.
After passing Young's point steer for the next--Kowwarri.
Abreast Mahenna island will be found the least water.
Keep a cable off Kowwarri point, which has rocks off it covered at halt tide. When Kowwarri point is abreast, steer for Tekaraka point, to avoid an extensive flat between it and Onoki, but when nearing Tekaraka edge away for Direction bead, not coming within a cable of Tekaraka, as rocks dry at low water extend from the southward of it.
The river course is now N. E. by E. and by keeping in mid-channel all dangers are avoided.
From Mutawhera point (steep to) keep Hurd's point (a long low point) on the starboard bow, to avoid the extensive flat formed by the Omanai.
From abreast of Hurd's point steer for the north point of the Narrows.
To pass through the Narrows, which are very deep, a vessel should have a commanding breeze or slack water, as the tide, sometimes of 4 knots, sets from point to point.
The only danger in the Narrows is the Kohatutakataka rock, which is covered at low water, and extends a third way across, from the north point of the upper end of Narrows, it is steep to from the southward, but there is no channel between it and the north shore.
From the Narrows give the north bank a fair berth, steering for Motuti (a low sandy islet).
Between this and Kokohu is the best anchorage, and vessels can proceed as far as Houraki, hut no further, and even here she would require to moor short, or head and stern. The channel to Hauraki is between Putupapaka, a low mangrove island, and the Mission Station point, keeping the south shore on board after rounding within half a cable of the Mangrove point of the Mission Station.
In beating down the river, as a general rule, do not get within a line of the point you leave, and the point you are approaching as the mud flats (however deep the bights) extend from point to point, and are invariably steep to.
The Narrows should be passed with a leading wind, unless a Pilot, understanding the set of the tides, should undertake to beat a smart vessel through.
Hokianga to Kaipara.
From Hokianga the coast lies S. E. The shore is rocky, with large boulders, until Monganui Bluff (2040 feet high) is passed; there is then 52 miles of straight sandy coast, with sand cliffs and hills rising to the height of 300 feet. From seaward will be seen two remarkable hills, of which Tokatoka, 620 feet high, is most
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conspicuous. They are two miles apart, on the east bank of the Wairoa river.
Kaipara to Manukau.
From Kaipara South head to Manukau North head is S. E. by S. 45 miles; the first part, to Te-muriwai stream 26 miles, being undulating sand hills, with a range two miles in the interior, the highest bill being about 550 feet high.
The rest of the coast to Manakau is broken and cliffy, with intervening sandy bays. The hills over Manukau North head rise to 1280 feet, decreasing to 600 feet at the Te-muriwai, the whole wellwooded.
At the termination of the sandy coast, and half a mile from the shore, is the small rocky islet Oaia, with a rock awash a quarter of a mile north of it.
Parera islet is half a mile from the shore, and 4 miles north of Manukau; both these islands are about 25 feet high.
Waitakeri bay is the only part of the coast inhabited, 13 miles north of Manukau.
No landing can be effected on any point of this piece of coast.
Kaipara and Tributaries.
Kaipara entrance may be known by the sand hills at the North head, being 200 feet higher than along the beach; before reaching the breakers, the sand cliffs recede inland, leaving an extensive level of sand and swampy ground.
The land south of Kaipara is higher than that to the northward, and in clear weather the opening shows the dark hills on the eastern shores of the river mouth.
But the breakers will be generally seen from the mast-head long before the distinctions in the land are visible; the S. E. limit of them being 6 miles from the North head, and from the South beach at the main channel entrance. The whole extent of the outer limits is 11 miles, in a semi-circular form. Convex to seaward.
There are at present four channels; the northern is very narrow, and has from 2 1/4 to 3 fathoms, and should never be taken except under difficulties, or when a vessel standing too far over to it has been drawn into the channel by the tide. The "Aurora" was lost here.
The Fanny Channel, there is reason to believe, has opened lately. It generally breaks across, but in it there is 2 1/2 fathoms at low water. Vessels have lately taken this for the main channel, and have been surprised to find such shallow water. Coming along the breakers from the northward, the Fanny Channel will be the first opening seen, but except near high water, or under very favourable circumstances, no large vessel should attempt it. It has this advantage over the main channel; the course through to the North head is direct.
The main channel is 4 miles from the south beach, the narrow-
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est part is three quarters of a mile broad, the extremes of the banks on either side break heavily, and 5 1/2 fathoms will be found at low water mid-channel.
When at the entrance, the present land marks are the middle green patch on the North Sand Head, N. 2° 30' W. mag. and the large green triangular tuft, elevated 430 feet on the south sand hills, N. 74° 30' E. mag.
The course in will be N. b. E. mag. As the outer extreme of the left bank is passed, which breaks heavily, the Tory shoal is seen, and the course will be N. W. pass either side of the Tory; but the north side is preferable.
The courses are so subject to the tides, that the eye will always be the best guide. Off the North Head a sand spit extends, making the passage between it and the Tory 1 1/4 mile broad. The water here is very deep, 20 to 25 fathoms. Through the main channel there is (until passing the North Head) water at any time of tide for any ship, and varying from six to twenty fathoms, sand.
The South channel is intricate, narrow, and not well known. The 'Sophia Pate' was wrecked in it.
Having passed within the breakers the course up the Kaipara is E. 1/2 N., avoiding the spit winch forms a tongue between the Wairoa and Kaipara, the extreme of which is generally breaking, steering for the first head land (red cliffs); after passing it keep the south shore on board for 2 1/2 miles, and anchor half a mile off the shore in an open bay before reaching Omokoiti, from which place the mud flats begin to extend, forming the channel between banks (which are steep to) which it is best to navigate at low water, when they are dry on each side.
The general course from the anchorage off Omokoiti to Aotea (a remarkable white cliff on the south bank) is S. E. for 7 miles, with the channel a mile broad. When 2 1/2 miles from the white cliff, the course wends to the southward, and the channel narrows. The anchorage off Aotea is the highest and safest in the Kaipara.
To enter the Wairoa after passing the North Spit, keep the land on board for 5 miles, until a mile from Pouto point, which is about 100 feet high, and its top flat (where a Pa has been). Then edge off, as a spit extends half a mile from the shore under Pouto point, which having passed, keep the shore on board again, and an anchorage off a watering place in from 13 to 6 fathoms will be found. This anchorage is under the second high cliff after passing a small islet joined to the land at low water, and the valley north of the cliff has the stream.
A monotonous range of white cliffs extends 16 miles up the Wairoa. The river runs nearly parallel with the sea coast at a distance of 5 or 8 miles until reaching Mongawhare, 24 miles above Okaru. Three miles above the watering place is Okaru, from where a native pilot can bo obtained. The two at present are Tomati and Manakau, and until the river is buoyed, recourse should be had to
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their services in proceeding up this branch of the Kaipara. Ships at present take in timber at Mongawhare, where there is sufficient depth of water for any vessel in the trade.
From Mongawhare the river runs north-easterly, and becomes narrow and tortuous, but timber can, and has been supplied as high as Omano in a vessel of 300 tons. This station, with the windings of the river, is 21 miles above Mongawhare.
From the heads there are deep channels into the Oruawharu and Otamotea River, which until buoyed should be shown by a pilot, (the chart will best define them at present). These rivers have undoubted advantage over any other branch of the Kaipara, being near the heads, free from banks and dangers, and their shores comparatively free from mud flats, with fine soil, and plenty of timber, and their sources being within a short distance of Wangari, will, I think, eventually make them the most valuable branches of this great estuary.
The tides in the Kaipara and Wairoa vary in strength according to winds and freshes. They are strongest between the Tory and North Spit, and off the North entrance, until reaching the first white cliff in the Wairoa, when the influence of the Otamotea and Orua Wharu may be said to cease.
The ordinary springs run 5 miles an hour, and during strong gales or freshes, 7 miles.
The tides above in the Wairoa run 3 miles an hour, and continue that strength until near the head of the liver.
Above Mongawhare, a bore of considerable strength carries up the first of the flood, breaking upon the northern bank; although the tides of the river take the courses of the channels, they do not outside, but set directly over the banks, and this must be studied in navigating these channels. The flood outside runs to the south and the ebb to the north, following the direction of the coast; but on striking the outer banks, they flow and recede over them, and a vessel should not stand far into the great semi-circular bight among the breakers during the ebb-tide, or she will be carried on the banks.
Vessels leaving the Kaipara should be within 3 miles of the heads at the first of the ebb, if it is intended to beat through, and it is possible for a smart working ship to do so. If a fair wind is necessary, it must be remembered the morning land-wind will rarely carry a vessel clear of danger, and will probably leave her becalmed amongst the breakers.
The Three Kings are a cluster of islands extending E. N. E. and W. S. W. 7 miles, the races and tides which run 5 miles an hour between them, frequently have the apperance of shoal water; but the 'Pandora' has sounded the different channels, and no danger whatever was found but what was above water. The only detached rock is a little above water about three-quarters mile E. of the largest island, and there is a channel within it. The largest
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island was inhabited for two or three years by natives from the North Coast, but it is now deserted. The landing is very precarious at all times.
The south extremity of the Three Kings hears N. 64 1/4 W. (mag.) W. 21.9 miles from Cape Maria Van Diemen. Variations of Compass. 14° E.
All bearings given are by Compass.
High Water at Full and Change.
Aotea Cliff (Kaipara Branch)
Watering Place (Wairoa Branch)
Omano (Mr. Walton's)
Tangiteroria (Mr. Buller's)
Springs rise 11 feet. Neaps 8 feet.
High Water at Full and Change.
Hokianga Heads (rise and fall 10 feet)
Cape Maria Van Diemen
Parenga-renga (Coal or Kohau point)
Ohora River and Bay
Awanui and Rangaounou Heads
The rise and fall round the coast is about seven feet at springs.
Fifteen miles from the land will take a vessel out of the influence of tides, except off Cape Maria Van Diemen. A mile and half from the shore they are generally twice as strong as 3 miles off.
Off Cape Maria Van Diemen the tides run from 3 to 5 knots per hour, and we found them strong on the Pandora bank. Indeed the tidal influence here extends to the Three Kings.
On the East coast the flood tide sets to the northward; on the North coast to the westward; and on the West coast to the southward.
Latitudes and Longitudes Astronomically determined.
Awanui (Tekotiatia point) 34° 53' 12" S. 173° 20' 04" E.
Maitai Bay (peninsula dividing the inner hays) 31° 50' 05" S. 173° 26' 30" E.
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Ohoro River (point Repirepi) 34° 49' 45" S. 173° 11' 20"
Parengarenga (Kohau or Coal point) 34° 30' 40" S. 173° 02' 50" E.
North Cape (islet off) 34° 25' 07" S. 173° 05' 40" E.
Cape Maria Van Diemen (Cape islet) 34° 28' 30" S. 172° 40' 10" E.
Hokianga Heads (flagstaff) 35° 32' 05" S. 173° 24' 25' E.
Kaipara (watering place, Wairoa) 36° 19' 35" S. 174° 13' 00" E.
Kaipara (a whitewashed cliff at extremity of the bay N. of Omokoiti) 36° 27' 50 S. 174° 13' 29" E. '
Remarks on the River Hokianga.
The River Hokianga is the northernmost port on the West Coast that can contain ships of burden. It flows in a N. E. direction for 20 miles, between the wooded ranges of Waima and Punghuru, whose steep sides approach the bank of the river at distances varying from 4 to 10 miles, supplying the Hokianga by large tributaries winding through valleys of great capabilities.
These mountain ranges are from 1500 to 2000 feet in height, and the Maungataniwa, at the head of the Maungamuka, was found to be 2151 feet, (probably the highest mountain north of Hauraki Gulf).
The river is navigable and has few obstructions for 15 miles from the heads. The depth in channel varying from 4 to 26 fathoms, mud and sand; and the water salt to the source.
The bar is composed of dark green sand, with surface inequalities, the outer part being l 3/4 mile from the heads, and stretching from shore to shore. Its breadth is about a quarter of a mile. Between it and the heads the water deepens to 20 fathoms.
At low water springs, 16 feet will be met with, in crossing on the direction bearing, but at high water there will be four fathoms, and as the bar generally breaks, it should be taken at half flood.
(During the month of February, we crossed the bar when perfectly smooth at low water, neaps, having 16 feet, and drawing 13 feet 6 inches).
