Skip to main content

Full text of "Travels in New Zealand : with contributions to the geography, geology, botany, and natural history of that country"

See other formats




The time allowed for reading this Book % 14 
days, after which time the Book should be returned 
or renewed for a similar period. 

Members who disregard this rule render them- 
liable to a fine. 

Any Member damaging or losing a periodical or 
Hook will be liable to pay for the same at the 
discretion of the Committee. 







Late Naturalist to the Netv Zealand Cnmjxiny. 



Caitradf of Boiling Water at Rotu Maha* 



London : Printed bv WILLIAM CT.OXVKS and SONS, Stamford Street. 


THE following volumes contain an account of 
several journeys into various parts of New Zealand 
during the years 1839, 1840, and 1841, a part of 
which time was occupied in visiting the Chatham 
Islands and New South Wales. 

My researches as Naturalist to the New Zealand 
Company might have been far more complete, had 
it been in my power to make an entire survey of 
New Zealand, but circumstances rendered this im- 
possible ; and it appears evident, from the principle 
which has guided the Government and the public, 
that we shall be indebted rather to an extension of 
colonization, than to a previous examination, for a 
more intimate knowledge of the country. I have, 
therefore, no>, other pretensions in bringing these 
volumes before the public, than that they contain 
unvarnished descriptions of the places I visited. 

I must, however, observe that I have been over 
much untrodden ground. I was the first to visit 
or describe Mount Egmont, many places in the 
northern parts of the island, and some of the pic- 
turesque and interesting lakes and thermal springs 
in the interior. The excellent map which Mr. 
John Arrowsmith has compiled with the aid of my 
notes and sketches, will amply illustrate the routes 
I have taken. 

I have entered, on several occasions, upon ques- 


tions intimately connected with the capabilities of 
the country as a home for Europeans. In a time 
pregnant with the universal desire to search for 
employment, and to open a new field for exertion, 
foreign and unoccupied countries, previous to colo- 
nization, should be explored with a view of making 
ourselves acquainted with their soil and natural 
productions. Natural history and the affiliated 
sciences should, in that case, be merely the help- 
mates to noble enterprise ; and even more than 
that they should guide and lead it. 

I can but hope that those who delight in con- 
templating the arrangements of Nature in distribut- 
ing her creatures over the different countries will 
find something satisfactory in these volumes; this 
is the " Fauna of New Zealand." 

I am indebted for this valuable addition to my 
work to J. E. Gray, Esq., of the British Museum, 
who, with the assistance of the celebrated Arctic 
traveller, Dr. J. Richardson, of Messrs. G. R. Gray, 
Doubleday, and White, has described the animals 
at present at hand, and, with the descriptions of 
former naturalists and travellers, has made the 
enumeration of the animals which are found in 
New Zealand as complete as possible. I express 
here my high gratitude to J. E. Gray, Esq., as 
well as to the gentlemen I have mentioned, for a 
labour which was as arduous, as no doubt it will 
be useful to future travellers. 


London, November^ 1842. 




General Remarks . 


Cook's Straits Queen Charlotte's Sound Te-awa-iti 
Cloudy Bay Whales and Whalers . ; 21 


Port Nicholson Wellington Excursion into the Val- 
ley of the Eritonga . - . 67 


Kapiti, or Entry Island Mana, or Table Island . 107 


Return to Queen Charlotte's Sound West Bay East 

Bay Island of Arapaoa . . . 114 


Northern Shore of Cook's Straits /r -. ; 124 


Taranaki, or Mount Egmont . ;,. - 131 


District from Taranaki to Mokau 166 




The Climate of Cook's Straits and New Zealand in 

general .... 172 


General Considerations on Cook's Straits . 185 


The Natives inhabiting the Shores of Cook's Straits 191 



Reinga North Cape Pa-renga-renga, or Village of 

the Lily . . . .197 


Harbour of Houhoura, or Mount Carmel Rangauriu 

Kaitaia .... 210 

Harbour of Mango-nui, in Lauriston Bay . 222 

Harbour of Wangaroa . . 235 

Wangape and Hokianga . . 239 


Waimate, Lake Maupere, and Thermal Springs 243 

Bay of Islands .... 256 



Wairoa, Kaipara . . . 260 


Gulf of Hauraki Coromandel Harbour Waiho, or 

the Thames Waitemata Harbour Auckland . 271 


Harbour of Manukao, or Symonds Harbour . 289 


River Waikato Wainga-roa Aotea Kawia . 299 


River Waipa Mission-Station of Otawao. . 315 


Lake Taupo and Tongariro . . . '.' 33 j 


Rotu-kaua Rotu-Mahana Tera-wera . . 374 


Rotu-Kareka Rotu-rua Rotu-iti . . 386 


Journey to Tauranga . . 4 398 


Journey into the Valley of the Waiho. or Thames 

Mata-mata Piako . , 499 


Some Remarks on the Botany of New Zealand . 419 


VOL. I. 

View of Tan po . Frontispiece. 

Mount Egmont To face page 131 

Rua Pahu , , 331 


Te Waro Frontispiece. 

Balaena Antipodum To face page 177 




IT is natural that in the selection of a new colony, 
in a distant region, a preference should be given to 
a country the climate and other circumstances of 
which are in some degree analogous to those of the 
native land of the colonists, in order that the phy- 
sical and intellectual energies of their posterity may 
not retrograde, but be developed and matured in a 
congenial soil, and thus may conduce in the greatest 
degree to the general prosperity and happiness. It 
is natural, also, that the attention and views of 
those to whom the land of their birth affords little 
prospect of advancement should be directed towards 
that country which promises from the resources 
within itself a steady progress^ to ultimate pros- 
perity without being a burthen to the mother 
country for a longer period than that which may 
be termed its infancy, whilst at the same time it 
insures to the latter that reciprocal benefit which 
she has a right to expect. 

It is with man as with plants and animals ; each 

VOL. I. B 


kind has its natural boundaries, within which it 
can live, and thrive, and attain its fullest vigour 
and beauty If we intend to propagate them in 
climates differing from their own, we may do so by 
creating an artificial state of things, resembling 
that of the place to which they are indigenous. 
But this is little practicable in the transplantation 
of man Many colonies have, indeed, been founded 
in unfavourable positions for the purpose of obtain- 
ing the peculiar produce of the country, as the 
sugar, coffee, cacao, and indigo of the West Indies, 
the gum of Senegal, the palm-oil of the Cape Coast. 
But in such cases the colony was not what would 
seem to be the true meaning of the word, an offset 
from the parent state, planted and reared to ma- 
turity in a foreign soil ; but merely a factory, where 
the ease of acquiring riches by supplying a certain 
commodity to the home market has rendered men 
reckless of the dangers of climate, and regardless 
of the loss of life attending the speculation. In 
such colonies the European population soon became 
decrepit, and degenerated from the strength and 
vigour of the stock from which they descended. 
In some instances they were supported by a regular 
system of oppression and extortion towards the 
original inhabitants, who had reason to curse the 
hour in which civilised Europeans first came 
amongst them ; but, more frequently, they could 
only exist by what might be called the colonial 
hothouse system, in other words, by the slavery and 


misery of thousands of their fellow-creatures. 
Other colonies arrived at prosperity by the labour 
of convicts, which Government bestowed as a liberal 
gift upon the settlers. In these colonies a middle 
class or peasantry was wanting, which forms the 
true tie of our social relations and is the best 
pledge of their durability. An artificial appearance 
of wealth was created, and an illusory value of 
landed property which could not last as soon as the 
importation of convicts ceased, because the pros- 
perity was not borne out by the capability of the 
country. A few Europeans, being the masters of 
countless numbers of a different rate, either origin- 
ally introduced as slaves or who have been con- 
quered, do not form an European colony. 

How different from all this is the case of New 
Zealand, where the climate is not only similar to 
that of England, but even milder than that of her 
most southern counties, whilst at the same time it 
is healthy and invigorating ! The children of Eu- 
ropeans, born in this country, show no deterioration 
from the beauty of the original stock, as they do in 
New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. A 
great part of the country possesses a soil which 
yields all those articles of food which are necessary 
for the support of Europeans, especially grain, po- 
tatoes, fruit, and every variety of garden vegetables ; 
it possesses materials for ship-building and domestic 
architecture in its timber, marble, and freestone; 
the coal which has been found will probably prove 

B 2 


sufficient in quantity for steam-engines and manu- 
factories; its coasts are studded with harbours and 
inlets of the sea ; it is intersected by rivers and 
rivulets ; its position between two large continents 
is extremely favourable ; in short, it unites in itself 
everything requisite for the support of a large po- 
pulation in addition to the native inhabitants. No 
other country possesses such facilities for the esta- 
blishment of a middle class, and especially of a 
prosperous small peasantry, insuring greatness to 
the colony in times to come. 

It is, I conceive, no small praise to a country that 
in it labour and industry can procure independence, 
and even affluence ; that in it no droughts destroy 
the fruits of the colonist's toil, no epidemic or pes- 
tilence endangers his family ; that with a little 
exertion he may render himself independent of 
foreign supply for his food ; and that when he looks 
around him he can almost fancy himself in England 
instead of at the Antipodes, were it not that in his 
adopted country an eternal verdure covers the 
groves and forests, and gives the land an aspect of 
unequalled freshness and fertility. More, however, 
than all these advantages were expected by the 
colonists who in the last two years have flocked by 
thousands to New Zealand. They found to their 
surprise and disappointment almost entirely a moun- 
tainous country, the mountains being in many cases 
steep and intersected by ravines instead of valleys ; 
whilst the cultivable land, instead of being conti- 


nuous, was much dispersed and subdivided : they 
found also that in many places a large proportion 
of the land was entirely useless ; that where they 
looked for extensive pasture-grounds, the food for 
cattle and sheep was very scanty ; that instead of 
natural grasses, high fern, shrubs, or a thick forest 
covered the ground ; and that in the latter case the 
thick and interwoven roots formed a very formidable 
barrier to successful agriculture in the easy and 
quickly remunerating manner they expected. 

Most of these emigrants did not intend to make 
the new colony their second home, but expected, 
with the help of the labour which was provided for 
them in return for their purchases of land, or by 
the cheap, and, as they hoped, almost gratuitous 
labour of the natives, to produce, in the shortest 
possible time, those articles of produce which the 
country was said to offer available for export, or to 
see their flocks increasing without exertion on their 
own part ; and, having thus made a rapid fortune, 
to return to their native country. Many came for 
the purpose of speculating in land, especially in 
town allotments, which has become such a favourite 
system of deception and ruin in the Australian 
colonies, and will retard their progress for many 
years to come, notwithstanding the halo of wealth 
produced by it, the distant reflection and splendour 
of which are continuing to attract thousands of 
emigrants from the shores of the United Kingdom. 

As articles of export in New Zealand, from which 
such quick proceeds were expected, timber, flax, and 


oil were particularly mentioned ; but, since the 
colony has been established, these articles have 
scarcely furnished any exports, and they cannot be 
expected to be sources of any considerable profit for 
some time to come. As regards timber, it will be 
admitted that only large and long spars, for the use 
of the navy, will cover the expense of bringing them 
to the water-side, and shipping them to a distance 
of 14,000 miles. After having visited nearly all 
the timber districts in the northern island, I became 
convinced that such large and sound spars are 
scarce, and that, in New Zealand, the kind of tree 
fit for exporting never forms a continuous forest as 
in other countries ; and as for shipping other kinds 
of wood, this is quite out of the question, as the 
price of sawn timber in New Zealand itself was, at 
the time of my departure, 32*. per 100 feet ; and 
the importation of plank from Europe has met 
with success. It is a fact very notorious in New 
Zealand, that the shipment of spars, from the enor- 
mous expense of bringing them to the water-side, 
has never been profitable to any one. There is cer- 
tainly a large quantity of timber of all descriptions 
in the island, which will become of the greatest 
value in the country itself, when its resources are a 
little more developed. Upon the labour of the 
natives the colonist can at present depend but little ; 
and although he will find them in other respects 
sufficiently useful, he has to pay them at the same 
high rate as his European workmen, without being 
sure that they will always work at his command. 


The export of flax, prepared by the natives, has 
dwindled almost to nothing in the last few years, 
as, from their increased intercourse with Europeans, 
they have been enabled, by a slight degree of agri- 
cultural labour, to obtain all the commodities which 
they require ; and they are therefore averse to the 
dressing of the flax, which has, moreover, always 
been the work of the women, and was only resorted 
to by the men in times of war, for the purpose of 
procuring muskets, powder, and shot. It is quite 
true that this valuable plant covers immense dis- 
tricts in New Zealand, and could be procured in 
any quantity, if a cheap method of preparing it were 
known ; but till then it cannot be regarded as likely 
to promote the commercial interests of the colony. 

The results of the whale-fishery on the coasts of 
New Zealand are of very small amount in the British 
market, owing to the indiscriminate slaughter of 
the fish during the last fifteen years, without due 
regard to the preservation of the dams and their 
young. The shore- whalers, in hunting the animal 
in the season when it visits the shallow waters of 
the coast to bring forth the young, and suckle it in 
security, have felled the tree to obtain the fruit, 
and have thus taken the most certain means of 
destroying an otherwise profitable and important 

As for the belief that the ships of the several 
nations engaged in this trade must resort to New 
Zealand for refitting, as being in the centre of the 


southern whale-fishery, it is quite erroneous ; the 
fact being that, as soon as New Zealand became a 
British colony, the whalers deserted it, and went to 
Otaheite, or some other of the Polynesian Islands, 
where they could be supplied with wood and pro- 
visions at a much cheaper rate. 

I would wish to impress these facts upon the 
reader, for the purpose of showing that there is at 
present, in New Zealand, no article of export which 
can be depended upon, to procure that balance of 
trade which is necessary for the success of all com- 
mercial communities. Exports must be created in 
the island by means of the agriculturist ; and it is 
the highest praise of the country that they can be 
created, and that they do not differ from the same 
articles produced at home. England, in former 
times, had scarcely more exports than New Zealand 
has now ; but the internal resources and geogra- 
phical position which secured to Great Britain its 
unequalled prosperity, are, although much inferior, 
yet similar, in New Zealand, and may give her, in 
the course of time, as high a position. 

It will readily be concluded from these observa- 
tions that, in the first settlements of New Zealand, 
by far too much importance has been attached to 
commerce and to those natural products just men- 
tioned, and that many incorrect and exaggerated 
statements on the present capabilities of the colony 
have been brought forward. In a country like New 
Zealand, favoured in so many respects by nature, 


but which cannot be regarded as an entrepot or 
point of transit, the first question as to its future 
prosperity and success should be : Can the settle- 
ment produce all that it may require for internal 
consumption, and will provisions be cheap as com- 
pared with the price of labour ? This should, undoubt- 
edly, be the case in New Zealand, and, consequently, 
the supply of provisions to ships and to the Austra- 
lian colonies will be the principal source of export 
from the colony. 

To afford facilities to the first settlers of creating 
agricultural produce to extend the utmost liberality 
to those who have purchased land and intend to be- 
come working colonists to permit them to have an 
extensive choice, that they may select the good land 
in preference to the bad to give them legal titles 
accordingly, and not to allow them to consume their 
capital after their arrival in the colony by a delay of 
the surveys are the only means of securing pros- 
perity to New Zealand. Under such circumstances 
the system of land sales in England at a fixed price, 
and the application of the purchase money to send 
out agricultural labourers and mechanics, in a just 
ratio to the demand of labour, the price of provisions, 
the quantity of capital employed, and the actual pro- 
duce of the land, accompanied by a sound discretion 
as to the number of emigrants sent out, cannot, it 
appears to me, be easily replaced by a better one. 
The sooner the land is populated the sooner it pro- 
duces all articles of home consumption, the quicker 


it can provide a revenue for Government purposes 
and for the expenses of internal intercourse and 
administration. Every farthing drawn from emi- 
grants in the shape of payment for land is so much 
lost to the colony ; and if any other way could be 
devised to provide a fund for the purposes of emigra- 
tion besides that of selling new lands, no one can 
doubt that it would be better to give to the emi- 
grants the land for nothing, on the condition of 
their cultivating it. 

But what has happened in New Zealand ? Town 
and country lands were put up by auction, and land 
speculations were called into existence, which did not 
fail to damp the prospects, and exercise a most un- 
favourable influence on the infant colony. In these 
auctions Government did not consult the interests 
of those who had come to New Zealand as legitimate 
colonists, but only of those who were of no ultimate 
benefit to the colony the land-jobbers. There was 
a thriving little town at Kororarika in the Bay of 
Islands ; but, instead of supporting a place which 
already existed, a new town was proposed, that of 
Russel, situated in the same harbour, but in a place 
totally unfit for a settlement. 15,000/. were expended 
in the purchase of that spot ; and much time of the 
surveyor-general and his assistants was lost in lay- 
ing out a town ; but, fortunately, the project was 
afterwards relinquished. A short time afterwards, 
April 16, 1841, the town of Auckland, which is situ- 
ated in the estuary of Hauraki, on the eastern coast 




of the northern island, was put up for sale. The 
mania for becoming suddenly rich by speculations in 
town allotments spread like an epidemic through all 
classes : some of the highest Government officers 
were infected by it ; and, both before and after the 
day of auction, nothing but land sales and land prices 
were talked of. At the first sale only 116 allot- 
ments were brought to the hammer, covering a sur- 
face of 35 acres, 1 rod, 7 perches. Five rods and seven 
perches had been previously chosen by Government 
officers, who had that privilege ; the rest was bought 
by persons who had time to resort to Auckland from 
the Australian colonies, after three months' notice 
in the Sydney Government Gazette, or from other 
places in New Zealand. The whole realised the 
sum of 21,499/. 9*., and thus the Government re- 
ceived a sum which could be brought forward as a 
sign of the prosperity of the colony, and of the great 
value of land there : the truth, however, was, that a 
few land-jobbers raised the price thus high, having 
bought the ground in all the best situations. Not 
because they were convinced that the land had that 
value, but because they could sell it a few days after- 
wards, parcelled out into diminutive pieces, to the 
new emigrants, who daily arrived, and who required, 
cost what it might, a piece of land to erect their 
houses upon. By this the land-jobbers realized from 
200 to 300 per cent. As no land for cultivation 
was to be obtained, every one thought it best to 
speculate in land, or to open public-houses, with 


which the place soon became crowded. A town 
was made, and nothing was done to support it ; a 
price was given for town land which precluded every 
chance of its gradually rising in value ; on the con- 
trary, as was foreseen by all who knew the resources 
of the country, it must decrease as soon as people 
opened their eyes, and thus cause the ruin of the 
unfortunate purchaser. How could it be otherwise, 
when a small building allotment actually sold, a 
short time afterwards, at the rate of 20,000/. per 
acre ? The auction in the first place, and the land- 
jobbers in the second, drained the place of its scanty 
supply of specie ; every article of consumption was 
imported and paid for in ready money, as nothing 
else could be given in exchange, and on account of 
the bad state of commercial affairs in Sydney, scarcely 
any credit could be obtained. 

Who, on learning these plain facts, would feel 
inclined to emigrate to New Zealand when he can 
get land at a much cheaper rate in Canada, or even 
in Van Diemen's Land, or at the Cape of Good 
Hope, where he has the advantage of pasturage ? 

The establishment of colonies has at all times 
given scope for speculation, and it is not more than 
fair that the first immigrants into a new country 
should derive some benefit from their superior en- 
terprise and discernment ; but in this case the benefit 
was not conferred upon the colonists, but upon a 
class of people appropriately called land-sharks. 
The true birth-place of these jobbers seems to be the 


Australian colonies. Their trade is a species of 
gambling, which is the more certain of success from 
its being countenanced by Government, and from 
its appealing to two of the most powerful of human 
passions the love of independence, and the desire 
of gain. They generally possess no large pecuniary 
means in many cases no means at all ; they are the 
first on the spot where town-sales take place, and 
from the small number of lots which are put up for 
sale, and the very short previous notice given by the 
advertisements, they become the only purchasers. 
Immediately after the sale the allotments are sub- 
divided, and put up for public auction. With the 
pertinacity of an old-clothes Jew, the land-sharks 
follow the newly-arrived emigrant ; the advantage 
of buying an allotment is pointed out to the ignorant 
with systematic deceit and falsehood, and the victim 
is at length secured. As the first purchaser has 
only to pay 10 per cent, to Government at the time 
of sale, and the remainder in a month, the land- 
jobber stands the good chance of realizing before 
that time a large profit upon his supposed capital, 
which enables him to pay for his allotment; and 
laughing at the credulity of those whom he has im- 
posed upon, he leaves the town at the first oppor- 
tunity, with his nefarious profits, seeking another 
stage for his impositions. If the chances turn out 
against him, he forfeits his deposit, which is no great 
matter. Sometimes also the case happens that a 
land-jobber buys the land adjoining that of a re- 


spectable settler, from whom he extorts his price, 
immediately after the sale, by threatening to cut the 
allotment up into a number of dirty lanes and alleys. 
Certainly all this is as much gambling as anything 
that can be called by that name, and must blight 
the prosperity of any new settlement. The necessity 
of providing land for agricultural and horticultural 
pursuits, as no private title to property was yet 
acknowledged, induced the Government to put up 
for sale suburban allotments cultivation allotments 
and small farms, the sale of which took place in 
September, 1841. The whole consisted of eighty- 
five allotments, containing 1275 acres, at the upset 
price of 20/. for the suburban, and 31. for the cul- 
tivation and country allotments. Although more 
land had been surveyed, all was not put up for public 
competition; the best land was reserved, and, in 
consequence of this policy, only seventy-three allot- 
ments were sold, comprising an area of 559 acres, 
and these realized 4S58/., or nearly 8/. per acre 
Twelve allotments, or 716 acres, remained unsold, 
as they consisted of very indifferent land, were 
covered with large blocks of scorise, and, at all 
events, were not worth the upset price. The greater 
part of the country allotments did not fall into 
the hands of the industrious, but into those of the 
land-jobbers, who bought them not for the purpose 
of occupying them, but in order to cut them up, 
immediately after the sale, into towns and villages, 
which were put up for public competition. 


In the immediate neighbourhood of Auckland 
towns and villages, never destined to exist except 
on paper, started up like the creations of a fairy 
tale. No. 2 of the suburban allotments, consisting 
of 3 acres and 3 rods, was sold for 303/., and was 
cut up directly afterwards into thirty-six allotments, 
which were sold for 11. 15*. per foot frontage! It 
is amusing to skim over the weekly paper of Auck- 
land, and read the names of about six or eight towns, 
villages, and even racecourses, none of them above 
three miles from the town of Auckland, which 
were put up for sale in the short space of a fort- 

The Government, after this, ordered a new town 
to be surveyed at the little harbour of Mahurangi, 
about fifteen miles to the northward of Auckland, 
in a barren and unpromising place; and many more 
were in contemplation, not to speak of the city of 
Nelson, which it was intended should be the capital, 
and to lay the foundation of which two ships were 
at that very moment traversing the billowy main. 

It will be acknowledged on all sides, that to found 
a dozen capitals and commercial ports, and more 
than two score of villages, before any population is 
in the island, any produce raised to support a popu- 
lation, or any article of commerce ready to be ex- 
ported, is subverting the natural order of things, and 
would have raised a smile on the lips of William 
Penn, who is often regarded as the father of modern 


If the sale of lands in England at a fixed price 
seems therefore to be preferable to that by auction, 
it might be objected that the former carries with it 
one very serious evil ; that the land which does not 
become a prey to the land-jobber generally falls into 
the hands of absentee proprietors ; that the colonists 
sent out are almost all of the labouring class, and 
that the number of the latter might easily bear an 
undue proportion to the actual demand of labour in 
the colony, and fall for their support on the hands of 
the Government or of the Company. I am, however, 
inclined to think that the latter need not be feared 
in New Zealand, if proper measures are adopted. 
The more land that is sold in England the better, 
and the more labourers that are sent out, even if 
capitalists do not actually proceed to the colony, the 
more value the sections sold will have to the pur- 
chaser. But if the latter shall be the case, a free 
lease ought to be granted to the labourers, by the 
landed proprietors, or their agents, for at least fifteen 
years ; say of ten acres each family, at the moment 
of their arrival in New Zealand. No one need starve 
in New Zealand who works (it is different with the 
Australian colonies, where articles of consumption 
are not easily produced) ; and it is such a class of 
small agricultural leaseholders whose toil will pre- 
pare the country that it may ultimately attract 
capitalists. Whatever merits a great subdivision 
of landed property may have, I do not hesitate to 
say that the nature of the country requires such a 


subdivision in New Zealand, or its substitute long 
leases. I am well aware that it has been proposed 
to support the gentlemen colonists, who, however, 
want capital, by the establishment of a loan society 
by mortgaging the land sections; but I do not 
believe that such a society is the most legitimate 
means to bring the colony into a state of produc- 
tion, and the land to its real value. Without enter- 
ing into politico-economical questions, of too deep 
an importance to be fairly discussed here, I repeat 
that it need not to cause any fear if as large a stream 
of emigration is directed to New Zealand, of the 
labouring class, as the existing means allow, if some 
such measure as that above alluded to is adopted. 

The value of New Zealand as a British colony 
cannot be estimated too highly. For a certain class 
of colonists it is preferable to New South Wales, 
which will never be anything else than a large 
pasture-ground. It is situated near numerous groups 
of interesting and important islands the Navi- 
gators, the Friendly, and Society Islands, which 
are rapidly advancing in civilization and peaceful 
commerce, and some of which already afford sugar, 
coffee, and other colonial produce, and require in 
return articles of European manufacture. It is a 
country suited particularly to Europeans, from the 
nature of its climate and soil, and seems to be des- 
tined to become a prosperous agricultural and manu- 
facturing state ; but only a laborious peasantry can 
clear the road for this, and render the colony, in 

VOL. i. c 


time, an entrepot of commerce a depot for transit 
trade, and a manufacturing country, none of which 
it is at present. 

Nothing justifies the system of those high prices 
for land in New Zealand, even if a sale by auction 
were advantageous in other colonies ; for it is more 
than doubtful whether a land-fund will be raised 
by these sales of crown lands, since it is well known 
that the greater part of the land is already disposed 
of to private individuals and to the New Zealand 

It is also doubtful, from the nature of the coun- 
try a bold shore with numerous inlets and har- 
bours, and inhabited already at all these points by 
European adventurers whether any revenue will 
arise by a regular system of customs, as smuggling 
is already carried on to a considerable extent. It 
is a question of great importance, whether Govern- 
ment could not effectually prevent all sort of land- 
jobbing by taxing uncultivated and unoccupied land, 
both in the towns and in the country ; whether this 
tax would not be the true source of a revenue, and 
the means by which the land may return again to 
the Government. Such a revenue would not injure 
the industrious colonist. The position in which 
New Zealand stands as a colony is quite a new one. 
A country as large as England and Wales, and 
nearly as mountainous as the latter, is being peopled 
with Europeans from many different points at once. 
The intercourse between the various settlements, 


whether by water or by land, is difficult, or at least 
uncertain. As in all countries of a similar nature, 
the centralizing power is weak, but the individual 
communities are strong and independent. Such 
countries nourish the spirit of freedom, and are the 
birthplace of enterprising municipal corporations. 
Of advantageous revenue none can be reasonably 
expected : if it is high, it comes from the duties on 
fermented liquors, and in that case it proves any- 
thing but prosperity. Smuggling to a great extent 
cannot be prevented, unless custom-house officers 
are established in at least fifty different places ; an 
arrangement which must entail great loss upon the 
treasury. But it is damping the spirit of the colo- 
nist, if what is collected in one place is spent in 
another. I repeat, therefore, nothing will assist 
New Zealand so much as good municipal institu- 
tions ; and the emulation naturally arising between 
settlements that are formed by people of the same 
nation will materially contribute to the general 
welfare of the community. New Zealand will rise 
slowly, but it must found its rise upon agriculture. 
Any material check to its prosperity need not be ap- 
prehended, if expectations are moderate, and if the 
land questions are liberally and speedily settled. 

Not the least important feature in this colony is, 
that there exists already a numerous and deserving 
population of natives, who perfectly understand that 
they have become English citizens, and are aware 
of their duties and rights as such. It is pleasing to 



reflect that the first serious attempt will be made in 
New Zealand to civilise what has been termed a 
horde of savages, to amalgamate their interest with 
that of Europeans, and to make them participate in 
the hereditary immunities and privileges of British 
subjects. The natives are the national wards of 
England, and it seems possible to prevent another 
blot appearing on the pages of history, regarding the 
intercourse of civilised nations with savage tribes. 

I have attempted in the following pages to de- 
scribe New Zealand as far as I have become ac- 
quainted with the country, its natural productions, 
and the state of its native population ; and my pur- 
pose will be accomplished if future colonists obtain 
a true description of what they have to expect, and 
if they relinquish those ideas of the savage nature of 
its inhabitants, derived from a series of publications, 
written by persons whose knowledge of the country 
is so slight, and whose intercourse with the natives 
has been so limited, as to render it impossible for 
them to form a correct judgment. 

CHAP. II.] 21 



Cook's Straits. Queen Charlotte's Sound. Te-awa-iti. Cloudy 
Bay. Whales and Whalers. 

AFTER a rapid voyage of only ninety-six days, on 
board the New Zealand Company's vessel the Tory, 
we sighted the land of New Zealand with much 
satisfaction on the noon of the 16th of August, 
1839. With the exception of the Island of Palma, 
one of the Canaries, we had seen no land since our 
departure from Plymouth. After we had doubled 
the Cape of Good Hope we sailed between the lati- 
tudes of 37 and 45: the prevailing winds were 
from the south-west and the north-west. The at- 
mosphere was generally thick and hazy, the wea- 
ther squally, with sudden gales, accompanied by hail 
and sleet. The temperature of the air was some- 
times as low as 40 Fahrenheit. This state of the 
weather, and a constant cross sea, which produced an 
incessant rolling of the vessel, made our life uncom- 
fortable and monotonous. The number of sea-birds, 
consisting of various kinds of petrels and albatrosses, 
was remarkable. The habits of these feathered tribes, 
their elegant movements, and apparently inexhaust- 
ible strength of wing, were among our chief sources 
of amusement. The history of these birds is more 


obscure than is generally supposed, especially their 
migrations, and the boundaries between which they 
are found at different seasons, and which depend, 
probably, upon the supply of food. The history of 
one bird is closely allied to that of some other animal, 
and so on in a chain the links of which are inti- 
mately connected. The same is the case with other 
animals, flying-fishes, albicorns, sharks, dolphins, 
porpoises, &c., which are usually observed during 
the course of a sea voyage. 

We made the land to the southward of Cape Fare- 
well, in the middle island of New Zealand. Only 
the summits of a mountain chain were visible, and 
even these disappeared when we altered our course 
to the north-east, and hove-to for the night in the 
middle of Cook's Straits. 

On the morning of the 17th we were on deck 
at daybreak. We now saw more of the middle 
island, which seemed to consist of a chain of steep 
snow-capped hills, running through the middle of 
the island, and rising in a succession of ridges from 
the sea-shore. On the northern island we saw the 
mountains of Tararua in the neighbourhood of Port 
Nicholson ; these also were covered with snow. At 
a farther distance, in a nearly central position, a 
bulky snow -covered mountain appeared, which 
proved to be the Ruapahu. 

We drew nearer to the northern coast of the 
middle island, and approached Stephens's Island, 
which rises steep and abrupt from the sea, and seems 
to* be covered with a dense forest from the water's 


edge to the summit. After this we neared Rangi- 
toto, or D'Urville's Island, the aspect of which is 
similar. The character of the land was in no way 
promising. Where no wood covered the steep 
sides of the hills, a barren-looking yellow stratified 
rock appeared. At two o'clock in the afternoon 
we rounded Point Jackson, the western headland 
of Queen Charlotte's Sound. On this point, which 
is a steep cliffy promontory, with a reef of rocks 
running out from it, we observed the palings of a 
native fortification. To our left we had the island 
which Captain Cook calls Long Island, and before 
us was the Island of Motuara. The former consists 
of a sharp ridge of hills, the formation of which is 
a yellow argillaceous slate. There is no land at 
their base, which is washed by the sea, but the island 
appears as if it were wearing away ; and partly by 
the action of tide and waves, partly by the rains, 
several slips have been produced at its sides, where 
the bare rock is now visible. 

When we entered the Sound we saw several canoes 
leaving a bay in the neighbourhood of Point Jack- 
son, but they did not come up to us. 

We steered between Long Island and Motuara. 
Before we came to an anchor in Ship Cove we 
descried a canoe coming from a neighbouring cove, 
called Cannibals' Cove in Cook's chart, and Anaho 
by the natives. It was a small and frail vessel, and 
contained eight men, who, it appeared, had been 
fishing. They were clothed in coarse mats, and 
some of them were painted with red ochre. When 


they came alongside the vessel, they lashed their 
canoe to the main-chain, and jumping on deck with 
the greatest confidence, shook hands with us, and 
then squatted down. They sold us some fish and 
Swedish turnips for a little tobacco, and left us in 
the evening, with a promise to come back next 
morning. At seven o'clock we anchored at the 
entrance of Ship Cove, as the wind fell calm, and 
a strong ebb-tide was against us : we hoisted the 
New Zealand flag, and saluted it with eight guns. 

The following morning the ship was warped 
deeper into Ship Cove, and moored to a tree. The 
scene which presented itself was very beautiful ; the 
cove being as smooth as a lake, and surrounded by 
an amphitheatre of hills, which were clothed with 
primeval forest, and enlivened by the song of numer- 
ous birds. But, with the exception of these, we 
seemed to be the only living beings. 

We remained in Ship Cove until the 31st of 
August; and I will here give a description of this 
part of the island, the result of daily excursions, 
which were extended as far as the dense virgin forest 
would allow me to penetrate. 

Ship Cove opens in a semicircle towards Queen 
Charlotte's Sound, and is formed by two branches of 
the network of mountains of which this part of the 
island -consists. In looking from our anchorage 
towards Cook's Straits, there appeared in the fore- 
ground Kapiti, or Entry Island : its shape is that 
of an obtuse cone. The horizon beyond it was 
formed by two chains of mountains, situated in the 


northern island, the most distant of which was 
covered with snow. If we follow this panorama to 
the eastward we have the island of Motuara, which 
extends from N.E. by E. to E. by S. Motuara is a 
steep ridge of hills, the most elevated points of which 
are on its northern and southern extremities, and 
bear to N.E. and S.W. Motuara conceals from our 
view the southern headland of Queen Charlotte's 
Sound, Cape Koamaru, which is a promontory of 
the Island of Arapaoa. The southern end of this 
island is concealed by Moturoa, or Long Island- 
The latter is for the greater part destitute of vegeta- 
tion, owing to the great declivity of its sides and 
the barrenness of the underlying rock. 

The features of the land in Queen Charlotte's 
Sound are those of a very mountainous and thickly- 
wooded country. Hilly offsets run from the main 
chain towards the sea, and enclose small bays or 
.coves, which are surrounded by the steep hills in the 
form of an amphitheatre. These bays rarely contain 
more than half a square mile in area of flat land. 
The soil is a light earth, consisting of vegetable 
mould, more or less mixed with shingle or sand. In 
these places there are generally some native huts, 
inhabited chiefly at the fishing seasons ; and here 
also the natives find the soil most suited for the 
cultivation of the kumera, or sweet potato : for 
their other crops, however, they prefer the sides 
and ravines of the hills, where, after having burned 
the wood, they obtain for cultivation a new and 


fertile soil, where the surrounding forest preserves 
a continual supply of moisture. 

The geological formation of these hills is very 
simple. The rock is a stratified yellow argillaceous 
slate, or a pepper-coloured soft wacke. In a few 
places this rock is interrupted by basaltic masses, 
and in some parts by siliceous slate, or Lydian stone, 
of various colours. 

Little decay has taken place on the surface of this 
rock. But it is covered with a moderate layer of 
vegetable mould, which naturally collects to a greater 
thickness at the sides of the watercourses and in 
gorges or ravines. Generally speaking, however, 
the vegetable mould is only a thin stratum, and the 
exuberance and freshness of the vegetation are chiefly 
owing to the constant humidity. 

It is this moisture which also nourishes an extra- 
ordinary number of little streamlets, which discharge 
themselves from the sides of the hills into the sea. 
The profuseness of this supply of water, which is 
quite astonishing, is common to the whole of New 
Zealand, and gives her a great advantage over the 
dry and arid soil of New South Wales. 

The vegetation of these hills is very luxuriant. 
Near the beach appear shrublike veronicas, 1 myrtles, 2 
fuchsias, 3 solanum, 4 the karaka tree, 5 tutu, 6 and flax. 7 

1 Veronica ligustrifolia. ' 2 Myrtus bullata. 
3 Fuchsia excorticata. 4 Solarium laciniatum. 

5 Corynocarpus laevigata. 6 Coriaria sarmentosa. 

7 Phormium tenax. 


Higher up, the sides of the hills are clothed with 
trees, of which the rimu, 1 totara, 2 and mai 3 (all 
belonging to the pine tribe) are the most common, 
and attain the greatest thickness. Intermixed with 
these are the tawai 4 and hinau. 5 On the lower 
grounds these trees are almost impenetrably inter- 
woven by liands (smilax), which attain great length, 
and the berries of which form the favourite food of 
the beautiful New Zealand pigeon, 6 the plumage of 
which displays all the colours of the rainbow. High 
tree-ferns, 7 with the cabbage-palm, 8 strike the eye 
as the most beautiful forms of New Zealand vegeta- 

The number of small ferns is quite incredible, and 
a great many species may be collected at all times 
in a state of fructification. 

Here and there steins of trees are overturned, 
either by the winds or from age ; and although 
long preserving their outward shape, they are soon 
thoroughly rotten, from the abundance of moisture. 

At the summit of the hills we find but little 
wood ; and the manuka 9 and kahikatoa, 10 the esculent 
fern 11 and euphorbium, 12 and the epacris parviflora, 
form the chief part of the vegetation. , The kahi- 

1 Dacrydium cupressinum. 

2 Podocarpus totara. 3 Dacrydium mai. 

4 Leiospermum racemosum. 3 Elaeocarpus hinau. 

6 Columba spadicea. 

7 Cyathea medullaris and dealbata. 8 Areca sapida. 

9 Leptosperraum scoparium. Leptospermum ericoides. 

11 Pteris esculenta. 2 Euphorbium glaucum. 


katoa has sometimes a stem of about a foot in 

diameter, and affords the hardest and most durable 
wood found in New Zealand : it is of this wood that 
the natives make their agricultural implements. It 
appeared to me as if this wood was admirably adapted 
for the purposes of engraving and cotton-printing. 
The manuka supplies the place of the tea-shrub, as 
its leaves furnish a balsamic and agreeable beverage. 
The phormium tenax also grows upon the hills : it 
is indeed found everywhere, in swamps, on the driest 
hills, and on the sea-side, where it is exposed to the 
spray of the salt-water. 

Where wood covers the summits of the hills the 
trees are stunted, and the forest becomes more open, 
as the liands seldom grow at an altitude of more 
than 800 feet. 

I ascended the two highest hills at the back of 
Ship Cove, which from our anchorage bore to the 
north-west and south-west. The latter was without 
wood on its summit, and was found by a trigonome- 
trical measurement to be 900 feet high. The former 
was covered with wood to its top ; and from the 
height of the point of boiling- water, namely, 208, 
with a mean temperature of 40, I judged it to be 
2093 feet. The hills in this neighbourhood do not 
appear to average more than 1200 feet in height. 

The native who accompanied me was acquainted 
with the names of all the trees and birds, which 
he would tell me when I rested, after a tiresome 
scramble through the dense underwood. Whilst 


walking he seldom spoke, except to relate, in broken 
English, tales of terrible animals, or divinities, 
which we should meet with on the summit of the 
mountain, and which would inevitably devour the 
poor maori (native), but could do no injury to the 
pakea (stranger). It appeared to me that he was 
sounding my belief in things about the existence of 
which he was not quite certain himself, and wanted 
to deter me from ascending to the summit. 

In the lower regions the forest was much enlivened 
by birds. I shot some parrots, 1 pigeons, 2 and wattle- 
birds. 3 Among the branches of the trees hopped 
the neat fantail flycatcher, 4 and a social bird of a 
yellow colour, which has been depicted by Forster, 5 
and which had much the habits of the finch. But 
these birds were the only beings of the animal king- 
dom I could perceive : I did not even see an insect. 
The smaller birds have a touching confidence, and 
came so near me that I could almost have seized 
them with the hand. 

On the summit the silence was still deeper, and 
the white-breasted motacilla longipes (Pitoitoi) 
alone was heard pursuing its search from branch to 
branch after small dipterous insects. There was 
snow on the summit, and the thermometer stood at 
41 Fahrenheit. The whole mountain was covered 
with vegetable earth. But I ascertained that the 

Nestor meridionalis : Kaka of the natives. 
Columba spadicea, Lath. Kukupa. 
Glaucopis cinerea, Gmel. Kokako. 
Muscicapa flabellifera, GmL Phvakawaka. 
Orthornyx heteroclytus, Lef. Popokatea. 


same rock, a metamorphic slate, formed its entire 
composition. The quantity of underwood greatly 
circumscribed the view, and I had only a glimpse 
of Motuara, Long Island, and the mountains near 
Cape Te-ra-witi. The dense forest of the hills also 
prevented any very extensive survey of the neigh- 
bourhood of Ship Cove, and I therefore limited my 
excursions to places within a short distance from 
the ship. One of these journeys was to the Island 
of Motuara. There is some excellent land there, 
where the natives have plantations. Although we 
were still in the depth of winter, many shrubs were 
pushing forward their blossoms ; one, a creeper (Cle- 
matis albida, or nearly allied to that species, which 
is a native of Van Diemen's Land), was loaded with 
a profusion of white flowers, which hung in festoons 
over the neighbouring trees. I have no doubt that 
this shrub would thrive in our climate, and be- 
come one of the greatest ornaments of our parks. 
We found several natives on the island, who ram- 
bled with us through the bush. Pigeons, the large 
parrot, and a small green ground-perrokeet (tricho- 
glossus aurifrons, Wagl.), were there in great num- 
bers. The natives were merely temporary sojourners, 
and had come from Cannibals' Cove to catch pigs, 
which overrun the island. 

Another of my excursions was to Anaho, or Can- 
nibals' Cove, where a small tribe of natives is located. 
The chief, Nga-rewa, with his wife and son, had 
been our daily guests on board the vessel. On 
landing all the natives left their huts to receive us, 


and offered a shake of the hand as a welcome. 
Amongst the houses was a large one, which they 
had built for an Englishman, who at the end of 
the whaling season lived with them. His house 
formed also the meeting-house for the tribe, as they 
had lately become converted to Christianity by a 
native, who had been with the missionaries in the 
Bay of Islands, and had learned to read and write. 
Some of the tribe in Anaho had already acquired 
from him these arts, and all were anxious to learn 
them. These people were well provided with the 
necessaries of life; provisions were plentiful, and 
we were enabled to lay in a large stock of potatoes 
and pigs at a very moderate price. From the 
neighbouring whaling establishments they had ob- 
tained articles of European clothing in exchange 
for their commodities, and their condition seemed 
to be a happy one. I was astonished to find it so 
easy to deal with them ; and instead of sinister 
savages, brooding nothing but treachery and mis- 
chief, as many travellers have depicted them, they 
were open, confident, and hospitable, and proved of 
the greatest service to me during my frequent ram- 
bles in the woods. A party of them had soon after 
our arrival established themselves in temporary 
huts opposite our vessel in Ship Cove ; the women 
washed for us, and the men helped us to refit the 
ship. But for the interference of a noisy fellow of 
the name of " Dogskin," who belonged to another 
place, our good understanding would never have 


been disturbed. The interruption was not, however, 
serious. It appeared that Ship Cove was claimed 
as the property of E Hiko, now living in Entry 
Island, the son of the former principal chief and 
warrior of the whole tribe, Tupahi, a native well 
known in England, which he had visited. E Hiko 
had buried a child in Ship Cove, and for that 
reason the place had become sacred, or " tapu." For 
this " Dogskin" wanted " utu," or payment, putting 
himself forward as E Hiko's representative. He 
was, however, compelled to lower his demands, and 
the matter having been amicably settled by a mo- 
derate present of tobacco, we had thenceforth permis- 
sion to take as much wood and water as we wanted. 
Besides the natives from Anaho, we frequently 
had visitors from neighbouring districts . From one 
of these parties, which came from Admiralty Bay, 
in four large canoes deeply laden with pigs and 
potatoes, we heard for the first time that Queen 
Charlotte s Sound opens by a passage into Cloudy 
Bay. The natives and Europeans, who go from 
Entry Island and the other parts of Cook's Straits 
to the latter place, generally choose this passage, 
which is by far the safest way for boats and frail 
canoes. We also heard that there was in this 
passage a whaling establishment, in which many 
Englishmen were living. Captain Cook suspected 
the existence of such a passage from Queen Char- 
lotte's Sound, but the southern entrance of it is not 
laid down in his chart of the Straits, which is most 


excellent, and far above my humble praise. At our 
departure from England, Nayti, the New Zealander, 
who had come in the Tory, had also pointed out 
this passage, which he said was the route commonly 
used by his people. But it was not known in Eng- 
land that there was a whaling establishment there, 
and still less that the passage was navigable for the 
largest vessels. 

Another of our visitors was Te Wetu (the Star), 
the principal chief from Rangitoto (Red Sky), or 
D'Urville's Island. He was a New Zealander of 
the old school, who took much pains to render 
himself agreeable. He was rather fond of the 
pleasures of our table, and stayed several days on 
board, where he at once conformed to all the rules 
of European etiquette, and evinced the utmost good 
humour. Joy and mirth, I have found from expe- 
rience, are always sure to find an echo in the sus- 
ceptible heart of the New Zealander, and are also 
the best means to secure his good will and con- 
fidence. When "the Star of Rangitoto" left us, 
he expressed himself delighted with the good treat- 
ment he had experienced on board the Tory, and 
invited us to come and pay him a visit. 

Captain Chaffers found the latitude of Ship Cove, 
at the end of the rocks on the south side of the 
beach, to be 41 5' 45' South, and the longi- 
tude, by means of chronometers from England, 
174 20' 15" East, only differing three-quarters of 

VOL. I. D 


a mile to the West of that assigned by Captain 
Cook. The variation of the compass is 14 20' E. 

In consequence of the information which we had 
received from the natives, our storekeeper was sent 
up Queen Charlotte's Sound to the whaling esta- 
blishment at Te-awa-iti. He returned on the follow- 
ing day, and in his company were two English 
whalers. The sight of the first European faces we 
had beheld since our departure from England, and 
in a part of the country where we scarcely expected 
to see any, was very agreeable, especially as they 
understood the native language, and one of them 
was the Englishman who was living in Anaho 
during the summer season, and was well acquainted 
with the Straits, where he has spent several years 
in the hazardous avocation of a whaler. He under- 
took to pilot the Tory up the Sound to Te-awa-iti. 
Accordingly, Te Wetu and Ngarewa, the chiefs of 
Anaho, were sent ashore, as soon as we had got up 
our anchors, and only Wiriamu (or Williams), the 
native missionary, had permission to accompany us. 
A fine breeze swelled our sails, and, favoured by the 
tide, we ran up Queen Charlotte's Sound on the 
31st of August. The country was very picturesque, 
consisting generally of wooded hills, and forming a 
number of bays and coves on both sides. As I shall 
afterwards speak of several of these bays, which I 
visited, and each of which forms a separate harbour, 
I will only mention here, that, after having seen 


most of the good harbours of New Zealand, I still 
adhere to my first impression, that the Sound is the 
most commodious and extensive, the most easy of 
access and navigation, especially from the regularity 
of the tides, and the most sheltered, of any in New 
Zealand. Besides Ship Cove, East Bay and West 
Bay, and the proper termination of the Sound, form 
inlets several miles long ; in fact, the whole Sound 
is perfectly landlocked, and has deep water close in- 
shore. As a harbour it well deserves the enthusi- 
astic praise which Captain Cook bestowed upon it. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon we entered that 
part of the channel which Captain Chaffers after- 
wards surveyed, and named Tory Channel. A 
pyramid ical hill of some height, and without wood 
at the top, marks the entrance into this narrow 
part, which is here about a mile broad. Every- 
where the shore showed the clay-slate formation. 
A small rocky island, called Moioio, soon became 
visible, on the beach of which several canoes were 
drawn up. On its summit were formed pa's, or vil- 
lages, and all the inhabitants looked down on us 
as we passed close by. Several canoes with natives 
were out fishing. They had various kinds of fish, 
especially fine mullets and gurnets, which they of- 
fered for sale, but we did not admit the men on 
board. The number of natives on this island, I was 
told, was about 150. Several recognised Nayti, 
who belongs to the same tribe. Their character 
was pronounced by the whalers who accompanied 

D 2 


us to be thievish and troublesome ; but I have 
learned to regard the evidence of Europeans against 
the natives with great distrust. Her Majesty's brig 
Pylorus had been here during the previous year, to 
punish a theft which the whalers stated had been 
committed by the natives. The captain was satis- 
fied with firing some shots into the rock, and the 
vessel went afterwards as far as the settlement of 
Te-awa-iti, and returned through the north-west en- 
trance of Queen Charlotte's Sound. The Pylorus 
did not, therefore, actually go through Tory Chan- 
nel. At all events, I think that the account of the 
Tory's passage of this channel and Captain ChafFers's 
survey of it are the first published. 

We had the advantage of a strong tide, of at least 
five miles an hour, which was sufficient to carry us 
forward when the wind failed, as frequently hap- 
pened on account of the landlocked position of the 
Sound. Night had however already set in when we 
anchored before the settlement Te-awa-iti (the little 
river). But even then the aspect of this place of- 
fered a most exhilarating scene. Large fires glared 
through the darkness from the neighbouring beach, 
lighted for the trying out of the blubber of a large 
whale, which had been brought in that morning ; 
a confused sound of voices reached our ears, and 
proved to us that even in this remote corner of the 
world it was the custom to celebrate any happy event 
with profuse libations. Mr. Barret, superintendent 
of one of the whaling establishments, came off in his 


boat. He has been living twelve or fifteen years in 
Cook's Strait, and the relation of his adventures and 
migrations in company with the native tribe, to 
which he is now joined, made the evening pass away 
very quickly and agreeably. His ruddy and good- 
humoured countenance showed, at all events, that 
such a life had not occasioned him many sleepless 
nights, and that in New Zealand a man might 
thrive, at least as far as regards his bodily wel- 

On Sunday, September 1, we went ashore early 
in the morning. We passed several huge carcases 
of whales sunk under water. A curious spectacle 
presented itself on the beach, which was covered 
with remains of whales skulls, vertebrae, huge 
shoulder-blades and fins ; and the blubber, in pieces 
a square foot in size, was still boiling in large pots : 
the fire was fed with these pieces of blubber, after 
the oil had been boiled out of them. There was much 
stench from whale-oil, but this was disregarded, so 
great was the interest I felt in the whole process. 
After I had inspected the trying-houses, in one of 
which a native of Australia was occupied, of whose 
intelligence and quickness his master spoke very 
highly, I went through the village. Some of the 
houses were substantial wooden buildings, but the 
majority had thatched walls of liands and bulrushes, 
with a roof of the same materials. They consisted 
of one floor, and contained two or more rooms, with 
a spacious chimney. The floor is of clay firmly 

38 TE-AWA-ITI. [PART i. 

compressed and beaten hard. All the houses have 
been built by the natives, and some are not inferior to 
those of the villages in many parts of Europe. The 
whalers received us with a hearty welcome wherever 
we came. They are about forty in number, and all 
live with native women. Their offspring, of whom 
I counted twenty-one in Te-awa-iti, have finely-cast 
countenances, and their features remind us little of 
the admixture of a coloured race ; the skin is not so 
dark as that of the inhabitants of the south of 
France ; they generally inherit from the mother the 
large and fine eye and the dark glossy hair ; there 
are, however, many individuals with flaxen hair and 
blue eyes. If you enter a house, you find the wife 
and her relations generally sitting around the fire 
and smoking. The " tene'i ra kokoe pakea " (wel- 
come, stranger) is heard from every mouth. These 
women do all the domestic labour, and excel their 
European husbands in sobriety and quiet disposition. 
Te-awa-iti is situated on the east side of Tory 
Channel, about two miles from its southern entrance, 
and twenty-eight miles from the northern entrance 
of Queen Charlotte's Sound, on the island of Arapaoa, 
which is throughout its extent of a very hilly na- 
ture, intersected by ravines and covered with wood. 
Towards the channel the island forms several small 
coves, which are now inhabited ; towards Cook's 
Straits, however, the shores are bold, rocky, and 
much worn by the fury of the tides and waves. 
At Te-awa-iti, Tory Channel is three miles broad, and 


throughout its extent from ten to fifteen fathoms 
deep. The history of this settlement is not without 
interest. About twenty years ago, a Mr. Guard, 
who visited the shores of New Zealand on a sealing 
expedition, discovered the southern entrance of 
Tory Channel. As the seals rapidly disappeared, 
he turned his attention to the whales, which he 
found to visit the channel in great numbers. He 
built a house on Te-awa-iti beach, which was then 
uninhabited ; but he suffered much from the natives, 
who had just been driven from their possessions in 
Cook's Straits by Tupahi and Rauparaha, and who 
lived in a straggling manner farther to the south- 
ward. Guard soon quitted Te-awa-iti, but was suc- 
ceeded by other adventurers, especially Messrs. 
Thorns and Barret. These persons, being without 
resources, as their property consisted perhaps at first 
only of a whale-boat and some whaling-gear, made 
chase on the whales, which they killed for the sake 
of the baleen only. Afterwards speculators at Syd- 
ney gave their support, advanced merchandize to 
them, and annually sent vessels to transport the 
oil. In the train of the Europeans arrived a tribe 
of the Ngate Awa natives from the neighbourhood 
of Mount Egmont, in the northern island, and with 
their protection the settlers could more effectually 
resist the attacks of the original natives of this part 
of the country. 

There are three whaling establishments in Te- 
awa-iti, and in a small bay a short distance from it, 



called, from its proprietor, Jackson's Bay. These 
establishments have a number of boats in their 
service, manned with white people and natives. 
Sometimes other inhabitants of the beach have 
boats of their own, and sell their oil to the 
Europeans. The boat's crew are paid a certain sum, 
either for each whale brought in, or for every tun 
of oil, and they derive their chief profits from the 
practice of paying their poorer associates with the 
necessaries of life, slops, and articles of luxury, as 
tobacco, and especially spirits. The whalers are 
constrained to take these articles from their em- 
ployers, who put their own prices upon them, which 
are exorbitant. They take care never to allow 
their dependents to get out of debt ; this they ac- 
complish by profusely providing them with drink. 
I do not, however, mean to assert that they are large 
gainers in these transactions ; they have to do with 
a reckless class of people, runaway sailors and for- 
mer convicts from New South Wales, who do not 
think much about leaving their employers in debt, 
and go off, without giving much notice of their in- 
tention, in some of the numerous vessels cruising 
about the Sound and Cloudy Bay. 

The jealousy existing between the several em- 
ployers, the system of decoying each other's men by 
every means in their power, the character of the 
population itself, the universal use of adulterated 
and poisoned spirits, have created a state of society 
in which it is only to be wondered that, in the ab- 


sence of all restraint and law, outrages on each 
other's property and persons are not of a more fre- 
quent occurrence. 

I was astonished, and at the same time gratified, 
to find that the character of the natives had been so 
little affected by this state of things. I have not 
seen one instance of drunkenness amongst them, 
common as the vice is amongst the Europeans; 
although mixing with the latter in the boats, they 
did not join in their revelries, which are contrary 
to their taste and inclinations, and which do not 
begin until the evening, after the return of the boats. 

In the summer season the whalers live dispersed 
over the Sound ; sometimes trading in a small way 
with the passing ships in potatoes and pigs, which 
they obtain through the families of their wives, but 
more generally spending their lives in idleness. 
There are, however, some very respectable men 
amongst them, who have been provident enough to 
cultivate small patches of ground, and these of 
course live in comparative ease and comfort, as all 
European vegetables thrive extremely well : poultry 
also increases rapidly and throughout the year: 
goats thrive better than cattle, to the introduction 
of which the almost total want of grass is a most 
serious objection. 

As whales and whaling were the principal ob- 
jects which in Te-awa-iti, and afterwards in Cloudy 
Bay, excited my curiosity, I may be allowed to give 
here a short account of that interesting and valu- 



able animal the whale ; in the chase of which, dur- 
ing the winter season, many boats are sent out from 
the establishments on the coasts of New Zealand. 
It is called the " black whale, or right whale" (Ba- 
leena Australis, or Antarctica). Sometimes chase 
is given to the finback and humpback whale, which, 
with the black whale, belong to the great division 
of the cetacea known by the sieve-like or screening 
apparatus (baleen) with which they are provided ; 
this it is which furnishes the whalebone of com- 
merce, and distinguishes the whales above referred 
to from the cachelots, or sperm whales. It is sel- 
dom, however, that either a finback or a humpback 
(so called, the former from possessing a true fin on his 
back, and the latter a fat and cellular hump) is 
caught, not only on account of their superior cun- 
ning, greater wildness and celerity, by means of 
which they are enabled to run out the longest line, 
but also because, giving less oil than the black 
whale, they are not so frequently pursued. The 
spermaceti whale is not uncommon in the latitudes of 
New Zealand, and often falls a prey to the whale- 
ships which cruise in the open sea ; but the cachelot 
does not approach shallow coasts and inlets, as its 
habits are different from those of the black whale. 
Shortly before I arrived at Te-awa-iti a sperm whale 
was driven ashore which could only have been dead 
a very short time ; it gave about two tuns of oil. 

It has been said that most of the cetaceous ani- 
mals are cosmopolites, and that the sperm whale 


especially lives under every degree of latitude, both to 
the north and south of the equator : a statement so 
entirely at variance with our knowledge regarding 
the distribution of animals throughout the globe 
should be received with very great distrust. It is 
true that the medium in which they live offers to 
marine animals a very wide range, and great facili- 
ties to exchange, in the different seasons, the glacial 
seas for the equatorial ocean ; but until we have 
strictly examined the anatomical, and especially the 
osseous, structures of all the species which belong to 
the cetaceous tribe, we are not justified in regarding 
them as identical in both hemispheres. The por- 
poise of the New Zealand seas (Delphinus Novae 
Zelandise), which is figured in the 'Voyage de 
1' Astrolabe,' plate 28, is decidedly a peculiar species ; 
and we have not yet sufficient data to pronounce 
that the whale is independent of what appears to be 
a general law of nature. The whalers, it is true, 
allow the identity of the Greenland sperm whale 
and northern right whale with those of the antarc- 
tic seas, but their evidence is not sufficient. Cuvier 
admitted the difference between the Balsena Borealis 
and the Balsena Australis, or Arctica and Antarctica. 
The latter, described by him from a specimen pre- 
pared at the Cape of Good Hope, differs in the num- 
ber of its vertebrae, as it possesses seven collar, fifteen 
dorsal, and thirty-seven abdominal; in the whole 
fifty-nine. The Balaena Arctica possesses only seven 
collar and thirteen dorsal vertebrae. From a very 


accurate drawing which Mr. Heaphy, the draughts- 
man, made for me of a cow whale, which was 
brought into Jackson's Bay, and measured sixty feet 
in length, I am convinced that the southern black 
whale is a different animal from the northern, and 
has been added by Mr. Gray to the system under 
the name of Balsena antipodarum. This whale was 
drawn while afloat, and just after it had been brought 
in ; its shape was therefore unaltered. But I was 
unable to determine this difference from anatomical 
structure, as the carcase, after having been freed of 
the blubber, immediately sank, and amongst the 
osseous remains on the beach I could find no com- 
plete skeleton. 

The black whales of the southern hemisphere ap- 
pear to be considerably inferior in size to those of 
the northern. The cow whale above alluded to was 
regarded as of an unusually large size ; but Scoresby 
tells us that he measured whales in the Greenland seas 
seventy or seventy- two feet long. Both the northern 
and southern Balsena occupy only the second place 
in regard to size in the animal creation. Mr. Beale 
measured a spermaceti whale on the coast of Japan 
of the " enormous size of eighty-four feet, and its 
circumference in this instance was not less than 
that of a Greenland whale of the largest size." 

Almost all the whales which are killed on the 
shores of New Zealand are females, or cows, and 
their calves. The male, or bull, is very rarely 
caught, as it never approaches the land so near as 


the female, and is more shy and wild. The season 
in which whaling is carried on is from May to Oc- 
tober. In the beginning of May the cows approach 
the shallow coasts and smooth waters for the pur- 
pose of bringing forth their young. This period 
lasts about four months, as in May w r hales are seen 
with newly-born calves, and cows have been killed 
in July in full gestation. During the same months 
also copulation is sometimes observed by the whalers. 
But from these data it is impossible to draw a con- 
clusion on the real period of gestation in these huge 
animals, which has never yet been satisfactorily de- 
termined. In company with the cows are also the 
calves of the preceding year or years, for it is still 
uncertain at what age the whale attains its full size 
and leaves the mother ; these young whales are 
called scrags, and they yield about four tuns of oil. 

It appears that the female generally produces but 
one calf at a birth : the cow is indeed sometimes 
seen with two ; and although in this case it is the 
opinion of the whalers that one is an orphan calf, 
yet it is probable that the black whale, like the 
northern sperm whale, occasionally produces twins. 
A calf, which appeared full grown, and which was 
cut out of the mother a short time before my arrival 
in Te-awa-iti, measured fourteen feet. 

The whale is a truly migratory animal, and its 
migrations are the most interesting part of its 
history. They arrive at the coasts of New Zealand 
in the beginning of May from the northward, go 
through Cook's Straits, keeping along the coast of 


the northern island, and pass between the latter and 
Entry Island. This is borne out by the fact that 
they are never seen on the opposite coast, nor do 
they enter the northern entrance of Queen Char- 
lotte's Sound. From Entry Island they sweep into 
Cloudy Bay, and at the end of October they go 
either to the eastward or return to the northward. 
In the beginning of the season the chase is said to 
be most successful in Cook's Straits and Te-awa-iti ; 
in the three latter months in Port Underwood, 
which is only thirty miles distant. From the 
month of June they begin to show themselves near 
the Chatham Islands, 150 leagues to the eastward 
of New Zealand, where their number increases with 
the termination of the season in the latter place. 
During the six remaining months of the year the 
ships cruising in the " whaling-ground " fall in with 
many whales. This whaling-ground extends from 
the Chatham Islands to the eastward of the north- 
ern island of New Zealand, and from thence to Nor- 
folk Island. It is curious that the whalers assert 
that this whaling-ground is nothing but a shoal, 
although I am not aware that soundings have ever 
been obtained. Perhaps Captain Ross, who is now 
in the South Seas provided with sounding-lines, 
will confirm a fact which is of some importance in 
the natural history of this animal. The migration 
of the whale is probably owing to its search for 
food ; but we must still regard it as a subject for 
inquiry, which cannot be terminated before we know 
many more particulars connected with it, and espe- 


cially how far it depends on the greater or lesser quan- 
tity, in certain localities and at certain seasons, of the 
small animal of the Medusa kind upon which the 
black whales feed. Their approach to the shores of 
New Zealand, however, is particularly connected 
with the process of parturition, as I have already 
mentioned. In the month of June they are ob- 
served in the same condition, viz. with calves, at 
the Cape of Good Hope. It seems as if certain 
herds of whales, if I may be allowed to use that 
term, which occupy a limited district, visit at the 
end of the period of gestation the bights and inlets 
of those countries which are next to their feeding- 
grounds: the same is the case round Van Diemen's 
Land. But it has yet to be proved that the black 
whale of the Cape of Good Hope is the same with 
the black whale of New Zealand. 

Besides this general migration, which, until more 
accurate data are obtained, I do not conceive should 
be termed a circumnavigation, but merely a migra- 
tion of different species in a certain marine district, 
there exists also a daily one. These fish approach 
the shores and bays with the flood-tide, and quit 
them with the ebb. In their general migrations, 
also, they seem to be influenced by the direction of 
the tides. Whales are often seen in places where 
the depth of water does not much exceed their own 
breadth, rubbing their huge bodies against the 
rocks, and freeing themselves of the barnacles and 
other parasitical animals with which they are covered. 


The maternal affection of the whale for its young 
is very great. As soon as the mother observes a 
threatened danger, she clings, as it were, to the calf, 
tries to hide it, and often takes it between her 
flooks (fins) and attempts to escape. She has even 
been observed to carry off the calf when it had been 
killed, but not fastened upon. Sometimes, however, 
she seems to be infatuated, and heedless of all that 
passes around her. If the calf has been once fast- 
ened upon, the mother will never leave it. The 
whalers assert that the young cows have less affec- 
tion for their offspring than the old ones, and will 
desert them at the appearance of the least danger. 
It is, however, the affection of the whale for her 
young which becomes the principal means of her 
destruction. The calf, inexperienced and slow, is 
easily killed, and the cow is afterwards a sure prey. 

It is not known in what position the cow suckles 
her calf. The teats, which are two in number, are 
abdominal, and situated between membranaceous 
folds on both sides of the genital organs. I was asto- 
nished to find them so small. In a female, whose 
inammse were full of a fat milk resembling cow- 
milk in taste, the teats were not larger than those 
of a cow. The operation of suckling never having 
been observed, it is no matter of surprise to find the 
whalers denying that the cows suckle their calves ; 
there can, however, be no doubt of the fact. 

