1893 - MacKenzie, F. W. Overland from Auckland to Wellington in 1853 - DIARY [Auckland to Wellington]

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  1893 - MacKenzie, F. W. Overland from Auckland to Wellington in 1853 - DIARY [Auckland to Wellington]
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DIARY [Auckland to Wellington]

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Auckland, October 22, 1853. --To-day landed from the brig "Kestrel," after a passage of 15 days from Melbourne, during which time we had all kinds of weather, from a calm to a gale, with close-reefed topsails.

It has been raining a little this morning, and the land looks bright and green. The country about here is undulating, and almost destitute of trees. The land along the coast is rather high, and appears to consist of a kind of sandstone. From the harbour the town has rather an imposing appearance--the houses all rise above one another, and the different churches and other large buildings add to the effect. The interior of the place, however, has but a poor appearance. The houses are very irregular and mean-looking, and the steep, uneven streets make it look more like a jumble of temporary dwellings dotted down at random than a regularly laid out town.

Sunday, 23. --Attended the Free Church, which is a nice substantial building, and heard a good sermon on Heb. xi., 24-26.

Monday, 24. -- John and I, with two farmers from Port Phillip, intended to go up the river 20 miles in a boat, but, on reaching the wharf, found

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we were too late for to-day, as the tide would soon ebb, and it is necessary to go up with the flood. Took a short walk, but the heat was too oppressive to go far. We passed some very lovely gardens, round neat cottages, just outside the town. Everything here seems to grow most luxuriantly; even the grass by the wayside looks as if you could see it growing. I am told that all the land round the town, good and bad, has been purchased, and that there is none to be had (except at second hand, and consequently at an enormous price) within 20 miles. The population of this province is said to be 70,000, and comprises two-thirds of the Native and one-third of the European inhabitants of these islands. There are said to be about 20,000 acres of fenced land, and land under cultivation, in the neighbourhood of Auckland. In fact, from all I can hear and see, this is as prosperous a place as can well be. The Natives are very numerous here. All the old ones are tattooed, which gives them a very extraordinary appearance. The men have generally a most intelligent look. They are not the least like Australians, but resemble Arabs in their features more than any other race I have seen. They seem to beat the Patlanders hollow at pig-driving. I see them coming in every morning, sometimes with three or four pigs in front of them, each having a string tied to its hind leg; and when the man wishes the animal to advance he gives the string a smart pull backwards, upon which the pig runs forward.

Tuesday, 25. --Our landlord advises me to go overland to Wellington, by which means I should see a great deal of the country and also of the Natives. Another "party" said no doubt I should like it, but he feared I should find it very dull, not having any-

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one to talk to, as I am unacquainted with the Maori language.

We took a boat to-day and went ten miles up the river. We landed on an island called Wood's Island 1 --a pretty spot, where there had been a garden. There were a great many rose trees in full blossom, and also an immense quantity of strawberry plants in flower. The place was also covered with fine English grass, and there were a great many wattle trees, but all in confusion. It had evidently been allowed to run to waste for years. The boatman told us the island belonged to a person of the name of Wood. He thought it had been given to a Native half-caste daughter of his by a Native chief, and although he wished to sell it, he could not. The country on both sides of the river is of the same unmeaning character as here--few or no trees to be seen--but still it looks green and pretty. The river is very deep, and in some places opens out to a great width, the shores being indented with bays and creeks, which gives them a very varied, and in some places, pretty appearance. The banks are very high and rocky, with stunted trees and ferns interspersed here and there.

The trip cost us £1--not much, as there were four of us.

Wednesday, 26. --I am told that the route overland to Wellington is quite safe, and at this season will not be at all unpleasant. We shall have to take some Natives with us to carry our things, and walk perhaps 20 or 30 miles a day. I tried to get a map of the country, but there is not such a thing to be had in Auckland. This evening I took a drive out into the country. The road is a very good one, and

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as far as I went was lined with pretty houses, fields, and hedges, the view being more like what I remember of Home than anything I have seen since I left it.

I hear that there is still a great deal of land for sale at the Manukau harbour on the other side, six miles from this place. The land is said to be very good, and the Manukau harbour is superior to this one. The land sells for 10s per acre to the first claimant, and costs £4 to fence and bring under cultivation; and from all I can hear the purchasers of it are certain of a very speedy and large return.

Thursday, 27. --To-day making enquiries for men to accompany us overland to Wellington.

Friday, 28. -- This morning the cook brought up some Maoris who said they were willing to go. After a good deal of talk they said we should require three, and that they would charge 4s a day, and expect us to feed them on the way. We told them to return in the evening, intending in the meantime to make enquiries as to whether they were imposing on us or not. They then said that they intended to send two of their relations with us, and that they were out of town, but would return in the evening. They seemed astonished to hear me speak Hindoostanee to the cook, and asked where we came from, so the cook told them we were from his country. This cook is an Indian, and was taken prisoner and kept as a slave by the Maoris a long time ago. He was purchased from them for an iron pot by some settler, and set at liberty. He has been a great man among the Natives, and has received several wounds while fighting during his sojourn amongst them.

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Rode out six miles to-day to a pensioner village called Onehunga on the Manukau harbour. It is likely to become a place of importance ere long. The harbour has been reported a very good one, into which vessels of large tonnage can come at any time of the tide. The country in that direction is a succession of slopes and hills, some of them pretty high. A great part of it has been cleared of fern, and is now in grass. The roadside is lined with very pretty cottages and gardens, and all the fields are fenced in, many having black-thorn hedges. It is a pretty country to a farmer's eye, but to mine it looked bare, as there are almost no trees. There is a good made road about two-thirds of the way, and they talk of finishing it soon.

From the routes laid down in the Church Almanac, I find that in going by the back of the mountains we shall have 222 miles to travel by water. Such being the case, we have determined to hire men only to the Waikato River - 45 miles from here--where we embark, and get others when we land again 72 miles up. I am told that the land on the Waikato will ere long be bought by the Government, and be for sale to the European settlers. It is, I understand, a splendid country. The river is navigable for craft of 30 tons for 100 miles up, and there is a creek runs out of it to within one mile of the Manukau harbour (6 miles hence), so that there will be water carriage nearly the whole of the way for the settlers in that district. All the land within 30 miles of this is bought, and from beyond that distance there would be more difficulty in bringing produce to market than 100 miles up the Waikato.

The weather ever since we landed has been delightful. I thought the place too hot when first I came, but I now find that it is entirely in confined

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situations. There is generally a fine breeze all day, and the people here say that the climate varies but little all the year round.

I succeeded to-day in getting a map of the country from a person in the coffee-room. I have been taking lessons in Maori from the cook, and hope to be able to make myself understood before we reach Wellington, as none of our men can speak English.

Saturday, 29. --Engaged all day purchasing provisions for our journey, and packing up. We have five Natives going with us--three men and two women.

