1958 - Torlesse, C. O. The Torlesse Papers: Journals and Letters... 1848-1851 - 3. Exploring South to the Waihao River, p 59-75

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  1958 - Torlesse, C. O. The Torlesse Papers: Journals and Letters... 1848-1851 - 3. Exploring South to the Waihao River, p 59-75
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3. Exploring South to the Waihao River

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Exploring South to the Waihao River

19th February - 19th April 1849

CAPTAIN THOMAS is leaving for Auckland to obtain official sanction of the proposed site for the Canterbury Settlement. He has instructed Cass to remain at Port Cooper and get in touch with Captain Stokes of the Acheron, to present him with maps which have just been completed, and obtain his opinion of the harbour and surrounding country. Torlesse is to take an exploring trip to the south to look for coal, the one drawback to the proposed settlement site being its poor supply of firewood.

19th February. NE. Very fine. Making preparations for my trip. Mr William Deans came over to Lincoln, and I returned with him to Riccarton taking Yankee Jim and Johnny 1 to look for our horse, sending the latter round by Rhodes to fetch Prince to ride in our wanderer. £5 from Cass.

20th. NE. Very fine. Remained at Riccarton as Johnny did not arrive with Mr Rhodes' horse Prince till noon. Went out with J. Deans, fired 6 shots, killed one quail. Wrote to C. G. T., E. J. W. and E. W. about seeds of forest trees, &c.

21st. NE. Very fine. John Deans, Yankee Jim, Johnny and myself started out to look for 'Captain', whom we found about

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7 miles South of Riccarton and easily caught. Returned to Riccarton by 5 p.m. Jim walked over to Lincoln. Very hot.

22nd. NW. Very fine. Messrs Deans lent me £2, a double-barrelled gun, tobacco, powder and shot and horse shoes. Johnny on Captain and I on Prince rode to Gibies where we found Jim who had brought up our baggage from Lincoln in Tukaka's canoe.

Very hot day. Gibie's people dressing Hay's sheep. All hands dreadfully sick with the poison used--tobacco, soap, spirits of turpentine, and arsenic. Got Captain shod at Mansons'. Paid Tukaka 3/- for canoe.

23rd. NW. Very fine. Started from Gibies at 10 a.m. with Jim, Johnny, Prince and Captain, and arrived at Goashore, Rhodes' whaling station, at about 8 p.m., having had much trouble with the horses. Got some information from Mr Williams, 2 alias Yankee Sam, about the coal &c. to the Southward. Hospitably received by him.

24th. NE. Very fine. Johnny and I with Captain walked to Akaroa to procure donkeys and other necessaries. Found H. M. Steamer Acheron 3 there, and Cass who had come over to see Captain Stokes. Cridland had come from Port Nicholson in the Acheron and had walked over to see Captain Thomas. Sent Jim to Gibie's with Prince. Stopped at Bruce's Hotel. I met Hamilton 4 on the 'Saddle Back' near Akaroa doing great things. Cass dined with the gunroom officers of the Acheron.

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25th. Sunday. NE. Fine. SW. evening, rain. I went with Bruce 5 to Mr Bordeaux 6 to buy a donkey which I succeeded in purchasing, after great trouble, for £11. On board French whaler Le Nil with Cass and Bruce. Claret, champagne, beer-- knapsack, bought a red shirt. Then rode to Mr Mallemanche 7 to try and borrow another donkey. Did not succeed. Gave Bruce's receipt of £11 to Cass. Then on board H. M. Steamer Acheron to dine with gunroom officers. Captain Stokes dined with them. Remained on board as it blew fresh from the SW. Peaches at dessert. Saw Hamilton.

26th. SW. Rain. Left the Acheron at 9 a.m. Mr Strange 8 showed me his collections of birds, shells, &c. and gave me some arsenical soap and alum. Then walked up with Bob to Bretmayer's to see after pack saddle, &c. Mr Bretmayer gave me some excellent grapes. Jawing with maories. Epero of Whapuaki, &c. Tirou 3/6, Te Eou 1/6, 16/- to Charlie Davis 9 or Terewiti--whom I engaged for trip to the Southward--for boots. Settled accounts with Bruce. Expended £3/9/- for Association and gave Bruce an order for £13 on D. W. 10 Got £3/9/- from Cass for bill. 11

27th. SE. Rain. Bob and Johnny went round the head of the bay to the French Farm. I and Charlie Davis by boat and

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we all went (Bob returning) to Goashore 12 by 4 p.m., meeting a mob of Moeraki natives at Kai-tiri-tiri. The donkey travelled well.