The manner of carrying on whaling is so well 
known as to render it unnecessary for me to dwell 


upon it at any length. The whale-boats are admir- 
ably adapted for the purpose for which they are in- 
tended. They are of various construction, and are 
designated as English, French, or American : each 
has some peculiarity to recommend it. They are 
capable of resisting the rough sea of Cook's Straits, 
but are at the same time swift and buoyant. When 
starting on a whaling expedition, the boats leave 
Te-awa-iti before the dawn of the morning. Each 
has either five or six oars, and a crew accordingly. 
The boat-steerer and headsmen are the principal 
men in the boat, and are generally Europeans ; the 
rest are natives. They pull to the entrance of 
Tory Channel, where a view opens over Cook's 
Straits and Cloudy Bay from the southern head- 
land, where they keep a "look-out" for the spouting 
of a whale. The boat which kills the calf claims 
the cow, even though it should have been killed by 
another boat's crew. If a whale has been killed, the 
different boats assist each other in towing it to Te- 
awa-iti. I once saw ten or twelve boats towing-in a 
whale. Each boat had a little flag, and the whole 
scene was gay and animated. One day a calf had 
been killed, and the cow, having been fastened upon, 
but not despatched, was towed inside the channel. 
Gasping in the agonies of death, the tortured ani- 
mal, when close to our ship, threw up jets of blood, 
which dyed the sea all around ; and, beating about 
with its tail, it broke a boat right in the middle, 
and threw the crew into the water; but it at length 
VOL. I. E 


died, exhausted from the many wounds which the 
irons and harpoons had inflicted. The calf was 
stated by the whalers to be six weeks old (on what 
grounds I do not know), and was twenty-four feet 
long. It was cut up in a few minutes, and gave 
several barrels of oil. The process was so rapid, 
that when I came ashore I found only the head. I 
cut out the brains, the weight of which, amounting 
to five pounds and one ounce, astonished me greatly. 
The whalebone was very soft, and therefore useless. 
There were two hundred plates of it on each side of 
the roof of the upper jaw. I got the whole roof 
cut off, and, intending to dry and preserve it, I 
placed it on the roof of a native house ; but on the 
following morning I had the mortification to find 
that the rats and native dogs had found their way 
to it in the night, and had eaten all the softer parts, 
so that the rest fell to pieces 

A portion of the heart of this calf was roasted 
and sent to our table. In taste I found it very like 
beef, but it was darker in colour. The cow was 
sixty feet long, and measured between the fins on the 
belly eighty-two inches. Her skin was a velvet-like 
black, with the exception of a milk-white spot round 
the navel. As regards the colour of the whale, I have 
been repeatedly assured that it is sometimes speckled, 
and that even perfect albinos, or cream-coloured 
ones, are seen, which must indeed be beautiful ani- 
mals. The fat or blubber of this whale was nine 
inches thick, and yielded eight tuns and a half of oil. 


Whales have been known to yield twelve or thirteen 
tuns ; but I have been told that so large a quantity 
is now very rarely obtained, from the great decrease 
of the whales. A whale which yields nine tuns is 
at present regarded as a very good one. 

The tongue was of a white or ash colour, blackish 
towards the root. This organ gave several barrels 
of oil, and is a monopoly of the " tonguer," or 
" cutter-in." The latter operation is performed in 
Te-awa-iti near the shores, where by means of a 
windlass the whale is raised to the surface of the 
water under a scaffold called the " shears." The 
blubber is cut off in square pieces by means of a 
sharp spade ; it is then carried to the shore, and 
immediately put into the trying-pots. The "cutting- 
up" of a whale, secundum artem, is a process which 
requires great proficiency, like that of the skilful 
dissector, who separates the cutis, and with it at 
once all fat and cellular tissue, from the subjacent 
muscles. In the whale the blubber is to be re- 
garded as the cutis, in the cellular structure of 
which the oily matter has been deposited. Shortly 
after the death of the fish the epidermis comes off' in 
large pieces, looking like oiled and dried satin. 

As soon as the process of cutting was over, the 
natives, who had come with their canoes from the 
Sound, cut off large pieces of the flesh, which they 
carried off to feast upon. They also fished in the 
evening for sharks, and a curious gelatinous fish, 
which fastened in numbers on the sunken carcase, 

E 2 


and which is nearly related to the Myxine glutinosa 
of our latitudes. 

There are the following whaling establishments 
on the coast of New Zealand : 

Te-awa-iti, Entry Island, 

Cloudy Bay, Evans's Island, 

Parurua, Taranaki, 

Banks's Peninsula, Table Cape. 
The number of whales annually captured by these 
establishments is about 120. Each whale, on an 
average, yields six imperial tuns of oil, making, in 
the aggregate, 720 tuns, which, before the esta- 
blishment of the settlements of the New Zealand 
Company, was sold on the spot to small vessels, or 
sent to Sydney, when the whaling was carried on 
at the expense of Sydney merchants. Those who 
were at the head of the establishments in New Zea- 
land were paid at the nominal price of 10/. per tun; 
I say nominal, because the payment was made in 
dear and bad slops, whaling-gear, and, most of all, 
in adulterated spirits. The same oil sells in the 
London market for 27/. per tun. The value of the 
oil of these shore stations is, therefore, at the high- 
est, 20,000/.: to this sum must be added 3000/. for 
the whalebone, or baleen, for which the whalers 
receive 78/. a ton, but which sells in London for 
from 122/. to 130/. A large whale yields about 
five cwt. of baleen. 

I must observe here, that the sort of shore-whal- 
ing which I have just described is very detrimental 


to the whale fishery in general, and the number 
of whales has decreased from year to year. The 
female whale approaches the land merely for the 
purpose of bringing forth and rearing her young. 
Later in the year, when the calf has attained a cer- 
tain size, the cows leave the immediate nejghbour- 
hood of the coast, and return to the " whaling- 
ground," where the males share with them the 
dangers resulting from the pursuit of man. Would 
it not, therefore, be advisable by legislative enact- 
ments to put an end to the whale-fishery from the 
coasts, and to restrict it to a certain distance from 
shore, where it would have to be pursued in ships ? 
To kill the calves in order to capture the mother, 
or to kill the latter in the time of gestation, is an 
unprofitable and cruel proceeding ; but it carries 
with it its own punishment. In a few years this 
trade, of which, from the geographical position of 
the " whaling-ground," New Zealand might have 
continued to be the centre, will be annihilated. 
Seals, which were plentiful in New Zealand, but 
were slaughtered in the same indiscriminate man- 
ner, have already entirely disappeared. The pro- 
tection proposed would only be such as the govern- 
ments of all civilized nations have long bestowed 
on their coast fisheries during certain seasons. Un- 
fortunately there exists a belief that the female 
whale in a state of gestation, or immediately after- 
wards, yields the greatest quantity of oil ; but I 
have reason to believe that this is entirely un- 


founded. If we may judge from analogy of fishes, 
birds, and the whole class of mammiferous animals, 
the assertion must be untrue ; and this view is con- 
firmed by the testimony of those who carry on the 
fishery from ships, that, instead of the whales being 
fatter during that time, the contrary is the case, 
and that the average result of the fishing on the 
whaling-grounds exceeds that of the coast fisheries. 
I have also heard that very often cows have been 
brought into Te-awa-iti which were remarkably lean, 
and did not yield more than five or six tuns of oil. 
We must also expect the oil from whales in the 
period of gestation to be inferior in quality, from 
the great change which then is effected in all the 
solid and fluid elements of the body. 1 

Whilst I am thus pleading the cause of the 
whale, I am well aware that the most effective mode 
of preserving the fishery would be to spare the cows 
and calves altogether, and to kill merely the bulls. 
The whalers can distinguish at a considerable dis- 
tance a bull from a cow ; the elevation near the 
spout-holes, called the top-knot, being much higher 
in the bulls, and this part is always above the 
water ; but such an extensive protection is probably 

It would suffice if, during the winter season, or 

1 From a recent report of a captain of the royal navy of France 
it appears that the New Zealand whaling in this year (1842) has 
been entirely unsuccessful, and that most of the whalers are begin- 
ning to cruise on the north-west coast of America. 


from May to October, all whaling was prohibited 
within a certain distance from the shores of New 
Zealand, and a man-of-war cutter kept to enforce 
obedience to this rule. 

Behind Te-awa-iti the land rises in steep ravines., 
which are covered with various kinds of wood, or 
are cultivated by the natives. Whenever the wea- 
ther permitted, I rambled through the delightful 
and shady forest. It was inhabited by flocks of the 
kaka, or large parrot (nestor hypopolius, Wag.), one 
of the three species which inhabit the islands of New 
Zealand ; it is closely allied to that isolated and 
now probably exterminated species, the Philip 
Island parrot, and has many peculiarities in its 
shape and habits. The bill is more elongated than 
that of other parrots, and of a greyish colour ; the 
forehead and crown are brown, with a tinge of 
green ; the face and ear-coverts yellow, tipped with 
red ; the neck, breast, and wings of a dull red, with 
a dark-green tint ; the abdomen is of a deep red, 
and the tail brownish. The male is smaller than 
the female, and of a redder plumage. 

This bird lives upon the fleshy and amylaceous 
fruits of the hinau (Elacocarpus hinau), of the 
tawai (Leiospermum racemosum), of the miro (Po- 
docarpus ferruginea), and of the mai (Dacrydium 
mai). It only feeds upon the fleshy parts of these 
fruits, and has not the power of opening their hard 
stones with its beak. The tongue is small, termi- 
nating in several filaments. In captivity it feeds 


upon bread and potatoes, but most readily on the 
latter. These parrots seem to have regular times 
of feeding : early in the morning they are found on 
the trees which yield their food. During the heat 
of the day they play about quietly in the topmost 
branches of high trees. Before the sun sets they 
assemble and fly with discordant screams over the 
forest, alighting sometimes on a dead tree in an open 
spot, or where their curiosity is in any way arrested. 
When it is dark they become silent ; but rarely an 
hour of the night passes that one of their fluting 
calls is not heard ; and with the dawn of the morn- 
ing they are again in full activity. They nest in 
hollow trees, and are said by the natives to lay four 
or five white eggs. Their flesh is tender and well- 
flavoured, and the natives are very expert in enticing 
them by means of decoy-birds, or by imitating their 
cry. When one is caught or wounded, the rest 
hover about it with screams, and, one after another, 
become the victims of their commiseration. 

Above Te-awa-iti, towards the southern entrance 
of Tory Channel, are two other bays, Wanganui 
and Hokokuri. The access to them is over the 
hills or by water, as a protruding and rocky shore 
separates the bay of Te-awa-iti from them ; this is, in 
fact, the general character of the coast in Queen 
Charlotte's Sound. In Hokokuri Bay, on a fine flat 
of fertile earth about one square mile in extent, 
stands a large native settlement. The natives re- 
ceived us with their usual politeness, and afterwards 


gave us a canoe in which to return to Te-awa-iti. 
The man who seemed to be the principal chief was 
of a fine powerfully formed figure, with a noble 
countenance, and reminded us of a Roman tribune, 
wrapped, as he was, in a new native toga. 

On another of my excursions I traced Tory Chan- 
nel towards its northern entrance, for the purpose 
of crossing the neck of land which separates Port 
Underwood in Cloudy Bay from Queen Charlotte's 
Sound. A more accurate examination of the coast 
showed everywhere the argillaceous schist in strati- 
fications from east to west, and dipping to the 
north. Sometimes no stratifications could be ob- 
served, and the rock was of a more granular nature, 
but still very soft, and with fissures in many direc- 
tions, as if it had been acted upon by fire. I ob- 
served in the Straits no indications of any other 
kind of rock, except the occasional appearance of 
Lydian stone, massy basaltic rocks, and greenstone. 
It became very apparent to me, from the various 
transitions from one kind of rock to another, that 
they had assumed that structure in consequence of 
the infusion from below of the trappean rocks, and 
the consequent metamorphosis of the slate-rocks. 
I could not discover any trace of organic remains 
in the latter, and it is therefore most probably to 
the transition series that the hills in Queen Char- 
lotte's Sound belong. 

Notwithstanding the barren quality of this sub- 
stratum, and the want of decomposition on the sur- 


face, a character common to all the hills of this 
formation, the vegetation is by no means defective : 
the moisture of the atmosphere makes up for the 
deficiency of the upper stratum. The vegetation 
reaches to the sea-shore, and does not suffer from 
the salt-water. 

I visited the island of Moioio, and afterwards 
came to a native settlement called Toko Karoro, on 
the island of Arapaoa. The natives in the latter 
place were sitting around a fire ; some were busy 
in carving the head and stern of a new canoe, others 
were smoking and talking. This little village is 
situated on a tongue of land formed by a branch of 
the hills, very narrow on the top, and falling on 
both sides towards the sea. This singular position 
makes it a very strong place, and easy of defence. 
A steep path leads to the summit of the ridge, 
where clearings for native cultivations appear in 
the ravines. When I use the term " clearings, " I 
mean those spots where the forest had been set on 
fire : half-burned stems of trees were lying in con- 
fusion over each other, and in the places between 
were patches of potatoes. The number of pigeons 
in these grounds and on the skirts of the forest was 
very great ; in less than half an hour I shot twelve. 
An intelligent-looking boy, his goodnatured face 
painted with red ochre, pointed them out to me 
quicker than I could load my gun. 

It is also in these open and cultivated spots 
that the kakariki chiefly lives. This is a small 


paroquet, and the second one of the parrot tribe 
existing in New Zealand. It is a very beautiful 
bird, and measures eleven inches. The crown is 
crimson, with a few feathers of a golden yellow 
at the root of the beak ; the rest of the plumage is 
green, and the quill-feathers of an azure blue. The 
tail is long and arrow-shaped. This paroquet feeds 
on potatoes, and on the berries of the Solanum laci- 
niatum and other fleshy fruits ; it lives in flocks, 
and on the ground, or the lower branches of dead 
trees. In some parts of New Zealand it is very 
common, but generally follows man, as it is only in 
cultivated places that it can find the shrubs which 
yield its favourite food. 

On both sides of the tongue of land to which I 
have alluded, the Sound forms deep bays, perfectly 
sheltered, and very fitted for the anchorage of ships. 
Opposite to it, on the mainland, is another large 
bay, called Oyster Bay, from the thick beds of rock- 
oysters which are found there. 

After leaving the village we crossed to another 
bay, E-Taua. This bay also is spacious and pleasant. 
Kingfishers, oystercatchers, tuis, 1 and cormorants, 2 
enlivened the trees on its shores, and many birds 
were singing in the forest. 

From this bay we crossed the hills in order to 
reach Port Underwood. They form a deep saddle, 
over which the path leads. Everywhere on the 

1 Anthochcera concinuata, Vig. and Horsfield. 
* Pelecanus pica, Forst. 


surface sharp shingly fragments of slate are strewed 
about. Low stunted fern and manuka are abun- 
dant. From the top of these hills the northern 
entrance of Queen Charlotte's Sound opened to our 
view. The island of Motuara bore north-by-east. 
We saw the sea over the narrow island of Arapaoa 
in Cook's Straits, and our eye wandered over Ship 
Cove, Shag Cove, East Bay, and part of West Bay. 
The land has everywhere the same mountainous 
and intersected character. A few paces farther 
another extensive panorama opens : we look into 
Port Underwood, a deep inlet, formed on both sides 
by chains of hills, from which numerous buttresses 
run out towards the sea, and form as many small 
coves. Port Underwood opens to the south-west 
into Cook's Straits. The coast sweeps round to- 
wards Cape Campbell, forming what Cook has 
named Cloudy Bay, and a range of high snow-clad 
mountains in the middle island, called Kai Koura 
(Feast of Crawfish), shut in the view. 

The chain of hills which form Port Underwood 
to the south-east, in fact all the land which separates 
that port from Tory Channel, consists of a succes- 
sion of steep and barren ridges. Only here and 
there a patch of brushwood or trees relieves the 
brown and gloomy tint of the Pteris esculenta. The 
chain to the south-west, however, on the other side 
of the harbour, is more wooded, although the hills 
are equally steep ; its offsets branch into the sea, 
and form a few small coves. To the south-south- 


west these hills turn into the mainland, and the 
hilly character of the coast gives way to a com- 
paratively level country, which stretches towards 
Cape Campbell, and is bounded by the snowy 
mountains above mentioned. Here the Wairao, a 
moderate-sized river, with a bar at its entrance, dis- 
charges itself into Cloudy Bay. The quantity of 
level land seems to be largest in the neighbourhood 
of this river, and the surface is covered alternately 
with fern and groves of high trees. 

We descended on a ridge of the hills to the head 
of Port Underwood. On both sides of this ridge 
the sea forms bays. On the right is a village, with 
about sixty inhabitants, and the neighbourhood is 
well cultivated. Nayti, the New Zealander who 
accompanied us from England, found here many 
brothers, which word, however, generally means 
cousins. One of them, a very suspicious-looking 
fellow, painted over and over with kokowai, never 
let the tomahawk out of his' hands, and there was 
an appearance of sly hostility in his manner ; indeed, 
he was the only New Zealander who gave me any 
apprehension, which was probably altogether un- 
founded. Nayti, who was dressed in the best Bond- 
street style, cut a pitiful figure ; civilization had 
taught him nothing but to be ashamed of his rela- 
tions. Observing his embarrassment, we withdrew 
to some distance, leaving him to indulge his natural 
feeling in hongi and tangi, or nose-rubbing and 


To the eastward Port Underwood forms another 
spacious inlet, called the Inner Harbour ; it is the 
most sheltered part of the whole port, but I do not 
know whether it is accessible for large vessels. 

Towards evening Nayti's relations launched a large 
canoe to bring us to Kakapo, a bay on the south 
side of the harbour, where there is a whaling esta- 
blishment, and where several Europeans are living, 
who support themselves by supplying provisions to 
a number of ships, which annually resort to Cloudy 
Bay. We were welcomed to the house of Mr. 
Guard, one of the earliest adventurers in New Zea- 
land, where he has been for twenty years. 

The western shore of Port Underwood forms a 
number of diminutive coves. It is so rocky that 
access from one cove to the other, along the coast, 
is impossible. The largest bay, near the head of the 
harbour, is Robin Hood's Bay, where there is a native 
settlement. No European lives there. The next is 
Ocean Bay, with a large beach, and some extent of 
flat but shingly land. Here are two whaling esta- 
blishments. The number of Europeans was thirty, 
and of natives about one hundred. 

The next is Kakapo, or Guard's Bay. This is 
very small, and the hills surrounding it so high that 
the sun can be seen only for a short time. The 
number of Europeans is only five, and of natives 
about sixty, who man the boats, and live on very in- 
timate terms with the Europeans. Mr. Guard was 
the first man who cleared this beach and settled on 


it, and the natives came round him afterwards. 
Rauparaha's brother, Norua, is the chief of Kakapo. 
A daughter of Tupahi also lives here. 

Next to Kakapo is Tom King's Bay, also the 
station of a whaling-party ; another stands opposite 
to it, and is managed by an American. 

The geological formation, which I have already 
mentioned, can be well observed on an island which 
lies nearly abreast of Kakapo. The direction of the 
clay-slate is here from north-north-west to south- 
south-east, with a south-west dip at an angle of 
less than forty-five degrees. In Kakapo the same 
slate is traversed by dikes of bluish Lydian stone, 
with veins of quartz. On the coast opposite to 
Kakapo the slate is harder, and of a black colour, 
but not fit for the purposes of roofing. 

Whaling alone has attracted the Europeans to 
Cloudy Bay. The different bays look indeed like 
the Golgotha of the whale, so many remains of that 
animal are lying on the beach. But whaling is not 
carried on from the shore alone : ships anchoring 
during the season in Port Underwood engage with 
their boats in the pursuit; and the port is better 
adapted for the whale-ships than Te-awa-iti, as the 
anchorage is less distant from the entrance, and the 
rush of the tide not so strong as into the narrow 
southern entrance of Tory Channel. Besides, Port 
Underwood is ill adapted for any other purpose : 
not even the outer harbour, the only one yet visited, 
is a first-rate one, as the prevalent gales those 


from the south-west blow directly into the en- 
trance, and often drag the ships from their anchor- 
age. The high and steep hills which enclose the 
place on all sides give it a gloomy appearance, the 
sun appearing late and setting early. The name of 
Cloudy Bay, given by Captain Cook, although he 
never entered this harbour, is very appropriate : 
it is now called Port Underwood. Rain must be 
frequent, from the mountainous and woody character 
of the country. I was here three times, always 
during heavy rains. A few whalers and traders 
found but a scanty subsistence even while whales 
were plentiful and provisions from the natives cheap ; 
both these advantages have now ceased. The har- 
bour, it is true, has the nearest connection with the 
level land at Wairao, and it is to the latter that 
it must look for any importance it may in future 
acquire. The road to that land from Port Under- 
wood is even now passable, and has been driven over 
by cattle. A Mr. Wilton, from Sydney, attempted 
a farming establishment at Wairao, and drove cattle 
thither from Port Underwood. He lost his life 
through an accident, and I am not aware that any 
one has since renewed the attempt. 

Cloudy Bay and Queen Charlotte's Sound are 
very rich in fish. Nowhere in New Zealand have 
I found them in such abundance. They were of the 
genera Scomber, Balistes, Serranus, Raius, Labrus. 
Mullets also were very plentiful. A fish was often 
caught which is nearly allied, even if it be not the 


same, to one described by Cuvier under the name 
of Trigla papilionacea. The natives call it kumu 
kumu. It is of a bright orange-colour ; its pectoral 
fins are large and membranous, and of an emerald- 
green, bordered with an azure margin. Near the 
tail is a spot of velvet black, dotted with white. 
This fish is one of the most beautiful known, and it 
always caused me pain to see it taken out of its ele- 
ment, and in expiring lose its vivid colours. Another 
most singular fish often took the bait : this was the 
Chimsera calorynchus, which is related to the shark 
tribe, and has a most singular fleshy proboscis. Its 
colours are very brilliant, of a silvery- white, or grey. 
It generally appears at night, at the surface of the 
water, preying upon the young of other tribes. The 
flesh is somewhat dry, and resembles that of the 

I returned from Cloudy Bay on the 19th of Sep- 
tember, and at daybreak on the following day we 
left Te-awa-iti on the flood tide, and with a north- 
west wind. The southern entrance of Tory Chan- 
nel is narrow, and requires a leading wind and a 
favourable tide, in which case the navigation is easy 
and safe. On leaving the channel the view opened 
on the Two Brothers, over the rocky coast of the 
Island of Arapaoa. To the southward appeared the 
different bights of the coast before the entrance into 
Port Underwood. We saw the whole of the coast 
towards Wairao and Cape Campbell, and at a dis- 
tance towered the Snowy Mountains. To the north - 

VOL. i. F 


ward were the steep shores in the neighbourhood of 
Mana and Port Nicholson, which latter place is 
about thirty miles distant from the southern entrance 
of Tory Channel. At eight o'clock we sailed by 
the part of the shore of the northern island which 
is called Te-ra-witi (the rising sun). We beat up 
against the breeze, and entered the harbour of Port 
Nicholson. There is plenty of ship-room at the 
entrance, and the dangers which exist are all appa- 
rent. The soundings are between seventeen and 
eight and a half fathoms. Alter passing the inner 
heads a spacious basin appears. Several canoes came 
off, and in one of them was an old venerable-looking 
chief, Epuni, with his son. At three o'clock we 
anchored on the northern side of a large island 
called Matin, now Somes's Island, about a mile 
from the mainland. 

CHAP. III.] 67 


Port Nicholson. Wellington. Excursion into the Valley of 
the Eritonga. 

WE stayed in Port Nicholson until the 4th of 
October, during which time the agent of the New 
Zealand Company completed the purchase of that 
place. Nearly three years have elapsed since our 
first visit ; and a spot scarcely known before that 
time, and rarely if ever visited by Europeans, has 
become the seat of a large settlement, with nearly 
5000 inhabitants. Where a few hundred natives 
then lived in rude villages, fearful of their neigh- 
bours, but desirous of intercourse with Europeans, 
and just beginning to be initiated into the forms of 
Christian worship by a native missionary, there is 
now a town, with warehouses, wharfs, club-houses, 
horticultural and scientific societies, racecourse^, 
in short, with all the mechanism of a civilized and 
commercial community ; at this very place, where I 
then enjoyed in all its fulness the wild aspect of 
nature, and where the inhabitants, wild and un- 
tamed, accorded well with their native scenery, 
there is now the restless European, spreading around 
all the advantages and disadvantages of civilization 
and trade. Although aware that I have long been 



anticipated in the description of this place, I must 
beg leave to give a few remarks which I gleaned 
during this and subsequent visits. 

Port Nicholson is situated in a foreland which, 
in its longest extent, has a north-east to south-west 
direction, and which is formed to the south-east by 
the deep indentation of Wairarapa, or Palliser Bay, 
and to the north-west by the bight of the coast in 
which Mana, or Table Island, is situated. The 
outermost point of this foreland is Cape Te-ra-witi. 
This is the narrowest point of Cook's Straits, the 
distance to the nearest land in the middle island 
being only thirty miles. In its geological formation 
this foreland is a continuation of the hills which I 
have described as forming the chief part of the land 
at the other side of Cook's Straits, and it can scarcely 
be doubted that formerly both islands were here 
connected. The sea having once broken this con- 
nection, a rush of the tide, which comes from the 
southward, and runs at the rate of five knots an 
hour during the spring-tides, took place through 
the opening. The winds prevailing in this part of 
Cook's Straits the greater part of the year are from 
the south and south-east, and often increase to heavy 
gales, augmenting the rush of water through the 
straits, and making considerable inroads on the coast. 
Port Nicholson was doubtless thus formed, and the 
general aspect of the foreland, in which the harboijr 
is situated, bears decided proof of the wear and tear 
of the coasts. At the head of the harbour the hills 


of which Cape Te-ra-witi is the outermost point, 
and those which form the eastern boundary, leave 
between them a triangular space, formed of alluvial 
land brought down by the river Eritonga, or Hutt. 
A sandy beach, two miles and a half in length, 
borders this alluvial flat, from which the water 
shoals to some distance. In consequence of its be- 
ing opposite to the entrance of the harbour, a heavy 
surf is found here during southerly winds. The 
apex of this delta is about seven miles from the 
beach, where the hills approach each other and form 
the gorge of the river. At a distance of about forty 
miles a range of hills, which early in autumn are 
covered with snow, shuts in the view. These moun- 
tains the Tararua range run north and south, 
and are therefore best seen from off Entry Island, 
or Kapiti. They extend towards the centre of the 
northern island, and are connected, by the Rua 
Wahine range, with the group of the Ruapahu and 
Tongariro. To the westward of this range, that is, 
from the centre of the island towards Cape Egmont, 
the land is comparatively flat, with slight undula- 
tions, Mount Egmont excepted, which stands much 

The hills which bound Port Nicholson to the 
westward, and terminate at Cape Te-ra-witi, and 
those which bound it to the eastward, and terminate 
at Baring's Heads, are branches of the Tararua 

Their geological structure is argillaceous schist, 
interrupted, especially on the western shore, by 


bulky and irregular dikes of red, black, or greenish 
Lydian stone. Sometimes the clay is more quartzose 
and granular. This latter I observed on the Tara- 
rua Mountains, where it forms a good stone for 
building purposes. There are also found other 
trappean rocks about twenty miles up the valley, 
and on the banks of the river Hutt. 

Notwithstanding the very early formation of these 
schistous and trappean rocks, shocks of earthquakes 
are sometimes felt at Port Nicholson. They are 
generally very slight. 1 

1 Several shocks were felt in May, 1840. " The first move- 
ment," says the Port Nicholson Gazette, of May 30, 1840, "took 
place at about twenty minutes to five o'clock on the morning of the 
26th ; the second, an hour later. The following night there was 
another slight shock, and after that several more, which, however, 
were so slight as to have been felt by few. The first shock was 
by far the severest and longest in duration ; it was not, however, 
the cause of any mischief, though it alarmed some of the inhabit- 
ants. It appears to have been nearly equally felt all around Port 

" We did not notice anything unusual in the state of the atmo- 
sphere, nor in the Appearance of the sky or sea, before the earth- 
quake ; some persons, however, state they were struck by the re- 
markable appearance of the clouds in the direction of the Tararua 
range, and others by the stillness of the sea at night-time. We 
went out immediately afte<r, or we might almost say during, the 
first shock, to observe if anything unusual would present itself to 
our attention, but all appeared as usual, and the morning was fine, 
clear, quiet, and cool. 

" To some the motion appeared from west to east, and to others 
from north to south. The first shock appeared to us to undulate 
from both of these directions, commencing from north to south, 
and ending from west to east ; and the second shock from north to 
south, and ending with a motion from east to west. Some persons 
declare they distinctly heard sounds which came from the north- 
west, like firing cannon ; if so, it is not improbable it will be found 


The best harbour for ships is opposite the em- 
bouchure of the river Hutt, and is formed by the 
curved peninsula of the western headland. Here 
they obtain good holding-ground, with great facili- 
ties for discharging their cargoes, and are protected 
from the prevailing winds, which are N.W. 200 
days in the year, and during the remaining days S. 
and S.E. That the harbour is good and convenient 
is proved by the fact that more than 200 vessels 
have entered and cleared it in safety, although the 
entrance, without the assistance of charts, is some- 
what difficult, and no care has been taken to erect a 
lighthouse. The boundary hills, both to the east 
and west of the basin of Port Nicholson, rise abruptly 
from the water's edge : but in that peninsular part 
where the town of Wellington has been founded, 
there is a strip of flat land at their base, about one- 
third of a. mile broad, consisting of a soil composed 
of sand, shells, shingle, and vegetable earth, and ex- 
tending to the western headland of the harbour, 

that the volcano at Mount Egmont has again burst forth, or that 
the volcano in the interior has increased in its activity. We 
should like to learn whether this earthquake was felt in other parts 
of the island." 

Mount Egmont, as we shall afterwards see, shows no signs of 
recent activity, and it is more probable that these shocks proceeded 
along the mountain-chain of the Ruawahine and Tararua from the 
Tongariro, which mountain and the country surrounding it are 
the very centre of modern igneous powers. 

Earthquakes, indeed, are often ftlt in the middle island ; the 
European settlers experienced them at Queen Charlotte's Sound 
and Te-awa-iti, and a rather severe shock was felt in Cloudy Bay 
on the 29th of August, 1839. 


where the hills are low and undulating. At the 
town of Wellington there is consequently a long 
line of water-frontage, with deep water at a few 
yards from the shore. 

The neck of land between the island of Mana and 
Port Nicholson consists of hills, with deep ravines, 
intersected by watercourses, where the natives have 
some plantations. Of similar configuration is the 
neck of land separating the port from Wairarapa, or 
Palliser Bay. At high-water the passage from 
Wellington to the head of the bay was impassable, 
but since I left Port Nicholson a road has been 
constructed, connecting the valley of the Hutt im- 
mediately with the town. A road has also been 
made across the neck of land to the Pararua, a river 
which discharges itself into Cook's Straits opposite 
the island of Mana. 

Having on a subsequent occasion (August, 1840) 
explored the valley of the Eritonga, I will here give 
a description of that river. My intention was to 
have crossed the snowy mountains which are seen 
to the northward of Port Nicholson, and to have 
entered the valley of the Manawatu, which I was 
told by the natives approaches those mountains in 
its long and serpentine course, forming a fertile 
valley, and afterwards discharging itself into Cook's 
Straits. This I was unable to accomplish, from the 
difficulties presented by the heavy forest and under- 
wood, although surveyors' lines had been cut for 
about twenty miles up the valley, from the necessity of 


carrying with us all our provisions, but chiefly from 
the unfavourable season at which I undertook the 
journey, and in which I had to contend with pour- 
ing rains and heavy freshes in the river. Enough, 
however, was explored to convince me that, although 
the crowd of mountains around Port Nicholson was 
remarkable, and the land very thickly wooded, steady 
industry and perseverance would find a sufficient 
extent of available land for the support of a town, 
although connection with a larger agricultural 
district would be indispensable. Such a district I 
had already pointed out in the country to the west- 
ward of the river Wanganui, comprising the level 
and undulating land at the base of Mount Taranaki. 
I started from Port Nicholson on the 30th of 
July, 1840. All my companions were Europeans, 
as I could not obtain the services of any natives. 
This, however, was of no consequence, as they knew 
the valley as little as myself, never having penetrated 
far for fear of the Nga-te-Kahohunu tribe, the former 
proprietors of the place, and their greatest enemies. 
The river Eritonga forms at its outlet a broad basin 
in the sandy downs of the coast, and is joined, not 
far from its mouth, by three tributaries, the Okatu, 
Ernotu, and Waiwatu. During flood-tide it is 
easily entered by large boats, which can go up for 
about six miles, when the shallowness of the water, 
and the danger arising from the snags which are 
imbedded in its bottom, prevent their farther pro- 
gress. I followed the lines which the surveyors had 


undertaken to cut along the right bank of the river, 
and which soon approach the hills that bound the 
valley to the westward. Our road lay over flat 
alluvial land, covered to a breadth of about four 
miles from the sea-shore with a recent but thick 
growth of underwood. Amongst the trees \vas one 
which, on being pierced, yielded about half a wine- 
glass-full of a well-flavoured milk. I am unable to 
say whether this tree, of which I saw only two 
specimens in Port Nicholson, and those of a small 
size, belongs to the same family as the cow-tree of 
Guiana (Galactodendrum), of which Humboldt has 
given so graphic a description. 

It having at that time been determined to place 
the town of Wellington on the banks of the river 
Hutt, I found many of the settlers busily occupied 
clearing the ground, although it was still very early 
in the morning. The first colonists at Port Nichol- 
son were imbued with an excellent spirit of industry 
and enterprise ; and it was only to be regretted that, 
from the land not being yet measured out, the 
colonists did not know whether they should be 
allowed to retain the spot which they might choose 
and begin to cultivate, and thus was wanting the 
principal stimulant for exerting themselves, and 
thereby fulfilling the first demand on a new colony, 
namely, of producing in the shortest possible time a 
sufficient supply for its own consumption. 

Higher up the valley the alluvial land is covered 
with trees, of which the rimu and kahikatea pines 


are especially remarkable for their size. Both belong 
to the genus Dacrydium. The former is one of the 
most beautiful trees imaginable, particularly when 
young, as at that time its branches bend gracefully 
downwards, like those of the weeping-willow. This 
is the pine from the branches of which Captain 
Cook made spruce-beer. Another tree common in 
this part of the valley is the pukatea, and is easily 
known by its trunk, which rapidly diminishes in 
diameter from the ground upwards. The leaves are 
thick, serrated, and of a glossy green, and it belongs 
to the laurel tribe. I am not aware that it has yet 
been described by any writer. Its wood is white, 
and resembles that of the beech-tree. The rata also 
is common (Metrosideros robusta). It is the king 
of the New Zealand trees, and has the hardest and 
most durable wood. ' In the evenings we always 
looked for this tree, in order to get some of its peal- 
ing and friable bark, the lower layers of which are 
found in a dry state, and were used by us for tinder. 
These larger trees spread over a number of smaller 
ones of various descriptions. 

About seven miles from the beach the hills which 
enclose the Hutt approach near each other, the river 
keeping close under the western range, which slopes 
with a steep declivity to its bed. The sides of the 
hills are here strewed over with sharp-edged frag- 
ments of clay-slate, intermixed with vegetable earth, 
which nourishes a vigorous vegetation, but no species 


predominates sufficiently to give a distinct character 
to the forest. 

Up to this place the river has an average depth of 
from two to three feet. In rainy weather it often 
swells suddenly, from the narrowness of the valley 
through which it flows, and from the large supply 
rapidly brought down from the hills by a number 
of lateral tributaries. The banks near its outlet are 
quickly overflowed ; and these sudden inundations, 
after a few hours' rain, have several times taken the 
settlers lower down by surprise. The river at 
present meets with many impediments in its course 
from snags, and is capable of great improvement 
in this respect. 

In the gorge, which, as I have stated, forms the 
apex of the alluvial triangle of the Eritonga, the hills 
were almost perpendicular ; and, in order to avoid a 
tedious and fatiguing road, we got into a small punt, 
which had been brought up thus far for the use of 
the surveyors. We landed again about half a mile 
higher up. This part of the river was truly pic- 
turesque. The right bank was steep and abrupt, 
nevertheless it was covered with trees overhanging 
the river. That beautiful bird the large-crested 
cormorant 1 is found here in great numbers among 
the higher branches of the trees. It feeds upon eels 
and a small kind of fish with which the Eritonga 
abounds. They are social birds, and many of their 

! Phalacrocorax punctatus. 


nests are seen together on a tree, which is always 
sure to be the one most difficult of access. The un- 
broken stillness of a New Zealand forest is remark- 
able : the cormorants themselves have something 
solemn in their aspect, and are called by the New 
Zealanders kauwau, or the preachers. Sometimes, 
indeed, the mako-mako 1 pours forth at long intervals 
its melodious notes ; or perhaps a hawk 2 is seen 
watching the movements of a smaller bird ; or the 
neat fan-tail flycatcher busy in the lower branches. 
The vegetation of New Zealand is nourished by the 
constant moisture, and, although remarkable for the 
freshness of its verdure, there is not much variety, 
considering the extent of the island. But of birds 
and animals the number of species is still more 
limited ; in fact, fewer varieties are found in New 
Zealand, in comparison to its area, than in any other 

We encamped for the night on a sandbank, 
where we found plenty of dry drift-wood. From 
this place, where the valley widens a little, the 
river follows the western hills, and at its freshes 
overflows the left shore, which was covered with 
the shrublike veronica. Near the eastern hills 
the dark-green foliage and reddish bark of the 
totara pine impressed the landscape at once with a 
distinct feature. 

The following day we crossed and recrossed the 
river six times. Its depth is very unequal, and 
1 Philedon Dumerilii. 2 Falco brunnea. 


often came up to our middle. It is very rapid in 
its course, and, although in many places not more 
than thirty yards in breadth, its broad bed, strewed 
over with large boulders of basaltic rock, proves 
that this child of the mountains does not always 
confine itself within such narrow limits. At this 
place its course is greatly obstructed by totara-trees 
of immense dimensions : two or three are often piled 
one above the other, showing how high the river 
occasionally rises. About twenty-five miles from its 
outlet, on the right shore, was a steep rocky bluff, of 
a hard trap-rock, over which fell two cascades. 

Higher up, the banks of the river show by their 
vertical section the manner in which this valley has 
been formed. An argillaceous slate is overlaid by a 
layer of boulders and pebbles, of trappean formation, 
from ten to twelve feet in thickness. This forma- 
tion extends to the foot of the mountains, and proves 
that the level of the water in the Eritonga was 
formerly much higher than it now is. This is 
especially seen a little higher up. On the slopes of 
the lateral hills platforms are found, now on the 
right, now on the left side of the river, according 
to its windings, their elevation on each side being 
the same. They extend a square mile or more in 
area, and are strewed over with boulders and water- 
worn pebbles. 

I may here observe that the coast near Palliser 
Bay has a terraced appearance, corresponding pro- 
bably in level with that just described, for the origin 


of which we must look not in the subsidence of the 
waters, but in a rise of the land after an interval of 
repose. These terraces, both on the banks of the 
river and on the sea-coast, are far too elevated 
for the highest floods or tides ever to have reached 

Some of the most valuable land in this part of 
the valley is found on these platforms: a thick 
mould, or clayey soil, covers the boulders. The 
forest is very open, and in some parts consists almost 
entirely of tawai- trees, and in others of the totara. 
The totara pine is a very stately tree : its stem is 
generally five or six feet in diameter, and is without 
branches for about sixty feet above the ground. The 
branches spring from the stem at an acute angle, 
and form several crowns at some distance from each 
other. The bark is thin, of a reddish colour, and 
generally peals off in longitudinal stripes. Its leaves 
are lanceolate and short : they are of a dark-green 
colour on the upper surface, and of a sea-green on 
the lower. It grows in this valley chiefly in rich 
alluvial land, which is exposed at times to inunda- 
tions, but it is not found on the lowest banks. In 
other parts of the island, however, I have seen the 
totara also growing on hills, and it was this pine that 
I found occupying the highest elevation on Mount 
Egmont, although there it had diminished much in 
size, and had become stunted. To the southward of 
Mercury Bay, on the eastern coast, and of Kawia, 
on the western, the totara is the only tree used by 


the natives for constructing their canoes. The wood 
is very heavy and tough, and its durability is not 
impaired, but rather increased, by its lying in the 
water. Trees which had been buried in the beds of 
rivers, apparently for ages, looked as fresh and un- 
injured as if they had been recently felled. Of the 
different kinds of timber found in New Zealand 
totara seems most to resemble our oak in appearance 
and quality, and the forest in the valley of the Hutt 
will be of great value to the settlement at Port 
Nicholson, especially as the trees can easily be 
floated down the river during freshes. There are 
harder woods in New Zealand than the totara, such 
as those of the rata and pohutukana (gen. Metro- 
sideros), and of the kahikatoa (Leptospermum), a 
moderate-sized tree, covering the lowest banks on 
the river Hutt ; but these woods are too hard, and 
can only be worked with great labour and expense. 

On the fourth day I joined the party of Mr. Deans, 
which was employed cutting a line through the 
forest that runs on the slope of the western hills. 
Heavy showers of rain and freshes in the river 
detained us in Mr. Dean's tent for two days : these 
we passed as well as we could in shooting pigeons, 
which at this season were feeding in great numbers 
upon the aromatic berry of the mai pine or the 
seeds and leaves of the kahikatoa. 

About thirty miles up the river, on a plateau on the 
western hills, I saw for the first time traces of the 
natives having visited this district before us. At 


this spot the trees were half burnt and decaying, 
some lying one over the other in disorder, whilst the 
white and bleak stems of others were still standing 
upright. High fern had sprung up, as is always 
the case when a spot has been cleared for the pur- 
pose of cultivation. On the opposite bank of the 
river a circular stripe was pealed off from the bark 
of totara-trees, a general custom with the natives 
when they mark and " tapu " a tree for future use. 
But in this case they seem to have been prevented 
from felling the trees. These marks were doubtless 
made while the Nga-te-Kahohunu tribe still pos- 
sessed Port Nicholson, before they retired through 
the valley to the eastward, and to Palliser Bay, 
where they lived for some time in the dark recesses 
of the forest, continually issuing from their hiding- 
places to harass their enemies. The present in- 
habitants of Port Nicholson, whose original dwell- 
ing-place was Taranaki, know nothing of the valley 
of the Hutt, nor are they aware of the existence of 
the totara-forest, their fears having always confined 
them to the sea-coast. 

This plateau is situated above a perpendicular 
cliff of about thirty feet in height. A creek coming 
from the westward discharges at this point a con- 
siderable body of water into the Eritonga. 

During the time we were detained here the wind 
was from the south-east ; the thermometer kept a 
daily range from 39 to 50 Fahrenheit, and the air 
was saturated with humidity. The only place 

VOL. I. G 


where we could enjoy the sun was close to the 
river's edge, or upon a tree turned across it, as the 
whole place was covered with bush and forest. 
Heavy dews fell during the night, and in spite of 
the shelter of the tent our blankets were always 
wet through in the morning. 

Although the weather continued unfavourable, 
we were obliged to resume our route on the morn- 
ing of August 4th, as our supplies were rapidly 
decreasing. Mr. Deans and two of his men joined 
my party, making us eight in number. We forded 
the river to its left shore, and crossed and recrossed 
it that day sixteen times. In one part the river is 
shut in by elevated banks about eighteen feet high, 
from which the land runs in flats towards the east- 
ern and western hills ; here we walked for about a 
mile in the bed of the river. The valley is about 
two miles and a half broad, and the land of a very 
good quality. The forest is again formed of one 
sort of tree, tawai, and is open and park-like. A 
soft carpet of moss covers the ground in many 
places. One species of moss, in the shape of a di- 
minutive fern-tree, was very beautiful. The plants 
of the lower scale of vegetation, as ferns and mosses, 
were plentiful the moisture which characterises 
the winter in New Zealand being particularly 
favourable to their growth. 

The bed of the river at this point is crossed by 
bars of slaty rock, which strike from north-west to 
south-east, and dip in some places with a very 


acute angle to the south-west, and at others stand 
nearly perpendicular. The general breadth of the 
river had not diminished, but in many places it was 
very shallow. 

In the afternoon we halted at a place where two 
streams joined to form the Eritonga, one coming 
from north by west, the other from east by north. 
At their junction they appeared to me to be of the 
same size, but as we advanced I convinced myself 
that the branch from the eastward formed the 
principal source. 

During the 5th we had heavy showers of rain, 
hail, and snow ; the river was swollen and could 
not be forded. We were, therefore, obliged to halt 
a day, and on the 6th we followed the left stream, 
where some flat land extended towards the hills. 
Finding that this did not extend far, and that the 
hills again descended close to the river's edge, I 
ascended one of them with Messrs. Deans and Eck- 
ford, to obtain a view of the surrounding country ; 
but on reaching the summit, through supplejack 
and underwood, we had the mortification to find 
that trees obstructed the view in every direction. 
It moreover began to rain, and a thick fog enveloped 
everything in darkness. 

On the weather's clearing up somewhat, we 
climbed to the top of a tree, and thence obtained 
a view of the snow-covered hills of the Tararua ; 
that which appeared the highest, and for which I 
resolved to steer, bore north-east. When we came 

G 2 


down the hill, the day was nearly gone, and we re- 
turned to our old shed at the junction of the streams. 
Here we were again detained for a day, as the river 
was still deep and rapid, and some of our party 
could not swim. The freshes, however, decreased 
rapidly during the night of the 7th ; we therefore 
forded the eastern branch, and followed its course 
through a district covered with tawai-forest. The 
river, which is here confined between high shores, 
preserves the same breadth, but is of greater depth. 
On the opposite shore, which likewise forms a pla- 
teau, I observed the rimu pine in great abundance. 
The section of the cliffy banks shows the same form- 
ation as that I have already described, with boulders 
and pebbles above ; but the slate below has assumed 
a blue colour. We walked for nearly four miles 
on the flat, which is about a mile in breadth, but 
were stopped by a sudden curve of the river to the 
westward. On its right shore the hills were again 
precipitous to the height of several hundred feet ; 
the force of the current in its winding course has 
undermined them, occasioning frequent slips. The 
left shore is low, and bears sufficient marks of its 
being very often overflowed. 

I at first thought that the two branches which 
I have mentioned as forming the Eritonga were 
branches of one and the same stream, having the 
flat which we had passed as an island between 
them ; but this is not the case ; the left arm either 
rises in or flows through some swamp, as its waters 


had the brown colour peculiar to streams passing 
through swampy ground. I considered that we 
were now about fifty miles from the sea. In the 
bed of the river we had the satisfaction of seeing 
the Tararua range very near to us. A creek here 
joined the river from the eastward ; it appeared to 
come straight from the mountains, and I therefore 
determined to follow itg^ For this purpose we had 
to cross the Eritonga, which we could not have 
managed had not a newly-t^fifooted mai, which had 
fallen across it, formed a natural bridge. After 
scrambling for two hours through dense underwood 
and a soft alluvial soil, we reached the creek, which 
we crossed, and on the banks of which we en- 

On our route thi|jjday we had seen traces of na- 
tives ; a footpath coining from the eastward, al- 
though marked only by the half-broken branches 
of shrubs (a common mode among the natives of 
pointing out a path through the bush), had been 
trodden about a year ago, if the appearance of the 
broken twigs did not deceive me. We had also 
sure indications that wild pigs were common in the 
forest. On the sandy banks of the Eritonga we 
observed the footmarks of dogs and cats, but higher 
up those of the. pigs only were discernible; and 
from the direction of their paths, which are as well 
marked as those of men, although more winding, I 
concluded that they must have found their way to 
this place not from Port Nicholson, but from Pal- 


liser Bay, or some other place on the east coast. 
The introduction of the carnivorous dog and cat 
into New Zealand has had a curious and fatal effect 
on the feathered races. On the breaking up of the 
tribes these animals were dispersed into the forest, 
which afforded nothing for their support but the 
birds, whose number has greatly decreased in conse- 
quence, as can be clearly proved, especially as some 
such as the rails possess very limited powers of 
flight, and one class, the apterix, cannot fly at all, for 
the very sufficient reason that it has no wings. We 
should have been very glad to have fallen in with 
some natives, or with some of the quadruped rovers 
of the forest ; the latter would have given us the 
means of prolonging our tour, and the former 
might have shown us the rcvad to some land un- 
known. We, however, saw neither man nor beast ; 
and although the natives from the east coast may 
sometimes wander in this direction from Cook's 
Straits ; and although it may be true, as I have been 
told by a native of Hauriri, or Hawke's Bay, that 
from a range of hills near that bay may be seen the 
fires of Rauparaha in Kapiti ; yet, from all I have 
seen in New Zealand, I am convinced that the for- 
midable pictures of bush-natives which have been 
drawn are purely the result of imagination. The 
natives in general are much too civilised and social, 
and know their own interests too well, to live in a 
gloomy and inhospitable forest. It is true, indeed, 
that excursions for surprising and robbing neigh- 


bouring tribes are, or rather were, frequent ; and in 
that manner the natives become acquainted with 
the most secret recesses of the country : but on such 
occasions they always return to their settlements. 

We had now arrived at the foot of some low 
hills, which formed the fore-hills of the Tararua 
range, and were covered with fern, manuka, and 
the burnt remains of a forest. They were of a 
gentle slope, with a clayey soil. In the evening we 
had a fine view from them of a range of snowy 
hills : we therefore descended on the following day 
into a deep valley, which separated us from this 
range. In the valley flowed the creek which I have 
before mentioned. We afterwards ascended a ridge 
which was very open, and covered with high ana* 
straight trees. Thus far the weather had favoured 
us, but it now again became bad, and thick clouds 
reposed upon the heights. We managed, however, 
to reach the summit towards evening. The cold 
now became very sensible ; the thermometer stood 
at 37 Fahrenheit, and in the ravines and on the 
branches of trees there was plenty of snow. I could 
by no means determine where I actually was, as we 
were unable to distinguish the objects many yards 
from us ; and besides, the whole range was so 
covered with high trees as to have prevented us 
from having any view had the weather been clear. 
It froze in the night, and more snow fell ; and 
when I awoke in the morning the thermometer 
stood at the freezing-point. 


The ridge which we had yesterday ascended 
branches off in a westerly direction from the main 
range, which runs nearly north and south. 

We this day followed the range to the north- 
ward, in which direction I had seen a pyramidical 
elevation towering somewhat higher than the rest. 
Large trees which had been blown down obstructed 
our path, a proof of the heavy gales which some- 
times rage here. As we ascended we found the 
snow in greater quantity. The weather was a 
little clearer, and on reaching the highest summit 
I climbed up a tree and saw somewhat of the sur- 
rounding country. The ridge on which we were 
ran to the southward ; its limits were enveloped in 
clouds. In the direction of west-by-south I distin- 
guished Kapiti, or Entry Island, about seventy miles 
distant. Several ranges of hills separated us from 
the sea. The hills sweep round, and terminate, as 
it appeared to me, in a wooded promontory at 
Otaki, twenty miles to the northward of Kapiti. 
To the eastward I saw another range of hills run- 
ning nearly parallel to that on which we were, and 
separated from it by a deep and narrow chasm. In 
looking into the valley of the Eritonga I saw that 
the whole was covered with wood ; only a small 
stripe of its waters was visible. Port Nicholson 
was hid from our view by the eastern hills. The 
land in the upper part of the valley was composed 
of low hills, and I distinguished a swamp about 
three miles in circumference. The character of the 


whole was in the highest degree mountainous, and 
some time must pass before all the valleys, gorges, 
and ravines can be explored, or rendered accessible. 
Of the practicability of joining the valley of the 
Hutt by means of a road with Hawke's Bay and 
the valley of the Manawatu, I have no doubt ; but 
it can only be done when the colony is in a much 
more advanced state, and when labour is more 
abundant and cheaper. 

Our stock of provisions was so much exhausted, 
that we could not safely pursue our route in the 
hope of finding a way out of this wilderness ; I 
therefore determined to return by the road by which 
we had come. This we accomplished with some 
variations, and arrived at Port Nicholson on the 
14th of August, after an absence of sixteen days. 

From the hills surrounding Port Nicholson I 
added to my collection a very curious bird, which 
before was only imperfectly known. This is the 
bird whose white-tipped tail-feathers are so highly 
prized by the natives, and are used as ornaments 
for the head in all parts of the island. But the 
bird, according to the accounts of the natives, with 
which my own observation agrees, has a very nar- 
row geographical locality, as it is only found in 
the deepest recesses of the primeval forest covering 
the hills around Port Nicholson, and between the 
latter place and Hawke's Bay. It is called by the 
natives Uia, and was received into the ornithological 
system under the name of Neomorpha Gouldii. It 

90 THE UIA. [PART i. 

has been depicted by Mr. Gould, in Part III. of his 
very splendid work, ' The Birds of Australia,' 
from specimens which I sent to him. The great 
difference which exists in the shape of the bill in 
the male and female birds induced Mr. Gould for- 
merly to regard them as two distinct species, to 
which he gave the names Neomorpha crassirostris 
and acutirostris ; but it is now well known that 
there exists a whole tribe of birds showing the same 
generic difference. This bird is of the size of a 
magpie : its plumage is of a dark glossy black, in- 
clining to a green metallic lustre. The ends of its 
tail-feathers are tipped with white for about three- 
quarters of an inch ; the bill is white, rather darker 
at its base, where it has two wattles of a rich orange 
colour a peculiarity of structure which several 
birds of New Zealand possess. 

The male bird has a short, straight, and strong 
beak, but that of the female is much longer, and 
forms a segment of a circle. 

Accompanied by a native belonging to the tribe 
of the former inhabitants of Port Nicholson, the 
Nga-te-Kahohunu, and now a slave, the only per- 
son I was told who understood the art of decoying 
uias, I* set out for the hills, and, after a long day's 
walk, had the pleasure of seeing that the continued 
loud and shrill whistling of my guide, uia, uia, uia, 
in imitation of the note of the birds, had attracted 
four, which alighted on the lower branches of the 
trees near him. They came silently and with a 


brisk flight. I fired and killed two or three of them, 
but generally they come so near that the natives kill 
them with sticks, in order not to injure the precious 

In the stomachs of these birds I found fruits of 
the Elaeocarpus hinau, and also coleopterous and 
dipterous insects. Mr. Gould's drawing of this bird 
is most characteristic ; but the tree on which he has 
placed it, the Corynocarpus Isevigata, is not found 
in the forest, which is the only habitation of this 
bird, but grows in open places near the coast. 

The narrow geographical range of this bird, 
which I have already mentioned, is exceedingly 
curious ; its extinction, for that reason, may not per- 
haps be very far distant, unless the bird is to be 
found in the middle island, which the natives, how- 
ever, deny to be the case. 

The natives in Port Nicholson belong to the large 
nation of the Nga-te-awa (river people), and are 
about 1500 in number. They are subdivided into 
several smaller tribes, living in the different coves 
of the harbour. The present natives are not the an- 
cient inhabitants of the place, but seized it from a 
tribe called the Nga-te-Kahohunu, after they had 
themselves been driven from their ancient homes at 
the foot of Mount Egmont. They received us at 
our arrival with every mark of friendship, listened 
to and discussed the subject of our coming among 
them with great discretion and good judgment, and 
agreed at last to sell the land ; not, however, without 


a lively opposition having been offered by a chief, 
Puakawa (Bitter Sowthistle), who, with simple and 
solemn eloquence, warned his people of the cupidity 
of Europeans, pointed to the fate of the Tasmanians 
and Australians, and pictured a similar fate as await- 
ing his own people : the Europeans promised brother- 
hood to them, he said, but they were men who spoke 
with the lips only (tangata ngutu kau). This chief, 
however, was outvoted ; partly through the impres- 
sion which our trade had made on the rest, partly, 
I believe, by a higher motive, the desire of acquiring 
civilization, protection, and instruction from a Eu- 
ropean colony. Poor Puakawa! During my se- 
cond stay at Port Nicholson his mutilated body was 
found in a field not far from his own village ; his 
head had been cut off and his heart taken away. 
Some of the Nga-te-Kahohunu, mindful of the in- 
juries they had received, and actuated by feelings of 
revenge and envy, which had been again called forth 
by the recent sale of Port Nicholson, had sallied 
from the hilly forest, and had treacherously killed 
the chief, who, although at first opposing the settle- 
ment of the Europeans, had ever afterwards been 
their sincere friend. About forty men penetrated 
into the woods to trace the murderers, but they did 
not succeed in overtaking them, although absent for 
a fortnight. On their return a great many speeches 
were made, and it was interesting to see the orators 
strutting with long strides and lively gesticulations, 
showing how nature led them to employ all those 


modes of eloquence which with us are only attained 
by study. One tribe at Port Nicholson had refused 
to accompany the excursion ; and on the return of the 
party I had an opportunity of observing the exercise 
of that feeble authority which, amongst barbarous 
nations, is possessed by one tribe over another. 
Those who had marched to revenge the death of 
the chief went to the village of the opposite party, 
many of whom had become Christians, took away 
their pigs and provisions, and feasted upon the pro- 
duce of their land. Being in the minority, they 
could offer no resistance. 

The most influential and active chiefs in Port 
Nicholson were E Puni, a man of a very mild and 
graceful disposition, and Ware Pouri, his nephew, 
who was of a noisy and boisterous character. These 
two conducted the sale of the territory for the rest ; 
but they had to consult the wishes of a very aged 
man, Matangi, who, with white hair and beard, but 
with a frame still erect and powerful, formed a link 
between the warriors and cannibals of former times 
and the present generation, who, emerging from 
barbarism, were beginning to turn their minds to 
peaceful pursuits, and to embrace the tenets of Chris- 
tianity. Matangi had been left heir to Port Nichol- 
son by two tribes, also belonging to the Nga-te-awa 
nation, who had been the most powerful, after the 
land had been wrested from the Nga-te-Kahohunu, 
but had emigrated to the Chatham Islands. Some 
few individuals of these tribes who are called the 


Nga-te-Motunga and Nga-te-Tama, still remained 
at Port Nicholson. 

Up to the present time, nearly three years since 
the purchase, there has not been a single serious 
misunderstanding between the natives and the Eu- 
ropean settlers ; and my hope that, by a prudent ma- 
nagement and forbearing treatment, the evils would 
be avoided which have everywhere else followed in 
the train of English colonization, has not as yet 
been disappointed : nor is it unworthy of remark, 
that the tribes at Port Nicholson had had very 
little intercourse with Europeans before our arrival 
at that place, their only visitor having been a mis- 
sionary from the Bay of Islands a short time before, 
for the purpose of preventing the natives from con- 
cluding a "treaty with the Company's agent, or, 
rather, to secure the best parts of the land, not 
indeed for the church, but merely for himself. 

We left Port Nicholson for Cloudy Bay on Octo- 
ber the 4th, with a light northerly wind. When 
we came outside the harbour we had squalls, and 
afterwards a fine breeze from the north-west, which 
was soon succeeded by a calm ; but a fresh breeze 
springing up, we anchored in the afternoon at the 
entrance to Cloudy Bay, We found there the 
barque Honduras, of London, which had come from 
a whaling establishment at Otago, on the eastern 
coast of the middle island, and was completing her 
cargo at Cloudy Bay. We stayed here until the 13th 
of October, and then sailed for Te-awa-iti, in order 


to take in Mr. Barret, an old trader and whaler, 
who was to accompany us to Taranaki. From the 
entrance of Cloudy Bay to the south entrance of 
Tory Channel the distance is about twenty miles. 
The coast between these points is very bold, from 
200 to 300 feet high, and the sea breaks against the 
weather-worn rocks with tremendous violence. The 
aspect of the coast is dreary and barren, the forma- 
tion being a yellow schistous clay. In the whaling 
season the boats, running out from Te-awa-iti and 
Cloudy Bay harbours, are sometimes surprised by a 
gale, and obliged to run ashore, where they find 
scanty shelter in a small inlet called Barret's, or in 
another called Jackson's Boat Harbour, where fre- 
quently they are windbound for several days, and 
suffer much from want of provisions, their only re- 
source being a few shell-fish, and some penguins 
which inhabit the hollows of the rocks. All the 
year round whale-boats may be seen running to and 
fro between Cloudy Bay and Te-awa-iti, Entry Island 
and Port Nicholson, and other parts of the coast, 
trading for provisions or cruising for whales. In 
calm weather the native ventures out in his war 
canoe, now, happily, seldom bent on warlike enter- 
prises, but on peaceful visits to his friends and rela- 
tions. As the prominent points of this coast are 
therefore well known to whalers, they have given 
names to all, which I shall adopt in concisely de- 
scribing them. At a subsequent period I had a run 
in a whale-boat from Te-awa-iti to Cloudy Bay on a 


medical visit, and had a good opportunity for in- 
specting the coast. A ship must keep clear of the 
land on account of some sunken rocks. After leav- 
ing Port Underwood we may pass in a boat between 
the northern head of the harbour and an irregular 
mass of rocks called the Coombe Rocks. About 
two miles from this point the shore forms a small 
bight, called Raumoa, or Fighting Bay, where at all 
times the tide produces a heavy swell. This place 
is of some renown in the history of Cook's Straits. 
When Rauparaha and the Nga-te-awa tribes had, 
after a sanguinary contest, driven away from these 
shores the Ngaheitao, the latter, who had settled on 
the eastern shore of the middle island, often re- 
turned in hostile parties to revenge the loss of their 
country. In one of these excursions, Tairoa, the 
chief of the Ngaheitao, with many of his followers, 
had been enclosed by the canoes of the enemy in 
this bight, from which there is no retreat inland. 
He saw nothing but certain death before him; but 
Rauparaha, the leader of his opponents, deferred the 
attack on account of a bad dream ; a fog came on in 
the morning, and Tairoa made his escape, to the 
great disappointment of his enemies. 

The next shallow bight of the coast is called 
Barret's Boat Harbour. Although boats must be 
hauled up over fearful rocks, this place has often 
given shelter to whale-boats in distress. From this 
point a difficult path leads into Tory Channel op- 
posite to Te-awa-iti. Run-under Point is a rocky 
promontory half way between Tory Channel and 


Cloudy Bay : thence the coast sweeps round in a 
large curve, forming Island Bay, so called from a 
small rocky isle near the southern shore, called 
Glasgow Island, from the name of a brig which rode 
out a heavy gale there. A furious tide sets into this 
bay, agitating the water even in calm weather. 

Jackson's Boat Harbour, the next inlet between 
the rocks, affords, if possible, less shelter than Bar- 
ret's Bight. 

Before reaching the southern head of Tory 
Channel we pass Lucky Bay, which is of a similar 
aspect. The southern head of the entrance to Tory 
Channel forms a promontory, and is remarkable 
for the broken appearance of the rocks of which it 
consists. Through some excavations the waves rush 
from Cook's Straits into this channel. 

When we were off the mouth of the channel we 
had a moderate south-east wind, and waited for the 
ebb-tide. As the tide sets into this narrow entrance 
with great force and velocity, it must always be taken 
into consideration in running a vessel into the chan- 
nel. The Honduras had come in the day before, 
during a calm, with the flood-tide, and two boats 
towing ahead, yet she struck on a rock off the 
northern head and became leaky. A pilot is very 
necessary, and generally one will come off from 
Te-awa-iti on a gun being fired outside the head. 

Ten or twelve years ago the southern headland 
of Tory Channel was the scene of a sanguinary 
contest between the original natives of the channel, 

VOL. i. H 


the Nga-te-Kahohunu, the same who originally 
inhabited Port Nicholson, and the tribes of the 
Nga-te-awa. Rauparaha, at the head of the latter 
people, earned here inglorious laurels by shutting 
up his opponents on a narrow tongue of land, and 
then exterminating them. 

The next destination of the Tory was Kapiti, or 
Entry Island, in Cook's Straits, and, leaving 
Te-awa-iti for that place on the 15th of October, 
we were towed by two boats round the northern 
headland of the channel. The coast of the island of 
Arapaoa to Cape Komaru, the eastern headland of 
Queen Charlotte's Sound, runs nearly in a straight 
line, and is extremely steep, on which account many 
slips have taken place. It is scarcely possible to find 
a more iron-bound shore. At four o'clock in the 
afternoon Cape Komaru bore N. W. by N. ^ N. ; 
the island of Kapiti, N.N.E. J E. ; the island of 
Mana, N.E. by E. ; Cape Terawiti (the Rising 
Sun), S.E. by S. i S. ; Point Jackson, W.N.W. 

During the night the breeze fell, and we were 
beating about between Mana and the Two Brothers. 
At three o'clock on the following day we anchored 
between Kapiti and the mainland, to the north- 
ward of a small rocky island called Tokomapura, or 
Evans's Island, which is inhabited by an English 
whaling-party. A little to the eastward of the 
southern end of Kapiti are two other small islands : 
the outermost is called Tauramoria, or Rauparaha's 
Island, from its being the usual place of abode of 


that chief; it is sometimes called Mayhew's Island, 
after an American who has a whaling-party there. 
The innermost island is smaller, and is called Motu 
Narara; it is separated from the southern end of 
Kapiti by a narrow channel, which, however, is deep 
enough for small vessels. This island is also called 
Hiko's Island, on account of this chief's residing 
there. On this island also there is a whaling-party 
of Americans. As soon as we had anchored, a boat 
with whalers came off from Evans's Island, as well 
as a canoe manned by natives. We learnt from 
them that a battle had been fought in the morning 
on the sandy beach of the mainland, from which 
we were about three miles distant, between people 
of the Nga-te-awa tribe, who have there a large 
fortified village called Waikanahi, and another 
tribe called the Nga-te-raukaua, who several years 
ago came from the interior, and settled on the shores 
of Cook's Straits. They have a village at Otaki, 
about fifteen miles to the northward of Waikanahi. 
We heard that many had been killed and wounded 
in the battle ; that the Nga-te-raukaua had been 
defeated, and had retreated. My duties as a medical 
man called me ashore, but the roughness of the sea 
prevented me from landing. Rauparaha sent a mes- 
sage, requesting Colonel Wakefield to come to him 
on Evans's Island, as he did not dare to visit our 
ship, for fear the natives we had on board might 
prove to be his enemies. We went on shore in the 
afternoon, and found Rauparaha sitting on the 

H 2 


ground, with his wife Etope, wrapped up in mats 
and blankets, and painted with red ochre. He is 
between fifty and sixty years old, with remarkably 
Jewish features, an aquiline nose, and a cunning 
physiognomy. His manner was very restless ; he 
was rather sparing of his words, and seemed much 
depressed at the issue of the battle. He was very 
generally considered to have been the instigator of 
this contest, and the secret supporter of the Nga-te- 
raukaua. However, he denied the charge, and said 
he wished for peace. There seemed, however, to be 
no reason to doubt the truth of the accusation, as 
he bears an old hatred to the Nga-te-awa, although 
belonging to the same tribe ; not, however, to that 
clan of it which was engaged in this fray. At all 
events, Rauparaha seemed in this case to have played 
the dangerous game of keeping on good terms with 
both parties. He had gone out on the morning of 
the battle in his canoe towards Waikanahi to await 
the issue, and, perhaps, to partake of the spoil ; but 
he returned when he saw that the Nga-te-awa de- 
fended themselves manfully against the superior 
force of the Nga-te-raukaua. Rauparaha is related 
to the latter, through his present wife ; but many 
others of his clan, amongst them E Hiko and 
Rangihiro, are more closely connected with the Nga- 
te-awa, and are unwilling to join Rauparaha in 
his enmity against them. On the morning of the 
affray Hiko had been sent for to prevent the battle. 
This chief is, ;tA by his father Tupahi (who visited 


England), related to the Nga-te-raukaua, and by 
his wife to the other tribes of the Nga-te-awa, and, 
from his relationship to both, is always chosen as 
peacemaker, for which office, moreover, he is well 
qualified by personal inclination and talent. In this 
case, however, he did not succeed, and soon returned 
to his own island. 

Such is man in his barbarous state! Though 
endowed with many good qualities, his charities are 
exclusively confined to his own tribe, which is, in 
fact, composed of his blood relations. His neigh- 
bours, inhabiting the same land and speaking the 
same language with himself, he generally regards 
as his natural enemies. 