Sunday, SO. --Attended service at the Free Church, and in the evening went to the English Church, where I heard a most excellent sermon from the Bishop on Phil. iv. 3, showing that good works are as certain to be produced by those whose names are written in the Book of Life as good fruit is to be produced by a good tree; but still they (good works) can never earn grace, but must follow and be the result of it to be acceptable in the sight of God; and as the Book of Life is a sealed book, and always must remain so till the Great Day, it remains for Christians to strive continually.

Monday, 31. --Left Auckland this morning with three men and two women carrying our luggage slung like knapsacks on their backs. It is astonishing how much they will carry in this way without seeming to feel it much. The country we passed through is of the same character as that round Auckland, excepting two or three patches of wood through which we passed. In one of these our cap-

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tain (Einyoa) had a kit of potatoes laid for his use on his return to his village. The trees are very high, and not so spreading as those in Australia. Many are covered with creepers up to the very top. They are very close together, and the numbers of supplejacks which grow up between them and fix themselves on the branches, make it impossible in most places to penetrate far into the forest without using knife or axe. The supplejacks are like bamboos, but are so flexible that they can be bent into any shape. At 4 p. m. we arrived at Te Horomanga. We put up for the night in a deserted hut, 2 where we had a sound and refreshing sleep after a walk of 28 miles.

Tuesday, November 1. --Up at day-break, and after having some tea and bread and butter, while our attendants regaled themselves with a large pot of potatoes, we started about 6 a. m. on our second day's march. After about two miles we crossed the Tauranga on some planks laid across the stream and resting in the middle on a wooden horse. 3 After crossing this stream, we began to enter the forest and leave the undulating fern-covered country behind us. We soon found ourselves in a small path cut through the forest, and just sufficiently cleared to allow one man at a time to walk along among the stumps and roots. We passed several open places where the Natives cultivate wheat and potatoes. After a much more fatiguing day's work than the preceding we arrived at the place where we were to embark in the canoe. 4 We passed the first Native village to-day. Their houses--or rather huts--have a very neat appearance, and are all

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fenced in, each one separate from the other's, having stiles leading from one enclosure to the other, to prevent the pigs from going into their neighbour's grounds. After we got into the canoe we proceeded down the creek on which it was until we reached the Mangatawhiri creek. We had great difficulty in getting along owing to the river being so narrow and winding, and the canoe being so very long--not much under 50 feet, I should think. After going along the Mangatawhiri for some time, we got into the Waikato, a noble river, and here very rapid. 5 Having paddled up for about a mile, we pitched our tent on the bank, and camped for the night. We had been fortunate enough to shoot two ducks to-day, also a large pigeon. On one of the former we made a good supper, and turned in on our fern beds, with some of our men lying near us.

Wednesday, 2. --Started at half-past 6 a. m., having had a good night's rest in our little tent. The banks here are lined with innumerable kinds of trees and plants. The largest are principally pine-trees, which seem to be a very fine timber. There are many like palms, which, I believe, are called Ti, or cabbage tree, here. The fern trees are also like palms, and very beautiful. We passed several islands, looking like beautiful gardens in the distance, and saw several wheat fields belonging to the Natives. In many places the trees are covered with creepers, and altogether the scenery here is very lovely. We passed some canoes laden with flax and wheat belonging to European traders. We spoke to one of them (a half-caste), who told us that his partner lived at the place we were going to, and would be happy to assist us in procuring men to take us on

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our way. Having a fair wind we sailed a good way to-day, although it was rather unpleasant, as the wind was high, the canoe narrow, and the water often coming over the side. At night we halted at a village called Waitoto, and pitched inside a Native hut enclosure. Our tent was soon filled with Maoris. Some of them brought slates with calculations of the amount they expected to get for their wheat, and asked us to see if they were correct. They seemed very intelligent, and knew most of the Native names on the map. They picked up the bones of a duck from which we had dined, and seemed delighted to get a small piece of bread or biscuit. There were a great many children, as healthy-looking as the little pigs which run at liberty in great numbers, poking their heads amongst the people as they sit at dinner, contending for stray potatoes with the dogs. They have prayers and singing morning and evening with great regularity.

Thursday, 3. --Awakened by a bell calling the Maoris to prayers. We had a good night's rest. Found our tent quite wet with dew. Had to breakfast tea, the last of our stock of bread, and the leg of a boiled duck each, and got under weigh at 7 a. m. The banks here are low. Many low islands covered with flax and scrub. There must be plenty of good land between the river and the hills here, the hills being in some places three or four miles from the bank. There are great quantities of pumice stones on the banks, in some places sticking high up in the branches of the bushes. At first sight it seemed extraordinary how stones perhaps a foot thick could get up there, but on examining one I found that probably they float down the stream when the water is high, and remain in the trees when it subsides.

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We passed more islands and grounded once on one of them. The banks are low, and clear of trees the greater part of the way. Towards evening we approached the hills, through which we could perceive no opening until we came almost to the foot of them, when a valley opened out to our left. The hills here come down to the water's edge. They have few trees except on the ravines. The sun has been hot to-day, but not powerful, as our gun-barrels were not hot. I noticed quantities of peach-trees at all the Native settlements we passed. A little further on the scene is beautiful. The hills, indented by deep ravines, come down to the very edge of the water. On one side the high-peaked hill of Taupiri, covered to the top with trees of every tint, and on the other fern-covered ridges, throwing the wooded ravines into partial shade, have a charming effect. The captain informed us that this is a mission station, 6 and as soon as we landed I went and called on the missionary, Mr Ashwell, and asked him to assist us in getting men to go on. Just as we were talking he was told that a little child belonging to the station was missing, upon which he got into a flurry, so I thought as I could be of no use, the best thing was to return to the pa (village) to sleep, which I did. We took tea with Mr Ashwell and his family, and he promised to do all he could for us. In the evening he came down to the pa to tell us the child had been found and ask us to go to his house to sleep; but as we were in a very comfortable hut, and had all our things there, we thought it best to remain, and promised to call on him again in the morning.

Friday, 4. --Up at day-light, after our first night in a Native hut. It is somewhat like an Australian

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slab-hut. The walls are formed principally of pieces of the trunks of fern-trees. The thatch is, first, a layer of nikau palm branches, very neatly plaited, over that flags or flax-leaves, and the whole covered with a network of tangled roots to keep it from being blown off by the wind. The roof is very thick, and as there was a fire the smoke rose up and filled the place with a thick cloud, which came as low as the shoulders when one stood up. Below, the smoke was blown away through the crevices in the walls.

I determined this morning to call on the trader who lived on the other side to ask his assistance in procuring men to go up the river with us, as the missionary seemed to have a great dislike to the only people who were present here, the greater part of them being absent at their potato grounds just now. I accordingly called upon the trader, who at once accompanied me to a pa some way up the river, where I engaged three men (one of them being the man who had brought us up) to go on for about 40 miles for £1 a-piece, including canoe. I knew that this was a large sum for them, but after talking for above an hour, I saw there was no chance of getting men for less. They all have a great idea of the value of their services just now, as it is their harvest-time. When I returned to the pa I got some breakfast, and while I was eating Mr Ashwell came in and said he was sorry I had engaged these men, because they were in disgrace, or something of the kind. However, he began talking to them, and after many words they all agreed to go with us as far as Wanganui for £6 a-head, which Mr Ashwell said was a much better bargain than the first.