28th. SE. Rain. Remained at Goashore--perfect peace and quietness--nothing to do. Cut up a book that I bought of Bruce and prepared some specimens of flowers.

1st March. NE. Fine. Rain at night. Left Goashore at 6 a.m. and commenced arranging our packs. Captain ran off and gave us a 2 hours chase at Wairewa. Found that Jim had only packed up 96 lbs biscuit, cheese 16 1/2, Tea 6 lbs, Sugar 20 lbs.

Started at 10 a.m. Came up with Moeraki natives at the watering place, and reached the mouth of the Waihola Lake 13 at 5 p.m. Fortunately there were 2 boats at Taumutu which belonged to Terewiti (Cloudy Bay) natives who had been catching mutton birds at Roebuki. 14 One of these boats had been up the Lake catching paradise ducks, and took over our luggage and towed horse and donkey across. Otherwise we should have been starved with cold--no fire or water on the spit. Camped at a new maori hut belonging to Maupo and fed on paradise ducks and 3 grey ones which I shot. Paid 5 shillings for boat.

2nd. SW. Rain. Paid 5/- for 24 lbs mutton birds. The weather cleared up, still blowing hard at 3 p.m., when Charlie and I started with the animals to try and reach the Rakaia to report on the state of the river, but as Charlie was unable to ride, we were obliged to return after going 5 miles. Mutton birds and grey ducks.

3rd. SE. Fine. Paid Mrs Maupo 4 shillings for potatoes, paradise ducks, slings and lodging. Up at 5 1/2, started 9 a.m. Donkey kicked load off and lay down. Left the pack saddle at the pah, but reserved pad. Then started at 9 1/2 a.m. and got to the mouth of the Rakaia at 12 1/2 p.m.--passing where the

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Agnes Hay was 'totally wrecked'!! 15 After some difficulty, and backing the donkey's loads across, crossed the 3 mouths of the Rakaia and camped at 5 p.m. Fed on mutton birds, biscuit and potatoes. The Moeraki mob remained at Taumutu.

4th. Sunday. SE. Fine. Remained at camp on South bank Rakaia at its mouth. Hands making packs, ropes, &c. I shooting for forage and walked 5 miles up the river. Country undeviating grass and ti-palm. Light loam, shingle and gravel subsoil. Shot paradise ducks and gulls. Crossed South branch R. Rakaia.

5th. NE. Very fine. SW. rain night. Up at 5 a.m. Started at 7 1/2 and walked to the R. Wakanui, 16 a small stream probably running out of Alford Forest, between high banks of easy slope 1/2 mile wide; bed covered with good vegetation. To-day's walk was over grass at edge of cliffs. Chased a wild dog. Arrived at Wakanui at 3 p.m., only having found water near the end of our march, and camped. Rained at night.

6th. SE. Very fine. After a moist night up at 6 a.m. and started at 9 a.m., having fed on ducks and mutton birds. Walked to the R. Hekeau, 17 sometimes along the beach, at others on the high ground inland of numerous fissures made by springs breaking down the land about 1 to 1 1/2 miles from cliffs. Crossed several fine streams leading from a swamp 3 miles inland. Hoeateri 18 4 1/2 miles from Wakanui--wide but inconsiderable stream, water not so white as that of the other large rivers. The Hekeau is a small stream with lagoon at the beach; arrived there at 3 1/2 p.m. and camped with a mob of Ngatiawas and people from Horowenua and Otago who were

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MARCH 1849

travelling to the Northward in large seal boats, and part of the same mob we saw at Taumutu with 2 boats, 3 boats at Hekeau. They were waiting for a fair wind and had been 4 months out from Otago. The Moeraki mob came up to us in the morning at Wakanui, having started from Taumutu on Monday morning. Paid 1/6 for potatoes, eels, &c.