Rauparaha soon left Evans's Island, in order to 
go to his own : he promised to come to the ship in 
the morning, after we had succeeded in quieting his 
fears as to the natives we had on board. 

The following morning I went to Waikanahi. 
The spot where the affray had taken place presented 
a mournful sight: sixteen of the tribe had been 
killed in the battle, and many severely wounded. 
I was almost the whole day occupied with the latter, 
who submitted with great fortitude to the operations 
which I found necessary. Only one man, whose 
leg was smashed to pieces, preferred death to ampu- 
tation. In bearing pain the New Zealander is cer- 
tainly not inferior to a European, although he does 
not show that stoical indifference to suffering so 
highly valued by the Indians of America. 


At our arrival on the beach we were welcomed 
with a salute of musketry, which continued until 
we entered the fencings of the pa. 

All the people of the village were assembled ; and 
though grief was expressed in every face, they re- 
ceived us with the greatest kindness and attention, 
and we were obliged to shake hands with everybody. 
They regarded us as friends and allies, for we had 
brought with us from Te-awa-iti some of their rela- 
tions ; and when they saw the medical men of our 
party giving assistance to the wounded, their con- 
fidence and gratitude were unbounded. Some of the 
women gave themselves up to violent expressions of 
grief, cutting their faces, arms, and legs, with broken 
muscle-shells, and inflicting deep gashes, from which 
the blood flowed profusely. We had brought with 
us E Patu, the son of a chief in East Bay, whose 
uncle had been killed in the battle. We found the 
widow standing on the roof of a hut, deploring in a 
low strain the loss of her husband. When E Patu 
approached she threw herself upon the ground, and, 
lying at his feet, related to him, in a funeral song, 
how great had been their happiness, how flourish- 
ing were their plantations, until the Nga-te-raukaua 
had destroyed their peace and bereft her of her 
husband. During this time E Patu stood before 
her, convulsively throwing his arms backwards and 
forwards, and joining in her lamentations. 

An old woman, bent down under the burden of 
many years, had her arms and face frightfully cut ; 


she was painted with red kokowai, with a wreath of 
leaves round her head, and gesticulated and sang in 
a similar manner. 

In this place there were no wounded, they had 
been carried to the principal and most fortified pa, 
which lies a little to the northward. This latter 
village was very large ; it stood on a sand-hill, and 
was well fenced in, and the houses were neatly con- 
structed. Everything was kept clean and in good 
order, and in this respect it surpassed many villages 
in Europe. The population seemed to be nume^ 
rous, and I estimated it, together with that of the 
first-mentioned village, and a third, about a mile 
higher up, to amount, on the whole, to 700 souls. 
Several native missionaries, some of them liberated 
Nga-te-awa slaves, live here ; and the natives had 
built a large house, neatly lined with a firm and 
tall reed, for their church and meeting-house. At 
the time of our visit they were expecting the arrival 
of a missionary of the Church of England from the 
Bay of Islands, who purposed living amongst them. 

The medical aid which they had given to their 
wounded was confined to binding the broken limbs 
with splints made of the bark of a pine, or of the 
strongest part of the flax-leaves, and carefully pro- 
tecting the wounds from external injury by means 
of hoops. Some of these bandages had been very 
well applied. 

I went to the beach on the following day to 
attend my wounded patients, and to visit the scene 


of battle. This was at the third village, and many 
traces of the strife were visible ; trenches were dug 
in the sand of the beach, the fences of the village had 
been thrown down, and the houses were devastated. 
I heard the following particulars relative to the 
cause and commencement of the contest : Several 
years ago the Nga-te-raukaua came from the in- 
terior, and formed a settlement on the sea-shore. 
The whole coast from Taranaki to Port Nicholson 
is a weather-beaten lee shore, and the only place 
where large ships can with safety anchor is the 
roadstead of Kapiti. Not satisfied with a settlement 
which they had formed at Otaki, they wanted to 
coine nearer to this place of anchorage, for the ad- 
vantage of trading, and their aim, during several 
years, has been to drive the Nga-te-awa from Wai- 
kanahi, which is opposite Kapiti. 

It seems that the attack was concerted a few 
weeks ago at some funeral festivities celebrated in 
the island of Mana, in honour of Waitohi, a very 
old woman, who had enjoyed great renown as a 
prophetess amongst the different tribes. She was 
a relation of Rauparaha, and mother of Rangi-haiata, 
another Nga-te-awa chief. At these festivities Nga- 
te-raukaua and Nga-te-awa had assembled together 
and committed some excesses by killing several 
sheep belonging to a European, for the sake of the 
wool, which is in great request for interweaving in 
their mats. These festivals lasted several weeks, 
and during that time it was said Rauparaha con- 


certed with the Nga-te-raukaua to make the attack, 
promising them his aid. On their return to Otaki 
they passed Waikanahi : the Nga-te-awa expected 
an attack ; however, they passed quietly, but re- 
turned shortly afterwards. Early before daybreak 
they surrounded the village, and one of their num- 
ber, entering a hut, asked a boy for a light. No 
New Zealander travels so early in the morning with 
friendly intentions, and the boy, knowing him to be 
one of their enemies, fired at him, and roused the 
tribe. The women escaped to the other village, to 
obtain aid, and the conflict began. The aggressors 
were defeated, and lost sixty men, amongst whom 
were several chiefs. 

The Nga-te-awa buried their own dead ; and the 
improved state of this tribe was shown by the fact 
that, instead of feasting on the dead bodies of their 
enemies, they buried them, depositing them in one 
common grave, together with their muskets, powder, 
mats, &c., a generosity and good feeling as unusual 
as it was honourable to their character. The grave 
of their enemies they enclosed, and made it " tapu." 

I saw in Kapiti some people of the Nga-te-rau- 
kaua tribe, who had intermarried with the Nga-te- 
awa, and lived there ; for it is a general custom that 
the husband resides with his wife among her own 
people. The country of the former tribe abounds 
with excellent flax, and they use it chiefly in the 
manufacture of the fine mats, called Kaitaka mats, 
which form the principal presents amongst them- 


selves, and are found all over New Zealand. The 
fibres of the Phormium tenax take the dye excel- 
lently ; and into the borders of these mats figures 
are woven, of thread dyed black and red, which very 
much resemble the figures in the ancient Mexican 
decorations, and are of a very firm texture. There 
is much intercourse between the European settlers at 
Kapiti and the natives at Otaki, the principal settle- 
ment of the Nga-te-raukaua, a trade being carried 
on between them in pigs and potatoes : and I must 
repeat my assertion that the hatred of the New 
Zealander is never directed against the white man, 
who may travel where he likes, and is -never molested 
unless his own misconduct give rise to a quarrel. 

CHAP. 1V.J 107 


Kapiti, or Entry Island. Mana, or Table Island. 

KAPITI the " Entry Island " of Captain Cook 
stretches from north to south in an irregular and 
somewhat oval shape. It consists of a ridge of hills, 
rising in some places to the height of 600 feet 
above the level of the sea, with some of its peaks of 
a pyramidical form. These hills descend abruptly 
to the westward and eastward, forming a rocky and 
nearly inaccessible shore throughout the greater 
part of its extent ; they are intersected by deep ra- 
vines, through which small rivulets descend towards 
the sea-shore. At the southern extremity the hills 
are more undulating, and their ascent not so steep ; 
and here the natives have their plantations. At the 
north-east end of the island the rock has been wasted 
and broken by the violence of the waves ; and its 
debris, mixed with sand, vegetable mould, and peb- 
bles of pumice-stone, of different colours, brought 
down by the Wanganui river from the active vol- 
cano Tongariro, in the northern island, forms an 
alluvium which girds the north-east end for about 
three miles, and is in some parts half a mile broad. 
In this beach there is a lagoon about a mile in cir- 
cumference, and only separated from the sea by a 


narrow strip of land. The water is brackish, in 
consequence of the sea, during heavy gales, being 
driven into it. The surrounding ground is some- 
what marshy, and is covered with Phormium tenax, 
several kinds of rushes, the manuka (which was, at 
the time of my visit, in full flower), and an orchi- 
daceous plant with fine flesh-coloured blossoms. 
The natives are acquainted with the farinaceous 
quality of the roots of this plant, and often eat 

Kapiti is about twenty-five miles in circumference. 
It belongs to the transition formation, and contains 
much ancient trap-rock : clay-slate rocks and grey- 
wacke are the most common. 

The whole island is covered with a very vigorous 
vegetation, mostly of trees, amongst which are fine 
timber-trees, especially the rata, kahikatea, and rimu. 
In the ravines and on the top of the hills there is 
a rich vegetable mould, where the plantations of 
potatoes, cabbage, turnips, and Indian-corn thrive 
well. Coarse grass of several kinds is found in 
some spots, affording, with the green bushes, food 
for a few head of cattle which were introduced into 
the island some years ago. 

From the limited extent of this island, as well as 
from its formation, it is of small agricultural or 
commercial importance. It perhaps, however, de- 
serves attention in a military point of view ; and, 
together with the three rocky islands at its south 
end, has for many years been a very important place 


for the chase of the black whale. In 1839 the pro- 
duce of the establishments on these islands was 466 
tuns of oil and thirty tons of whalebone, obtained by 
twenty-three boats ; of which six belonged to the sta- 
tion on Evans's Island ; two to that on Mayhew's, or 
Rauparaha's Island ; eight to two other stations at 
Kapiti ; and seven to two stations abreast of Mana. 
To this quantity must be added the tonguer's oil, so 
called from the man who " cuts-in the whale," for 
which he is allowed the oil of the tongue, of the 
heart, and of the intestines, for his own benefit. 
Including this, the whole quantity of oil may be 
stated at 500 imperial tuns. The management of 
these establishments, with the exception of that of 
Mr. Evans, has been on a very bad footing, as the 
whalers were paid in ardent spirits and bad slops, 
which were charged to them at exorbitant prices. 
Mr. Evans, who finds his men in everything, and 
pays them wages according to the quantity of oil 
they get, furnished one half of the above quantity of 
oil, and his establishment is in by far the best order. 
When I was on his island a whale was seen several 
miles off: in less than a minute several boats were 
launched and in full chase. Like all shore-whaling, 
however, that of Kapiti is on the decline, and I do 
not suppose that the establishment will be kept up 
much longer. 

The productions of the vegetable and animal king- 
dom in Kapiti are precisely the same as those found 
on the mainland. 


I have already remarked that there are a few head 
of cattle upon the island. They thrive well, and 
are claimed partly by Rauparaha, partly by E Hiko, 
to whom they were given as a present, or in charge, 
by Mr. Cooper of Sydney. Owing to the petty 
feuds amongst these people, and occasional sales to 
other parties, the stock has not increased, although 
there are pasture-grounds and food for a much larger 

Kapiti and the adjacent islands have been sold 
over and over again to different parties, and spots 
may be found to which half a dozen different per- 
sons lay claim. The chiefs sell their land as many 
times as they can, still finding hungry sharks ready 
to purchase, though not very liberal in their offers, 
who establish by these means some shadow of a 
claim. A future investigation into the land- titles 
will afford much work and profit to the lawyers. 

Fish of many kinds is taken at Kapiti in great 
abundance, and will become one day an important; 
article of commerce. We caught with the sieve 
large quantities of a curious fish, belonging to the 
genus Balistes, about a foot long, and with a rough 
parchment-like skin of a brownish colour, which 
our carpenter used in the place of sand-paper. The 
first ray of the dorsal fin moves in a curiously-formed 
joint, and the sailors ascribed to it a poisonous 
quality. The fish itself afforded a very wholesome 
and agreeable food. Herrings, mackerels, gurnets, 
flatfish, several kinds of skate, and a variety of other 
fish, may be caught here in any quantity. 


To the eastward of the southern end of Kapiti is 
the small island of Motu Narara. It is about three- 
quarters of a mile in circumference, and composed of 
soft yellow slate, which strikes from north-east to 
south-west, and dips to the south-east at an angle of 
about forty-five degrees. The vegetation is scanty, 
and confined to a few bushes of flax, or Euphor- 
bium, and a species of Linum with blue flowers. 
On the north of this rocky islet is a sandy beach, 
on which stand the houses of the Europeans em- 
ployed in whaling, and several huts of the natives. 

This island is separated only by a narrow channel 
from Kapiti, and opposite to it lies a little valley, 
where a rivulet has hollowed out a bed in a hard 
siliceous rock overlaid by clay-slate. At the outlet 
of the rivulet is a native village. The water in the 
channel is deep enough for a small vessel. 

Motu Narara possesses a spring of fresh water 
close to the sea-shore : it is, however, so small, that 
the natives generally procure their supplies from 

Separated from this island by a narrow and shal- 
low channel, lies Tauramoria, a barren hilly island, 
little more than a mile in circumference. It con- 
sists of clay-slate, and its shape is that of an obtuse 
cone. On its north-west side are some native huts ; 
amongst them that of Rauparaha : and on the south- 
east side is a whaling establishment. All these 
habitations stand on a narrow rocky beach which 
girds the island. *fs 


To the northward is Evans's Island, the smallest 
of all, and a mere bare rock, just large enough to 
contain the huts of the whalers ; but it is the most 
eligible place for that business. 

By these islands and the southern shore of Kapiti 
a roadstead is formed, sheltered from the prevailing 
north-west winds by Kapiti, and from the south- 
east winds by the three islets, and affording a safe 
anchorage for vessels. A ship coming from the north- 
ward, and passing between the mainland and Kapiti, 
can approach E Hiko's Island within about half a 
mile, taking care to keep clear of a reef near Evans's 
Island ; or may enter from the southward between 
Mayhew's and Evans's Islands in a clear channel. 

The island of Mana, situated twenty miles to 
the southward of Kapiti, was called by Captain 
Cook Table Island, from its appearance. It is about 
three miles in circumference, and is exactly opposite 
to the outlet of the Pararua River, at the distance 
of about a mile. Where trees formerly grew, in 
the hollows and indentations of the land, the soil 
is good; the rest is covered by fern, native and 
artificial grasses, and clover, which are all that can 
grow in the thin layer of vegetable earth that 
scarcely covers the yellow schistous clay of which 
the island consists. But this vegetation is suited 
for the pasture of sheep, of which there are about 
200 on the island, in very good condition. From 
this fact we may conclude that the hills of the same 
appearance around Port Nicholson are equally well 

CHAP. IV.] MANA. 113 

adapted for feeding sheep. Besides these sheep the 
island yields food to about thirty head of cattle, 
which were likewise in capital condition, and to 
some horses. Mana was sold some years ago to a 
Mr. Bell, who resold it to a Mr. Petersen in Sydney, 
under whom it was held by a German farmer. 
During our stay, however, it was the subject of a 
lawsuit, and was actually in the hands of two 
claimants, each of whom tried to ruin the other by 
selling the stock. The roadstead of Mana is a very 
bad one, being open to the south-east winds, with a 
strong tide setting in. 

During the month of October the weather was 
very moderate. The utmost daily range of the ther- 
mometer was between 52 and 67 Fahrenheit, when 
the wind blew from the N.W. or N.E. On the 
18th and 19th, the wind being from the S.E., the 
thermometer at eight in the morning indicated 50, 
and did not rise above 53 as long as the gale lasted. 
From the 20th to the 31st we had very strong 
breezes with frequent squalls from the N.W. The 
thermometer during that time never rose above 60, 
and never fell lower than 56. At night the tem- 
perature was seldom more than three or four degrees 
lower than in the day. In a word, the climate 
during this month was as moderate as any European 
could desire. Rains were frequent ; and almost 
continual winds kept the air pure and fresh. 

VOL. I. 

114 [PART i. 


Return to Queen Charlotte's Sound. West Bay. East Bay. 
Island of Arapaoa. 

WE left the roadstead of Mana on the 31st of Octo- 
ber with a N. W. breeze, and steered for the entrance 
of Queen Charlotte's Sound, in order to go into East 
Bay, as it is called by Captain Cook, where the 
Nga-te-awa tribe have several settlements. The 
agent of the New Zealand Company had purchased 
from those of this tribe who reside at Kapiti all 
their remaining claims to the land on both sides of 
Cook's Strait, and he was now proceeding to pur- 
chase the claims of those residing in East Bay. Te 
Patu, whom I have mentioned before, lives at East 
Bay, and we took him with us from Waikanahi to 
his own settlement. The wind was favourable, and 
we crossed the strait in a few hours. 

Before noon we had the Two Brothers on our 
larboard side : they consisted of rocks clothed with 
a thin vegetation. The sea breaks furiously against 
them, and access seems difficult. Seals have now 
almost disappeared from the coasts of New Zealand, 
but a few sometimes resort here : they do not, how- 
ever, escape the pursuit of man, who follows them 
into their most secluded retreats. At noon we were 


off Cape Komaru, a remarkably steep pyra. 
promontory, which cannot be easily mistaken, and 
may serve as a safe landmark for ships running into 
the north entrance of Cook's Straits. Off this pro- 
montory are the White Rocks, just above water, 
consisting of the usual yellow schist. The coast of 
Arapaoa, towards Queen Charlotte's Sound, is of a 
similar formation, with the same strike and dip. 
This part of the coast partakes in its general appear- 
ance of the character which I have assigned to the 
coast in Cook's Straits, being steep and barren. 
Nearly opposite the Two Brothers there is a small 
beach, called Kapiti Beach, where the natives often 
land when they are prevented from crossing the 
straits, and reach the head of East Bay by a short 
and easy walk. The natives of the latter place 
dread this spot, as from it they can be easily sur- 
prised by their enemies. A fear was entertained in 
Queen Charlotte's Sound that Tairoa, the chief from 
Otago, was about to attack the Nga-te-awa tribes ; 
and in East Bay the natives were fortifying their 
village against a surprise from Kapiti Beach. 

When the Tory first came to New Zealand we 
entered Queen Charlotte's Sound between Motuara 
and Te Katu, or Long Island. This time we left 
Te Katu on our starboard side, and I observed that 
the shores were steep and scantily covered with 
vegetation. A large ship followed in our track from 
Mana, and arrived in East Bay a little after the 
Tory had cast anchor. She proved to be the Con- 


116 EAST BAY. [PART i. 

cordia, the first ship sent out hy a Danish company 
for the southern whaling-fishery, which, if success- 
ful, will be followed by others of that nation, for- 
merly so active in the Greenland fishery. Amongst 
the nations engaged in the southern fishery the 
Americans rank first, as they employ annually 500 
vessels, of from 300 to 500 tons each ; the second 
place is held by the English, the number of whose 
vessels is, if I am rightly informed, 150 ; the French 
rank next, having not less than 140 ships. Besides 
these there are a few German vessels, chiefly from 
Bremen and Hamburgh. 

We cast anchor in East Bay, shortly after noon, 
near the island of Matapara, which is about the 
size of Motuara, and is in the shape of a cone. As 
soon as we had anchored the cutter was sent off into 
Naruawitu called by Captain Cook West Bay- 
to get a spar for a foreyard. I embraced the oppor- 
tunity to visit that bay, and, crossing the sound 
with a fine breeze, landed at the decline of day on 
the northern arm of West Bay. In Cook's chart 
this arm is very correctly laid down, with the ex- 
ception that it turns again to the left, and its actual 
head is separated from the southern arm only by a 
narrow ridge of hills. It seems that Cook did not 
explore the head of the bay. We found no suitable 
spar, and, the day being nearly gone, we took posses- 
sion of some empty huts, which a Mr. L/ove had 
built for the men employed in cutting timber, and 
splitting staves, of which 100,000 were lying on 

CHAP. V.] WEST BAY. 117 

the beach. Fine trees surround this bay ; and the 
flat land, which was about a square mile in extent, 
bore marks of former cultivation ; but the inhabit- 
ants have disappeared: they were the tribe called 
the Rangitane. All that remains of this once 
numerous people are a few slaves belonging to the 
Nga-te-awa, who live at the Oieri or Pylorus River. 
After a war of extermination the right to West 
Bay was made over to another tribe of Nga-te-awa, 
who have never occupied the spot. 

Our situation was not without the peculiar interest 
which an uninhabited land always excites in the 
mind. Behind and around us high steep and wooded 
hills towered over the bay in a semicircle. The 
night was extremely mild and calm ; the air singu- 
larly clear and transparent. The sonorous fluting 
call of the large parrots, varied by their harsh scream 
when, on a sudden alarm, they started over the tops 
of the hills, and then returned to rest, were the only 
sounds that broke the deep silence. The water of 
the bay was as smooth as glass ; for, being sheltered 
on all sides, it was unaffected by the winds which 
agitated the sea. Sometimes a parrot would perch 
on one of the trees embowering our huts, as if curi- 
ous to ascertain who had ventured to disturb his 
repose. During the night a solitary cry from one 
of these birds might be heard from time to time, 
after which everything again became quiet. The 
sweet song of the mako-mako, 1 which I can only 
1 Philedun Dumerilii, Lin 

118 WEST BAY. [PART i. 

compare to that of our nightingale, although I must 
confess that the former is simpler, and therefore 
more impressive, and the warbling of the tui, 1 
whose note resembles that of our thrush or black- 
bird, cease at the setting of the sun ; but in the 
morning, before he is above the horizon, the little 
songsters renew their music with increased vivacity, 
and their combined tunes form a pleasing concert. 
The only inconvenience we suffered was from the 
musquittos, which are always most numerous in 
places that have been cultivated but afterwards 
deserted. Early in the morning of the 2nd of 
November we again took to the boat, and ascended 
the southern arm of West Bay. This place has a 
beach of flat land, similar to that of the northern 
arm. Near the beach the land is swampy, and 
covered with juncese, but soon ascends, bordered by 
the neighbouring hills. Two rivulets of excellent 
water discharge themselves into the sea. There 
were many fine timber-trees, especially tawai and 
pines. While the carpenter and his mates were 
occupied in preparing a spar I went up the side of 
the hills. The forest is open ; deep layers of decayed 
leaves cover the rocks ; the growth of everything 
appeared most vigorous : indeed throughout the 
whole of New Zealand nature seems to be eager to 
destroy and to reproduce. Large trees, unrooted 
and decaying, were preparing new soil for their suc- 
cessors, which were just struggling into existence. 
1 Anthochaera concinnata, Vig. and Horsf. 


The peculiarly nourishing moisture of the soil dis- 
plays itself in some ferns, which have germinated 
on their parent plant. The forest was enlivened by 
many of the common birds, and I brought home one 
of a new species, called pio-pio. 1 We slept another 
night in the bush. After the spar had been got 
into the water it would not float, and we were 
obliged to lash it under the keel of our boat. 

West Bay is a very fine harbour, and, since good 
timber is found here, it would be a fit place for 
sawing-establishments, and for a village, whose in- 
habitants could with ease support themselves by 
cultivating the flat and available land. Fine sheep- 
walks are found on some of the open hills in the 

On the 7th of November I examined East Bay, 
which consists of three principal branches, on each 
of which are native settlements. East Bay is 
formed by the island of Arapaoa. One arm is op- 
posite Hokokuri, the native settlement in Tory 
Channel, and is called Otanarua. The hills ascend 
gently from the sea, with a small extent of flat land 
of about 400 acres at their base. We found about 
200 natives assembled there who had arrived from 
Hokokuri, to which place it takes about two hours 
to walk ; they had come over to settle about the 
sale of their land ; they have plantations here. The 
cabbage, which now abounds in Queen Charlotte's 

1 Turnagra crassirostris, G. R. Gray. Already depicted by 
Forster in his Icon. ined. t. 145. 


Sound, and which grows wild, was in blossom, and 
covered the sides of the hills with a yellow carpet. 
There are a number of plants in New Zealand 
which are exactly the same as in Europe. Many 
of them are indigenous, others have spread with the 
cultivation of European vegetables. Such are the 
cabbage, Plantago major, Alsine media, Sonchus 
oleraceous, Stellaria media, Rumex crispus, Urtica 
dioica, Cytisus bullosa, Anagallis arvensis. The 
Juncus maritimus, effusus, filiformis, Scirpus la- 
custris, Typha angustifolia, Potamogeton natans, 
Chenopodium glaucum, maritimum, and others, 
must be regarded as indigenous, and, perhaps, the 
Plantago major. 

On the beach were some huts, the occasional 
habitations of the wandering agriculturists. The 
beach itself is of a light soil. Higher up the hills 
the forest appears ; the trees, however, are not tall 
enough for ship-timber. 

At the head of East Bay is the village of Moku- 
peka, where we were well received, and presented 
with roasted potatoes, pork, and an excellent dried 
barracuda. This village stands on a spacious beach, 
surrounded by hills. Neatly planted taro and po- 
tatoes, kept free from weeds, ornamented the fields. 
The natives, when they dig the first crop of pota- 
toes, leave the small ones in the ground, which 
grow during the winter, and give an early harvest 
before Christmas. Our friendly host showed us, 
with great satisfaction, a field of wheat, which was 


in very good condition, and the seed for which 
Mr. Love had given him. This cove, although 
small, is one of the largest in Queen Charlotte's 
Sound. The sides of the hills appear to be very 
eligible for vineyards, as they are sheltered from 
the east and south winds. 

I next explored that branch of East Bay which 
stretches to the westward. It is as large as the 
one I had first examined, and is called Anahuko. 
There is a small native village here. On the 4th 
I traced my way over the hills to Te- a \va-iti, in order 
to see something of the interior of the island of 
Arapaoa. The track leads from a narrow beach up 
a very steep hill, just opposite the little island of 
Matapara. Some Europeans reside here during the 
summer, after the whaling season is over, for the 
purpose of procuring cheap pork and potatoes. It 
took me about two hours to reach Te-awa-iti. The 
hills are steep, covered with leptospermum, tall 
fuchsias with purple flowers, Edwardsias, and other 
shrubs. There are two kinds of Edwardsia in New 
Zealand, both of which have been introduced into 
England : they generally grow near the sea-shore, 
or by the banks of lakes or rivers. They belong to 
the leguminous plants, an order which is exten- 
sively spread in Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and 
the American continent. It is therefore more re- 
markable that none of the genera found in these 
countries are met with in New Zealand : but the 
order is represented here by genera peculiar to 

122 TE-AWA-ITI. [PART i. 

these islands ; namely, Edwardsia, Carmicliaelia, 
and Clianthus. There are two fuchsias here : one, 
the Fuchsia excorticata, forms a moderate-sized tree, 
and is very common ; the other, however, the Fuch- 
sia procumbens, is very rare, and at present is met 
with only in Wangaroa Bay, to the northward of 
the Bay of Islands. 

From the top of the hills I had a fine view over 
the whole sound. A deep inlet of the sea, looking 
like a majestic river bordered by hills, leads to the 
head of Queen Charlotte's Sound. In this fiord, as 
the Norwegians would call it, is a small island, 
bearing the traces of an ancient native fortification. 
I was prevented from visiting the head of this inlet, 
but ascertained that it is surrounded by a consider- 
able extent of flat and well-timbered land, and that 
a river of some size discharges itself into it. As I 
descended, the view opened upon the southern en- 
trance of Tory Channel and Cloudy Bay. 

This hill seems to have been the one which 
Cook ascended to take his survey of the sound, and 
on which he planted the union jack, and left some 
coins. Some stones were heaped up and fenced in, 
but I did not dare to disturb them, as my guide told 
me it was the burial-place of a chief. 

I found Te-awa-iti very empty, as the whaling- 
season was over, and the natives had followed 
Etipi, their chief, to Waikanahi, to assist in the 
war against the Nga-te-raukaua. Gardening had 
made some progress ; and all the seeds brought by 

CHAP. V.] KAP1TI. 123 

the Tory had sprung up, and the plants were in 
a thriving condition. 

A Scotch tailor, whose fate had driven him to 
Te-awa-iti, had voluntarily undertaken the duties of 
missionary, and the natives had built a house for 

Returning in a boat to East Bay, through Tory 
Channel, I visited on the way some other small 
bays, where natives reside with some few Europeans 
amongst them. 

The purchase of the claims of the Nga-te-awa 
tribes residing in East Bay to the land on both 
sides of Cook's Straits having been completed, on 
which occasion a general rush fortunately unat- 
tended by any serious consequences took place at 
the distribution of the various articles given in ex- 
change, we set sail for Kapiti, which we reached 
the following day, November llth. The natives 
were making preparations for hostilities, which 
it was expected would be renewed by the Nga-te- 
raukaua. Warepouri had arrived in Waikanahi 
from Port Nicholson, and also some people from 
Wanganui and Queen Charlotte's Sound, who had 
promised their aid if the Nga-te-raukaua should 
make another attack, which, however, they did not 
venture to do. 

[PART i. 


Northern Shore of Cook's Straite. 

OWING to contrary winds and cairn- ^re un- 

able to leave the roadstead of Kapiti until the ISth 
of November, when we weighed anchor and ran 
along the northern shore of Cook's Straits. From 
Waikanahi, the native settlement opposite Kapiti, 
this shore presents the aspect of low and irregular 
hummocks, either downs or covered with fern, and 
improving in fertility the farther they recede from 
the sea. This district is bordered, at a distance of 
three or four miles from the coast, by a wooded 
country, which rises gradually into ridges of moun- 
tains covered with snow during the winter season. 
These mountains, which do not exceed 3000 feet 
at their greatest height, belong to a congeries of 
hills running towards the centre of the island. 
They are of the same system of mountains as tl 
the picturesque ridges of which strike the beholder 
on first entering Port Nicholson, and which >hut 
in the view up the valley of the Eritonga. In the 
latter place they are called the Tararua, and their 
continuation into the interior the Rua-wahine. 
Both are distinguished by a chasm or cleft, which 
forms the valley of the river Manawatu. 


The outward shape of these mountains is very 
uniform ; they have everywhere the same longi- 
tudinal ridges, with narrow crests, here and there 
rising to a somewhat higher summit. The woody 
region reaches nearly to the top, and in many cases 
they are entirely covered by forest. At their sides 
these hills send off ramifications, which form ra- 
vines rather than valleys, from which small streams 
flow to the sea-coast. These mountains thus form 
a good geographical division, as from them on one 
side the waters run into Cook's Straits, from Port 
Nicholson to Cape Egmont, and on the other side 
to the east coast, into Hawke's Bay, or into the 
lake Taupo. The course of these rivers is short, 
rising as they do not far from the sea-coast ; and 
from their flowing between hills, which gjive them 
many tributaries, the violent rains often swell them 
suddenly, and the streamlet becomes a mountain- 
torrent. It then overflows the low alluvial land 
forming its banks, and carries with it the stems of 
large trees, especially pines, which either remain 
fixed in its bed, or are buried near the sea-coast 
when driven back and left dry by the tide. I con- 
sequently found a great deal of drift-wood at all 
the rivers, the quantity bearing little proportion to 
the size of the streams. Of these rivers may be 
mentioned the Waikanahi, the Wainiea, the Malm, 
the Wai-e-rongo-mai, the Waikewa, the Ohou, the 
Waiwiri, the Orewenua, and the Wai-te-rawm, 
which we passed in rapid succession. At the Wai- 


mea is stationed a large tribe of natives, the Nga-te- 
raukaua, whom I have already mentioned as the 
enemies of the Nga-te-awa. Their pa, or fortified 
village, is called Otaki. 

The river Manawatu is the longest of all these 
rivers. It takes its rise in the most elevated inland 
group of mountains, the Ruapahu. As is the case 
with all the rivers in Cook's Straits, the force of 
its waters is not strong enough to remove the sand 
which is thrown up at its mouth by the south- 
westerly and north-westerly winds ; and its depth 
over the bar is therefore only six feet at low water ; 
the tide rises eight feet. Its breadth at the mouth 
is about 300 yards at half-tide. 

From all the accounts which I received from the 
natives, both in Cook's Straits and in the interior 
of the country, the river Manawatu has a very wind- 
ing course ; in some places, after making a sweep 
of several miles, it returns within a quarter of a 
mile to the same spot, and in this manner forms 
paddocks of very fertile land, often clear, but in 
parts rich in many kinds of timber. Inside the bar 
the river deepens sufficiently to admit small vessels 
for about fifty miles. The natives of Taupo often 
descend it with their canoes to Cook's Straits. Its 
embouchure is, according to Captain Smith, in lat. 
40 27' 23" S. From this description it must be 
evident that it would be of great importance for the 
settlers in Cook's Straits to explore the Manawatu 
more accurately, especially as it is reported that 


from its upper part there is an easy communication 
with the Hauriri in Hawke's Bay, a river which is 
known to have very fertile land on its banks. 

About six miles from the mouth of the Mana- 
watu, the Rangitiki, a smaller river, likewise owing 
its origin to the Ruapahu, falls into Cook's Straits. 
It brings, as does also the Wanganui, a great quan- 
tity of pumicestone from the Tongariro, a volcano 
in the interior. 

To the westward of a line drawn from Otaki to 
the Ruapahu, and thence to Mount Egmont, the 
country is comparatively level. Across this district 
the Ruapahu rears its massy head to the height of 
about 9000 feet, and is covered with eternal snows. 

Several streams run into the sea between the 
Rangitiki and the Wanganui, but are smaller and 
of less importance : they are the Wai Patiki, the 
Waikanahi, the Wai Kopuka, the Mahora, the 
Turakina, the Wangaiho, and the Kaitoki. 

In the evening of the 18th, the natives whom we 
had taken on board and amongst whom was a fine 
young man, E Kuru; the son of the principal chief 
at Wanganui looked out in vain for the entrance 
>f the river of that name, which we intended to 
isit if large enough to admit the Tory. E Kuru 
was an intelligent fellow, but had never seen his 
native place from the deck of a ship. To add to 
the difficulty, the coast has a great sameness of ap- 
pearance, and the mouths of the different rivers 
present little peculiarity when viewed from the sea. 


Unable to find the mouth of the river, we stood off 
the land during the night, and on the following 
morning found ourselves to the northward of Wan- 
ganui, which we were unable to reach until the 
morning of the 20th ; for on approaching the coast 
we found that the water shoaled to a distance of 
about three miles ; and it was therefore thought 
advisable to send Mr. Barret, our pilot, to explore 
the entrance, and to convey E Kuru to his village. 
He afterwards reported the depth of water over the 
bar to be insufficient to admit the Tory, and we 
therefore stood again to the northward. As, how- 
ever, one of the Company's settlements has been 
formed at the mouth of this river, which is already 
inhabited by several hundreds of Europeans, I will 
give a few particulars regarding this place which I 
have gathered from different sources. 

The entrance to the Wanganui river, situated in 
latitude 39 55' 54" S., is half a mile broad, but 
at low water its depth does not exceed eight feet, 
so that it will only admit vessels of moderate bur- 
den. The largest craft that ever entered it was a 
vessel of 150 tons. The headlands of the river are 
low ; a spit of sand runs off the southern head, and 
the channel is near the northern. At low water 
the sea breaks across the bar. Inside the bar the 
river deepens, and is about 300 yards broad. Its 
banks here are low and sandy, and covered with 
driftwood and pumicestone, which the river brings 
down from its source, which is in the Tongariro. 


At a little distance from the sea-shore is an exten- 
sive flat covered with flax and fern ; farther up the 
banks become higher, and form cliffs consisting of 
a blue clay, with fossils, which, from all I have 
seen, I should judge to belong to the newest tertiary 
epoch. About thirty miles from the mouth the 
river is enclosed between the neighbouring hills, 
which are well wooded, and run towards the Ton- 
gariro. Near the latter, however, the country is 
again more open and flat, although much broken ; 
and the soil consists of pumicestone and tufa, as I 
shall hereafter describe when speaking of the in- 

A large tribe of natives live near the Wanganui, 
and possess several pas up the river. A station of 
the Church Missionary Society is now established 
amongst them, and the missionaries have succeeded 
in making several converts, but were unable to pre- 
vent two sanguinary battles which lately took 
place between this tribe and the natives from Taupo 
Lake. These latter are able to descend the Wan- 
ganui to Cook's Straits in their canoes from within 
a short distance of its source. 

We landed E Kuru ; and although we were un- 
able to enter the river, the possession of the district 
was secured for the New Zealand Company, having 
been obtained during our stay at Kapiti, wherfc the 
principal chiefs of Wanganui, who were then pre- 
sent at Waikanahi, had made the land " tapu " for 
the Company, on receiving some presents. 

VOL. i. K 


The coast from Wanganui to Cape Egmont pre- 
sents a cliff of moderate height, on the top of which 
the land is flat, and rises with a very gentle slope 
towards Cape Egmont. In many places layers of 
lignite are found in the cliffs. The whole district 
possesses great facilities for agriculture, being co- 
vered with flax and fern. The forest begins at some 
distance inland. 

The rivers along the coast from Wanganui are 
the Waitotara, about twenty miles to the north- 
ward, the Wenuakura, the Patea, the Tangahohi, 
the Waimate, and the Kakapuni, all of which are 
small. There are natives on the banks of all these, 
and Waimate is knowi as the place where, on the 
shipwreck of the barque Harriet, a fierce struggle 
ensued between the natives and Europeans, in which 
several men were killed on both sides. Although 
this conflict, according to all the accounts I could 
collect, was causi|d by the Europeans, Her Majesty's 
vessel Alligator' afterwards inflicted a severe and 
summary punishment on the natives. 

But to return to the Tory. We left the mouth 
of the Wanganui immediately after Mr. Barret had 
come on board. The weather looked threatening, 
and it soon blew a gale of wind. The whole coast 
from Kapiti to Cape Egmont, and thence to the 
northward, is a complete lee-shore, on account of 
the prevalence of north-westerly and south-westerly 
winds ; a heavy swell sets towards the coast, and, as 
the sea to a great distance from the shore has only 
little depth, ships are obliged to keep a good offing. 

CHAP. VII.] 131 


Taranaki, or Mount Egmont. 

ON the 22nd of November we obtained the long- 
wished-for view of Mount Egmont, and also of the 
Ruapahu, both of which were to a great extent co- 
vered with snow. But they were soon again hid 
from our view ; and it was only on the 27th of No- 
vember, after having experienced much bad weather 
and several severe gales, that we anchored to the 
northward of the Sugarloaf Islands, about two miles 
from the shore. Soon after we had cast anchor a 
waterspout rose not far from us. The weather had 
now begun to clear up ; and I scrutinized the sides 
and lofty summit of Mount Egmont, which, once 
thrown up by the mysterious fires of the deep, was 
now apparently in a state of repose, to discover whe- 
ther there was any possibility of ascending it, an 
indertaking which had never yet been achieved. 

We had brought from Port Nicholson one of the 
>rincipal chiefs, Tuarau, who was delighted to see 
,he land of his birth and to assist the Company's 
agent in the purchase of it. Our boat, which was 
sent ashore, was unable to land on account of the 
surf, but brought back two natives who had plunged 
into the foaming sea and swum to it. The meeting 



on our deck between them and Tuarau was almost 
solemn ; they did not utter a word, and struggled to 
conceal the deep feelings which evidently agitated 

Our anchorage was not regarded as safe ; and as 
the continual gales of the last few days had left a 
heavy swell, which made communication with the 
shore difficult and hazardous, it was determined that 
the Tory should proceed on her voyage to the north- 
ward, and that Mr. Barret should remain in Taran- 
aki to keep possession of the land for the New Zea- 
land Company. I immediately resolved to stay with 
him, and we landed on the morning of the 28th. I 
could not have found a better opportunity for exa- 
mining a district so little known, and determined to 
occupy the time until the return of the Tory in as- 
cending Mount Egmont, which I expected would 
prove in more than one respect an interesting and 
profitable achievement. I must mention that Mr. 
Barret had lived for several years near the Sugar- 
loaf Islands, prior to the period when almost all the 
original natives yielded, after a long-continued con- 
test, to the tribe of the Waikato, who live about 
sixty miles to the northward. The natives of Ta- 
ranaki migrated to the eastward, and settled on both 
sides of Cook's Straits, and especially at Kapiti, Port 
Nicholson, and Queen Charlotte's Sound. Only a few 
remained, who could not be persuaded to leave the 
land of their forefathers, for which, indeed, all mi- 
grated tribes evince the greatest predilection, and 


cherish the hope that, by the help of the European 
colonists, they will one day be able to return and 
recover their lost territory. Since the removal of 
the majority, the small remnant of the original na- 
tives of Taranaki had lived a very agitated life, often 
harassed by the Waikato, and seeking refuge on one 
of the rocky Sugarloaf Islands, at times dispersed 
into the impenetrable forest at the base of Mount 
Egmont, sometimes making a temporary truce with 
their oppressors, but always regarded as an enslaved 
and powerless tribe. They could not, however, be 
induced to join their relations, and the reader can 
well imagine with what joy they hailed the arrival 
of their old friend Barret, and how they cherished 
the hope of rising from the degradation in which 
they had lived for so long a time, and again becom- 
ing an independent tribe. 

We landed to the northward of Paretutu, or 
Sugarloaf Point, a dome-like cone of trachitic por- 
phyry, which rises to about 300$feet, and stands 
quite by itself. We turned our whale-boat over, 
and made preparations for passing the first night 
under it. 

As soon as we had landed the Tory weighed her 
anchors, and, with a favourable breeze, was soon out 
of sight. 

On the beach, from which large sand-hills here 
rise, I picked up many specimens of the neat and 
delicate shells Spirula australis. 

The land near the beach is, in some parts, covered 


with shrubs ; in others the loose sand has here and 
there acquired some solidity from the roots and fibres 
of a running carex, which is the first preparatory step 
to its becoming fit for other plants. In several 
places behind these sand-hills lagoons of fresh water 
are found, which abound with ducks, but contain no 
other fish than some large eels, in order to catch 
which the natives formerly cut through the sand- 
hills and emptied the lagoon. Round these lagoons 
the vegetation was very rich, and amongst the shrubs 
was the handsome Apeiba australis, which I observed 
here for the first time. 

Towards Sugarloaf Point large boulders, all 
consisting of volcanic rocks of apparently an old 
date, as basalts, greenstones, trachyte, augitic rock, 
&c., were cemented together into an extremely solid 
conglomerate, which appeared to extend like a stream 
of lava from Mount Egmont into the sea, but can- 
not be traced far. Where the water washes these 
rocks the conglomerate is peculiarly hard, and this 
is caused by a chemical action of the salt water, 
either on the particles of the iron pyrites, with which 
several of the rocks abound, and which often cover 
the pebbles with a metallic crust, or else on the 
black titanic iron-sand which is found on the beach. 
In some places this chemical action is accompanied 
by the development of a good deal of heat, which is 
perceived where, at the retiring tide, the sea leaves 
ponds of water between the rocks. A strong smell of 
sulphuretted hydrogen gas may also be observed about 


a mile from high-water mark. The natives have a 
whimsical story of an "atua" (spirit), who they say 
was drowned here, and is still undergoing decom- 

In some places the sandy downs at a little distance 
from the shore are covered with a hard crust of 
oxydated iron-clay, which forms the most fantastic 
shapes of tubes, saucers, &c., evidently owing to the 
oxydation of the particles of iron in the sand by 
water and air, and subsequent adhesion to each other. 
All this interested me much, proving a former ex- 
tensive activity of volcanic powers, the centre of 
which was Mount Egmont, situated at a distance of 
twenty-five miles ; its' summit afforded me a never- 
failing object of attraction when it was free from 
clouds, or when the morning or evening sun gilded 
its snowy summit with a rosy hue. 

Aqueous formations were visible on both sides 
of Sugarloaf Point ; they consisted of cliffs of yel- 
low clay, and in some places contain formations not 
of coal or lignite, but of wood, embedded in dis- 
coloured blackish earth. Towards Mokau these 
formations are especially visible, and form every- 
where one of the most remarkable features in the 
geology of New Zealand. Elevated about ten feet 
above the level of the sea, they consist, according to 
all that I could ascertain, of the remains of trees 
belonging to species still existing in the island, and 
are an indubitable proof that an elevation of the 
land above the level of the sea has taken place at a 


period when the same vegetation existed as at pre- 
sent. I never found any remains of animals in these 
formations, which are however irregular and inter- 

It is a question of great interest to geologists, to 
what cause is to be ascribed the formation of those 
extensive coal-fields which form the principal source 
of our industry, whether they have taken their rise 
from the submersion of a whole forest, or the float- 
ing of uprooted timber into estuaries of the sea or 
lakes, or whether they are due to the submersion of 
peat-beds. Guided by the principle that the former 
epochs in the earth's history can be best deciphered 
by studying her present aspect and the alterations 
which are going on before our eyes, I have arrived 
at the opinion that our coal-formations were for- 
merly peat ; that the timber which is deposited in 
estuaries or inland lakes will ultimately become lig- 
nite, or brown coal, which has lost scarcely any of 
the qualities of wood. A river which brings vast 
masses of wood to the sea must of necessity deposit 
them in a very unequal manner, mixed with allu- 
vium of various descriptions, and must imbed in this 
formation such testaceous animals as are living near 
the spot. Such is the case at present with the New 
Zealand rivers ; such are the lignitic formations 
which we observe at present above the level of the 
sea in this country ; and of the same nature are the 
mines of lignite which are worked in many parts of 
Germany. Will anybody contend that it is pos- 




sible by any agency whether by the pressure of a 
superincumbent formation, or by igneous causes from 
below, or by both agencies combined to convert that 
mixture of trees and earthy or mineral substance into 
the homogeneous substance which is spread out in 
such regular stratifications, and which we call coal ? 
I, for my part, cannot credit the possibility of such 
a change. It is different with peat, which occupies 
large tracts in the countries out of the tropics, very 
often in horizontal and equal layers, and which we 
see imbedding trees in an upright position. If arti- 
ficially compressed it resembles coal far more than 
does any lignitic substance that I have ever seen. 
I have brought specimens of peat from the Chatham 
Islands, taken from a layer not in actual formation, 
but covered by a loamy earth several feet in thick- 
ness. In these specimens, which it was evident were 
formerly pure peat, I can observe a conchoidal frac- 
ture and lustrous appearance greatly resembling 
coal, whilst in other parts of the same specimen the 
gradual transition from true peat is evident. I am 
well aware that eminent geologists have contended 
for the double origin of coal, and others will only 
admit the simple one from wood; but they will, 
probably, come to a different conclusion if they turn 
their attention more to present processes, and divest 
their minds of preconceived ideas regarding a differ- 
ence of phenomena in former days. 

One of the Sugarloaf Islands also consists of 
aqueous deposits, namely, yellow and soft sandstone. 


But the rest of these islands are steep and conical 
masses of a greyish trachite, containing much feld- 
spar, with scarcely any vegetation on them beyond 
the Phormium tenax, Mesembryanthemum australe, 
Pteris esculenta, Peperomia d'Urvillei, Microcalia 
australis, epacris, linum, &c. Numerous seaweeds 
float at their base, amongst which were the Lamina- 
ria flabelliformis, Sargassum carpilli folium, Margi- 
naria urvilliana, &c. 

I found about twenty natives near Sugarloaf 
Point ; the place seemed only a fishing station : 
the remainder of the Taranaki tribes lived either on 
concealed potato-plantations, or farther south near 
Cape Egmont. On our arrival being known, they 
assembled around Mr. Barret, and with tears wel- 
comed their old friend. In a singing strain of la- 
mentation they related their misfortunes and the 
continual inroads of the Waikato. The scene was 
truly affecting, and the more so when we recollect 
that this small remnant had sacrificed everything to 
the love of their native place. I perceived in the 
evening how much they stood in dread of the Wai- 
kato. A fire had been observed in the direction of 
Kawia, and the fear that the Waikato were again 
on their way to Taranaki kept them awake during 
the greater part of the night. 

The principal village of the Taranaki natives for- 
merly stood a little to the westward of Sugarloaf 
Point. Besieged by the Waikato, who had come 
in great numbers from Kawia, they effectually kept 


them at bay, with the help of Mr. Barret and eight 
other European traders, who at that time lived with 
them in the village. Three pieces of cannon in their 
possession made great havoc amongst the Waikato. 
The exasperation on both sides was great, and the 
prisoners captured at occasional sorties were de- 
voured. The Waikato at last raised the siege and 
returned to Kawia; nevertheless the Nga-te-awa 
resolved to quit the district, and, 2000 in number, 
they started together with the Europeans. This 
took place in November,, 1832. At a second attack 
the Waikato destroyed the pa, of which now scarcely 
any vestige remains, with the exception of the 
fosses; the cannons had been spiked by the Nga- 
te-awa on their departure, and were still lying on 
the beach. 

South of Sugarloaf Point to Cape Egmont and 
Waimati, the country, as I ascertained from many 
subsequent excursions, slopes very slowly from Mount 
Egmont to the sea-coast. In fact, the country is so 
level round the base of Mount Egmont that the latter 
seems almost to rise immediately from the plain. The 
coast forms a cliff of moderate height, and consists 
of a yellowish sandy loam an excellent substratum 
for a rich mould which covers the top, and which 
increases in depth towards the foot of the mountain. 
Near the sea-shore the soil is light, intermixed with 
sand. In general the land for three or four miles 
from the coast is open, and covered with a uniform 
vegetation, especially of flax or fern ; in the little 


dales, however, are groves of trees, or swamps covered 
with bulrushes and reeds. 

A countless number of small streams here dis- 
charge themselves into the sea : scarcely a mile 
was passed without our crossing a streamlet, which 
was sometimes knee-deep. They came from Mount 
Egmont, or from several small lagoons situated be- 
tween it and the coast. 

The Sugarloaf Islands are five in number: the 
three nearest the shore are Pararaki, Paparoa, and 
Mikotai ; then Moturoa ; and afterwards Motuma- 
hanga, which is the outermost. Besides, there are 
some rocks and reefs. The native name for them, 
as well as for the whole district near Sugarloaf 
Point, and for the tribe formerly living near them, 
is Nga Motu the Islands. 

To the northward of Sugarloaf Point are three 
small creeks the Huatoki, the Enui, and the Wai- 
wakaio. Everywhere on their banks are traces of 
former cultivation and of native villages, but now no 
one lives here : thus the finest district in New Zea- 
land is almost uninhabited a sad instance of the 
mutual hatred existing among savage clans. 

The natives could not understand what induced 
me to ascend Mount Egmont ; they tried much to 
dissuade me from the attempt, by saying that the 
mountain was " tapu," that there were ngarara 
(crocodiles) on it, which would undoubtedly eat 
me ; the mysterious bird " moa," of which I shall 
say more hereafter, was also said to exist there. 


But I answered that I was not afraid of these crea- 
tions of their lively imagination, and that if they 
wanted large payment for their land I must first go 
and look at it; that it was possible though not 
very probable that the monikoura (money-gold) 
was found on the mountain, and that if, through 
their refusing to provide me a guide, I was the first 
to reach the summit, I would make the mountain 
" tapu " for myself, according to their own law. 
An old Tohunga, or priest, was therefore persuaded 
to show me the way as far as he knew it, and with 
him, and an American man of colour, I started on 
the 3rd of December. Tangutu-na-Waikato, as 
the worthy priest was called, was particularly qua- 
lified for the office of guide on this expedition. In 
the wars between the Nga-te-awa and Waikato, the 
latter had carried away his two wives into slavery ; 
he himself escaped to the mountain, where they were 
unable to find him. There he lives by himself, as 
all his kindred are gone, and cultivates small patches 
in the impenetrable forest, which supply him with 
food. The Waikato often chased him, but he was 
always fortunate enough to escape. The old man 
was renowned for his skill in the arts and the 
mystic lore of a priest of his nation, and had lately 
become a zealous missionary ; and although he 
almost invariably kept his puka puka (hymn and 
prayer books) upside down when he pretended to 
sing his psalms or read the service, yet what he 
sung and said pretty nearly corresponded with the 


text, as he knew the books by heart. A mat of 
his own manufacture, as he had no female to work 
it for him, was his only-- -dress ; a hatchet his only 
weapon. We did not take much provision with us, 
as the party in Nga Motu had little to spare, and 
as we had no means of carrying it. I trusted to my 
gun and to the stores of Tangutu in the bush. 

Our road led us along the beach to the north- 
ward. We crossed the Huatoki and Enui creeks, 
and then turned into the interior over the downs 
and hillocks of the coast, which were covered with 
fern and flax, overshadowed here and there by a 
picturesque ti (Dracaena australis). About two 
miles from the coast we came into a low shrubby 
forest, where the soil consisted mostly of a very dark 
vegetable mould. Tangutu had here cleared a place 
in the middle of the bush, where he had formed a 
clean and well- weeded garden, planted with potatoes, 
taro, onions, water-melons, and pumpkins. Not far 
from this point we crossed the river Waiwakaio, a 
rapid but not very deep stream, with a broad and 
pebbly bed, all the pebbles consisting of hard and 
blue trap-rock. About a mile farther we passed 
another deep creek the Mangorake, a tributary of 
the Waiwakaio, where my guide had another potato- 
field. The forest consisted generally of tawai ; 
here and there might be seen a majestic Rimu pine, 
or rata, bearing crimson flowers. There were many 
arborescent ferns, and in the deepest shade grew the 
Nikau palm (Areca sapida). Sometimes we came 


to an open spot, several square miles in extent, 
probably cleared by natives, but now grown over 
with the highest Phormirm tenax I ever saw. The 
leaves in many instances were twelve, and the flower- 
stalks twenty, feet long ; their flowers contain a kind 
of sweet liquid in considerable quantities, the ex- 
traction of which forms a favourite occupation among 
the New Zealand children. The cryptogamous 
plants, ferns, jungermanmas, and mosses, bear in 
New Zealand rather an undue proportion to the 
phanerogomous a circumstance which is unfavour- 
able to the rearing of bees. I am not aware that 
there is any native bee in New Zealand, but in cer- 
tain seasons the European bee would find a great 
quantity of honey and wax in the Phormium tenax. 
Bees have been introduced into New Zealand from 
New South Wales : my excellent friend, the Rev. 
Richard Taylor, at Waimate, had a hive, and they 
were thriving remarkably well ; but in that neigh- 
bourhood many European plants had been intro- 

The country began now to rise a little, but the 
elevation was so slight as to be scarcely perceptible. 
Everywhere vegetation appeared most vigorous, and 
the primeval forest was often almost impenetrable, 
on account of thick creepers, and the thorns, tata- 
ramoa (rubus), of which several species are found, 
and which tore our hands and faces severely. We 
scarcely ever obtained a view of the sun, and the 
shade of the trees produced a delightful coolness, 


although the thermometer in open places rose to 
90, and at six in the evening on a hill it stood at 
80. We did not see many birds, and I need scarcely 
repeat that the most perfect silence reigned through 
the forest. Although we walked on a track, it was 
one visible only to the eyes of Tangutu ; and it was 
not until after much practice that I could distin- 
guish, in the turning or the pressure of a leaf, indi- 
cations that the path had ever been trod by mortal 
feet. My guide went patiently forward, carrying a 
heavy load for me, without a murmur, although a 
priest and a person of consequence among his own 
people. We soon came to another potato-field of 
Tangutu, where he had a house ; he here entered the 
forest, and quickly returned with some fern-root and 
some dried shark which he had concealed, and which 
greatly increased our scanty stock of provisions. In 
consequence of the insecurity of their persons and 
property, it is very usual with the Taranaki natives 
to have plantations of this sort in the forest, which 
are often known to the proprietor alone, and to 
which he can fall back in times of need. Frequently 
Tangutu would on a sudden make me stop on the 
way, and, entering the forest, would return either 
with a dried fish, or with some oil, contained in a 
dilated joint of kelp, with which he would grease 
his dark and glossy hair ; sometimes he brought a 
handful of leeks, which were always welcome. 

At sunset we arrived at the cleared summit of a 
hill, where we found several houses for provisions, 


which are always built on posts, to guard against 
the rats, and also two other houses. A thick forest 
surrounded this place on all sides. The plantations 
of potatoes, all belonging to Tangutu, and planted 
with his own hands, were in tolerably good order. 
There was no want of provisions ; and pigeons, pota- 
toes, leeks, taro, cabbage, turnips, and the young 
shoots of Sonchus oleraceus were all at our command. 
Before it was quite dark, flights of the Austral 
Nestor passed over our encampment, shrieking in a 
dismal manner, and alighted for a moment on one 
of the dead trees at the skirt of the forest, to watch 
with a stupid curiosity what was going on below ; 
but they soon became quiet, with the rest of the in- 
habitants of the forest. In the twilight there was 
also a small bat flying about, but I did not succeed 
in shooting one. During the day a sandfly (ngamu), 
a tipula, is very troublesome in New Zealand, 
especially near the sea-shore; and, diminutive as 
they are, they are perhaps the most bloodthirsty 
animals that exist, attacking all the exposed parts 
of the body. With the last ray of the sun they all 
disappear, but are immediately replaced by the mus- 
quittos, which, however, are numerous only in par- 
ticular spots, such as the cleared places of the forest. 
We had taken our abode in an old house, where 
the rats ran over us all night, and two species of 
smaller animals, not to be named to ears polite, 
were by no means scarce. An old native house is a 
hotbed for all this vermin, and after this night's 
VOL. i. L 


experience I always preferred sleeping in the open 
air, or under my own tent, which I found by far 
the most comfortable. 

Before sunrise on the 4th of December the ther- 
mometer stood at 44. We took an east-south-east 
direction, and after descending the hill we had to 
pass a large creek flowing to the eastward. Our 
road lay over gently undulating hills, which were 
covered with a dense forest. The cabbage-palms 
were the highest I ever saw. We passed several 
other streams, and at noon halted at another plant- 
ation belonging to our guide. He rested here 
during the day to arrange our provisions for the 
continuance of the journey. This field was situated 
at the side of a river, which rolled over a pebbly 
and rocky bed, and was canopied by the trees on 
its banks. From the high tawai-trees 1 a graceful 
moss hung down in long festoons. This creek was 
the Mangorake, which we passed the day before. 

The temperature here at noon was 91 in the sun 
and 72 in the shade, and I found the heat very 

I could not prevail upon Tangutu to start the 
next morning, as this was his last plantation. The 
sky was overcast, and he said that the weather 
would be bad for several days. We had some dried 
shark and potatoes, with maize, but not sufficient 
to last us many days. Birds are everywhere scarce, 
and too small to be worth powder and shot. One 
1 Leiospermum racemosum. 


bird that I found here is of a new species ; it is 
called E Ihi, and belongs to the class of the honey- 
eaters. 1 Another bird, the tierawaki (Jcterus *- 
fiiator, Less.), is very common. It is as large as a * V* 
blackbird, of a jet-black plumage, with red-brown 
coverlets of the wings and tail. It has two small 
orange-coloured appendages at the base of the beak. 
This bird is seen on the lower branches of trees, is 
very lively, and has a loud penetrating note. It 
always screams when anything attracts its atten- 
tion- huei, huei, tierawak, tierawak. It feeds prin- 
cipally on fleshy berries, but also on coleopterous 

Pouring rain lasted during this and the follow- 
ing day. On the afternoon of the 7th, the weather 
having somewhat cleared up, we started, but had 
not proceeded far before the rain again compelled 
us to halt. It must be observed that travelling 
through the bush in New Zealand is rather a 
scrambling affair, and with a load is very fatiguing, 
and cannot be kept up for a long time. Fifteen 
miles I considered a very good day's work, even in 
the open parts of the island. We took up our 
quarters under the shelter of a rata-tree. 2 Seve- 
ral species of the kind to which this enormous 
tree belongs were common ; but the pukatea was 
the most frequent. I was roused in the night by 
the psalm-singing of old Tangutu, who could not 
sleep, and was probably afraid that Atua was de- 

1 Ptilotis cincta, Dub. 2 Metrosideros robusta. 



termined to oppose our ascending the sacred moun- 
tain by means of the bad weather which had now 
set in. 

On the 8th we several times crossed the Mango- 
rake. Its banks are steep, and from one of them 
Tangutu dug out a titi : this bird, a Procellaria, or 
mutton-bird as it is commonly called, has many 
peculiarities. In the month of December it comes 
from the sea to the mountains inland, especially 
to the fore-hills of Mount Egmont. Here the 
female, which is at that time very fat, but after- 
wards becomes thin and emaciated, lays one egg, 
which is remarkably large for the size of the bird. 
Instead of building a nest, she deposits and covers 
over her egg in a deep channel under the roots of 
trees, or at the sides of a cliff, and never leaves the 
place until the egg is hatched. The natives believe 
that during this period the female takes no food, 
and have accordingly named it " the bird of one 
feeding" (e manu wangainga tahi). 

On the 9th we travelled for some time on the right 
bank of the Waiwakaio river, which is the largest 
of those that take their rise on the northern side 
of Mount Egmont. Although of very unequal 
depth, it is a true mountain-stream ; it rolls over 
a broad bed of boulders and pebbles, and often rises 
suddenly when the snow melts, or when the rain 
has been heavy. Its banks were moderately ele- 
vated ; on their top the land was flat, and the whole 
was covered with forest of the wildest and most 


primeval aspect. We passed numerous tributaries 
of this river, some of which were of considerable 
depth, owing to the late rains, which had also 
formed stagnant pools between the roots of the old 
trees. At one place Tangutu conducted us into 
the bed of the river, whence we had the satisfaction, 
for the first time since we had entered the forest, 
of seeing Mount Egmont, which rose to the south- 
by-west, covered with snow, but its summit hid in 
the clouds. The dense forest on both sides of the 
river formed, as it were, a framework to the pic- 
ture. My guide suddenly stopped at the bank near 
this point, and, clearing away with his hatchet a few 
of the young tawai-trees, chanted some hymns, and 
begged of me to read a chapter from St. Paul's 
Epistle to the Romans. On my asking the reason 
of this sudden procedure, he told me that many 
years ago, going with a party to fetch kokowai 
(red ochre) from the foot of the mountain, they 
had been surprised at this spot by a party of 
Waikato, and that in the struggle which ensued 
his mother had been killed. He had never, he 
said, visited that spot without paying a tribute to 
her memory. 

We stopped for the night on a low island in the 
Waiwakaio, called Waiwiti, grown over with kahi- 
katoa (Leptospermum), intermixed with a junceous 
plant, the Hamelinia veratroides of Achille Richard 
(Astelia Banksii), the seeds of which form the food 
of the kiwi and weka (Apterix Australis and Ral- 


lus Australis). The island bore evident marks of 
being frequently overflowed, as large stems of drifted 
trees were collected on it. The river Waiwakaio 
is extremely well adapted for the application of 
water-power to manufactories and mills ; and the 
whole district of Taranaki, as far as I have yet seen, 
rivals any in the world in fertility, beauty, and fit- 
ness for becoming the dwelling-place of civilised 
European communities. 

Our provisions grew very scanty ; and when on 
the following day the sky was again overcast, and 
the rain poured down in torrents, I almost gave up 
the hope of ever reaching the summit of Mount 
Egmont, especially as Tangutu now frequently lost 
all trace of the right direction. We proceeded, 
however, along the left bank of the river, wet to the 
skin. The trees over which we had to clamber were 
extremely slippery, and, although they preserved their 
outward shape, we often sunk knee-deep into their 
soft and decayed substance. To appease our hun- 
ger we had nothing but the young shoots of a fern, 
or the mucous undeveloped leaves of the Cyathea 
medullaris ; these, with the heart of the cabbage-palm, 
and, in open spots, the roots of the Pteris esculenta, 
are, generally speaking, the only eatables that can 
be obtained in a New Zealand forest. The rain had 
made my gun useless a matter, indeed, of less con- 
sequence, as there was no game, and very few of 
the smaller birds. The confidence shown by these 
birds proved that they are not often disturbed by 


the approach of man. The boldest was a fly- 
catcher l of an ashy colour, which hopped con- 
tinually over the rotten trees, searching for insects. 
It builds its nest on the lowest branches of small 
trees, where they join the stem, and constructs it 
neatly of moss, lining it inside with the soft and 
villous cover of the young undeveloped leaves of the 
Cyathea medullaris. 

The rain continued during the 10th and llth, 
and all our provisions were gone. We could pro- 
cure no dry wood to make a fire ; we had no tent 
with us, and got but little shelter from the trees. 
During these nights the forest assumed a beautiful 
appearance : the fallen trees, and almost the whole 
surface of the ground, sparkled in a thousand places 
with the phosphorescence of the decayed matter ; 
we seemed to have entered the illuminated domain 
of fairy-land. 

When the weather cleared up we determined to 
return, abandoning, for the present, the attempt to 
reach the summit of the mountain. Taking a dif- 
ferent track from that by which we had come, we 
again stood on the sea-shore on the evening of the 
15th of December. 

During our absence plenty had reigned at Nga 
Motu : the natives had daily gone out fishing, and 
the quantity of fish they took was so great, that 
they were enabled to dry large numbers in the sun 
for store. Pigs and potatoes had also been brought 
1 Miro longipes, Less. 


from the southward. A Waikato chief, with his 
followers, had come on a friendly visit from Kawia, 
and there was apparently a good understanding 
between them and the natives at this place. The 
abundance of food enabled me to start again on the 
19th, determined, at all hazards, to accomplish the 
ascent of the mountain. I persuaded E Kake, one 
of the chiefs, to accompany me, who took a slave 
with him, and sent on before a female slave to one 
of his plantations which lay in our route, with an 
order to prepare maize-cakes for us to carry as pro- 
visions. The companions of my last trip again 
accompanied me, and our party was joined by Mr. 
Heberley, a European, who had come with us 
from Te-awa-iti, where he had lived for several years 
as a whaler, and who was most expert in find- 
ing his way through all the difficulties attending 
such an expedition as this. This time I was more 
fortunate. Although we took a different route, in 
order to obtain provisions at the settlements of E 
Kake, in four days we reached our last halting- 
place at the foot of the mountain. We had to 
walk for some distance along the rocky bed and 
through the icy water of the Waiwakaio ; but not- 
withstanding the force of its rapid current, which 
often threatened to throw us down, we heeded not 
the difficulty, as we had the gratification of seeing 
the summit of the mountain directly before us. 
We climbed at last up a ridge rising on the left 
bank of the river, and running in a north-east 


direction from Mount Egmont. This ridge is very 
narrow, and forms, towards the river, a sharp es- 
carpment ; nor was it without some difficulty that 
we reached its crest. Higher up is a frightful pre- 
cipice, close to the edge of which we had to walk. 
Lying down, we looked over into the deep gorge, 
which appeared to have been split asunder by vol- 
canic agency, and to have been hollowed out more 
and more by the action of the river. This ridge 
was still covered with wood; but, as we ascended, 
the trees gradually became less lofty, and soon gave 
way to stunted shrubs. Low and crooked pines, 
especially totara and miro, and the manuka, gave 
a character to the vegetation as affiliated kinds of 
trees do to the mountain-crests of Europe. I found 
one plant of a new pine two feet high, and very 
much resembling the Taxus baccata of Europe. 
The thermometer rose during this day to 76, and 
when we halted in the evening, shortly before sun- 
set, it stood at 61, but fell immediately afterwards 
to 51, and the cold became very severe : our alti- 
tude was about 5500 feet. We prepared to rest 
amidst the stunted and dwarfish shrubs, amongst 
which I observed the Dracophyllum rosmarini- 
folium, Solidago arborescens, and several other 
compositous plants. We were able to obtain suf- 
ficient fire-wood a little way down the sides of the 
ridge, where we found many bleak and dry stems 
of large dimensions. 

