1853 - Rochfort, J. The Adventures of a Surveyor in New Zealand... [Capper reprint, 1974] - [Front matter]

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  1853 - Rochfort, J. The Adventures of a Surveyor in New Zealand... [Capper reprint, 1974] - [Front matter]
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Section of Strata at Sailor's Gully, Forest Creek, South Australia.
John Rochfort, Lithog.
Printed by Alfred Robins

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John Rochfort, delt.
Adventures of a Surveyor
Australian Gold Diggings,

"As Sherlock at Temple was taking a boat,
"The Waterman ask'd him which way he would float;
"Which way! (says the Doctor) why, fool, with the Stream,
"To Paul's, or to Lambeth, 'twas all one to him."

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Printed offset by The Caxton Press, Christchurch from the copy in the Hocken Library, Dunedin


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AT a time when so many contradictory reports are in circulation relative to the colonies and the gold diggings, I feel bound to contribute my little gleanings, in the hope that they will at least give the reader some insight into colonial life.

I do not pretend to give advice, in the midst of such an entanglement as the public mind is in at present on this subject, --it would be presumptuous and worse than useless; but I have laid before it a rough sketch of my "comings and goings" since I left England, so that the emigrating reader may judge for himself what it is most probable he will have to undergo; and to the indifferent reader I hope the little anecdotes, which every traveller meets with, will make it amusing.

I must beg the reader to bear with me through the following pages, and pass, without censure, over composition which may be incorrect; he must consider that it is but a journal, written in leisure moments, sometimes under a burning sun, and at others during a storm, with the waves running mountains high and the wind whistling through the rigging.

Nov. lst, 1853.

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Chapter I. --Voyage out--Man overboard--Fall in with the William Hyde--Mishap of a reverend--Sailing match-- Superstition of sailing on a Friday--Singular coincidence in the arrival of two vessels in New Zealand--General description of the islands.........5

Chap. II. --The Canterbury Settlement--Plains, scarcity of timber on--Christchurch--No communication of traffic with--Quail Island--Seaman runs away--Jack ashore--Exposes himself to the ladies, amusing incident--New steward--Mate fined for losing his temper--Description of the East coast of Tavai-poenammoo--Port Nicholson--Dinner party--Sailor's Home --The runaway discovered--Cadetship.........13

Chap. III. --Start up the West coast--Ambuscade--Porirua-- Coast scenery--Beautiful sands--Lose the track at night-- Maorie Whare--Cheapness of peaches--Sheep stations-- Man chased by a boar--Boar-hunting--Drunken sawyers-- Mosquitoes--Affectionately greeted by two fat native women --Forcing a passage through scrub--Turakina--Whanganui --War pah--Pumice-stone--Price of land--Cattle stations --Sheep-farming.........21

Chap. IV. --My brother goes to Sydney--Parting dinner--Rules of the boarding-house shamefully transgressed--Join the government staff--Rangitikei--Last instalment--2000l. paid to natives--Mexican full dress--Description of natives-- Shooting a Maorie--Cannibalism--Moatoa--Cross the island--Two days without food--Southern Alps--Frozen up --Hazuka--The queen--Marriage of a half-caste--Ducking a parson--Loss of a vessel--Aluvieri--Duck-shooting--Gale at sea--Shipwreck.........29

Chap. V. --Barque Napoleon--Short allowance--Melbourne-- Lodgings--Canvas Town--Carriage to the Diggings--Mate stuck up--Man shot.........46

Chap. VI. --Road to the Diggings--Bushrangers--Stuck in the mud--Teaching the young idea how to shoot--Forest Creek--Bendigo--Turning a creek--Diarrhea a--Price of provisions--Form of gold-licence--How gold is found--Pipeclay--An old lag shot--Go down to town--Working in the bay--The Calashes' mistake--Boy drowned--Immigration-- Fever aboard a ship.........49

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Chap. VII. --Description of Melbourne--Police force--Supposed connection with bushrangers -- "Old clo" -- Rag-fair-- Hawkers' licence -- Public-houses -- Diggers in town-- "Taking a walk"--Drunkards'list.........61

Chap. VIII. --Ballarat--A Birmingham nugget--Cross-country road--Friar's Creek--Mount Alexander--Discover a brother --Sailors' Gully--Out prospecting, nearly shot--Bendigo-- A rush--Man smothered--Chinamen--Scarcity of water-- Glass shot disperses a mob of Irishmen -- Death of a mate--Napoleon Gully--Meet an old mate--Bushrangers' proposal--Man murdered--Description of drinking-water-- Melbourne again--Voyage home--Rio de Janeiro--Short allowance.........63

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