We then accompanied Mr Ashwell to see his girls' school, and a more interesting or gratifying

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sight I never had the pleasure of witnessing. There were about 50 girls present of all ages, from 6 to 17 years old or thereabouts. They looked neat and clean, and infinitely better than any we had seen at the villages on the way up. They were all intelligent-looking, and some rather pretty. Mr Ashwell began by making them chant their arithmetic tables, which they did very prettily. He told us that they had generally such a good ear for music that he found that method of teaching them answer better than any other. He then showed us they could count, and they exhibited great quickness in adding up figures as fast as he could speak them, and telling the amount in pounds, shillings, and pence as directed. Afterwards some of them read English from the Testament, and two of them wrote correctly in English on a small slate. They also shewed considerable knowledge of the Bible by answering any questions which were put to them. They pointed out on the map the principal countries and chief towns, concluding by singing several little songs and glees, which they did admirably, taking different parts. None of these girls had been more than three years in the school, and before admission were perfect savages. Altogether it was a very pleasing sight, and showed amply the immense amount of good of which the missionary labours have been productive in this country. Mr Ashwell has been in it, in different parts, for twenty years, and although the great mass of the people have but learnt the forms and precepts of religion, surely that alone is a great good; and it is infinitely better that they should repeat their prayers and sing the morning and evening hymn than assist, as formerly, at some bloody rite. Their great failing now seems to be avarice. They think of nothing but how to get

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money; but it is the same with nine out of every ten amongst educated Europeans. After school we dined with Mr Ashwell and his family, and a person they called Miss McIntosh, who is teacher, I suppose. The children dined at two long tables in the same room. After dinner, having received a note of introduction to Mr Taylor at Wanganui, we bade the hospitable missionary and his family farewell and crossed the river to the trader's house to get some shot, which he let us have as a great favour for 8d per lb. This evening we got no further than the pa to which I had gone in the morning to engage men, as we were detained so long at the mission-house and the trader's.

Saturday, 5. --We slept last night in the tent of one of our boatmen, as he declared it was free from fleas. At 6 a. m. we started in our new canoe, with three men pulling. As the stream was rapid and the wind strong against us, we made but little way; and as we were detained for nearly two hours after starting by two of our men (I suppose bidding adieu to their families), we did not get into the Waipa till a quarter past nine. A short distance from the village we passed a place where the missionary is having a boys' school put up, and a little way further on we passed Pepepe, where Mr Ashwell formerly lived. It is a little hill overhanging the river, and separated from the mainland by a small creek. It is a lovely spot, 7 covered now with roses, acacias, and other beautiful shrubs, as well as fruit trees, but all quite wild. All along the river I noticed peach trees wherever there were Native settlements. The Waipa is very still--almost no stream. It winds very much, so that though we travel a good deal by water it is but a short way in a direct line. We

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dined at 2 p. m. at a Native hut on fried bacon and potatoes sliced. I shot a great many ducks to-day, and I noticed the Native fences. They are made of upright stakes of unequal lengths lashed with roots to a horizontal bar, and are well calculated to keep out the pigs, of which I am told there are numbers wild here. Some of their fences have pieces of wood carved to represent human heads and bodies; these carved pieces are placed at equal distances along the line. We halted for the night at some huts on the left bank, and shot several ducks in a swamp near. The mosquitoes are very annoying here, as also a kind of small black fly which bites as badly as a flea (sandfly?).

Sunday, 6. --Halted to-day. We had a visit from a European trader located here. He stayed so long I thought he was never going; but as we did not ask him in to our tent, or shewed him the slightest civility, he went off. A Maori brought in the skin of a young bird to-day which they call kiwi. The feathers are like the emu's. They said the old one was 2 feet high, and the eggs as large as a man's hand.

Monday, 7. --Pursuing the course of the Waipa, came to a place where it winds round four miles, 8 while the direct road is but a quarter of a mile across. We got out of the canoe and walked. We met a Native who at once began to try and sell a pig. We gave him a small bit of tobacco to show us the way. He afterwards brought us the pig, but it was thin and sickly-looking, so we would not have it. He asked 6s for it, but afterwards came down to 2s. At night we pitched our tent, and finding it very cold, lighted a fire in front of it.

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Tuesday, 8. -- This morning raining. Some Natives brought us a little book in English and Maori, a narrative of a trip to Taupo, 9 but as it was a different route from the one we intended to take, we could get no information from it. Our tent keeps the rain out pretty well as yet, but I fear if it comes on a heavy downpour we shall be all wet to the skin. After an hour's pull the stream gets very rapid. 10 Our men had to tow the canoe. As we advanced the stream increased in rapidity, and the men had to get out and push the canoe along, wading in the middle of the river, as it is too shallow near the banks. The banks here are high and fern-clad, burnt in many places, with few trees, except tall dead pines. I landed here and noticed quantities of daisies under the ferns. On the banks there are mint and wild cabbage, and also large quantities of docks, which in some places quite cover the ground. On the left bank there is a high hill. 11 The country between it and the river is pretty level, though still undulating and covered with fern; it looks better land than most of what I saw under crop at Auckland. After the rapids the river is again still and wide as before for a short way. I saw a little black bird--the tui-- smaller than those we noticed further down. The Puniu, 12 which here joins the Waipa, appears to be about half its size. At 12 o'clock we halted at a settler's house 13--he was from home. We had met him a short way down on his way to Auckland with canoes laden with produce. We saw his half-caste son, a very intelligent-looking lad, who, as soon as

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we arrived, set about cooking our dinner for us-- boiled potatoes, fried bacon and eggs, and cakes, with some stuff he called coffee, but tasted more like burnt Indian corn than anything I could think of. The house was of wood, consisting of three rooms --one of which, in the centre, did duty for kitchen, bedroom, and dining room. The other two were stores.

We bought a pound of tobacco; he could not spare more. It was evidently manufactured expressly for the Natives, as each piece was only about half the usual weight. I asked the lad how long his father had been in the country; he said 27 years. He told me that once when his father was very badly off for shoes, he got a lot of smoked Maori heads and took them down to the coast, where he sold them for £1 each. The Native who carried them had no idea what they were until the bundle was opened, when the discovery filled him with astonishment and horror.

After we left the settler's house we passed more rapids. We were surprised at the skill which our men showed in guiding and propelling the canoe through them. The river is very narrow here, and the banks are high and steep, with many pretty waterfalls tumbling over them, as the rocks jut out in some places far across the stream. Three miles further on, after passing another considerable rapid, we came to the junction of the Motakurarua, where there is another European settler. The principal occupation of these men seems to be salting pork. They buy it alive from the Natives at l 1/2d per lb., salt it and dry it, and sell it in Auckland for 1s 6d per lb. We halted for the night at a very miserable-looking Native hut, and pitched our tent. Soon after our arrival an old woman began crying to two

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of our men who had lately lost a relation. It is a most ridiculous ceremony, and all the other Natives, by their fits of laughter, seemed to enjoy the fun. After crying for about a quarter of an hour the hag rubbed noses with each of the men for at least three minutes. I could see the tears pouring out of their eyes; but it was all a pretence, for one minute after it was over they were all laughing and joking again as if nothing had happened.