The escarpment which I have mentioned con- 


sisted of a blue basaltic lava, overlaid to the depth 
of from ten to fifteen feet by a formation of frag- 
mentary rocks, boulders, and pebbles, which, how- 
ever, I could not accurately examine. 

Scarcely any birds were to be seen at this height : 
the cry, however, of the parrots re-echoed from the 
woody gorges ; and a little bird, which is peculiar 
to these heights, busied itself in our neighbourhood ; 
it is related in shape and habits to our Sitta, but is 
much smaller, and of a dark-green plumage. It is 
the Acanthisitta tenuirostris of our Index, and 
called piwauwau by the natives. 

Not far from this point the ridge forms a plat- 
form, from which rises the pyramidical summit. 
We reached the platform by descending into a deep 
gorge which an arm of the Waiwakaio river has 
scooped out of the blue lava. We walked with 
ease in the rocky channel thus formed, and soon 
came to the source of this arm, which took its rise 
from under a frozen mass of snow which filled up 
the ravine and remained unmelted, although it was 
now the middle of summer. This place, however, 
is not to be regarded as lying within the -limits of 
perpetual snow, as the duration of this frozen mass 
resulted from the fact that the influence of the sun 
was obstructed by high walls rising on both sides. 
There was very little vegetation here : I collected, 
however, a Viola, a primulaceous and a ranuncu- 
laceous plant, a Myosotis, and the Microcalia Aus- 
tralis, the southern representative of our daisy, which 


it much resembles. We now began to ascend the 
cone, which consisted of cinders, or slags of scoriace- 
ous lava, of various colours white, red, or brown, 
and had been reduced almost to a gravel, so as to 
offer no resistance to our feet. These volcanic pro- 
ducts cannot be distinguished in their lithological 
characters from scoriae of the Auvergne. We soon 
came to the snow, at a point about 1500 feet below 
the summit. The limits of perpetual congelation 
in New Zealand correspond nearly with the result 
obtained by calculation according to Kirwan's for- 
mula, which, taking 59 as the mean annual tem- 
perature of New Zealand, would give for the limit 
of perpetual snow 7204 feet ; deducting this number 
from 8839 feet, which is about the height of Mount 
Egmont, we have 1635 feet below its summit as the 
lowest point at which the snow is perpetual. Ve- 
getation had long ceased, not from the great ele- 
vation, but from the entire absence of even a patch 
of soil where plants might take root. In the ra- 
vines, as I have already observed, the snow was 
found much lower down. 

As soon as we had reached the limits of perpetual 
snow, my two native attendants (the third had been 
left behind at the last night's halting-place) squatted 
down, took out their books, and began to pray. No 
native had ever before been so high, and, in addition 
to that awe which grand scenes of nature and the 
solemn silence reigning on such heights produce in 
every mind, the savage views such scenes with super- 


stitious dread. To him the mountains are peopled 
with mysterious and misshapen animals ; the black 
points, which he sees from afar in the dazzling snow, 
are fierce and monstrous birds ; a supernatural spi- 
rit breathes on him in the evening breeze, or is heard 
in the rolling of a loose stone. It is this imagina- 
tive superstition which gives birth to the poetry of 
infant nations, as we see in the old tales of the Ger- 
mans, which evidently have their origin in the ear- 
liest ages of the race, and bear the impress of the 
ethics and religion of a people not yet emerged from 
barbarism ; but with the Polynesians these fears 
lead to gross superstition, witchcraft, and the wor- 
ship of demons. My native attendants would not 
go any farther, not only on account of their super- 
stitious fears, but because, from the intensity of the 
cold, their uncovered feet had already suffered se- 
verely. I started, therefore, for the summit, accom- 
panied by Heberley alone. The slope of the snow 
was very steep, and we had to cut steps in it, as it 
was frozen on the surface. Higher up we found 
some support in large pieces of rugged scoriae, 
which, however, increased the danger of the ascent, 
as they obstructed our path, which lay along a nar- 
row ridge, while on both sides yawned an abyss 
filled with snow. However, we at length reached 
the summit, and found that it consisted of a field of 
snow about a square mile in extent. Some pro- 
truding blocks of scoriae, of a reddish-brown colour* 
and here and there slightly vitrified on the surface, in- 


dicated the former existence of an active volcano. 
A most extensive view opened before us, and our eye 
followed the line of coast towards Kawia and Wai- 
kato. The country over which we looked was but 
slightly elevated ; here and there broken, or with 
irregular ramifications of low hills, towards the 
snowy group of the Ruapahu in the interior, which 
bore N. 60 W. I had just time to look towards 
Cook's Straits and distinguish Entry Island, when a 
dense fog enveloped us, and prevented all further 
view. Whilst waiting in the hope that the fog 
would disperse, I tried the temperature of boiling- 
water with one of Newman's thermometers, and 
found it to be 197, the temperature of the air being 
49, which, taking 55 as the mean of the tempera- 
tures at the summit and the base, would give 8839 
feet as the height of Mount Egmont; the whole 
calculated according to the tables given in an article 
published in the London 'Geographical Journal/ 
vol. viii., and communicated by Lieutenant-Colonel 
W. H. Sykes, F.R.S. 

I have above mentioned that the cone, forming 
the summit of Mount Egmont, rises from a plat- 
form. The cone of cinders and scoriaceous lava is 
separated from this platform by a deep saddle, which 
descends laterally towards the sides of the mountain. 
The high rocky walls, near the source of the Wai- 
wakaio, show the composition of the exterior cone 
to be a hard lava of a bluish-grey colour, which 
resounds to the hammer like phonolite or clink- 


stone, and breaks into large tabular fragments. The 
wall where this rock is seen is fissured in a perpen- 
dicular direction. There seems to he a great scarcity 
of simple minerals in the principal rock of which 
this mountain consists. 

The natives have no historical account of any 
eruption of Mount Egmont, and maintain that the 
country at its base is less subject to movements of the 
earth than other parts of the islands, especially those 
which are the most mountainous. They have, in- 
deed, tales which, if divested of their figurative dress, 
might be referred to the recollection of former vol- 
canic activity : such is their account that the Ton- 
gariro and Mount Taranaki are brother and sister, 
and formerly lived together, but quarrelled and se- 

The branches or buttresses which Mount Egmont 
throws out towards the sea-coast and to the interior 
being of inferior height, the cone itself appears to be 
very isolated. A ridge of hills runs towards Cape 
Egmont; another, that on which we made the 
ascent, goes to the north-east-by-east, and a third 
towards the interior, in the direction of the Rua- 
pahu and the still active volcano of Tongariro. 

On the summit of the mountain I found the en- 
tire skeleton of a rat, carried there, no doubt, by a 

After staying for some time on the summit, in the 
vain hope that the clouds which enveloped us would 
disperse, we retraced our steps, and accomplished the 


descent with comparative ease. The natives ex- 
pressed their joy at seeing us again, as they had 
already given us up as lost. We encamped on the 
bank of the left branch of he Waiwakaio amidst 
trees of the Leptospermum species. Our resting- 
place which, from finding the boilin -point to be 
207 Fahrenheit, while the mean temperature of the 
air was 57, I calculated to be 2699 feet above the 
level of the sea was the utmost limit of the excur- 
sions of the natives : at this spot they obtain the 
best sort of kokowai in the bed of the river, which 
was for some distance quite yellow from a solution 
in its waters of this ochreous substance, which glazed 
the rocks with a metallic coating. Immediately on 
our arrival our native companions set to work to 
make baskets of rushes and flax-leaves, for the car- 
riage of this muddy ochre, which they dug out from 
swamps formed by the Waiwakaio at its banks. 
This substance was afterwards slowly dried at the 
fire, and, by further burning and preparing, a fine 
vermilion was obtained, which they carried home 
as an acceptable present to their families. This 
ochre is formed in great quantities in many places 
of New Zealand, where water has become stagnant, 
and is constantly deposited either from the iron con- 
tained in vegetables or from the ferruginous soil. 
I have often seen the natives forming weirs at stag- 
nant creeks in order to obtain it. They use it for 
many purposes : when mixed with shark's oil, it 
forms a durable paint for their houses, canoes, and 


burying-places ; it is also universally in request to 
rub into their faces and bodies. The custom of be- 
smearing the body in this manner is common to al- 
most all barbarous nations, and is adopted for objects 
widely differing. When going to battle, the savage 
bedaubs himself in order to strike terror and fear into 
the heart of his enemy; when joining in the fune- 
ral ceremonies or the festivities of his tribe, he em- 
ploys the same means to increase the beauty of his 
appearance : the custom of covering themselves with 
a thick coating of this substance at the death of a 
relation or of a friend may have a symbolical mean- 
ing, reminding them of the earth from which they 
have sprung, and is similar to the practice prevailing 
among Oriental nations of mourners heaping ashes 
on their heads. The New Zealander also regards 
this pigment as a good defence against the trouble- 
some sandflies and musquittos. Whether it is the 
cause of the sleekness of the skin for which the 
natives are so remarkable, I will not pretend to say ; 
as this may be owing to their frequent bathing and 
continual exposure to the air, or, which is still more 
probable, may be a characteristic feature of the Poly- 
nesian and other coloured races, in consequence of a 
greater development of the vascular papillae between 
the epidermis and cutis than is the case with the 
white or Caucasian races. 

But to return from this long digression, The 
Waiwakaio was at this point confined between 
high walls overshaded by trees ; here and there 


large masses of the perpendicular cliffs had fallen 
down and obstructed the bed of the river. In 
future times this picturesque valley, as well as 
Mount Egmont and the smiling open land at its 
base, will become as celebrated for their beauty as 
the Bay of Naples, and will attract travellers from 
all parts of the globe. 

On the 28th of December we again reached the 
beach without accident, and with somewhat better 
reason to be satisfied with our success than on our 
last return. I found a large number of natives at 
Nga Motu from the Otumatua and Waimate, as- 
sembled for the purpose of selling the whole Tara- 
naki district. As the return of the Tory was daily 
expected, the beach looked as if a fair was being held 
on it. A European also had arrived from Kawia, 
accompanied by many natives, for the purpose of 
dissuading those at Taranaki from ceding to the 
Company their territorial rights ; not, however, from 
any disinterested intention, or for the sake of the Ta- 
ranaki natives, but because some parties were anxious 
to buy the land for themselves, either from the small 
remaining body of the original native proprietors, or, 
if they would not agree to the terms proposed, from 
their conquerors, the Waikato tribes. It was said 
that the missionaries were much concerned in these 

On the 31st I started in the boat for the Waitara, 
which is eight miles to the northward of the Sugarloaf 
Islands. This river has a bar at the entrance, over 

VOL. i. M 


which there is only five feet of water at low tide, 
but inside the bar it deepens considerably, and two 
miles from its mouth I found the depth to be two 
fathoms and a half. The Waitara does not take its 
rise in Mount Egmont, but comes from a hilly range 
which runs from Tongariro in a south-westerly di- 
rection, and is called Rangitoto. It flows through 
a fertile and open country. About twelve miles 
from its mouth, and situated on the left bank, was 
formerly a large and prosperous village, called Puke- 
rangi-ora, peopled with 1500 of the Nga-te-awa 
tribes. About ten years ago it was taken, after a 
long siege, by the Waikato, and nearly 500 of the 
inhabitants were slaughtered, fifty of them by the 
hand of Te-wero-wero, who is at present a great 
" Mihanere " (as the natives call those who have 
adopted Christianity, from the word missionary), and 
lives at Waitemata or Manukao; the rest of the 
population was carried away into slavery. There 
are no natives here at present, nor is there any trace 
of the path which formerly led from Puke-rangi-ora 
round the base of Mount Egmont to the districts 
in Cook's Straits. 

I returned in the evening delighted with the ge- 
neral aspect of the country. 

We were now in the middle of summer ; the wea- 
ther was very agreeable; the thermometer in the 
afternoon stood in the shade at 86, rising to 100 in 
the sun, and generally falling in the evening to 62. 
But I must observe that we were living amidst the 


sand-hills of the coast, which were often so much 
heated that I could not bear to walk upon them. 
But we were never a week without rain, and some- 
times had a thunder-storm, after which a delightful 
coolness pervaded the atmosphere. The rivulets 
always retained their quantity of water ; the humid- 
ity in the forest rarely ceased; and the mosses and 
ferns continued as fresh as ever. Fishing was at- 
tended with great success, and I often had occasion 
to admire the expertness of the women in diving for 
crawfish in the surf near the Sugarloaf Islands. 
The New Zealanders, men, women, and children, 
swim well, and can continue the exertion for a long 
time ; in common with the North American In- 
dians, they swim like dogs, not dividing the water, as 
we do, with the palm of the hands, but paddling 
along with each arm alternately. Bathing was one 
of our favourite amusements, as there was a beau- 
tiful pond of fresh water immediately behind our 
hut, and great was the mirth and good fellowship 
at our daily bathing-parties. 

In the beginning of January two messengers of the 
Nga-te-awa tribe, who had been enslaved by the Wai- 
kato, arrived from Kawia : they brought intelligence 
that the Nga-te-raukaua had sent to the Waikato to 
request their aid in an exterminating warfare against 
the Nga-te-awa tribe in Waikanahi, in revenge for 
their losses there. They also told us that the Wai- 
kato were prepared to make an immediate descent on 
us, in order to prevent the natives of Taranaki from 



selling any of the land, which they regarded as their 
property. In consequence of this information we 
prepared for defence, in case a tribe of the Waikato 
should attack us during the night, although I did 
not think that our party had anything to fear. It 
was impossible to sleep, as the natives talked all 
night as to the possible result of a conflict with the 
Waikato. On the following morning they advised 
us to shift our habitation to Motu-roa, the largest of 
the Sugarloaf Islands, and to take all the women and 
children with us. The men resolved to remain on 
the mainland opposite the island, and to provide us 
with necessaries : if the Waikato should make a de- 
scent, they might thus more easily resist, or fly 
towards the mountain. We followed their advice, 
and lived on Motu-roa during the rest of our stay, as 
we daily expected the arrival of the Tory. This 
island is a conical rock, extremely steep, about one 
mile in circumference and 500 feet high ; the form* 
ation is trachyte. The rock contains much augite 
and felspar, and includes here and there fragments 
of a different formation. The augite appears often 
in nests; and micaceous iron-ore occurs in thin veins. 
The summit was scarcely accessible, but the native 
women, with their children on their backs, walked 
up and down the hill, and along steep precipices, 
with the utmost unconcern. From time immemo- 
rial Motu-roa has been a place of refuge and security 
for the Nga-te-awa tribes, but more so of late; since 
the departure of the greater portion of them. Wher- 



ever there was a platform, or level space on the rock, 
they had built dwelling-houses and stores, in which 
they kept wood and provisions. In case of an attack, 
they could, if watchful, easily keep off an enemy. 
We took possession of a good house on the north- 
west side of the island, about 190 feet above the 
water, and placed in a dry niche, with the rock over- 
hanging it. The vegetation of the island is con- 
fined to flax, cabbage, and parsley, which grow in 
the interstices of the rock. 

166 [PART i. 


District from Taranaki to Mokau. 

ON the 10th I started on an excursion to Mokau, 
situated three days' journey from the Sugarloaves, in 
order to visit a large tribe of the Waikato living 
there. The son of the chief of that tribe, who had 
come to Taranaki a few days before, accompanied 
me as a guide. On the hard sandy beach which 
lies to the northward of the Sugarloaf Islands we 
passed the Huatoki, the Enui, and the Waiwakaio 
rivers. The escarpment of the coast shows here 
volcanic boulders, kept together by a yellow loam. 
This formation is covered with sand. From the 
Waiwakaio to the river Mimi the shore consists of 
sandy downs. We passed the latter river at low 
water. At its right bank is an escarpment, which 
consists entirely of sharp-edged volcanic fragments. 
A whale was lying on the beach, which seemed to 
have been stranded a few days before. An enormous 
quantity of drift-wood was imbedded in the sand, 
intermixed with human bones, probably the remains 
of the cannibal feasts held during the siege of Puke- 
rangi-ora. We slept on the banks of the Waitara 
river, after having passed several smaller streams. 


From this point the sea-shore becomes elevated ; the 
cliffs consisting of a stiff blue clay, with a formation 
of yellow loam above it. We travelled, for the 
greater part of our route, over fertile fern-hills, with 
beautiful groves of trees. The vegetation continued 
down to the water's edge. 

We passed the rivers Oneiro and Urenui; the 
latter flowed with a sluggish stream through a deep 
bed of white mud. After we had crossed this river 
we heard voices at a distance, and soon came up 
with a European, who had been sent by the Wes- 
leyan Missionary in Kawia, and was travelling for 
missionary objects to the southward. With him was 
a large party of Waikato natives, and also men, 
women, and children belonging to the tribe of the 
Nga-te-awa at the Sugarloaf Islands. They had 
been taken slaves in the last war, and had been 
obliged to live at Kawia ; but now their masters 
had allowed them to go to Taranaki, for the pur- 
pose of paying a visit. They saluted us very heartily, 
rubbing noses and shaking hands ; and an old 
woman soon began a lamentation over me. I found 
out that she was the mother of Barret's wife. The 
undisguised joy and sorrow which she expressed 
when I told her of the fortunes or trials of her 
daughter and grandchildren showed me once more 
how equally Nature has distributed amongst the 
whole of the human family the kindly affections of 
the heart, which are not the privilege of any one 


race or colour, nor increased by civilization, which 
indeed too often blunts and destroys them. 

The country near the sea-coast bears, in many 
places, the traces of former extensive native cultiva- 
tion, and the ruins of several pas. Here formerly 
lived the Nga-te-toma and Nga-te-Motunga tribes, 
the present inhabitants of the Chatham Islands, 
who migrated there many years ago. The whole 
district between Taranaki and Mokau has not at 
present a single inhabitant, although one of the 
most favoured districts of New Zealand. Near the 
Urenui river we again reached the sea-shore ; the 
cliffs were here about a hundred feet high ; the 
lowest formation was a marly clay. About twenty 
feet above the level of the sea was a formation of 
wood, very little altered or carbonized, and ten feet 
in thickness, but irregular : above that was a loamy 
soil. From the lowest formation I dug out a quan- 
tity of protophosphate of iron ; it is found in small 
pieces or balls, is of an earthy consistence, and of a 
pale-blue colour ; the natives call it puke-poto, and 
when freed from the earthy particles and washed 
it is highly esteemed as paint. A little farther on 
the shore becomes very picturesque ; it consists of 
a micaceous, soft, yellowish sandstone, which the 
waves of the sea have worn into the most fantastic 
shapes ; sometimes it resembles the wall of a fort 
with round towers, and surrounded by balconies, 
crowned with beautiful shrubs. In some parts, and 


at one particular level, large boulders of trap-rock 
protruded out of the wall, the soft mixture in which 
they had been deposited having been washed away ; 
in fact, the whole shore had the appearance of hav- 
ing been artificially cut out. This formation ex- 
tended as far as Mokau, which place we reached the 
following day. My arrival was espied from the first 
pa, which is built on a hill near the outlet of the 
river. I was welcomed with a salute of musketry, 
and conducted in the midst of the assembled chiefs, 
who were dressed in their best attire. The sale of 
lands, and the colonization of the country by Euro- 
peans, engrossed their whole attention, and formed 
the subject of our interview. On the following 
day we went several miles up the river, and visited 
some other pas, which were numerously inhabited; 
we were everywhere received with the most studied 
attention. Disunion had, however, been spread 
amongst them by the arrival of some native mission- 
aries, sent from the Wesleyan establishment at 
Kawia. The larger and more respectable part of 
the little community were not well inclined to them, 
as an idea prevailed that the missionaries sought to 
convert them only with a view to their own ag- 

These natives, which are a subdivision of the tribe 
of the Waikato, and are called Nga-te-Meniopoto, 
seem to be in very prosperous circumstances. The 
river Mokau, which takes its rise in the mountains 
of Rangitoto, a hilly range running near the western 


coast, flows through a very fertile and moderately 
hilly district. On its banks are well-cultivated 
spots, bearing potatoes, maize, melons, and taro ; the 
natives were also growing a great proportion of the 
tobacco that they consumed in the year. Flax 
covers extensive districts; and the industry formerly 
displayed in manufacturing mats has not yet entirely 
disappeared. Their settlement never having been 
reached by European visitors or ships, these natives 
had retained their unsophisticated virtues. They 
sometimes, indeed, have come in contact with Euro- 
peans at Kawia, where they exchange their pigs for 
foreign commodities. A brig once entered the 
river, and from the general aspect it appeared to 
me as if there was sufficient depth over the bar for 
vessels of moderate burden, at all events for steamers. 
Inside the bar I sounded, and found three fathoms : 
according to the natives, there is one fathom and a 
half over the bar at low-water. Inside the head- 
lands the river takes a sharp turn, and forms a deep 
and completely sheltered basin. 

I returned to Taranaki accompanied by the prin- 
cipal chiefs of Mokau, and greatly satisfied with the 
reception they had given me, and reached the Sugar- 
loaf Islands after an absence of eight days. 

After we had waited a great length of time for 
the return of the Tory, a brig, the Guide, arrived 
on the 31st January, having on board some gentle- 
men belonging to the Tory, and bringing the 
intelligence that she was refitting at Kaipara, hav- 


ing grounded on the bar at the entrance to that 
harbour. This news relieved us from the anxiety 
which we had felt as to the possibility of securing 
the Taranaki district for the New Zealand Com- 
pany ; as since my arrival churchmen and laymen 
had vied with each other to obtain possession of 
that district. On the arrival of the Guide a 
liberal price was given to the natives for their land, 
and the good will of the Waikato purchased by pre- 
sents. Thus the New Zealand Company became 
proprietors of the finest district in New Zealand, 
which offers to the colonist, besides its natural 
resources, the advantage of there being no natives 
on the land, with the exception of the small rem- 
nant of the Nga-te-awa tribe at Nga-Motu. 

Since the above was written the settlement of 
New Plymouth has been established at Nga-Motu, 
or Sugarloaf Point, which must be prosperous even 
without a harbour, which is wanting there, as it 
possesses cultivable land, extensive facilities of land 
communication both with Cook's Straits and along 
the coast to Mokau and Kawia, and, as I can state 
from my own experience, a very delightful climate. 

On the 16th of February we left the roadstead of 
Taranaki, and arrived again in Port Nicholson on 
the 21st. 

172 [PART i. 


On the Climate of Cook's Straits and New Zealand in 

IN preparing these few remarks on the climate, I 
have had before me a nearly complete series of me- 
teorological observations, made at Port Nicholson, 
taken daily at 8 A.M., at noon, and at 5 P.M., and re- 
cording the temperature and pressure of the air, the 
quantity of rain, the winds, and the general state of 
the weather during an entire year. The observations 
on temperature were not made with the self-register- 
ing thermometer, and therefore do not comprise the 
greatest degree of heat or of cold : this, however, is 
of little consequence. The deductions derived from 
the observations made at Port Nicholson will apply 
to the whole of New Zealand, but not without great 
restrictions, as it is obvious that marked differences 
must exist in a country extending through nearly 
thirteen degrees of latitude, and in which there are 
central and coast positions, hills covered with forest, 
and mountains reaching above the limits of per- 
petual congelation. It must also be observed that 
the year in which the observations were made 
was a very wet one, according to the testimony of 
the old settlers. 


New Zealand, being situated within the temperate 
zone, although nearer to the equator than Great 
Britain, possesses, from its peculiar geographical 
position, especially from its being insular, and also 
from the nature of its surface, a climate so modified 
as to resemble that of England more nearly than 
that of any other country I am acquainted with. 
It is moderate in every respect, the range of its tem- 
perature throughout the year and during the day 
being very inconsiderable. This is principally owing 
to the immense expanse of ocean which surrounds 
these narrow islands on all sides, preserving a tem- 
perature little varying, and moderating alike the 
cold of the antarctic regions and the heat of the 
tropics. The continent of Australia for as such 
we must regard it is too distant to affect the cli- 
mate, whi^h it would undoubtedly do if it were 
nearer, as New Zealand would then receive an air 
heated in its passage over the vast plains of Aus- 
tralia, which extend far within the tropics. In 
like manner the southerly winds, which, although 
at all times the coldest, as coming from a polar terra 
firma surrounded by eternal ice, are greatly tem- 
pered by the intervening ocean. If, instead of the 
latter, a continent extended to within a little dis- 
tance of New Zealand, as Europe and Asia do 
with reference to England, it would produce all 
the phenomena of climate in which we observe 
England to differ from New Zealand, such as the 
greater cold in winter and during certain winds. 


The east coast, on which Wellington, Auckland, 
and the Bay of Islands are situated, is colder than 
the western, where the settlements of Nelson and 
New Plymouth have been founded, and where the 
air is far softer and milder. I ascertained this by 
actual comparisons, and in this respect the western 
coast must have great advantages over the eastern. 
In the interior of the islands the climate is colder 
and less changeable, in consequence of the presence 
of a snow-clad mountain-group and the greater 
distance from the ocean. I found at Taupo the 
acacias of Van Diemen's Land, the Ricinus palma 
Christi, and potatoes, affected by the frost a cir- 
cumstance which never happens near the coast ; the 
leaves also of several trees had become yellow and 
deciduous ; the landscape assumed an autumnal tint, 
although it can scarcely be said ever to have had a 
wintry appearance. At Wellington, on the con- 
trary, and along the whole coast, the natives plant 
their potatoes at all seasons of the year, the forest 
remains evergreen, and the opening of the flower- 
buds is merely a little retarded during the season 
of winter, the presence of which is only indicated 
by more frequent rains and winds. 

Owing to the continual interchange which takes 
place between the heated air of the equator and the 
cold air of the antarctic regions, an almost continual 
wind is kept up, which blows either from the 
north and the north-west, or from the south and 
the south-east. Out of 365 days the entire year 


there were only twelve which could be called 
calm days; during 213 it blew from the north or 
north-west, and during 119 from the south or 
south-east. It is difficult to say which wind is the 
most violent : the south-east winds are very strong, 
but the most severe gales which I experienced were 
from the north-west. During the winter months 
the latter prevail ; but when the sun has a southern 
declination southerly winds blow, in consequence of 
the greater degree to which the air is heated under 
the equator, and the current of cold air which 
rushes in from the south to replace it. These winds 
have a very beneficial effect upon the climate : no 
sooner is mist or fog formed than they dispel it, 
and thus purify the atmosphere, and prevent the 
collection of obnoxious exhalations ; they produce 
also the remarkable feature of the continual chasing 
of clouds, and sudden alternations of rain and sun- 
shine, which follow each other in far more rapid 
succession than is ever experienced in England, 
which has been so unjustly accused of having the 
most changeable weather in the world. In this 
respect, also, the western coast is less affected than 
the eastern ; a violent gale has been known to blow 
at Wellington when there was fine weather and 
only light winds at Nelson. 

New Zealand possesses a humid and moist climate. 
If we consider the immense oceanic surface which 
surrounds it on all sides, and from which a con- 


tinual evaporation of watery particles proceeds, and 
is taken up by the air, we shall readily anticipate 
that the atmosphere must be almost constantly at 
or near the point of saturation, and that when any 
change of temperature takes place the moisture will 
at once be condensed and fall in the form of rain. 
The wood-covered hills and the forest-lands, which 
constitute the greater part of New Zealand, attract 
this humidity, and render rains more frequent than 
they would perhaps be if the land were cleared. It 
rains in New Zealand during all the months of the 
year, but the greater quantity falls in winter and 
spring, when there is also the greatest number of 
rainy days. At Port Nicholson the quantity of rain 
from April, 1841, to February, 1842, was 34-49 
inches. The quantity of rain which falls annually 
at London is only 23*1 inches, according to the re- 
sults given by Mr. Daniell ; while in the Hebrides 
the amount is nearly twice as large, ranging from 
35 to 46 inches. Without pronouncing a decided 
opinion from a single series of observations, and 
these taken at only one place, and during ten 
months, I may, I think, safely draw the conclusion 
that New Zealand has a rainy climate, and may be 
ranked, in this respect, with several places in Eng- 
land. The quantity of rain was distributed over 
the months in the following manner : 




February, 1841 





July O .?;) 


August . 
October .ry 


November . 


December . 


January, 1842 



This quantity fell in 133 days, which were dis- 
tributed thus : 

April . 
May . 
June . 
July . 











The dews are particularly heavy during the win- 
ter months, when the surface of the earth is colder* 
in comparison to the surrounding atmosphere, than 
in the other months. In the interior, where there 
exists a long line of lakes, fogs rest upon them in 
the mornings, and also upon the river-courses, 
especially on that of the Waikato and Thames, but 
they are dispelled by the sun when it has risen 
some degrees above the horizon, or are driven away 
by the winds. 

This great quantity of moisture accounts for the 
vegetation being so vigorous, even in those places 
where only a thin layer of vegetable earth covers the 
rocks. Sandy places, which in any other country 
would be quite barren, are covered with herbage in 
New Zealand ; and the hills, which in lithological 
and geological formation resemble those of Devon- 

VOL. i. N 


shire, may, in the course of time, be converted into 
pastures at least equalling those on the hilly portion 
of that county. Everywhere also trees and shrubs 
grow to the margin of the sea, and suffer no harm 
even from the salt spray. The humidity of New 
Zealand is not considered to have much injurious 
effect on animal life. Cattle and horses are in as 
good a condition as can be expected from the present 
scantiness of grass pastures : should they, however, 
be found to suffer from the moisture, the cattle can 
at all times be driven from the valleys up to the hills, 
where the drainage renders the ground sufficiently 
dry. I much doubt whether as good a report can 
be given regarding sheep, which always seemed to 
suffer from wet, as well as from want of suitable 
food ; and it cannot be denied that this moisture, 
with all its beneficial influence on the vegetation of 
the country which includes the tree-ferns, generally 
confined to the tropics, and a species of palm will 
be injurious to those fruits which are claimed as 
the ornaments, and almost as the symbols, of south- 
ern Europe, to the olive, the vine, and the orange ; 
and that New Zealand does not rank higher in this 
respect than the south of England. The humidity 
will also, it is to be feared, be injurious to the silk- 

The physical configuration of New Zealand, and 
the geological formation of the hills, are in general 
such that the rain is rapidly carried towards the 
coast in countless streams and rivulets : the lakes, 


with which the interior of the northern island 
abounds, have always an outlet ; and it is only in a 
very few places that swamps exist, and these are 
owing to the clayey nature of the subsoil, but they 
are not sufficiently important to influence the gene- 
ral state of the humidity of the air, or to become 
insalubrious. In the neighbourhood of Port Nichol- 
son the rain quickly percolates through the light 
upper soil, and feeds the numerous streamlets, which 
rapidly carry it off into the sea. 

The temperature which, 'from its latitude, we 
should expect New Zealand to possess, is extensively 
modified by all the circumstances I have mentioned. 
The first of these is the narrow shape of both 
islands, which gives a very extensive coast-line, 
into the numberless harbours and inlets of which 
the sea enters ; and as it preserves a certain mean 
and moderate temperature throughout the year, it 
modifies the climate of land which is surrounded by 
it, and uniformity of temperature is in consequence 
characteristic of the climate of New Zealand. It is 
most humid, as well as most equable, on the coasts, 
where also vegetation is fresher than in any other 
portion of the islands ; there is no great heat in sum- 
mer, no severe cold in winter ; sometimes, indeed, 
in the winter nights the thermometer sinks to the 
freezing-point, and the stagnant waters in the in- 
terior are covered with a thin crust of ice ; but 
during the day it is very rare that the temperature 
is below 40. In a moderately convenient house 



fire could be dispensed with throughout the year, 
but the habit of having a fire every evening, summer 
and winter, may very easily be acquired. 

The mean temperature of July the coldest month 
was at Wellington only 48 -7 ; the greatest cold 
during the day was 38 ; the greatest warmth 57. 
On the other hand, in January the warmest month 
the mean temperature was 66 -4; the highest 
76*5 ; and the lowest 57. The mean temperature 
of the whole year was at Wellington 58*2, and the 
mean temperature of the different months was as 
follows : 


January . . . 66'4 

February . . . 64' 8 

March . . - 62'5 

April . . .63'5 

May . . 51-8 

June 51'3 


July . . . 48-7 

August . . .51-2 

September. . . 53'5 

October . . . 59'2 

November . . . 60 '5 

December . .64*7 

From the foregoing details it will be understood 
why I do not consider the climate of New Zealand 
much suited to the vine ; 58 2, it is true, is a mean 
temperature sufficiently high for a country required 
for ripening the grape ; but the mean of the three 
summer months, 65-2, is too low, as a mean sum- 
mer heat of at least 66 2 is necessary for a wine 
country. The mean temperature of the winter 
months was not lower than 50 7 : in fact, the cli- 
mate is not sufficiently excessive ; the winters are too 
moderately cold, the summers too moderately warm ; 
nor must we forget that there were twenty rainy 


days in the summer months of December and Janu- 
ary, which is likewise prejudicial to the growth of 
the grape. These remarks are drawn from observa- 
tions made at Wellington. But in that place, from 
its peculiar position, the temperature is lower than 
at other places, for instance, than at Nelson and 
New Plymouth. In the latter place I often found 
the thermometer as high as 86 in the shade, nearly 
10 higher than it ever was at Wellington. 

The Valley of the Hutt is exposed to the south 
winds, but Nelson is perfectly sheltered from them 
by the high mountains of the Middle Island, whilst 
it lies open to the balmy winds and warm rains from 
the north. 

The latitude also must exercise a great influence, 
as I have already observed, so that many modifica- 
tions must be made in the conclusions above given. 

The climate of a country has undoubtedly very 
great influence on the physical and intellectual con- 
ditions of its inhabitants; we therefore naturally in- 
quire How does New Zealand agree with the human 
frame? Is the climate salubrious? To what diseases 
does it give rise ? When might it be recommended? 
As the atmosphere, by its moderate warmth, its hu- 
midity, and constant current, is peculiarly favour- 
able to the vegetative powers, as we see in the luxuri- 
ant growth of plants, so from the same causes it suits 
the human frame. In the families of the mission- 
aries and settlers I observed no deviation from the 
original stock; the children grow well and strong, 


with fresh and rosy faces, and I am satisfied that in 
this respect New Zealand is in no way inferior to Great 
Britain. A humid and temperate atmosphere acts 
especially upon production, both as it regards growth 
of the body and the numerical strength of families. 
Nutrition and reproduction are in good order : in re- 
spect to the numerical strength of families, the 
climate seems to be particularly favourable to the 
increase of population ; at least, all the Europeans 
have large families. We see the effect of this hu- 
mid climate in certain diseases, to which Europeans, 
first arriving in this country, are often subjected. 
These are abscesses, or boils, and eruptive diseases, 
neither, however, of a malignant character, and both 
disappearing without medical aid. Amongst the 
natives carbuncles and diseases of the mucous mem- 
branes are common : here, however, other causes are 
acting, of which I shall speak more hereafter. The 
European, when once acclimatised, does not suffer 
from any of these causes. True inflammatory dis- 
eases are uncommon : the south-east wind of New 
Zealand is never as keen as our north-easter ; but, 
in consequence of the moist climate, such diseases 
always assume the character of catarrh. I am not 
aware that any endemic diseases exist in New Zea- 
land ; influenza, however, and sometimes croup, ap- 
pear epidemically, If care is not taken, rheuma- 
tisms also make their appearance ; but it is certain 
that causes which, in England, would produce vio- 
lent colds, and other injurious results, pass over in 


New Zealand without any bad effect, even to those 
colonists who are in delicate health. 

The purity of the atmosphere, resulting from the 
continual wind, imparts to the climate a vigour which 
gives elasticity to the physical powers and to the 
mind. Heat never debilitates, not even so much 
as a hot summer's day in England ; and near the 
coasts especially there is always a cooling and re- 
freshing breeze. The colonist who occupies him- 
self with agriculture can work all day, and the 
mechanic will not feel any lassitude whether he 
works in or out of doors. 

From all this I draw the conclusion* that as 
regards climate no country is better suited for a 
colony of the Anglo-Saxon race than New Zealand ; 
and were this its only recommendation, it would 
still deserve our utmost attention, as the future seat 
of European civilization and institutions in the 
southern hemisphere, since in the other southern 
colonies for instance, in that of New South Wales 
Europeans undergo more or less alterations from 
the original stock. 

Invalids rapidly recover in this climate, and there 
is no doubt that the presence of numerous thermal 
waters in the island, and the attractive scenery, will 
make New Zealand the resort of those who have 
been debilitated in India, and are in search of health. 

I subjoin in a tabular form the results of the 
meteorological observations at Port Nicholson. 









CO^COtN r 01 O t> i i " O 

>*CG 00 CO *^ CO C5 O5 tx CO Ci O CO 

g C 



otSflS s TJ * i i (M n co oo o 

50-50 * 't>.CNT3< O^OlOICOt^tO 

2 .9 S I 5?^"*^ f to < i-^ o tx. to 

OO<M o-^rco^oco oo 

C-1O CTiOOOtOO^^ i 

.. ( T ><>1 o^t^cpopcp cp 




oo oooooo 


g S 3 S S 

|g too oicocoocoo 

|J * CMCN <M CM . <M C/5 CM CM Ol 

t^co*^ i^to^eocotM oo 




to ou 





CHAP. X.] 185 


General Considerations on Cook's Straits. 

THE existence of a strait, which separates two long 
and narrow islands, extending for 800 miles, from 
the thirty-fourth to the forty-eighth degree of south 
latitude, is a geographical feature which early at- 
tracted the attention of those who wished to colonize 
New Zealand. Queen Charlotte's Sound was the 
favourite resort of the justly-celebrated Captain Cook, 
and, many as were the countries which he visited, he 
certainly could not have selected in any of them a more 
sheltered or convenient harbour. Here he procured 
in abundance what he most needed water, wood, 
and fish ; he also availed himself of some of the indige- 
nous vegetables for the purpose of refreshing his crew 
and improving their health. His name is gratefully 
remembered by the natives, to whom he left those 
things which now form the principal articles of their 
trading intercourse with the Europeans, namely, pigs 
and potatoes; the cabbage, which he sowed, has 
spread over all the open places in Cook's Straits, 
and early in spring the sides of the hills are covered 
with its yellow flowers. 

These straits oifer more secure, convenient, and 


capacious harbours than are to be met with on any 
other coast of similar extent. The country around 
the harbours consists principally of steep hills clothed 
with forest from the water's edge to their summit. 
The formation of these hills, a metamorphic slate 
and basalt, or Lydian stone, does not form a very 
favourable substratum to the thin layer of vegetable 
earth which covers them. The natives, therefore, 
choose for cultivation the very small extent of flat 
land found in the little coves and bays which the 
coast forms in innumerable places, and which are 
less wooded ; or they choose still more frequently 
the bottom of ravines, where they destroy the forest 
by fire, leaving the unconsumed stems of the trees 
to decay naturally. Here the fertile earth is in 
greater abundance, and a never-failing crop of maize, 
potatoes, taro, turnips, cabbage, sweet potatoes, or 
pumpkins, recompenses their labour. In that part 
of the island a European population must there- 
fore be satisfied to pursue the same system as the 
natives have done, namely, to disperse themselves in 
small communities over those little bays, and rear 
the necessaries of life, without other labour than 
their own, and gradually to work their way up the 
ravines, bringing them to such a state as to bear a 
low herbage of grass and clover on which to feed 
sheep and cattle. The island of Mana has been thus 
converted into sheep pasture ; but I am certainly of 
opinion that here sheep should be reared chiefly for 
their carcase, as the country is not favourable to the 


growth of the wool. Goats, asses, and mules seem 
to be more adapted to this part of the country than 
the rest of the domestic animals. All those plants 
which are natives of England can be produced here, 
but not the natives of warmer climates. I have 
already expressed a doubt whether the products of 
the south of France would succeed, as, for instance, 
the olive, the vine, and the mulberry, although it 
has been frequently asserted that they would. 

A squatting population, therefore, living apart 
from each other, but connected by a safe water com- 
munication, are the best pioneers for a colonization 
of that part of Cook's Straits. Shipbuilders also 
should choose a position in Queen Charlottes Sound 
where they can command a great variety of useful 

It was a common impression that through the 
centre of the Middle Island there was a mountain- 
ous ridge rising above the limits of perpetual snow, 
and falling off to wards the coast on both sides, leaving 
but little land for an agricultural population. From 
the concurrent testimony, however, of some Eu- 
ropeans and of the natives, I have reason to believe 
that the Middle Island has a configuration similar 
to the Northern; that its mountains form coast- 
ridges, which leave a sort of table-land in the inte- 
rior, although from the narrowness of the island 
this cannot be of great extent. On the western 
coast these hills approach very near the shore, being 
broken however in places, and forming some conve- 


nient harbours; they contain anthracitic coal and 
limestone, and bear a variety of timber, of which I 
must especially mention a new species of the parsley- 
leafed pine (Phyllocladus trichomanoides), which the 
natives call E Hutu, to distinguish it from the tane- 
kaha, another species of the same genus. On the 
eastern coast the hills in several places are of a more 
gradual slope, like those in the Bay of Plenty, and 
forming a rich field for colonial enterprise. Around 
Queen Charlotte's Sound and Cloudy Bay there is 
a knot of these hills, but the interior table-land 
opens towards Blind Bay, and also towards Wairoa 
in Cloudy Bay. Thus, it appears that the situation 
of Nelson in Blind Bay is the happiest which could 
have been chosen in Cook's Straits for opening a 
communication with the interior, and also for secur- 
ing a sufficient extent of back country for an import 
and export trade. 

In the northern island, as far as regards the 
parts bordering on Cook's Straits, the aspect is 
somewhat different. From the part nearly oppo- 
site Entry Island to Cape Egmont, and thence to 
the northward, a belt of undulating land runs along 
the sea-coast, increasing in breadth towards Mount 
Egmont; whilst that mountain rises imposingly 
with a very gradual slope from the sea-coast, from 
which it is distant thirty miles. The land here 
consists, as I have already mentioned, of aqueous 
strata, which have a comparatively even surface, and 
which owe their origin to the rise of the volcanic 


cone of Taranaki. This belt of land consists of 
light sandy soil near the sea-coast, not wooded, but 
capable of cultivation. This open land is three or 
four miles in breadth, at which distance from the 
sea the wood begins, and the soil becomes more sub- 
stantial and rich. Fern and flax, which usually 
characterise the vegetation of open districts in New 
Zealand, are also found here, but are intermixed 
with some juicy shrubs, plants, and also some species 
of grass. Cattle and horses, if allowed a wide range, 
would find sufficient food, although it cannot pro- 
perly be called a grazing district. 

Many rivers discharge themselves into Cook's 
Straits. Their number is indeed so great, from 
Port Nicholson along the western coast, that they 
constitute a feature peculiar to New Zealand. None 
of these rivers can admit ships of the largest ton- 
nage, but several are navigable for vessels of moderate 
burden, and offer great facilities for internal com- 
munications. The Manawatu, the Wanganui, the 
Patea, and the Mokau are the most important of 
them. The harbours connected with this district, 
and fitted to receive the larger vessels, are Port 
Nicholson and Kawia ; the former is by far the best. 
The prosperity of Wellington, which is situated at 
Port Nicholson, and is the capital of the New Zea- 
land Company, depends chiefly on the agricultural 
resources of this district, upon the early construc- 
tion of roads to connect it with the town, and 
upon the employment of steam-boats drawing little 


water for the navigation of the rivers. These two 
latter requisites are essential for raising contem- 
poraneously the prosperity of country and town. I 
should recommend the colonist who has but little 
capital to select the country rather than the town, as 
around Wellington there is no great extent of avail- 
able land, and its prosperity must be deferred until 
it is enabled, by the produce of the agricultural dis- 
tricts, to exist as a commercial port. It must be 
expected that the rise of the colonies in Cook's 
Straits will be slow, although progressive, and that 
embarking capital in agricultural pursuits will most 
securely and most immediately yield the greatest 


CHAP. XI.] 191 


The Natives inhabiting the Shores of Cook's Straits. 

THE natives inhabiting both shores of Cook's Straits 
were at the time of my arrival placed in a position 
which could not fail to awaken my deepest interest. 
Although their number is not large, taking them as 
a whole, yet they live so much dispersed in small 
tribes that they occupy a long coast-line. For the 
last fifteen or twenty years they have associated 
with Europeans, who have lived amongst them 
as traders or as whalers ; and they were annually 
visited by many whaling- vessels. Mutual advantage, 
and the connection of almost all these Europeans 
with native women, from which connection a healthy 
and fine-looking half-caste race has sprung up (about 
160 in number), kept the white men and natives in 
harmony with each other, and has cemented their 
union. Thus we find Europeans arrayed against 
Europeans in the combats of the different tribes 
amongst whom they lived, or emigrating with them 
to another locality, or following the hazardous chase 
of the whale with a crew of natives. When dead 
they were bewailed as brothers by these sons of 
nature, and a painted canoe erected as an ornament 


over their graves. Many runaway convicts from 
New South Wales and Australia were amongst 
these irregular settlers, many of whom were men of 
desperate character. The society was a curious 
motley of men of all nations and colours, who had 
lived an adventurous life from their childhood ; yet, 
with all these elements of vice among them, the 
natives had preserved many of their good qualities ; 
and the colonists of the Company found them better 
prepared to acknowledge a more regulated state of 
society, and to acquiesce in present sacrifices with a 
view to their future benefit, than was the case with 
the natives in the more northern parts of the island, 
although missionaries had lived among them during 
a long period. None of these missionaries have 
paid Cook's Straits more than a passing visit, yet 
many of the natives were initiated into the tenets 
of Christianity, and could read and write, having 
learned these arts from mutual instruction. The 
zeal of these new proselytes went so far as often to 
cause me annoyance. 

Many changes have taken place amongst the in- 
habitants of Cook's Straits during the last thirty 
years. Several tribes have disappeared, or have emi- 
grated to more distant places, in consequence of war. 
The natives who inhabited Cook's Straits at the 
time when the country was visited by Captain Cook 
and Forster have been replaced by tribes coming 
from the western coast and the interior of the 
northern island : war, or the desire to be connected 


with Europeans has produced this result. The tribes 
of the Rangitane and Nga-hei-tao, in Queen Char- 
lotte's Sound, have gone to the eastern coast of the 
middle island : some are held in slavery by the Nga- 
te-awa. The Nga-te-Kahohunu, in Tory Channel, 
and at Port Nicholson, have likewise given way to 
the Nga-te-awa, and live now on the eastern coast 
of the northern island, around Hawke's Bay. Two 
tribes of the Nga-te-awa, the Nga-te-motunga and 
Nga-te-toma, emigrated in a European vessel to 
the Chatham Islands. The Nga-te-raukaua, a 
central tribe of the northern island, were driven 
from their native district, near the sources of the 
Waikato River, and settled in Otaki, near the River 
Manawatu, enclosed on both sides by hostile tribes. 
All yielded to their common enemy, the Waikato. 
The latter have expelled almost all the inhabitants 
from the finest district in Cook's Straits, Taranaki, 
without occupying it themselves. It was not the 
desire of new dwelling-places which tempted them 
to this warfare, as they themselves possess one of 
the most productive parts of the island ; they re- 
ceived the impulse from the chiefs of the Bay of 
Islands, who, being provided with fire-arms, had 
beaten them in several engagements. 

It must not, however, be imagined that there is 
no relationship, no intercourse between these dif- 
ferent tribes : they are all more or less mixed, 
although feuds still exist between the Nga-te-rau- 
kaua and the Nga-te-awa at Waikanahi, and between 

VOL. i. o 


the natives of the interior of Taupo and a branch of 
the natives of Wanganui. It is, however, probable 
that the great influx of Europeans into Cook's Straits, 
and the spreading of Christianity, will ere long ter- 
minate all these hostilities, and that their long- 
sustained quarrels will give way to a peaceful 
possession of their property, and to those blessings 
of security which can only be enjoyed in a well- 
organized state of society. 

I subjoin a census of the tribes in Cook's Straits, 
indicating the larger families to which they respect- 
ively belong. 




TABLE showing the NAMES of the NATIVE TRIBES on both sides 
of COOK'S STRAITS, with an approximation to the Number of 
Souls in each. 

Name of the Place. 

Name of the 

To what Family 
they belong. 



Port Nicholson 

Oario .... 

Puketapn . . 

Pitone ... i 
Nauranga . . J 
Kai-ware-ware . i 
Pipitea . . . } 
Wahi-pirau . . . 
Waiwata . . . 
Taranaki . . . 
Paru-rua and the ) 
Island of Mana J 

Nga-motu . . 

Nga-te-toma . 

Nga-te motunga 

Nga-te-toa . . 

Nga-te-awa . -\ 

Nga-te-rua-nui J 
Nga-te-awa . . 


{The Nga-te-rua-nui 
are closely related 
to the Nga-te-awa, 
but are regarded by 
them almost as a de- 
pendent tribes. 

Kapiti .... 
Waikanahi . . . 

Nga-te-toa . . 
Nga-te-awa . . 

Nga-te-awa . . 
Nga-te-awa . . 


The Nga-te-raukaua 

Otaki and River 1 
Manawatu . . J 

Nga-te-raukaua . 

Nga-te-raukaua . 


are in hostilities with 
the Nga te-awa in 


e Slaves to the Nga- 

Rangitiki River 

Nga-te-apa . . 

Nga-te-apa . . 


{ te-awa, but undis- 
I turbed. 

(This tribe is a mixed 

1 one; the 

1 k oto being related to 

Wanganui River . 

t Patutokoto . 1 
1 Nga-te-rua-kua J 

Nga-te-tahi . . 


J the Nga-te-pehi, one 
of the Taupo tribes, 
and the Nga-te-rua- 

kua to the Nga-te- 

awa tribes. 

( Allied to the Nga-te- 

Waitotara . -j 

1 rua-kua and Nga-te- 

Wenuakura . I 
Patea . . . 1 


Nga-te-rua-nui . 


< awa. These natives 
j are at war with the 

Waimate . . ^ 

V Taupo tribes. 

Puketapu . I 


Nga-te-rua-nui . 


Orangituapek . J 

(It . . 

Taranaki . . . 



Nga-motu . . 

Nga-motu . . . 

Nga-te-awa . . 




Massacre Bay . . 
Wanganui . . . 
Blind Bay . . . 

Nga-te-toa . -\ 
Puke-tapu . V 
Nga-te-toma . J 

Nga-te-awa . . 


Rangitoto, or \ 
D'Urville's Istandf 

Nga-te-toa . . 

Nga-te-awa . . 


/The Rangitane are 

Admiralty Islands . 
Heoiri River . . 

Nga-te-toa . i 
Manakurj . . / 
Rangitane . . . 

Nga-te-awa . l 
Rangitane . . I 


1 slaves of the Nga-te- 
1 toa, and are the rem- 
| nant of the former 
1 possessors of a great 
V part of Cook's Straits. 

Queen Charl Sound 

Anaho . . ' Puke-tapu . \ 
Moioio . . Nga-te-toa . 1 
Te-awa-ki . Nga-motu . . I 
Hokokuri . Nga-te-toma . J 

Nga-te-awa . . 


Cloudy Bay 

Nga-te-toa . . 

Nga-te-awa . . 


Total of the 



o 2 




Northern Island Northern Districts Pa-renga-renga, or Village 
of the Lily Reinga North Cape. 

AFTER a lapse of several months, which were taken 
up by a visit to the Chatham Islands, an interesting 
little archipelago to the south of New Zealand, and 
to New South Wales, but more especially to that dis- 
trict of the latter country which lies on the Hunter's 
River, I returned from Sidney to New Zealand in 
the Cuba, arriving in the Bay of Islands in October, 
1840, after a voyage of only eight days. I then ex- 
plored the northern parts of the island, and after- 
wards pushed my way to the interesting volcanic 
districts in its centre. I had intended to have re- 
turned to Cook's Straits, and explored in like man- 
ner the middle and southern islands, but various 
circumstances prevented my doing so. 

A great part of the district to the northward of 
the Bay of Islands I explored in company with 
Captain Bernard, an adventurous Frenchman, who, 


to a well-informed and liberal mind, united all that 
genuine politeness and savoir vivre for which his 
nation was formerly so famous. He was a most 
agreeable companion, and various were our adven- 
tures in the little schooner of sixteen tons, belong- 
ing to him, in which we coasted along the island, 
and entered many of the harbours ; but having a 
great disinclination to describe personal incidents, 
I shall omit them altogether, and will risk the re- 
proach of tediousness by giving what will, I con- 
ceive, be more useful a topographical description of 
the different parts of the country, and afterwards 
look over the whole in a bird's-eye view. 

I begin with the district of Kaitaia, comprising 
the northern end of the island. Cape Maria van 
Diemen, its north-western extremity, is formed of 
detached rocks of a hard conglomerate, which is 
composed of water-worn pebbles of basaltic lava, 
amygdaloidal basalt, greenstone, and Lydian stone. 
Inland of this rocky promontory the cape is sandy, 
and sand-hills run for a distance of about four 
miles along the coast to the eastward, as far as the 
Reinga, where the shore again rises into cliffs. The 
sand, driven by strong westerly gales, which prevail 
here during a great part of the year, has made great 
encroachments upon the land, and in fact nearly 
its whole northern extremity above the parallel of 
Houhoura or Mount Carmel with the exception 
of that part which is situated to the northward of 
the harbour of Parenga-renga has been over- 


whelmed by it. The sand-hills near Cape Maria 
van Diemen are separated by swampy valleys, mostly 
covered with raupo (rushes of the genus Typha) : 
where the drainage is better, flax and fern grow. 
Streamlets discharge themselves from the swamps 
into the sea, and on their banks some natives rear 
their provisions, consisting of common and sweet 
potatoes, water-melons, and pumpkins. There is 
but little vegetable earth mixed with the sand, but 
the moisture of the climate, and the reflection of the 
sun from the dazzling white sand-hills, together 
with the extreme northerly situation of the place, 
render the vegetation productive, and the fruits 
ripen almost a month earlier than in the Bay of 
Islands. The natives do not exceed a dozen in 
number, and belong to the once powerful, but now 
conquered and scattered, tribe of the Haupouri 
(wind bringing darkness). They are slaves, but 
are suffered to live undisturbed. The little village, 
in which they received me with great kindness, 
consisted of the most whimsical structures I ever 
saw. Each dog and each pig had its sty fenced 
in, and the men themselves had similar little sties 
to live in : from one of these the patriarch of the 
family addressed me with a dignity that contrasted 
strangely with the surrounding simplicity. 

Reinga, a spot kept sacred by the natives, as the 
entrance into " the undiscover'd country, from 
whose bourn no traveller returns," is situated some- 
what to the eastward of Cape Maria van Diemen ; 

200 REINGA. [PART n. 

it forms one extremity of a cliff of conglomerate 
rock, which cannot be approached from the sea-side, 
and which lines the coast for about six miles, and 
terminates to the eastward in a conical hill, Te- 
wanga-ke, whence the coast is lined by a sand 
beach to about the middle of the northern shore. 
It is curious to find in New Zealand the belief so 
common among barbarous nations, that there is a 
cave or passage through which the departed descend 
into the nether regions. By the New Zealanders 
this entrance is placed at the farthest extremity of 
their sea-girt isle (Te-Muri-wenua, or land's end), 
the limit of their known world, and the spot with 
which, of all others, the tribes to the south had the 
least inducement to become acquainted. The cliff 
above mentioned is the escarpment of a steep and 
narrow ridge, of moderate elevation, which runs 
inland towards the harbour of Parenga, but is not 
connected with the principal chain of mountains, 
which we can follow through the northern island, 
since to the southward of the harbour the island 
consists of low flats, the greater part of which, as I 
have already observed, is covered with sand. These 
hills consist of a stiff clay, white or reddish, from 
an admixture of oxide of iron, which is often found 
in brown crusts on the surface. From the prin- 
cipal branches of these hills ramifications run at 
right angles, like the buttresses of a fortification, 
and form ravines^ which receive small streams of 
water. Only a scMity vegetation covers them, con- 



sisting principally of manuka (Leptospermum sco- 
parium), fern (Pteris esculenta), Lycopodium den- 
sum, and some mosses, with here and there a bunch 
of coarse, wiry grass, or Phormium tenax. In the 
ravines, however, the vegetation is more luxuriant, 
and consists of various trees, such as Fuchsia excor- 
ticata, puriri (Vitex litoralis), interspersed with 
fern-trees and cabbage-palms. On the whole there 
is very little wood, although in not very remote 
times the kauri pine (Dammara australis) must have 
covered all these hills, as is proved by the burnt 
remains of large trees of this species, and by the 
resin which lies everywhere scattered on the sur- 
face. At present there are only a few solitary trees 
of this species ; these are to the northward of Kai- 
taia, and are of stunted growth. The destruction 
of the forest, which was a barrier to the encroach- 
ment of the sand, has sealed the doom of this 
northern part of the island, and a time may pro- 
bably arrive when the whole will become its prey. 
Where the kauri once grew the soil is now only 
fit for the manuka and the fern. Evidence that 
this overwhelming sand-drift is of a modern date, 
and is owing to the destruction of the forest, may 
be seen on the western coast. Although there, also, 
almost the whole is covered with sand, still there 
are islands, or oases^, so to speak, rising twenty or 
thirty feet above the sand, one or two miles from 
the sea-shore, showing on their steep sides the 
ancient structure of the land. The sand, working 


in the same manner as the waves of the sea, gnaws 
at these islands, but has not yet been able to reduce 
their level to that of the surrounding land. About 
half way between Parenga-renga and the western 
coast there is a puriri-tree (Vitex litoralis) half bu- 
ried in the sand, but still growing ; it serves as a 
landmark to the natives, within the memory of 
some of whom the sand has accumulated several 
feet in height. At other points on the western 
coast the same appearance is presented by some 
patches of forest having protected isolated spots of 
land, the soil of which is still good and fertile. 

From Manga Ke the northern coast sweeps again 
in an open bay for some miles to the eastward. 
The eastern extremity of this bay is formed by a 
rocky peninsula of pudding-stone, worn by the action 
of the waves. At high water it is insulated, and, 
being difficult of access, was formerly a stronghold 
of the Haupouri tribe. A narrow valley here opens 
to the sea ; through it flows a rivulet, which winds 
between rocks overturned and broken in the most 
remarkable manner. Sometimes the sides of the 
valley form high and perpendicular cliffs, present- 
ing steep and naked walls opposite to each other ; 
sometimes they slant down at different angles, or 
form tabular masses, or rise into compact pyra- 
mids. The rock is the same conglomerate, ex- 
tremely hard, and forming solid masses ; but the 
narrow valleys between ridges contain a very fertile 
soil. The hills have the appearance of a large 


mass or layer of firm rock violently broken and 
heaved up by gaseous vapours. The highest of the 
hills, called Hairoa, is visible at some distance from 
the eastern coast, and an arm of the estuary of Pa- 
renga-renga, extending to within about three miles 
of its base. It rises almost to a point, so that there 
is scarcely room for a man to stand on. A little 
below the summit the hill is pierced by a vault, 
which serves as a frame through which to view the 
surrounding country. The worn surface of the 
hard rock, which is visible at about 300 feet above 
the level of the sea, does net appear to have resulted 
from the effects of air and rain, but rather from 
the long-continued action of the sea beating upon 
the deposited and conglomerated pebbles after the 
mass had been elevated and rent asunder by earth- 

The whole of this place is called by the natives 
Kapowairua (literally, a spirit which has become 
night that is, has been annihilated). It was once 
occupied by the tribe of the Haupouri, under their 
leader E' Ongi, surnamed Cape (North Cape), to 
distinguish him from the renowned E Ongi of the 
Bay of Islands ; they were attacked by Pane Kar- 
eao, the chief of the Rarewa tribe at Kaituia, who 
had been called in by E' Ongi's own people to pre- 
vent the aggressions of their chief. E' Ongi was 
taken by surprise at the dawn of the morning, and 
killed, together with a great many of his people ; the 
rest were obliged to leave their native land, and to 


settle in Kaitaia. This happened about ten years 
ago ; and as at the same time several of their pas 
at the North Cape were taken, nobody has since 
lived in the district, and Kapo-wairua was sold by 
Pane Kareao to an European. In the direction of 
one of the principal inlets in the estuary of Pa- 
renga-renga, the few narrow and fertile spots near 
the northern shore soon give way to that kind of 
narrow ridges and ravines which I have mentioned 
above. Having formerly been kauri-land, they 
are now very barren. The soil contains layers of 
soapstone, or steatite, a material which is very use- 
ful in the manufacture of china, and a good deal of 
stiff ferruginous clay. The arms of Parenga-renga 
inlet extend between the ramifications of these hills, 
and generally terminate in swamps, grown over 
with what is called the New* Zealand mangrove 
(Avicennia tomentosa), named manawa by the 
natives. The available land is of very limited ex- 

As regards the northern coast, I have only fur- 
ther to observe that up to the North Cape it is 
very rocky, alternating with small sandy bays. Off 
the North Cape lies a small rocky island, Muri 
Motu (Last Island), separated from the mainland 
at high w r ater only. The promontory itself is high 
and bold, presenting very steep sides to both the 
northern and eastern coast ; but a flat and swampy 
land of about three square miles in extent runs 
from the northern to the eastern coast, and sepa- 


rates this promontory from the hills at Kapo- 

The eastern coast from the North Cape to the north 
head of the harbour of Parenga-renga is formed by 
frightful perpendicular cliffs of volcanic conglome- 
rate, sometimes alternating with cliffs of a reddish 
crumbling loam ; where this is the case the land is 
very fertile. In many places quicksand hides the 
formation of the land, and forms downs and sandy 
beaches. Part of the coast is occupied by a hard 
grey stratified sandstone, which can be traced across 
the neck of land separating the estuary of Parenga- 
renga from the sea. On both sides it is included 
by the conglomerate. In this sandstone I found a 
small layer of good coal a few feet in length and an 
inch and a half broad. The coal formations of 
England being overlaid by a similar conglomerate, 
it might be thought probable that more extensive 
beds of coal would be found in this neighbourhood : 
but, from a few fossils which I afterwards found in 
the conglomerate, I am induced to believe that this 
rock is not of the age of the old red sandstone, but 
belongs to a modern tertiary epoch, although it is 
certainly curious that the formation of brown coal, 
or lignite, which abounds in New Zealand, and 
which evidently belongs to the same age as the coal 
above mentioned, should have been followed by a 
conglomerate much worn and shattered, and indi- 
cating, as does the conglomerate of the coal-measures, 
H period of great disturbance. The coal, although 

206 LIGNITE. [PART n. 

in small quantity, is in this case a true coal, and 
proves, if really belonging to the tertiary epoch, 
that the formation of coal has not been confined to 
one period of the earth's existence. 

The northern head of Parenga-renga is a black 
water-worn bluff, and here the conglomerate contains 
some perfect fossils, especially of the genus Turri- 
tella and Ostrea. The entrance into Parenga- 
renga is easily distinguished by this bluff, as the 
southern head is a spit of a dazzling snow-white 
sand, which stretches towards Mount Carmel along 
the coast, and extends for some miles inland. 

From Cape Maria van Diemen, along the west- 
ern coast, a long line of sand-hills alternates with a 
few cliffy promontories, consisting either of a hard 
basaltic lava in irregular masses, or of a reddish 
loamy earth with layers of lignite, three or four feet 
in diameter, and overlaid by a thick stratum of loam. 
The lignite is not peat, but real wood, more or less 
carbonized. The pieces of wood, although much 
broken and worn, are easily recognised as belonging 
to species of trees still existing in the island, espe- 
cially kauri (Dammara australis) and Pohutu-kaua 
(Metrosideros tomentosa). It will be seen in the 
sequel that formations of this description are very 
common in New Zealand, both on the eastern arid 
western coasts, and that they form, in fact, a lead- 
ing feature in the geology of the island. 

I must not omit to mention here a small rocky 
island, lying about twelve miles from Cape Maria 


van Diemen, and three miles off the shore, and called 
Matapia. It is covered with countless numbers of 

In crossing from the western coast to Parenga- 
renga the road leads for several miles over white and 
soft sand-hills. Their desolate aspect is peculiarly 
impressive, as almost before our eyes the sand is 
swallowing up the only verdant spots which remain. 
The similarity of these little plots of land to islands, 
presenting in their steep sides layers of lignite and 
reddish loam, and the resemblance of the quicksand 
to the waves of the sea, are very striking. But ne- 
ver did a water-worn island bring so clearly before 
my mind the destroying agencies of Nature as this 
scene did, since we have here the means of ascer- 
taining their quick effects by the plants and shrubs 
which are half buried in the sand. Several shallow 
but clear rivulets flow towards the western coast, 
being the outlet of some small lagoons or swamps, 
which afford temporary protection from the sand to 
the wooded spots beyond them. A few miles from 
the estuary of Parenga-renga the land, being more 
sheltered by hills, assumes a better aspect ; the nar- 
row ravines are fertile, and covered with high fern, 
flax, and brush-wood, and brooks flow through them, 
which join the different arms of Parenga-renga har- 

This estuary is not laid down in any chart, al- 
though it is an extensive one ; it must be placed at 
what is called Sandy Bay in the general charts, in 


latitude 35 35' S., and in 172 57' E. longitude. The 
entrance to it is narrow, but is two fathoms deep at 
low water. The tide rises ten feet. I must how- 
ever observe that, in standing out of the harbour in 
our schooner during the ebb-tide, I observed some 
rocks in the entrance, about six feet under water, 
and vessels must therefore ascertain the exact chan- 
nel previously to entering. 

The harbour, or the estuary, as it should more 
properly be called, is from six to eight square miles 
in extent, and sends several branches in different 
directions for some distance inland, all of which are 
navigable for boats at high water. Good land is 
situated at the head of these channels ; one of these 
is only a little distance from Ka-po-wairua on the 
northern coast. The best anchorage in the harbour 
is within the inner northern head, where there is 
five fathoms water. 

At the North Cape I found the remains of large 
native pas, or fortifications, on the crest of the hills. 
It will, perhaps, be recollected that, in the account 
of Captain King's ' Voyage to New Zealand,' it is 
stated that he found this part of the island well in- 
habited. Since that time all the inhabitants have 
been reduced to slavery in their last wars. For a 
long time the whole district was laid under " tapu," 
that is, forbidden to be inhabited, and the remains 
of the tribes went to other places. It was only a 
short time before my arrival in Parenga-renga, in 
the beginning of 1841, that about sixty natives of the 

CHAP, xii.] THE LAND'S END. 209 

Haupouri tribe had returned to their old country 
with the permission of Pane-kareao, the chief at 
Kaitaia, intending again to settle here. A Eu- 
ropean was living with them, for whom they had 
engaged to catch wild pigs, which have overrun 
the northern extremity of the island, where they 
feed upon fern-root and sea-weeds. A great quan- 
tity of fish is taken in the habour, especially skates, 
herrings, mackerel, and snappers ; and the natives 
were preserving them in great quantities by simply 
drying them in the sun. 