In the old plans there are three distinct channels laid down, namely--the North Channel, which was considered narrow, but deep, but objectionable because the swell would be on the beam. The S. E. Channel is laid down as narrow, but with nothing less than 3 1/2 fathoms; this is sometimes called Hurd's Channel, and the City of Edinburgh' of 600 tons, ran through it, having lost her rudder on the South Head rocks.
The fact is, I believe she ran over the bar, as may be the case
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in any part of it, at or near high water, for vessels drawing 20 feet.
The pilot has been here twenty-three years, and he believed in the channels, although he kept to the middle channel, and never sounded. We were sure by watching the breakers from the heads, that they did not exist, for the sea curled over the whole extent; and we afterwards sounded the bar, having succeeded in getting two days during which it was perfectly smooth, and employed four boats in the service.
The result is, that the bar extends for two miles from N. W. to S. E., at the distance of 1 3/4 miles from the heads. At low water springs you must cross 17 feet. The mark for going in has been judiciously laid down by Mr. Martin, the pilot. His white cottage is built in the Bay in line with the south head, which takes you over the narrowest part of the bar, and by keeping it a little open off the head, we found the deepest water.
The pilot does not remember any change in the appearance of the bar, but I should think it very possible that the heavy floods and rapid tides might produce a change on these sands.
The tides at the head runs five miles per hour.
The banks of the river are every where approachable for boats at high water. At low water the mud flats (commencing four miles from the heads) are of considerable extent, generally soft and very steep to, and extending from point to point.
The first tributary of any importance is on the south bank between seven and eight miles from the heads (the Wirinaki.)
There are four extensive salt water creeks on the north-bank before reaching Wirinaki, meandering through miles of mangroves, and terminating near the foot of the Punghuru Mountains.
Names of Rivers.
Besides the Wirinaki, there are are the rivers Omanai, Waima, and Wairiri on the south shores. The Hauraki (a continuation of the Hokianga itself), the Orewa, the Maungamuka, the Motu Karaka, on the north shores.
General Account of.
These rivers can scarcely be considered navigable for vessels drawing more than six feet water, and the channels generally very narrow. About half way from their source, the water is fresh at half tide. The entrances are lined with mangroves for 2 or 3 miles, when the shores approach, wooded and steep, until the boughs reach across. In some the rapids are very strong after the rains. The bed of the Hokianga is for the most part soft mud, but near the mouth there is a hard sank bank called the middle ground, and for the first five miles the bottom has a sandy superficies caused by the great sand drift from the westward, which
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has also impregnated the whole coast with sand for some miles into the interior. Indeed wherever the west coast has a slope sufficient to retain the deposit, it will be found to be of fine yellow sand of depth according to the exposure.
The argillaceous white cliffs, from 15 to 30 feet high, falling perpendicular to the high water, are common to both banks of the Hokianga. Off these and extending along the shore are huge boulders of iron sandstone, some of them 30 feet in circumference, and nearly round; they do not however reach beyond the low water mark.
The west bank of the river affords the greatest timber forests. The kauri is first seen up the Pupuwai, and the principal branches from which it is obtained are the Maungamuka and Orewa, but it has become scarce from the quantity destroyed by the natives in removing it.
There were two vessels came for timber this year (1851), and there are about four cargoes ready for vessels of 500 tons. But Kaipara seems to be more attractive, being nearer to Auckland.
A very small portion of the soil is cultivated, and there is a great quantity of land that might easily be cleared.
Two small schooners carry all the exports, which consist of hams, wheat, honey, and potatoes, and a small quantity of worked up plank.
There is however a vessel building of fifty tons in the Pupuwae, but there will not be sufficient trade to retain her services in the river.
That the trade of this river has declined considerably, is to be attributed to many causes. The demand for timber is about one-fourth of what it was, the difficulty of obtaining it is increased, and one of the principal exporters has gone to Kaipara.
There is now no demand for kauri gum.
The late war frightened many of the settlers, and when the Government brig came, few that embarked ever returned. There were then 200 Europeans in the river; there are now 75.
The inhabitants complain of want of protection, and a Magistrate should be sent here. They are exposed to repeated insults from the natives, and cannot afford to send to such a distance as Monganui or the Bay of Islands. One vessel some years ago was plundered, and merchant vessels are liable to insults from the ill-disposed natives. The larger proportion however are well disposed, and would back the authority of a Government Officer.
The climate during our stay in the month of October and November was variable, but the amount of rain, compared to Auckland, considerably less. The fogs we had heard much of, seldom lasted three hours, generally from daylight to about 8 a.m.
I subjoin an abstract of the weather during fifty-nine days.
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The westerly winds are in proportion nearly three to one.
Fog 116 hours; thunder, twice.
Maximum temperature, 75°; minimum temperature, 52°; mean temperature, 62°.
During our stay, singular to relate, out of a compliment of 63 men, we had not one case of sickness, and, except a few slight contusions and bruises, incidental to our employment, no sick list, and this salubrity where men were necessarily exposed in boats, sleeping in tents, &c. Our food was chiefly fresh pork, which could be procured in any quantity for a trifle. No spirits, beyond the allowance, could be obtained, to which the sailor's health must in a great measure be attributed.
The natives are consumptive and scrofula and opthalmia are very prevalent.
We have the authority of several old European settlers in this river, that the natives, in their memory, have dwindled away more than one-half. A chief, whose assertion I believe, said he remembered counting 240 in his tribe, in his father's life time, 20 years ago, but he had now only 60; and during the excitement existing in the river between two tribes, the argument against fighting was, the tribes were becoming too small already.
Between the heads and Young's point, there are fresh water streams on either side where vessels can water. The most preferable is a small stream on the north shore, at the tail of the middle ground, and it is on Mr. Young's property; here with one boat we completed 26 tons in two days. The streams on the opposite shore are occasionally brackish.
The first creek on the north shore is the Pupuwae, on which some Englishmen were building a vessel of fifty tons, and a sawyer resides. It is all dry at low water, and a mile from the mouth expands into an extensive mangrove flat; a small fresh water stream winds among three remarkable peaks, and we saw the first kauri trees on their slopes. Above this valley is the termination inland of the great sandy range, and on its summit is a fresh water lake about three quarters of a mile in circumference; it appeared to be deep, and was covered with wild fowl, and is about 600 feet above the level of the sea. Several fish were seen jumping, apparently about a quarter of a pound. The Natives called them the Nioioni, described as a fish of many colours.
The next creek, Ohihupa, is all dry at low water. At the point Mata, near Ohihupa, is an Englishman's house (Munro) formerly a substantial wooden building, and the country between these creeks to the hills is excellent soil.
The Punehu runs two miles and a half, navigable for boats at full tide. The south bank is inhabited by natives, and well cultivated. Two Englishmen reside among them. The north shore
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is thickly wooded with kauri and totara. At the head is another native village.
The Waiho, 7 miles from the heads, is of much the same nature as Punehu, at the head we found a deserted village (Wakarapa). The mangroves through which it winds extend across half a mile. The south bank partially cultivated, and at the head is a fine extensive valley clear of timber and uncultivated --terminating at the foot of the Punghuru range.
It is said small schooners have been some distance up, --if so, they must ground on the mud at low water. From Wakarapa the creek winds to the northward a mile, where we found the water nearly fresh.
The Motu-ti under Direction Head is a small but useful creek, as much timber is floated down from the forests. It extends about three miles in a N. N. W. direction.
The Motu Karaka, named after an island at the mouth, extends in a N. W. direction. It has only a foot at the entrance at low water, but deepens as you proceed. The hills on both sides are well wooded, about 100 feet high, but it is chiefly the puriri. The mangroves are extensive, but there are bold points on either side to the low water. Four miles from the entrance is fresh water, running through a plain. There is a small native settlement at the head.
There is no other stream of any consequence until we pass the Narrows, and come to the Mongamuka, a river of some considerable importance, and down this river most of the timber is conveyed. It is navigable for three miles at low water for vessels drawing under 12 feet, and the channel is more than a cable broad. Above this the channels are for some distance small and intricate. It improves again above, and as the water becomes fresh the timber ponds are seen off the north banks.
Five miles from the mouth, at the end of the mangroves, the hills descend steep to the water's edge, the channels are narrow, and the freshes come down with great force. The tide has now little influence, another mile and a half we come to the village of Mongatipa. On the south bank opposite this village the clay cliff is perpendicular 30 feet high. Pungaheke is, with the windings of the river, two miles above this. On the south bank is a small compact settlement of Wesleyan Missionary natives. Above this no boat can proceed, but the rapid stream winds through a valley admirably cultivated for four miles. There is a track (and indeed it is the main communication) over the shoulder of the Maungataniwa mountain to Kaitaia and Monganui.
There are, or rather have been, two English stations on the river. The one belonging to Mr. Cockrane a timber merchant-- now in the Waima--the other to a Mr. Murray who has built a wooden bridge that must have cost much labour, connecting his establishment, on an island, with the main, for driving his cattle to pasture. The deserted site of Mr. Cockrane's establishment, three miles from the mouth, is now overrun with peaches
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and figs, growing in great luxuriance amongst the flax and fern.
There is a creek near this--the Moturata, up which I am told there is excellent limestone, and the specimen we procured was almost equal to marble.
The river Orewa, running parallel to the Mongamuka, but of less extent, is also much used for transporting Kauri. There is a native settlement (Poaheke) at the mouth, all its members under the influence of the Wesleyan Mission, whose head station is on the opposite point of the Hokianga. There has been an English settler here, but his sawpit only remains.
The Kauri about two miles up the river is still very abundant. The water soon becomes fresh, which is important for preserving the spars. The head of the river divides into three small streams, running through a raupo valley, which forms a head to the river, in the shape of a spoon, about four miles from the mouth.
The Hauraki must be considered the termination to the main river (Hokianga), which becomes navigable only for boats from this. We explored it six miles, when it came to rapids. Near its source there is a road to the Bay of Islands, and there is one English settler on its banks, besides Mr. McDonnell's large station above the Missionary settlement.
Coming down the Hokianga on the left or southern shore, below the Narrows we come to the largest (and hereafter, no doubt, the most important) tributary, the Waima. At near high water, vessels of twelve feet draught could get into the river and anchor in four fathoms, and afterwards might go up, lying safely on the mud. However, it is no doubt better adapted for such trading vessels as could naturally bring its resources to the Hokianga. It runs in an easterly direction for eleven miles, until you come to the rapids.
A Mission Station (Wesleyan) is within three miles of this, but on a branch that runs to the south, and about half a mile from the river. Here we found good houses, a considerable portion of land cultivated by the Rev. Mr. Warren and his maories, and a large amount of cattle grazing; but the land under cultivation in this beautiful valley is a very small proportion, It is the finest of many fine valleys we have seen; it terminates under the Waima hills, is about six miles long, by three miles broad, and, as Mr. Warren remarked, capable of producing sufficient to feed thousands, and with the advantage of river conveyance for its produce.
I have heard that the chiefs had combined to retain this valley, and no offer was to be taken for it.
The banks of the Waima are very thinly peopled indeed; except at two English stations, we met no natives until we reached the Mission. The country is varied, passing through raupo swamps, and wooded hills steep to the water's edge, with the full proportion of mangroves for the first three miles. However, the water soon becomes fresh, and the mangroves give way to the
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raupo or reed prevailing for the next three miles. It then becomes picturesque with the wooded banks to the water's edge. We did not see much Kauri. There is an excellent bridle road from the Mission Station to the Bay of Islands, --a day's ride.
The Omanaia, south of Hurd's Point, runs four miles to the eastward, and has its banks under cultivation by the natives, and a tribe residing near its source. The hills, of moderate height, are cleared on both sides. Its navigation is similar to the other stream, and fresh water is met with three miles up.
The Wirinaki, the last tributary of any consequence on the south shore, and seven miles from the heads, presents a channel deep and broad for the first mile, but has at low water only a foot at its mouth. It has more natives than any of the former, and the creeks meandering through the mangroves from the main stream, lead to their wharres.
The village and pa of Wirinaki is about five miles by water, it is there a clear fresh water stream, but so narrow that a boat can only use paddles. This stream is in falls, rushing down the Waima range, and passing from thence through a large open country to Wirinaki. Some Europeans were searching this stream for gold; but I am not aware that anything was found beyond iron pyrites and some small pieces of quartz which were shown us. One European resides in the river, and Mr. Manning's timber establishment is at the mouth.