Wednesday, 9. --Rained all night. My body is bitten all over by fleas, gnats, and mosquitoes. We leave the canoe here and take to the road again. Our men wish to halt a day on account of the rain, but we insist upon pushing on, and started at 20 minutes to 10. After passing through a large paddock belonging to the Wesleyan mission station here 14 --in which we saw lots of fat cattle, sheep, and pigs --we crossed the Waipa and struck away across the country. The whole way was a succession of fern-clad downs with deep ravines between, having swampy creeks at the bottom of the ravines. We passed a mountain on our left called Kakepuke, and at 5 p. m. came to our halting-place, Mohaonui--a large Native settlement, where they grow wheat and have a flour water mill worked by Natives. Some years ago the present Governor sent a present of a plough and pair of horses with a man to use them to a Native chief somewhere up here. In a short time the chief sent and asked the Governor to come and visit him. When he arrived he found ten ploughs and ten pairs of horses drawn up in a line, with the original plough and pair and English ploughman at their head, the ten Native ploughmen dressed like him. The chief, pointing to them, said: "Governor,

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this plough which you sent me was the egg; behold the bird which it produced!" This place is on the banks of the Waipa, which we skirted for the last few miles of our march. To-day we travel on the borders of a pine forest, which is prettily situated. Here we again saw the crying farce to perfection. An old woman in a black mat began to howl as soon as we came up, tears pouring out of her eyes, and something not so romantic from her nose and mouth, till at last, seeming no longer able to restrain herself, she rushed on our unfortunate Maori and hugged him and rubbed noses for nearly a quarter of an hour.

Thursday, 10. --Rain all night; slight showers this morning. Here we tried to hire a horse; they wanted £8 to Taupo. Our men declare that they do not know the way to Taupo, and that the people here say the road is a shockingly bad one, whereas the direct road to the head of the Wanganui is represented as being much shorter and better--in fact, they seem most unwilling to go to Taupo at all, so we have determined to give up our intention of going that way and make the best of our way to Wanganui. We started at 20 minutes to 9 a. m. It rained the whole way. The first part of the road was the same as that we passed yesterday. At half-past 11 we halted for our men to eat, there being no Natives after passing this place for the remainder of our day's journey. The country becomes more hilly, the path going often straight over the top of the hills, through slippery clay. The valleys are pine forests, with thick underwood, through which we have to force our way. Sometimes the road passes along the tops of ridges level with the tops of the trees. About 4 p. m. we came to a clearing after crossing a deep

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stream on a plank two feet under the surface of the water. Here we found great numbers of fine peach trees and quantities of water-cresses. The country round was thickly timbered. We put up in the kitchen, as the house belonging to the clearing was full of fleas.

Friday, 11. --Rained all night, but clear in the morning. About 8 a. m. we prepared to start. Found that a man who passed us yesterday on horseback had come on to entertain us here, there being no Natives at present at this place. Here we hired a guide who happened to come in this morning. He agreed to take us to the head of the Wanganui for ten pieces of tobacco. At first he asked £1 10s, but when we asked him how much tobacco, he at once said ten pieces, showing that he did not know much of the value of the fragrant weed. We had no fleas last night, and slept well. There is a good deal of fine wheat about here. The first part of the way today was dense forest and deep mud, and it was with great difficulty we pushed our way through the thick underwood. The country, too, is hilly, and after we passed the forest it became more hilly. We crossed the sources of many streams and began to ascend the mountains which divide this part of the country from the West Coast. The road here goes up a ridge only a few feet wide, and looks almost as if it had been made as far as half way up the mountain. Here we halted to take breath, and we had a fine view of the country we had just traversed. The low ground here is bare, while the surrounding hills are covered with forest. The hill we now ascended was a precipice of mud and tangled roots, with numerous dead trees lying across the path. After passing these with great labour, we found ourselves entering the valley

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of Mokau, on the other side of which we were entertained by an old savage and his two wives. He gave our men pork, which he had killed in the bush. The Natives are too parsimonious to eat their tame pigs. After leaving this place we had great difficulty in getting along, owing to the numerous perpendicular places we had to pass over. At last, being nearly dark, and I having a severe pain in my left knee, we determined to halt. John and I pitched our little tent on a string stretched on our walking sticks; and having boiled some potatoes with a fire made of dry tea-tree scrub, we went to sleep.

Saturday, 12. --Started at half-past 6 a. m. We went up the valley for a mile, then over a very steep hill down into a forest, after which we crossed a swampy valley, then the Mapara River at a quarter to 11 a. m. After ascending a forest-clad hill we halted at an opening at the top, from which we had a view of the valley beyond this, which we have to pass. It was a magnificent view, picturesque and beautiful to a degree, but anything rather than pleasant to us who had to cross it. Here our men cooked their remaining potatoes, roasting them on twigs like kebobs. They light a large fire, and placing the potato kebobs on the top, pass the time till they are ready roasting and eating seeds about the size of almonds, of which great numbers strew the ground. The rain, which had ceased for sometime, began again. At 2 p. m. we halted at a house which our men said belonged to an "Irishman" (i. e., a Maori Roman Catholic). It was on the top of a high hill, from which we saw the Ongaruhe, which joins the Wanganui. We had a very laborious and painful march to-day, and look forward to to-morrow as a day of rest with great

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satisfaction. The greater part of our road lay over forest-covered mountains--the path often so steep and slippery that where there were no trees we had to use both hands and feet to get along at all. The long ferns (of which we saw some 25 feet in length) were blown across the path by the wind and impeded our progress very much. The Irishman being from home, our men commenced a hunt for potatoes, which they soon found and appropriated, saying they will leave payment and a letter informing the host on his return.

Sunday, 13. --A beautiful day after the rain of last night, which came in on my bed through the roof and walls. We had an early breakfast. The Maoris began gabbling over the Church of England prayers so fast that I cannot help thinking they do it more to show off their learning to us than from feelings of devotion. They observe the Sabbath most religiously so far as abstaining from work goes, but I fear that in general their religion does not go much beyond this and their prayer-reading. The snow-clad mountain of Ruapehu is in sight--the first snow I have seen for years. We have still about half of our journey before us, and are now a long way from the sea. Thinking of what they are doing at Konawarran just now, I begin to feel sad. I open my book and my eye falls on the words, "Though absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit."

Monday, 14. --Off at 6 o'clock, ascending the mountain. Cross the Ongaruhe, Waimeha, and Mura-Mura three times, and the Wairua, all small streams flowing into the Wanganui. Then we crossed the Mangatukutuku, also a tributary of the Wanganui, and climbed some very steep hills to the Irishman's

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rural residence, where we made his acquaintance and paid him for his potatoes. He offered to take us down the river for the small sum of £7, but as we had been told that £2, or at the most £3, was the proper sum to give, we declined his offer; and after our men had another feed of potatoes we set out down the hill through a dense forest into a fern-clad valley, along the banks of a stream which is intersected by numerous deep ravines. At half-past 4 we camped on the opposite side of the stream, where was a curious castle-like rock hanging over the stream. We had a good night's rest in the tent, lulled to sleep by the music of a beautiful waterfall in the stream near us.