The whole extremity of the island, from Parenga- 
renga to the northward, is called by the natives 
Muri-wenua (the land's end), and from my descrip- 
tion it will be seen that there is not much to entice 
European settlers. There is, however, land fit for 
some small farms, with excellent soil, sufficient wood, 
and great facilities of water-carriage. But it is to 
be expected that the remainder of the original tribe 
will return to their native place, and at the same 
time it is probable that some one of the private pur- 
chasers will occupy his land, and give the natives a 
stimulus for improving their condition. A consi- 
derable number of sheep would find easy sustenance 
on the hills, more so indeed than in most other 
parts of New Zealand, as the herbage here is low, 
and therefore better adapted for sheep than a high 
and vigorous one. 

VOL. I. 

210 [PART n. 


Harbour of Houhoura, or Mount Carmel Rangaurm 

AT the narrowest part of the island, from Parenga- 
renga to about eight miles to the southward of 
Houhoura, or Mount Carmel, the land consists 
either of low hills or swamps, and is almost useless 
on the east coast, where it is lined by a long sandy 
beach, here and there interrupted by bluffs of ba- 
saltic rock, which are verdant with groups of the 
hardy pohutukaua-tree (Metrosideros tomentosa). 
The vegetation of the hills is brown and low, almost 
wholly consisting of fern and manuka. On the 
western coast the land wears a better aspect, where 
no sand-hills intervene. The shore consists of cliffs 
about thirty feet high, in which loam and lignite 
are observed. They have a sandy beach before 
them; and everywhere springs of most excellent 
water drip down, proving the moisture of the cli- 
mate, even in the height of summer. In conse- 
quence of this abundant moisture the natives have 
many plantations, which are in a thriving state. 
Towards Waro, a high dome-like promontory, con- 
sisting of a volcanic clay-stone, or wakke, the land 


becomes excellent. This mountain is the com- 
mencement of a continued chain of similar hills, 
which run along the western coast to the south- 
ward, their formation being different varieties of 

Mount Carmel itself is not connected with any 
chain of mountains, but forms an isolated hill, and 
rises to the height of about 500 feet above the sea. 
This mountain protects a deep inlet, which, at the 
head, branches off into several shallow channels, 
and forms a perfectly sheltered harbour for vessels 
of the largest burden, with anchorage close to the 
eastern shore : the entrance to this harbour is not 
more than forty or fifty yards broad. The moun- 
tain is similar in its structure to the main range of 
hills, and its appearance is such as to indicate clearly 
its formation below the level of the sea. The base 
is basalt and clinkstone ; the summit forms a narrow 
ridge, from which steep buttresses run out towards 
the sea on one side, and towards the harbour on 
the other. In ascending we pass from the trap 
to a greyish sandstone, irregularly mixed with pipe- 
clay, steatite, and massy greenish quartz. On the 
top, and to seaward, this hilly group is barren, 
although, from the resin found here, we have un- 
equivocal proofs that it was once covered with 
kauri. Towards the harbour the natives have cul- 
tivated portions of the steep ridges ; these planta- 
tions alternate with pleasant bushes and groves to 
the water's edge. The natives are only about forty 

p 2 


in number : they belong to the Haupouri, and are 
not therefore an independent tribe. They are now 
all Christians, and some of their number had gone 
as catechists to Parenga-renga. 

They told me that they had once a very large 
vessel in their harbour ; and although the surround- 
ing country is not a favourable district for the 
colonists, this harbour may afford shelter to vessels 
which draw too much water to lie with safety in 
the Bay of Rangaunu. 

Some miles to the southward of Houhoura the 
land at once assumes a very different aspect. The 
raupo-swamps, and the low barren elevations'- of 
the soil between them, give way to an extensive 
alluvial district, which stretches from the eastern to 
the western coast, and follows the serpentine course 
of the Awaroa, a river which empties itself into the 
estuary of Rangaunu, a shallow and extensive arm 
of the sea, with an open though an intricate 
channel for moderate-sized vessels. I entered the 
harbour at low-water, in the schooner, which drew 
eight feet, and, not knowing the channel, we 
grounded several times, although there is but little 
danger in fine weather, as the bottom is soft and 
muddy. We anchored about three miles from the 
north head, sheltered by a spit of sand, and then 
went twenty miles farther up the river in a boat, 
to a farming establishment of a Mr. Southee. On 
a second visit we took the schooner up to the same 
place, and anchored close to the house of Mr. 



Southee, where the river was not much broader 
than the length of our little craft. But the tide 
presses the fresh water back eight feet above its 
usual level, and it is then of considerable depth. It 
is one of those rivers the banks of which consist 
only of their own alluvium, the channel winding 
in a serpentine course ; it has little fall, but the tide 
renders it always navigable. The banks are per- 
pendicular, and rise two or three feet above the 
level of the spring-tides ; towards its outlet, how- 
ever, the land is low and swampy, and is overflowed 
when winds from the sea raise the water to a higher 
levM, or when floods, occasioned by long-continued 
rain, come down from the interior. 

I will transcribe a few lines from my journal 
describing the country in the neighbourhood of the 
river : " At first we passed swamps covered with 
mangroves, sometimes only showing their heads 
above water, and affording shelter to flights of ducks 
and other aquatic birds. When the banks become 
higher, the land is perfectly level ; the soil, as is 
seen by the section of the river banks, is in some 
places a stiff black loam, in others a lighter earth, 
to all appearance admirably adapted for grain. The 
country is perfectly open in many places, and only 
covered with tupakihi (Coriaria sarmentosa), fern, 
high flax, and here and there some spots of grass. 
In other parts the ti (Dracaena Australis), the stem 
of which seldom exceeds half a foot in thickness, 
forms almost a forest, or, to express myself more 


correctly, a jungle ; and the beautiful crowns of 
these monocotyledonous, mostly dichotomous, or 
many-branched trees, with their bunches of delicate 
white flowers below the crown of leaves, as in the 
palm-tree, give the landscape a most novel aspect, 
the more so from my having seen few such open 
flats in New Zealand. The higher we went, the 
more agreeable was the scene. On the shores were 
native settlements, with long seines hanging out to 
dry, and many natives at work mending canoes and 
their fishing apparatus, for the season is approach- 
ing when the shark is caught in great numbers. 
Here and there fields of potatoes, kumeras, melons, 
and pumpkins, neatly fenced in, and kept extremely 
clean, show all the vigour of vegetation for which 
New Zealand is so remarkable. Their owners 
welcomed us as we went along, but did not evince 
any pressing curiosity. The setting sun threw a 
stream of gold over the western horizon, which 
caused the mountains to stand out in sharp relief 
against the sky, and made them appear almost of an 
indigo colour. Early in the evening we arrived at 
Southee's farm ; it is situated on both banks of the 
river, which here forms by its serpentine course 
several natural paddocks. The maize, growing ten 
or twelve feet high, and the fields of yellow wheat, 
bowing under the weight of the grain, showed what 
the land is capable of producing. Cattle were graz- 
ing about, and the well-stocked farm-yard bore 
testimony to an industry such as is very rarely met 

CHAP, xiii.] MR. SOUTHEE'S FARM. 215 

with amongst the numerous settlers of all classes 
who for several years have had almost the whole of 
the land partitioned amongst themselves, as the 
generality of them have bought the land for the 
purpose of speculation, instead of cultivation." 

Mr. Southee has about 300 natives around him 
in his immediate neighbourhood, who cultivate bits 
of land interspersed with his own, and who, for 
cheap wages, work for him in various branches of 
husbandry, and thus procure for themselves those 
European commodities for which they have acquired 
a taste. He gives them articles to the value of 21. 
for every acre they clear. The mode which he 
adopts in clearing the land is to cut down all brush- 
wood and vegetation in summer, and to burn it 
when it has become dry. Immediately after this 
he sows the ground with turnips, and when these 
have been gathered, with potatoes, which require 
only a little hoeing. The roots and stumps are 
then sufficiently rotten, and the ground can be 
easily tilled and prepared for grain. 

From Mr. Southee's house the river turns, with 
many windings, towards the western coast. Higher 
up its course it acquires greater fall, and in many 
places is obstructed by snags. Its banks are of the 
same good description, and are here and there 
clothed with groves of kahikatea, rimu, and totara 
pines, or of tarairi (Laurus tarairi) and puriri, until 
it arrives at Kaitaia. A mission-station and native 
settlement is situated about eight miles from the 


western coast, on a hilly eminence, an offset of the 
chain of hills which run from near this point 
through the interior. Between this chain and the 
range of western coast hills which I have above 
mentioned, flows the Awaroa, having its source 
near that of the Mango-muka a branch of the 
Hokianga river, from which it is separated by the 
Maunga Taniwa, a remarkable pyramidical peak 
which towers above the chain of hills, being nearly 
1500 feet high. 

Throughout its course the valley of the Awaroa 
is capable of being made very productive, as the 
soil is extremely fertile : from Kaitaia it narrows 
to the breadth of one mile. Several miles below 
Kaitaia the river is joined by another, coming from 
the eastern hills in the neighbourhood of Mango- 
nui in Lauriston Bay, and at the point of junction 
scarcely inferior in size to the Awaroa. Above 
Kaitaia the Awaroa is only passable by canoes, in 
which the natives carry down food from their 
plantations to their principal settlement at Kaitaia. 
They prefer the upper part of the valley for culti- 
vation, as indeed they usually do ; and their fields 
are very extensive, and kept in good order. From 
Kaitaia to the western coast the land is equally 
good. In some places there is excellent grass, 
rather an unusual thing in New Zealand. A 
wooden bridge over the river has been built by the 
natives, under the guidance of the missionaries ; 
and if we cross it, and pass to Waro on the 


western coast, several valleys are seen stretching 
from the western hills into the plain, in most of 
which natives reside. To the northward of Waro 
low ridges run parallel to the sea-coast, small creeks 
flowing between them, and the light soil there is 
eagerly sought after for the cultivation of kumeras 
At one of these creeks, the Wai-mimi, there is an 
extensive bed of lignite. About two miles to the 
northward of Kaitaia is a small fresh-water lake, 
containing large eels and two kinds of small fishes ; 
crawfish is also found there. 

The natives form the tribe of the Rarewa, and their 
whole number is about 8000, including all those who 
inhabit the valley of the A waroa. Of all the natives 
who are under the influence of the missionaries, this 
tribe is the most advanced in the arts of civilization. 
This must be ascribed partly to the endeavours of 
the missionaries and partly to the comparative isola- 
tion of the natives, resulting from their having been 
powerful enough to resist the aggressions of E'Ongi 
from the Bay of Islands, and of the neighbouring 
tribes. The traveller does not meet here with that 
begging and grasping behaviour which renders the 
natives on the coast so importunate ; on the con- 
trary, they are a quiet hard-working people, and they 
have, for a very small payment, cut a road thirty-two 
miles long through the primitive forest, between 
Kaitaia and Waimate, in the neighbourhood of the 
Bay of Islands ; they have also . cut roads in the 
neighbourhood of their own village. During my 


stay I saw them reap wheat and plough several 
acres of land, and the missionaries encourage them 
to exchange their former unwholesome food of de- 
cayed maize and potatoes for bread. Several of the 
natives have one or two head of cattle and horses ; 
and I have every reason to believe that here at least 
the missionaries will encourage their acquiring 
them, in order to dispose of the increase of their 
own stock. 

The village has quite an English appearance ; a 
large church, with a steeple of kauri boards, has 
been constructed almost entirely by the natives ; 
gardens, with roses, are before the houses, and at 
the foot of the hill wheat alternates with vines, with 
hops, which thrive extremely well, and with various 
fruit-trees and vegetables : there are also several 
patches planted with tobacco. 

The natives lived originally at the Hokianga, but 
about twenty-five years ago they took Kaitaia from 
the Haupouri and Nga-te-kuri, who must have 
been very numerous, judging from the remains of 
their pas on the neighbouring hills. A great por- 
tion of these tribes were slaughtered, and the rest 
either were made slaves or mixed with the conquer- 
ors. About eight years ago the missionaries esta- 
blished a station here, the wars between the native 
tribes having come to a termination, and they found 
it comparatively easy to obtain an influence over 

The hills which stretch from Kaitaia, through 


the interior of the country, are wooded, and only a 
lew miles from Kaitaia they are covered with kauri- 
forest. Near the entrance to Rangaunu Bay are 
very fine groves of this valuable tree, mixed with 
tanekaha, rata, towai, and other excellent timber- 
trees. An arm of the sea, which is joined here by 
a fresh-water creek, the Mangake, and which flows 
through a considerable extent of forest, affords faci- 
lities for floating the timber down, or for establish- 
ing saw-mills. 

The alluvial land, as already observed, is for the 
most part fit for immediate cultivation : the herds of 
cattle and horses belonging to the missionaries are 
in excellent condition, and show that there is a suffi- 
ciency of pasturage. 

In the neighbourhood of the mission-station there 
is found a white, hard, and very closely-grained 
sandstone, which would prove an excellent building- 

The hills near the western coast, on the left bank 
of the Awaroa, consist of basaltic masses, of rounded 
forms and of moderate height. They are covered 
with a mixed forest ; no kauri is found there ; and 
all the land to the westward of the Awaroa must be 
considered as excellent, notwithstanding its hilly 
character. The hills on the right bank, which ex- 
tend through the interior of the island, are com- 
posed of a soft argillaceous slate, reposing upon a base 
of hard volcanic rock,' phonolithe, or clinkstone. 
Where the clay stone and the phonolithe are in con- 


tact, a transition from the hard condition of the 
latter to the soft state of the former is observable 
to the eye of the geologist, and displays an instructive 
phenomenon. Very near Kaitaia, about 150 feet 
above the level of the valley, a slaty marl crops out 
in perpendicular slabs in the depressions of the hills, 
and is an excellent material for improving the soil 
of certain kinds of fields, and is, in fact, extensively 
used in agriculture. 

A bridle-road leads from Kaitaia for thirty- four 
miles through the forest : it was cut by fifty natives 
for as many blankets, and was completed in six 
weeks. They were, however, glad when they had 
finished their task, as they had suff eed much from 
want during the time, as is shown by the following 
song, which was sung by them on the occasion : 

Ka ngaro te purapura, 

Te pata kai : 

Etiki ka mate : ko Taewa ka mate : 

Ko te Paki ka mate : 

Ko te Matiu ka mate : 

Ka ka po nei te manawa : 

Ka tahuri au ki te reinga : 

He poro kaki ka mate. 

The tobacco is gone : we have no food cooked in a pot : Etiki 
is hungry : Taewa is sick : Te Matiu is sick : Te Paki is hungry : 
all our good cheer is exhausted : we turn back towards the Reinga : 
we are sick for some food. 

The days of such cheap work are now gone by in 

New Zealand. At a distance of seventeen miles 

and a half on this road is situated Maunga Taniwa. 

The whole valley of the Awaroa cannot contain 


less than 120,000 acres of arable land. In respect 
to the quality of the soil, the facility of cultivation, 
as well as of water communication, the abundance 
of excellent wood and of other building materials, 
the district is one of the most favoured in New 
Zealand. A great portion of the land has been 
purchased by a few private individuals ; but if the 
intentions of Government, of not allowing more 
than 2500 acres to any one individual, is strictly 
carried into effect, a great part of these purchases 
will come back to the natives, and, without injuring 
the interests of the latter, government will have 
no difficulty in acquiring a fine agricultural dis- 
trict. Kaitaia itself, which is eight miles from the 
western coast, and six from Southee's station, is a 
desirable place for a provincial town, as it is in the 
centre of the district, and in a healthy situation ; 
it stands on an eminence commanding a view of 
the whole district, and is especially adapted to serve 
as a central point and market-place for the sur- 
rounding native population. 

22*2 [PART n. 


Harbour of M ango-nui, in Lauriston Bay. 

To the southward of Kaitaia the interior of the 
island is occupied by a range of hills, which sends 
its branches both eastward and westward, forming 
narrow valleys that serve as river-courses. The 
sea enters into several inlets on both coasts, where 
it is joined by the various rivers, if the mountain- 
streams deserve that name, and forms several har- 
bours. The general height of these hills is less 
than 1 500 feet above the level of the sea ; this 
height, however, they attain in the Maunga Ta- 
niwa. The top of this pyramid, which runs almost 
to a point, offers an excellent view of the sur- 
rounding land. An old Metrosideros stands on 
the summit, overshadowing the heavy growth all 
around : the natives have cut steps into its stem to 
afford an easy ascent. From this place we over- 
look the whole northern extremity of the island 
as far as the Bay of Islands, and it will afford an 
excellent trigonometrical station. We can here 
perceive that the different ramifications of the chain 
do not form valleys, but ravines, which only widen 
towards the estuaries of the sea. The whole is 


clothed with a thick forest, the dark verdure of 
which is uninterrupted, except by the bright green 
of a raupo-swamp in the bottom of the ravines, or 
by the brown hue of the fern, which covers some 
districts, especially towards the coast. The forest 
is a mixed one ; that is to say, there is no prevailing 
kind of trees, and only towards Mango-nui, Wan- 
garoa, and Hokianga are groves of kauri. Many 
of the trees, especially the rata (Metrosideros ro- 
busta), the totara (Podocarpus totara), the rimu 
(Dacrydium cupressinum), the pukatea (Laurus pu- 
katea ?), are of immense dimensions. They are 
intermingled with fern-trees, especially Cyathea me- 
dullaris and Cyathea dealbata ; while the cabbage- 
palm (Areca sapida) grows in the deepest recesses. 
The mouldy soil, refreshed by continual moisture, 
bears numerous other species of ferns, as well as 
some beautiful mosses, jungermannias, livermosses, 
lichens, and a few kinds of fungi. Many trees 
have been uprooted by gales, or have fallen down 
from natural decay, whilst all around vegeta- 
tion is springing up from destruction, and this 
apparent destructive process gives a true, image of 
the continual destruction and re-creation of Nature, 
and displays those unchanging laws which pervade 
the universe, and which are nowhere more power- 
fully impressed upon the mind than in a primeval 
forest. At first, all the trees in a New Zealand 
landscape seem to be of a uniform dark tint ; but, 
on inspection, one cannot fail to discover as many 

224 FORESTS. [PART n. 

varieties of colour as there are species. Their forms 
likewise belong to the most beautiful in nature : what, 
for instance, can be more delicate than the graceful 
rimu-pine with pendent branches ; or the tree-ferns 
and stately palms ; or the venerable rata, often mea- 
suring forty feet in circumference, and covered with 
scarlet flowers whilst its stem is often girt with a 
creeper belonging to the same family (Metrosideros 
hypericifolia) ? Sometimes the vines, a foot thick, of 
another creeper, the aki (Metrosideros buxifolia), 
also with scarlet flowers, are seen running up to 
the highest branches of the rata. Of other para- 
sitical plants, however, the rata-trees are very free, 
by far more so than some pines, such as the puriri 
(Vitex litoralis) and some others. 

It is remarkable how little this forest is enliv- 
ened by living beings : a few birds, it is true, 
are found in its recesses, whose notes are various 
and melodious ; but at noon they all seem to re- 
pose, and the silence is then scarcely ever inter- 

The formation of which this hilly ridge is com- 
posed, so far as the luxuriant vegetation permits of 
its being observed, is a yellowish argillaceous rock, 
mixed in fragments with the vegetable mould. It 
is of various degrees of hardness, and in most cases 
may be observed in conjunction with compact ba- 
saltic rock, which appears sometimes protruding on 
the surface, sometimes laid bare in the river-courses. 
The pebbles in the rivers are whinstone of different 


colours, and varying in point of hardness, and this 
rock seems to be everywhere the lowermost, and to 
compose the greater bulk of the mountain, having 
in its formation variously acted upon and changed 
the covering argillaceous rock. Both on the east- 
ern and western coast other kinds of rocks may be 
seeil) marly limestone, marble, in junction with 
slates, conglomerates, sandstones, and lignite, of 
which I shall have occasion to speak more fully 
when describing the places in which they occur. 
The flat alluvial land extending on the right shore 
of the Awaroa to Rangaunu Bay is separated from 
Lauriston Bay by an offset from this hilly ridge, 
which juts out into the sea, and forms Kari Kari, or 
Knuckle Point. These hills are low, covered in 
some places with a little wood, in others with fern. 
The first place which claims our attention in Lau- 
riston Bay is Oruru, where a river, which takes its 
rise on the eastern slope of Maunga Taniwa, and 
which can be entered by a boat, empties itself into 
the sea. On both sides of this river is excellent 
level and clear land, which rises slowly towards 
Maunga Taniwa. Oruru is separated by low hills 
covered with a stiff white clay and a scanty vegeta- 
tion from a similar valley, eight miles to the north- 
ward, and out of which another river runs into the 
sea. The road from Oruru into the harbour of 
Mango-nui leads over a succession of steep hills and 
narrow fertile ravines. The distance is about ten 

VOL. I. Q 


I was agreeably surprised to see the native plant- 
ations at Oruru. In neatness they exceed every- 
thing that would be done by Europeans with 
similar means ; but, strange to say, the natives had 
preferred the steep sides of a hill to the rich allu- 
vium of the valley. 

There are not many people living here : those 
who do belong to the tribes of the Haupouri, but 
Pane Kareao, the chief at Kaitaia, claims the whole 
place and the right to dispose of it, as the present 
occupants belong to a subdued tribe. The greater 
part of the land has been sold, chiefly to Mr. Ford, 
who was formerly the surgeon attached to the 

The harbour of Mango-nui is not laid down in 
any chart ; vessels rounding Point Surville should 
keep close to the southern shore of Lauriston Bay, 
and will then have no difficulty in avoiding the 
reef of rocks which runs off Oruru in a north- 
easterly direction, and which is the only obstacle to 
a safe and easy entrance into the harbour. The 
channel is not above 100 yards wide, but is very 
deep. Several whalers have at different times re- 
sorted to this harbour for provisions and repair. 
In the narrow part of the channel a vessel can keep 
close to the southern shore ; and, entering the basin, 
haul close round the southern head, and anchor in 
five fathoms water about a quarter of a mile off that 
head, where a small number of vessels are perfectly 
sheltered. The rest of the estuary is a large basin, 


spreading out into mud flats at low water, with a 
channel sufficiently deep for large b6ats, near the 
northern shore, up to its head, which is here en- 
tered by a river that takes its rise in the hills 
separating the harbour of Wangaroa from Mango- 
nui. An arm of the latter stretches towards Oruru, 
and unites with this river behind an island of mo- 
derate size which forms the head of the harbour. 
This island conceals mangrove-flats, which lie on 
both sides of the channel. 

The river Pu-te-kaka is entered by the tide for 
about eight miles, and thus far a boat can go up it. 
It flows through an undulating open country, the 
elevations alternating with large swamps, which 
might be easily drained, and would then form good 
agricultural land. Higher up, the view is shut in 
by the hills towards Wangaroa, which are about 
fifteen miles distant, and are covered with kauri- 
forest, as are also the hills to the west and north. 
The land up to the base of those hills is devoid of 
trees. At this point the Pu-te-kaka is only a small 
creek, but several times during the year it swells 
sufficiently to float large logs of kauri into the 
harbour. A melancholy scene of waste and de- 
struction presented itself to me when I went up to 
see this forest. Several square miles of it were 
burning, having been fired in order to make room 
for the conveyance of logs down to the creek. 
Noble trees, which had required ages for their per- 
fection, were thus recklessly destroyed in great 

Q 2 


numbers, as, in consequence of the great quantity 
of resin around this pine, the fire always spread 
rapidly. The cupidity of new settlers too often 
occasions the destruction of the forests, to the irre- 
parable injury of subsequent colonists. A great 
many of these first settlers, doubtful of being able 
to maintain their claims to their immense pur- 
chases, have no other object than to clear the 
greatest possible amount of profit in the shortest 
time, even at the sacrifice of a large and invaluable 
forest. It is utterly impossible ever to make good 
the damage thus done to the real interests of the 
country at large, as the kauri-land is so exhausted 
that scarcely anything will grow on it but fern 
and manuka. Unless the strictest measures are 
immediately taken to prevent this reckless destruc- 
tion, it is very certain that the forests of this noble 
tree will be greatly and irreparably reduced, as the 
kauri is already a scarce tree, and is confined to 
very narrow limits. These reflections occurred to 
me more than once during my wanderings in New 
Zealand, having many times seen kauri-forest 
burning, not fired for the purpose of clearing the 
land, but in order to get a dozen or two of logs : 
sometimes the conflagration has been caused by 
neglect : in several places, many square miles in 
extent are covered with the burnt remains of the 

The trees here were cut up into logs sixteen feet 
in length, and four of these logs were generally 


obtained from one tree. The work was done by 
native sawyers. 

About six miles from its outlet into the harbour 
the Pu-te-kaka is joined by another river, which 
flows through a fine cultivated valley. The north 
side of the harbour is hilly, and consists of a red 
ferruginous loam, interrupted in some places by 
basalt and Lydian stone. The southern head of 
the harbour is a narrow peninsula, with table-land 
on the top ; towards Point Surville the coast is 
hilly, with occasional narrow valleys, most of which 
are wooded towards the sea-coast. 

There are about thirty Europeans living in this 
harbour, chiefly sawyers and storekeepers, and a 
few natives. The latter have their fixed habitations 
at Oruru, and only come here for the purposes of 
trade and work. Most of them are Nga-pui, who 
came from Tai-ama near Waimata, and occupied 
the land with the permission of the chiefs at Kai- 
taia. They have sold the whole of the harbour 
and surrounding country to different people ; but 
the chiefs at Kaitaia deny that they had any right 
to do so, and have asserted their own claim to the 
territory by selling the harbour to Government. 

Mango-nui is well situated for a small town, as 
it commands a sufficient extent of agricultural and 
timber land to insure success. There is an easy 
communication with the different native settlements 
in Lauriston Bay ; and a good path leads to Kai- 
taia, which might easily be converted into a road. 


One of the European colonists here, who had 
lately come from Adelaide in South Australia, pre- 
sented me with a specimen of that very curious bird 
the kiwi, or Apterix australis : it had been killed by 
a dog, and was consequently much injured. This 
was the only specimen I obtained during a stay of 
eighteen months in New Zealand, although I offered 
a liberal reward to any native who would bring me 
one. In most places the natives told me at once 
that none were now to be found, that the dogs and 
cats had destroyed them all. In the hilly and gloomy 
forests between Mango-nui and Hokianga they were 
said still to exist, and also in a swampy mountainous 
tract in the neighbourhood of Waimate; but the 
indolence of the natives in those districts frustrated 
all my efforts. Other places as the Little Barrier 
Island in the gulf of Hauraki, some districts near 
the East Cape and the western coast of the Middle 
Island, where they are said to be still common I 
had no opportunity of visiting. A bird of such 
anomalous structure as the kiwi, differing, as it does, 
from all other birds, although most nearly related 
to the Struthious order, and having habits peculiar 
to itself, had attracted my most eager attention. 
That the period is near at hand when this bird 
will be extinct is quite evident, and is a point of the 
deepest interest to the natural philosopher, on ac- 
count of the conclusions to be drawn from such a 
fact, as regards certain events in the history of 
the animal creation, and the agencies employed to 


influence the actual state of many tribes, and the 
fluctuations in their relative positions. Happily for 
us, the most eminent comparative anatomist of the 
age, Professor Richard Owen, has, by a most care- 
ful dissection of several specimens, the result of 
which is given in the second volume of ' The Trans- 
actions of the Zoological Society,' preserved to 
science a most complete account of the structure of 
the apterix. Unfortunately, no such account exists 
in regard to another bird which has disappeared 
from the globe within the memory of man ; I mean 
the dodo, formerly inhabiting the islands of Bour- 
bon and Mauritius. A few observations regarding 
the apterix will not, I trust, be considered out of 

The kiwi, or kiwi-kiwi, as it is called by the 
natives, inhabits the deepest recesses of the forest. 
Here, where gigantic trees are interwoven almost 
impenetrably with climbers, and where in the in- 
dentations of the mountains are formed small open 
and swampy spots covered by bulrushes and tufts 
of a high carex, or a liliaceous plant, the Hame- 
linia veratroides, is its favourite resort. Here it 
hides itself in the hollows of the trees during the 
day, being a truly nocturnal bird. It generally 
lives in pairs, male and female, one pair occupying 
a certain district. As soon as night sets in it 
leaves these hiding-places in search of food : this 
consists of the larvae of coleopterous and lepidop- 
terous insects, which it scratches out with its pow- 


erful feet, or turns up with its long slender beak. 
But insects seem not to be its only food. Professor 
Owen found seeds in its stomach, which I ascer- 
tained to be those of the Elaeocarpus hinau ; and, 
according to the statements of the natives, the seeds 
of the Hamelinia veratroides are also a favourite 
food with it. Little is known as to the nidification 
and incubation of the kiwi ; but I have ascertained 
the following particulars from the natives : They 
say that it burrows with its feet, and hollows out 
to a greater extent excavations already existing 
under the roots of trees ; and in them, on a single 
layer of grass, it lays one egg of a greenish colour 
and as large as a turkey's egg. They also assert 
that the male and female hatch alternately. Their 
notion as to the period of incubation is rather 
curious, as they say that the bird sits for several 
months upon the egg. 

During the night the shrill cry of the kiwi is 
often heard : the male utters the sound hoire, hoire, 
hoire ; the female, ho, ho, ho. By imitating these 
notes the natives decoy the kiwi, and catch them 
with the help of a dog, or bewilder them by sud- 
denly delaying a torch made of the resinous hauri- 
pine ; by which plan they catch them alive. A 
violent struggle generally ensues between the dog 
and the bird, in which the kiwi uses its powerful 
legs with great effect. It is said to be very swift 
in running, although its feet do not seem better 
adapted for that purpose than those of the common 


Formerly the kiwi served the natives for food ; 
it is very fat at some seasons, and its flesh is said 
to be well tasted ; its skin, which is remarkably 
strong and tough, especially along the back, was 
sewn together, and formed highly valued mats. 
Never having seen one of these mats, I readily con- 
cluded that the bird itself had become very scarce. 
I possess, however, fish-hooks to which the feathers 
of the kiwi are attached as artificial flies; and to 
that purpose they are well adapted. From all I 
could ascertain, there exists only one species of 
this remarkable bird. The male is distinguished 
by being much larger than the female, and by hav- 
ing a longer bill ; at least, this is the case in all 
the specimens the sex of which was ascertained 
and there are ten or twelve now in England ; 
and it was also the case in those which I saw in 
New Zealand in the possession of Mr. Colenzo and 
the Rev. Richard Taylor, and also in the Museum 
in Sydney. This difference of size will account for 
the belief that there were two species. 

If it be true, as the natives assert, that the kiwi 
is found on Little Barrier Island which is unin- 
habited, and is situated about nine miles from the 
main this fact would give rise to curious geolo- 
gical speculations. How did a bird which cannot 
fly for its wings, so to speak, are nothing but 
small crooked appendages, each about an inch and 
a half long, and terminating in a claw come across 
the sea to that island ? It would appear that no 


other answer can be given than that the island was 
formerly connected with the main. Fortunately 
we have proofs of a similar disruption in the exist- 
ence, on a small rocky islet in the Bay of Plenty, 
of a guana, which on the main has almost become 
extinct. I shall speak of the latter remarkable 
fact in another place. 

CHAP. xv.J 235 


Harbour of Wangaroa. 

THE harbour of Wangaroa has already obtained 
some celebrity by the catastrophe which happened 
to the Boyd, and the murder of her crew and pas- v 
sengers by the natives, in the year 1809. It is 
situated about twenty-five miles to the northward 
of the Bay of Islands. From Point Surville to the 
entrance of this harbour the coast is cliffy and steep, 
consisting of fragments of volcanic rock very firmly 
cemented together into a conglomerate. The en- 
trance to the harbour is formed by towering per- 
pendicular rocks of the same description, and is 
only about 150 yards broad. Pohutukaua- trees 
and others overhang these black walls, and form a 
very picturesque contrast with them. The entrance 
looks as if the solid rocks had been rent asunder by 
an earthquake, and the steep opposite sides had un- 
dergone a continued friction before they parted. 
Deep fissures penetrate the coast, and high cubical 
masses are piled one above another in-shore to the 
height of several hundred feet. The most remark- 
able is Waihi, or St. Peter, a cluster of these solid 


rocks on the northern head. The water in the 
entrance is of great depth close to the rocks, and 
there is no sunken rock or other hidden danger 
below the surface. This volcanic conglomerate 
overlies a formation of volcanic ashes, which con- 
tains carbonized remains of fern and wood. 

Nearly opposite Waihi a dome-like elevation 
crowns a pyramidical wooded hill, called Hakiri : 
the top of this cupola is accessible, although with 
great difficulty, and served in former days as a re- 
treat for the natives. Its formation is a decompos- 
ing trachite, and it has probably been pushed up 
into its dome-like shape through the basaltic rock 
which is seen at its base ; or it may have wasted 
away to that shape from the effects of rain and cli- 
mate. To the northward are the hills which sepa- 
rate Wangaroa from Mango-nui, and which are 
called Tara Tara : their step-like outlines give us 
an insi ht into their formation. The south side of 
the harbour is likewise rocky, and consists of much 
fissured wakke and basalt. The harbour itself is 
very spacious and deep, possesses anchorage for the 
largest fleet, and is sheltered from all winds. As ;i 
harbour it ranks with the best in New Zealand, 
and the beauty of its scenery is nowhere surpassed. 
There is, however, but little available land in its 
immediate neighbourhood : to the northward the 
sea forms some inlets with flats, which are over- 
grown with trees ; and kauri-timber is found on 
the neighbouring hills, but at some distance from 

CHAP. XV.] " THE BOYD." 237 

the coast, all that grew nearer the sea having 
already been cut down or destroyed. Several ves- 
sels have here been laden with timber, and craft of 
small burden have been built here. About 2000 
natives live in the immediate neighbourhood of this 
place, part of whom have become Protestant, part 
Roman Catholic converts. Mission-stations for 
both confessions are established here, and the na- 
tives seem to be in a fair state of advancement. 
They belong to the tribe of the Nga-pui, who took 
possession of the country after the original tribe had 
been conquered and nearly destroyed by E'Ongi. 
This original tribe was the one that was led on by 
the chief George to destroy the Boyd. You ask in 
vain for people who took part in, or know much of, 
this affair : the short time of thirty-one years has 
been sufficient for a whole tribe to disappear. Of 
this, however, I became convinced, that a small por 
tion only of the blame rested with the natives. 
E'Ongi received in his last. fight here the wound of 
which he afterwards died. 

Besides the missionaries, about a dozen other Eu- 
ropeans, mostly sawyers, live in different parts of 
this district ; but, with the exception of Mr. Shep- 
herd, the Church missionary, no one has made any 
attempt to cultivate the soil. 

About two miles from the south head of Wan- 
garoa harbour a beautiful red and variegated marble 
is found on the coast, of a close fine grain, and in 


sufficient quantity to become of importance for do- 
mestic architecture at some future time. This mar- 
ble occurs in connection with chloritic and argil- 
laceous slates, and seems to belong to the transition 
or secondary series, if we may judge from its mineral 
character, for it does not contain any fossils. 

The entrance to the harbour can be easily found, 
being opposite to the northernmost of the Cavelles, 
a chain of islands chiefly of basaltic formation, and 
extending along the coast towards the Bay of 
Islands. The island opposite to the harbour is re- 
sorted to by the natives for fishing ; but otherwise it 
is a hilly and exposed spot of no importance. 

CHAP, xvi.] 239 


Wangape and Hokianga. 

WE now return to the western coast. If we travel 
from Kaitaia towards the source of the Awaroa, we 
see its valley separated from the coast by undulating 
hills of basaltic structure, and covered with forest. 
Where the basaltic rock is found, the soil is gene- 
rally good ; and I have no doubt that in the course 
of time these hills will all be cultivated, and thus 
increase the area which I have assigned to the dis- 
trict of Kaitaia. I do not include in this the hills 
in the middle of the island, to which Maunga Ta- 
niwa belongs : they are too steep ever to be any- 
thing but forest-land. The coast from Waro to 
Wangape, or False Hokianga, fifteen miles to the 
northward of Hokianga, is bold and rocky. Wan- 
gape has never been surveyed. Its entrance is about 
200 yards wide ; it then expands into a fine basin, 
surrounded by low wooded hills, and appears to afford 
no shelter for shipping. The natives have exten- 
sive plantations, and belong to the tribe which lives 
at Hokianga. 


Passing from Kaitaia to Hokianga, the bridle- 
road ascends nearly to the summit of Maunga Ta- 
niwa, and then proceeds in a different direction. 
We leave it here by turning to the westward, and, 
descending rapidly, soon arrive in a valley, through 
which a mountain-stream flows, which in its upper 
part has formed alluvial land about five or six miles 
broad and eight miles long. This river is the Man- 
gumuka; its length, from Maunga Taniwa to the 
point where it joins the estuary called the Hokianga, 
is about twenty miles. At the upper part of the 
valley there is flat and fertile alluvial land, bounded 
on all sides by wooded hills ; the river, running in a 
bed of whinstone pebbles, at some places deepens, at 
others shoals, and its banks bear signs of frequent 
floods. Lower down its depth becomes more equal, 
and for about ten miles from its embouchure into 
the Hokianga harbour it admits vessels of moderate 
burden. This lower part is bounded on both sides 
by steep hills covered with kauri-trees, but the 
best of them have been cut down near the water's 
edge. So much has been said about Hokianga, 
that in speaking of it I may confine myself to a few 
words. The estuary is almost wholly bounded by 
steep hills, which, after the kauri has been cut 
down, will not repay the trouble of cultivation. 
But the largest timber-trees, those fit for the Royal 
Navy, are nearly all gone : those that remain are 
good for logs, but not for spars ; and therefore the 
timber-trade alone is not sufficient to repay the set- 



tiers. The estuary is joined by several fresh-water 
tributaries, which have a little cultivable land on 
their banks ; this is especially the case at the prin- 
cipal stream, and at the Waima near the entrance 
into the harbour ; but the alluvial land bears a very 
small proportion to that which is clayey and use- 
less. The good land is in the hands of the natives, 
who are branches of the Nga-pui and Rarewa 
tribes. They have cultivated small patches, and 
that portion of the land which they do not make 
use of might advantageously be occupied by a small 
number of European peasantry. But the nature of 
the country forbids any other kind of settlement. 
The harbour, however, although a bar harbour, can 
be entered by large vessels, and as there is a pilot on 
the heads there is no danger. There are already 
200 Europeans settled on the Hokianga, traders and 
sawyers, who found ample employment as long as 
tine spars and cheap labour were to be obtained. 
But all this is now greatly changed. 

The first Wesleyan mission-station was esta- 
blished at the Hokianga, and has been so effective 
that nearly all the natives are Christians. There is 
a printing-press at Mangungu, from which a few 
prayer-books have been issued A Roman Catholic 
missionary also resides here during a period of the 
year. The hills in the neighbourhood of Hokianga 
consist of argillaceous slate, covered with a white 
stiff clay, characteristic of the kauri-land. In 

VOL. i. R 


several places basaltic rock is found underlying the 

Hokianga is noted for its wet climate, and the 
thick fogs which envelop it long after the sun has 
risen above the horizon, whilst in other parts of the 
sland they are scarcely ever met with. 




Waimate, Lake Maupere, and Thermal Springs. 

AFTER emerging from the hills which surround 
Hokianga on all sides, and which are still covered 
with a primitive forest of pines, we descend into a 
comparatively level country ; and about fifteen miles 
from the head of the harbour we leave the bush, 
and the country is open to the Bay of Islands. We 
may regard the whole country to the westward and 
northward of the Bay of Islands as a volcanic table- 
land. If we enter this table-land from Hokianga 
we have to our right the Lake Maupere. In its 
immediate neighbourhood is an ancient crater, 
which forms a regular cone, with the exception 
that the western margin has fallen in. .Large 
angular pieces of a very scoriaceous and vesicular 
lava of different colours, and amygdaloidal basalt, 
cover its sides and base. With much labour the 
natives have collected these rocks into mounds, and 
have cultivated the black soil between them. The 
lavas and the crater closely resemble those in the 
Auvergne. In general the lavas of New Zealand 



are so hard, that time and the atmosphere have 
scarcely any influence on them. When we speak 
of a volcanic country we generally associate with it 
the idea of fertility ; but this is true in particular 
cases only. If the ejected matter be mud or ashes, 
in forty or fifty years, or even in less time, it is 
clothed with vegetation, and fit for planting, as we 
see in the fruitful regions around Etna and Vesuvius : 
but it would appear that the masses thrown up by 
these Polynesian volcanoes have rarely consisted of 
such soft substances, but have flowed out as lava, 
forming hard scorise, like the slaggy refuse of an 
iron-foundry ; and it will therefore easily be under- 
stood that the lands immediately at the base of the 
numberless volcanic cones which we see in New 
Zealand are not always those best suited for agri- 
cultural purposes. The lake which I have above 
mentioned is about one square mile and a half in 
extent, and apparently of great depth. In some 
places its borders are steep, and consist of basaltic 
lavas. It is perhaps an old crater; and, indeed, 
there is a tradition amongst the natives that a large 
village with its inhabitants was suddenly engulfed 
during an earthquake. 

Several conical craters, similar to that above 
mentioned, only with more perfect funnels in their 
centres, lie to the eastward of Waimate. The in- 
teriors are covered with vegetation, and all appear 
to have long been in a state of repose. 

A few miles to the southward of Waimate are 


some curious thermal springs. In order to visit 
them we leave Waimate, and ascend a hill, from 
which three of the volcanic cones above mentioned 
present themselves to our view, in an extensive 
depression of the table-land below. The field is 
spead over with fragments, often more than fifteen 
feet in diameter, of a slate-coloured basaltic rock, 
the spaces between which are covered with fern and 
flax ; while here and there are patches planted with 
Indian corn and potatoes. After passing a small 
native settlement, and crossing a ravine, we ascend 
a ridge of hills, very barren and steep, with a white 
clay on the surface, and evidently covered in former 
times with the kauri-pine. We now come to a 
lake about one mile in circumference. On its shores 
are black and half-burnt stems of kauri, and the 
soil in the neighbourhood is covered with efflora- 
tions of pure sulphur. At a little distance is another 
lake, called Ko-huta-kino, smaller than the former, 
and near this are the mineral springs. There are 
several of them, all close to the lake. The first 
which I examined was strongly aluminous, and of a 
temperature of 62 Fahrenheit. A few feet from it 
was a tepid spring, of a milk-white colour and an 
alkaline taste : its temperature was 12.4. A third 
was acidulous, with a temperature of 154 Fahren- 
heit. In another, over which rose strong sulphuret- 
ted hydrogen gas, the thermometer stood at 133, 
while the temperature of the surrounding air was 80 
Fahrenheit (Dec. 4. 1840). 


A small creek discharged itself into the lake 
through a narrow gulley. The gaseous emanations 
of sulphuric acid have much altered the argillaceous 
rock, parts of which have become white and red, 
while in other portions it has changed into a species 
of clay, covered with sublimations of pure alum, 
sulphur, and different sulphates. There are several 
other springs in the neighbourhood, which mix 
their waters with the creek, and impart to it an in- 
creased temperature. 

I found here some native women, with their 
children, living in a temporary shed. The children 
were affected with cutaneous and scrofulous diseases, 
especially ringworm and swollen lymphatic glands, 
and had been brought to this place for the benefit 
of bathing in the warm sulphurous water, the bene- 
ficial effects of which were already very visible. 
The springs are often visited by the natives for this 
purpose, and, as might be expected, are of very great 
benefit in many of the disorders most common in 
these parts. 

The surrounding country, especially to the south- 
ward, has to a singular degree the barren and deso- 
late aspect so often observed in places celebrated for 
their salubrious mineral waters. Scarcely any ver- 
dure is seen on the hills of the neighbourhood : it 
is only in the ravines that the uniform brown tint 
of stunted fern is interrupted by the green of some 
sheltered groves. 

There seems to be no doubt that the sick will 


flock to these baths in the course of time, especially 
as the distance from the Bay of Islands is trifling, 
the communication easy, and the valley well sheltered 
from the winds. 

Waimate, which is situated about fifteen miles to 
the westward of the Bay of Islands, has a very 
European aspect. A church has been built, and in 
its neighbourhood are the houses of the missionaries, 
surrounded by rose-trees, and other plants of foreign 
extraction. There is a great want of flowering 
plants in New Zealand, and every introduction of 
such improves the landscape. In the neighbour- 
hood are the poor and slovenly huts of the natives, 
forming rather a painful contrast. However, when 
I saw the natives in church on the Sunday, most of 
them were cleanly dressed in the European style ; 
and the work of Europeanfaing them seemed to be 
gradually progressing. 

Waimate was chosen many years ago as the agri- 
cultural settlement of the Church Missionary So- 
ciety, and has been ever since the residence of an 
ordained clergyman. Although convenient as a 
Mission-settlement in many other respects, being in 
the common road from the Bay of Islands to Hoki- 
anga, and from the southern to the northern districts 
of the island, its immediate neighbourhood has no 
great pretensions in an agricultural point of view ; 
and the produce of the Missionary farm has always 
been at a very low ebb. In fact, a great deal of the 
land has been relinquished, for the very sufficient 


reason that it yielded nothing at all. The soil is a 
very light dusty volcanic earth. This is the reason 
why the natives have no plantations here, but pre- 
fer the ravines intersecting the plain, or go nearer 
to the groves, or to the base of the hills which 
bound the table-land, where the soil is more sub- 
stantial. Some parts of the table-land towards the 
Keri-keri have a very superficial stratum of vegetable 
earth, and are strewed over with lapilli of ferrugi- 
nous clay ; where these are found the soil is almost 
useless. Good and bad land, indeed, alternate ; the 
latter rather prevailing. On the banks of the Keri- 
keri and Waitangi rivers, which discharge them- 
selves into the Bay of Islands, the land is of the 
best description ; but even there masses of scoriae 
have to be cleared away, which will require a great 

The Waitangi forms a picturesque cascade near 
its outlet into the Bay of Islands. Below the fall 
the basaltic rock in the banks of the river shows 
somewhat of a columnar structure. 

The neck of land which separates Waitangi from 
the Keri-keri is claimed by Mr. Bushby, the former 
consul of New Zealand, and contains some very 
good land and pasturage. 

The vegetation which covers the table-land is 
but little varied : fern, tupakihi (Coriaria sarmen- 
tosa), Dracaena australis and indivisa, and Gaul- 
theria, are the most common plants. That curi- 
ous lichen the Cenomice retispora is found in 


abundance. A few groves of trees in the neighbour- 
hood of Waimate contain chiefly puriri, tarairi, and 
high stems of fuchsia. 

These groves were formerly used as bury ing-places 
by the natives, who suspended coffins containing the 
bodies of their dead to the trees, which has made 
them sacred, and is perhaps the cause of their not 
having shared in the destruction which has attended 
the greater part of the forest. 

The natives living in this neighbourhood belong 
to the Nga-pui, who were formerly one of the 
largest tribes in New Zealand, but have very much 
decreased, notwithstanding the ascendency which the 
conquests of E' Ongi gave them over many other 
tribes. They live much dispersed in their small 
villages. Remains of their ancient pas are visible 
on the hills in the neighbourhood of Waimate. 

A few miles to the northward of Waimate is the 
Keri-keri river, where there is a mission-station. 
The intervening land is very inferior, and especially 
around the station ; but higher up the Keri-keri it 
is decidedly good. The Keri-keri is a small stream, 
forming a fall about two miles above the station, 
opposite to which there is a rapid, presenting a 
barrier to the farther ascent of the tide. Small 
vessels can come up as high as this point. The 
estuary of the Keri-keri has the appearance of a 
broad river, and presents some fine sites for farming 
establishments on its borders. 

The waterfall of the river Keri-keri (a water- 


fall is called Waianiwaniwa in the native language, 
meaning rainbow-waters) has a very picturesque 
effect. The river is only about twenty yards broad, 
but the fall is over a basaltic escarpment ninety-five 
feet in height. This basalt overhangs a soft forma- 
tion of a grey volcanic sand, which has been washed 
away from under it for about thirty feet, so that one 
can walk behind the falling cascade. The spray of 
the waters gives rise to a vigorous vegetation all 
around, and this place was a favourite spot of that 
excellent botanist Mr. Cunningham. There is, 
indeed, a greater assemblage of the flora of New 
Zealand in this neighbourhood than in any other 
place so near a shipping-place. 

The banks of the Keri-keri are also the only 
known habitat of the elegant Clianthus puniceus, 
a leguminous plant, which the natives appropriately 
call parrot's-bill ko-waingutu kaka. In the neigh- 
bourhood of the mission-station are the remains of 
the pa of E' Ongi, the scourge of New Zealand. 
His warlike extravagancies, however, have more 
than anything else contributed, by exhausting the 
strength of the natives, to bring about that state of 
repose so favourable to the progress of European 
civilization. The blood spilt with the sword which 
he received from the hands of royalty, when in 
England, was, as it were, the fertilizing dew in the 
hearts of the survivors, preparing them for the seeds 
of civilization, as he had too much weakened his 
enemies for them to think of revenge. But the man 

CHAP. XVII.] E' ONGI. 251 

was as good a hero as many who have appeared on 
the modern stage, and had perhaps more just pre- 
tensions to natural talent : and as it is not probable 
that he will be honoured with a column as a sign of 
public gratitude for his butcheries, we may as well, 
in honour of his memory, transcribe from the report 
of an eye-witness, the missionary Stack, the follow- 
ing particulars of the death and funeral rites of this 
warrior : 

" Patuone," he says, " who has just returned 
from Wan gar oa, called this evening. I asked about 
E' Ongi. He told me several things, all of which 
I felt interested in listening to, as connected with 
the end of this extraordinary chief. I perceived 
that Patuone spoke of him in the most affectionate 



" When he and his party arrived at Pinia, where 
E' Ongi was, they found him so emaciated, that they 
were much affected. They all, as is usual, wept 
together ; after which they informed him that they 
feared he would soon die: to which he replied in 
the negative, saying he never was in better spirits. 
After waiting sufficiently long with him to pay him 
proper respects, they were about to return, when he 
was taken suddenly ill, on which they determined 
to wait the result. Perceiving, by his inward 
sinking, that he was going, he said to his friends 
' I shall die now shortly, but not to-day/ He 
called for his gunpowder ; and when it was brought 
to him he said ' Ka ora koutou.' ' You will be 

252 E' ONGI. [PART n. 

(or are) well.' This was addressed to his children. 
His meris, or battle-axes, muskets, and the coat of 
mail which he received from King George IV., he 
bequeathed on that day to his sons. After he had 
settled these matters, he spoke of the conduct of the 
natives after his death, as in all probability likely 
to be kind towards his survivors, saying, " Kowai 
ma te nia. Kai mai ki a koutou kaore.' ' Who will 
desire to eat you all ? None ! ' 

" He spent his last moments on the 6th instant 
(March, 1828), exhorting his followers to be valiant, 
and repel any force, however great, which might 
come against them ; telling them this was all the 
' utu/ or satisfaction, he desired ; which intimated 
that he had had the question proposed to him 
' Who is to be killed as a satisfaction for your death ? ' 
This abominable principle still exists in New Zea- 
land of honouring the dead by human sacrifice. His 
dying lips were employed in uttering ' Kia toa ! 
Kia toa ! ' ' Be courageous ! Be courageous ! ' 

" As soon as E 'Ongi ceased to breathe, all his 
friends in the pa at Pinia trembled for themselves ; 
for they did not know but that the Hokianga natives 
would fall upon them, and send them as companions 
for their dead chief ' to the shades of night.' 

" The Hokianga natives, to prevent suspicion, 
caused all their people to remain quiet in their huts, 
while they went to the pa to see E' Ongi's body 
dressed. On their approach, though they had used 
the above precautions, they perceived the people in 

CHAP. XVII.] E' ONGI. 253 

the pa shivering like leaves in the wind, till Patuone 
and the others bade them dismiss their fears, for 
they were groundless. 

" A wish to keep E' Ongi's death private till he 
was buried, lest a party should come and attack the 
survivors, induced his children to determine to bury 
him, or rather to place him on the wahi tapu, or 
sacred place, the day after his death. This Patuone 
reproved them for, saying 'I have only just become 
acquainted with those who wish to bury their father 
alive ! ' He was not buried, therefore, for some days ; 
which were spent in paying all the honour which 
the New Zealanders were capable of to the remains 
of the once renowned E' Ongi. This time the 
natives spent in haranguing, crying, cutting them- 
selves, dancing, and firing muskets." 

There are now no natives whatever living on the 
Keri-keri ; and it seems, therefore, useless to keep 
up the station. Most of the land on the banks of 
the river is the property either of the mission or the 

Below the station the basis of the soil is basaltic. 
It seems as if an immense crust of this rock had 
been elevated to near the surface. To the north- 
ward of the Keri-keri, as far as Wangaroa, the land 
is mostly hilly, covered, as I have already observed, 
in the middle of the island, with primitive forest. 
Near the coast almost the whole forest is gone ; 
herds of cattle and horses feed well upon the young 
fern and shrubs, although there is no grass-pasturage. 


Sheep looked in a rather bad condition ; but the 
principal objection to sheep-farming in New Zea- 
land is on account of the seeds of the Acoena san- 
guisorba, a herb spreading all over the country : 
these attach themselves so firmly to the wool, that 
they cannot be separated in the washing. About 
half-way between Wangaroa and the Keri-keri, on 
the outskirts of the forest, we pass an agricultural 
settlement of a European. Some natives live in 
the fertile ravines which run off from the hills 
towards the sea-shore : off the latter are many rocky 
islets. The shore forms several small bays, of which 
Mataute is one of the finest. On the slope of the 
hills, which surround this bay like an amphitheatre, 
an excellent hard greyish marble crops out. The 
bay is about two square miles in extent. On its 
shore is a native settlement. 

Between Mataute and Wangaroa there are two 
other bays of similar description Waio and Tau- 

In the latter, a marly limestone in horizontal 
strata appears on the side of the hills ; it breaks 
into slabs about an inch thick. To the northward 
the hills inland present a perpendicular escarpment, 
and the limestone displays the interesting pheno- 
menon of a dendritic dyke of whinstone (Lydian 
stone) injected into its aiass. The limestone is 
altered where in contact with it, and inclines at an 
angle of about forty degrees ; a few paces from this 
the strata are again horizontal. 


On the Bay of Tauranga there is some land cul- 
tivated by a European. 

Along the coast from the Bay of Islands to 
Wangaroa is found in> many places an excellent 
reddish and variegated marble, alternating with 
whinstone and slates. 

From Tauranga a path leads to Wangaroa, 
through a beautiful and fertile valley, sheltered by 
the hills of the coast from the winds ; in it flows a 
small river, which discharges itself into the harbour 
of Wangaroa already described. 

256 [PART n. 


Bay of Islands. 

THE Bay of Islands has been more resorted to by 
vessels than any other harbour of New Zealand, 
and it is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the 
very best, in the country. Queen Charlotte's Sound 
may, perhaps, be ranked as high, being equally 
sheltered and safe. A great deal of controversy 
has consequently arisen as to whether the Bay of 
Islands would not have been the most eligible place 
for the foundation of the commercial capital of 
New Zealand. Its advocates refer especially to the 
great number of vessels which for several years 
have annually resorted to this harbour for the pur- 
pose of obtaining provisions and of refitting, and 
to the number of Europeans already established 
there. But I must observe that the vessels which 
selected this harbour came principally for cheap 
provisions, which they found as long as there was 
no increased demand, and that they went to other 
places as soon as the prices rose. It seems to me 
that at present more is wanted than a good har- 
bour to constitute the most eligible place for the 


capital of New Zealand, and that the harbour 
which offers the greatest facilities for assembling 
around it a large agricultural population, and which 
possesses the easiest communication by land as well 
as by water with the surrounding country, has the 
best chance of ultimate success. Now, the Bay of 
Islands possesses none of these advantages : the 
country which surrounds the harbour consists al- 
most entirely of hills, which are steep, although not 
of any great height, and alternating with ravines, 
which continue far inland. These hills are formed 
of a yellow argillaceous stone, and a basaltic rock, 
and it is only in the narrow ravines that there is a 
little fertile soil. Even where the coast-hills were 
formerly covered with forest, it has now disap- 
peared, and is only met with some miles inland. 
Towards the harbour these hills form diminutive 
bays, inaccessible from the land. The different 
parts of the harbour are separated by arms of the 
sea, so that the construction of roads to connect 
them with each other, and with the interior, is 
impossible. There is, besides, scarcely sufficient 
room in any of the bays even for a moderate-sized 
town, unless placed on the side of a steep hill. 
The only exception to the mountainous character 
of the place is the table-land extending from the 
Waitangi towards the Hokianga and the Keri-keri. 
But this district, as already observed, cannot be 
ranked amongst the best portions of New Zealand, 
VOL. i. s 


and has, moreover, the disadvantage of having no 

Besides this flat district, there is a valley with a 
considerable extent of excellent land up the Kaua- 
kaua, an arm of the bay, stretching to the south, 
into which runs a small fresh -water stream. This 
valley is in the hands of a large native tribe, who 
cultivate it very extensively. 

The number of whaling and other vessels in the 
Bay of Islands has much decreased during the last 
twelve months. This is chiefly owing to the in- 
crease of Europeans, who consumed the scanty pro- 
duce of the region. If the necessaries of life ever 
come down to reasonable prices in New Zealand, 
and if at the same time liberal measures be adopted 
towards foreign whalers, there can be no doubt but 
they will all again resort to that country, situated 
as it is nearer to the whaling-ground than any 

There exists already a little town at Kororarika, 
a small cove in the bay, which offers great facilities 
for shipping, but is difficult of access from the 
mainland. The same is the case with Russell, the 
proposed Government town, at the mouth of the 
Kaua-kaua ; whilst Victoria, the embryo capital of 
Mr. Bushby, possessing the finest and most level 
site for a town, and commanding the Waimate 
table-land, and therefore the best communication 
with the interior and Hokianga, as well as with 


the districts lying to the northward, has no place 
for the anchorage of vessels, and is, moreover, open 
to the whole force of the north-easterly winds. 

The Kaua-kaua has the aspect of a broad river, 
bounded by steep and wooded hills. In small nooks 
on the shore Europeans have erected humble-look- 
ing houses. Inns are not wanting, and abundance 
of fowls, geese, and ducks render the scene very 
homely and English-looking. 

s 2 

260 [PART n. 


Wairoa, Kaipara. 

PROCEEDING from the head of the Kaua-kaua to 
the Wairoa, the principal stream which flows into 
the harbour of Kaipara on the western coast, we 
follow the windings of a fresh-water stream, which 
joins the inlet of the sea, and on the banks of which 
the neat and well-tended plantations of the natives 
indicate a growing industry. After crossing over 
some hills we are again led into the valley of the 
river ; and here the eye is attracted by picturesque 
groups of limestone, which in various shapes crop 
out at the slope of the neighbouring hills, often 
resembling ruined castles or towers, sometimes half- 
concealed amongst beautiful tree-ferns and other 
trees. The valley forms a basin of alluvial and 
very fertile soil, as is indicated by the coriaria, 
draceena, and phormium, which only grow in the 
best situations. The name of the valley, as well as 
of the river, is Waiomio. From this point to the 
part where the Wairoa first begins to be navigable 
for large beats is a good day's journey. The coun- 
try consists mostly of low but steep hills, on which 


here and there are the remains of the former kauri- 
forest, half burnt and rotten ; but now nearly the 
whole surface of the region is covered with fern 
and manuka. The hills alternate with valleys, 
which, from the stagnation of the waters, are 
swampy, and contain here and there forests of the 
kahikatea pine (Dacrydium excelsum), the quickest 
growing in New Zealand, and consequently the 
least durable tree of this class. A swampy plain 
stretches to the eastward as far as the rugged hills 
of Wangari Bay : it offers some fine situations for 
farms, and would afford excellent opportunities for 
forming pasturage by the cultivation of artificial 
grasses, as the land is rich, and the swampy parts 
might easily be drained. No natives live here ; 
but my guides assured me that some slaves had 
lately run away from the Bay of Islands, and lived 
concealed in the bush a circumstance which rarely 
happens in New Zealand, as the natives are too 
much accustomed to a settled life ; and even when 
they do conceal themselves, they are obliged to cul- 
tivate the land in order to obtain food 

The first natives I fell in with were a cheerful 
and industrious set, near the head of the Wairoa, 
who were cutting and squaring kauri-trees in a very 
workmanlike manner. They all left their work on 
my arrival, as the evening was approaching, and 
accompanied me to the banks of the river, where 
they had temporary habitations. The children 
amused themselves with rowing-matches, their 


parents cheering them on, or taking part in the 
race ; and I had a good opportunity of observing 
the healthy and symmetrical form of their bodies, 
the graceful and vigorous play of their muscles: 
the scene offered an excellent study for an artist, 
or for an admirer of the human form when neither 
impaired by an artificial state of life nor distorted 
by the arts of fashion. The little boys dipped their 
oars into the stream with astonishing precision, to 
the measure of the following boat-song, which was 
chanted by one of the party : 


E toia ana pehia; ana kokiri e tiaia; e rumakina, e te wawati; 
tena, tena, tena te rae ra; e watiia, e te ihu, e waenga, e te kei, e 
tango katoa ; e ana te kaha ko te rite, ko te rite, tena wina, tena 
wiua, e tiaia, tiaia, tiaia, ana toia, toia, toia ; taki, taki wakarere ; 
he ruru kou koua ; tena tangohia, e te rae ra tango mai, he piko 
tango atu, tena kia mau ; ae koia ia ; tena kia puta ; koiri, koiri 
watiia ; uere tai tua, kia rite, tena toia, toia, toia, e kia ngoto i, i, 
i, i pai rawa ; kia rite, takoto wakawiria ; e ka mahue, e ki te wana 
toia, toia, toia. 

( Translation.} 


Pull, push, launch, dip, bend, turn, 

Now, now, now. 

The point there : bend, at the head, 
In the middle, at the stern ; 

Now pull all together. 
Be strong all together, all together. 
Dip quickly, now dip quickly, 

Dip, dip, dip. 
Now pull, pull, pull, 
Taki, taki, taki ; 
Now fetch the point there ; 
Now take in a reef. 
Take out a reef ; 


Now hold fast 

That is it. 

Now let it emerge. 

Koiri, koiri, watiia. 

All together now, 

Pull, pull, pull ;. 

Dip deep, i, i, i, i. 

Very well ; all together ; 

Lie down ; twist it ; 

Let it go. 

Be strong, pull, pull, pull. 

We afterwards sat around the fires, and song 
followed song until the night was far advanced. It 
is not astonishing that savage life should possess 
so many charms even for sober spirits. The naivete 
of manners, the childlike expression of joy, innate 
to people in a state of nature, vanishes before the 
formalities of our civilization : the hospitable savage 
is changed into a reckoning and deliberating mer- 
chant ; the incumbrance of our clothing in a warm 
climate makes him stiff and helpless ; and our com- 
plicated food soon renders him unhealthy. Is he 
the gainer or loser by this change ? 

Kaipara Harbour, into which the Wairoa and 
other rivers fall, seems to me on account of the 
quantity of timber-trees on the shores of the rivers, 
the length of their navigable course, the extent of 
the available alluvial land on their banks, and the 
immediate neighbourhood of the seat of govern- 
ment, Wai-te-mata to be deserving of an early 
attention as a place where capital and labour may 
be very profitably employed. 


The accident that befell the New Zealand Com- 
pany's vessel Tory, which ran on a sand-bank at 
the entrance of this harbour, the total loss of the 
timber-vessel Aurora, and the wreck of the brig 
Sophia Pate, when many lives were lost under cir- 
cumstances the most distressing all of which ship- 
wrecks happened in the last two years have ob- 
tained for this harbour a very bad reputation. But 
I am inclined to ascribe these accidents to the very 
deficient knowledge possessed of the harbour, which 
has never been properly surveyed, while incorrect 
and untrustworthy sketches pass into our charts as 

Kaipara is not a bar-harbour, but a channel- 
harbour ; it is a large basin, into which a tide, 
rising ten feet at full and change, rushes with great 
velocity, which, joined with the narrowness of the 
channel and our imperfect knowledge of the sound- 
ings, certainly occasions great danger. Westerly 
winds, which blow without intermission during 
some portions of the year, and increase the current 
setting into the harbour, are another inconvenience, 
as they prevent ships from leaving the harbour at 
all times. This, indeed, is the case with all the 
harbours on the western coast of New Zealand. 
Whether the shoals and sand-banks in the offing 
are shifting is not yet ascertained, but it is not 
improbable that such is the case. I am aware that, 
being no navigator, my opinion cannot claim much 
weight, but it certainly appears to me that, notwith- 


standing all the disadvantages I have enumerated, 
there would be no real danger to vessels under the 
care of an experienced pilot in entering the har- 
bour, if it were properly surveyed and the shoals 
well buoyed off. Many large vessels, as the Na- 
varino and the Anne Watson, have entered and 
left it in safety. 

At present there exists only a sketch of the har- 
bour from a running survey of my lamented friend 
the late Captain William Symonds, which has the 
credit of being the most accurate, although it has 
been disfigured by a spurious lithograph in Sydney. 
Kaipara seems to be a harbour particularly adapted 
for steamers, as they can contend with the tide and 
contrary winds. 

The harbour consists of several arms, which re- 
ceive streams of fresh water; the westernmost of 
these is the Wairoa. At the point where you 
first fall in with this stream in coming from the 
Bay of Islands, and 130 miles from the heads of the 
harbour, its breadth and depth are those of the 
Thames at Richmond. It is navigable for canoes 
about eight miles above this place, where their far- 
ther progress is prevented by rapids. The Wairoa 
rises in the hills, on the northern slope of which 
the Waima, an arm of the Hokianga, has its source. 
The Wairoa is soon joined by the Otamatea, a river 
coming from the hills in the neighbourhood of 
Wangari harbour, and this receives in its turn the 
Oropaoa from the northward, and the Kaiwaka 


and Wakaki from the eastward. Not far from the 
junction of the Otamatea with the Wairoa, the latter 
is joined by the Oruawaro, another stream of con- 
siderable size, although, as is evident from the 
breadth of the island at this part from coast to coast, 
not of any great length. Lower down the Tapara 
from the south and the Kaipara proper flow into 
arms of the estuary. The Kaipara proper follows 
a very serpentine course in a moderate-sized valley 
formed by the hills which bound the sea-coast be- 
tween Kaipara and Manukao harbours, and separated 
from an inlet of the harbour of Waitemata, in the 
gulf of Hauraki, by a piece of land about three miles 
in breadth, and consisting of low hills, over which 
the natives frequently dragged their canoes in times 
of war. Not far from the highest point to which 
the tide reaches in the Kaipara proper another river 
joins it, which runs likewise within a very short 
distance of Waitemata. 