7th. NE. Very fine. Started from Hekeau at 8 a.m. --walking occasionally on the beach, otherwise inland of the fissures in cliffs. Crossed the Rangitata, a wide and tolerably rapid stream somewhat similar to the Rakaia, but between higher banks at the beach. Jim bogged the horse in a creek near it. Then walked on beach or sandy dunes to the pah at Horowenua 19 at 6 1/2 p.m., crossing the Ohapi 20 near it with some difficulty. Fine rich land, clay subsoil, flax, grass and tutu of strong growth. Stream Rangipawa near the pah, deep and still, running through a low bottom.

8th. NE. Very fine. Remained at the pah to rest horses and men. After great trouble got a pig from the maories and paid 15/- for it.

9th. NE. Very fine. Up at 5 1/2 a.m. Got breakfast and commenced salting the pig. Salt obtained from Mrs Tarawata. Jim, the Yankee, walked off very much to my delight, as he was a forward and conceited fellow always grumbling. Refused any food. I and Johnny, with Charlie, started at noon after salting the pig and went to Tarawata's house, South bank of Opihi, where we stowed away some pork and biscuit and procured some potatoes. Excellent wheat and potatoes grown upon the open plain here. Started thence at 1 p.m. and got to Timaru at 6 p.m. Soil between the Opihi and hills very good: near beach, swamp and flax on clay subsoil: above, grass, tutu, fern, &c.

At 6 miles or so from the mouth of the Opihi, the plain and

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ninety mile beach ends, when there is a breadth of perhaps 10 miles of beautiful undulating downs, bearing a rich growth of grass. The coast line is irregular, with sloping banks of 30 feet, or cliffs. At the cliffs are projections of large stones, and the cliff is being washed away in places exposing shells, stones, &c., a little above H. W. mark, imbedded in the marl of which the banks are composed.

10th. NE. Very fine. Walked along the beach or banks to R. Pureora, from a valley in the Aglionby hills 21 of same name. Found that I could reach Waihou in a day from this, and wishing to make an excursion among the hills to-morrow, I stopped and camped at 3 p.m. Caught 16 paradise ducks in the lagoon of the R. Pureora. For the first 8 miles the beach was irregular, there being bays at the mouths of small streams leading from the hills, and rocky (large stones) headlands between them. Saw some old fishing stations on the beach and the bay where vessels have anchored when fetching oil off, also where Whalers have anchored. The whole of the beach, and for some distance inland, between the plain and some maori posts (noted in my field book) belongs to the natives, being reserved for them by Mr Mantell. This is the only spot which vessels could approach to be of any service to the Southern plain. Coast generally dangerous with reefs of large stones 1/2 a mile or so from the beach. In one place (Timaru Roadstead) apparently deep water and free from reefs. Boats can easily beach with any wind from SW. to NW. (westwards).

11th. Sunday. NE. Very fine. Very hot day. Started at 9 1/2 for a ride on Captain among the hills but at first start he came down, pitched me several feet ahead of him, and lamed himself considerably. I then took to the donkey and by dint of great perseverance in picking our way through thorns, &c., got about 6 miles inland and returned to camp at 5 p.m. Delighted with the Aglionby Downs upon which there is an excellent growth of grass and abundance of bush in patches for sheep and cattle stations. Johnny fomented Captain's leg and turned him out with a long tether-rope fast, having taken off the log as he was unable to drag it along.

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MARCH 1849

12th. NW. Very fine. Up at 5 a.m. and found that both horse and donkey had bolted. Johnny and Charlie started after them. At 7 a.m. Charlie returned with the donkey, having left Johnny following on the track of the horse who was bound homeward.

Charlie and I packed our traps upon the donkey, started, and arrived at Waihou 22 at 4 p.m., camping with Huru-Huru, the old hunter who has a place at Waitangi but hunts the country round for ducks, eels, &c. Walked along the beach. A fine rich tract of ground between it and the Cheviot range 23 of 7 or 8 miles deep, after passing the stream Makikihi where the downs break off. Low bottom, rich agricultural land and plenty of small bushes in the gullies of the Cheviot Range.