The country about here is all volcanic, and where the streams have washed away their banks so as to expose the soil, it seems to be pumice and ashes. There are few stones except the rocks which stick up here and there, and small smooth stones in the beds of the streams. The low ground is generally clad with coarse grass instead of fern.

Tuesday, 15. --Off at half-past 5. At 7 we halted at a village called Otamuka, where our men fed. From thence down a forest-clad steep into a volcanic valley, with coarse grass and moss the same as we saw yesterday. We are informed that Taupo is eleven days' journey from here, though by the map it seems only about ten miles. To-day we saw two tame ka-kas (a kind of parrot), kept as a decoy by the Natives. We are at halt at Pahawk. 15 Tongariro is smoking to the S. E. 1/2 S.. Ruapehu S. E. 1/2 E. After about two hours' talk with the Natives here, we hired a man and canoe to take us down to Petre 16 for three pounds. They at first asked £7, but we offered

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£2, and at last, seeing no chance of their taking that, we raised it to £3, and they soon agreed to take it. The men here seem quite as sharp at bargain-making as their brethren in the North; in fact, they are all an avaricious set, and kindness or generosity seems quite thrown away upon them. If you give them anything they take it like dogs, without even a grunt of thanks, and, I do believe, think you a soft fool for parting with it for nothing.

Wednesday, 6th. --After a good sleep in our tent we started at half-past 6 a. m. The road leads down the valley, across the stream twice, and over numerous swamps until we come to the place where we are to embark in the canoe. We found the canoe to be of a kind which has two boards laced on either side, as the tree out of which it was made was not large enough. These boards had to be put on, and our men set to work with strips of flax and gimlet in hand. They caulked the seam with the down of a kind of long grass which grows on the banks, 17 and the operation took nearly four hours. Soon alter we arrived here we were found by some other men, and a whole troop of women and children, dogs and pigs. They at once began cooking, and our men put on our can of potatoes. Soon the Maori pot was steaming away, and we had our dinner--the first one we had had on potatoes alone, all our supplies, except salt, a little tea, and some butter, being expended. The Maori pot consists of a hole in the ground about 2 feet deep and 1 1/2 feet wide; into this they put a number of red-hot stones, covering them with grass and vegetables. On the top of these the potatoes were heaped, and covered over with old rags of mats well wetted; then some water is poured over the

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whole, which, running down on to the hot stones, causes dense clouds of steam to rise, which soon cook the potatoes and greens. Sometimes I have seen the whole covered with earth to keep in the steam more effectually. Yesterday we tried to purchase a pig, but the owner would not come to reasonable terms. About 2 p. m. our canoe was finished and we embarked. While we were waiting for the canoe, John and I stripped and took a bath, and washed our clothes, the Natives watching and admiring the operation, especially the dressing and hair-combing--of which, from their appearance, I should suppose they had but slight knowledge from personal experience. One of our men on the march combed his hair with a piece of fern, and then oiled it with a piece of bacon fat which he begged from us for the purpose.

The Natives call the stream here the Pakiki, but that name is not down on the map. The Ngarui joins it near this place. The Pakiki is so very shallow and rapid that the canoe had to be guided with poles, the men being always ready to jump out to shove her over the shallow places. After the junction the river is larger, and the canoe floats well. It is still very rapid, and about the size of the Waipa where we left it first. The banks are fern-clad, here and there broken, and very high, the soil being pumice and ashes. Level with the water there is pudding-stone rock, and the bed of the stream is composed of small round stones.

At 4 o'clock we entered the Wanganui, and shot eight pigeons. At dark we halted in a bit of forest on the perpendicular bank, and dined on two of our pigeons. They were very acceptable after our first potato dinner, though they were rank and anything but good eating. They are very stupid birds, and

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when shot at frequently fly but a short way and light again within range.

Thursday, 17. --Started at half-past 6 a. m. The banks here are high hills, clad with bushes, and very pretty. To day, while shooting a tremendous rapid we grounded on a large stone and expected to see the canoe turn over, but our men got her off again without damage. It is nervous work. While gliding along in smooth water, suddenly a roar is heard ahead; the boatmens' songs cease, they stand up, and a great deal of talking follows. At length, just as we begin to glide down a glass-like bank of water which sweeps noiselessly down with lightning speed, they seem to have determined which course to steer, and sitting down again, paddle for dear life. The canoe shoots down at a fearful rate, and in a moment is dashing through the broken water amongst large stones which frequently leave but three or four feet of clear passage. Sometimes they have to head across the current, and it seems as though the canoe must be dashed sideways against some large stone, but they manage her so well and propel her so swiftly that the current to all appearance affects her course but little, and in a few moments we are in smooth water again, with the fall roaring behind us.

We saw a number of dark brown parrots--kaka, I suppose. The scenery is very beautiful here-- the river banks are high mountains covered with tall, graceful pines, with festoons of creeping plants from tree to tree, a dense and many-tinted underwood, with the feathery fern-tree here and there rearing its delicate head above the smaller shrubs. The verdure extends down to the water's edge, and wherever there are no bushes the soil is hid by the long palm-like ferns, which over-top each other, so

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that not a spot of earth is to be seen. The rapid stream and fast-plunging paddles hurry us past with railway speed, so that the scene is ever changing, but still seems the same--indeed, one reach of the river is so like another that it would be impossible for me to recollect any particular spot. At 9 we passed the village of Terukura, and soon after we came to a fall of 4ft. perpendicular. The baggage was all taken out, and our canoe lowered down with a rope attached to the stern. The old women and children in the other canoe came out and our Wanganui men got into it, and, with the man it belonged to, took it down the fall flying, much to the admiration of our Waikato boys. At 12 we passed the junction of the Ohura, which falls into the Wanganui from a height of about five or eight feet. There is a village here. At the junction of the Whitikau, we were detained for about an hour for potatoes. The man wanted four pieces of tobacco for a kit, but we threw down two, the number we had been in the habit of giving all the way down, when after a little grumbling he took them up. Had we given four we should have had to give the same number all the way down. The banks are nearly perpendicular--some thousand feet high, I should say--and covered with verdure down to the water's edge. Looking forward, it seems as though there were no opening, and the same behind us. We appear to be in a mountain-bound lake, rushing on with great speed. Here, on one side, are holes in the smooth rock, worn by the poles of upward-bound canoes--some very high up, showing that the river must have fallen since they were made. Our Waikato men cannot restrain their exclamations of wonder at a drop of three feet where the stream, striking with great violence against the opposite

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rock, seems to all appearance to enter the mountain by a triangular cave; but not so in reality--it flows out again by an under-current. At dark we brought up on the left bank at a small village, and, after a great deal of talk, purchased a pig for £1. We ought to have got it for 10s, but the owner said that a white man there had once given 25s for a pig, and he would not take less than a pound. They fancy, when anyone happens through ignorance of the proper price to give more, that all those who have bought from them before have cheated them, and that the greater sum must be the proper one to charge to all future comers. Two of our men killed the pig, and pulling up a small canoe, shoved him into it, and in fact dressed him as well as any European butcher could do. I fancy they wanted to show the Natives how well they could do it. We made a very good dinner on the pig's liver fried, and boiled potatoes. We gave our men the head and fore-quarters, reserving the two hind legs for our own use. I noticed that they cut off and ate all the little pieces they could, and even picked up little bits which we rejected. After dinner we retired to our blankets and had a sound and comfortable sleep.