The banks of all these rivers are bounded by hills 
of no very great height, which do not generally 
reach to the banks, and are often more than a mile 
distant from them ; the banks are level, and consist 
of a somewhat clayey and fertile soil. The Wairoa 
continually carries down a quantity of this soil from 
the higher to the lower parts of the river, in conse- 
quence of which its waters have a yellow appear- 
ance. In the upper part of its course a beautiful 
and fertile valley joins it, which begins in the neigh- 
bourhood of Hokianga. Here the chief Parore 



lives with his tribe, and cultivates the land. The 
banks of the Wairoa, with the exception of those 
parts which are of very recent formation, and of the 
portions which have been cleared by the natives, are 
covered with a thick forest of timber-trees of all 
descriptions, but especially the kauri-pine, which 
is always in the greatest profusion in hilly situa- 
tions. I am not acquainted with any place in New 
Zealand where these trees are more plentiful, of 
greater height and diameter, and of easier access. 
The natives are constantly employed in felling and 
squaring them. The consequence is, that they are 
well supplied with all our commodities. One care- 
ful chief had collected quite a property from the 
fruits of his own labour and that of his tribe. As 
they also cultivate a considerable quantity of ground 
for their own use, and have a surplus quantity for 
sale, it may easily be foreseen that, if justly treated 
by their new government, they will prove in time a 
valuable and wealthy part of the population of the 

Small vessels can go up the Wairoa as far as the 
settlement of a Mr. Stephenson, eighty-five miles 
from the heads of the harbour, where there is a 
depth of twelve feet ; but only fifteen miles lower 
down, at the farm of Mr. Forsyth, the river has 
water and a clear channel for vessels of any burden, 
and also anchorage close in-shore. 

Timber is likewise found on the banks of all the 
other tributaries, especially of the Otamatea; and 


everywhere there is sufficient land to enable the 
colonist to combine agricultural pursuits with the 
timber-trade, in which" case alone the latter can 
prove profitable in New Zealand. 

The inlet, which is joined by the Kaipara proper, 
is navigable for large boats as far as the tide runs 
up. On the hills between Kaipara and Manukao 
there is much kauri, and the river affords great fa- 
cilities for conveying the timber down to the sea. 
It is very serpentine in its course, and forms a num- 
ber of paddocks of alluvial land ; these are at present 
swampy, but a little drainage would effectually lay 
them dry. This low land is here and there covered 
with groves of the kahikatea-pine and the puriri 
(Vitex litoralis), but in general only fern and flax 
grow on it. 

About forty Europeans live on the Kaipara estuary 
and its tributaries, and about 700 natives belonging 
to the tribe of the Nga-te-Whatua. The Euro- 
peans claim a great part of the land, and much 
difficulty will arise in settling their various claims, 
as the land was sold to them by the Nga-pui, the 
natives in the Bay of Islands, who formerly con- 
quered and drove away the original proprietors of 
the soil. But a short time since these latter again 
returned, and their numbers have increased ; where- 
as the contrary has been the case with the Nga-pui, 
who have silently given up all claims to the land. 

There is a Wesleyan missionary-station up the 
Wairoa, but in an unfavourable place, there being 


scarcely any natives within a great distance of the 
station. In consequence of this there has not been 
here that success which in other parts of the island 
has attended the efforts of the missionaries. 

The general aspect of the Kaipara and its tri- 
butaries is far more open, and the quantity of excel- 
lent agricultural land more extensive, than at the 
Hokianga, and, from the abundance of its timber, 
Kaipara is a place admirably adapted for ship-build- 
ing establishments ; its advantages, therefore, as a 
settlement, would seem to outweigh the inconveni- 
ence resulting from the harbour being situated on 
a lee- shore and of somewhat difficult access. 

There are many convenient places for a township 
and for dockyard establishments on the banks of 
the Wairoa. 

The hills in the upper part of that river consist 
of the stiff whitish clay which characterises kauri- 
land, here and there with a basis of a hard argil- 
laceous slaty rock : lower down, on the left bank, 
are steep hillocks of basalt, surmounting which are 
the ruins of some ancient fortifications; on the 
right shore, and towards the sea-coast, is a soft 
ferruginous sandstone ; inside and round the north- 
ern head the cliffs expose layers of lignite, gene- 
rally four feet in thickness and superimposed to the 
height of about twenty feet by a white slightly 
consolidated sand, which softens by exposure to the 
water, and on a near examination is found to consist 
of decomposed pumicestone, of which large globular 
boulders are still compact. The lignite consists of 


half-carbonized wood, besides kauri and pohutu- 
kaua, remains of tree-ferns, indistinct impressions 
of smaller ferns, and a kind of typha all which 
plants are still found in the island. Extensive beds, 
four feet thick, of the same lignite, and overlaid by 
sandstone, are likewise found round the south head 
of Hokianga ; they are then lost beneath the surface, 
but appear again near the north head of the Kaipara. 
The intermediate space, near the sea-shore, consists 
of sand-hills, which are covered with a running 
carex, and farther inland with a scanty vegetation 
of fern. In some places hereabouts I met with 
small carnelians, magnetic ironsand, and boulders 
of brown iron-ore. 

In order to reach the harbour of Waitemata from 
Kaipara, we leave the Kaipara proper where it nar- 
rows and ceases to be affected by the tide. The 
road leads over hills of an unpromising aspect, but 
a most magnificent prospect over the surrounding 
country opens from them to our view. To the 
north we overlook the large estuary of the Kaipara ; 
to the west the valley of the Kaipara proper, its 
meandering stream, and the hills of Manukao, 
which are mostly wooded ; to the east grotesque- 
shaped hills on the coast ; and by advancing a little 
farther we overlook the basin of the Manukao and 
Waitemata harbour. The entrance into the Gulf 
of Hauraki is pointed out by Cape Colville, the 
southern headland, which is about sixty miles dis- 
tant, and by the Great Barrier Island, which ap- 
nears dimly on the horizon. 

CHAP. XX.] 271 


Gulf of Hauraki Coromandel Harbour Waiho, or the Thames 
Waitemata Harbour Auckland. 

WHAT is commonly called the Thames is a very 
large estuary or gulf on the eastern coast of New 
Zealand, containing several harbours, and many 
islands of various dimensions, and receiving the 
waters of two rivers of considerable size. I give 
to the whole the name of the Gulf of Hauraki, 
although the natives apply this name only to the 
eastern part, which receives the river Waiho, or 
Thames, and the river Piako. If the denomination 
of "Thames" is to be retained, instead of the well- 
sounding native name of Waiho, this part of the 
gulf would be most appropriately called the " Frith 
of the Thames." 

The northern headland of the Gulf of Hauraki is 
formed by Point Rodney ; the southern headland is 
Cape Colville ; the distance between them being 
about forty miles. Cape Colville is the extreme 
headland of a long promontory, forming the eastern 
limit of the Frith of the Thames ; throughout its 
length runs a chain of wooded hills, with a sharp 
crest and steep declivitous sides, which are washed 


by the sea both on the eastern and western coast ; 
but on the latter the rocky line is interrupted by 
an inlet, which forms Waihao or Coromandel har- 
bour : at the back of the harbour the hills, rising 
into remarkable pinnacled and pyramidical summits, 
serve as excellent landmarks for the guidance of ves- 
sels entering it. 

To the southward this hilly chain continues 
along the eastern coast: at the foot of their western 
slope runs the Waiho, or the river Thames. Here 
the chain of hills assumes the name of the Aroha 
(Love) mountains, and borders the valley of the 
Thames to the eastward, shutting it from the sea. 
Besides the Waiho, another river, the Piako, flows 
in this valley, and has its embouchure close to that 
of the former. 

Waihao or Coromandel Harbour is twenty-five 
miles from Cape Colville and thirty-five from 
the mouth of the Thames. It is surrounded by 
hills, which on the eastward rise in a series of 
longitudinal ridges to the height of about 1500 
feet. To the eastward and northward a stripe of 
alluvial land runs at the base of the hills; but 
otherwise the shores, which consist of a sandstone 
conglomerate and trap, are so hilly that they render 
all communication difficult between the natives who 
live in the different small bays around the shores. 
The shore is covered with verdure, and pohutukaua- 
trees grow all around. The soil on the lower 
hills is fertile, and yields abundant supplies to the 


Coromandel Harbour has been resorted to by ves- 
sels for the trade in kauri-timber, which is abun- 
dant on the hills from Cape Colville to Kati Kati, 
in the Bay of Plenty, about 37 30' S. lat. Kati 
Kati is the southernmost boundary of this tree on 
the east coast of New Zealand. The spars were 
cut by the natives under the direction of the Euro- 
peans, and shipped either at Mercury Bay or at Co- 
romandel Harbour. 

A ship-building establishment might be carried 
on here with advantage, as other excellent timber, 
besides kauri spars, can be obtained, especially po- 
hutukaua, perhaps the most durable crooked timber 
that exists. It must, however, be borne in mind, 
that, from the rugged nature of the country and 
from the scantiness of labour, the expenses of bring- 
ing down the timber would be very great. 

Coromandel Harbour is better adapted for small 
than for large vessels, as, on account of the shallow- 
ness of the water, the latter cannot enter far enough 
to be effectually protected from the outer swell, al- 
though there is good holding-ground. Provisions 
of all descriptions, poultry, pigs, and vegetables, can 
be obtained from the natives at a cheap rate. 

The natives who live in Coromandel Harbour are 
subdivisions of the Nga-te-paoa, and are called the 
Nga-te-maru, the Nga-te-tamatera, and the Nga- 
te-wanaunga. The whole tribe of the Nga-te- 
paoa amounts to 5000, who do not all live in Coro- 
mandel Harbour, portions of them being established 

VOL. i. T 


at the entrance into the river Thames, at different 
parts of the Gulf of Hauraki, and at Mercury Bay. 
They have greatly diminished in number in conse- 
quence of their late wars, especially those which 
they waged with the Nga-pui in the Bay of 
Islands. They formerly stood in hostile relation 
with the Nga-te-hauwa, who live at Matamata, in 
the valley of the Thames, but a short time ago they 
made a solemn peace with them. 

From Coromandel Harbour to the entrance of 
the river Thames the coast is rocky, and there is no 
communication between Coromandel Harbour and 
the valley of the Thames by land. The hills are 
mostly basaltic or amygdaloid, and many fine red 
and white carnelians are found hereabouts. 

Not far from the entrance into the Thames is a 
station of the Church Missionary Society, occupy- 
ing a most picturesque position on the slope of the 
eastern mountains, which are crowned by a forest of 
lofty trees. An arm of the sea, which is joined by 
a creek, the Wawakaurunga, bathes the foot of the 
hills, where the buildings are placed ; a fertile allu- 
vial flat spreads along its left shore, on which stands 
a large native fortification, Kaneranga, often con- 
taining nearly 2000 inhabitants. 

There is no harbour, properly speaking, in the 
Waiho, or Frith of the Thames, and large vessels 
cannot approach, as a mudbank stretches out be- 
tween the Thames and the Piako, which have their 
embouchure close to each other : there is, however, 


a channel into the Thames with a minimum depth 
of one fathom and a half at dead low water ; higher 
up the depth of the water is three fathoms to three 
fathoms and a half. Small vessels have gone up the 
river nearly fifty miles, and large boats can ascend 
about ninety miles. A channel also leads into the 
Piako, but this river is the smaller of the two, and 
at low water admits boats only. 

I have already observed that the land on which 
the kauri-pine grows is, even when cleared, of no 
use for any other purposes, both from the rugged 
nature of the ground and from the quality of the 
soil. But at some distance from the entrance into 
the Thames, the eastern coast hills, which, seen 
from the valley, look like a steep artificial embank- 
ment, are flat on the top, and slope gradually down 
to the sea-coast in the Bay of Plenty : the kauri is 
scarce ; and the forest is a mixed one, in which 
rata, rimu, totara, and hinau are the most conspi- 
cuous. Such land is available, if cleared of the 
forest ; the kauri being confined to a few steep hills 
and ravines on the eastern coast. It is one of the 
most remarkable phenomena in botany, that an im- 
mense tree such as the kauri should be satisfied 
with places where one would scarcely have sup- 
posed it could have taken root. 

The valley of the Thames is about one hundred 
miles long, extending to the neighbourhood of the 
inland lake of Roturua, and, with the exception of 
the banks of the rivers, where the kahikatea pine 

T -2 


grows to great perfection, the whole valley is occu- 
pied by fern, flax, and manuka. This vegetation is 
interrupted by large raupo (typha) swamps, which 
increase towards the mouths of the rivers, where the 
country is low and subject to inundations. Flights 
of the common brown duck, 1 and of the blue-breasted 
red-billed water-hen, 2 people these swamps. To the 
westward the valley of the Thames is bordered by 
hills ; but these are only denned and separated lower 
down towards the frith. Higher up, the valley of 
the Thames may be said to be united with that of 
the Waikato and Waipa, with the exception of some 
distinct hilly groups. From the hilly ridge several 
narrow valleys open towards the frith, and here are 
the native settlements of Wakatiwai and Waihopu- 
kopu. Opposite the island of Waiheke the land be- 
comes comparatively flat and low ; the coast consists 
of soft sandstone, in cliffs of horizontal stratifica- 
tion ; and this is the character of the country 
towards Waitemata, where the government town 
of Auckland is situated. In passing from the out- 
let of the Thames to the latter place the aspect of 
the shores is highly picturesque. A luxuriant vege- 
tation covers them to the water's edge, or alternates 
with the clearings made by the natives. As we 
approach Auckland several regular volcanic cones 
rise over the table-land which stretches across the 
island to the harbour of Manukao. We pass a 
number of islands, of which that of Waiheke is 
1 Anas superciliosa. 2 Porphyrio australis. 


overtopped with stately kauri-pines : from every 
crevice of the rocks on these islands, even where 
washed by the salt water, the glossy green of various 
shrubs meets our eyes. These islands in the Gulf 
of Hauraki, luxuriantly wooded as they are, and 
divided from each other by deep straits, afford a 
succession of ever-changing scenery, and give the 
region a variety which is unrivalled by any other 
harbour in New Zealand, in most of which steep 
and uniform surrounding hills shut in the view, 
and confine it to a narrow space. 

The harbour of Waitemata is the most important 
in the Gulf of Hauraki. It lies at the westernmost 
extremity of the gulf, and stretches its ramifications 
towards the harbours of Manukao and Kaipara. 
The entrance into the harbour is distant from Co- 
romandel Harbour forty miles, from the embou- 
chure of the Thames forty-five miles, from Point 
Rodney forty miles, and from Cape Colville forty-five 

The latitude of the flag-staff in the military bar- 
racks at Auckland is 36 51 / 27", its longitude 
174 45' 20" E. 

The northern head of the harbour forms a penin- 
sula at high-water. Two conical hills rise here,, of 
which that forming the north head r Takapuna, is 
216 feet high, of an irregular form, and consists of 
a hard basaltic rock ; the other, at a little distance 
from it, Takarunga, has on its summit a crater, par- 
tially broken in. It is 279 feet high, and consists 


of black and reddish vesicular lava. There is now 
a flag-staff erected on it. The navigable entrance 
into the harbour is only three-quarters of a mile 
broad, as it is narrowed by a reef, the outermost 
point of which is marked by a beacon, and is dis- 
tant three-quarters of a mile from a curious bastion- 
shaped sandstone rock, which may be regarded as 
the southern head. Within the heads the channel 
widens to an average breadth of one mile ; it has its 
greatest depth on the northern shore, and is shal- 
low on the southern, on which the town of Auck- 
land has been laid out, at the distance of two miles 
and a half from the south head. 

The depth of the harbour is from six to nine 
fathoms in the mid channel, and three and three 
and a half at the sides. The inlet continues about 
ten miles to the westward, sending an arm to the 
northward towards the river Kaipara, and another 
to the southward towards the harbour of Manukao. 
The northern arm has a deep but very narrow chan- 
nel near the northern shore; but shoals and rocks 
obstruct the passage leading towards Manukao, ex- 
cept for large boats, which can go up for several 
miles in the river-like inlet, and between its upper 
part and the harbour of Manukao there is a portage 
of one mile and a half. 

The southern shore, or that on which Auckland 
stands, consists of cliffs of a soft pepper-coloured 
sandstone, or sandstone conglomerate, with occa- 
sional seams of lignite. The country itself is 


slightly undulating, and forms small bays, which 
open towards the harbour, and are partially wooded 
at the bottom. The rest is covered with high fern 
and manuka. In the immediate neighbourhood of 
Auckland there is no wood, but opposite to it a 
small stripe of kauri and other forest-trees near the 
sea-shore has escaped the general conflagration by 
which the greater part of the former woods has 
evidently been destroyed. From this spot the town 
is provided with timber and firewood. All this land 
is bad, as is also that at the head of the harbour ; 
but the soil is much better in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Auckland, and thence towards Manu- 
kao, and to the eastward, where it is fit for all kind 
of horticultural and agricultural purposes. 

One feature which contributes to the beauty of 
the scenery around Auckland is the pohutukaua- 
trees which line the coast, and which, about Christ- 
mas, are decked with purple flowers ; but, unfortu- 
nately, one after another these beautiful trees are 
cut down, and thus the naked sandstone cliffs are 
laid bare, although these trees in no way interfere 
with architectural or commercial improvements. 

Auckland is well supplied with fresh water, not 
only by the small water- runs in the valleys, but also 
by springs, from which it is readily obtained by dig- 
ging a few feet below the surface. 

Several volcanic cones rise in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of the town, at the base of which hard 
scoriae for buildings and roads can be obtained, and 


which are easily worked ; the sandstone, though soft, 
hardens by exposure to the air, and is a good build- 
ing material. 

A mile to the eastward of Auckland there is a 
small bay called Oraki ; it has a narrow entrance, 
and forms almost a natural dock, and could easily 
be converted into one by means of sluices. To this 
place the few natives who form the scanty rem- 
nant of the once large tribe of the Nga-te-whatua, 
the proprietors of Waitemata, have lately returned 
from Manukao ; they cultivate the land, and by 
supplying firewood and provisions, and by work- 
ing for wages, have made themselves very useful to 
the town. 

Still farther to the eastward another inlet, com- 
monly called the Tamaki, leads towards Manukao ; 
and here is the shortest portage into the latter har- 
bour, it being only a quarter of a mile across. At 
the entrance into this channel is a bar, with six feet 
depth at low water, but inside the channel deepens; 
vessels of 200 tons have gone up for some distance, 
and large barges can go to the portage. The land 
on both sides of the Tamaki is excellent ; that on 
the right shore is claimed by the Church Mission- 
ary catechist Fairburn, whose possessions extend 
from this point as far as to the Wairoa river, being 
an extent of about ninety square miles. A great 
deal of lignite is found on the Tamaki, but no 
wood, with the exception of jungle. 

The government town of Auckland, considering 


the short time it lias existed, has made considerable 
progress. Its population, which amounts to more 
than 2000, has been drawn together from all parts 
of the island. A bank has been formed, fine bar- 
racks have been built of scoriae ; and were it not for 
a general spirit of over-speculation in land, without 
any attempt to explore the home resources of the 
island, there would be every ground for hoping that 
the place would gradually and steadily rise into im- 
portance. The thing that chiefly recommends the 
situation of this place for the central town of the 
northern island is its easy communication with the 
coast, both to the north and to the southward. An 
inland communication through Kaipara with the 
Bay of Islands can be effected in five days r even 
with the present insufficient means of communica- 
tion. With the western coast, and with the inte- 
rior, over Manukao and the river Waikato, nothing 
interrupts the water-communication but two small 
portages ; and even with Cook's Straits relations 
can be easily established, either by the river Thames, 
or the Waikato and Wai pa, and the river Wanganui. 

The coast-trade particularly is of the greatest 
importance, as the nature of the country will cause 
its colonization at many different points at once: 
and already a great number of small coasting ves- 
sels communicate with Auckland. 

We must not forget that the Thames and the 
Piako form an extensive agricultural valley, and 
that, as their natural harbour, Waitemata is prefer- 
able to Coromandel Harbour. 


In short, it appears to me that there can be no 
question but that the place has been very judici- 
ously chosen for the site of a town, as commanding 
a great extent of cultivable land in its neighbourhood, 
great facility of communication with the coast and 
the interior of the northern island, and as being a 
central point for the most powerful native tribes, 
the Nga-pui to the northward, the Waikato to the 
southward, and the Nga-te-hauwa to the eastward, 
separating them in a military point of view, but 
uniting them for the purposes of civilization and 

The Gulf of Hauraki contains a number of islands, 
of which Aotea, or the Great Barrier, at the en- 
trance into the gulf, and Waiheke opposite to the 
entrance into Waitemata harbour, are the most im- 
portant. The former is nearly eighty miles in cir- 
cumference, contains much kauri-forest, and pos- 
sesses an excellent harbour at its north-western ex- 
tremity; it is called the Great Barrier Harbour, 
and has only lately been discovered. 

From the Great Barrier I obtained specimens of 
a copper-ore in a matrix of a decomposed micaceous 
slate. Some of the specimens contained nearly 
twenty-five per cent, of copper, the rest was sulphur, 
iron, and silica. I could not ascertain the extent 
and position of the vein in which it occurs ; but, from 
the nature of the surrounding rock, I do not think 
it improbable that a mine of some importance will 
be found. 

Waiheke is about thirty miles in circumference. 


It has a harbour for small vessels, and there is an 
anchorage for larger ones in the channel which 
separates the island from the main. It consists 
mostly of a yellow argillaceous rock and basalt ; it 
is wooded and hilly, and contains kauri, but has also 
many sheltered and cultivable valleys. 

Both islands are claimed by Europeans, the lat- 
ter by nearly half a dozen different parties. Bar- 
rier Island is the property of a merchant in Sydney, 
and some Europeans live there. In Waiheke there 
are some families of the Ngta-te-whatua and the 
Nga-te-paoa tribes, and also a European family. 

Ran gi to to is another very remarkable island ; 
between it and the mainland is the best channel 
into Waitemata. It is a cone, rising slowly from 
the sea, and has on its summit three cones, the 
middle one being the highest, a conformation very 
common to craters. Rangitoto is an immense heap 
of scoriae, which in large hard masses surround it at 
its base and the greater part of its height ; and it is 
only on the top that a few bushes have taken root. 
In the middle cone is a very perfect crater, about 
150 feet deep. The highest point of the island rises 
to 920 feet above the level of the sea, and com- 
mands a most extensive panorama of the surround- 
ing country. 

The meteorological table at p. 285, which was 
kept at Auckland by David Rough, the harbour- 
master, and to which has been annexed a table 
of the average heights of the thermometer, taken 
by Dr. Johnson with Adie's register thermome- 


ter, exhibits the state of the weather for one 

In Auckland easterly gales generally occur at the 
full and change of the moon, and continue for two 
and sometimes three days. In the winter months 
they sweep with great violence over the exposed 
situation of Auckland. From the east the wind 
veers to the westward, and soon moderates. The 
most settled weather is with southerly winds. 

Rains are very frequent, especially in the winter 
season. I have not the necessary data for comparing 
the quantity of rain with that in Cook's Straits, but 
from the scanty observations at my command I am 
induced to believe that rains are more frequent here 
than on other parts of the coast, which may perhaps 
result from the little distance between the western 
and eastern coasts. Frosts are rare in Auckland; in 
fact, the thermometer never stood lower than 36 
Fahrenheit. The surface of the land being com- 
paratively level, no impediment is given to the east- 
erly and westerly breezes ; the summer heat is there- 
fore very moderate, and the thermometer only once 
rose as high as 84. Many of the valleys in the 
neighbourhood of the town, which are sheltered 
from the gales, enjoy a mild and agreeable climate. 

Earthquakes, which are sometimes felt in other 
parts of the island, have not been experienced in the 
Hauraki Gulf by the European settlers, nor could I 
learn from the natives whom I questioned on the 
subject that there existed any tradition of their 
having occurred in this region. 




METEOROLOGICAL TABLE, from 16th September, 1840, to 
16th September, 1841. 



Average Height of 
Fahren. Thermom. 













55 8 

Five days squally and showery weather. 
Two days stormy, with heavy rain from 


the eastward. 

Eight days tine weather. 









Nineteen days fine weather. 
Three days stormy, with rain from the 



Nine days gale ; squalls and heavy rain 
from the westward. . ', 






Eighteen days fine weather. 
Two days stormy, with rain from the east- 


Ten days fresh gales, squalls, and showery 
weather from the westward. 


Easterly . 






Two days strong breezes and rain. 
The rest of the month very fine weather, 
with regular land and sea breezes ; the 
sea-breeze setting in from the north- 

east in the forenoon, and veering to 


the southward in the evening. 


First part 




Ten days fresh breezes, squalls, and 






latter part 

The rest of the month light winds, sea 


and land breezes, and very fine weather. 







Eight days stormy, with rain ; the rest of 
the month light winds and fine weather. 



Easterly . 




Ten days stormy with rain ; the rest of 
the month brisk breezes and fine 



First part 




Two days heavy gale from the eastward 





and much rain.. 

latter part 
W. S.W. 

Seven days squally and showery. 
The rest of the month fine weather. 







Three days easterly gale, and heavy rain. 
The remainder of the month brisk west- 






erly breezes and frequent showers. 
One day easterly gale and heavy rain. 




Nine days fine weather. 

The remainder of the month strong breezes, 

squalls, and heavy showers from the 







Seven days fine weather. 
Five days stormy and rainy from the east- 
ward and south-east. 

The rest of the month strong breezee, 

squalls, and rain from the westward. 


First part 




Three days stormy and rainy from the 





north east. 

glatter part 

Seven days westerly gales, squalls, and 

The rest of the month brisk breezes and 

fine weather. 

On the night of the 20th, the heaviest 

thunderstorm that had been experienc- 

ed since the formation of the settlement. 






First five days light showers and fine wea- 
ther; three days heavy gale, and much 

Six days light winds, and fine with occa- 
sional showers. 

Two days strong north-easterly breeze, 

ending with much rain. 


The MEAN TEMPERATURE of the different Months is represented 
in the following Table : 

Months. Corresponding to our Temperature. 

January .... July .... 69'3 
February .... August . . . 67 '6 
March .... September . . 65'1 

April October . . . 59'0 

May ..... November . . 56' 1 

June December . . 52' 1 

July ..... January . . . 49 '5 
August . February. . . 54*3 

September . . . March . . . 54' 8 
October .... April. . . . 58'6 
November . . . May .... 58'8 
December . . . June .... 64'6 
Mean temperature of the summer months, 67 '1 

Of the winter months 52'0 

Mean annual temperature .... 59'0 

Difference between the mean temperature! ir. 
of summer and winter, only . . . j 

The place which in our northern hemisphere 
corresponds in its mean annual temperature to that 
of Auckland (situated in lat. 36 51' 27" S., and 
long. 174 45' 20" E.) is Montpellier, in 43 36' N. 
lat, and 3 52' E. long. But in Montpellier the 
difference between the hottest and the coldest 
month is 68, whereas in Auckland the difference 
is only 19 '8. The heat of the warmest month 
in Auckland corresponds to that of the warmest 
month at Vienna, which is situated in 48 12' N. 
lat, and 16 22' E. long. ; but its coldest month 
is somewhat below the temperature of the coldest 
month of Lisbon, in 38 43' N. lat, and 13 49' W. 


long. Such is the equalizing influence exercised on 
the climate by the insular position of the country 
and the proximity of Auckland to the coasts. 

The usual rise and fall of the tides in Auckland 
is ten feet ; but they are influenced by the easterly 
winds, which sometimes raise them to twelve or 
even thirteen feet : the time of high water at full 
and change is about 6 h . 45 m . 

The variation of the compass is 14, the dip of 
the needle 61 7'. 

There are other harbours between the Gulf of 
Hauraki and the Bay of Islands, in all of which 
Europeans are settled, but very few natives. It 
would be tedious to do more than briefly mention 

1. The harbour of Mahurangi is situated at a 
distance of twenty miles from Waitamata. It is 
of easy access, the depth of water is sufficient for 
every description of vessels, and there is secure 
anchorage. It has a southern and a northern pas- 
sage, of which the former is the best, and has from 
seven to fifteen fathoms water. A division of the 
surveying department has been sent there, to lay 
out a town ; but the place, though possessed of 
some timber, has no particular advantage for a 

2. Matakana, a small harbour, a little to the 
northward of Mahurangi. It has two fathoms 
water at the entrance, with some kauri-timber on 
its shores : several Europeans live there. 


3. Wangari, an extensive and sheltered harbour. 
In the neighbourhood there is much kauri-forest. 

4. Tutukaka. 

5. Wangamuma. 

6. Wangaruru. In this harbour the ship Buffalo 
once took in a large cargo of spars. 

CHAP. XXL] 289 


Harbour of Manukao, or Symonds Harbour. 

I WILL DOW proceed in my description of the island, 
by relating the particulars of an expedition which 
I undertook from Waitemata into the centre of 
the island, to the volcanic group of Tongariro and 
Lake Taupo, thence to the eastern coast and along 
the valley of the Thames, back into the Gulf of 
Hauraki. In company with Lieutenant Best, of 
the 80th Foot, I started on the 3 1st of March, 
1841. At the moment of my departure I had the 
disappointment of finding that all the natives whom 
I had engaged to accompany me, and whom I had 
brought with me from the northward, had ab- 
sconded, enticed by promises of high wages in 
Auckland. I advise any one who intends to travel 
in New Zealand to avoid the towns, if he wishes 
to find natives, of whom a great number are re- 
quired to carry provisions and baggage. In this 
case I was obliged to start without any of these 
men, the baggage being placed on a packhorse with 
which his Excellency the Governor had kindly fur- 
nished me; and we trusted to accident to find 
VOL. i. u 


natives on the road or in one of the next settle- 

The country between Waitemata and Manukao 
is not only highly interesting to the geologist, but 
also very promising to the agriculturist. A number 
of cones rise above the even table-land, which is in- 
tersected by moderate valleys. All these cones are 
extinct volcanoes. The most interesting of them 
is Maunga-wao, which, according to barometrical 
and thermometrical measurement, has an elevation 
of 500 feet. Its base, which is lengthened towards 
the north-west, is strewed over with large masses 
of hard and black cellular scoriae, often forming 
ridges, or heaped up by the former inhabitants into 
mounds, to enable them to cultivate the light black 
soil between. Near the summit, which is on the 
southern extremity of the hill, these scoriae are 
more friable and of a reddish colour. Here is a 
funnel-shaped crater beautifully perfect and re- 
gular. The margin is a little lower towards 
the north, in the direction of the longer axis 
of the hill. The interior of this funnel, which is 
about 150 feet deep, contains small gravel of red 
scoriae, and is overgrown with short fern. On the 
outer surface of fche Jirll about twelve terraces rise 
throughout its extent, at regular intervals of about 
twelve feet. All the cones in the neighbourhood 
of Maunga-wao have this terraced appearance ; and 
although the natives, who formerly had settlements 
on almost all these hills, have contributed much to 


this regular appearance by levelling the steps, they 
are evidently in their origin the work of Nature, 
indicating the flowing of the ejected masses in one 
direction, that of the longest axis, and towards that 
side where the margin of the craters is least dis- 
tinct. A great quantity of shells and quadrangular 
excavations, where their houses stood, bear witness 
of the former native inhabitants : the time is still 
remembered by old men of the Nga-te-whatua 
tribe when all these hills were covered with for- 
tified villages and numerous inhabitants. But this 
unfortunate tribe, pressed by the Nga-pui from the 
northward, the Nga-te-paoa from the Hauraki, and 
the Waikato from the southward, have dwindled 
down almost to nothing, and their whole number 
in the neighbourhood does not amount at present to 
more than 200. 

As the soil between the boulders is very fertile, 
it may be expected that, at no far distant time, 
the flanks of these cones will again form sheltered 
and productive gardens, as a large quantity of 
scorise will be consumed in the construction of 
roads, for which purpose they are particularly 
adapted. f* 

At a distance of two miles from Maunga-wao 
is Maunga-keke. This extinct crater differs little 
from the former, except that there are scarcely any 
scoriae on its base, and its summit is less regular. 
It is overgrown inside with brushwood and trees, 
and on the top stands an old pohutukaua-tree, 

u 2 


which serves as a good landmark for ships entering 
Waitemata harbour. Other conical hills are visible 
at a little distance. 

The similarity of these craters with those of the 
Auvergne, and especially the similarity of their 
igneous products with those of the extinct volcanoes 
of that place, is striking. They surpass them, how- 
ever, in the preservation and regularity of their 
funnel-shaped summits. 

The distance across the country from Auckland 
to the head of Manukao Harbour is about seven 
miles ; the land slopes gently towards the latter, 
and is covered with grass, flax, or the beautiful 
Veronica speciosa, which at the time of my visit 
was covered with its lilac flowers, filling the air 
with their perfume. Where this shrub grows it 
is a sure indication of the richest soil. 

Between Auckland and Manukao there is no 
wood, excepting that where the plain is intersected 
by valleys a few shrubs grow. At the head of 
Manukao are some native huts, called Onehunga, 
occasionally inhabited by a few people of the Wai- 
kato tribe, who have abundant crops on their neigh- 
bouring cultivations, especially of maize. 

The harbour of Manukao, an inlet about fifteen 
miles long and eight broad, sends an arm towards 
the Tamaki in the Hauraki Gulf. Between these 
points, as I have already mentioned, is the shortest 
portage connecting the eastern and the western sea. 
The upper part of the harbour is shallow, but there 


is a navigable channel for small craft nearly to its 
head. Part of the shore at the head is strewed 
over with hard basaltic lava and cellular scoriae, 
and it is not difficult to point out,, in a cone on the 
southern shore, the source of this volcanic produce. 
The northern shore is cliffy, and consists of strati- 
fied greyish sandstone, or sandstone conglomerate. 
The stratifications of the latter are sometimes curvi- 
linear. The cliffs are wooded with various trees ; I 
observed especially Vitex litoralis, which is remark- 
able for its dark leaves, pink flowers, and cherry- 
like fruit, Metrosideros tomentosa, Persoonia tora, 
Knightia excelsa, Laurus tarairi, Fuchsia excorti- 
cata, Myrtus bullata, Corynocarpus Isevigata, Ed- 
wardsia microphylla, and the lower shrubs Rubus 
australis, Solanum laciniatum, Piper excelsum, and 
others. But this vegetation is merely confined to 
the coast, as the land which extends from the 
north shore of Manukao is not covered with any- 
thing of higher growth than fern, rushes, Lepto- 
spermum, Drosera, and a few Orchidese. This land 
consists of low hills, the upper soil of which is a 
stiff clay ; the whole has formerly been covered with 
kauri-forest, as is proved by the gum or resin, of 
which pieces are everywhere found. This tree 
grows now only near the heads of Manukao Har- 
bour, and on the hills which extend along the sea- 
shore from Kaipara to Manukao. Here the kauri, 
as in other places, is associated with other pines, 
especially rimu, kawaka, tanekaha, and miro (Da- 


crydium cupressinum, plumosum, Phyllocladus tri- 
chomanoides, Podocarpus miro) ; larger trees of the 
graceful and acacia-like Dacrydium plumosum are 
scarce ; in fact, this pine seems to grow only to a 
very moderate size. Several creeks, capable of turn- 
ing mills, flow into the harbour. 

The north head of Manukao is formed by three 
rugged conical hills : inside the outer head the 
coast presents a bold rocky precipice, alternating 
with small secluded bays; but a vigorous vegeta- 
tion covers them to the water's edge, and kauri- 
trees have grown in places where the precipice is 
inaccessible on account of its rapid declivity. About 
three miles from the outer headland, the coast 
sweeps at a right angle round a cliffy inner head- 
land, thus forming a neck of land about three 
miles long and as many broad. Round this inner 
headland, close in-shore, is the best anchorage in 
the harbour, perfectly sheltered from the N.W. 
and S.W. winds A swell, which would be liable 
to set in from the harbour itself, is broken by a 
long sandbank occupying the centre of the basin. 

This place is called Karanga-hawe, and is part 
of the land claimed by the Manukao New Zealand 
Company : it has now no inhabitants, as almost the 
whole of its former possessors a tribe, belonging 
to the Nga-te-whatua have been exterminated : 
the remains of their village and plantations are still 
to be seen. 

The southern shore of the harbour consists of 


undulating and fertile land, which extends from 
Onehunga towards the Waikato. There is a second 
channel on that side of the harbour ; and a channel 
for boats extends towards an arm of the Waikato 
river the Awaroa with a very easy portage of 
two miles and a half. 

The south head is a remarkable steep hill of white 
moveable sand, heaped up by north-westerly gales ; 
the northern head, however, is a black conglomerate 
of a rugged shape. 

Although the harbour of Manukao has a bar at 
the entrance, there is a deep and free channel three- 
quarters of a mile broad close to the northern head. 
Once between the heads, the channel is deep and 
free from danger. 

The tide is full two hours and three-quarters later 
in Manukao than at Waitemata, and rises to ten 
feet and a half. 

A regular survey of this harbour, and, indeed, of 
all the harbours on the western coast of the northern 
island, is still wanting. This deficiency has probably 
arisen from the coast being a lee-shore, and conse- 
quently being more difficult to survey ; but it is evi- 
dent that that very circumstance renders it more 
important that it should be well surveyed. 

Manukao is evidently a place of some importance, 
from its near neighbourhood to Auckland, and the 
facility of communication with that town and the 
river Waikato. The best anchorage, and all the 
timber, and, moreover, a very good situation for a 


town, are to be found on the northern shore ; but 
all the good land is on the southern. To connect 
the two sides by a road will be difficult and expen- 
sive, from the high price of labour. A communi- 
cation between the different parts of the harbour is 
always open for boats. 1 

In 1836 no natives resided in Manukao, having 
all been dispersed by wars some years before. Sub- 
sequently the remnant of the original tribe the 
Nga-te-whatua returned : a Waikato tribe, more- 
over, had a village on the southern shore, where a 
Church Missionary station was established. Almost 
all the natives have become converts to Christianity. 

On the 2nd of April we left Onehunga, in a 
canoe, for Kauwitu, a small native village near the 
southern head of Manukao. The natives detained 

1 Captain William Cornwallis Symouds, of the 96th Foot, and 
Deputy-Surveyor-General of New Zealand, eldest son of the pre- 
sent Surveyor of the Navy, Sir William Symonds, accompanied 
me during this excursion into the interior. I lament to say that 
on the 23rd of November, 1841, he met in this harbour with an 
untimely death. Whilst occupied in surveying a township at 
Karanga-hawe, he crossed on an errand of kindness and benevo- 
lence to the southern shore : the boat was upset ; he was a powerful 
swimmer, but before he reached the shore a shark drew him down. 
Captain Symonds was one of the few men who carry with them 
the respect and love of all who know them. Possessed of a pow- 
erful and healthy constitution, which had withstood during seven 
years the climate of the East Indies, he was expert in all manly 
exercises, his mind was well stored with a variety of knowledge, and 
he was a genuine true-hearted Englishman, a kind son and brother, 
a sincere friend, and an upright, independent, and public-spirited 
man. He was one of the first who directed attention to New 
Zealand, and the colony will ever have to deplore his loss. 



us two days by demanding an exorbitant sum for 
the hire of a canoe ; indeed the effect of their con- 
tact with Europeans has been to render them 
covetous and extortionate, as among the colonists 
they see no transactions but what are based upon 
an exchange of money and labour. But their know- 
ledge of the value of time and money will remain 
for a long time very imperfect. 

The northern shore of Manukao is the last place 
on the western coast where the Dammara australis, 
or the kauri, is found. It is true, that a little farther 
to the southward, in Kawia, in latitude 37 27 ', there 
are some dozen trees or so, but they are of stunted 
growth. I have already mentioned that on the 
eastern coast the range of this pine does not even 
reach thus far ; and this fine tree has therefore a 
range of less than three degrees of latitude and one 
degree of longitude ; and even within these narrow 
boundaries it is by no means a common tree. It 
generally grows in the neighbourhood of the sea- 
coast, but not in parts exposed to the spray, and on 
the sides of ravines ; it is, in fact, entirely confined 
to hilly situations. Large districts within the above- 
mentioned boundaries have formerly been covered 
with kauri-forest, but are now bare ; and its destruc- 
tion, through waste and negligence, is now going 
on in other districts. There is no proof that the 
kauri ever grew to the southward of its present 
boundaries, although conflagrations of forest have 
taken place throughout the island. With the de- 


struction of the forests many trees and shrubs dis- 
appear, especially those which required the full 
aliment and moisture afforded by the forest : for 
instance, the arborescent and several other species 
of ferns, which are only found in conjunction with 
the kauri. 

The kauri is the only cone-bearing pine in New 
Zealand ; all the others bear berries, and are there- 
fore to be classed amongst the very numerous family 
of the Podocarpi or Taxideee. 

I cannot omit to mention a fact connected with 
the kauri which seems to throw some light on the 
formation of amber. The resin which the tree ex- 
udates is very hard, and forms large solid masses at 
the base of the tree. It is generally of a whitish 
colour, but through age, and as it would seem by 
exposure to the sea- water, it assumes the gold-yellow 
colour of amber, becomes transparent, and very 
closely resembles that substance. It appears to me 
not improbable that amber is derived from a tree of 
the same genus as the Dammara australis, as no 
other resin that I am aware of is so hard, or is acted 
upon in this remarkable manner by the sea-water. 

CHAP, xxii.] 299 


River Waikato Wainga-roa Aotea Kawia. 

IN Kauwitu, on the south side of the harbour, we 
fell in with a number of natives from the river Waipa, 
who were returning from a visit to Waitemata, 
and who agreed to carry our baggage from Manukao 
over the portage to the Awaroa, where they had 
their canoe, and thence to the Waikato. Lieutenant 
Best accompanied them, but I started for the em- 
bouchure of the river Waikato, round the southern 
head of Manukao, and along the beach. I was 
anxious not to disappoint Captain William Symonds, 
who had arranged to accompany me into the in- 
terior, and I therefore walked during the night, as 
it was moonlight, and the air balmy and agreeable, 
from Manukao. The distance to the Waikato is 
thirty miles, and the coast, which consists of a broad 
and hard sandy beach, with soft sandstone cliffs of 
a moderate height, runs nearly north and south. 
There is only one spot which is impassable at high 
water. My path took me near a few poor native 
huts, and during the night I met a great number of 
natives quietly returning from a great Missionary 


meeting at the heads of the Waikato. The whole 
district between the sea-coast and the Awaroa (great 
river), which branches off from the Waikato eight 
miles from its mouth, is called Tauroa. The soil is 
very light, and in some places sandy, but the kumera, 
of which there are many plantations, thrives very 
well in it. About ten miles from the north head 
of the river Waikato sand has been carried by the 
winds a long distance inland, and is mixed with a 
great quantity of pumicestone, which is often so 
firmly imbedded in it as to form a pavement. This 
pumicestone, and occasionally pieces of black ob- 
sidian, are brought down the Waikato river from 
the volcanic group of the Tongarido, which is situ- 
ated in the centre of the island, and from which 
the Waikato takes its rise. 

I have been told that between the Waikato and 
Manukao there lived formerly a numerous tribe 
the Nga-te-iwi ; but in the wars with the Waikato 
tribes they have disappeared entirely, their name 
being only remembered in disputes about boundaries 
amongst their successors. 

The left shore of the Waikato consists, for about 
eight miles from the sea, of shifting sand ; the right 
shore is hilly, and at the foot of the hills, near the 
embouchure of the river, is the station of the Church 
Missionary Society, Maraenui, established two years 

The outlet of the Waikato does not form a bay, 
but is a narrow channel, where, at low water, only 


vessels of about thirty tons can enter. But inside 
the headlands the Waikato is a stately stream, and 
when the tide has increased its depth it is navigable 
even for larger vessels for about a hundred miles, 
where it is joined by the river Waipa, which is 
navigable for boats sixty miles farther. 

Near the mission-station are several native pas, 
numerously inhabited, but only during certain sea- 
sons, as the natives generally live in their planta- 
tions higher up, on the banks of the river. About 
2500 were present at a meeting which took place 
the day after my arrival ; the manner in which it 
was carried on, and the eloquent orations of the 
chiefs, who, in addressing the assembled multitude, 
alluded to their altered and improved condition, 
seemed to prove that they are fast progressing in 
civilization. Such progress is certainly owing to 
the efforts of the missionaries. A great feast and 
war-dance concluded the meeting, after which the 
natives returned to their homes. The Rev. Mr. 
Maunsell, who is at the head of this mission, is a 
very zealous minister, and carries on his work with 
true Christian disinterestedness. Among those pre- 
sent at this meeting was Lady Franklin, who has 
done much for the encouragement of science in 
the southern hemisphere, as her distinguished hus- 
band, Sir John Franklin, the present Governor of 
Van Diemen's Land, has done for the same cause, 
all over the world, by his important discoveries 
within the arctic circle, and who was at this time 


engaged in the long and arduous task of visiting 
many parts of New Zealand. 

A party of about seventy natives, who were re- 
turning to their homes at Aotea, having offered us 
their services, we started in the morning of the 6th, 
and, marching in a long file, followed a path on 
the hills of the coast towards Waingaroa. The 
hills are partly wooded, partly covered with fern 
and flax. In the woods the hinau was very plenti- 
ful. This tree (Elseocarpus hinau) belongs to the 
family of the Elseocarpese, and attains a moderate 
size. The natives obtain from it the very durable 
and jet-black dye which they use for dyeing their 
garments. A greenish mud, which is obtained from 
the rivers, and probably contains muriate of iron, is 
macerated for a short time with the bark of the 
tree and the flax, and this is the whole of the pro- 
cess. I have no doubt that this bark will become 
an important article of export, as the tree is very 
common in many parts of the island. The fruit 
forms the favourite food of the large parrot ; and 
even the natives do not despise it. They separate 
the farinaceous shell from the hard and oily kernel 
by friction in a wooden trough, and form it into 

The hills are steep on both sides, and run parallel 
to the coast, to which, after a short walk, we de- 
scended. It consists partly of cliffs and partly of 
steep slopes ; and the formation is a solid white sand- 
stone, composed of comminuted shells and grains of 


quartz, and often rising to a height of 120 feet. 
The rock has broken down in some places, where 
prosilient cliffs interrupt the generally straight lines 
of the sandy coast. Everywhere creeks and rivulets 
fall into the sea. 

On the 7th our way led us up and down the coast 
hills. These consist of a yellow argillaceous slate ; 
and as I descended to the sea-coast I observed in 
many places laminar basalt, the plates of which 
were often of a rhomboidal shape ; and also com- 
pact basaltic rock. Buttresses of the main chain of 
the hills run off towards the sea-coast, forming nar- 
row valleys. In the widest of these we encamped. 
The neighbouring hills were moderately high, of 
undulating outlines, and wooded towards their crests, 
and the soil of the valleys appeared to be very fertile. 
It rained violently in the night and during the 
morning of the 8th, but we started in the afternoon, 
as the weather had improved and the atmosphere 
was clear and refreshing. The sandstone cliffs drew 
close to the sea, and we had to follow a dangerous 
path on the sides of the cliffs, scarcely practicable 
except for goats. We passed a small native pa, in 
which were a few inhabitants ; they were the first- 
natives we had seen since leaving the Waikato. 
We encamped in their neighbourhood : the hilly 
coastland had now assumed the character of plateaux 
and basins ; and although they were covered with 
vegetation, I could discover that they owed their 
origin to trap formation. The sandy downs of 


the coast shelter these places ; the soil is a light 
fertile mould. The appearance of the land con- 
tinued unchanged until we reached the harbour of 
Waingaroa. Before we came there we met several 
families of natives, who seem to be under the au- 
thority of a very intelligent and civil old patriarch. 
All the members of his family were remarkably 
well-looking. They carried on a lively and joyful 
conversation with us till late in the night, and I 
felt truly sorry in the morning when we parted 
from them. 

On starting on the 10th we had only a few miles 
to proceed before reaching Waingaroa. Our road 
was covered with the Veronica speciosa, which is a 
true child of autumn, and grows to the size of a 
moderate shrub. On the beach the sandstone form- 
ation was again interrupted by irregular dykes of 
whins tone. We pitched our tent on the northern 
shore of Waingaroa Harbour. This consists of very 
picturesque limestone cliffs, corroded by the action 
of the water, and half concealed by the over-hang- 
ing verdure. The cliffs are from sixty to seventy 
feet high. The limestone is more or less crystalline, 
and coarse grained; and contains fossils, belonging 
to the genera Terebratula, V'enus, Ostrea, Pec ten, 
Echinus, and Asterias. At the head of the har- 
bour there is a large district consisting of a bluish 
clay, without, however, any organic remains. The 
southern shore is formed mostly of a soft ferruginous 
sandstone. At an arm of the harbour, which here 


extends for some distance inland, basaltic rock is 
seen, containing small grains of olivin. Woody 
Head, or Karaoe, which, forms the southern head- 
land of Waingaroa Harbour, appears to consist en- 
tirely of this formation. I tried to ascend the 
craggy and rocky summit of this group of hills, the 
base of which is thickly covered with wood or high 
fern, and which rises about 900 feet above the level 
of the sea ; but after a fatiguing march I abandoned 
the attempt, as I found it impossible to penetrate 
through the brushwood without a much greater 
expenditure of time than I had anticipated. 

In Waingaroa there are about 1200 natives, be- 
longing to the Waikato tribe. They are mostly 
Christians, and on the southern shore is a mission- 
ary establishment belong to the Wesleyan Society. 
The natives assembled in the morning of the llth, 
and Captain Symonds expounded to them the new 
system of government. They were highly pleased 
to be in future subject to the English law, the lead- 
ing principles of which, as affecting their own posi- 
tion, they appeared perfectly to understand. 

The harbour of Waingaroa is a long inlet, with 
a bar at the entrance ; it has, however, a channel of 
twelve feet at low water, and admits smaller craft, 
which find shelter in several bays on the northern 
shore. Off the southern and northern head of the 
harbour are spits of sand, and the navigable channel 
is equidistant from both heads. The tide rises ten 
ieet, and at full and change it is high water at ten 

VOL. i. x 


o'clock. Several small vessels from Sydney, of about 
sixty tons burden, visit this harbour regularly for 
the purpose of trading in salt pork and flax, which 
are obtained from a few Europeans who have settled 

Two rivers empty themselves into the harbour, 
of which the smaller one comes from the north- 
ward, and is called Waingaroa. The larger one 
comes from the eastward, and is called Wai-te-Tuna : 
it has a channel for boats ; and from the point at 
which, on account of falls, it becomes impassable for 
boats or canoes, an easy walk of four hours leads to 
the banks of the river Waipa. 

The coast-hills between Waikato and Waingaroa, 
which I have described in the course of my journey, 
separate the waters of the Waipa and those which 
rise in the hills and run to the west coast. These 
hills have an easy slope, both towards the plains of 
the Waipa and towards the sea-coast. They are 
lowest at the Wai-te-Tuna, where the common na- 
tive road- is, and here a communication with the 
interior is most easily established. Thus the har- 
bour of Waingaroa offers many advantages for a 
settlement, especially as the land in its immediate 
vicinity is most excellent, both forest and agricultu- 
ral. Nevertheless the purchases of the Europeans 
have not been so extensive here as in other parts of 
the island. 

The missionaries have a bridle-road, cut by the 
natives, for about six miles towards the harbour of 


Aotea; this we followed on the llth. It leads 
along the wooded crest of the hills. The forest 
contains many tanekaha or parsley-leaved pines 
(Phyllocladus trichomanoides). The stem of this 
tree is very straight, and much like that of the kauri, 
and its wood is still more durable ; but I have never 
seen it growing to the same size, from a foot and a 
half to two feet being its usual diameter. The 
middle island, especially Dusky Bay, has more 
tanekaha, forests than the northern, but this tree 
has never been much sought after. 

On the 12th we reached Aotea. It is a long and 
shallow estuary, with a bar at its mouth, but has 
several times been entered by a schooner of sixteen 
tons burden. In Aotea the limestone again appears 
on the sides of the hills which bound the harbour. 
On the northern shore is a Wesleyan mission-station, 
and the native population amounts to 1200. They 
assembled at the summons of the missionary, who 
exhorted them concerning some cases of murder 
which had lately occurred, resulting from a belief 
in witchcraft. In one case a dying chief had ac- 
cused a poor old man of having caused his illness by 
makuta, or sorcery. A young relative took upon 
himself to revenge the supposed crime, and killed 
the man. The majority of the natives felt not only 
the culpability, but also the absurdity, of such a 
procedure, and were of opinion that it should in 
future be discontinued. 

We crossed to the southern shore in the boat 

x 2 


belonging to the mission. I traced there some 
thick beds of lignite under cliffs of a soft ferruginous 

From Aotea a two hours' walk brought us to 
Kawia. Another good road leads round by the beach, 
which is here bounded by hills of drift-sand. At a 
little distance behind them the land is flat and good. 
We passed many flourishing native plantations 
stocked with the common vegetables. 

The harbour of Kawia is one of the most import- 
ant on the western coast of the northern island. 
It has a clear entrance about a mile and a quarter 
broad, and with two fathoms at dead low-water 
spring-tides. The tide rises twelve feet, and at full 
and change it is high water at eight o'clock. The 
best anchorage is along the northern shore, where 
the depth varies from five to eight fathoms. The 
harbour forms an irregular basin, and is joined by 
two rivers, which descend from the coast range, and 
admit boats ; the one to the north is the Awaroa, 
which receives a tributary, the Kauri river, so 
named from a few kauri-trees which grow here, and 
are strictly " tapu :" from the right bank of the river 
the road leads over the hills into the plains of the 
Waipa ; the river to the south is the Wai Arekeke, 
and here another road leads into the Waipa district, 
more circuitous, but less hilly. 

The principal geological feature of the estuary of 
Kawia is an extensive calcareous formation, which 
can be examined on the left shore of the Awaroa 


and on the south side of the harbour. The lime- 
stone is of the same description as that in Wain- 
garoa, and contains the same fossils, with the addition 
of great numbers of a large Ostrea, often a foot in 
length ; next to these the Terebratulae are the most 
numerous, and in an excellent state of preservation. 
The nature of the fossils would seem to place this 
formation in the tertiary series ; they are, however, 
such as are found in formations of all ages, and it is 
difficult to form at present ^decided opinion on this 
point. The calcareous cliffs are corroded in various 
ways ; chasms have been formed by the dripping 
water, and stalactites hang from their sides and 
roofs. In one of these deep chasms is the old bury- 
ing-place of the tribe of Rauparaha, the Nga-te-toa, 
a division of the great Nga-te-awa tribe. But these 
places, to which such sanctity is usually attached 
by the New Zealanders, have not met with more 
respect from the Waikato than has the tribe of the 
Nga-te-toa itself, who about twenty- five years ago 
were driven from this place to the south, when 
Rauparaha settled at Entry Island. On the north- 
ern shore are still to be seen the extensive remains 
of his fortifications^ trenches, and walls, and I 
thought I could distinguish in their construction 
that sagacity for which Rauparaha has been always 

The principal settlement of the Waikato, who are 
now in possession of this part of the island, is near 
the Wesleyan mission-station on the south shore. 


They are about 1500 in number, and of late most of 
them have become Christians. There are about 
forty Europeans settled on the northern shore, who 
have lived here for several years past : but the mixed 
members of this little community do not keep up 
the best understanding amongst themselves ; and it 
would be well to establish soon some authority at 
this place, as, from its being almost the best harbour 
on the western coast, and the only one of conse- 
quence between Manukao and Port Nicholson, from 
the quality of the surrounding country, as well as 
from the immediate neighbourhood of the extensive 
and fertile Waipa plains, a town might be esta- 
blished here with every prospect of immediate suc- 
cess. The greater part of the land in the vicinity 
of Kawia is claimed by Europeans. 

We settled with our numerous followers to their 
entire satisfaction, a shirt or a gown being the pay- 
ment to each. Amongst them was a chief, Te Kiwi, 
with whom I was particularly pleased. He had 
been formerly a renowned warrior in the wars of 
his tribe with the Nga-te-awa. Although fully 
tattooed, his countenance displayed much mildness,, 
and his behaviour to us was conciliating, polite, and 
attentive. In his exhortations to the rest of our 
companions he often used the powerful weapons of 
sarcasm and irony, which had the more weight as 
they were delivered without arrogance and in per- 
fect good humour. He took great care of his 
daughter, a fine little girl, who had volunteered to 


carry Mr. Best's knapsack. Te Kiwi had become a 
convert to Christianity, and had a kind and feeling 
heart, although in his younger days a renowned 
cannibal. His costume was most peculiar : he was 
dressed in a shabby black dress-coat and trousers, 
the offcast of a missionary's clerical wardrobe, with 
an extremely dilapidated gossamer hat on his head. 

On the 20th we went in a canoe to Oparau, a 
small river a little to the northward of the Awaroa. 
Its banks are of moderate height : the soil is a good 
loamy earth, and covered with a luxuriant vegeta- 
tion of fern and flax. We halted in a native potato- 
plantation, not far from the harbour, as our com- 
panions, amongst whom was Te Waro, a chief from 
the river Waipa, who had offered to accompany us 
into the interior, had not yet all arrived. 

The next day our road led us up the hills, which 
ascend gently from the sea. We kept along the 
ridges, and had to pass several ravines and narrow 
valleys. The formation of the hills, as was shown 
by the fragments which appeared on the surface, is 
volcanic : they consisted of a solid basaltic matrix, 
with numerous pentagonal columns of augite. Many 
parts of these hills are covered only with fern ; others, 
especially in the ravines, are still clothed with forest, 
which seems to have formerly covered the whole. 
We stopped at a very ancient rata-tree : its stem was 
fifty-four feet round, and, having been hollowed 
out by fire, served for a convenient shelter to the 
natives. It was " tapu," that is, no one was allowed 


to cut down any portion of it, the whole having 
been set apart for general use. We ourselves pitched 
our tent, but it rained so violently during this and 
the following day, that everything got wet. In the 
night flashes of lightning threatened every moment 
to strike the trees around us, and the thunder re- 
sounded majestically from the surrounding hills. 
During the night we heard the shrill monotonous 
voice of the weka, or Rallus australis. This bird, 
which has become very scarce, on account of its 
being destroyed by the wild dogs and cats, lives in 
the darkest recesses of the forest, where the soil has 
become saturated with water, and muddy, and where 
it finds the insects which, together with seeds, serve 
for its food. I kept one for some time, feeding it on 
potatoes and cockroaches, of which insect it was 
very fond. The natives catch it in snares, or decoy 
it by imitating its voice. 

On the 23rd we continued to ascend the hilly and 
wooded ridge which separates the Waipa from the 
sea-coast. From an open spot I had a view of 
Kawia and Aotea. Albatross Point bore S. 55 W. ; 
the south head of Kawia S, 50 W. ; Maunga-Tau- 
tari, a volcanic ridge in the interior, N. 65 E. 
Higher up the hills become very rocky and steep : 
the formation of basaltic and augitic rock continues. 
In some places the hills are only covered with scanty 
and stunted trees. When we reached the top an 
extensive view opened before us : the broad and open 
valley of the Waipa stretched out towards the north- 


east, and was bounded to the east by distant hills. 
To the south-west the eye reached to the hilly 
chain of Rangitoto, near Mokau, on the western 
coast, which bore S. 20 W. In the valley of the 
Waipa rose an isolated conical hill, Maunga-Kaua, 
whilst here and there a small part of the Waipa 
river itself was visible. I had a good view of the 
country inland of Waingaroa and Aotea Harbours ; 
and I observed that everywhere the coast-hills 
descended gradually towards the interior, and that 
all these hills were covered with forest. Only some 
small spots of the valley of the Waipa were wooded. 
On these we observed burnt and bleak stems of old 
trees, the only sign we could perceive of the intru- 
sion of man upon the dominion of Nature, The 
undisturbed silence in which the whole was wrapped 
imparted an agreeable repose to the landscape. Pi- 
rongia, as the hill on which we stood is called, 
seems to be the highest point of the coast-chain : it 
rises to the height of 2428 feet, measured themo- 
metrically, the point of boiling-water being 207 5*, 
the temperature of the air 51, and the mean between 
that of the sea-shore being taken as 55 Fahrenheit. 
We descended into the valley of the Waipa, fol- 
lowing the course of one of its tributaries, which 
rolled rapidly * over a bed of rounded and smooth 
boulders. At the foot of the hill we halted at a 
small settlement of natives. The news of our ap- 
proach having preceded us, they placed before us, at 


the moment of our arrival, long rows of baskets 
filled with articles of food, such as green calabashes, 
kumeras, pumpkins, water-melons, and dried fish. 
This is an old native custom in regard to strangers, 
and is rapidly giving way to European modes of 




River Waipa Mission-Station of Otawao. 

IN the evening we arrived at the banks of the Waipa, 
and were welcomed in the house of an Englishman, 
a trader and old settler. The river was swollen by 
the late rains, and had risen about eight feet above 
its usual level. The banks being elevated, this made 
no difference in its breadth, which was here about 
fifty yards. Its average depth was now from one 
and a half to two fathoms ; but even in dry seasons 
a boat can go up ten or twelve miles higher than 
this place. The valley itself has little slope, and 
the average velocity of the river cannot be sufficient 
to hinder boats from going against the stream : its 
velocity per second I found to be nearly two feet and 
a half. The banks consisted of a stiff loamy earth, 
with layers of sand, but without any fragments of 
rocks. All the surrounding country is flat, and of 
the most promising description for the growth of 
grain. Our English host had a quantity of tobacco 
hung up to dry, which he had grown here : it was 
of an excellent quality, and the rich soil and humid 
climate seem to be well adapted for the cultivation 
of this plant. 


On the 24th we crossed the Waipa in a canoe, 
and reached the Church missionary station of 
Otawao, which is about nine miles distant from our 
resting-place of the night before. Here, for the 
first time, we had a view of the snowy head of the 
Ruapahu, which is about 150 miles distant. 

The mission-station of Otawao was established 
about a year ago, and has already been very useful. 
It is situated on the banks of a small tributary of 
the Waipa : opposite to it, on an eminence, the 
Christian natives have constructed their pa, as at 
the first introduction of Christianity a sort of sepa- 
ration always takes place between the Christian con- 
verts and the Heathens, without, however, materially 
affecting the general harmony of the tribe. In 
those cases in which the majority of the tribe or 
of the inhabitants of a village have become converts 
to Christianity, the remainder, finding themselves 
deserted, and unable to assemble followers for war- 
like enterprises, frequently affect to adopt the new 
doctrine. At this place, Muketu, the pa of Te 
Puata, the principal chief and warrior, which stood 
at a little distance on rising ground, was almost 
uninhabited, although the native houses in it were 
by far the best I had yet seen in New Zealand, and 
the carvings on them were executed with much in- 
genuity. Te Puata is an old man, and was formerly 
the principal chief of the whole Waikato tribe ; his 
authority is now transferred to his son, Te-Wero- 
Wero, who resides in Manukao. But the veteran 


is still bent upon war, and told me that he would 
fight till he was dead. He bears great hatred to 
the tribe of Roturua, with which he has quarrels 
of an old date to settle. 

In this neighbourhood there are several well- 
peopled pas, amongst which was that of our com- 
panion and guide Te Waro. We visited three of 
them, and in all I found many highly interesting 
carvings on the houses and fences. In one a papa 
tupapakau, or carved mausoleum, erected for Te- 
Wero-Wero's daughter, was an extraordinary piece 
of native workmanship. 

Not far distant from Te-Wero's pa rises a hilly 
range, Maunga-Tautari, separating the valley of 
the Waipa from another valley more to the east- 
ward, in which three rivers flow, the Waikato, the 
Piako, and the Waiho, or the river Thames. The 
Waikato winds around the northern slope of this 
range, and is joined, about 100 miles above its 
embouchure, by the Waipa. The valley of the 
Waipa, which is therefore formed by Maunga- 
Tautari and a range of hills near the western 
coast, must be regarded as partly original volcanic 
table-land, and partly alluvial soil ; the surface of 
the latter is enriched by the forest which in ancient 
times covered it. The groves, which are still stand- 
ing in many places, especially where swamps are 
found in the depressions of the land, consist mostly 
of kahikatea : this pine, the swamp-pine (Da- 
crydium excelsum), generally occupies low and 


swampy ground. It grows rapidly, and attains a 
large size, but its wood is less durable than that 
of any other pine. Nevertheless, many small coast- 
ing-vessels have been built of it ; and it is well 
adapted for the inside wood-work of houses : but if 
exposed to the outer air and to the humidity of the 
climate, it requires a good paint to preserve it from 
rotting. The kahikatea bears very numerous seeds 
in bunches : the fruit is double ; the upper part, 
which is the seed, is blue, and of an aromatic taste ; 
the lower part is a sort of fleshy receptacle, not 
however a mere hollow cup-shaped cover, but en- 
tirely distinct from the seed : it is of a crimson 
colour, and is slightly acidulous : both parts are of 
the size of pepper-corns. According to the natives, 
these berries, which they call koroi, ripen only 
every third year. They are eaten with avidity by 
the birds, and are considered a great delicacy by the 
natives, who also press out the juice and drink it 

About ten Europeans are settled in the neigh- 
bourhood of Otawao ; and in numerous dispersed 
and fortified villages live several distinct tribes, all 
belonging to the Waikato nation. On Sunday I 
witnessed the assemblage and catechizing of the 
Christian natives who live opposite the mission- 
station. An old blind native, Haramona, or So- 
lomon, as he has been christened, acted as catechist 
to the men, feeling his way from one to the other 
with his staff, and evincing excellent powers of 


memory ; his class sat around him in a circle. 
The females were interrogated by a very intelligent- 
looking young woman ; and I was much surprised 
and gratified to see what progress they had made 
in so short a time. Nearly all of them were pro- 
ficients in reading and writing, which they had 
been taught by mutual instruction. The chiefs, a 
few only of whom had become converts, sat at some 
distance, and contemplated the whole in silence. 
Slaves and the lower classes are always the first 
among the New Zealanders to embrace Christi- 
anity, the doctrines of which are so effectual in 
consoling the oppressed and the unhappy. 

We started from Otawao in the afternoon of the 
28th, having obtained the guidance and safeguard 
of a chief named Titipa, who, with his whole 
family and about eighteen of his followers, was 
proceeding to pay a visit to their friends and 
relations at Taupo. We halted at a plantation 
belonging to our guide, near a kahikatea-forest, 
where a pig was killed for our entertainment, and 
where, on account of heavy rains, we were obliged 
to stay the following day. The time passed, how- 
ever, quickly, as I obtained from the natives much 
information about themselves and their tribe. The 
country around was too monotonous to offer much 
inducement to explore it, even had the weather 
rendered my doing so possible. 