The principal points or heads on the Hokianga are occupied by English, --Young's Point, or Kehotu-Mongero, Onoki Point or Manning's Point, Munroe's Point, Hurd's Point, or Rawi-ne. Mr, Russell's station, or Ko-ko-hu, the Wesleyan Mission Station opposite to Ko ko-hu, and Mr. McDonnell's, at Houraki, are the principal stations. The largest native village is Pakenhae, whose chief, Rangatira, has much land under cultivation.
Ko-ko-hu is one of the best residences in New Zealand and its proprietor, Mr. Russell, the chief exporter of timber. Ships of any burden can anchor off it.
The Wesleyan Missionaries in the Hokianga deserve great credit. The result of their labours is pleasingly evident, and when we regard the small means by which they have diffused the rays of Christianity among scattered and frequently hostile tribes, it becomes a pleasure to announce the fact in connexion with the names of Hobbs and Warren.
I will give one instance that came under our immediate notice up the head of the Mongamuka:-- Being encamped among a tribe of Nga-i-tupatos, we were much struck with the sudden termination of an evening's hilarity. They assembled round the chief's wharre, repeated the Lord's Prayer, sung hymns, and then retired to their respective huts; and repeated their orisons at daylight, before smoking or proceeding to their fields.
Within the immediate range of the Mission Station the Maories are free from tattoo. Nearer the mouth of the river, at Pakenhae,
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they have been less successful, partly owing to the distance from the focus of the Mission, and partly because the present chief (Rangatira) is too much addicted to his own gratifications to embrace a faith he conceives inconsistent with his liberty.
That the warrior and native missionary can combine their occupations we had a good instance of judging. On a Sunday we met a native, Abraham, dressed in a black frock coat, white, cravat, and altogether attired as a missionary. He had just been preaching, and he seemed hurt that we did not remember him. We knew then that we had seen him, and it was when he headed a war-dance, almost naked, a few days previous, when two tribes with loaded arms had nearly come to blows,
I will only add one more trait in the native character here, as I have so often heard their honesty disputed, --
Our tents were erected in various parts of the river; our boats were exposed to their visits; clothes washed and left to dry on shore. The ship had frequent visitors, and no restraint was placed on their visits, excepting Sundays, and we left without losing the smallest article. I may add we never saw occasion to take a musket or arms of any kind in the boats, therefore this (perhaps the greatest) temptation was avoided.
On our second visit, in Feb. to sound the bar, we washed clothes near the mouth of the river, under White Mountain, where a man had stolen a jacket, trousers, shirt, and handkerchief. When I was acquainted with it, I spoke to the chief of Pakenhae, who, with other chiefs was on board, and told him how pleasing it had been to us to relate at Auckland, and wherever we had been, that the Hokianga natives might be trusted with any thing, and that we had left the river with the strongest confidence in their honesty. After this flattery he was told what had now occurred. He assured me none of his tribe could do it. I said I felt certain of it too. But I knew his influence and the friendship he maintained with the other chiefs would recover the articles, and as to the punishment of the offender we felt certain the chief of his tribe would see to that himself.
He asked to be landed immediately, at 8 p.m., he ran about four miles to the chief on that side the river, and was off to the ship, with all the articles, before midnight.
He said it was some stragglers from the coast about Wangape; that he, with that chief, mounted horses, and overtook them about four miles over the sand hills, --and probably true. Our second visit to Hokianga was for five days during the early part of February, during which time we were fortunate enough to get the bar sounded.
The pilot, Martin, who has been at the mouth of the river twenty-three years, thinks there may be eight or nine days in the year when the bar might be crossed without a break.
I obtained from him the following answers to queries, --
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It blows hardest from the N. W. to S. W. The heaviest gales from the S. W., and in the month of June.
The coldest months are June and July.
The warmest months December and January.
The east winds are more common in summer than winter, and draw round to the south; are looked for at new moon, and last three days.
It rains most in July, August, and September.
During heavy westerly gales the neaps are as high as ordinary springs, and sometimes the rise has been four feet above ordinary springs.
Fogs prevail in October and November.
The greatest number of shipping in the river at one time were seven, each averaging 500 tons.
The longest time a vessel has been detained at the mouth is sixteen days, except once, when a vessel was detained six weeks.
One vessel has foundered on North Head; two have struck on the Bar; a large ship lost her rudder going out, being set by tide on South Head.
The principal collections in Botany were fifty varieties of ferns, many lichens, &c.; but the country having been previously botanized by Allan Cunningham, it is probable our indefatigable collectors, Dr. Jolliffe, Lieutenant Jones, and Mr. Simmonds, will have found little new.
The principal trees are the Kauri, the Koroe, the Rata, the Kikatou, the Rimo, the Tiri-puriri Pukatari, &c.
The English fruits of every description thrive well (gooseberries excepted). Oranges will not come to perfection.
There is much monotony in geological research. In Conchology we found a small variety of shells, but few were obtained with the dredge.
Among insects we found the Koropeke of the largest description whose body was larger than a mouse.
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Mercury Bay, so called from Captain Cook having observed the transit of Mercury here, is a large inlet, between Cape Colville and the Bay of Plenty, affording anchorage during westerly winds, in sandy bays on its north and south shores, but the most preferable is that known as Cook's Bay, at the mouth of Oyster River.
At the head of Mercury Bay, in the south west angle is a mangrove river, which has a snug anchorage, secure in every wind, which will be hereafter described.
The entrance to Mercury Bay is 4 1/2 miles across, north and south.
It is approached from the northward by either entering between Mercury Islands group and the Alderman's, or by hugging the the coast, --the latter often preferred for the sake of keeping the weather shore on board.
The outer channel shows all dangers with the exception of a rock (a mile N. W. of the outer Mercury Island), which occasionally breaks, and has deep water all round it.
There is 40 fathoms between these islands and the Aldermans, decreasing to 20 across the entrance of the bay.
To approach by the inner channel--
Having passed Mercury Island, and reaching the point 2 1/2 miles S. 8. E. of it, forming the west point of a deep bight, and having small islets off it. This point is clear of rocks. Three quarters of a mile off the next point will be seen a round islet, --midway between it and this round island, a rock laid down in the Acheron's chart, and seldom breaking, must be avoided by keeping the point close on board.
There is then another rock (which is nearly awash at low water) in a line between this and the steep grey islands. Koruengai, at the north entrance of Mercury Bay but which the Pandora must have passed within her length, as she beat through this channel before observing it. It is preferable to shape a course outside this rock and the Islands, although there is a channel of 9 fathoms within, avoiding another rock, covered only at high water, a cable off the north point of Mercury Bay.
Having passed this, Koranga Island, 150 feet high, and islet off it, are steep to--The Twins, a double conical islet, 1 1/2 miles within, are also steep to--before reaching them is Mata Pana Bay, having 5 fathoms, sandy bottom; off the west point of this bay a ledge of rocks extends one-third of a mile towards the Twins. The North Shore to Buffalo Bay is now clear.
The middle island in Mercury Bay (native name Motu Korure) has foul ground 2 cables off the N. E. and S. E. extremes is bold to the westward.
Moturoa Tower rock, rising abruptly 188 feet, within a mile of the southern entrance, has also foul ground two cables round it.
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On approaching Mercury Bay from the southward, there is a rock, seldom showing, but occasionally breaking heavily; it has from 9 to 13 fathoms all round it. It bears N. 42° W. 3/4 of a mile from Te-Tui or Mahurangi, the island forming the south entrance of Mercury Bay, and it bears N. 80° E., 1 1/2 miles from Tower Rock. The passages amongst these islands are complicated, and to be avoided.
There are no other dangers in Mercury Bay until Shakespeare's Cliff is passed, and the soundings will be found to decrease gradually, having 10 fathoms on either side of Middle Island, and 5 fathoms up to the Shakspeare's Cliff, where a vessel may anchor, but should not proceed higher unless intending to enter Mangrove River.
To sail into Mangrove River, run midway for Buffalo beach, at the head of the bay. By keeping the Twins just open off Koranga Islet N. 35° E., Fly bank is avoided, and hauling up for the river, steer a middle course; but avoid a spit on the beach side by keeping a distant round red hill on with High Pah Point.
This spit extends off the beach, just before reaching the low pah at the entrance of the river, and after passing this pah, moor in mid-channel. Vessels undergoing repair haul alongside the builder's yard, or run aground above High Pah Point.
The tides require studying, and vessels should go in at last quarter flood. It would be better to be there at slack water, for there is no room to round to, and the tides run 3 to 4 knots per hour. The least water in the channel going into the river has at low water springs fourteen feet, at high water twenty-one feet.
The river above the high Pah, although extensive, is only navigable for boats.
Water can be always procured round the High Pah Point. There are few natives; but there is a carpenter's yard off the anchorage, where ships have been repaired, but I regret that its present occupier, Mr. Lloyd, is about to leave, having, at present, insufficient inducement to remain.
Mangrove River causes the tides in Mercury Bay to be scarcely perceptible on the south shore, but on the north shore, at springs, they run 1 1/2 knots. This can be taken due advantage of in working in or out.
If, on the approach of an easterly gale, it is required to run for Mangrove River, it should be taken as soon as possible, for the sea rolling into the bay will break across the shoaler parts of Buffalo Bay. One of Mr. Lloyd's men, at the entrance of the river, might act as pilot if required.
The northern shores of Mercury Bay are wooded. The treble peak, rising above Mahungrape is 1026 feet high.
The south shore is barren and uncultivated. A long flat country extends from the head of Buffalo Bay to the high ranges of Coromandel.
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The native population of Witiangi is very small; There are no wharres on the south shore, and only small patches of cultivation at the mouth of Oyster River. On the north shore there are about 30 inhabitants in Mata Pana Bay, well-behaved Christians. Their settlement, called Tiraupua, just within the north head. The chief is 6 years of age.
Whare-Kaho and Ohuki, at the head of the bay, are more extensive settlements, but they do not cultivate beyond their own requirement. They migrate to Mercury Islands, and the bay was almost entirely deserted during September.
Oyster Creek is hardly navigable for canoes, although of considerable breadth.
In Mangrove River, at Whanga Maroro, there is a large settlement; four miles from the mouth of the river is a flax-mill, in good order, but not worked at present. The other branches of this river, winding through fine districts, have ruined sawmills and delapidated bridges, --tokens of enterprise not ill-bestowed on the country, but apparently in advance of the times.
Captain Cook's observations on Mercury Bay show the remarkable changes that have taken place in the last 70 years--not only in the decrease of population, but in the physical changes of the coast. He describes, and leaves a sketch of a rock connecting Marhanganape and the main, with its arch under it, and on it a pah; it still exists, and in similar shape, but has dwindled to such a small, sharp rock, that where the pah was, a man could only stride as on a horse. Similar effects have taken place on Shakspeare's Cliff, which is fast supplying rocks to the deep below--indeed, the whole coast here is more than ordinarily perforated, and one cave on the north shore was penetrated to 400 feet, having there a depth of four fathoms.
Huki-Huki Pah, Entrance to Mangrove River.
Lat. 36° 48' 44" S. Long. 175° 46' 06"
East of Auckland. Depot Point
Variation 15° East.
H. W., at F. & C., --7h. 21m.
Springs rise, 7 feet, Neaps, 4 feet,
Between Mercury River and Wellington, Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty is the only safe anchorage in all winds for vessels of burden. There is room for a fleet.
The approach to it is remarkably distinct. The difficulty of entering this harbour in its deepest channel; is the somewhat tortu-
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ous course and the liability to eddy winds on rounding Mount Monganui, and the channel at one place is only half a cable wide, but during those winds which would cause the Bay of Plenty to be a lee shore, Tauranga is most accessible, and the following directions are the results of the Survey of H. M. S. Pandora, in November, 1852.
1 On approaching Tauranga from the northward, the Mayor island should be brought to bear north, when a high flat-topped hill (Monganui) will make at first like an island. It rises abruptly from the sands, and forms the eastern head of the harbour.
On approaching nearer, an Islet (Motu-otau) and a hummocky projection from the sand, both within a mile east of Monganui, are the only interruptions to a uniform sandy beach, extending 16 miles S. easterly to Maketu.
The west entrance of Tauranga is formed by low undulating sand hills.