13th. NW. Very fine. Started with Charlie at 9 a.m. and walked up the bed of the R. Waihou for 15 miles in search of coal. Came to that part of it where the river runs between precipitous cliffs and over a rocky bottom--deep water--and seeing no coal but a few small fragments of half-formed coal in the riverbed, we returned and arrived at camp at 9 p.m. having had a severe walk over large stones all day. Very much disgusted, but reconciled to the not having found the coal by finding that it must be in an inaccessible place if it exists at all, as at 10 miles from the beach the hills close in to the river and no road could be formed to lead to it.

When we returned to the old man's camp he told us that we had been within a mile or so of it, and described it as being similar to the specimen I picked up in the river-bed.

14th. NE. Rain morning. Fine evening. After a bad night with maori dogs, fleas, stink, &c., started towards Pureora. Breakfasted at the mouth of the R. Waihou, then pushed on in the rain to the Lake Wainono where we found the Moeraki mob, who had left Wai-ati-ruati on Monday morning, had camped with Johnny at Pureora and seen our horse at Timaru but were unable to catch him. They had caught about 50 eels in the Wainono which abounds with them and ducks of all

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sorts, and were making a humu. 24 We partook of their repast and then walked on till 4 p.m., when being very tired, we knocked up a warre 25 for the night and made a humu to cook our pork.

15th. NE. Very fine. Charlie and I started early in the morning and arrived at Pureora at 12 noon, packed everything upon the donkey, walked to Timaru, and camped at the old whale fishery. Charlie very tired. I enlivened him with a glass of grog which made him very talkative. Johnny caught Captain at Timaru. Johnny saw at the Pureora a bird which he started from the grass, of a greyish colour and handsome plumage, with a beak like that of a parrot, and the size of a paradise duck, which took to the water and afterwards flew to seaward. 26

16th. E. Very fine. Johnny saw the horse and donkey early in the morning, but by the time we had breakfasted they had strayed to Captain's old quarters, and delayed our starting till 9 a.m. Arrived at Tarawata's place at Wai-ati-ruati at 3 p.m. After some manoeuvring, I shot a white crane in one of the lagoons about Timaru, endeavoured to skin him but obliged to give up as he was moulting. Slept in Tarawata's barn.

17th. E. Fine morn., SE. rain evening. Tarawata promised last night to send a man with me to-day to show me the coal, or go himself. After much argument, at 12 an old man announced himself as my pilot, and we started off with Captain carrying my blankets and a few biscuits, expecting to reach cultivations of old E. Turu, near the coal, by night.

Walked up the river bed for 6 miles when my old guide said that we must camp, which we did at a small bush West of Horowenua bush. Heavy South-easter with slight rain. Supped on a quail Johnny's dog Fidele caught.

18th. Sunday. E. Fine. Started at 8 a.m. Still walking up the river-bed till 1 p.m. when my pilot who was about 60 years old was knocking up. Saw the hut of old E. Turu, where we pulled up and were glad to feast on fern root and wild cabbage,

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MARCH 1849

fresh and preserved. In the evening E. Turu's wife arrived with potatoes from their garden, and ducks of which I made a considerable feed.

19th. E. Fine morning, rain evening. Up early; and as I was taking Captain to fresh feed he stumbled, then reared. I immediately jumped off and he reared again and turned round, nearly striking me. I found that he had lamed his off fore-leg. I watched him for 3 hours and found that his leg got better, though he could still hardly walk.

At 10 a.m. I and the Old Man started up the river, leaving Mrs E. Turu to cut grass and fetch water for Captain. At 12 noon we reached E. Turu's garden, took some potatoes, and walked on till 4 p.m. when we camped. On our way we caught 9 paradise ducks and 4 eels.

20th. SE. Rain. It having poured with rain all night everything was soaked through and through. Shifted our camp to better ground. Working in the cold and rain--building warri and fetching firewood. After several hours trying we got a fire at last, and made ourselves warm. The weather cleared up in the evening.