Friday, 18. --Off at half-past 6, after having breakfasted on pork chops --the nicest I ever tasted. I have often heard that the fern-root fed pig is superior to any other, and so we found it. There are an immense number of birds here. They made the forest echo with their voices this morning. We passed three small streams joining on the right bank. The banks are of the same description as those we passed yesterday. Rain came on at 11 a. m. At 4 o'clock we halted on the right bank at a wattle and daub house which belonged to a European

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pork-salter who had left three months before. The house was locked, so we put up in the salting-shed, putting our tent so as to make a wall on the wind-ward side and cover us overhead. We passed a comfortable night, congratulating ourselves on having such good shelter from the rain, and on being free from fleas. On arrival here we could not find our salt, the only remains of our Auckland stock of provisions. The savage who had charge of the place produced some, however, on promise of a piece of tobacco, and we dined on some more of our pork. On opening out my blankets I found the missing salt. I had put it in then to keep it from the rain.

Saturday, 19. --A great deal of rain fell during the night, but to-day it is fine. At 7 a. m. we started. Passed Pipiriki, a very beautiful spot, with many patches of ground under wheat. The population must be considerable, judging from the great number of canoes we observed in the water and on the banks. We saw a pretty large church with a cross on it, which our men said must be a Roman Catholic place. As we proceed the Native settlements are very numerous. Many villages have substantial churches, built of boards, and shingled. There is a great deal of wheat in small patches on both sides of the river. We passed many canoes on their way up. In one there was a cow lashed--a rather extraordinary mode of conveyance for her. Halted for dinner at Whunimiti, where a great man came and shook hands with us. Our men rubbed noses, but did not speak with him. The Natives here collected round in great numbers, and when we went a little way off to eat our dinner they followed us and sat round us, so at last we had to retire to

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our canoe. Our men joined us and ate their food after we had dropped down some way. The Natives seemed displeased at not getting anything out of us. At dark we pitched on the right bank of the river near a hut, from the owner of which we purchased a supply of firewood for Sunday, there being no wood about here. Our tent was filled with myriads of gnats and mosquitoes, and during the night we were dreadfully bitten. It rained hard all night. Our Wanganui man put up in the Native hut, but our Waikato men stick to us and have nothing to say to the Natives here.

Sunday, 20. --Heavy rain, which comes through our calico tent like mist, but does not wet us much. This morning the wind changed, and as the front of our tent is open, the wind beat in. Our men brought some ferns, and making a framework of long tea-tree sticks, soon had a wall put up which effectually kept out the wet.

Monday, 21. --Set out at 4. a. m., intending to breakfast on the way. The river has risen considerably since Saturday. Here the banks are almost destitute of trees, and slope down to the water. We passed a mill and several Europeans' houses, generally small, wretched-looking huts. The river is very broad--I should say 200 yards--and seems to be deep.

At 9 a. m. we arrived at the town and put up at the Portland Hotel, a most miserable little public-house, far inferior to the worst roadside inn I have seen in Port Phillip. We went to another house, but they were full, as the Petre races come off the day after to-morrow, and there are a good many people in from Wellington. After breakfast we crossed the

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river and called on Mr Taylor, the English Church missionary, and gave him Mr Ashwell's letter. We had a good deal of talk with him about the country, and the part in particular which we had passed through. He informed me that we had passed near some very interesting caves, which we much regret not having seen. Our Natives probably knew nothing of them, being from a distant part of the country. He told us of a number of strange birds he had seen, and showed us drawings of some. He had the skin of a large night-parrot, which had a thick beard all round its beak; also a kiwi's skin. The kiwi is a bird which has no wings. It is very rare, and I am told £500 reward has been offered to anyone who will take a pair to England. We saw the skin of a small one on the Waipa. Mr Taylor also said he had discovered that there were frogs in the country. He has two very lady-like, interesting-looking grown-up daughters, a big boy, and a little girl--all of them, with his wife, very well brought up and nice-looking people; and his house and garden, with everything about them, seemed the picture of comfort and neatness. He had a long talk with our Waikato men, and asked them to go to Wellington with us. They said they would go for £3 each, but Mr Taylor said £2 was the very outside of what we ought to give, and begged us not to engage them for more. After dinner we returned to our inn, and having ordered tea, went out for a walk about the place. It is a wretched hole of a place--a constant bleak, cold wind blowing through one all the time. It is not larger than Port Fairy, but apparently of nothing like so much importance. The shops all seem of the poorest kind, having nothing but the barest necessaries in them. There is a King Bill here as in Port Fairy. He and his mate were com-

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mon sailors, and purchased a small schooner and took timber to Sydney, from which beginning they have got on till now they have the principal store, a large quantity of land, and several vessels trading between this and Sydney. There is a garrison of 150 men here. They are quartered in block houses on the top of a hill overlooking the town and river, with a stockade round them. I am told that they have been of great service to the inhabitants of this place, particularly the Natives, in keeping off the Taupo tribes,, who formerly made frequent incursions, plundering and carrying off the people here. Since our arrival I have heard that there is war at Taupo just now. The tribes there being isolated from all the rest, are at feud with most of them, and I have no doubt but that this fact, and their being in a disturbed state at present, was the reason why our Waikato men were so very unwilling to go there.

Tuesday, 22. --I got up at 7 this morning very hungry, I suppose from having been in the habit of breakfasting so early for the last three weeks. I had a good sleep, and did not find the bed at all uncomfortable though I had not slept in one for so long. It is a cold, windy day, so I keep the house, there being nothing outside worth the seeing. Last night a man came into our little room and told us he was about to travel to Taupo and back to Wellington by the East Coast. He seems to be inspecting the country with the view of settling. He told us he had come out two years ago on account of his health, which was now completely restored, and that he liked the country so well that he intended going Home and returning to settle in it. He says that nearly all the best sheep runs have been taken up, and most of the settlers have bought