The island of Karewha (a rugged island about half a mile in circumference) 6 miles N. E. by N. of Monganui, is two miles off this sandy beach, having a channel on either side, of 12 to 15 fathoms.
The soundings decrease gradually towards the harbour, from abreast of Karewha, 15 fathoms, and 7 fathoms a mile from the heads. The course in, will now be S. 7.45 E. or S. 3/4 E., avoiding a spit that generally breaks more than a mile out and extending a mile off the west shore. Mongonui at first is bold. The channel in is 1/3 of a mile wide, deepening from 4 to 7 fathoms, until reaching the S. W. extreme of the Monganui, from whence a stony point extends two-thirds of a cable, which although generally visible, is covered at 3/4's flood.
If it is intended to haul round to the east channel, (where there is an excellent anchorage under the mountain) the extreme of this spit should be seen, for the channel here though deepest is not much more than half a cable.
After Stoney Point is passed, Monganui is quite steep to, and a good anchorage is found in the first sandy bight in 6 fathoms, a cable from the shore.
Vessels of any size can proceed a mile and a half above the channel, having 5 to 7 fathoms; it is best to keep about a cable off the H. W., and the line of bank opposite (which is steep to) will almost always be distinct. Here will be seen a small rise of ground, immediately above which the channel divides, one running to the westward with irregular soundings, and the other continuing towards Te Papa gradually shoaling. A vessel could moor half a mile north of Te Papa having 17 feet at low water
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springs, and she will then be near three miles from the harbour's mouth.
There is another anchorage near the western entrance to Tauranga , which if buoyed would be generally the simplest. It is by keeping on the same course S. 3/4 E., and passing along the western shore, until Monganui is shut in by the west sandy point Panipani.
There is a bank, the White Bank, to be avoided two-thirds of the way across from Monganui to the west beach. This bank is a quarter of a mile long, and lies north and south, and has two feet water; within there is a channel, for small craft only.
To clear this bank, continue the course in S. 3/4 E. until the extreme point Panipani bears S. W. 1/2 W., and haul up towards this sand point which is steep to, keeping Monganui just shut in, and an anchorage, 6 fathoms sand, will be found 1/2 a mile beyond the point.
From this anchorage, vessels can leave without detention, whereas, within Monganui bluff, the prevailing wind being westerly, and the channel off Stoney Point being very narrow, a ship may be detained.
Above Te Papa, there is only a boat channel amid extensive flats, and three miles above, it narrows again into a small but deep river running to the southward, which is navigable for boats 15 miles, and by it, a journey can be accomplish'd to the Rotorua lakes in less than two days.
The western branches of Tauranga are connected at high water, with the Kati Kati.
The mouth of the river Wairoa, 2 miles S. W. from Otumoiti, runs south-westerly from 12 to 15 miles.
Te Papa, the residence of Archdeacon Brown, is a thorough comfortable English establishment, the site well chosen on elevated ground, on the south side of the harbour 3 miles from Monganui.
Two miles to the westward of it is the village of Otumoiti, where there is a Roman Catholic establishment, and a very neat church, the interior gorgeously decorated by native wicker-work.
Four or five Englishmen reside here, chiefly engaged building small craft, and I am informed, three Frenchmen live at the mouth of the Wairoa.
The total native population of the Tauranga district is estimated at 1000, and large tracts of land are under cultivation.
The greatest strength of the tides is 3 knots; at Stoney Point it may reach 4.
The middle flats are hardly ever uncovered, having from 1 to 4 feet at low water.
During the 23 days we were in Tauranga, it blew very fresh almost continually from the S. W., but we were assured such strong winds were unseasonable. We had little rain.
During the 25th and 26th November, a fog lasted for 48 hours, succeeded by a strong N. W. breeze.
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Water can be obtained just within Stoney Point, in small quantities. The natives provided us with pigs and poultry at reasonable rates.
Latitude of Monganui, Apex ... .. 37° 34' 50".
Longitude of " " .. .. 176° 12' 5S" E.
H. W. at F. and C. --7h. 10m. Rise and Fall 6 feet.
Her Majesty's Surveying Vessel "Pandora,"
At Sea, May 3rd. 1853.
SIR, --I have the honour to forward, for the information of His Excellency the Governor, this report upon Manukau Harbour, the Survey of which was completed to-day, and I have the greatest satisfaction in informing His Excellency that there is a straight and direct channel of considerable breadth into this harbour, through which, H. M. S. "Pandora" passed to-day at near low-water in 4 1/4 fathoms.
At spring tides low water, there is not less than 3 1/2 fathoms, at high water not less than 5 1/2.
The straightest line out of Manukau having the three most conspicuous objects in transit, namely, the Ninepin, the extreme of Paratutai. and the extreme of Poponga, was the course we steered out, which I felt so sure from observation was a clear channel, that we carried studding sails over it, at low water.
Thereby divesting the entrance of Manukau Harbour of a great proportion of a bank, that has hitherto been laid down as facing the Harbour.
There is certainly least water on the position of this bank than elsewhere, nor do I deny that it is possible there may have been still less water, but it has not been crossed before, except I believe by vessels, surprised to find themselves in safety on the other side. 2
Hitherto there appears to have been little known of the access to this harbour, or of the depth of the channels within, and a strong prejudice has existed against it, for reasons I will attempt to clear up, for some of these we are indebted to accidents as proof of its practicability.
First. -- It is a common error to believe that the breakers extend connectedly across the Heads, because when viewed from Poponga the middle bank which is always breaking, faces this view.
Secondly. --From the land about Paratutai it will appear to
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break across also, for the Orwell and middle bank would here over-lap.
A similar cause occurs when viewed from the foot of the South Head, but, once in the channel, between the Heads, and the sea is open before you.
Thirdly. --It appears that the "Eclair," and small traders have fallen into the same error, and have preferred waiting for an opportunity to pass through a shoal and narrow passage near the South Head, which frequently detained them for days, when such vessels could with facility have beat down with the tide, having never less than half a mile in the channel, and increasing in breadth from Paratutai outwards.
Now, sir, in regard to changes that may have taken place in the entrances to Manukau, although the above reasons explain away the want of belief in a fair channel, they in no degree effect the accuracy of the Survey of Mr. Ormsby, or the more recent Survey of Mr. Smith of H. M. S. "Acheron,"
The former gentleman delineates a channel after passing the middle bank, without, it appears, having intended to go directly out.
Mr. Smith has corroborated it, and added many soundings, and he shows also a north channel of half a mile wide, of three fathoms, but having given us the outer bank without soundings, we conclude he did not cross it either, it then becomes a question whether this has undergone a change, if so, a change of great benefit, giving a fairer channel in, and whether the northern channel which appeared to us to be breaking considerably at the depth given, is not in consequence less eligible.
On entering Manukau through the Ormbsy Channel, when there was a tolerable south swell, we remarked that the position of the outer bank did not break. Subsequent observations by officers stationed at the Heads, confirmed this, and the master and myself crossed the outer bank in a boat, but an unusual fog coming on we were thrown entirely out of the line being unable to see Paratutai; we however crossed into deep water over that shoaler portion of the bank near the north channel having only 11 feet (low water springs.)
We found on laying down the work, we had crossed to the northward, and therefore it did not deter us from taking the straight channel out in the "Pandora," which we did on the day after a westerly gale, without a breaker.
I have been thus particular in bringing this portion of the report to notice, in order that unnecessary expense may not be incurred by establishing a fixed Light-house, where it might possibly be an advantage to shift it.
My opinion is, that it is quite possible that the configuration of sand banks subjected to the joint influence of tides, freshes, and gales are liable to vary, and yet I think it more than probable that the present straight channel should remain, as it has taken (if in-
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deed it ever shifted) its natural course, the direction of the Harbour.
Besides this channel into Manukau, I have already mentioned another laid down to the northward, half a mile wide, having 3 fathoms water, but I should neither recommend it, or the small intricate channel to the southward, since we have a direct and deeper.
The soundings, on approaching Manukau from seaward, decrease very gradually.
The extreme of the outer bank channel is three miles from the heads, the depth of water in steering in between the Orwell and south bank varies from 8 to 16 fathoms, --these banks are steep to, and always shewing.
In the channel only it breaks in gales at the shoalest part; in ordinary winds it certainly does not. During three weeks the officers were employed about the Heads, it was not seen breaking, although strong winds prevailed.
At the mouth of the harbour the channel decreases in width (half a male), this is off Paratutai, or North Head, and here the tide runs four knots at springs; at the outer channel tides rarely reach two.
The south head is a mile within the north head, and has a spit extending half way across towards Paratutai, but there is now a clear deep channel towards Karangahapi, with a bold shore.
Off Huia on the north shore, three miles from Paratutai, is anchorage in five fathoms, but the anchorage after rounding Karangahapi is the best in all winds. Or if it is intended to go to the Waiuku or Papakura, there is anchorage within Kauri Point opposite.
From these points Manukau expands to a breadth of 15 miles by 12, having three channels navigable for vessels of any tonnage to three equidistant and most valuable districts, viz., Onehunga, Papakura, and Waiuku.
These channels are with small exceptions nearly straight, and having dry banks on either side at low water, they offer a sheltered anchorage at any point.
The channels continue their depth to within the heads of Waiuku and Papakura, and close up to Onehunga.
There are besides two deeper channels leading along the North shore, the one branching off Onehunga, middle channel at Shag Point (Okewha) to the Wahau portage, and joins the middle Onehunga channel off Matengahe or Cape Horn, though at this point it is only navigable at high water.
The other outer Onehunga channel, comes up direct from Karangahapi, and would have been the best channel to Onehunga, but it fails in depth where it enters the mid channel, it is useful to the lands around Pukitutu, and indeed is generally available, as it would have 22 feet at high water where it is most difficult.
The general nature of the bottom of all the channels, is a greenish sand and mud, good holding ground. The tides within them
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average at springs 2 1/4 knots, there are no rocks, and no uneven ground, and the banks being soft sand and shells are not likely to injure a vessel on touching.
One tide will suffice to carry a vessel from the heads with a leading wind to any of the above districts.
It will be observed, these remarks are suited for vessels of any burden, but the Manukau flats can be traversed by boats according to the tides, and unlike the banks outside, here we have the smoothest water over them, the tide taking the course of the channels.
The banks are generally covered soon after the first quarter flood, but they vary in height, and some are never uncovered, especially those facing the Waiuku channel where there is generally 4 feet at low water, and only small spots that dry.
Having made these general observations on the channels, I come to their more immediate description.
Onehunga middle, or main channel, leads along the coast from Poponga. A flat extends from Karangahapi off which is the anchorage.
From Karangahapi there is a straight channel to Shag Point (Okewha) one-third of a mile broad with 4 1/2 fathoms at low water.
The distance from Poponga to Shag Point being 4 3/4 miles.
Here the channel divides, the inner one along the Muta Karaka having a depth of 12 fathoms near the portage, but as before mentioned difficult at Cape Horn.
At Shag Point, (Okewha) the channel splits, the inner running along the coast.
The main channel here is scarcely a 1/4 of a mile, and strikes off to the westward, and gradually curves again to Cape Horn; just before reaching Cape Horn, there is least water, it is where the three channels join, at 13 feet low water.
(Matengahe) or Cape Horn, is 2 3/4 mile below Onehunga, it is steep to, as also are some of the other points before reaching Onehunga, and a the flat extending from the town renders shipment very inconvenient, I think these head lands will be valuable, besides being about the nearest points to Auckland. And the anchorage is wider than that immediately off the lower end of Onehunga, where there is, however, a pool of 3 fathoms at low water.
The general anchorage for Onehunga, would be below the White Cliff or Tetapere.
The coast up to Onehunga is generally formed by low perpendicular cliffs.
There are two broad creeks of no depth, besides several smaller streams in the various bights.
The points are of a soft grey level sand stone, extending in straight layers from the points to the S. W. but in some instances taking a curvelinear form, Karangahapi bay has deep iron sand.
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The Papakura channel cutting through the middle of the flats is 12 1/2 miles in length, has 8 to 10 fathoms for the first three miles, and never less than four to within the heads where there is 4 1/2 fathoms.
The Wata Paka falls into it 4 miles up having 3 to 4 fathoms for two miles, when it becomes narrow and winding with 1/2 a fathom to its head.
The Pukaki joins two miles above this having a good boat channel.