21st. NE. Fine. I and Getewarri started up the river-bed for about 4 miles when the Old Man showed me a cliff where he said the coal used to be. He declared that he was lame and could go no further. I then desired him to go to the Warri and cook. I proceeded a few miles further up the river, and climbed a hill to obtain a view. 27 Fine stretch of downs to the foot of the snowy mountains. On my return very much disgusted at seeing no coal; and just as I struck up 'What's the use of sighing, when time is on the wing', I spied a vein of coal cropping out of the river bank. After thoroughly examining it, I pushed towards the hut, and shortly found Getewarri digging wild potatoes. He had waited to show me some coal in the cliffs before mentioned, which I also examined and we returned to our den with plenty of cabbage and potatoes.

22nd. NW. Fine. Shower afternoon. Getewarri and I started early and arrived at E. Turu's hut at 2 p.m. I found Captain's leg so much swollen, and that he was too lame for further present use, so cast off his tether and left him in abun-

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dant feed. Paid E. Turu 10/- for provisions and cutting food for Captain.

23rd. NW. Very fine. Arrived at Tarawata's house at 4 p.m. having much difficulty in crossing the river which continued swollen. Paid Getewarri £1 for one week's work.

24th. SE. Rain afternoon. Remained at Tarawata's place, making sketches, &c. Very tired and poorly with rheumatism, &c. Tarawata killed a pig and furnished us provisions.

25th. Sunday. NE. Fine. Arranged loads, salted pork, &c.

26th. NW. Very fine. Rain in mountains. Started from Tarawata's place early on homeward journey. I, Johnny, Charlie and donkey with 200 lbs on him: 80 pork, 20 biscuits, 20 potatoes. Crossed to North bank of Opihi and walked alongside of, sometimes crossing, the Umukaha which runs from under Mt Peel and joins Opihi at Horowenua bush. Fine soil, thick growth of grass and karo. Fine streams leading from swamps, &c.

Arrived at Talbot Forest 28 at 4 p.m. and camped at the place of old Kuhetu. Fine forest, totaras, pines, &c.

27th. NE. Fine. Arrived at the R. Rangitata at 12, having walked over high plain--grass and thorns. Charlie and I attempted to cross the river which was much flooded, and in the bed of which were huge boulder stones rendering it almost impossible to keep a footing at ordinary times. As we saw that the flood was abating we pitched our camp by the river side, and went on a short allowance of food.

28th. W. Showery. As the river had not fallen sufficiently to allow of our crossing, Johnny and I went to Gurdon Forest 29 about 6 miles from our camp. Walked about it, fine totaras, white and red pines: good soil under a surface of stones similar to the plain. Shot 2 pigeons and caught a woodhen.

29th. NW. Rain. Up before day-light as there was a heavy nor-wester and I perceived that if we could not cross the river now there was no chance for us for some time. Charlie and I walked up the river for about a mile and attempted to cross. The stream nearly carried us away, and we turned back to camp rather disgusted.

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With the prospect of the river continuing swollen at least a week and being with but short allowance of food, we determined to proceed to the mouth of the river where we should be within reach of the pah and be enabled to procure provisions. Accordingly started at 9 a.m. and arrived at the beach at 5 p.m., being wetted with a heavy NW. shower. Passed over a growth of grass, karo and occasional ti-palm--stony surface, good soil beneath.

30th. NW. Very fine. Strong north-west gale with snow and rain among the hills. Heavy flood in the Rangitata which broke its way straight out to sea. Remained at the old camp of the natives who had beached their boats there on their way from Otago to the Northward. Tarawata's father arrived on his way to Otago to claim £200 for utu for his land. Sent Charlie to the pah with the donkey to fetch provisions.

31st. NE. Very fine. Remained at camp South bank Rangitata. Dysentery seized me. Examined the river which had fallen 5ft since yesterday. At 3 p.m. Charlie arrived with potatoes and ti from the pah, and Mathias Tiramorehu 30 arrived from Akaroa having crossed the river by running down it up to his neck. Reported that the boats had sailed this morning and gave us news about Port Cooper.

1st April. Sunday. NW. Fine. Heavy North West gale. Sent Johnny and Charlie to the pah for more potatoes and to report on the horse. Mathias, with great risk, got his people (3 maoris) across the river by running down it holding on to a long pole. I very poorly with Dysentery.