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all the really good pieces of land in their runs, so as to make it not worth the while for any new-comer to buy them out. He told me he had made strict inquiries about Nelson, and that he understood there was no land to be had there, except small patches, nearer than 60 miles from the town. He said the Wairarapa Valley, to the east of Wellington, was considered the best part of the country for sheep, but is all bought up. There is a splendid piece of grass country between this and Taranaki, but it is in the hands of a very turbulent set of Natives, who, though they make no use of it, declare they will not sell it at any price. In fact, unless it be on the north-east coast--where I hear there is grass land not yet taken up--I fancy there is little or none worth having except at Canterbury. The land on the Waikato and Waipa is of first-rate quality, and being fern, would be easily, and at very little expense, converted into splendid grazing land for either sheep or cattle; but then the climate there is as warm as Port Phillip, its only superiority consisting in its being free from hot winds. This evening the gentlemen came in from Wellington. I found they had come from Canterbury and Nelson. Had a long conversation regarding the eligibility of both places as sheep countries, and they say that the former is nearly all taken up, and that the latter is but a place to live in, where small portions of land only are to be had. They both agreed that Nelson was a delightful place, and said that they would advise anyone to have a place there as residence for family, &c, and to take up a run somewhere in the Ahuriri or Wairarapa. The latter place is all in occupation, but in the former there are still many good runs unoccupied. About 10 o'clock I was talking about earthquakes, and remarking that I had never felt a shock, though I had

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been in places where they had occurred. Just as I spoke we felt the house begin to tremble, so slightly at first that I thought it was some one shaking the table; but in a few seconds the people present exclaimed, "There is an earthquake!" and the room began to oscillate with a motion not unlike that of a steamboat, and lasted nearly a minute. The people said it was a very long but exceedingly mild shock.

Wednesday, 23. --The Petre races came off to-day, and we find it impossible to get any Natives to go on with us till they are over. It is very provoking, as we are anxious to get on, and there is nothing here worth the detention. I should like very much to visit the Ahuriri, Hawkes Bay, but must see Nelson first, if possible, as there I expect letters. If I do not find what I want there or at Canterbury, I shall, I think, take a trip to the North-East, but all depends on what I see and hear of these places. To-day there is a strong wind with light showers--a very raw, unpleasant day; in fact, the climate here seems anything but agreeable. They have great difficulty in getting gardens to grow, and have to make screens to shelter the shrubs from the wind till they grow up. Having nothing better to do, I went to the race-course, but such an attempt at races I never before witnessed. We, however, made the acquaintance of three or four gentlemen at the course, from whom we got a good deal of information. To-day we engaged a Wellington Maori and a white man to carry our things, and intend to set out to-morrow morning.

Thursday, 24. --This morning had an early breakfast, and on asking the waiter if our European had come, were informed that there was a man below,

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but that he (the waiter) did not know whether he was our man or not. We told him to go and ask. He came back and said the man was quite willing to go with us, but had no recollection of having engaged. He, however, admitted that he might have done so, as he was very drunk all the preceding day. On going to look at him I saw at once he was not our man, but as he was a strong, broad-shouldered fellow, we took him and set out. About 11 a. m. we arrived at Captain Campbell's house. 18 We had been introduced to the captain the day before, and he asked us to call and see him in passing. His house was situated on a rising ground surrounded by fields of grain, with some forest (or bush, as it is called here) behind. The whole was enclosed by two lakes in such a way that 220 yards of fencing, by joining the ends of the lakes, enclosed a space of some hundred acres. We crossed one of the lakes in a little canoe only large enough to carry two at a time. At 2 o'clock we crossed the Wangaehu, having passed a number of low, rolling, fern-clad hills, and flax and toi-toi flats. The whole country hereabouts is fit for agricultural purposes. Captain Campbell spoke highly of it, and told me that it was nearly all bought up. He mentioned one farm, or piece of ground suitable for one, with some timber on it, and which was not bought. The land here seems to be valued if there is bush on it. The want of bush is for many reasons a great drawback. At 3 o'clock we arrived at Turakina and crossed knee-deep to a Mr Wilson's place in charge of Mr McGregor, where was a large, comfortable house, better than most bush houses in Australia; but there is a look about all the houses here which gives the impression of poverty and a lower stamp than in Australia, even

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though the structures be much more substantial. They were shearing here. They have about 1500 sheep of the fine wool breed, and they say they average 4 lbs each. Mr McGregor knew Henry. After we had dined young Wilson took us out to see his crops, which looked very well. He also showed us his garden on the bank of a lagoon, the steep bank cut so as to form a wall half way up, with vines, roses, &c, twined up it. It was all quite new, but I have no doubt but that in a short time it will be a very pretty place. In the evening, at tea, the shearers sat down with us.

Friday, 25. --Up at 5 this morning. They gave us but one bed to sleep in, but as we had our blankets we made a bed on the floor, on which John slept. Young Wilson went with us, mounted on a mule, for the first five or six miles of our way down the river to the sea-side. We passed a good deal of flax and toi-toi land, some bush, and some fern hills till we came to a Mr Beamish's. Called there, and found that Mr Beamish at Warrnambool is a cousin of this one. Here Mr Wilson left us. He was exceedingly kind and attentive, and pressed us to come and see him should we return that way. His father is a builder in Wellington--formerly, I am told, a common carpenter. We found the beach much heavier walking than we had anticipated. From the mouth of the river a very monotonous and uninteresting walk of 17 miles brought us to Mr Scott's public-house, 19 where we had dinner and a comfortable night's rest in clean beds.

Saturday, 26. --Two gentlemen from Wellington, who had been to the Wanganui races, came in last

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night after us. They have horses to ride back, so will leave us behind. We set out at half-past 7 a. m. --a fine, cool day. At 12 we got to the Manawatu, where we rested for an hour and a half, and had some tea and bread and butter from the Maori ferryman, for which he charged a shilling each. There was a heavy swell on the river, and in crossing over our canoe was nearly filled, but we are used to getting wet, and did not mind it much. A good deal of rain fell while we were at the ferryman's house. About 6 p. m. we arrived at Ohau, both very tired. We find walking through the sand much more laborious than going through the bush. The constant strain on certain muscles makes it more fatiguing than the ups and downs of the inland paths. Our days' march was 30 miles, which we did in nine hours, not including the hour and a half halt at Manawatu. There is a small craft lying here, the property of the landlord, who is by trade a rope maker. I had some conversation with him about the flax and rope-making here. He said the reason why New Zealand rope had lately got a bad name was because the high prices had induced many Europeans, and even some Natives, though quite ignorant of the trade, to undertake the manufacture of rope for wool lashings, and the consequence was that a large quantity of inferior stuff was made and bought up by people in Wellington for exportation, often without even being seen. This, of course, has brought the article into bad repute. He said that properly got up, the New Zealand flax was inferior to none in the world. He expected a patent machine from England, after the arrival of which he said none of them could compete with him, as the patent rope could easily be distinguished from their manufacture.

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Sunday, 27. --Fine, bright day, with cool breeze from N. W.; halted here to-day.

Monday, 28. --While waiting for breakfast went out to see the rope-makers at work. They put three threads in a strand, and three strands in a rope. After the flax is cleaned it does not take more than two hours to make a rope. The flax is scraped and brought down here by Natives. Formerly they used shells to scrape it, but now they use iron hoops. The shells do the work better, but the hoops more expeditiously. I am told that the wool dumpers in Wellington are taking to iron hoops instead of flax lashings, and when hoops are not to be had they use strands of manilla rope.