The Waiuku channel commencing from Te Hohono Point opposite to Poponga, is 6 miles to its head, averages 8 fathoms, decreasing to 4 near the Heads.
There is a hole of 17 fathoms at the entrance and 6 fathoms after passing the Heads in which depth there is anchorage a mile within.
Vessels not drawing more than 12 feet can go up as far as the Needles, 14 miles from the portage.
The Taihiki, a tributary one mile within Karaka Point, is navigable for craft drawing six feet water, for two miles.
The channel into the Waiuku is along the coast, and it is generally steep from point to point.
Having shown that Manukau possesses three channels formed by nature, of sufficient depth to allow the largest vessels to enter into the heart of the country at three equidistant points, it is unnecessary and would be presumptuous in me to describe a surrounding country so well-known.
In framing this report of the harbour, we should be doing injustice to the subject, if in proving its easy access we lost sight of the most essential questions. Is it always so? --and is it so at night?
I am not prepared to recommend a vessel to run for Manukau in a gale, for on such occasions there would be a continuous break, and leading marks might be obscured, fortunately such gales however frequent are not of great duration.
As to entering at night I should consider the light on the extreme of Poponga as a leading mark to such persons who have became acquainted with the Port, and especially in command of a steamer, for which Manukau is peculiarly eligible.
When a flag-staff is established on Paratutai, vessels can be guided as at Hokianga, the dipping of the arm would make known when a vessel is too far over either way, and when this is established vessels will not fear working out with the tide.
His Excellency, I am aware, is fully prepared to give effect to any means benefitting this harbour, and as a seaman I can state I believe; nothing would add to the confidence of intending visitors, more than the establishment of the Signal Station.
From the Station, One Tree Hill near Onehunga being conspicuous, might be made the medium of communicating with Auckland.
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The reports of the levels from two different points of the Manukau, as well as sections and plans, have already been delivered by me to the Colonial office.
The interesting and valuable levels from Waiuku to the Waikato, I am assured are satisfactorily completed, and I only remark that it appears to me a matter of consideration in forming the canal here whether it would not be done more reasonably and effectually by cutting through the morass as far as the woods which from (I acknowledge) casual observations would save at least half the distance, and the same water could be turned to this channel.
A similar cut through the forest would undoubtedly be a work of great labour, but fortunately, here it is not needed, as the course is comparatively much straighter.
The clearing out of this portion of the Awaroa which endangers the navigation of canoes and renders that of boats almost impracticable, could be done I think by the desire of His Excellency. The impediments are trees, that were principally thrown across by the Waikato tribes to prevent the descent of the murderous E. Hongi, and have been no doubt added to by the occasional undermining of trees during the freshes. It is well known that many valuable native cargoes have been lost and damaged, in consequence of these obstructions, and I find on enquiry that the natives only require a little well timed advice, and perhaps small assistance, to remove an obstacle that is at the present moment impeding the trade to Waikato.
If it should be hereafter determined to cut the canal to the forest, independent of the Serpentine windings of the Awaroa until reaching the forest, it would appear to me that a swamp of moderate breadth about a 1/4 of a mile west of Mr. Constable's Inn would offer a less level than a direct line from the creek there, but upon this point I offer suggestions with deferrence, and only to open a consideration on a point probably already better determined.
The survey of this harbour on a large scale, (six inches to a mile) was made at the request of the Colonists, conveyed through Lieutenant-Governor Wynyard, and I have no hesitation in recording the names of the officers employed during part of a most unseasonable summer which prolonged our work.
The open boats in which they and the crews lived and slept were absent from the ship in the channels for a fortnight at a time, but no casualty or sickness of any kind occurred.
Mr. Kerr (acting master) and Mr. H. Kerr were employed in the 'Maori' cutter, in sounding the outer waters.
The latter officer, also with Mr. Stanley, master's assistant, walked and surveyed the coast line from Kaipara Heads to Manukau.
Mr. Oke, 2nd master, with Mr. Ellis, conducted the investigation of the Papakura and Waiuku channels, and Messrs. Blackney and Farmer sounded and surveyed the three channels leading to Onehunga.
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Mr. Blackney also accompanied me in the survey of the Waikato Heads.
I have also much pleasure in mentioning the zealous manner in which the work was carried on during my necessary absence by Lieutenant Jones.
I annex the time of high water, full and change at different points. A description of the site for Signal and Light Stations, as well as the number and description of buoys and perches required for each channel.
The position of these buoys are marked on our charts, and I will immediately place a tracing of the entrance and sailing directions in the Survey Office.
Relative to the site for a Signal Station and Light House:-- After examination we find that there is no place so well adapted as Paratutai for the former. Although steep it is sufficiently accessible and can be made much easier; from the summit is an extensive view seaward in all directions, which could not be obtained below.
The flag-staff would be on the Apex 350 feet above the sea, here is 80 feet by 30. Immediately below this (but on Paratutai) there is a site for a dwelling, with about half an acre of ground having soil 3 or 4 feet deep.
The only difficulty is water, which must either be supplied by a tank, or from a stream which runs near the foot of Paratutai.
By the flag-staff, a light revolving or coloured, to be distinguished from native fires, would be a guide to the entrance at night, but cannot be available to lead vessels in.
But if a light was placed on the outer extreme of Poponga it would be always eclipsed by Paratutai, when a vessel was too far to the northward, and by keeping it just open, it is in reality the same mark as given for steering in by day.
In buoying off the channels of Manukau I think two large buoys are only necessary, because the marks, with the Orwell and mid bank forming such decided sea walls, are sufficient.
The two outer buoys should be large can buoys, and laid down with the best gear.
I have marked the position.
The spit off the South Head may have a smaller buoy. Those at the tail of the banks forming the three channels should be of the same description, whereas, the buoys for navigating the channels, need only be cask buoys.
For the Onehunga channel, to Onehunga 1l, and 2 perches are required.
To reach within Papakura heads, 9 are required.
To reach within Waiuku heads 3 buoys, and 3 perches.
The positions of all these will be seen from the chart.
In laying down these buoys (especially the outer) the person
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in charge of the signal station should be practically acquainted with their position, and any one or more of a crew stationed at Paratutai might be in the same way made competent to pilot a vessel through any branch of the Manukau.
A vessel from twenty to thirty tons should be employed in laying down the outer buoys according to the weather, between Dec. and March.
In fine weather it would occupy but little time.
Total number of Buoys required.
Large Can Buoys
Onehunga main channel) and inner channel
Total--2 large, 4 middle-sized, and 23 small.
There are also required--
For Onehunga channel
High Water, Full and Change in Manukau.
At the Heads
Summit of Paratutai
37° 03' S.
174° 34' E.
Rise and fall at Springs
" " " Neaps
6 to 7
I hare the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
Commander and Surveyor
To the Honourable
The Colonial Secretary,
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SAILING DIRECTIONS FOR MANUKAU HARBOUR.
Manukau Heads are easily distinguished; the coast gradually rising from Kaipara to Manukau, where the hills on the North Shore rise to the height of 1280 feet.
The northern district is an extensive forest, whilst all the country facing seaward south of the harbour is peculiarly barren for 25 miles.
But the most remarkable objects first visible from the westward are three conical peaks near the North Head--one forming the island of Paratutai, which may be considered as the North Head, being connected at low water, and is 350 feet above the sea.
Again, the South Head presents a rounded barren face of brown soil, with table land extending southward.
The Bar, which is very narrow (a cable) is three miles from Paratutai; the least water at low water springs is 21 feet in the channel on the bar.
The soundings from seaward to the bar decrease very gradually to 12 fathoms, which will be on the outer edge, and from that depth it shoals suddenly, increasing again within to 17 fathoms.
The natural marks for leading into Manukau are very conspicuous.
A rock called the Nine Pin, 80 feet high, near the low water of the North Head, being brought in line with the right extreme of Paratutai. A third rounded point, Poponga (within the harbour) will then also have its right tangent just visible, by keeping this line N. 55 E., magnetic, the shoals to the north are avoided, and Poponga should not be shut in by Paratutai.
The channel is about one mile broad, decreasing to half a mile between Parutatai and the middle or south banks, where it is narrowest.
The same course leads between the Orwell and middle bank. Both being nearly dry at low water, are always visible by the breakers.
Pass a cable from the Nine Pin to avoid a sand spit; but when it bears north, steer for and keep as near to Paratutai as convenient.
The channel here is narrowest (half a mile). A spit extends from the South Head towards Paratutai, two-thirds of a mile.
After passing this, the channel is clear to Poponga, and gradually decreases from twenty fathoms. It is not advisable to anchor until rounding Poponga or Mako Point. But if necessary the Huia banks afford an anchorage in 5 or 6 fathoms.
By keeping the Nine Pin open of Paratutai, the Huia banks are cleared. The channel between Poponga and the tail of the banks is two-thirds of a mile broad, and the anchorage is good as
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convenient after rounding the point. With a leading wind, a vessel could proceed as far as Shag Point, five miles above, if the banks are visible; the channel being about half a mile broad, and the course along the coast, taking care not to get within the line of points.
Vessels going to Papakura or Waiuku should proceed to an anchorage off Kauri Point, in 8 to 10 fathoms. The course to this anchorage is keeping the south shore on board, one fourth of a mile from high water.
As the channel from those points is about to be buoyed, directions will be framed in accordance to their positions; at present the channels should be navigated when the tide shows the banks, or by having boats ahead.
The tides in the channels at springs average two and a half knots off Poponga, four knots off Paratutai, and outside from one to two knots.
On the coast the flood sets to the southward, the ebb to the northward. The tides within take the direction of the channels, and are seldom strong on the banks, although well covered, which is another guide for navigation.
For further information respecting the harbour channels--vide the Report on Manukau Harbour.
Commander and Surveyor.
POVERTY BAY TO EAST CAPE.
POVERTY BAY (TURANGA).
Is the first anchorage north of Hawke's Bay being eight leagues from Table Cape; the bay is 5 miles from head to head, and 4 miles in depth. The entrance will be known by the heads being the first white projections from the land north of Table Cape; the south (or Young Nick's) head is 520 feet high and has within it, anchorage off the Wero Wero River, but it is advisable to keep more than half a mile from it as within this the ground is very foul changing from 8 fathoms to 9 feet, the bottom, however, is not rock, but apparently composed of vast fragments of the pipeclay cliff which has from time to time slipped away. (A very common occurrence on this part of the coast, upon which the sea is rapidly advancing, and which is so liable to smart shocks of earthquakes.)
The North Head (Tua-hini) bears N. E. from Young Nick's Head, it also has foul rocky ground, extending to the S. E. for 2 miles, at this distance we shoaled suddenly from 16 to 8 fathoms.
On the north side of the bay is what appears an island (Tua Motu) but it is joined to the main at low water, off this
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a reef extends 2 cables to the southward between this peninsula and Turanga-nui River, there are rocks half a mile from the shore, the outer ones of which are covered or awash at low water.
With the exception of the above, the bay is free from dangers, and a vessel can anchor according to circumstances, but she should not remain if there is an appearance of a breeze from the S. E., for it freshens suddenly and vessels have been lost by waiting too long. In all westerly winds, and in ordinary N. E. sea breezes there is shelter. The bottom is sand and the soundings decrease gradually from 12 fathoms across the entrance to 5 fathoms, half a mile from the beach.
The flood outside sets to the northward, ebb to the southward, and their influence extends ten miles from the shore. Within the bay the tide is scarcely perceptible. At Wero Wero the high water at full and change is 6h. 5m. and the rise and fall six feet.
There are three small rivers in this bay--the Turanga-nui. the Kopututea, and the Wero Wero. The former is celebrated for being the first spot where Cook landed in New Zealand, and from the untoward circumstances attending it, and their hopeless attempts to obtain provisions he named the bay Poverty.
The Turanga-nui has about a fathom at the entrance at low water, coasting schooners may cross the bar at high water, when the channel within is a cable broad. Half a mile above, the river branches off to the N. W: and N. N. E. (at the fork there is ten feet at high water) the former branch being the largest. This river terminates a sandy beach of 8 miles from the south head.
The Kopututea has about the same water at the bar as Turanganui, but is less easy to define, it is a much larger river than the latter, and is a fine sheet of water when the tide is in, it flows through one of the richest valleys in New Zealand, where about 30,000 acres of level land and excellent soil is very partially cultivated, it affords pasturage to a great extent being clothed with natural grass. The Church Mission Station is on the west bank 3 miles from the river's mouth.