On the 30th our direction was easterly, leaving 
the river Waipa, the source of which lay towards 


the west, among the mountains of Rangitoto. This 
range of hills forms a continuation of the western 
coast-hills, and connects them with the group of 
the Ruapahu. On the western slope of these 
mountains is the source of the Mokau river, which 
falls into the sea about sixty miles to the north- 
ward of Cape Egmont. The general level of the 
valley of the Waipa is interrupted by a few isolated 
pyramidical hills of a volcanic origin, of which 
arms, consisting of tufa and pumicestone, run off 
in all directions, often presenting cliffy escarpments 
on the sides. We passed two old pas of the Nga- 
te-raukaua, a tribe which has now deserted the 
interior in consequence of their wars with the Wai- 
kato. They live at Otaki, in Cook's Straits, inc on- 
stant hostility with the other tribes there, especially 
the Nga-te-awa. One of these pas was very pic- 
turesquely situated : a streamlet wound its way 
around the cliffy pumiceous sides of a hill, which 
was covered with verdure, and on which the old 
fortifications could still be traced ; farther up we 
passed a conical hill, the base of which consisted 
of a hard basaltic rock overlaid by pumice, and the 
whole covered with fern. Approaching the base 
of the wooded range of Maunga-Tautari, which 
was to our left, we came to a small native settle- 
ment, the inhabitants of which were mostly de- 
pendants of our guide Titipa, who claims the whole 
of this district by right of conquest. On our road 
this day Titipa pointed out a human figure rudely 


carved in pumicestone, a monument to the memory 
of the principal chief of the Nga-te-raukaua, who 
fell here in a fight, in which Titipa was the prin- 
cipal actor. The range of Maunga-Tautari slopes 
here to the southward, terminating in a pyramidical 
summit, which we in vain tried to ascend, the path 
which formerly led up it having become entirely 
grown over with brushwood. The land to the 
southward of this range is generally pumice-land, 
and is covered with a light black or reddish earth, 
in many places very favourable to vegetable life. 

From this point our road lay through a singu- 
larly broken country. Moderately elevated hillocks 
presented here and there cliffs consisting of tufa or 
of lapilli of pumicestone loosely cemented together 
by volcanic ashes. The cliffs were often lined with 
a shrub (Metrosideros hypericifolia), with small 
myrtle-like leaves, which fixed its tendrils firmly to 
the rock, in the same manner as our ivy does. In 
some places the surface of the country formed re- 
gular basins, and craggy castle-like formations of 
the rock crowned the hills. In the indentations 
and ravines appeared some shrubs and trees ; but 
the scanty vegetation of fern and coarse wiry grass, 
with here and there a solitary dragon-tree, gave 
the region a dreary aspect. On the whole, the 
pumicestone has not undergone sufficient decay to 
allow the growth of anything except scanty grass. 
Most of the valley had a north to south direction ; 
and there is no want of water, as in every valley 

VOL. i. y 


flows a little streamlet. We pitched our tent in 
one of these valleys ; and the natives talked of esta- 
blishing a plantation here, in order to be provided 
with food on their road to Taupo. In the evening 
we were joined by some inhabitants of Taupo, who 
were returning from a visit to Otawao. 

The temperature of the air showed the difference 
between the climate of the coast and the interior. 
Although rising at noon to about 70, it fell in the 
evening to 45, and in the morning we found ice 
about half an inch thick covering the ponds and 
swamps, and a hoar-frost whitened the plains. 
To the northward a thick mist indicated the bed 
of the Waikato, and again, at a farther distance, 
that of the river Thames. The wind during these 
days was from the south-east; towards evening it 
subsided into a perfect calm, and the landscape 
assumed that clear autumnal aspect which is so 
pleasing in Europe. 

On the 4th of May we proceeded over a low un- 
dulating fern country, and entered a wood, in which 
the principal trees were matai and totara. The 
former (Dacrydium matai) bears a dark-blue berry, 
of the size and shape of that of the whitethorn, the 
pulpy shell of which has a sweet and aromatic 
taste. The tree is a pine of moderate dimensions, 
about seventy feet high at the point where the 
branches begin ; the wood is durable, though light ; 
it is red, and looks well in furniture. The totara 
(Podocarpus totara) is the most durable of the New 


Zealand pines. The tree attains great thickness, 
and is invaluable for ship-building. 

Of the different pines in New Zealand, the rimu, 
the kahikatea, the totara, and two species of tane- 
kaha, bear a double berry, that is to say, the seed 
is separated from the pulpous and fleshy receptacle, 
which in the two latter approaches to the shape of 
a cup, and surrounds a part of the seed ; in the two 
former, however, the pulpous part is divided from 
the seed, which rests upon it. The miro and matai 
bear a drupe, which is crimson-coloured in the 
former, with a blue dust, and in the latter dark- 
blue, or nearly black. I have not seen the fructi- 
fication of the kawaka, or Dacrydium plumosum, 
nor that of the new pine which I discovered on 
Mount Egmont. The kauri is the only pine bear- 
ing a cone. 

The forest was interwoven with creepers, and the 
road very tedious. We encamped about a mile 
from the left shore of the river Waikato. On as- 
cending the hill which separated us from it, a novel 
scene opened before me. Looking to the eastward 
the land appeared as if the waves of the sea had 
suddenly become petrified : on the declivities of the 
low undulations the white and naked clay appeared ; 
in other parts the hillocks were covered with a 
stunted fern and a coarse discoloured grass ; and 
the brown tint which these imparted to the whole 
gave it a barren and desolate aspect. The river was 
not visible from the hill ; and in order to see it I 

Y 2 


was obliged to descend into the deep channel which 
it had dug out of the soft tufaceous and leucitic 
lava. The banks which form its channel during 
freshes are about 150 yards distant from each other, 
but now the river was confined between banks of 
six feet high, and within much narrower limits, not 
being more than fifty yards broad. Its course was 
from S. by E. to N. by W. In some parts it was 
deep, and at others it formed rapids ; the water was 
bluish and clear, and marked the near neighbour- 
hood of the snows and glaciers of the Ruapahu, in 
which it takes its rise. 

We had a distant view of Horo Horo, a moun- 
tain in which the river Thames has its source ; it 
bore S. 80 E. We also saw Titiraupena, a py- 
ramidical mountain, with naked black rocks heaped 
upon its pointed summit, and bearing S. 20 E. 

On the 5th and 6th we passed through a coun- 
try in the highest degree curious to the geologist. 
It was broken into a number of hillocks, most irre- 
gularly dispersed over the perfectly level surface of 
the original table-land. On the hillocks them- 
selves most regular terraces were visible in some 
places, and it was plain that they could have only 
been produced by a gradual fall of the waters. All 
these hillocks consisted of tufa, or the before-men- 
tioned lapilli of pumicestone, cemented together. 
Everywhere flowed little streamlets, and we passed 
two deep creeks, the Maunga Wio and the Wai- 
papa, tributaries of the river Waikato. The Wai- 


papa presented a very wild scene. The river, here 
about forty yards broad, lost itself in successive falls 
in a deep fissure which it had corroded out of the 
soft rock. The country now became more desert ; 
as the level land, consisting of the same materials 
as the hills, was as yet but little decomposed, and 
nourished only a stunted vegetation of grass and 
fern, and a plant of the family of the Composite. 

Near the river-courses the soil was better, and 
bore a good many shrubs. Of animal life nothing 
was visible, with the exception of the Cigale Ze- 
landica, which filled the air with its chirping note, 
and a brown ground-lark very common in New 
Zealand. 1 We passed a number of deep holes in the 
ground, apparently produced by the water infiltrat- 
ing into the porous substance, and carrying off a 
quantity of it by forming a subterraneous rivulet. 
Here and there I found pieces of obsidian, and 
everything proved that we were fast approaching a 
great centre of volcanic action. We passed between 
two isolated and very remarkable hills : that to our 
left was called Titiraupena, and its top was shaped 
like a lofty cupola : that to our right was Waka- 
kahu ; it was rugged and broken. We were met 
here by many natives, who had already heard of 
our approach. We hailed their arrival with even 
greater delight than they did ours, as for the last 
two days we had been living on short rations : this 
they had foreseen, and accordingly brought us seve- 
1 Alauda Novie Zelandise, Gmel. 


ral baskets full of food. In the evening we reached 
their pa, which was called Ahirara. It was situated 
on the border of a splendid forest of totara, rimu, 
and matai. The country here became more hilly, the 
hills belonging to a range which rose into precipi- 
tous and fantastic crests, and which may be said to 
occupy the left shore of the Waikato after that river 
issues from the lake of Taupo. The pa was sur- 
rounded with high and rudely carved fences. It 
appears that the feeling of security which in the 
places near the coast has begun to exercise its influ- 
ence has not yet extended so far inland. The na- 
tives have some Christian catechists amongst them, 
and are occasionally visited by the missionaries from 
Tauranga and Roturua. Their number amounts to 
about 400. 

Only three miles distant from this place is another 
pa, the road to it leading through the hilly forest. 
This pa stood on a pyramidical hill, which was na- 
turally fortified by deep perpendicular chasms. It 
contained only a few houses, and had lately been 
established by a chief who was desirous of being at 
the head of a tribe. Here we stopped on the 8th, 
and were received with much kindness by the in- 
mates, as they were relations of our guide : however, 
a slight disagreement arose on the following day, 
which was Sunday. They refused us food, saying 
they had become missionaries of late, and had been 
told it was the greatest sin to kill a pig or to cook 
on Sunday. That we demanded it on that day was 


not our fault, as we had solicited it the day before. 
Titipa started off to a neighbouring Heathen pa, 
although the rain fell in torrents, and came back in 
the afternoon with a pig. 

About three miles from this place I saw masses 
of white vapours rising in jets, and the natives told 
us that they were caused by the hot-springs (puhia). 
The way to them leads through a valley, on the 
sides of which I again observed the curious terraced 
appearance which I have lately mentioned. The 
springs, three large and many small ones, were 
situated at the base of a range of low hills, of 
a conical shape, and consisting of scorise. They 
ranged in a linear direction from north-west to 
south-east. The larger ones are formed in the 
shape of a funnel, with a diameter of about twenty- 
four r feet. The water, which was not easily ap- 
proached, had a milk-white, clayey appearance, and 
was continually in a state of ebullition, or thrown 
up in jets : it had a slightly acidulous taste. Steam 
issued from a number of crevices at the sides of the 
funnel ; the gas was sulphurous, and efflorescences of 
sulphur and alum lined the rock ; there were also 
some traces of sulphate of iron. The temperature 
of this milky and muddy mass was above the boiling- 
point of water, as the mercury rose to 216 Fahr., 
the highest gradation on the scale of my thermo- 
meter. The margin of the funnel was much altered 
in its chemical composition, and formed a yellowish 
or reddish clay. The Leptospermum scoparium 


clothes the margin of the springs ; and although 
continually exposed to the rising steam, the verdure 
is little altered. 

I started in the morning of the 10th for some 
other hot-springs which I had descried at a dis- 
tance. They are about a mile to the southward of 
those above described, but on the opposite slope of 
the hills, and are arranged in the same direction of 
the compass, that is, from north-west to south-east. 
They are situated in a ravine, bounded on the other 
side by a range of steep and precipitous cliffs. I 
was alone; but met three natives, who were going 
back to Taupo, and who offered to be my guides. 
The first springs I came to were four in number, 
and close together. They issued through gravel, 
and were two feet and a half deep, and about two 
feet in diameter. The thermometer, when its bulb 
was brought to the bottom of the spring, rose to 
the boiling-point. The water was nearly clear, and 
had an agreeable acidulous taste and a slight smell 
of hydrosulphurous gas ; a thin crust of alum and 
sulphur was deposited at the brink of the spring. 
The taste of the water, however, was not quite the 
same in all the springs. At a little distance were 
boiling mud-ponds, or stufas ; and still farther, steam 
and sand were thrown up, and constituted a com- 
plete volcanic range of miniature hills. The mud 
and sand had formed regular truncated cones, of 
which one was about fifteen feet at the base, and ten 
feet high ; inside this cone was a funnel, about two 


feet in diameter, and filled with clear hot water, in 
the centre of which the bubbles rose continually. 
In one large pond there were eight such cones. In 
seeing these cones one would almost be inclined to 
think that those regular craters which are found 
close together in Waitemata and Waimate have 
been formed in the same way namely, as immense 
stufas, which have been elongated, and have sub- 
sided in that direction in which the water over- 
flowed. The external appearance of the small and 
large craters is perfectly alike, although the latter 
are on an infinitely larger scale. 

The most stupendous of these boiling ponds was 
about a quarter of a mile farther on. Here a steep 
cliff, about sixty feet high, white, oxidized, corroded, 
and undermined, presented itself. At its base was 
a large pond, continually boiling, with a white 
foam ; throwing out jets of fluid eight to ten feet 
high, with great violence and noise. The tempera- 
ture of this pond was likewise above the point of 
boiling water. The pond, round which was depo- 
sited a white clay, was apparently very deep ; but I 
could not sound it, being unable to find amongst 
the light volcanic materials which covered around it 
a stone of sufficient weight to attach to my line. I 
returned to the pa full of the impressive scene I had 
just beheld. My party had started ; but from a 
neighbouring potato-field I soon procured a guide, 
and proceeded towards our evening resting-place. 
The natives here chiefly cultivate the forest-land on 


the sides of the hills, which yields them the best 

If I wished to describe the country through 
which we passed, I could not do so better than by 
saying that it resembled land over which a flood 
had swept, leaving it torn, or in many places ridged 
with terraces formed by slow subsidence, but alto- 
gether devastated and dreary. Shallow ravines had 
been formed here and there, often turning at sharp 
angles where the water had found resistance ; the 
declivities of these ravines were covered with gravel. 
Sometimes a higher cliff appeared, consisting of a 
tufaceous conglomerate ; the upper soil was pumice- 
stone gravel, and was covered with stunted fern and 
lichens; here and there was a moor-ground with 
rushes ; there were also swamps and numerous rivu- 
lets, near which the vegetation had a fresher aspect. 
After sunset I arrived at a range of hills covered 
with wood, and presenting sometimes a cliffy, some- 
times a sloping aspect to the eastward. Here was a 
small pa, the ascent to which was steep and rocky, 
and which had been chosen by a tribe of the Taupo 
people as a place of security against the inroads of 
the Nga-te-Kahohunu from the east coast. It is 
called Tutaka-moana. In the "evening our killing a 
pig and cooking it on a Sunday was the subject of a 
lively controversy between our companions and the 
natives of the pa. Titipa, although not yet a Chris- 
tian, was well read in his Bible, and proved to them 
that there was no commandment to refuse a hungry 
wanderer food on a Sunday. 



Lake Taupo and Tongariro. 

WE started on the llth of May for Taupo lake, 
which was only at a short distance. The road lay 
in the valley, or alternately ascended or descended 
the hills. From the last of these, a ridge with 
a steep ascent, the great Lake Taupo burst on 
our view, and was greeted by us all with delight. 
Across the lake was the Tongariro bearing S. 20 E., 
and to the north-west and north were the mountains 
Titiraupena and Wakakahu. 

The rocks of which these hills consist is a leu- 
citic lava of greater firmness than that we had 
lately passed, and here and there I found fragments 
of porphyry. Very near the lake a sand appears in 
the section of a small landslip about fifty feet above 
the present level of the lake, consisting entirely 
.of small crystals of glassy felspar ; and the same 
sort of sand is at present found at the borders of the 
lake itself. This proves that the level of the lake 
was once much higher than it now is, and that it 
has broken through the barrier of cliffs which sur- 
rounded it, thus, perhaps, overflowing the lower 
country and giving rise to the formation of the 


land which I have endeavoured to describe, since 
the mass of water which thus escaped must have 
been very considerable. 

On the margin of the lake was a small beach, the 
sands of which were grains of leucit. It was 
bounded on both sides by prosilient promontories 
clothed with shrubs. The Edwardsia and the ka- 
raka-tree were again prevailing, and a very beautiful 
shrub, a Dracophyllum with rose-coloured flowers, 
was in full blossom. On the western promontory 
were some houses ; but most of the inhabitants had 
departed for a war excursion to Wanganui and Cook's 
Straits, and the rest of the tribe lived at a different 
part of the lake. Being, however, apprised of our 
arrival, some men, with women and children, made 
their appearance in the evening, bringing plenty 
of provisions in their canoes, and the most friendly 
understanding was soon established. With Eu- 
ropean commodities they were as well provided as 
the natives on the coast ; these they generally ob- 
tain from Cook's Straits, since Wanganui, by the 
establishment of a small colony of the New Zealand 
Company, can now provide them abundantly. 

I will now cast a retrospective glance over the 
country which I traversed, from the mouth of the 
Waikato to the borders of the Taupo lake. Of this 
the valley of the Waipa forms the most important 
part. This valley is bounded to the westward by a 
range of coast-hills, to the eastward by the range of 
Maunga-Tautari. It has an average breadth of about 


thirty miles ; is even and flat in its lower part, espe- 
cially up to the point at which the river Waipa joins 
the Waikato : higher up the country is broken and 
undulating, covered with a vegetation of fern and 
coarse grass, alternating with groves of the kahikatea- 
pine. The lower part rivals in fertility the best dis- 
tricts in the island, the valley being a vocanic table- 
land with much alluvium. It has the advantage of 
being sheltered from the gales which are so preva- 
lent on the coasts of New Zealand, and would 
therefore be particularly adapted for grain, tobacco, 

(safflower, and hops. It must, in fact, be regarded 
as the most sheltered region in the whole country ; 
and if the vine and mulberry will grow anywhere in 
New Zealand, it must be here. Higher up the 
valley, and between the Rangitoto mountains and 
Taupo, the country will be available, when the 
increasing population creates a demand for land. 
Even where the country is pumiceous, it is covered 
with a coarse grass, which I feel convinced would 
be eaten by cattle, and better sorts of grasses would 
soon, by a little exertion, be spread over the surface. 
The soil near the watercourses, and in the little 
valleys, is excellent, and would produce everything 
needed for home consumption. 

The peculiar recommendation of the Waipa valley 
is its easy communication with the sea, as the river 
is navigable for sixty miles above its junction with 
the Waikato. Of the harbour on the west coast 

PWaingaroa is perhaps the easiest of access from this 


valley, as there the coast-hills are lowest ; but 
Kawia has a finer harbour, and Nature has pointed 
out that place as a most advantageous site for a 
township. It must, moreover, not be forgotten that 
the valley of the Waipa has an almost uninterrupted 
water-communication with Waitemata or Auckland. 

The natives who inhabit the Waipa belong to 
the tribe of the Waikato, and live in small but well- 
peopled villages : they are, perhaps, the finest set of 
people in New Zealand, are familiarized with Eu- 
ropeans, and very anxious to receive them into their 
country. There is a great demand among them 
for European commodities, which will create a lively 
intercourse between both races. 

A great part of this country is not yet sold, but 
the chiefs have made numerous applications to Her 
Majesty's Government on the subject. 

The Waikato river, although a considerable and 
deep stream after it issues from Lake Taupo, and 
towards its outlet after its junction with the 
Waipa, is of less consequence than the Waipa, as in 
the middle part of its course the navigation with 
canoes or boats, if not actually interrupted, is yet 
rendered difficult by rapids, and the country through 
which it flows is bad above Maunga-Tautari, being 
composed of a pumiceous or tufaceous gravel. To 
convert the river throughout its course into a canal, 
if such a measure should at any future time be re- 
quired, would not, I conceive, be very difficult, as it 
has steep banks and a sufficient supply of water. 


By a work of this nature a complete water-commu- 
nication would be opened throughout the island by 
means of the Taupo Lake and the Wanganui and 
Manawatu rivers, which take their rise in the same 
mountain as the Waikato, and are navigated by the 
natives nearly from their source down to their 
embouchure in Cook's Straits. 

Lake Taupo appears to be 1337 feet above the 
level of the sea, if we may trust a measurement with 
Newman's thermometer, which gave the thermal 
point at 209*5, at a temperature of 65 Fahrenheit. 

The natives are afraid of trusting themselves on 
the lake whenever there is the slightest indication 
of bad weather. It being a large basin, and on most 
sides surrounded by cliffs, which are divided by 
gulleys, the waves are frequently very high, and 
prove dangerous to the canoes, which have here no 
gunwhales, and are called tiwai. For two days 
the natives dissuaded us from venturing upon it, 
although my companions were very impatient, and 
pressed them hard. " You do not know this lake," 
they said ; " it is worse than the sea." 

Knowing well from experience in Switzerland the 
nature of inland lakes, I readily yielded to this 
advice, being aware, moreover, of the futility of 
pressing the natives in such matters. I have always 
indeed made a point in New Zealand of keeping my 
patience and composure in all discussions with the 
natives, and have in consequence fared well. I re- 
commend the same system to all those who have 


occasion to travel amongst savages, who, by the bye, 
are in this respect often our superiors. 

At the end of two days we started in a canoe, 
which was very large, but was quite full of men, 
women, children, dogs, and pigs. We now perceived 
that the natives had been right, as the waves of 
the Take still rose high even from the moderate 
winds which we had had the last two days, and the 
canoe was very deep in the water. If we had been 
upset we should not have had much chance of saving 
ourselves by swimming, as the western shore consists 
of high cliffs of a trachytic rock, which are washed 
by the deep water. We landed, and encamped for 
the night at a small bay where there is a native 
settlement. Behind this bay the hills are very 
steep, and about 1600 feet high, and rise to a very 
narrow crest at the top : they form an amphi- 
theatre round the bay. The side toward the lake 
was formerly wooded, and is so still in many patches, 
although it is so steep that I found it difficult to 
ascend ; yet the natives, nevertheless, grow their 
vegetables in places where the wood has been de- 
stroyed by fire, and the extremely fertile soil brings 
their crops to great perfection. 

From this point we continued our voyage to Te- 
Rapa, a native village at the south-west end of the 
lake. This was the place where the relations of 
our excellent guide, Titipa, lived, and where we 
were to stop for some time. The principal chief, 
Te-Heu-Heu, and many of his followers, were absent 


on a war excursion to Cook's Straits, but the re- 
mainder received us in a very friendly manner, ex- 
pressing their joy by firing off their muskets. Fern 
was spread before the house of the chief, where the 
principal men sat. A similarly prepared place was 
assigned for our seats. The natives one after the 
other welcomed us with displays of their native 
eloquence ; but they threw a blight over our pros- 
pects of ascending Tongariro, by telling us that the 
chief, who was absent, had laid a solemn " tapu " on 
the mysterious mountain. From this difficulty, 
however, I hoped to be relieved by a little nego- 
tiation. We pitched our tent, and the natives soon 
brought us presents of pigs and excellent vegetables. 

Lake Taupo is situated in a straight line be- 
tween Cape Egmont and East Cape, the direction 
of which is nearly N.E. and S. W. From bearings 
of the compass of points of the coast astronomically 
ascertained, its latitude is 38 45' S., and its longi- 
tude 176 E. In this N.E. to S.W. direction the 
country is impressed with the traces of volcanic 
action, which indeed is still going on, and had its 
principal point of activity in the crater of the Ton- 
gariro, the base of which is about twelve miles 
distant from the lake. There are besides innumer- 
able boiling springs, solfataras, and stufas, in the 
same line, and its easternmost boundary is the 
island of Puhia-i-wakari, or White Island, which 
must be regarded as the summit of a crater, sti 1 
active, and but little elevated above the level of the 

VOL. i. z 


sea. Besides these proofs of a powerful volcanic 
action, there is in that geographical line a chain 
of lakes, most of them intimately connected with 
the eruptive character of the country. Of these 
lakes Taupo is the largest ; it has an irregular 
triangular shape, its greatest length is about thirty- 
six miles, its greatest hreadth not less than twenty- 
five ; its borders are in many places deeply indented. 
Several rivers fall into the lake from the southward, 
and the common outlet of all of them is the Wai- 
kato. These rivers take their rise in the snow- 
covered group of the Ruapahu and Tongariro, and 
from the hills in the neighbourhood of Hawke's 
Bay. They flow through a low alluvial plain, 
about fifteen miles in length, and of a triangular 
shape. On both sides this flat is bounded by hills, 
which are broken by narrow ravines; an isolated 
dome-shaped hill, about 500 feet high, rises from 
this flat. One of the rivers flowing through the 
alluvial land is called by the natives Waikato, 
being in fact the largest of all the rivers or creeks 
flowing into the lake. Where it enters the latter, 
it has formed a long and low spit of mud, over- 
grown with bulrushes. This river carries down a 
large quantity of pumices tone, which mixes with 
the alluvial soil, or is carried by the Waikato to 
the sea. The northern and western shores of the 
lake are the most hilly, while the eastern shore is 
much more open. Here, to the north-east, a vol- 
canic cone marks the place where the river Wai- 
kato issues from the lake. 



The most interesting hot-springs and fumeroles 
are in the delta which the Waikato has formed in 
entering the lake on its left shore, and on the sides 
of the hills which hound the delta to the south- 
west. The scenery on the western shore of the 
lake is magnificent, vigorous trees overhanging the 
black trachitic or basaltic escarpments of the shore : 
here and there are native houses and cleared places 
on the precipitous hills. Where this shore joins 
the delta of the Waikato there is a narrow belt of 
flat land, on which stands the village of Te-rapa. 
Behind it the hills rise to about 100 feet above the 
lake. In ascending, the ground is found to be of 
a high temperature ; the surface is often bare, or is 
scantily covered with mosses and lichens ; it is 
formed of a red or white clay of a soft and alkaline 
nature, which the natives use instead of soap, and 
sometimes eat. 1 Gaseous effluvia seem to have con- 
verted the rock of the hill, which is basalt, and 
sometimes amygdaloid, into this clay. When we 
approach the top of this amphitheatre of hills, the 
scene which presents itself is very striking. Va- 
pours issue from hundreds of crevices, and in most 
of these places there are shallow springs, the bottom 
of which is a soft mud, into which a stick can be 
easily driven ten feet. The temperature of the 
water is from 200 to 212 Fahrenheit. In some 
springs it has an argillaceous, and in others a sul- 
phurous taste. A subterranean noise is continually 
heard, resembling the working of a steam-engine, 
1 Carbonate of magnesia. 



or the blast of an iron-foundry. By placing some 
fern over a crevice, and their food (potatoes, ku- 
meras, or pork) upon it, the natives have a ready 
and convenient oven. 

The shore of the lake at Te-rapa is rocky ; the 
rock is basalt, containing much augite. Some pieces 
are tabular, with a smooth surface. Smaller boul- 
ders are cemented together into a conglomerate by 
the sediment of the springs : wood, which is en- 
crusted and polished, and of a white appearance, 
and rolled pieces of pumicestone, give the conglo- 
merate the appearance of an osseous breccia. Close 
to the water's edge there are ponds of hot water, 
which, formed either by nature or artificially by the 
natives, are used as bathing-places. The tempera- 
ture in them ranges from 95 to 1 25 Fahrenheit ; 
the water of the lake itself streams in the neigh- 
bourhood of the shore ; one to two inches below 
the surface the thermometer is often 110, but 
lower down sinks to 60. 

These hills continue along the delta of the Wai- 
kato. They hide the Tongariro from our eyes, and 
it is only by ascending them that we get a sight of 
its snowy summit. All along their side we see a 
thick smoke issuing from numerous ravines,. but the 
most curious assemblage of springs is about a mile 
from the north-west corner of Te-rapa. About 
half a mile from the base of the hills a tepid pond, 
having a temperature of 125 Fahrenheit, discharges 
itself into a cold river. A little farther on, in a 
S.E. direction, is a large boiling spring. It forms 


j % 

a hollow basin nine feet long by eight broad, and 
about fifteen feet deep. The cold river above 
mentioned is twelve fathoms distant, and the spring 
would appear to discharge itself into it by a subter- 
ranean passage. The sides of this pond are of sili- 
ceous sinter and magnesite, which shows the process 
of gradual deposition. The ground all around 
sounds hollow. The clear, transparent water is in 
a state of continual ebullition, and after a repose of 
a few seconds it is thrown up with violence to a 
height of four or five feet. Its taste is slightly 
and very agreeably saline. Proceeding from this 
spring in a direction S. 30 E., we came to ano- 
ther large basin of hot water, but not in a state 
of ebullition. It discharges its waters likewise 
into the river, and is a circular funnel, surrounded 
by the same sinter. Its temperature is 120. The 
taste of the water is in all respects like that of the 
former spring. The sides of the funnel are lined 
with green Confervse. A few paces from this, 
towards the hills, is another large basin. Its 
waters are greenish, and a little sulphate of iron 
colours the lamina of the sinter. Its temperature 
is 180. Near it are some small cold and muddy 

Without describing all the warm ponds, although 
nearly every one of them has something singular 
about* it, I will only observe that they are very 
numerous, and that close to the warm springs 
there are some very strong cold saline ones. 


The whole of this assemblage of springs covers 
an extent of about two square miles. Many of 
them are difficult and dangerous to approach, as 
the whole area seems to be only a thin crust over 
subterranean and volcanic caverns. The surface is 
hard, white, and thin ; below this is a whitish 
pumiceous and friable earth ; then a yellowish 
earth, containing sulphate of iron or sulphur ; then 
a chalcedony, perfect in some places, in others in 
process of formation. The whole is about a foot 
in thickness ; and below this is a grey, soft, and 
generally hot mud. It often happens that this 
crust breaks in, and dreadful scaldings not unfre- 
quently occur. Near one of the springs beautiful 
saucer-shaped aggregations of silex shoot up, not 
unlike fungi on a moist surface. 

These hot-springs contain a great quantity of 
silex, of which are formed the stalagmitic efflo- 
rescences above mentioned, and which petrifies in a 
very short time all substances that are thrown into 
the water ; it also forms deposits of a chalcedony 
that nearly resembles in colour and solidity the 
flint of the English chalk. This generally indis- 
soluble substance is here held in solution, not only 
in consequence of the high temperature, but chiefly 
by the alkaline elements of the water. In some 
springs there are also found sulphate of iron and 
sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which is perceived by 
the smell. In the nature of their component parts, 
in their periodical issue in jets, and in their high 


temperature, which must be regarded as boiling, 
these springs seem most to resemble those of Iceland. 
I shall have to describe others which rival them in 
grandeur. It will readily be imagined that the 
impression which this assemblage of volcanic waters 
makes upon the mind of the beholder is one of no 
ordinary kind ; knowing as he does that only a thin 
and frangible crust, spreading over an immense 
area, separates him from a heated mass, the source 
of whose heat is still a mystery. 

Although these springs issue from what may be 
considered a delta, yet the greater part of it is evi- 
dently an original formation, and the alluvial soil 
only occupies a small part. The hills which bound 
the valley to the westward terminate in a remark- 
able rounded hill, with a saddle-like indentation on 
its top, and called Pihanga te Waheni na Tongariro 
(Pihanga the wife of Tongariro). The Waikato 
flows round the southern slope of this hill, and 
there enters the flat country. 

In ascending the hills behind Te-rapa, after 
passing the fumeroles on the sides, we cross over 
some excellent fern-land, and enter a forest, which 
principally consists of matai, kahikatea, and hinau 
(Elaeocarpus hinau). I observed here for the first 
time a new and beautiful species of Dracaena, with 
broad leaves, striped purple and green. But soon 
the vegetation becomes stunted, and I found myself 
in a desert mountainous region, surrounded by 
rugged hills. On the flat ground which lay be- 


tween them, the rain and melted snow had collected 
into ponds, and in the furrows which the rills had 
made in the pumiceous soil there was ice. The 
vegetation consisted of several kinds of coarse tufty 
grass, dry and yellow from the cold of winter. 
There were scarcely any other plants in the hollow, 
but on ascending the ridge I found some curious 
ones ; several of them were compositous plants. 
A dwarf Dacrydium, and a very small Gaultheria 
with purple berries, were the most interesting. 
The season, however, was not favourable for bota- 
nizing. The crest of this range was covered with 
large fragments of black vesicular basalt, ten or 
twelve feet in diameter. From it opened a very 
novel view over the heights of the Tongariro, from 
which a cold south-easterly wind blew with much 
violence. Our height seemed to be 3468 feet above 
the level of the sea, and 1576 feet above the level 
of the Taupo lake, as the temperature of the boil- 
ing water was 206'5, and that of the air 49 . 1 

Separated from us by a valley about three miles 
broad, rose a bulky group of mountains, of which 
a very truncated cone, the Tongariro, bore due 
south. This cone was only partly covered with 
snow ; white vapours rose from time to time from 
the top. From the sides of the hills upon which 
it stood, and which were steep and bare, smoke 

1 Mr. Bidwill found, near the same spot, on the 5th of March, 
that the barometer stood at 25 iJ inches, and the thermometer at 


issued from several crevices. From this point we 
were unable to see the Ruapahu, although it is 
only separated from the Tongariro by a narrow 
valley. It exceeds the Tongariro in height, and is 
at this time of the year covered with snow very 
low down, as I afterwards perceived when in the 
valley. Even in the middle of summer the Rua- 
pahu reaches above the limits of perpetual snow. 
To the westward this group of mountains descends 
gradually into the valley, and beyond it is the 
Hauhunga-tahi, which, like the Pihanga, is called 
the "wife" of the Tongariro in the figurative ex- 
pression of the natives. Hence the eye sweeps over 
a moderately undulating country to Cook's Straits, 
where, at a distance of about seventy miles, Tara- 
naki, or Mount Egmont, appeared rearing its peak 
above the clouds. It bore S. 60 W. The whole 
of the country between the Tongariro and Mount 
Egmont seemed to be covered with impenetrable 
forest, with the exception of the immediate base of 
the former, which was covered with discoloured 
and coarse tufty grass. 

In the valley below is a lake of about three miles 
in length, the Rotu-Aire, which forms the prin- 
cipal source of the river Waikato. Another lake 
of less extent was visible, surrounded by wooded 
mountains, of which one was the Pihanga. They 
formed a perfect basin for the lake, the level of 
which was evidently above that of Rotu-Aire. It 
is called Rotu-Ponamu. 


We descended the hill through a very thick 
brushwood, which, however, near the borders of 
Rotu-Aire gave place to trees of high growth, espe- 
cially matai and totara. In this forest the natives 
had cleared large patches of ground, and the vigour 
of the plantations showed the primitive fertility of 
the soil. The repast with which they furnished us 
consisted of a small fresh-water fish 1 boiled into a 
soup, and most excellent potatoes and turnips. 
After passing this plantation we halted for the 
night at a village on the borders of the lake, where 
we were well received, and enjoyed in the evening 
a full and. clear sight of the Tongariro gilded by 
the setting sun. Rotu-Aire was bordered on one 
side by a stately forest, in every part of which 
patches of native cultivation and houses were seen. 
The base of the Tongariro itself had a seam of 
forest, and the landscape was altogether one of the 
most attractive I had seen in New Zealand. Seve- 
ral pas were visible, and enlivened the scene, and 
on a rocky tongue of land, which stretched into the 
lake, there was a very large fenced-in village. But 
here, after having reached the foot of Tongariro, to 
ascend which we had come so great a distance, we 
met with an obstacle which quickly put an end to 
all our gratification. We could not persuade the 
natives to allow us to ascend the principal cone, 
which we might have accomplished in four hours. 
The head chief of the Taupo tribes, Te Heu Heu, 

1 Elaeotris basalis, Gray. See " Fauna." 


was absent on a war excursion to Wanganui, and 
before he went he had laid a solemn " tapu " on the 
mountain, and until his return they could not 
grant us permission to ascend it. This " tapu " 
was imposed in consequence of a European traveller 
of the name of Bidwill having gone to the top 
without permission, which had caused great vexa- 
tion, as the mountain is held in traditional venera- 
tion, and is much dreaded by the natives, being, as 
they tell you, the " backbone of their Tupuna," or 
great ancestor, and having a white head, like their 
present chieftain. Mr. Bidwill has since published 
a short account of his ascent in his 'Rambles in 
New Zealand,' from which I will here give an ex- 
tract, taking the liberty to alter the native ortho- 
graphy as given by him : 

" One great peak of Tongariro slopes up from the 
lake ; but while I was there I could never see the 
top of it, in consequence of the quantity of vapour 
always rolling up the side of the mountain from a 
great many hot-springs which are visible on its 
sides. From one of these a considerable stream of 
water runs into the lake, but gets cold by the time 
it reaches it. The side appeared quite barren, with 
the exception of a small belt of wood about two- 
thirds up the visible part of the mountain. Rotu- 
Aire may be said to be the real source of the Wai- 
kato, as the stream which runs out of it is called 
by the natives; those which run into it are very 


insignificant. The mean of four days gave for the 
barometer 28A inches ; thermometer about 56. 

" March 2, 1839. Several of my natives being 
unwell, I left them behind till my return, and started 
for Tongariro with only two of the lads I brought 
from Tauranga. Peter went with me, and several 
people from Rotu-Aire. As usual, the men carried 
the children, and the women the potatoes, &c. The 
procession was closed by one or two pigs, which, 
from the opposition they made to the efforts of their 
drivers, seemed to have as great a dread of Tonga- 
riro as the Mauris themselves. The road led over 
a tolerably level country covered with grass of many 
different kinds ; the most common was a large wiry 
one, which I should not think good for cattle. 
There were, however, many which would be well 
worth cultivating. I have sent specimens and seeds 
of most of them to England, where I think they 
will thrive as well as in their native place. As we 
skirted the base of the mountain, in order to get at 
the best place for the ascent, we found the ground 
in general marshy, and crossed a great many small 
streams and nearly dry watercourses filled with 
large stones. The great width of these places 
would indicate that at some seasons of the year the 
whole of this country would be impassable from the 
quantity .of water. This was a very dry season, 
although it had nearly exhausted the torrents. We 
were on Tongariro all day, but the peak was never 


visible, in consequence of the mist which always co- 
vered the upper regions. I several times accused 
the natives of leading me astray, as I could not 
make out the direction in which we were going, as 
compared with that of the peak as I had observed 
it from Taupo. About four o'clock we arrived at 
the junction of two considerable watercourses, 
where my guides said we must stop, and, as I could 
not see any vestige of wood anywhere else, I agreed. 
After we had been there about half an hour, the 
clouds rolled out of the upper end of the valley 
where we were, and I saw that the cone was close 
to us, and then found that this, if any, was the 
proper place to ascend, which the natives still main- 
tained was impossible. The trees which grew here 
were small stunted coniferous or taxaceous and 
composite ones. There were none except on the 
sides of the watercourse, and they did not lift their 
heads above the level of the top of the bank on which 
they grew. The stream which runs here down from 
the mountain is, I have no doubt (from observations 
I made afterwards, compared with what I observed 
at the time of the general direction of the country), 
the one called the Waipa, 1 or western branch of 
the Waikato. It is here a noisy mountain-torrent, 
about four feet deep. I regret that I did not ask 

1 Mr. Bidwill is here mistaken ; the Waipa has its source at 
some distance from the Tongariro, to the north-west of it, in a 
range of hills called Rangitoto. What he saw was the Wanganui, 
which falls into Cook's Straits. 


what they called it, as it is very likely that they 
knew it to be a branch of the river called the Waipa 
when it flows farther to the north. I found out 
that the road we had travelled was one which for- 
merly led to some part of the Waikato country, but 
now disused, and that it was the only place where 
the base of the cone could be seen ; that nobody 
had ever approached nearer than we now were ; 
and that the reason was, they were afraid. They 
said that formerly when they passed this point of 
the road they used to cover their heads with their 
mats, because it was e tapu' to look at the mountain, 
or at least the peak. The night was exceedingly 
cold, but I did not feel it so much as I did on the 
Waikato. I found here a most curious little plant 
of the yew family (Dacrydium) ; it was not larger 
than a clump of moss, and was mistaken for a moss 
by me when I first saw it. I found here also the 
curious Forstera sedifolia, and many new composite 
plants and Veronicas. 

" March 3rd. When I arose in the morning I 
was astonished to see the mountains around covered 
with snow, except the cone, which was visible from 
its base to the apex, and appeared quite close. The 
natives said the mountain had been making a noise 
in the night, which, at the time, I thought was 
only fancy : there seemed to be a little steam rising 
from the top 3 but the quantity was not sufficient to 
obscure the view. I set off immediately after break- 
fast, with only two natives, as all the others were 


afraid to go any nearer to the much-dreaded place ; 
nor could I persuade the two who did set off with 
with me to go within a mile of the base of the cone. 
They, however, made a fire of such small bushes as 
they could collect, and waited for me till I got back. 
As there was no road, I went as straight towards 
the peak as I found possible, going over hills and 
through valleys without swerving to the right or 
left. As I was toiling over a very steep hill I heard 
a noise which caused me to look up, and saw that 
the mountain was in a state of eruption : a thick 
column of black smoke rose up for some distance, 
and then spread out like a mushroom. As I was 
directly to windward, I could see nothing more, and 
could not tell whether anything dropped from the 
cloud as it passed away : the noise, which was very 
loud, and not unlike that of the safety-valve of a 
steam-engine, lasted about half an hour, and then 
ceased after two or three sudden interruptions ; the 
smoke continued to ascend for some time afterwards, 
but was less dense. I could see no fire, nor do I 
believe that there was any, or that the eruption was 
anything more than hot water and steam, although, 
from the great density of the latter, it looked like 
very black smoke. I toiled on to the topt)f a hill, and 
was then much disappointed that the other side of 
it, instead of being like what I had ascended, was a 
precipice, or very deep ravine, with a large stream 
of water at the bottom. With some difficulty I 
managed to get down ; and, on ascending the other 


side, I found myself in a stream of lava, perfectly 
undecomposed, but still old enough to have a few 
plants growing among the fissures. As I progressed 
towards the cone, which now seemed quite close, I 
arrived at another stream of lava, so fresh that there 
was not the slightest appearance of even a lichen 
on it, and it looked as if it had been ejected but 
yesterday. It was black, and very hard and com- 
pact, just like all the lava I have seen in this coun- 
try; but the two streams were very insignificant, 
not longer at the utmost than three-quarters of a 
mile each. I had no idea of the meaning of a ' sea 
of rocks ' until I crossed them ; the edges of the 
stony billows were so sharp, that it was very diffi- 
cult to pass among them without cutting one's 
clothes into shreds. I at last arrived at the cone : 
it was, I suppose, of the ordinary steepness of such 
heaps of volcanic cinders, but much higher. I es- 
timate it at 1500 feet from the hollow from which 
it appears to have sprung. It looks as if a vast 
amphitheatre had been hollowed out of the sur- 
rounding mountains in order to place it in. The 
sides of all the mountains around are quite perpen- 
dicular, and present a most magnificent scene. 
Thermometer at the base of the cone, fine sunshine, 
65 in sun ; no shade to be had : barometer 25i4. 

" The cone is entirely composed of loose cinders, 
and I was heartily tired of the exertion before I 
reached the top. Had it not been for the idea of 
standing where no man ever stood before, I should 


certainly have given up the undertaking. A few 
patches of a most beautiful snow-white Veronica, 
which I at first took for snow, were growing among 
the stones, but they ceased before I had ascended a 
third part of the way. A small grass reached a 
little higher, but both were so scarce that I do not 
think I saw a dozen plants of each in the whole 
ascent. After I had ascended about two-thirds of 
the way I got into what appeared a watercourse, 
the solid rock of which, although presenting hardly 
any projecting points, was much easier to climb 
than the loose dust and ashes I had hitherto scram- 
bled over. It was lucky for me another eruption 
did not take place while I was in it, or I should 
have been infallibly boiled to death, as I afterwards 
found that it led to the lowest part of the crater, 
and, from indubitable proofs, that a stream of hot 
mud and water had been running there during the 
time I saw the smoke from the top. The crater 
was the most terrific abyss I ever looked into or 
imagined. The rocks overhung it on all sides, and 
it was not possible to see above ten yards into it, 
from the quantity of steam which it was continually 
discharging. From the distance I measured along 
its edge, I imagine it is at least a quarter of a mile 
in diameter, and is very deep. The stones I threw 
in, which I could hear strike the bottom, did not do 
so in less than seven or eight seconds, but the greater 
part of them I could not hear. It was impossible 
to get on the inside of the crater, as all the sides I 
VOL. i. -2 A 


saw were, if not quite precipitous, actually overhang- 
ing, so as to make it very disagreeable to look over 
them. The rocks on the top were covered with a 
whitish deposit from the stream, and there was 
plenty of sulphur in all directions, but the specimens 
were not handsome, being mixed with earth. I did 
not stay at the top so long as I could have wished, 
because I heard a strange noise coming out of the 
crater, which I thought betokened another eruption. 
I saw several lakes and rivers, and the country 
appeared about half covered with wood, which I 
should not have thought, had I not gone to this 
place. The mountains in my immediate neighbour- 
hood were all covered with snow, and much below 
me. I could not see the sea in any direction. The 
natives said that from a mountain near, which they 
pointed out, I could see Taranaki and the island of 
Kapiti, in Cook's Straits ; and as this was much 
higher, I ought to have seen both places from this 
spot, but the south and east were entirely invisible 
from the cloudy state of the sky. I had not above 
five minutes to see any part of the country, as I was 
enveloped in clouds almost as soon as I got up to 
the top. As I did not wish to see an eruption near 
enough to be either boiled or steamed to death, I 
made the best of my way down. It unfortunately 
happened that the highest part of the crater's edge 
was to leeward, otherwise I might have stayed there 
a little longer. I had not got quite down to the 
sandy plain I have spoken of when I heard the noise 


of another eruption, but am not certain it came from 
the crater I had just visited. I thought at the time 
it came from another branch of Tongariro, to the 
northward, on the top of which I had seen a circular 
lake of water when on the peak. I was half frozen 
before I reached the ravine, and thoroughly drenched 
by the mist, so that I was very glad when I found 
the place where I had left the natives and the fire. 
I got back to the tent about seven in the evening. 
The barometer stood when at the base of the cone 
at 26*1 inches, but I could not take it up farther 
than the streams of lava, as I had quite enough to 
do to get myself along, without having anything to 
hold. The natives said they had heard the eruption 
which took place as I was returning, arid that the 
ground shook very much at the time ; but I did not 
feel it, perhaps because I was too much occupied 
with the difficulties of my path." 

According to the observations of the barometer 
which Mr. Bidwill made at the base of the cone, 
where the mercury stood at 25io inches, and assuming 
that his estimate is correct as to the cone itself being 
1500 feet high, it would appear that the summit of 
the Tongariro is about 6200 feet above the level of 
the sea. That it was not covered with snow must 
be ascribed to the increased temperature of the cone 
itself, caused by the internal ebullition. The limits of 
eternal snow must, however, be lower on the moun- 
tains which form the group of the Tongariro than 



they are on the coasts, if Mr. Bidwill was not de- 
ceived when he says " the mountains in my imme~ 
diate neighbourhood were all covered with snow, and 
much below me /" Those who have travelled among 
the snow-covered ridges of Switzerland are well 
aware of the illusion of a snowy mountain appearing 
to be below the point on which the beholder stands, 
while it is, in fact, much higher. The cause of this 
is, that distant mountains are taken to be much 
nearer than they actually are, from the rays of the 
sun being reflected from the dazzling snow, and 
showing every feature with great distinctness. The 
mountains here described by Mr. Bidwill as covered 
with snow are evidently higher than the cone of 
the Tongariro, or that which was ascended by him, 
and form what the natives call Ruapahu, situated a 
little to the south-east of Tongariro. 

Rotu-Aire is one of the sources of the Waikato 
river. The waters of the lake are carried off by a 
considerable stream which flows at the southern 
slope of Pihanga, and, after a course of a few miles, 
joins the principal stream, which comes from the 
Ruapahu, and discharges itself into Taupo lake. The 
natives cannot ascend with their canoes from Taupo 
into Rotu-Aire, on account of rocks, which obstruct 
the bed of the mountain-creek, and also by reason 
of the numerous rapids, the level of Rotu-Aire above 
the sea being 1709 feet, or 372 feet more than that 
of Taupo. The temperature of the thermal point 


at its shores was 208-8, and that of the air 53 ; 
the mean between the latter and that at the level 
of the sea being taken at 55. 

The Tongariro must be regarded as the centre of 
the modern volcanic action of the northern island 
of New Zealand ; but the traditions of the natives 
have preserved no account of an eruption of any 
great extent; they however assert that sometimes 
thin showers of ashes are ejected from it, and are 
carried by the wind to some distance. They also 
say that they sometimes see a luminous reflection 
on the sky over the top of the crater. It is not 
ascertained whether the group of Tongariro is also 
the centre of the slight earthquakes which are felt 
in New Zealand from time to time. They have 
been experienced at Port Nicholson, at Kawia on 
the western coast, at Mata-mata in the valley of 
the Thames, and at Cloudy Bay in the middle island. 
In Mata-mata the shocks were only felt in the hills, 
and not in the valley. 

The natives of Taupo and Rotu-Aire, at the base 
of Tongariro, told me of slight shocks, which pro- 
ceed from the mountain, and which have occurred 
from time immemorial, but they have never been 
sufficiently important to impress a trace on their 
traditionary legends, unless we assume that some of 
their myths are records of events which have really 
happened : such, for instance, as the tale that the 
two wives of the Tongariro, Pihanga and Hauhun- 


gatahi, were formerly united with him, but quarrelled, 
and removed each to a distance. That in like man- 
ner Mount Egmont and Tongariro were once united, 
but the two had a dispute, and separated. At Mau- 
pere, a lake between the Bay of Islands and Hoki- 
anga, the natives have a tradition of a large pa 
having sunk into the lake. A similar occurrence 
really happened at Rotu-rua, but the latter was an 
event entirely local, as the pa was built on the de- 
posits of hot springs, which form a very thin cover 
over an undermined or soft subsoil. We might 
be induced to regard Lake Taupo, with the Ton- 
gariro, the chain of lakes which runs to the east 
coast, and the numerous fumeroles, solfataras, and 
hot-springs in their neighbourhood, as one connected 
hearth of volcanic action, which terminates in the 
island of Puhia-i-Wakari, or White Island, which 
is also a smoking solfatara. 

Besides the Waikato river, the Wanganui and 
the Manawatu, the most considerable rivers in the 
northern island, take their rise in this group. Like 
the Waikato, the Wanganui receives a tributary 
from a lake which is situated at the southern base 
of Tongariro : this lake is called Taranaki. The 
natives descend the Wanganui to its embouchure at 
Cook's Straits in four days. 

The Manawatu seems to possess greater advan- 
tages. According to the natives of Taupo it is a 
very winding stream, and consequently forms pad- 


docks. Its shores are less hilly than those of the 
Wanganui, and are partly open fern or flax land, 
and partly wooded. 

The Rangatiki is a smaller river, also coming 
from the Tongariro, and falling into Cook's Straits. 
In Cook's Straits, and at the mouth of the Waikato, 
I observed a great quantity of pumicestone : all this 
is carried down from the Tongariro by the rivers 
Wanganui and Waikato ; and it is not improbable 
that considerable quantities of it are borne by the 
currents to the shores of New South Wales, where 
I found it, especially in Newcastle, at the mouth of 
the Hunter's river. The eastern and the southern 
shores of the Taupo lake consist of high pumice- 
stone cliffs, which are continually undermined, 
broken down, and carried away by the current of 
the Waikato. 

The natives of Rotu-Aire are a division of the 
Taupo tribes, and amount to several hundreds. 
With the exception that they would not allow us 
to ascend their mountain and to grant the per- 
mission was, perhaps, really out of their power 
during the absence of their chief they were very 
friendly to us, and appeared to be in a very primitive 
state, which, however, was not, in my opinion, at all 
to their disadvantage. 

On the 21st of May we returned to Taupo, driv- 
ing before us two pigs, a present from our kind 
hosts. Our road led us along the base of the 
Pihanga, and I gained with difficulty the precipitous 


and rocky basaltic shore of the Rotu-Ponamu, which 
is surrounded by almost impenetrable underwood. 
This little lake lies in a perfect funnel, formed by 
the surrounding mountains, which rise on one side 
to a crest of considerable height. It is about a 
mile and a half in circumference, and apparently of 
great depth, and has no visible outlet. In looking 
down two days before from the summit of the neigh- 
bouring hills, I thought that its level was above 
that of Rotu-Aire, which is about a mile and a half 
distant, and I was glad to find this opinion con- 
firmed by a measurement with the thermometer, 
which showed the boiling-point at 208 Fahrenheit. 
This, with a mean temperature of 55, gives for the 
height of the level of Rotu-Ponamu 2147 feet above 
the sea, being 438 feet above the level of Rotu- 
Aire, and 810 feet above the level of Taupo lake. 

From this point a very good road leads through 
a delicious, dark, and beautiful forest into the upper 
part of the delta of the Waikato, the region of the 
mineral springs which I have above described. 
When we arrived in the Rapa, we found that two 
missionaries had come the same day : one, the Rev. 
Mr. Brown, from Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty; 
and the other, the Rev. Mr. Chapman, from Rotu- 

Everywhere round Lake Taupo are small native 
settlements, but the population seems to be scanty, 
considering the excellent land in the neighbour- 
hood. I do not estimate their total number at 


more than 3200, including those at Rotu-Aire. 
The general name of the tribes is the Nga-te-tua- 
retoa. Their principal points of communication are 
the coast at Otaki, a settlement of the Nga-te-rau- 
kaua, and at the mouths of the Manawatu and 
Wanganui, in Cook's Straits. With the natives of 
the latter place their communications have more 
frequently been hostile than friendly. They attacked 
them in 1840, but were repelled with great loss; 
and, as already mentioned, they had again gone 
thither with hostile intentions. The Church mis- 
sionaries have a few native catechists here, and 
Christianity is beginning to spread amongst them. 
Heu Heu, the principal chief on the lake, told Mr. 
Chapman, at his last visit, that he would only have 
one more fight with the tribe at Wanganui, to settle 
his old grievances, then make a durable peace, settle 
down, and "believe." The natives whom I met 
were decidedly the best specimens of the race that 
I had seen in New Zealand, and excelled in their 
hospitality towards strangers, in prudent attention 
to their own affairs, in cleanliness and health, most 
of those who live on the coasts, and who have 
become converts to Christianity. I shall always 
remember with gratitude the manner in which we 
were treated by Te Heu Heu's brother, a grey-headed 
old man, who, in the absence of the chief, held the 
highest authority over the tribe. 

In regard to the animal kingdom, the centre of 
the island is as scantily provided as the rest. The 


native rat still lingers here and there, although it 
has disappeared on the coast; the native dog has 
become a mongrel ; ducks, teals, the red-billed 
porphyrio or pukeko, a large bittern, a tern, two 
kinds of gulls, cormorants, and some of the smaller 
birds which also inhabit the coast districts, are 
found here. In the lakes are three kinds of fresh 
water fish, of which one is an eel : these form a 
great part of the food of the natives. The craw- 
fish is also found here, as indeed it is in all the 
fresh-waters of New Zealand. Wood is sufficiently 
plentiful to supply the wants of the natives, although 
on the whole the country is rather scantily fur- 
nished with it. The canoes are generally made of 

The climate, as was to be expected, is rather more 
severe in the interior than on the coast, but it seems 
to be more equable. We often had frost in the 
morning, but towards noon the thermometer rose 
to from 65 to 70. Although the season was far 
advanced, we enjoyed the most beautiful weather at 
the very time that excessive rains fell at Auckland. 
Several times in the night violent winds descended 
from the heights of the Ruapahu, blowing almost a 
gale, and more than once upset our tent. When 
this occurred we were almost benumbed with cold 
whilst endeavouring to refix our tent according to 
the shifting of the wind ; but the natives from the 
neighbouring pa always came quickly to our help, 
generally rushing in a state of nudity out of their 


warm houses, and, with mirth and laughter, soon 
helped the pakea (stranger) to put up his house. 

If Tongariri is the right way of spelling the name 
of the volcano, instead of Tongariro, it is a very 
appropriate name, as it means " angry south wind ;" 
and I can easily imagine that violent gales, occa- 
sioned by the inequality of the temperature, often 
agitate the waters of this great lake, and that it is 
not without good reason that the natives are so 
careful in trusting themselves on it in their flat 

The scenery of Taupo lake, the whole character 
of the landscape, the freshness and peculiarity of 
the vegetation, with the white smoke rising around 
from so many hot-springs, are singularly beautiful, 
and well calculated to attract visitors from all parts 
of the world. The excellent disposition of the 
natives will ensure every one a good reception who 
does not come with the arrogant and ridiculous 
prejudices which are too frequently characteristic of 
a European traveller. 

On the 25th of May we took leave of our friends 
at Te-rapa. There were so few men in the village, 
that we could not get any new guides for Roturua, 
but our former guide Titipa offered to conduct us 
to Motutere, a well-populated pa on the east side 
of Taupo lake. We accordingly took a canoe, and 
passed the mouth of the Waikato, which is divided 
into three arms, of which the largest is about 100 
yards broad. Here we landed, and came to a pa. 


the high fences of which stretched about half a 
mile along the banks of the lake, which were 
strewed over with pumice intermixed with small 
pieces of black obsidian. The village, although full 
of well-constructed native houses, had no inhabit- 
ants, as it was a pa used only as a place for the tribe 
to assemble in in times of war. I had leisure to exa- 
mine it, and found most of the houses ornamented 
with carvings, and containing the usual domestic 
utensils of the proprietors. In some boxes which 
stood upon poles were the bones of children and 
adults, deposited here as their final resting-place. 
In the vestibule of one of the houses I found the 
head of a young girl in a basket, prepared in the 
manner which has long been so well known, and 
of which so many specimens have been conveyed to 
Europe. This was the first time that I had seen 
one of these embalmed heads. The custom was 
once very common, but is now falling rapidly into 
disuse. Not only the heads of enemies were thus 
prepared and planted upon the palisades which 
surrounded the pas, but also the heads of relations, 
as a missionary assured me ; and these served from 
time to time to excite violent grief and expressions 
of sorrow in the surviving relatives. The high 
poles which surrounded this pa were carved at the 
tops with human figures in a defying position, and 
with a fierce expression of countenance. 

Not far from this place we crossed another river. 
Here a rocky promontory, connected with the main 


by a low strip of land, stretches out into the lake. 
The alluvium on the banks of the lake is gradually 
increasing, as is shown by low parallel ridges along 
the shore, indicating the former margins. Towards 
evening we passed another large creek nearly oppo- 
site the outlet of the Waikato, and arrived at Motu- 
tere, a large pa built on a tongue of land which 
reaches out into the lake. The natives were few, 
as the greater part were living at a settlement in 
the neighbouring hills, where they had their planta- 
tions. This was a Christian settlement ; and Abe- 
rahama, or Abraham such was the name of the 
principal man lodged us in the church. Titipa 
warmly recommended us to our new entertainers, 
and the next morning took his departure. He had 
become so attached to us, that he could scarcely tear 
himself away. He turned back again and again, 
to see us once more, and to expatiate upon our 
merits to those into whose kind keeping he had 
safely delivered us, and to recommend them to treat 
us with, the same care as he had done. He had 
shown himself during the whole period of our ac- 
quaintance with him a noble fellow, and of the 
most generous and disinterested disposition. 

The rocks near Motutere at some places ap- 
proach close to the banks of the Taupo lake, at 
others retreat farther inland, where they form high 
cliffs. They are composed of a clayey lava, some- 
times hard and basaltic, sometimes striped like jas- 


per. From Motutere we enjoyed a fine sight of 
the Ruapahu and Tongariro. 

26th. The reason why Titipa would not accom- 
pany us any farther was, that hostilities existed 
between the tribe of Roturua and his own, that 
of the Waikato. Three natives remained with 
us, but, being slaves, they had nothing to fear. 
Abraham, however, had promised to procure us 
men ; we therefore started on the 26th in one of 
his canoes, and pulled for a few miles along the 
shore. We then landed, and struck inland over an 
extremely hilly country, to a settlement in the 
forest, where we found a good number of natives 
very busy in constructing houses and clearing the 
land for the coming spring. They have an imple- 
ment made of very hard wood with a horizontal 
piece attached to it, and with this tool they work 
very expertly. A tufaceous gravel constitutes part 
of the soil covering these hills, which show in some 
places great fertility. The tribe living here is 
called Nga-te-terangita, a division of the Nga-te- 

It is evident that forest has at some former 
period covered a greater extent of land in the 
neighbourhood of Taupo than it now does ; it does 
not appear to have been destroyed by volcanic erup- 
tions, but by the fires kindled by the natives in 
order to clear the ground for the purpose of cul- 
tivation. Notwithstanding this former forest, the 


soil seems to be almost entirely made up of tufa- 
ceous and pumices tone lapilli ; and it appears to me 
to be very probable that the vegetable earth which 
must have existed in such places has nitrated 
through the porous subsoil, and it may therefore 
be expected that a judicious over and underworking 
would greatly improve the land. I will make one 
observation here, which, although it cannot be new 
to practical farmers, is at variance with the opinion 
of a great many colonists who are not farmers, and 
may, perhaps, be useful. The colonists to whom 
I allude believe that burning the vegetation which 
covers the land, whether consisting of fern, bushes, 
or forest, improves its condition. In large tracts 
of alluvial soil, which is per se generally rich, as 
on the plains of the Mississippi, in the deltas and 
courses of the Rhine and Danube, the burning of 
the forest must certainly be the quickest way of 
clearing the land, and the loss of vegetable matter 
in the process of burning, where there is a great 
depth of alluvial soil, cannot be of any great import- 
ance : but in New Zealand the plains are not, 
strictly speaking, the produce of the rivers; they 
are a table-land, composed of a stiff clay, which can 
scarcely be worked, and which was deposited as we 
now find it, not by the rivers, which are too insig- 
nificant to produce such results, but at the original 
formation and heaving up of the land. At the 
borders and outlets of the rivers there is only a 
small extent of true alluvial soil, the rest derives all 


the fertility it possesses from a vegetation which 
has covered it from the beginning, has decayed 
annually through ages, and has thus formed a layer 
of vegetable mould, in most cases very thin. If 
this vegetation he burnt down, the wind carries 
away the light ashes another vegetation springs 
up, but less vigorous than the first, until by re- 
peated conflagrations the land becomes perfectly 

Large districts in New Zealand have in this 
manner been rendered very poor. If the soil is 
originally covered with a forest, the vegetation after 
the first conflagration is a luxuriant underwood; 
if this is burnt down in its turn, high fern and flax 
spring up ; if the burning is repeated, the new flax 
is much lower, the fern less vigorous ; they inter- 
mix with the Leptospermum and Gaultheria, which 
delight in a meagre clayey soil, until at last stunted 
fern, rushes, club-mosses, and meagre shrubs of Lep- 
tospermum are the only plants which the soil is 
capable of producing; and many places are even 
quite bare, and show the white clay, which re- 
sembles pipe-clay. As the natives, from a know- 
ledge of the nature of their plains, prefer, with few 
exceptions, the scattered ravines and hills for their 
plantations, they are continually lighting fires in 
order to clear a road when they are travelling, and 
these have not failed to produce their natural effect. 
In New South Wales I observed this destructive 
influence to a still greater degree. When travelling 


up the river Hunter I saw spots in the forest where 
large gum-trees (Eucalyptus) had been burnt ; their 
existence was indicated by a heap of reddish ashes, 
and although many months had elapsed since the 
trees were consumed, yet not even grass had sprung 
up in their stead. 

On the night of the 26th we had a great many 
natives within and before our tent, listening with 
profound attention to an explanation of what con- 
stitutes a European state. According to the no- 
tions they have acquired from the missionaries, the 
Europeans are divided into 

1. Mihaneres (missionaries). 

2. Hohios (soldiers). 

3. Rever ( a (or devils). 

4. Cookies (or slaves). 

The devils comprise all who are neither mis- 
sionaries, soldiers, cookies, as the captains of vessels, 
merchants, or gentlemen, with which latter subdivi- ' 
sion they have but lately become acquainted. To 
the cookies belong the artisans, sailors, and so on ; 
and they are, according to a New Zealander's notion, 
the slaves of the captains, missionaries, or gentlemen. 
The Protestant natives regard their Roman Ca- 
tholic brethren as belonging to the devils: they 
are called pikipo, which M. Pompalier, the Roman 
Catholic Bishop of New Zealand, explained as being 
derived from episcopm, which seems to me the most 
probable derivation. The Protestant missionaries 
however, say that it means piki-po always bowing 

VOL. i. 2 n 


(piki, bend po, night). The Protestants, there- 
fore, call their bishop pihopa, while the Roman 
Catholics have retained the title pikipo for theirs. 
The spirit of intolerance, in which the natives are 
confirmed by the missionaries of both religions, has 
taken a strong hold on their minds, and its effect 
has been, that the Roman Catholic converts have 
more firmly connected themselves with those of 
their countrymen who continue heathens ; and their 
ancient feuds are now carried on under the garb of 
religion. It is very fortunate for the New Zea- 
landers that a third estate has been established in 
their country by the introduction of Her Majesty's 
Government, of which missionaries, soldiers, and 
devils are equally beloved children, owing to it 
equal obedience, and enjoying equal rights. 

The natives promised us guides to Rotu-rua if 
we would wait a few days, until they finished the 
houses which they had begun ; but my companion 
was anxious to be again under the roof of a Euro- 
pean, as for several weeks past our food had con- 
sisted only of fresh pork and potatoes, without the 
luxury of salt Qr anything to give it a relish. As 
for myself, I bore it very well, although I generally 
found that the disuse of salt and the uniformity of 
food caused one or two abscesses, to which I am 
not subject at other times. These are very common 
amongst the Europeans on their first arrival in the 
island : slight wounds are also found not to heal 
well and quickly. But this seems to be the only 


effect produced by the moisture of the air during 
their acclimatization, as sickness is scarcely known 
amongst those who have been for some time in the 
country. After we had in vain tried all our powers 
of persuasion to obtain guides before the time 
which they had named, we started on the morn- 
ing of the 27th with our three remaining natives. 
I had to make a heavy sacrifice, as I was obliged 
to leave behind me nearly all my Taupo minerals, 
and specimens of the mineral waters of the country. 
The remainder of our luggage made six heavy loads, 
of which each of us had to carry one. Our stock 
of provisions was very scanty; our natives were 
strange'rs to this part of the island, and did not 
know the road to Rotu-rua, but we trusted to our 
good fortune to find both food and road. We 
returned to the shores of the Taupo lake, and 
travelled along its eastern bank. The road was 
very bad ; pebbles of pumice and soft sand made 
walking very difficult. We passed cliffs of pumice- 
stone, which were elevated about one hundred feet 
above the level of the lake. In some places there 
was a greyish lava of a striped and variegated ap- 
pearance, resembling jasper. We came in the even- 
ing to a pa near the north-east corner of the lake. 
It was newly built on a neck of land that separated 
a small lagoon from the lake, into which, however, 
the water of the lagoon was discharged by a little 
stream, which guarded one side of the pa. Around 
this village the hills were very rugged and steep. 