2nd. NW. Fine. Examined the river which had swollen greatly from yesterday's rain among the mountains. Johnny returned from the pah with potatoes and ti and fern root--with news that the maoris had brought Captain from where I left him among the hills and that his leg was very much swollen and that he could not put it to the ground.

3rd. NW. Fine. Strong NW. wind--sultry. I and Johnny to the pah, intending to return same day. Mathias and his 3 maoris accompanied us. I found Captain's leg so bad that I shot him and cut off his fore-leg which was broken above the

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elbow. Tarawata was annoyed at my shooting the horse without his knowledge, but I soaped him down. Another native, who had brought the horse down from the hills, endeavoured to bully me into paying him for the same. I blew them up for bringing him down, as I expressly told them to leave him up there till his leg was well. Tarawata asked me to stop the night with him and I determined to do so. He gave me a dogskin mat made by the Ngaticahounas. 31 Lunar rainbow round halo.

4th. NE. Cloudy. Johnny and I returned to the Rangitata which we found very much swollen. Found that the old man 32 had eaten a good deal of our fern-root. He laid it to the rats.

5th. NE. Fine. Weather thick and foggy in the morning. The river risen since yesterday. The old man returned to the pah this morning I having persuaded him to abandon his idea of going to Akaroa for the £200. He went off with all our enakis and ti 33 and my stick--but I pursued him and recovered the latter. Amused myself with reading a bible Tarawata had sent me from the pah.

6th. NE. Fine. River lowered considerably. Determined to-day (against our former plan when finding ourselves unable to cross the river) upon returning by the West side of the plain. Made fern-root cakes, &c. Rained slightly at night.

7th. SE. Fine morning. SW. Rain evening. Johnny and I walked down to examine the river and succeeded in getting across. We returned to our camp at 2 p.m. just as Tarawata arrived from the pah expecting to find us drowned. We had just made a fire to signalize to the natives that we could cross, which was to be Tarawata's signal in case he found our bodies, for his people to come with planks, nails, &c.

We immediately got our dinner and packed up traps. Had great difficulty in crossing with loads. I washed away and swam with long rope which broke away from the donkey. He

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APRIL 1849

washed down 200 yards with Johnny sticking by his tail. A South Wester with rain came on as we were crossing. Bitterly cold, but Tarawata, who had crossed before us, had a good fire on by the time we had crossed to fetch loads left behind, in an old warre he had found. Johnny behaved beyond his years and usual manner. Dark by the time we arrived at the hut. Had the remainder of the grog to warm us.

8th. Sunday. SW. Rain. Remained at camp North bank Rangitata. Went to look at a mogihi 34 of the Moeraki natives in the afternoon when it cleared up.

9th. NW. Very fine. North Wester, but apparently no rain in the mountains. We walked 3 miles or so up the North bank of the Rangitata, and then struck across for the R. Wakara or Hekeau--grass, stony surface, good soil. Started 7 a.m. and arrived Wakara 2 p.m. No water on our road. Started 2 wild dogs on the R. Wakara. Tarawata returned to the pah having told us that Charlie 35 was expected to die.

10th. NW. Fine. Started at 7 a.m., and struck across to the R. Hakateri which we reached at 2 p.m., and pushed on to a branch of it which runs from Alford Forest, 36 and camped. Crossed the head of 2 or 3 swamps and sites of ancient forest. No water on our road and stifled with hot wind from NW.

11th. SW. Rain. Packed our traps in the rain, being anxious to reach the Rakaia if possible before the flood came down. Arrived there at 2 p.m. and found the river greatly flooded, having had a wretched walk, the rain and wind beating down upon us to a great extent. Johnny laid down and declared that he would not move. Camped under some ti-trees on a slip of the River bank. Walked over grass, stony surface, good soil, better than average of the plain. Caught 2 woodhens.

12th. SE. Fine. Remained at camp on South bank Rakaia. The river rose considerably. Dug for fern roots.

13th. NE. Fine. Having finished our pork and there being

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nothing but a few potatoes left besides a reserve of about 6 lbs of biscuit and a bit of cheese, we started for Alford Forest to examine it and look for game. Came to a branch of the R. Hakateri 37 at 4 p.m., and as we were uncertain which part of the bush to steer for, for water, &c. [we] camped. Supped on a few potatoes.