The Wero Wero is only fit for boats, it is just within Young Nick's Head and runs for a mile parellel to the beach (stretching through the Kopututea plain, at high water a branch of it is connected near the mouth, with the Kopututea River.
Ten miles E. 1/2 N. from Tua-hini Point (North Head of Poverty Bay) are the Ariel Rocks, it is a very dangerous patch only breaking in heavy seas. At low water spring here are two fathoms on it, it extends north and south, and the dangerous portion is not half a mile in length, we found it very steep to, shoaling at one
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east from twenty-three to eight and six fathoms when within half a cable of the shoalest portion. There are 31 fathoms between it and the shore, green mud, and 20 fathoms one mile north, from whence it shoals more gradually than from the other sides.
Its vicinity may be known, the bottom being coarse gravel, and stones within a radius of two miles. If the soundings exceed 35 fathoms you are outside.
The following bearings give the position of the Ariel:--
Cape Gable (a very conspicuous white cliff) N. 15° W. 12 miles.
Tua-hini, (North Head of Poverty Bay) S. 84° W. 10 miles.
False Gable (the nearest point of land) N. 73 ° W. miles.
The distance from the shore will render clearing marks available only in very clear wheather. Tua Motu (in Poverty Bay) is shut in when north of it, when it just opens like an island you are half a mile north of the rocks. Again the top of the White Gable is nearly on a level with the land behind it.
A vessel called the Martha struck on these rocks and injured her keel, about fifteen years ago. The Pandora visited them, and during three days could not distinguish them until close to their position and though the wind during the greater part of that time blew very fresh from the N. E., yet there was no break, but after a S. E. gale they were seen to break heavily from the shore.
POVERTY BAY TO TOLAGA BAY.
Cape Gable (Pari-nui-te-ra) is 4 miles N. N. E. of Poverty flay, between it and the latter the shore is rugged with sterile hills rising to 600 feet. Rocks extend a mile from the projecting points, having sandy bays within, also faced by rocks. Reefs extend two miles south from the Gable.
Cape Gable was so called by Cooke from its having a glaring triangular facing like a whitewashed gable-end of a house, this appearance is contrasted when within three miles of the land but from the eastward it is very prominent, there is a small islet one-third of a mile S. S. E. of it with a reef extending half a mile in the same direction, there are also detached rocks a mile north of the Gable, about three-quarters of a mile from the beach.
Between this and Tolaga, the rocks extend about 1/2 a mile from the shore at low water. The Motara rocks-above water-are 3 miles S. S. E. of Sporing's Island, ami a quarter of a mile from the point.
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Or more properly Uawa, is 10 miles north of Cape Gable, it is N. N. W. and S. S. E. from head to head. 1 1/3 mile across, and about the same distance in depth, in it there is anchorage in all westerly winds from north to south.
The North Head rises to 400 feet and the South to 890, both composed of the white marl so conspicuous along this coast. Sporing's Island (of the same nature) has only a fordable depth between it and the South Head, it is surrounded by rocks extending a cable off.
The North Head has an island off it (Motu Heka) surrounded by rocks, and outside again, N. E. from it, is a reef always breaking, its outer limit being 1 1/2 mile from the head, in the passage between this reef and Motu Heka there is 11 fathoms.
Tolaga Bay is clear of dangers, there are 10 fathoms between the Heads, shoaling everywhere gradually; there is one part, however, where an anchor will not hold well, the ground being shingle and rock, this small patch is one-third across from the South towards the North Head. It is better to anchor within this line.
On the approach of easterly winds vessels should leave in good time for the outer reef renders the beating out somewhat tedious.
Within the South Head is a cove where Cook watered, and beyond is to be seen the remarkable arch in the cliffs which he speaks of, the natives shewed us several initials cut out on the rock where the artificial well exists made by Cook's crew, there is, however, some difficulty in getting water in Tolaga during the dry season.
Here we obtained provisions, better and at a more reasonable rate from Europeans and Natives, than anywhere else on this coast.
At the head of the bay is the River Uawa, with a bar of 5 feet which is said to be constantly shifting, coasters have occasionally entered it, the principal branch has it rise to the northward.
TOLAGA BAY TO OPEN BAY.
Between Tolaga and the East Cape there is no good anchorage, although coasters do sometimes anchor in Tokomara and Open Bays, yet they can only be approached in fine weather, and scarcely deserve the name of bays.
Four miles north of Tolaga is Marau Point, a bluff projection, --off which there is a reef awash, rather more than a mile east of the point, this extends N. N. W. and S. S. E, a mile.
N. N. W. 2 miles from Marau Point is the island of Anaura, a
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quarter of a mile from the main, with a boat passage between. It is sterile and precipituous, [?] of a mile in length, and forms the southern point of a bight called Waipari Bay, which is about a mile and a half broad with sandy shores, the north point, and indeed the whole of this bay is rocky.
From Anaura Island to Mawai is north 4 and a half miles, midway is a rocky islet, (Motu Repa) which has a narrow channel of 5 fathoms within it. Before reaching Mawai Point is a small cove, called by the whalers St. Patrick's Cove, which is well sheltered for boats, this cove takes its name from a curious pinnacle, which seen from seaward appears like a gigantic figure of a man with his arms folded.
Mawai Point (forming the south head of Tokomaru) is a sharp and barren projection surrounded by rocks; on the south side of Tokomaru the rocks are visible; the Hikutu Rocks in the middle of the bay have 14 fathoms all round them, and are visible only at low water. The heads are 4 miles apart N. by E. and S. by W. No vessels, but such coasters as know the channels among the rocks, should attempt this bay for it is a very open anchorage.
North of Tokomaru the coast is precipitous trending N. by W. for 3 1/2 miles (to Waipiro or Open Bay) and backed by a hill-- Tawhiti--which rises to the hight of 1670 feet (the highest peak on the Coast.) East of this peak, and 1/2 a mile from the shore, is the Island Mowhiauru about thirty feet high encircled by rocks.
OPEN BAY (WAIPIRO).
Will be known by its being the opening to the north of Tawhiti Hill, it is 4 miles from north to south, and is little more than one mile deep. There is a considerable stream in the south western corner of the Bay, but the landing there is generally difficult: in the middle of the Bay, a 1/4 of a mile from the beach, is a reef, immediately north of the Pah. Off the north point (Matahau) there is a reef extending (parallel to the beach) a 1/4 of a mile, within which boats can effect a landing and from whence produce is shipped.
There is 9 fathoms in the middle of the Bay in a line with the heads, and a rocky patch, having 2 fathoms, is said to exist on the N. W. corner of it, but this we did not find, another rock is said to exist one mile N. E. of Matahau called Tokamonga.
The next danger is off Kaimouhu, a round head 670 feet high, these sunken rocks extend eastward for a mile, and about the same distance north and south; we found 4 fathoms close to, and 17 fathoms, 2 cables east of them. Again 3 miles north of this and 1 mile S. S. E. of Reporua Village, are detached sunken rocks a good mile from the beach, and foul ground a a mile outside,
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with 4 fathoms, between these rocks and the shore, there is 8 fathoms, and only 10 fathoms 2 miles from the beach.
Point Wharariki (the south point of the Awanui) is 3 1/2 miles north of the Reporua Village, rocks extend half a mile all round it.
The coast (from 3 cables off) appears now to be clear of dangers to the East Cape Islet.
From Open Bay to the East Cape the coast is varied by white streaked cliffs, with sandy beaches intervening, the country is more or less cultivated.
Six miles south of the East Cape is the Waiapu stream, which is considerable at high water, the freshes come down with great violence so as to render it unsafe as an anchorage even for the smallest vessels. It takes it rise under Ikaurangi, traversing throug the various ranges and draining a considerable extent of country.
The land about the East Cape presents the most mountainous feature of the Northern Island, the summits of five distinct ranges may be seen, backed by the snow-capped Ikaurangi, a most conspicuous mountain rising to the height of 5535 feet, 28 miles S. E. by S. of the Cape.
The East Cape is remarkably white (clayish sand) and this barren feature reaches to Hick's Bay in steep cliffs to the westward, and in broken cliffs with valleys intervening to the southward.
The East Cape Islet (half a mile in circuit) is a type of the Cape, having but a small proportion of stunted verdure, it is steep and almost inaccessible and bounded by rocks, having a ledge extending from its northern extreme N. N. E. half a mile.
When the Western points trending to Hick's Bay are well open the Islet, anchorage will be found in 16 fathoms within 2 miles of it, and when the weather admits a vessel might ride out the tide to great advantage.
The water deepens again to the southward until within a mile of the Islet, when it will be found to shoal suddenly to 12 and 9 fathoms, which latter depth will be carried to a cable from the Islet.
There is a channel nearly a mile wide between the East Cape and the Islet, but as the winds here are liable to die away suddenly, leaving the vessel at the mercy of the tides and swell, it cannot be recommended. Flood tides set to the northward and from East Cape to the westward.
Prom the preceeding remarks it will be seen that the East Coast from Young Nick's Head (in Poverty Bay) to the East Cape, --about 70 miles, --has only two roadsteads for ships of burden, viz:--
Turanga and Tolaga--that the coast has many dangers within a league of it, that in fine weather and westerly winds, there are a few places where cargo can be shipped by vessels anchoring cautiously off the coast.
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There are few places, (if any) where even coasting schooners would be safe in a gale, for the rivers are only accessible in fine weather, at the proper time of tide.
Besides avoiding the Ariel Reef, a stranger should not approach the coast nearer than a league, and I know no coast where the position of a vessel maybe better determined by night as well as by day. The soundings will he found to decrease from about 40 fathoms two leagues off, to 24 one league off, green mud over 24, and fine sand within 24 fathoms; great advantage can be taken by standing off or in according to tide.
BAY OF PLENTY.
Is nearly 2 miles deep by 1 1/2 broad, the bottom is greenish mud, good holding ground, shoaling very suddenly towards the sandy beach at the head. The north and south shores are very steep generally faced by perpendicular cliffs and off-lying rocks (the latter are within half a cable of the high water).
The north point (Mata Kawa) is a long low rocky tongue of indurated sand stone with a crust of scoria, the rocks off it are all visible having twenty-five fathoms within a cable of the extreme.
The south point (Kohau) is almost inaccessible; it forms the division between the long bay of Panaruku and Hick's Bay.
From all westerly winds, north to south, Hick's Bay affords secure anchorage. In north winds--which are not uncommon--it is sheltered, but vessels must get well within Matakawa Point.
N. E. gales, which generally spring from the east ward and gradually freshen, give sufficient warning to weigh, no vessel should lie here during N. E. or S. E. winds.
From the S. E wind, which is much more constant here than in the Hauraki Gulf, vessels may be sheltered by standing down to the white cliffs 5 miles to the eastward of Hick's Bay, anchoring in 9 to 12 fathoms 1 1/2 miles west of the Awatere River and within a mile of the beach.
Fresh water can be obtained in Hick's Bay, from a gully within half a mile of Mata Kawa point. There is however some difficulty in landing if the wind blows fresh outside, for then there is a swell rolling into the bay; there is also a considerable stream, having fresh water 5 to 6 feet deep, in the N. W. corner. Supplies may be obtained from a native village (Wharekahika) in the S. W. nook of the bay.
The natives catch hapuku off Kohau Point, just within which there is a very small and deep sound [where they retreat to, and which forms their best lauding place, excepting the present whal-
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ing station, one mile within Matakawa Point, where the isolated rocks form a boat harbour.
HICK'S BAY TO CAPE RUNAWAY.
From Hick's Bay to Cape Runaway is west eighteen miles, a desolate country. There are three points, including Cape Runaway, and of the same formation, and therefore readily mistaken. In sloping from the range facing seaward, they rise to a small peak before they again taper in the same direction.
Point Midway and Point Lottin have this feature. There is a small sandy bight east of the former and west of the latter, but neither are anchorages.
The depth of water is very considerable, and should the wind fail there is no anchorage on this part of the coast, and constant swell setting towards it. Soundings in 20 fathoms two cables, and 40 to 50 within a mile.
The hills bordering the coast (rising to 800 feet) are clothed with thick bush one-third down from their summits, and their steepness will render any cultivation very difficult.
Point Lottin is 8 miles west of Hick's Bay, and making the land from the northward, this point of the coast may be readily known by a peak to the southward, seen much higher than the general range, and the Land being lower west of Lottin towards Hick's Bay.