Our road to-day still lay along the beach. At 3 p. m. we halted for dinner at a place where some police had formerly been stationed. At sunset we got to the end of our day's journey--Paikakariki -- a very pretty place, where the hills come quite down to the beach, and the road strikes up the hills and into the country. The man who keeps the inn here asked me what we would like, and on our telling him to give us the best he had, he brought us some of the universal unclean beast.

Tuesday, 29. --Started from Paikakariki at half-past 9 a. m. At 1 p. m. we dined, and after walking five miles more put up for the night. The outside of the resting house did not promise well, but we found a very nice room and bedroom, and everything they gave us was clean and good, whereas at the other places the bread was bad, the butter rancid, the potatoes shooting, and the pork often stinking. The country here is very pretty, the wooded hills slope down to the Porirua, an arm of

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the sea forming many pretty bays. There are many houses and huts, and there is a good deal of clearing about, which, though it detracts from the beauty of the scene, is a pleasing proof of the increasing prosperity of the country. From the place where we slept last night there is a good road, cut in many places out of the mountain. The first four miles led by a gradual ascent to the top of the coast range, where we had a splendid view. The island of Kapiti, 9 miles off; in the distance, to our left, the hills and mountains of the Middle Island; behind and on each side beautifully wooded hills, and far below us the sea, blue and calm. Altogether it was as pretty a scene as we had witnessed since leaving Auckland. We passed a place where our man informed us a battle had been fought with the Natives, and where the European dead were buried. 20 Excepting the road, it was then and still is a dense forest and scrub, and it is not to be wondered at that in such a place the poor soldiers should have been easily shot down and kept back by the savages.

Wednesday, 30. --Sixteen miles to Wellington. We started at half-past 4 this morning and breakfasted 10 miles further on, arriving in Wellington at 11 a. m. We took a short cut straight over the hills which bound the harbour, and had a good view of the place from their top. The town here seems to consist of a row of houses along the beach in the form of a curve, a high bank behind them, with a flat along it, on which there are a great many scattered buildings. Behind these the hills rise up, steep and wooded. The harbour is very pretty-- quite land-locked--and looks like a Highland loch. There is a good road all along the beach, which I am

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told extends 40 miles in the direction of the Hutt and Wairarapa. We put up at Barrett's Hotel, opposite a wharf which is built on the hull of an old vessel, and goes by the name of Noah's Ark.

We have been 31 days on the way, out of which we halted about nine days--that is, four Sundays, one day at Mr Ashwell's, and three and a half days at Wanganui, leaving 22 days as the time in which we accomplished our journey. The people in Auckland said we should be six weeks and had we not paid highly to induce the Natives to come with us at once, I do think we should have taken at least that time. Mr Taylor, the missionary at Wanganui, told us that one great reason why we found the Natives so obedient and tractable was our respecting the Lord's Day; and not mixing with them in any way, but keeping to our tent and feeding by ourselves caused them to respect us, and understand that we were not of the class who usually travelled amongst them, viz., pork salters.

Wellington. --We both feel tired and foot-sore after our journey for the last two days over the hard, stony roads. On arrival we lay down and slept for an hour or two. We had but little sleep last night, for our landlady, taking advantage of her husband's absence, got drunk and created a disturbance with some people in the house, by which we were kept awake for some hours after we had gone to bed.

Thursday, December 1, 1853. --Got up at half-past 8 this morning, feeling more tired and stiff than we had done since leaving Auckland, so we determined to remain in the house to-day and rest. There is no ship here bound for the south. The little brig from Auckland has not arrived, so we must wait patiently

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for the present. A great deal of the wool from the opposite coast is sent over here instead of to Nelson, so I may be able to get across. I have some thoughts of getting a horse and going to look at the Ahuriri country, but must look about and hear more about it first.

There is a cold, bleak wind blowing from the N. E. to-day. A great many people have coughs, colds, and influenza. I have seen several cases of consumption amongst the Natives. The disease is said to be caused by their wrapping themselves up in blankets and throwing them off when very warm; also sitting in a close house with a fire till they pour with perspiration, and in this state going out into the cold.

After dinner, being tired of remaining in the house, we took a walk round the town. It is a very scattered sort of place. Besides the row of houses along the beach, there are many on the high grounds behind, as also on a small flat at the head of the bay.

This evening had some conversation with two men who came in about the Ahuriri. They advised me to buy a mare, saying I could sell her there for double what she cost, and walk back. They spoke in high terms of the country, and advised me to go and see it.

Friday, 2. --A strong gale from the N. E., with rain--altogether a miserable day. We called at the Land Commissioner's office, but did not see the Commissioner. He was at Wanganui. The clerk gave us a copy of the land regulations, and asked us to call again when Mr Bell returned. He knew nothing about the Wairau and Nelson districts. Wind and rain continued all day.

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Saturday, 3. --Wind as yesterday, but not so strong. A good deal of rain fell during the night. John went to call on a person to whom Henry gave him a letter.

This is a very dull place. The people seem idle and lazy, quite different from Auckland, where all was bustle and activity. Here the shops are never opened till a late hour in the morning, and closed soon at night. I find that this house is very little frequented. There is not much chance of my making many acquaintances here, and I do not know who to go and see, having no introductions to anyone. Horses and cattle are very high. Sheep, I hear, are £2 a-head, and nothing decent in the horse line to be had under £50. All this is owing to the discovery and occupation of the Ahuriri country, and the Natives all over the country buying horses. They often save up every shilling till they have enough to buy a horse. They are very fond of them, but ride hard. I am told that the Natives' numbers are rapidly decreasing here. The sun is shining again, and the weather seems about to clear up.

Sunday, 4. --A beautiful day. Bright sunshine, with pleasant, cool breeze all day. Kept the house till after dinner, when I took a walk outside the town; unable to go to church for want of clothes.

Monday, 5. --Dark misty day. Wind south, and very cold. To-day, after dinner, talking to the landlord about different religious sects here. He told me most of the influential people about Wellington were Roman Catholics. He also said that their places of instruction for the young people far excel the other denominations. They teach music, &c, so that many people send their children to their

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schools. The consequence is that a great proportion of the rising generation of this place are being educated as Roman Catholics, and he thinks in a few years this will be quite a Roman Catholic town.

A schooner, the "Wellington," is in from Port Cooper.

John went to dine with Mr May, Henry's friend.

Tuesday, 6. --Fine day. Trying to get a passage across the Straits, but did not succeed.

1   Waitemata.
2   Near present township of Papakura.
3   Near township of Drury.
4   This would be where the Queen's Redoubt was built in 1863.
5   This would be at the site of the township of Mercer.
6   Named Kaitotehe.
7   It is so still.
8   Whatawhata.
9   "Sir G. Grey's Journey to Taupo," written by G. S. Cooper.
10   This is just above the present town of Alexandra.
11   Pirongia. said by the Maoris to be the former home of the Patupaeatehe, or Fairies.
12   This stream is the boundary between the confiscated territories and the King Country.
13   Probably M. Louis Hellet.
14   Called Te Kopua (Rev. Mr Reid's station).
15   Probably Pahoka.
16   The English name of Wanganui.
17   Raupo.
18   At Whiritoa.
19   At Rangitikei.
20   Pahautanui.

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