14th. SE. morning. SW. rain afternoon. Caught a wood-hen for breakfast and moved on to a point of the bush which stretches out into the plain. At last found a little water by digging. Could not use the gun as we were unable to draw the charge. Thatched our tent as a thick South Wester came on in the afternoon. Thick growth of kalo and talamea 38 near the bush which was (as far as we saw) a black birch forest with an occasional red pine.

15th. Sunday. Calm. Rain morning. NE. Fine afternoon. It poured with rain, but being afraid that the branch of the Hakateri we had crossed would be flooded, we packed our traps and reached the Rakaia at 2 p.m. Examined and found it considerably lowered. The branch of Hakateri is a rapid stream running over large boulder stones rendering it impossible to cross if much flooded. Caught another woodhen.

16th. NE. Fine. Caught 2 woodhens. Johnny and I walked up the river and endeavoured to cross. Being unable, we packed our traps and moved down the South bank 7 miles or so, intending if unable to cross there to proceed to the beach. But with some risk crossed it then, and when once on the North side had a good feed on our reserve of biscuit and cheese.

17th. NE. Cloudy. Started early from the Rakaia and reached the Wai-kiri-kiri 39 at 2 p.m., steering about 70°. Saw a large spotted boar and numerous rootings on the banks of the R. Rakaia. Thick fog came on at night. Very lame with rheumatism and a boil.

18th. NE. Very fine. Started at 8 a.m. in thick fog and Riccarton at 5 p.m., being delayed by catching a small pig

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APRIL 1849

which we carried to Riccarton. Another ripped Johnny. Fidele caught 3 quails and 1 kaka.

Delighted to reach Riccarton, and was warmly received by the Messrs Deans and Cass who had brought out Heaphy and 2 Maoris to go in search of me.

19th. NW. Fine. Remained at Riccarton shooting pigeons, eating apples, &c. Cured my boil. Cass gave me an account of Acheron's officers' visits to Riccarton, and his stays on board, also of the expedition to Maungateri. 40

[NOTE: For a summary of Torlesse's expedition to South Canterbury, see his letter to Stafford of 16th August 1849 in Section 5.]