From Cape Runaway (Tikirau) to the westward up the Bay of Plenty, the coast is very different, intersected by rivers, and having large blocks of land under cultivation.
The cape has some detached rocks a quarter of a mile north of it, but with 20 fathoms close to, and a passage with 6 fathoms between them and it.
It is well however to avoid it, as the tides are strong. E. S. E. 1/2 a mile from these rocks is another, awash at low water.
Having Cape Runaway for its north point, has an anchorage in S. E. winds off the present whaling station, 2 miles S. S. E. of the Cape. Vessels of any burden should not approach the shore nearer than 12 fathoms, anchoring about a mile west of the conical hill over the station; south of which a quarter of a mile, is a fordable river, Wangaparawa, winding through a vast plain towards Hick's Bay. Up to this stream the coast is rocky and difficult to effect a landing, Beyond the river is a shingle beach,
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1 1/2 mile long, and then about the same extent of white cliffs, 85 feet high, having terraces of fine table land on the summit.
There is a ledge of rocks extending nearly 1/2 a mile off the south end of these cliffs, and then a sandy bay, extending to the long low part of Orete, which is five and a half miles S. W. 1/2 S. of Cape Runaway.
Upon the slightest appearance of a westerly wind, a vessel should not remain at anchor off the whaling station, and although well sheltered from a N. E. wind, it would be dangerous to ride it out, for these winds always shift to the northward and westward, and would bring in such a sea as to render it very difficult to get out.
The anchorage under Orete Point, about half a mile within it, affords excellent shelter in S. W. and westerly winds. Bringing the outer extreme of the rocks off it to bear W. and N. and anchoring in from 10 to 7 fathoms fine sand.
The anchorage in Wanpaparawa is open to another objection: between the changes from S. E. to Westerly winds, there is frequently a calm, the westerly wind being preceded by a swell, and coming in flaws. The Pandora was thus placed in a critical position on two occasions.
FROM ORETE, WESTWARD, ROUND THE BAY OF PLENTY.
Orete to Waikana is S. W. 9 and 1/2 miles, for the most part a rocky coast and shingle beach, immediately west of Orete there are sunken rocks, 3/4 of a mile from the shore, and the ground is everywhere foul within half a mile of the beach. Within the first 5 miles are the villages of Orete, Otawhao, Rau-ko-kore, and its river of the same name.
From Kotiki Point to Waikana the coast is steep and rugged, with 35 fathoms 5 miles off; but there is not above half that depth at the same distance after passing Waikana. From Waikana, the coast trends S. S W. It is 4 miles to Te Kaha Point, and midway there is a reef just awash, half a mile from the shore, to keep clear of which, steer outside the line of points.
Te Kaha Point has off-lying rocks for half a mile, from thence to Opokohino it is 5 miles; between, is the small peninsula of Motunui, where coasters haul into 5 fathoms, and ride out N. E. winds. From Motunui to Opokohino is a shingle beach of 2 miles, where the Aparapara and Omaio rivers disembogue. At the latter there is a large native village. The peak of Opokohino Point is 596 feet high.
Three miles westward is Koronohino Point (240 feet), and round it is the large village of Tokata, being less than a mile N. of the Maraenui River. The Maraenui is a small, bar
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river, expanding during freshes to half a mile in breadth, but it if in dry weather fordable half a mile from the mouth. The bar is about 30 feet broad, and is close to the shore. It is a tolerable boat harbour, having 8 feet, water within.
Six miles and a half from Maraenui is Pehetaire Point (800 feet high), and east of it one mile is the large double fenced Pa of Tunapahoa. The ground here shelves very gradually, having eighteen fathoms (mud) five miles from the beach.
The coast now takes a more westerly direction, the course from Pehetuire Point to Opotiki being S. W. 1/2 W. ten and a half miles, and Opotiki is in the bight of the Bay of Plenty.
The hills here are considerably lower, and fall back. The Porere and Waihau are inconsiderable streams, running through swampy land, parallel to the coast, which is now faced with sand hills.
Opape Point, three miles from Pehetaire, has rocks extending one third of a mile off and around it.
The Opotiki river divides into two branches about half a mile within the points. The east branch is the Opotiki proper; the west the Wai-o-eka. Both run nearly parallel to the south, about two miles apart, towards a wooded range of hills five miles from the coast. Their course is through a fine plain partially cultivated. The principal Pa (on the Opotiki branch) is named the Kowai; it is a mile from the mouth, and small vessels lie here at low water. Above this it is probably only navigable for boats.
The Wai-o-eka, from its junction with the branch, is full of snags up to the Church Mission Station of Tehuki-taia (three miles from the mouth), above which are rapids.
The entrance to the Opotiki is not more than a cable across. Both heads are sand, with no natural mark to lead in. The bar changes with the freshes, and N. E. gales affect it. The depth therefore is also affected, but the river is navigable for the ordinary coasters.
Ohiwa river is six miles to the westward of Opotiki; before reaching it the Wai-o-tahi has to be crossed. This small river has a light yellow cliff on its eastern entrance.
The Ohiwa river is much broader and more extensive than the Opotiki, being half a mile across at the mouth at high water. It appears however surrounded by shoal water, and the bar is a mile seaward within. It branches off into three arms, extending through extensive mud flats.
Half a mile east of Ohiwa is a wooded cliff about 500 feet high, which, as it stands alone on the coast, would be a guide to this river.
A sandy beach of seven miles extends from Ohiwa to Kohi Point, which forms the eastern head of the Whakatane river. The channel into this river is between large boulders just covered at high water. These rocks are on either side of the bar, which at
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low water has only two feet on it, and nine or ten at high water springs. The Whakatane is a favourite port for the coasting trade. Schooners reach as far as Pupuarue, the Mission station, from which the river bends to the S. E. and flowing through the ranges at the back takes the name of Orewera.
Kohi Point rises to 637 feet, and has been covered with several Pas, the ridges and ditches having a curious appearance. Between it and Motu Hora there is fourteen fathoms fine sand.
From Whakatane to Matata is thirteen miles: having an extensive swamp at the back of the sand hills, and a plain of fern and flax extends to the foot of Mount Edgecombe, which noble mountain rises abruptly from the flat to the height of 2375 feet. The native name is Putauaki. On the summit is said to be a lake of green water, probably occupying an old crater.
The river Orini connects the Whakatane and Matata, the stream always running to the former; it flows parallel to the beach about one and a half miles distant, and is navigable for boats the whole length.
The Awa-o-te-atua rises near the west foot of Mount Edgecombe, and passing through the plain, becomes the Matata at its junction with the Orini, two and a half miles west of which is the village of Otamarora a mile from the entrance.
From the Whakatane entrance (Kohi Point) the island of Motu Hora bears N. W. by N. five miles, west of which about four miles are the Ru Rima Rocks, having from ten to fifteen fathoms between them and the coast. (Motu Hora and the Ru Rima Rocks will be treated of hereafter.)
At Matata, coasting vessels are built. From it a range of hills runs south (forming the western boundary of the plain from Whakatane), and cut off from the foot of Mount Edgecombe by the valley through which the Awa-o-ao-atua runs. Coastwise the cliffs are white, rising to 500 feet.
The Wai-teha-nui W. N. W., six miles distant from Matata, is fordable at low water. On it is the beautifully situated Pa of Otamaropa.
Before reaching Maketu, the Waihi river runs in many branches through an extensive flat.
Town Point (Okure) forming the S. E. head of the Kaituna river is sixteen miles N. W. by W. half W. of Matata. From this cliff point (100 feet high) towards Motiti, the ground is very foul, but I am not aware that there are any rocks--further than a mile off--which would bring a ship up.
The large Pa of Maketu is on the S. E. side of the Kaituna river, just within the bar, which at low water has three feet on it. Within, the river expands considerably, and is navigable for boats eight miles. It conveys the surplus water from Roto Roa lakes to the sea. At Maketu resides the Rev. Mr. Chapman, a gentleman whose name is so well known to travellers, from the unbounded hospitality he has extended to those visitors who pass
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his happily conducted mission station on their road to the lakes.
The beach from Maketu to Maunganui has already been described, as was also Tauranga Harbour.
The Katikati river is N. W. by W. thirteen miles from Maunganui, a sandy beach the whole way. Two miles east of its north head (Te Ho), the water shoals suddenly from six to three and a half fathoms. Breakers extend a mile from the entrance, which appears to be choked up with banks, having scarcely at low water a safe boat channel between them. The Katikati is connected with Tauranga, thus forming a long sandy island between Te Ho and Maunganui. At low water the channel connecting Tauranga and Katikati is nearly dry.
The passage between Karewha Island and the sandy beach is three miles broad, having from ten to thirteen fathoms sand and shells.
ISLANDS AND DETACHED ROCKS.
The Islands comprehended in this survey include the Mayor or Tuhoua, Karewha, Motiti, Motu Nau or Plate Island, Motu Hura or Whale Island, and Whakari or White Island.
The detached rocks are the Ru Rima near Motu Hora, the Astralobe near Motiti, and the Schooner Rocks.
The Mayor or Tuhoua is an island seven miles in circumference, two and a quarter miles N. W. and S. E. and one and a half miles in breadth, the northern peak being 1100 feet high. The centre of the island is an extinct crater open to the S. E.. with stagnant water at the bottom; the western face is so covered with blocks of obsidian as to give it a remarkably dazzling appearance when reflecting the sun's rays.
There is a Pa on the S. E. extreme, strongly defended by a deep cut or pass, partially artificial, through which the invaders must approach, for the other sides have steep cliffs down to the water. There is a bay immediately west of the Pa, where anchorage may be had--sandy bottom: but as it is open to west and S. W. winds, it would seldom be available beyond a few hours during which time a small quantity of provisions and water might be obtained. On the east side of the Pa is a small cove, where coasters ride in northerly winds.
One mile east of the Pa Point is a rock under water, which breaks in a moderate swell; it is half a mile from the nearest or S. E. point of the island. Off the North Point is a small sugar loaf islet. The rest of the island appears perfectly clear of danger, with forty fathoms one mile from its shores.
Karewha island has been treated of in the directions for entering Tauranga Harbour.
Motiti or Flat Island is three and a quarter miles from north to south and one and a half from west to east. Its greatest elevation (190 feet) is at the north end. The rest of the island is not more than 100 feet above the level of the sea.
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The north point is S. E. by S. nineteen miles from the Mayor, and eleven and a half miles E. N. E. from Tauranga Harbour, between which and Motiti there is not more than twenty-two fathoms.
The holding ground off the island is very indifferent, and the east and S. E. sides should not be approached within two miles. There are two rocks awash S. E. by E. one and a half miles from the south point.
The "Pandora" anchored off the N. W. point of the island, half a mile from the shore, in fourteen fathoms, rocky ground.
Schooner Rocks (so called from their likeness to such a vessel at a distance) are four and a half miles E. by N. half N. of Motiti; they are not a cable in circumference, and sixty-two feet high and bold. There is forty fathoms between them and Motiti.
Astrolabe Rock is isolated, and uncovered at low water springs. The whole extent of the danger is not more than two cables, extending E. N. E. and W. S. W. It would break almost always, but as it is covered at high water, in very fine westerly weather it might not show. Our boats approached it. and found twenty fathoms all round it fifty yards distant. The ship passed two cables from it, sounding in thirty to forty fathoms, green mud and broken shells.
At the rock the flat summit of Maunganui is exactly on a level with the ridge of the table land behind it. If you are inside the rock Maunganui will appear above the distant land, and if outside it will appear below. The compass bearing of Maunganui from the rock is S. 51 deg. W. the centre of Mayor Island, N. 45 deg. W. and the right of Motiti S. 1/2 W. four miles from the north point. This neighbourhood should be avoided at night, as there is no land near enough to guide, Motiti being too low.
This rock is in such a very different position from that assigned to the Astrolabe Reef, that were we not convinced that no rocks exist in the old position of the Astrolabe, I should have hesitated to give it this name
I may here repeat that there is no such island as that represented in the old charts and maps as High Island. It evidently has crept in since Cook's time, by some navigators taking Maunganui Bluff for an island. At a distance it certainly appears so, as it rises to 860 feet from a sandy level.