1   Yankee Jim, (see letter dated 16th August 1849). Johnny was a young German boy from Akaroa who had been with the Rakaia Gorge exploration party.
2   Sam Williams had worked for Weller at a whaling station at Timaru before taking charge of the Island Bay fishery on Banks Peninsula for the Greenwoods, and then the Goashore station belonging to George Rhodes. In the 'fifties he returned to Timaru and opened an accommodation house close to the beach.
3   The Acheron had left Wellington on 19th February with Mantell, four native chiefs and Cridland as passengers for Akaroa.
4   W. J. W. Hamilton was a supernumerary on the Acheron's books, being employed by the New Zealand Company as a surveyor and draftsman for the express purpose of examining the country for suitable sites for settlements. In this connection he made several important expeditions inland and rendered most valuable service during the Acheron's cruises in New Zealand waters. Hamilton had been private secretary to Robert FitzRoy during the latter's tenure of the governorship of New Zealand. He returned to England in 1846 and joined the Acheron in Wellington on the 31st January 1849, having been specially selected and sent out by the New Zealand Company.
5   Captain James Bruce owned the ship Magnet which was wrecked on Banks Peninsula in 1842. He then opened an hotel at Akaroa, and many amusing stories are told of his doings there.
6   French settlers who came out in the Comte de Paris in 1840.
7   French settlers who came out in the Comte de Paris in 1840.
8   The Acheron's naturalist. A week later he travelled up the Waimakariri and climbed high on the Torlesse Range. The diary of his trip was printed in the Canterbury Papers, part 3, page 77. According to Archibald Fullarton, who in 1903 claimed to be the last surviving member of the Acheron's crew (Lyttelton Times, 18th March 1903), the naturalist was known to all on board as 'Boomer', and used to reward anyone making an interesting find with a glass of grog.
9   A Maori, engaged as guide. Mr Bretmayer was one of the German settlers who came to Akaroa with the French in 1840.
10   His uncle, Daniel Wakefield, in Wellington.
11   The original account, preserved in the Association's Account Book in the Lands & Survey archives, Christchurch, reads: 'Mr Torlesse debtor to J. Bruce--Cart to Bretmayer 4/-, 2 bags 4/-, Powder, shot and caps 16/-, Harness 10/-, Calico 6/-, 1 axe 5/-, Boots for a mouri 16/-, Boat hook 8/-. (signed) J. Bruce.'
12   Goashore, or Oihowa Bay as it was called by Carrington on his detailed plan of 1849, is half a mile east of the outlet of Lake Forsyth (Wairewa). A whaling station was begun there in 1840. It was worked by George Rhodes from 1848, his men working as whalers during the season and farm labourers at Purau for the remainder of the year.
13   Lake Ellesmere with the small, but important, native settlement of Taumutu at its outlet.
14   Ruapuke Island at the eastern entrance to Foveaux Strait.
15   James Hay in Reminiscences of Earliest Canterbury, 1915, states that Captain J. Daymand arrived in the 'forties, bought a schooner which was in process of building at Pigeon Bay, and, having completed her, called her the Agnes Hay. Ingram and Wheatley in Shipwrecks: New Zealand Disasters 1795-1950, record that on the night of 18th October 1848, the Agnes Hay. a vessel of 27 tons, was wrecked on the Ninety Mile Beach about 30 miles south of Banks Peninsula. She was recovered and repaired at Akaroa only to be totally wrecked in July 1850 on the Hawkes Bay coast.
16   A small stream north of the Ashburton River.
17   The Wakara and Hekeau rivers are formed by the Hinds forking some little distance from the coast.
18   The Ashburton, or Hakatere. This, not the Wakanui, drains the Alford Forest region.
19   Wills's map of the native reserves here, drawn in 1848, shows the Arowhenua Bush in the angle between the Opihi and Umukaha (Temuka) rivers, with a group of whares on the south-eastern edge of the bush, and some two miles downstream on the south bank of the Opihi is Tarawata's place at the settlement known as Wai-ati-ruati.
20   Torlesse does not mention the Orari River, and it is possible that, at this time, it existed as a tributary of the Opihi, breaking through to the coast near the Ohapi later; but Jollie's map of 1855, reproduced in Paul's Letters from Canterbury, shows the Orari River in its present position.
21   After H. A. Aglionby, a director of the New Zealand Company. The name embraced the downs stretching from the Opihi to the Waitaki, but has not persisted.
22   Now Waihao.
23   The Hunter's Hills, probably after Huru-Huru, the old hunter, as the name appears on an Acheron MS. map dated 1849-51, i. e. before there were any European settlers in the neighbourhood.
24   Umu or earth oven. The adding of an H where it does not belong is a recognised variant of standard Maori, and common in the South Island.
25   Whare, or makeshift hut.
26   Unidentified.
27   He was by now well up the Tengawai River above Albury.
28   Geraldine Bush.
29   Peel Forest. Torlesse's names, Talbot and Gurdon, have not survived.
30   In the Hocken Library, Dunedin, there is a sketch by W. Fox of 'Matthias, a missionary native teacher, Moeraki, Middle Island, 1849'.
31   This is the Ngatikahungunu tribe of the Wairarapa district, North Island. They traded preserved kumeras, mats and canoes with their Southern relatives, the Ngaitahu, in exchange for mutton-birds, greenstone, kotuku feathers and taramea oil.
32   Tarawata's father.
33   Probably whitebait (inunga) and mutton-birds (titi); or ti could be the sugary extract prepared by baking the tap-root of the cabbage, or ti, tree.
34   Mokihi, a canoe-shaped craft made by lashing bundles of dry flax sticks together.
35   Charlie Davis, Torlesse's Maori guide. See letter to Stafford, 16th August 1849.
36   Alford Forest was an extensive area of bush covering the foothills between the north and south branches of the Ashburton River.
37   Ashburton River.
38   Matagouri or Wild Irishman, and speargrass or Spaniard. The latter provided the prized, scented oil, taramea.
39   The Selwyn River.
40   Mount Grey in North Canterbury, climbed on 23rd March by a party from the Acheron which included Stokes. Hamilton and Strange.

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