Motu Nau (or Plate Island, so called from its hollow in the centre,) is S. E. half S. three and a half miles from the Schooner Rocks, and seven and a half miles E. by N. from the south extremity of Motiti. It is less than half a mile in extent (the highest part is 166 feet), and has deep water all round it, except off the South end, where there is a ledge just above water. Between this and Schooner Rocks there is twenty to thirty fathoms.
Ru Rima Rocks are (at the eastern extreme) four miles west of Motu Hora, and like that island, retain volcanic heat.
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They are one mile east and west, and half a mile north d south. The highest rock above water is 120 feet, and about three hundred yards in circumference.
The detached portions of these rocks extend to within three miles of the beach, and as they are covered, render it necessary to be cautious. The best plan is to keep the coast on board, which shelves gradually, the depth being eleven fathoms in the deepest part of the channel.
The outer rocks of Rua Rima are also awash. They are six miles from the shore, and have eighteen fathoms half a mile to the northward.
Motu Hora, or Whale Island, is 1167 feet high, one and a half miles east and west, and half a mile in length. It appears bell shaped from seaward, but on approaching there is a second peak on the west end.
The "Pandora" anchored under a shingle spit off the S. W. end of the island. I have no reason to doubt that with good ground tackle, a vessel might ride out any gale here. But the island being small, the back swell in a N. E. gale would be considerable. At all events, it is the only spot affording any shelter on this portion of the bay in case a vessel should be caught in a N. E. wind, and not able to hold her position.
There are no dangers around this island, the depth between it and the shore is twenty fathoms, at the anchorage is six fathoms, but small vessels may get close in, under the shingle beach.
Abreast of the anchorage is a boiling spring. Goats are numerous, and there is some cultivated ground, but no one residing. Fresh water is scarce.
White Island, or Whakari, is about three miles in circumference, and 860 feet high. The base of the crater is one and a half miles in circuit, and level with the sea. In the centre is a boiling spring about 100 yards in circumference, sending volumes of steam full 2000 feet high in calm weather. Around the edges of the crater are numberless smaller geysers, sounding like so many high pressure engines, and emitting steam with such velocity, that a stone thrown into the vortex would immediately be shot in the air.
Here and there are lakes of sulphureous water, dormant; but the whole island is so heated as to make it difficult to walk. From the edges of the crater the scene below is only to be compared to a well dressed meadow of gorgeous green, with meandering streams feeding the boiling cauldron; but on approaching, we find this green to be the purest crystallized sulphur. No animal or insect breathes on this island, scarcely a limpet on the stones, and 200 fathoms will hardly reach the bottom within half a mile of its shores.
This is the eastern limit of that extensive belt of agitation extending from Mount Egmont, through Tongoariro, the Taupo and Roto Mahana lakes, to the island of Motu Hora and the adjacent rocks (Ru Rima) north of which earthquakes are rarely felt.
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N. W. half W. three miles from White Island, are three rocky islets, 60 to 100 feet above water, the "Pandora" passed between them and the island, without striking bottom with 60 fathoms. Off the S. E. extreme is another rugged islet, about thirty feet, half a mile from the high water. There is not the slightest appearance of any off laying danger.
TIDES, BAY OF PLENTY AND EAST COAST.
The average rise and fall in the Bay of Plenty is seven feet. The flood runs to the westward taking the direction of the Coast.
Within four miles of the Coast spring tides run two knots, neap one knot; but off the points of Hick's Bay, Cape Runaway, &c., they will be found to be more rapid, but either tide striking against the point has a tendency to set off the rocks.
Off White Island there is scarce any tide.
South of the East Cape the flood sets to the northward, ebb to the southward, within the Bays of Turanga and Tolaga the tide is not felt. The influence of the tides extend fifteen miles off this Coast, the water being so much shoaler than in the Bay of Plenty.
WINDS AND WEATHER.
The winds on either side of the East Cape are frequently very different although it may be blowing very fresh. The strong westerly sea breezes, which blow through the Bay of Plenty are suddenly lost when passing south of the East Cape Islet, the distinct line of breeze is curiously depicted on the water. A vessel may be becalmed here for hours in sight of very strong breezes.
Proceeding south it will be found that the ordinary sea breeze is N. E, while the N. E. gales are far less common than in the Hauraki Gulf, whereas the S. E. gales so uncommon at Auckland, are frequent, and blow very hard, on both sides of the East Cape, lasting several days.
The south winds come on very suddenly on both sides of the East Cape, frequently accompanied by rain.
The north winds with gloomy weather and rain, frequently precede the south winds, and the changes from north to south is very sudden.
These remarks although generally applicable, are from our own observations between October and February.
The N. E. gales are most frequent in March and April, the S. E. during the winter, accompanied by showers and lightning to the S. E.
In the Bay of Plenty the barometer rises to the W. S. W. winds, and the same effect is produced by the N. E. sea breezes south of the East Cape, it falls to northerly winds, and rise when about to shift to the southward.
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Before N. E. gales the barometer is generally very high, they come on very gradually, with a leaden sky, rain follows, and they invariably shift to the N. and N. W., veering to W. S. W. it frequently remains at that quarter for some days, they seldom last less than forty-eight hours. It will be found that three o'clock in the afternoon is not an uncommon time for change during any gale in these seas.
The following are the Latitudes and Longitudes of some of the principal points and islands with the time of high water at full and change
Kate Kate River, (North Head) lat. 37° 27', S. long. 176° 2' East .....H. W. 7 44
Mayor Island, (Highest Peak) lat. 37° 16', S. long. 176° 18', 3/4 E.....H. W. " "
Motu Hora, (Highest Peak) lat. 37° 50' S., long. 177° 10', E......H. W. " "
Opotiki River, (Mission House) lat. 37° 58' 5., long. 177° 20', E.....H. W. " 00
Tekaha Point, (out extreme) lat. 37° 42 3/4' S., long. 177° 43' E......H. W. 6 30
Hick's Bay, (Matakawa Point) lat. 37° 32' S., long. 178° 22 3/4 E.....H. W. 9 00
East Cape Islet, (summit of) lat. 37° 39' S., long. 178° 37 3/4' E......H. W. 8 55
Tolaga Bay, (Motu Heka) lat. 38° 22 1/2' S., long. 178° 28 1/2' E.....H. W. " "
Poverty Bay, (Halbert's House, Wero Wero) lat. 38° 42' S., long. 177° 58 1/2' E.....H. W. 6 06
N. B. --All bearings in this are by compass.
SAILING DIRECTIONS FOR KAWHIA HARBOUR.
On coming from seaward the harbour of Kawhia may be known by the distant hills rising in notched peaks (called Pironghia), and also by the high wooded headland to the northward (Woody Head).
Steer for Pironghia peaks until Albatross point shuts in the land to the southward. You will then have passed Gannet Island (which is small, and about 70 feet high, and lies N. W. 1/4 W. 11 miles from Albatross Point, and W. by N. 3/4 N. 13 miles from Kawhia South Head) and you will see the break of the land forming the entrance to Kawhia harbour.
The South Head is cliffy, having a very conspicuous yellow patch on it; and the North Head is a low sandy point (the gradual declension of the sand hills, which stretch between this harbour and Aotea).
Get the South Head to bear E. S. E., and steer for it, until the leading mark inside becomes visible; it is an arched cliff, reddish,
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and dotted with trees. Keep this a little open of the outer extreme of the South Head, bearing E. by S. 3/4 S, and cross the bar, which is one mile from the Heads, gradually hauling towards the North Head, as the channel over the bay is close to the south spit, and after having run about three cables, you will be in 3 1/4 fathoms, when you may steer for between the Heads, and on that line E. by S. until the rocks off the inner and outer South Heads are in line, when steer up the left channel, which is two cables broad, having from 4 to 6 fathoms in it towards Leathart's Point (which is miles within the North Head), and after rounding it, a vessel may anchor off the Native Church, about a cable's length from shore, in from 4 to 5 fathoms low water (14 feet in the channel over the south bar at low water Spring tides).
The marks for crossing the North Channel over the bar are-- Mr. Joseph's house on Ohaua Point, just open of the rock off the South Head, bearing S. 48 E.; water on bar at low water Springs 11 feet. There is more shoal water crossing this bar than the southern one, and, with a westerly wind, a heavy beam sea. Steer on the leading marks until into deep water, 5 fathoms, and then for the entrance, when the same directions are good which were previously given.
The tide sets out over the South Spit with a slight inclination, and the flood the contrary.
Strength of tide between the Heads from four to six knots.
High water, full and change, on bar, 9h. 30m.
Rise at Springs, 12 feet.
Latitude South Head, 38d. 4m. 6s. S.
Longitude ditto ditto, 174d. 46m. 30s. E.
SAILING DIRECTIONS FOR WHAINGAROA HARBOUR.
Woody Head, or Karehoe Peak, is a high conical hill, 2000 feet high, and an excellent mark for Whaingoroa. The harbour is to the northward of the hill, in a bight formed by it and the land, running towards Waikato; when the bight is made, the entrance to the harbour may be known by a reddish cliff hill over the South Head. The bar lies off the entrance about one mile, formed by two spits, which dry out nearly half way at low water. The entrance is two cables broad.
The North Point is sandy and low, with high woody land behind. The south point is also low, but not sandy, sloping down from the reddish cliff hill. The marks for crossing the bar are the extreme of North Point, in line with a point on the south side of the harbour, gradually sloping from a low hill about three miles inside, bearing N. E. by E. 3/4 E. Water on the bar at low water
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spring tides, 9 feet, and the channel straight in from the bar to the Heads, carrying in 2, 3, 4, and 5 fathoms between them. When inside, by keeping mid channel, you may sail up to where the river branches off into the Waitetaima river, Kokaka, and Waikuku creeks.
Good anchorage inside the points leading into Kokaka river--so also there is in every part of it.
Small vessels generally anchor off the first limestone rocks under the North Head, in 9 fathoms. Off Hou Village there are three other creeks, besides those mentioned, flowing into the main branch.
Strength of tide between the heads from 4 to 6 knots.
Time of high water on the bar at full and change, 9h. 30m.
Rise, 12 feet.
Latitude South Entrance Point, 37d. 47m. 31s. S.
Longitude, 174d. 51m. 1s. E.
SAILING DIRECTIONS FOR AOTEA HARBOUR.
On approaching the harbour of Aotea, the entrance looks like a great gap, with sand hills on either side; the south point (Kupua te mauna) is 4 miles north of Kawhia, and its summit is darker than the rest of the hills on the coast.
The North Head is a low point formed by a gradual slope of the sand hills.
The high water marks between the heads are three quarters of a mile distant.
From the North Head a long sand spit, dry at half tide, runs to the southward for one mile; and half a mile to the southward of the South Head, the south spit runs off, and outlies the north spit, and dries out at low water about one-third of a mile.
In steering for the bar, two small triangular patches of yellow cliff, to the right of the south point, will be seen; the right of these patches in line with where the summit of the dark hill meets the sand hill (or where they appear to join) bearing E. 3/4 N.
After crossing the bar, in 11 feet low water, haul in along the spit (E. S. E.) until abreast of the tail of the north spit (always showing); you will then gradually have to haul up, keeping the north spit on board to the North Head--still keep the north shore on board (as there is an extensive sand bank on the south shore), until abreast of the abrupt termination of the sand on the north shore; when steer for the red cliffs on the south shore, and anchor off them in from 4 to 6 fathoms.
The depth of channel from the heads to this point is from 2 to
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4 fathoms, which continues to the eastward three quarters of a mile towards the White Bluffs, when it turns to the northward and divides into three small channels; the westernmost one leading to the Mission Station, above which it is dry; the middle, towards the Pakaka Creek, dry at low water; and the east one to Makamaka Creek also dry at low water.
Latitude of South Head, 37d. 59m. 52s. S.
Longitude ditto, 174d. 47m. 16s. E.
High water on Bar, at full and change, 9h. 30m.
Rise and fall, 12 feet.
The tide runs between the Heads from 3 to 5 knots.
There are two rocks lying to the northward of Aotea, about a mile off shore. The north one is awash at low water, and is nearly always breaking; the south one, about a quarter of a mile from the other, breaks only in heavy weather-one cable inside is four fathoms.
The bearings of the first are--from North Head W. 3/4 N., and and from the Bar N. W. 3/4 N. 1 1/2 miles; the one which seldom breaks is 1/4 of a mile south of the north one.
All bearings magnetic.