2 B 2 

372 ROUTE TO [PART n, 

The small tribe of natives who lived here at first 
received us well. They cooked some potatoes for 
us, and, as a cold south-easterly wind blew, we 
went into a house to eat them. This house was 
their Ware Karakia, or church, as they had lately 
become " missionaries," and they appeared so exas- 
perated at the idea that we should seek shelter 
in a church, that from this moment we were pro- 
nounced to be " devils," and all good feeling to- 
wards us was gone. We quitted the building 
immediately, and pitched our tent; but all our 
efforts to obtain provisions, and a guide to show 
us the road, were in vain. We renewed our en- 
treaties on the following day, but could get nothing 
from them except a small basketful of potatoes, 
which a man presented to me in consideration of 
two needles I had given to him. These natives 
were quite the reverse of our kind friends at Te- 
rapa ; but I afterwards heard that the tribe con- 
sisted chiefly of men who had formerly been slaves, 
and that they were noted for their churlishness and 
want of hospitality. In spite of all possible caution 
and forbearance on my part, I have several times 
met with a bad reception, and always found the 
cause something connected with missionary, I will 
not say Christian, observances. The misunder- 
standing generally arose from some exaggerated 
idea of what was required of them by the mission- 
aries, a fault very usual among new and zealous 


Two native travellers, who belonged to the tribe 
of the Nga-te-meniopoto, on the upper part of the 
Mokau river, and were returning to their homes 
from a visit to the Waipa, were in the pa, and pre- 
sent during the discussion. They expressed their 
indignation at the inhospitable treatment we re- 
ceived from their countrymen, who would not even 
tell us our road. The only information we got was 
from these two strangers. 

374 [PART n. 


Rotu-kaua Rotu-Mahana Tera-wera. 

ON the 28th of May we started, with scarcely any 
provisions. We still followed the borders of the 
lake. The land is here low table-land, strewed 
over with pumiceous gravel. Its aspect is very 
unpromising, as the only vegetation is a yellow 
tufty grass and a few composite plants, which, 
however, were dried up. When we were about 
eight miles from the pa, and in no very good 
humour, we were not a little pleased with the 
sudden apparition of a family of pigs. A large 
sow immediately received a deadly wound, and in 
less than ten minutes the natives who were with 
us had cleaned and cut the body into six parts, and 
each of us burdened himself with a piece. They 
were probably wild pigs, and therefore the property 
of any one who can shoot them ; but, to secure 
myself from reproach, I left a pair of trousers, 
together with the entrails of the pig, on a neigh- 
bouring bush, and also our camp-kettle, which I 
thought had now become useless ; but in the even- 
ing I learnt that our own attendants had taken 
both trousers and camp-kettle with them. They 


told me it was a custom that the stranger should 
have food, and, if he could not get any given him, 
he was entitled to take it where and how he could. 
The disappointment which our last night's hosts 
would feel when they perceived by the entrails that 
we had obtained for nothing what they had refused 
to give us even at a high price, tilled our three 
natives with delight, and was the subject of much 
mirth during the whole evening. We took up our 
quarters on the banks of a large bight, which the 
lake of Taupo forms at this place, and from which 
the Waikato issues. Large blocks of a black 
basaltic lava were lying along the verge of the 
water. We obtained sufficient fire- wood from a 
totara-tree which had been washed on shore. The 
only other wood within our reach was slender 
stems of the kahikatoa. On this side of the lake 
wood is very scanty, and is only seen on the top 
and in the ravines of the Maunga-Tauhara. 

The Waikato is here a very considerable stream, 
about three hundred yards wide, and apparently 
very deep. At a distance of about ten miles from 
us white smoke rose at different points in regular 
jets, showing the existence of hot-springs of consi- 
derable size. On the 29th we followed the shores 
of the bight, and here also steam was issuing at 
many points on the banks, and from the water of 
the lake itself near the margin; in the lake the 
water was lukewarm. Several streamlets coming 
from the Maunga-Tauhara here discharge their 


warm waters into the lake. They have a hydro- 
sulphurous taste, and the air in the neighbourhood 
smells sulphurous. At this place we left the lake 
of Taupo, and struck inland towards the foot of the 
Maunga-Tauhara. A drizzling rain fell, and our 
journey became very disagreeable, as we had scarcely 
a path, and followed at hap-hazard the direction in 
which we thought Rotu-rua to be situated. We 
passed holes and crevices from which steam issued, 
and the whole base of the mountain was enveloped 
in a belt of smoke. The country, although table- 
land, was intersected by ravines, and presented dells 
or hollows ; it was broken in many places, and had 
a remarkably barren appearance : what little vege- 
tation there was of wiry grass and manuka bore in 
many places the traces of burning. We passed a 
solfatara, with fine crystals of sulphur and efflores- 
cences of aluminous salts. In their neighbourhood 
the country is still more blighted. After we had 
passed the base of the Maunga-Tauhara, we slowly 
descended towards a lake which was situated on its 
north-eastern slope, and around which the vegeta- 
tion appeared much fresher. As the rain continued, 
and we were already wet to the skin, we halted 
about a mile from the lake. It is about three 
miles in circumference. At its northern end are 
cliffs of a white colour, and thick white vapours 
which issued there enveloped that end almost con- 
tinually. We had pitched our tent about a mile 
from the lake, but, as we had no water near us, we 


had to send the natives to the lake for it. On their 
return we found, to our great annoyance, that the 
water was strongly impregnated with alum ; hut we 
were obliged to use it, as the rain-water which was 
washed down the tent had a smoky taste still more 
disgusting. This was the most miserable night I 
ever passed in New Zealand. My friend Symonds 
was very ill, and the only medicine I could give 
him was a tea from the aromatic leaves of the 
Leptospermum, but made with alum-water. We 
had not found any fern, and were obliged to sleep 
upon the hard and wet bushes of the same plant, 
which served us, therefore, for tea, medicine, bed- 
ding, and fire-wood. We could only venture to 
distribute a small allowance of pork, as we did not 
know how long it might be before we fell in with 
any other provisions. It rained during the whole 
night, and drenched all our clothes and blankets. 
The aluminous lake, as I afterwards ascertained 
from the natives, is called Rotu-kaua (bitter lake). 

On the 30th of May a warm and sunny morning 
restored our spirits. We dried our clothes and 
started through a country which gradually improved. 
In some places it was a moorland, in others covered 
with fern and flax. We passed several creeks, and 
after two hours' walk arrived suddenly at the shores 
of the Waikato. The river had hollowed out a 
deep bed, and its banks were formed of high cliffs. 
It was apparently very deep. On its left shore were 
some Maori houses, but nobody was to be found in 


them. Our call was only answered by a remarkably 
distinct echo which resounded from the hills. The 
river was about 200 yards broad, had a rapid cur- 
rent, and was very winding To increase our 
scanty stock of provisions I fired at some ducks, 
which were the only living creatures visible, but 
they were too shy to afford me a good chance, and 
I missed them. We were quite at a loss how to 
proceed from this point, but at last we struck to the 
eastward, after having spent a long time in search- 
ing for the proper place for fording a deep and 
rapid creek which here discharged itself into the 
Waikato. We went towards a range of hills which 
run nearly from north to south, with branches ex- 
tending towards the table-land of the Waikato 
river, with narrow valleys between ; the top of this 
range was barren and thinly covered with vegeta- 
tion, but in the gorges shrubs and fern proved the 
fertility of the soil. We intended to cross this 
range, and made therefore for one of the gulleys. 
How great was our own delight and that of the 
hungry natives with us when we found a fine po- 
tato-ground in the gulley, and leeks and cabbages 
growing wild ! The sides of this small ravine con- 
sisted of cliffs of pumicestone or tufa ; and here the 
proprietors of the potato-ground had hollowed out 
deep caves, which were secured from without and 
were full of potatoes. Snares made of flax-leaves 
were laid all around the entrance, for the purpose 
of destroying the ruts. In one of these excavations, 


about thirty feet below the surface of the cliff, I 
found some charcoal of monocotyledonous and 
dicotyledonous plants ; a curious discovery, as prov- 
ing that those cliffs of tufa and pumice were formed 
after vegetation already existed in the country. The 
remains, however, were too indistinct to enable me 
to distinguish the particular species of plants to 
which they had belonged, except that the monocotyle- 
donous plant appeared like the remains of a typha. 
One of the holes tilled with potatoes had been left 
open for the use of travellers, as is customary in 
New Zealand, and to us this liberal custom proved 
a great relief. 

The next morning we espied, through the thick 
mist which covered the neighbouring hills, two 
natives. They soon came down to us, and proved 
to be two respectable " Mihaneres " going from 
Taupo to Turanga or Poverty Bay. They told us 
that this journey would occupy them ten days, that 
the road led up and down hill, and that most of 
these hills were devoid of forest. Their arrival 
proved of great benefit to our party, as they told us, 
as indeed the compass had already told me, that we 
had gone in a wrong direction. We induced them 
by a present of two blankets to hide their own load 
and show us the way to Rotu-Mahana, whither, 
they said, it was three days' walk ; they also carried 
potatoes for us : I suspect, although they said no- 
thing to us to that effect, that they had some share 
in the providential potato-ground, which was what 


is called a travelling potato- ground, serving as it 
were in the place of an inn. We again diminished 
our loads, and, amongst other curiosities, a wooden 
carved head of the old chief Waikato, made hy him- 
self, and which I had carried during many weeks, 
here found, to my great sorrow, a resting-place. 
We had to go back to the banks of the Waikato, 
and follow its right shore for several hours. The 
country was flat, although intersected by gorges and 
ravines. The Waikato had a very deep bed, and 
its banks showed cliffs of pumicestone. Although 
the river was deep and rapid, yet nothing could be 
more apparent than that it had had no part in the 
formation of the valley. How considerable must 
have been the volcanic eruption that covered this 
immense district with pumicestone or lapilli, which 
show, where they are exposed in sections, a uniform 
character throughout, and seem not to be the work 
of any subsequent eruptions ! From the slight de- 
gree of decomposition which had taken place in 
these lapilli, I should imagine that they must have 
been ejected at a comparatively recent date in the 
earth's history. We passed several hot-springs, 
from which clouds of steam arose, and many solfa- 
taras, which were small hillocks of the purest sul- 
phur covered with a black crust. We halted at 
night near a rapid creek, a tributary of the Wai- 
kato. The land was perfectly level, but preserved 
its barren character. A large swamp separated us 
from another group of powerful springs, which, as 


I afterwards heard from Mr. Chapman, the mission- 
ary at Rotu-rua, are very interesting from their pe- 
culiar petrifying qualities ; some specimens of which 
we saw at his house. 

On the 1st of June we passed a hill at a short 
distance to the northward of our route. It was of 
considerable elevation, and had its original composi- 
tion almost entirely converted into red or white 
clay by the hot gases which issued from its whole 
surface. Towards evening we reached the hills 
which surround on all sides the Rotu-Mahana 
(warm lake) . When we arrived on the crest of these 
hills, the view which opened was one of the grandest 
I had ever beheld. Let the reader imagine a deep 
lake of a blue colour, surrounded by verdant 
hills ; in the lake several islets, some showing the 
bare rock, others covered with shrubs, while on all 
of them steam issued from a hundred openings be- 
tween the green foliage without impairing its fresh- 
ness : on the opposite side a flight of broad steps of 
the colour of white marble with a rosy tint, and a 
cascade of boiling water falling over them into the 
lake ! A part of the lake was separated from the 
rest by a ledge of rocks, forming a lagoon in a state 
of ebullition, which discharged its waters into the 
Rotu-Mahana. We descended to the lake, but a 
heavy rain came on, and night surprised us. 

After having crossed a streamlet of a blood-heat, 
we found ourselves up to our knees in a muddy 
swamp, without knowing how to proceed, as our 


native attendants were still far behind. At last 
they arrived, and led us to a higher piece of ground, 
where we pitched our tent, as we did not venture, 
though all our provisions were exhausted, to go 
any farther, for our two guides, who were well 
acquainted with the place, said there was a very bad 
swamp to be passed before we could reach the native 
settlement, and that it was doubtful whether there 
were any natives there. They tjiemselves, however, 
started, and promised to be back early in the morn- 
ing with a canoe and food. 

On rising the next morning we found the lake 
covered with waterfowl, among which were the 
beautiful porphyrio, ducks, and snipes, and also gulls, 
which feed upon a small fish that abounds in the 
lake. Before our guides returned, I had shot a 
great many of the unwary pukeko, or porphyrio, 
which proved excellent game. Some natives came 
in a canoe to fetch us over the lake to their settle- 
ment. Mr. Chapman, from Rotu-rua, was probably 
the only European they had ever seen, as this lake 
has not been visited by any other that I am aware 
of: but, nevertheless, they very kindly brought 
potatoes and fish with them. We were first con- 
veyed to the cascade which we had seen the evening 
before, and which is called Wakatara. The steps 
proved to be the siliceous deposits of the waters of 
the hot pond above it. We ascended the steps, 
which are about fifty in number, from one to two 
feet broad, many of them, however, having subdi- 


visions resulting from the gradual deposition of the 
silex. The water which falls over them was mode- 
rately tepid. The steps are firm like porcelain, and 
have a tinge of carmine. The concretions assume 
interesting forms of mamillary stalagmites of the 
colour of milk-white chalcedony; and here and 
there, where the rounded steps overhung the former 
deposits, stalactites of various sizes were depending. 
The boiling pond on the top, which was clear and 
blue, could not be approached, as the concretions at 
its margin were very thin and fragile. The pond 
was about ten yards round, and perhaps one hundred 
feet above the level of the Rotu-Mahana. The water 
which is discharged into the lake from this pond 
and from other places warms its waters to 35 Fahr. 
above the temperature of the air, that is, to 95. 
There are also springs in the lake itself, as in many 
places bubbles are seen rising up. On the banks of 
the lake are a great many openings from which 
steam issues. We afterwards landed on a small 
rock in the lake, composed of a felspathic lava ; the 
natives had some houses on it, and cooked our food 
over a steaming crevice, while I bathed in the warm 

The Rotu-Mahana is not more than a mile in cir- 
cumference. We crossed from it in a canoe into the 
lake of Tera-wera. The stream connecting them is 
tepid and of a temperature of 85. It is more ap- 
propriately called Kai-waka (canoe-spoiler), as the 
canoe often touches the rocks of which the bottom 


is formed. It is rapid, but narrow and serpentine. 
From its banks issue numerous hot-springs, and 
another flight of siliceous steps ascends the border- 
ing hills. Into the Kai-waka a cold stream also 
discharges itself, which is the outlet of two smaller 
lakes on the right shore, called Rotu-Makariti (cold 
lakes). When we came into the Tera-wera lake, 
the shores became steep and rocky (trachitic). To 
our right there rose a curious mountain consisting 
of several truncated cones, and exactly resembling a 
fortification, as the upper borders of the cones were 
fringed all around with perpendicular rocks. This 
hill is called Motunui-arangi. The rocky shores of 
Lake Tera-wera are lined with pohutukaua-trees ; 
other vegetation also overhangs the cliffs and peeps 
out of the fissures of the rock. I was someAvhat 
surprised to find the pohutukaua-tree (Metrosideros 
tomentosa) on this inland lake, as it is a tree which 
I never before found but on the sea-shore. This 
may perhaps be regarded as another confirmation of 
the theory that the lakes which run in a continued 
chain from Taupo to the eastern coast are the re- 
mains of a former arm of the sea, and have been 
shut up from it by an uplifting of the land. In the 
summer, when the pohutukaua-trees are covered 
with their red blossoms, the scenery at this lake 
must be most beautiful. 

We came to a small native settlement in a nook 
of the rocks, which hung over it on all sides. In 
this little bight were several warm springs, which 


the natives had surrounded with stones, and had 
thus formed basins, in which they were continually 
sitting. These warm waters served them in the 
place of fires, as they jumped in as often as they 
felt cold, and this mode of treatment did not seem 
to do them any harm, as they looked remarkably 
healthy. I imitated their example in the night, and 
found the bath very agreeable. Our kind hosts 
gave us the best reception in their power. 

In the morning I ascended with some difficulty 
the highest of the hills surrounding the little bay. 
I observed from the top a small lake, which bore 
south 60 east, and in the same direction, and situated 
among the hills, were two smaller lakes, the Rotu- 
Makariti (cold lakes), which I have mentioned 
above as discharging their waters into the Kai-waka. 
The country over which I looked was of a very 
hilly description, and only partially wooded. The 
tops of the hills were covered with a low brown 
vegetation of grass and fern, and their configuration 
bore proofs of their volcanic character. 

VOL. i. 

386 [PART n. 


Rotu-Kareka Rotu-rua. 

THE lake of Tera-wera is about three miles long, 
and of the same breadth, although of an irregular 
shape. We crossed, coasting along the rocky shores 
to its eastern extremity, where we passed a well- 
populated pa. Here the lake of Tera-wera is sepa- 
rated from the lake Kareka only by a neck of land 
a mile in breadth, and forming a well-cultivated 
ravine. Our two native guides had returned in the 
morning, to continue their journey to Turanga. 
At Tera-wera we were joined by a party of natives 
from Rotu-rua, armed with muskets, and driving 
some pigs. They were very noisy fellows, with the 
exception of those who seemed the first in rank. I 
had heard before that the natives of Rotu-rua were 
the most primitive tribe in New Zealand, and still 
resist the inroads of European manners, and these 
men confirmed the report. They soon took care 
of all our loads, after they had examined our persons 
and expressed aloud their astonishment. Their 
curiosity, however, was somewhat importunate. I 
heard afterwards that they had just returned from 


a taua, or a robbing excursion, into the country of 
the Waikato, with whom the tribe of Rotu-rua is 
in constant hostility. When we arrived at Rotu- 
rua Captain Symonds and myself found ourselves 
each minus a shoe, which our guides had probably 
pilfered; but we got them again for a salvage, as 
they said that they had found them. At Kareka 
they fired their muskets as a signal for a canoe from 
the other side of the lake, and at length a woman 
came paddling over in a perfect nutshell : it was so 
small that the least movement would have upset it ; 
and as there was no possibility of its carrying all of 
us, I at first determined to walk with my natives 
along the shore, but eventually we were carried 
over in the same canoe at its second trip. The na- 
tives of Rotu-rua did not cross the lake, but quitted 
us at Kareka, following another road which led to 
their own home. They did not like to have any- 
thing to do with the Christian natives on the other 
side of the lake. The lake of Kareka is of an irre- 
gular shape, about six miles in circumference ; the 
shores are hilly or rocky, generally wooded, and the 
soil of a fertile description. The lake is as pic- 
turesque as those I had already passed. I was told 
that at a little distance from this lake is another, 
the Rotu-Kakai, but I did not see it. We pitched 
our tents in the evening at a small settlement, the 
commencement of a village of natives who had lately 
become Christians : they were all busily occupied in 
building, and amongst the houses was a large struc- 



ture for a church. As usual, I had to dispense re- 
lief to the sick ; and I made a little jalap-powder, 
the only medicine which remained to me, go a long 

On the morning of the 4th our hosts conveyed 
us in a canoe to the northern end of the lake, whence 
we crossed a chain of low wooded hills, about seven 
miles broad, on our way to Rotu-rua. The road 
lay through ravines, which, although at present 
much above the level of the two lakes, seemed to 
indicate a former communication with both of them. 
The morning was fresh and stirring, and our road 
as beautiful as the primitive wildness of the country 
could make it. It was still early when we descended 
towards the large lake of Rotu-rua, which is here 
surrounded by a low flat, consisting of pumicestone, 
gravel, and decayed earth. We passed a small 
lagoon of rather sulphurous water, separated from 
the lake, and soon arrived at the mission-station of 
Mr. Chapman ; that excellent man received us with 
the greatest kindness under his hospitable roof. 
We stayed here during a week ; and I had a good 
opportunity of becoming acquainted with the lake 
of Rotu-rua and its neighbourhood. 

This lake is about twenty-four miles in circum- 
ference, and nearly circular. The hills which sur- 
round it are low, but to the westward they rise to 
the height of about 800 feet. This latter range is 
wooded; and wood is also found at some other 
places near the lake, giving a rich variety to the 


scenery ; but generally the country is open and 
covered with fern. The singular distribution of 
the woods shows that a great part of them have been 
destroyed artificially. In some places there are the 
black stems still standing. The destruction was 
evidently occasioned by the natives burning the 
wood when clearing patches for cultivation. This 
method they were obliged to repeat frequently, as 
the soil soon became exhausted, compelling them to 
seek fresh spots of ground. 

The circumstance that renders the lake of Rotu- 
rua particularly interesting is the number of hot- 
springs which at several places rise close to its 
banks : those on the south side of the lake are the 
most powerful ; they consist of numerous smaller 
or larger basins, and from several of the openings 
every five minutes a column of steam and water, of 
two feet in diameter, is thrown up with great 
violence to the height of three or four feet. All 
around the springs a jasper-like deposit is found, 
which is either soft, like chalk, or forms what is 
called porcelain jasper and magnesite. In some 
places it is of a white or greyish colour, and when 
soft adheres to the tongue, in which state the 
natives use it for making pipes, which, however, 
are nowr scarce, as the European pipes have super- 
seded them. The largest village is built close to 
the springs, and the natives have from time imme- 
morial used them as a natural kitchen for boiling 
their food. The water of several of these springs 


is clear and nearly tasteless, and its temperature is 
above the boiling-point. The pa, which is the 
finest I have seen in New Zealand, occupies a large 
surface, which is actually intersected by crevices 
from which steam issues, by boiling springs, and by 
mud volcanoes. It requires great care even for the 
native to wind his way through this intricate and 
dangerous labyrinth. Accidents are very common, 
as the thickness and solidity of the insecure crust 
upon which the pa is built are continually changing, 
and the ground sometimes suddenly gives way at a 
place where shortly before it appeared to be perfectly 
firm. At one time a part of the village close to the 
edge of the lake subsided several feet, and the water 
took its place. The palisades are still visible, and 
standing upright under water. In some places only 
a narrow path leads through a field of boiling mud ; 
and in the neighbourhood of the pa are a great 
many of those curious mud-cones which I have 
already described. Some of them were ten feet in 

The structures in this pa the houses, doors, and 
palisades displayed the most ingenious pieces of 
native workmanship. I have nowhere else seen 
carvings in such profusion, and some of them were 
apparently very old. Many of the figures are repre- 
sentations of the progenitors of the tribe, and the 
collection of figures in and around each house may 
be considered as serving as the genealogical tree of 
its owner. Each of the representations of the human 


figure bears the name of some tupuna, or ancestor, 
and the whole is actually a carved history. Nowhere 
in New Zealand have I seen anything that could 
be regarded as an idol, although some persons have 
said that such exist. This absence of all carved 
gods among the New Zealanders appeared to me a 
very attractive trait in their national character. 
They are too much the children of nature, and 
perhaps too intellectual, to adore wooden images 
or animals, and I often heard the heathen natives 
deride the pewter images of the Holy Virgin which 
the Roman Catholic priests have brought into the 
country. They are superstitious, it is true, but not 
more so than we should expect as the result of the 
influence with which their mind is instinctively 
filled by the powers of Nature. What a noble 
material to work with for the purpose of leading 
them towards civilization ! Within the pa some 
were busy carving, or working at canoes, whilst 
others enjoyed the dolce far niente. The whole 
scene was complete in itself, and singularly inter- 
esting. Comparing the upstart settlements of mis- 
sionary natives with this old heathen pa, the former 
really look extremely miserable and tame. 

The mission-station is on the eastern shore of 
the lake. About 150 natives, who have become 
Christians, have built themselves houses there. A 
valley runs from the station to the eastward, and in 
several places is rich and fertile. In its upper part, 
about three miles from the mission-houses, are more 


hot-springs of sulphurous water, together with sol- 
fataras, or cones of pure sulphur, and mud volcanoes. 
A warm stream comes down the side of a hill, and 
has left a whitish deposit in steps ; fine crystalliza- 
tions of sulphur are also deposited in large quantities. 
On the north-east shore the lake is evidently making 
inroads. The hanks form cliffs, which are under- 
mined by the water during south-westerly winds, and 
fall into the lake. About thirty or forty yards from 
the banks there are the remains of trees standing 
upright in the water, evidently at the places where 
they grew. 

If the country around the lake of Rotu-rua is not 
very fertile, it cannot be called barren, and might 
be much improved by a good system of agriculture. 
Near the mission-house we find, firstly, a black 
mould a few inches thick, then pumice-gravel one 
foot thick, below this a yellow sandy loam about 
six feet thick, and afterwards another bed of gravel. 
This is the general composition of the land around 
the lake, and proves that the country was subject to 
successive volcanic eruptions. If this soil is pro- 
perly under and over worked, it will become very 
fertile. Even without such careful and expensive 
treatment, everything appears to grow well in the 
missionary's garden. I was much pleased with the 
very healthy appearance of a great number of Euro- 
pean fruit-trees. 

It is right that I should make one observation 
about the climate in this interior district. It is 


far more chilly than I ever experienced it on the 
coast : in the morning and evening the thermometer 
sank often to the freezing-point. Several kinds of 
acacias, from Van Diemen's Land or Australia, and 
also the ricinus-tree, had been frozen ; and the mis- 
sionary told me that it was scarcely possible to grow 
the acacias, although on the coast they are never 
attacked by frost, and are as vigorous as in their 
native land. Almost in the middle of the lake, but 
somewhat towards its eastern shore, is the island of 
Mokoia. It is about a mile long, and hilly, with a 
belt of low land around it. The hills rise to the 
height of about 300 feet above the lake, and are in 
many places covered with shrubs and small trees. 
From having formerly been the principal abode of 
the Rotu-rua natives, and their great stronghold 
against the Nga-pui and Waikato tribes, it was 
always well cultivated, and grasses, both native and 
European, plantain, chickweed, and others, which 
in such cases generally spring up, vary agreeably 
the usually brown tint of the lower native vegeta- 
tion. Formerly the mission-station was on this 
island, and many of the shrubs which were planted 
in the garden of the station are still remaining. On 
the flat land are fields of sweet potatoes, for the 
growth of which the light soil is peculiarly adapted. 
Here, again, the chief attraction is the thermal 
springs which issue close to the margin of the lake. 
The natives have banked them up from it by a sur- 
rounding wall of stones, but where the springs are 


too warm they admit a sufficient quantity of cold 
water from the lake to bring them to a bathing 
temperature. Some of the springs have a slight 
taste of sulphuretted hydrogen, and others contain 
small iron pyrites; their temperature is from 100 
to 120 Fahrenheit. 

The lake of Rotu-rua, like that of Taupo, con- 
tains eels, and another species of fish of a small 
size ; also a well-tasted crawfish, and a bivalve shell- 
fish called kakahi : all these serve to the natives as 

The natives of Rotu-rua bear the general name 
of Nga-te-Wakaua ; their number amounts to about 
5000. They were once renowned for their bold 
resistance to invaders, and for their warlike habits ; 
but E'Ongi, who dragged his canoes from the east 
coast into the lake, made a great slaughter amongst 
them. They had assembled, 3000 in number, on 
Mokoia island, but had only four muskets, and 
E'Ongi found no difficulty in mastering them, and 
carried off about sixty children, who, however, after 
being brought to the east coast, contrived to escape 
by feigning sleep, and returned again to their 
homes. E'Ongi also took all their canoes, and 
dragged them over the portages to the east coast, 
but lost them in a gale of wind. 

The Rotu-rua natives had provoked this attack 
by an act of treachery on their part : thirty natives 
from the Bay of Islands paid a visit to the great 
pa on the island of Mokoia, trusting that some old 


differences which formerly existed between the 
tribes of both places had been forgotten ; this, how- 
ever, was not the case : it was secretly concerted by 
the Rotu-rua natives that they should feast their 
guests with all honour, and afterwards sing the 
war-song together ; but that at the end of the 
song, which terminates with "Let us kill them, 
let us kill them," every Nga-pui should be sacri- 
ficed. This murderous plan was put into execu- 
tion ; two, however, of the intended victims escaped, 
and brought the news of this treacherous outrage 
to the Bay of Islands. 

The natives of Rotu-rua were afterwards engaged 
in war with all the surrounding tribes, with the 
single exception of the Taupo natives. Their chief 
conflicts were with the Waikato, the natives at 
Mata-mata and Tauranga, on the east coast; and, 
indeed, the history of the Rotu-rua tribe for the last 
seven years is full of those incidents of robbing and 
war excursions, with occasional feats of cannibalism, 
which characterize the feuds so prevalent in this 
country. Although during the last two years 
there have been no actual disturbances, yet a 
durable peace is not yet made. The natives at Mu- 
ketu, about twenty miles to the southward of Tau- 
ranga, belong to the same tribe with those of Rotu- 
rua, and are always their associates in their aggres- 
sions, especially in those against the natives at 
Tauranga. Muketu is the only place on the sea- 
coast which this tribe holds, and their great aim 


in these hostilities has been to obtain possession of 
Tauranga, which is a better harbour than Muketu. 

It is known that in many of the islands of the 
Great Southern Ocean the curious custom exists 
of changing arbitrarily words of the language, and 
of making others " tapu," or forbidden; nay, in 
the Sandwich Islands an attempt was made to in- 
troduce an entirely new language in place of the 
old one. I found the traces of a similar custom 
amongst the natives of Rotu-rua. Wai (water) has 
been changed into ngongi ; kai (food) into tami, or 
kami. The name of a place near Tauranga, where 
a great fight took place, and many of the natives 
were killed and eaten, is Waikeriri, but they call 
it Ngongi-Keriri. The cause of this singular inno- 
vation is, that the old word becomes sacred, either 
from a chief adopting it for his name, or from some 
other event sanctifying it. 

On questioning the natives, as I usually did, re- 
lative to the natural history of their country, I 
heard a curious tradition connected with a totara- 
tree in the neighbourhood. Near this tree, they 
said, their forefathers killed the last moa. From 
the few remains of the moa that have been found, 
it has been declared by Mr. Richard Owen to be 
a struthious bird, and of very large size. 

I was assured by Mr. Chapman that there are 
some native rats still to be found in the district ; 
but although I took the greatest trouble, I could 
not obtain one to determine the species. 


The Rotu-rua lake discharges its waters, by a 
deep stream about a quarter of a mile long, into 
another lake, which, although called Rotu-iti (the 
small lake), appeared to me to be as large as Rotu- 
rua. It is of a very irregular shape, and sur- 
rounded by fern-covered hills. On a conical hill 
of basaltic lava which projects into the lake is a 
native pa, well fortified, but only scantily inhabited, 
probably from the natives at present living dispersed 
over the country, and only resorting to this strong- 
hold in time of war. From the Rotu-iti it is a 
short portage into a river which leads to Muketu 
on the east coast. 

It may not be inexpedient to recapitulate the 
chain of lakes which I have mentioned in the 
course of my journey, together with a few others 
which I had no opportunity of visiting, and which 
complete that remarkable series which runs with 
short interruptions from Tongariro to the eastern 

1. Taranaki. 2. Rotu-Aire. 3. Rotu-Ponamu. 
4. Taupo. 5. Rotu-kaua. 6. Rotu-Mahana, con- 
nected with, 7. Tera-wera. 8, 9. Rotu-Makariti. 
10. Rotu-Kakai. 1 1. Rotu-Kareka. 12. Rotu-Rua, 
connected with Rotu-iti. 15. Rotu-Ihu. 16. Rotu- 
ma. 17. Okataina. There is also a river flowing 
from the lake of Tera-wera, and discharging itself 
into the ocean at Wakatane ; it serves the natives 
as a passage for their canoes. 

398 [PART 11. 


Journey to Tauranga. 

AFTER having availed ourselves of the kind hospi- 
tality of the missionary for several days, we crossed 
the lake on the morning of the 14th of June, for 
the purpose of continuing our journey to Tauranga, 
on the eastern coast. We induced four other na- 
tives to accompany us, in addition to the three who 
had come with us. These men engaged to accom- 
pany us to Auckland. One of them, who had been 
taken as a slave from Manukao, went with us chiefly 
for the purpose of applying to the Protector of the 
Aborigines appointed by Government, to obtain 
back some of the land which formerly belonged to 
his relatives. The poor fellow, who was a very well- 
informed man, and a clever mechanic, afterwards 
met with a refusal at Auckland. Many similar 
cases will doubtless be submitted to the consider- 
ation of the Land Commissioners, and I conceive 
that they ought to be decided, not according to 
English laws, but according to the equity of the 

On the north-western banks of the lake I ob- 


served similar alterations to those on the eastern; 
the lake had encroached upon the shore, and broken 
trunks of trees in their natural position were stand- 
ing under water at some distance from the present 
margin. We passed a native settlement, Reka- 
Reka : the land around it consisted of low, fern- 
covered, and fertile hills ; but the natives had their 
plantations about three miles from the lake, near 
the forest, where the land was still more fertile. 
Here we pitched our tent in the midst of the tribe. 
I observed that many of the natives were occupied 
in preparing a kind of food which I had not seen 
before : it consisted of the amylaceous seed-covers 
of the hinau (Elacocarpus hinau), which they pow- 
dered and made into cakes. It appeared to me to 
be rather insipid, although it is, I have no doubt, 
very nourishing. 

The next day .we entered the forest covering the 
hills which run along the eastern coast, and which 
separate the interior and comparatively open table- 
land from the sea. The forest was mostly tawai 
(Leiospermum racemosum), miro, and hinau ; the 
Dracophyllum, which often grows to the size of a 
small tree, and the reddish leaves of which render 
it a very remarkable and beautiful shrub, was here 
and there to be met with. If the reader can ima- 
gine a pink that has become so gigantic as to have 
reached the size of the hazel-nut tree, he will have 
some idea of the appearance of this shrub. I also 


observed several kinds of Aralia, a very curious 
form of plants. From the top of a very slender 
stem the long narrow leaves spread in a circle, 
hanging down in the shape of an umbrella. 

. The first part of the road was flat and very good, 
and had been cut by the natives for the convenience 
of the missionaries ; but it soon became a narrow 
path, across which the luxuriant vegetation of creep- 
ing plants often produced a perfect net-work. The 
soil was pumiceous gravel, richly mixed with vege- 
table mould. Afterwards the land became more 
hilly, and its configuration and external outlines 
were often extremely picturesque : the tufaceous 
and pumiceous formation assumed castle-like forms, 
and the rivulets had cut out deep channels in the 
soft rock, leaving high banks. Notwithstanding 
the softness of the material, it must have required 
a great length of time to hollow out these rivulets, 
which I am inclined to ascribe entirely, or almost 
entirely, to the action of running water. Some 
spots were devoid of trees, and were covered with 
high fern (Pteris esculenta) ; they bore evident 
marks of having been cleared of the forest by fire. 
It is remarkable that this fern universally appears 
wherever a spot has been thus cleared, even in the 
middle of the primitive forest, where it never grows 
so long as the trees are standing. I have no doubt 
that the highly farinaceous root of this very com- 
mon plant, which was formerly the principal food 


of the natives, will one day be brought into use. 
At all events, it is an excellent food for pigs, which 
feed almost entirely upon it, and grow very fat. 

On the 16th we still continued our route through 
the forest, and, from the quantity of creepers (Smi- 
lax), walking became very difficult. Towards noon, 
however, we emerged into open land. The forest 
terminated so abruptly, that there could be no doubt 
of its having been consumed by fire up to its pre- 
sent limit. If any other proof were wanted, the 
large and half-consumed stems of trees which lay 
at its verge were quite sufficient to. convince the 
most sceptical. A splendid and most extensive pro- 
spect here burst upon our view : the range of hills 
which we had passed sloped gradually towards the 
east coast, spreading out into flat land near the sea- 
shore. Before us was the Bay of Plenty : to judge 
from its present appearance, it may well be said to 
have been prophetically so called by Captain Cook. 
To the northward the whole coast-line towards 
Witianga, or Mercury Bay, presented itself, at which 
place the coast-hills resumed bolder forms; the 
Mercury Islands also were visible : to the eastward 
was the island of Tuhua, or Mayor's Island, and 
several smaller rocky islets. More to the south- 
ward was Puhia-i-Wakati, or White Island, emit- 
ting from time to time volumes of white smoke ; 
and to the southward our eyes followed part of the 
coast, which retained its smooth outlines. 

Before we arrived at the perfectly even land 
VOL. i. 2 D 


nearest the coast, we passed several swampy valleys 
of small extent, formed by the ramifications of the 
hills ; and at last we followed the narrow crest of 
one of these ramifications down to the plain. The 
vegetation everywhere indicated the richest soil, 
and the most prominent plants were fern, flax, and 
veronica. Towards sunset, after a very fatiguing 
journey, we approached the homely-looking build- 
ings of the Church mission-station, surrounded 
with gardens, and a planted shrubbery of acacias, 
ricinus, and peaches, which was almost the only 
vegetation in the shape of trees which we saw, as 
for several miles around the station there is no 
wood. Captain Symonds was welcomed to the 
house of the Rev. Mr. Brown, and I was kindly 
received into the family of Mr. Stack, a very active 
and unassuming missionary, to whom my best thanks 
are due for the hospitality I received at his hands 
for nearly a week. 

I at first supposed that those singularly-formed 
mountain-ridges which are observed in Queen 
Charlotte's Sound, consisting of clay-slate and oc- 
casional dykes and interruptions of Lydian stone 
and basalts, might continue throughout the island, 
and thus diminish in a great measure the chances 
which a colony would have of success, as, from their 
steepness and from their everywhere forming narrow 
ravines, and small bays near the coast, they promise 
little reward to the labours of a European agri- 
culturist ; but, having passed from the western to 


the eastern coast, and having thus seen a large part 
of the interior, I came to the conclusion that there 
is no regular system of a mountain-range running 
through the island. The hills which I passed from 
Rotu-rua to Tauranga are tufaceous ; they are of 
moderate height and undulating, and, although 
their surface is wooded, the depth of the vegetable 
soil and the tufaceous substratum leaves no doubt 
in my mind that the whole coast district, down to 
and even beyond Hawke's Bay, will in future times 
form a very rich country ; and that the natural 
outlet of its produce, from its easy communication 
with the valley of the Waiho, or Thames, will be 
the Gulf of Hauraki. 

Tauranga has only been visited by small vessels 
of about two hundred tons. Although over the 
bar there are four fathoms water, the channel is 
very narrow, not being more than one hundred 
yards in breadth ; and from its bending at a sharp 
angle, large craft would have great difficulty in en- 
tering it. Its southern headland is formed by a 
solitary conical hill, Maunga-nui, of about five 
hundred feet in height, which is connected by low 
land with the main. It consists of basaltic lava, 
large blocks of which lie on the sides and are 
strewed around its base. There are many traces of 
a former and very extensive native village on its 
sides ; but in consequence of its being exposed to 
the attacks of a tribe of Rotu-rua natives, who live 
at Muketu, it has been deserted, and the natives 

2 D 2 


live at the other side of the harhour. Some time 
before my arrival eleven natives had heen seized 
and slaughtered ; and these mutual depredations 
have now been carried on for several years to such 
a degree that the natives of Tauranga were unable 
to plant sufficient ground to supply them with food, 
having been besieged and shut up in their fortified 
places : the fertile district in which they live has 
therefore been of no use to them. The northern 
head of Tauranga spreads out into low and level 
land ; and some islands of considerable dimensions, 
and of the same structure and configuration as the 
mainland, are separated from it by broad channels 
of the sea. Although at present the principal 
anchorage for vessels is in the inner harbour, not 
far from the mission-station, I am inclined to think 
that the islands just mentioned might offer safe 
places for anchoring, even for larger vessels. 

The remarkable phenomenon of these large 
portions of land being separated from the main 
shows that great changes have taken place in 
the geological condition of this coast, which 
has wasted away, and been separated either by 
the inroads of the sea or by volcanic agency. 
The coast at Tauranga and on those islands is from 
forty to eighty feet above the level of the sea, and 
in the cliffs thus formed we find that the geological 
formation is a yellow loam, surmounted in many 
places by beds of peat, containing a great quantity 
of undecayed wood, and averaging between four and 


six feet in breadth : the upper layer is a yellowish 
earth, or decayed pumiceous matter. The lignite, 
occurring in large quantities, must be of great im- 
portance to Tauranga, as there is no other fuel for 
several miles around. 

One of these islands is called Pane-pane, and 
stretches from Maunga-nui to the southward. It 
is about three miles broad and seven miles long. 
Another, running in the same line with the former, 
but nearer the coast, is called Matakanga. It is 
about the same size. A larger one in the same 
line is called Moa Opareoroi. The one nearest the 
coast, and of a square shape, is called Tangoia. Off 
Muketu is the island Motu-iti, of considerable 
extent, and said to have been purchased by the 
Americans. Off the entrance of the harbour of 
Tauranga is a small island, which I attempted to 
reach in a boat, but was obliged to put back on 
account of the heavy swell. It is situated about 
three miles from the southern headland, and con- 
sists, I am told, of basaltic lava. It is a mere rock, 
but possesses some interest as being the only spot, 
that I know of, in New Zealand where the new 
species of reptiles l exist which were brought over 
by me to England. The specimen from which Mr. 
Gray of the British Museum has furnished the 
description came from that island. It is an inter- 
esting question whether this island has been con- 
nected at any time with the mainland, and whether 
1 Hatteria punctata, Gray. 


the causes which seem to have brought about the 
near extermination of that animal on the mainland 
have not been in action on a rocky island which is 
scarcely ever visited by the natives. 

In the harbour of Tauranga the land loses con- 
tinually by the encroachments of the sea. During 
a very heavy gale of wind last year the coast at Te 
Papa (the mission-station) lost ten feet. All along 
the east coast stems of trees are seen under water ; 
this I state on the authority of Mr. Wilson, an 
intelligent missionary. Some of the rivers are 
nearly choked up by the quantity of wood carried 
down ; this indeed is a circumstance of very frequent 
occurrence in New Zealand. 

At a greater distance from Tauranga is the island 
of Tuhua, or Mayor's Island. It consists, according 
to the accounts I collected, of very rugged basaltic 
rocks and obsidian in situ, with narrow but fertile 
valleys. It is inhabited by a tribe of about two 
hundred natives, who cultivate the land, and occa- 
sionally provide passing whalers with provisions. 
They have been subject to many attacks from the 
tribes of the mainland, first from the Nga-pui in 
the Bay of Islands, and afterwards from the natives 
at Wakatane on the east coast. The latter at- 
tempted, about three years ago, to surprise them 
during the night, but were observed by the natives 
of Tuhua, who live in an almost unapproachable 
pa. They allowed them to come near, and then 
rolled large blocks of stone from the summit of the 


hill into the fleet of canoes, which killed many of 
the aggressors, and the rest were forced to retreat. 
Since that time these islanders have been left un- 

From several places near Tauranga, Puhia-i- 
Wakati, or White Island, is visible. It is a low 
island, still in volcanic activity, and produces a great 
quantity of sulphur. Already several cargoes of 
this mineral have been brought to Europe, where 
it has been sold for 8/. per ton. The sulphur is 
very pure, containing ninety per cent. The island 
is claimed by an Englishman, who lives opposite to 
it on the east coast, in Wakatane, and who is one of 
the oldest settlers in the country. 

The natives at Tauranga belong to the large 
tribe of the Nga-te-awa, and live in three strongly 
fortified villages. Their number amounts to about 
three thousand. Most of them have been converted 
to Christianity by two missionaries of the Church 
of England and by two Roman Catholic priests. 
The missionaries of both persuasions reside here, 
and oppose each other as much as they can, and of 
course the native converts do the same. The num- 
ber of converts to each creed is about equal, although 
the Roman Catholic mission was established much 
later than that of the Church of England. 

Tauranga was in former times an important place 
for the pig and flax trade ; and several European 
traders have lived there for many years. But from 
different causes the flax-trade has dwindled away 


almost to nothing, chiefly in consequence of the 
facility of obtaining European articles at a cost less 
than that of dressing the flax. The trade in pigs 
is still carried on ; and the traders obtain many 
pigs from the valley of the Thames, from Mata- 

Little of the land at Tauranga has been sold, 
with the exception of one piece to the Church mis- 
sionaries, which is called Te Papa (the flat). The 
natives are not inclined to sell any land, and their 
number is sufficiently large to enable them to 
occupy and cultivate their beautiful district them- 
selves, if a durable peace were established among the 
different tribes. 



Journey into the Valley of the Waiho, or Thames Mata-mata. 

ON the 22nd of June we went in the boat of the 
missionaries up an arm of the harbour which runs 
to the northward, and then followed a path towards 
the coast-hills, as we intended to cross them into 
the valley of the Waiho, or river Thames. Ascend- 
ing some low fern-hills, we arrived towards evening 
at the margin of the forest. The ascent was very 
gradual. We halted here at a small stream which 
falls into the sea to the northward of Tauranga. 
Continuing the following day through the forest, I 
found that these coast-hills were comparatively flat 
on the top, while on their western slope, where 
they bound the valley of the Waiho, they termi- 
nated abruptly, like an artificial embankment of 
the table-land of the Thames. Before we de- 
scended into the valley we followed for a while a 
rivulet about thirty yards in breadth, which takes 
its rise in the coast-hills, and then falls over their 
almost perpendicular western slope from a height 
of at least eight hundred feet, forming a magnifi- 
cent cascade. In consequence - of the thick wood 


which at present surrounds the fall, only part of 
the sheet of water is visible at any one place. Mak- 
ing our way over rocks which lay in the bed of the 
river, we approached to the very crest of the fall, 
and looked down upon the descending waters. 

The Maunga-Tautare bore S. 35 W. from this 

We soon reached the banks of the Waiho, which 
flows at a distance of about two miles from the hills 
in a S.E. to N.W. course ; and crossed it to its left 
shore, its depth being about six feet in the middle 
channel, and its current moderately rapid. Appear- 
ances indicated that the water was at its average 
height, and we had not had much rain during the 
last few days. Its width was about that of the 
Thames at Richmond, and on its banks strata of 
gravel were exposed more or less decayed, and either 
pumiceous or tufaceous. The point at which we 
crossed was about fifty miles from that at which the 
river falls into the Gulf of Hauraki. The vegeta- 
tion consisted of fern, Dracaena australis, Lepto- 
spermum, with some rushes ; here and there also a 
little grass. Although the soil was not alluvial, 
nor apparently very fertile, yet it seemed to be ca- 
pable of considerable improvement by judicious cul- 
tivation. We halted here for the night, although 
tire-wood was rather scarce ; the manuka shrubs, 
however, served us for fuel. 

It rained all night, and our tent ran great risk of 
being blown down. The weather, however, cleared 


up a little in the morning, and we started for Tapiri. 
The road was in a sad state, as the water had in 
many places become stagnant, owing to the almost 
complete flatness of the land and the absence of all 
drainage, and also in some places to the nature of 
the soil, which was clayey. Here again I had occa- 
sion to observe how injuriously the frequent fires of 
the natives had acted upon the quality of the land. 
Travelling nearly westward, we reached a forest of 
pines, chiefly kahikatea-trees and totara. There 
were cultivated grounds in the forest in places 
where the trees had lately been burnt ; and many 
large but unfinished canoes, hewn out of huge stems 
of totara, proved the neighbourhood of a well- 
peopled native settlement. We were soon observed 
by some of the inhabitants, who, with a hearty wel- 
come, accompanied us to their village, Tapiri. This 
forms the habitation of the Christian part of the 
tribe ; the heathens live about a quarter of a mile 
farther off in a substantial antique pa called Mata- 
mata. In Tapiri the natives showed us with pride 
a fine church, which was eighty feet by forty, and 
which they had just finished. It was a most sub- 
stantial building, and they had constructed it en- 
tirely by themselves. Internally it was supported 
by two well-finished columns : the lining was fern- 
stalks placed close together and intertwined with 
stripes of split wood. 

In Mata-mata I saw the tomb of the principal 
chief, who died two years ago ; it was a very exqui- 


site piece of sculpture, and we all admired it greatly. 
Some of the houses also are finely carved. I under- 
stood that the heathen natives are inclined to be- 
come Piki-po, or Roman Catholics. In several 
cases some members of a family have become Pro- 
testants and the others Papists, merely, as it would 
seem, from a motive of opposition. 

The natives at Mata-mata and Tapiri belong to 
the tribe Nga-te-hauwa, a subdivision of the large 
Waikato tribe, and amount to about 1500 people. 
They were constantly at war with the Nga-te-Wa- 
kaua at Muketti and Rotu-rua, and with the Nga- 
te-Paoa, at Puriri, in the Gulf of Hauraki. But 
last year they concluded a peace with the latter ; in 
confirmation of which a feast was given, at which 
two hundred pigs were killed and eaten. 

There was formerly a mission-station at Mata- 
mata, and the house, although half in ruins, is still 
standing ; in the garden European fruit-trees, roses, 
asparagus, and other vegetables, have run wild, and 
the strawberry is spreading over .the country. The 
station was deserted by the missionary in conse- 
quence of a misunderstanding between him and the 
natives. There is a European trader living at Mata- 
mata, whom the natives supply plentifully with 
pigs, which he sends to Tauranga. 

At mata-Mata the soil is very fertile in conse- 
quence of the woods not having yet been destroyed. 
The plain is here well adapted for the cultivation of 
grain, and I was much pleased to see the natives 


working together in a large piece of land containing 
about three acres, which they had fenced round, 
and in which they were about to sow wheat. 

We started on the 26th in the direction of the 
Gulf of Hauraki, for the purpose of reaching the 
Piako river, which flows through the same valley, 
or, to speak more correctly, through the same low 
table-land, as the Waiho, or Thames. This table- 
land is between twenty and thirty miles broad, and 
is bounded to the eastward by the basaltic coast-hills 
already mentioned, which are called the Aroha 
(Love) Mountains, and do not exceed 1500 feet in 
height, and to the northward extend in an uninter- 
rupted chain to Cape Colville. To the southward 
the valley continues to the neighbourhood of Rotu- 
rua, and the coast-hills are there connected with 
the Horo-Horo Mountains, in which the river 
Thames has its source. Throughout their extent 
these mountains are abruptly separated from the 
plain, and, in fact, bound it like an artificial wall. 
To the westward the valley of the Thames, or rather 
that part of the interior table-land which we call 
by that name, is connected with the table-land or 
valley of the Waipa and Waikato, and is bounded 
by the basaltic coast-range near the western coast. 
There is, however, a separation caused by the 
Maunga-Tautari Hills. The lower part of the 
valley of the Thames is separated from the Waikato 
by hills which run toward the Gulf of Hauraki, 
Near the eastern slope of these hills flows the 


river Piako ; at the western slope of the eastern 
coast-hills flows the Waiho : both are in the same 
valley, and discharges themselves into the gulf 
close together. The length of this table-land is 
nearly one hundred miles. 

The Waiho about forty miles from its embouchure 
is still a considerable stream, which would admit 
small steamers ; the Piako is navigable for boats. 

The mountains which bound this valley are gene- 
rally wooded, especially those to the eastward, from 
which the Waiho receives several tributaries of suf- 
ficient size to be useful for floating timber down 
from the hills. The valley itself is free of wood, 
except near the banks of rivers, where the forest 
principally consists of the kahikatea-pine. We 
passed several large raupo (typha) swamps, and 
crossed a tributary of the Piako, which was swollen 
by the late rains. 

The next day, in travelling down the valley, we 
passed many swamps, but a perfect drainage of them 
might be easily effected. The soil was better, and 
here and there it was covered with grass. Towards 
evening we reached the Piako river, which is about 
forty yards broad, and is deep and rapid. 

On the 28th we followed the right bank of the 
Piako, and came towards noon to two houses which 
had been built by the natives for a European who had 
purchased a large district of land from them. The 
Piako here closely approached the western hills. A 
little lower down was a small settlement, from which 


the natives soon brought a canoe,^ and conveyed us 
rapidly down the river, the banks of which were very 
beautiful. The river, being much swollen, reached 
at some points nearly to the foot of the banks, but 
in most places they appeared to be above the highest 
floods. They were slightly wooded, and patches of 
forest alternated with open spaces covered with a soft 
grass. Captain Symonds compared the scene to 
some of the Indian landscapes. The chief of the 
village received us with great civility, and soon pro- 
vided us plenty of food, of which we stood much 
in need. 

To the westward the Piako was here closely 
bounded by the hills, which consist mostly of an 
amygdaloidal basalt, having on their surface a white 
exhausted clay. Wood is only found in some small 
valleys and ravines. Amongst the trees are kauri- 
trees, but these are rather scarce. From the top of 
these hills an extensive view opens towards the 
western coast, the lower part of the river Waikato, 
and the Gulf of Hauraki, the different islands in 
which are easily discerned. 

The Piako is a river of inconsiderable length, and 
comes from a hill in the neighbourhood of Maunga- 
Tautari, called Maunga-Kaua. 

During our day's journey I observed a large block 
of a tufaceous rock about twenty feet in diameter, 
which was lying in the middle of the table-land : 
it afforded me another proof that the formation of 
the plain was connected with the primitive forma- 

416 THE PIAKO. [PART n. 

tion of the land, and that very little of it owes its 
origin to alluvium. Boisterous weather, heavy 
gales, and almost continual rain, which came in 
sudden squalls from the S.W., detained us in our 
tents during nearly a week. The Piako rose very 
high ; even if the weather cleared up for a moment, 
we could not stir about, as we were surrounded by 
itsover flowed waters. At length, on the 5th of July, 
the weather became more settled, and our consider- 
ate friend the chief prepared his largest canoe to 
bring us down the river. Some European traders 
had formerly lived at this place, but they have now 
quitted it, as the natives prefer bringing their pigs 
themselves to Auckland, where they know they shall 
obtain the market-price. The little tribe inhabiting 
this village belongs to the Nga-te-Paoa ; they gene- 
rally live at Coromandel Harbour, but their farms, 
if they may be termed such, are up the Piako river. 
They have great quantities of pigs, which have run 
wild, but are easily caught by dogs. The common 
domestic fowl has also emancipated itself ; but the 
cats, which, on becoming wild, have assumed the 
streaky grey colour of the original animal while 
in a state of nature, form a great obstacle to the 
propagation of any new kind of birds, and also tend 
to the destruction of many indigenous species. The 
causes which, in different countries, modify the ani- 
mal world, form one of the most interesting subjects 
of study. What a chain of alterations, in the dis- 
tribution and number of animated beings, takes 


place from the introduction by man of a single 
animal into a country where it was before unknown ! 
If a geological cause, such for instance as a diminu- 
tion of the size of the island, attended by an altera- 
tion in the climate and a diminution of the means 
of subsistence, has contributed to the extinction of 
the struthious moa in New Zealand, and of the 
dodo in the Mauritius, it is no less sure that, since 
New Zealand began to be inhabited by its aboriginal 
race, the agency of man has effected a part of that 
eternal fluctuation in the organic world, the know- 
ledge of which has been one of the most important 
results of modern science. The introduction of the 
dog, the cat, and the rat, the first of which, some- 
times called pero (Pero, Spanish}, was probably first 
brought here by the Spaniards, must have produced 
great changes, and undoubtedly diminished the 
number of some other classes of animals ; they are 
perhaps the cause that the New Zealand quail 
(Coturnix Novae Zelandise, Quoy et Gaim.) is so 
scarce in the northern island, and also the guana. 
Similar changes have also been effected in the vege- 
table kingdom by the introduction of European 
plants and by the operations of man. The common 
dock (Rumex crispus) already covers large districts, 
in spite of all the efforts of the Europeans to eradi- 
cate it : how much the destruction of the forest by 
fire has favoured the spreading of certain species of 
indigenous plants I have already pointed out 

The shores of the Piako in this part of its course 
VOL. i. 2 E 


were grown over with brushwood, and the lower 
we descended the more we found the land on both 
sides overflowed, so that we actually sailed over 
what is in summer a swamp of raupo and flax. The 
tops of both plants reached above the surface of the 
water. As the weather again became squally, our 
natives did not venture to leave the river, and we 
pitched our tents on some elevated ground, but were 
surrounded on all sides by the low swampy delta, 
intersected by deep arms of the river, in which the 
water was black. We started, however, early the 
next morning, with the ebb-tide, and in the after- 
noon reached in safety the mission-station at Puriri, 
on the right shore of the Waiho, and near its mouth. 
On the following day we started up the gulf, but 
could not reach Auckland, as a gale of wind com- 
pelled us to take refuge in Waiheke, the largest and 
most fertile island in the Gulf of Hauraki. It con- 
sists mostly of trap formation, and is for the greater 
part wooded. 



Some Remarks on the Botany of New Zealand. 

IF we estimate the whole area of the three islands of New 
Zealand to be about 80,600 square miles, or 51,584,000 
square acres, we shall be astonished to hear that the 
whole number of plants at present known, including the 
marine plants, does not amount to more than 632 species. 
This small number is not perhaps due to our little acquaint- 
ance with New Zealand and to the want of a sufficient bo- 
tanical exploration of the country ; for although there is no 
doubt that some more species will be added when we shall 
have examined the rugged and snowy mountain- crests of the 
middle island, yet it appears to me that their number will 
not materially alter the asserted fact, that, for the extent of 
its surface, and for the varied localities which it offers to 
the growth of plants, as mountains reaching above the 
limits of lasting snow, stony and exposed ridges, burning 
and extinct volcanoes, valleys and ravines with a fertile soil 
(where moisture and moderate warmth, so favourable to 
vegetable life, continually prevail), volcanic table-land, 
swamps and morasses, downs on the sea-coast, &c., the 
flora of New Zealand is distinguished by a scantiness of 
species. In this latter respect the vegetable corresponds with 
the animal kingdom, which, however, is still more deficient. 
Several zealous botanists have bestowed their labour on the 
plants of this country. Captain Cook, in his first voyage, 
in the year 1769, was accompanied by Sir Joseph Banks 
and Dr. Solander, who landed at several points of the 
east coast of the northern island, in Queen Charlotte's 



Sound and Dusky Bay. In 1772, during Captain Cook's 
second voyage, the two Forsters, father and son, aided by 
Dr. Sparmann, explored Queen Charlotte's Sound and 
Dusky Bay, and the result of their joint labours was 
Forster's ' Prodromus,' in which he described 174 species. 

In 1791 Mr. Menzies accompanied Vancouver, and 
brought to England from Dusky Bay a large number of 
cryptogamic plants, which were described by Sir William 

It was only in the year 1822 that Captain D'Urville, and 
his naturalist, M. Lesson, continued the labours of these 
botanists ; and the result of their researches and those of 
former botanists were embodied in a ' Flora of New Zea- 
land/ by M. Achille Richard, who described 538 species, 
of which 380 were phanerogamous, and 158 cryptogamous 

The largest additions to our knowledge of the botany of 
New Zealand were, however, made by Allan Cunningham 
in 1826, and Richard Cunningham in 1833 and 1834, 
and were arranged by Allan Cunningham, and published 
by Sir William Hooker in his ' Botanical Magazine ' and 
in ' The Annals of Natural History.' Since the too early 
death of the two brothers Cunningham, both of whom fell 
victims to their zeal for the science of botany, Sir William 
Hooker, that highly distinguished botanist and amiable 
man, is devoting much of his time to the botany of the 
islands in the Southern Pacific, and especially to the flora of 
New Zealand. We may expect to obtain soon from his 
pen a manual which shall comprise all that is at present 

Although in its flora New Zealand has some relationship 
with the two large continents between which it is situated, 
America and Australia, and even possesses a number of 
species identical with those of Europe, without the latter 
being referable to an introduction by Europeans, yet the 
greater number of species, and even genera, are peculiar to 
the country, which astonishing fact had already forced itself 
upon the minds of the first explorers. New Zealand, with 


some of the adjacent islands (the Chatham, Auckland, and 
Macquarie's), forms a botanical centre. It is sufficently 
distant from both continents to preserve its botanical pecu- 
liarities, and it offers in that respect the most striking 
instance of an acknowledged fact in all branches of natural 
history, viz. that the different regions of the globe are 
endowed with peculiar forms of animal and vegetable life. 

The number of species at present known is 632, of which 
number 314 are dicotyledonous or endogenous plants, and 
the rest, or 318, monocotyledonous and cellular plants. To 
what can this remarkable disproportion be due so con- 
trary from what is the case in other countries? Is it 
owing to the geological fact that New Zealand is of recent 
formation, and that in such countries the plants which are 
regarded as inferior, the cellular and cryptogamous plants, 
make their appearance before the more developed flowering 
ones ? Without discussing this difficult question, I merely 
observe that the visitor to the distant shores of New 
Zealand will be struck by the scantiness of annual and 
flowering plants, of which only a very few possess vivid 
colours, and would attract the attention of the florist. In 
their place he will find a number of trees and ferns of various 
descriptions, of which the greater part of the flora consists. 
But these give at once a distinct character to the vegeta- 
tion. If the traveller should happen to come from New- 
South Wales, he cannot but observe either that the glaucous 
colour of a New South Wales landscape, produced by the 
Eucalypti, Casuarineae, Acacias, and Banksias of its open 
forests, which is only relieved in certain alluvial situations 
by a fresher green, and in certain seasons and localities by 
a variety of beautiful flowers, has given way in New Zea- 
land to the glossy green of a dense and mixed forest, or 
that the landscape, when it is covered with the social fern, 
has assumed a brown hue. In the former general aspect, 
together with the tree-ferns, palms, and Dracaenas which 
abound in New Zealand, that country resembles one situated 
between the tropics, and especially the beautiful islands of 
the Pacific. 


Let us now take a rapid view of the genera and species of 
the islands. 

There are 245 species of CELLULAR or FLOWERLESS plants. 
Of the tribe of the Algce, or seaweeds, 48 species are known, 
several of which are true cosmopolites, as they occur in both 
hemispheres on the coasts of New Zealand as well as on 
those of England. They belong, amongst the Fucoidece, 
to the genera Sargassum, Turbinaria, Carpophyllum, Cys- 
toseira, Castralia ; amongst the Laminar iece, to the genera 
Durvillea, Macrocystis, Laminaria, several species of the 
latter are used by the natives to contain oil and other fluids; 
amongst the Floridece are the genera Amansia, Rhodo- 
menia, Thamnophora, Plocarnium, Rhodomela, Laurencia, 
Chondrus, Chelidium, Hypnea, Halymenia. I may observe 
here that pigs on the sea- shore feed extensively upon some of 
the seaweeds. 

Of the lichen tribe as many as 28 species have been 
already described ; and the volcanic nature of the country, 
in which large districts are covered with basaltic and scori- 
aceous rocks, and at the same time the moisture of the 
climate, are very favourable to the development of these 
forms of plants. Those described belong to the genera 
Parmelia, Cetraria, Sticta, Nephroma, Cenomyce, Stereo- 
caulon, Alectoria, Cornicularia, Ramalina, Usnea, Collema, 
Csenogorium. A most beautiful and interesting kind is 
the Cenomyce retispora, which is found in the greatest 
abundance near the Bay of Islands. Some of the genera 
mentioned contain species which are extensively used in 
dyeing, and it is probable that such are also found in New 

The fungi are also represented by some species. Cham- 
pignons are found everywhere in the island where horses 
have been introduced. Another fungus, a boletus, which 
grows on the weather side of the tawai-tree (Leiospermum 
racemosum), and to an enormous size, is used by the natives 
as an excellent tinder. To the fungi also belongs a very 
curious plant, parasitical on a caterpillar, viz. the Spheerin 
Robertii, called hotete by the natives. 


In mosses and livermosses New Zealand is very rich. 
Most of them were collected by Menzies, many also by 
Cunningham and D'Urville. As Menzies collected all his 
specimens in the middle island, the mountainous and wooded 
character of which increases greatly the moisture of the 
climate, it is probable that many more genera and species 
will be discovered, as the interior of that island has scarcely 
ever been investigated by a botanist. The number of the 
species described is 72, belonging to the genera Sphagnum, 
Gymnostomum, Polytrichum, Dicranum, Trichostomum, 
Leucodon, Zygodon, Orthotrichum, Neckera, Bartramia, 
Codonoblepharum, Bryum, Leskea, Hypnum, Racopilum, 
Jungermannia (of which latter alone exist 27 species), An- 
thoceros, and Marchantia. 

Of all plants, however, \heferns and fern- like plant.? are 
the most numerous in New Zealand, as they are not only the 
most common plants as regards the number of the genera 
and species, but especially as regards the number of indi- 
viduals of one and the same species : covering immense 
districts, they replace the Gramineee of other countries, and 
give a character to all the open land of hills and plains. 
Some of them grow to 30 feet and more in height; and 
the variety and elegance of their forms, from the most 
minute species to the giants of their kind, are astonishing. 
Although 94 species of ferns are already known, every day 
adds new treasures to our knowledge. There exist three 
tree-ferns, the Cyathea medullaris, dealbata, Dicksonia 
squarrosa. The Mahrattia elegans also assumes a tree-like 
appearance: The Cyathea dealbata is the highest ; I 
measured some 40 feet in length. These trees generally 
grow in groups. 

The genera of ferns which are found in New Zealand 
are Amongst the Lycopodiacece, the genera T'mesipteris 
(1 sp.), Lycopodium (9) ; amongst the Filices, Botry- 
chium (1), Ophioglossum (2), Gleichenia (2), Todea (1), 
Ligodium (1), Schizaea (2), Grammites (2), Polypodium 
(4), Niphobolus (2), Lomaria (6), Allantodia (1), Asple- 
uium (7), Csenopteris (1), Doodia (3), Pteris (9), Adiantum 


(3), Cheilanthus (2), Lindssea (3), Loxoma (]), Dick- 
sonia (1), Aspidium (7), Nephrodium (2), Cyathea (2), 
Trichomanis (5), Hymenophyllum (13). 

is very small in comparison with the cellular ones : there are 
76 species. The grasses have given way to ferns. Near 
the coast I have never met with grass in any other way than 
in simple specimens. A little more I found in the fertile 
district of Kaitaia ; and on the barren volcanic table -land in 
the interior a coarse wiry grass takes the place of the fern, 
a species, however, which does not gratify the eye with its 
verdure, as it has always a dirty yellowish colour. The 
want of the bright green of the grasses near the coast gives 
an extraordinary effect to artificially planted grasses, which 
indeed contrast singularly with the brown tint of the fern. 
The number of Graminece, or grasses, which have been 
described is only 24, belonging to the genera Agrostis (9), 
Phalaris (I), Danthonia (1), Avena (1), Brornus (1), 
Schrenodorus (1), Triticum (2), Poa (3), Arundo (1), Pas- 
palum (1), Rottbcellia (1), Spirifex (1), Torrena (1). It 
must, however, be observed, that some more exist, which 
have not yet been described. 

If the useful Graminece exist in such a small proportion, 
the useless, or almost useless, Cyperacece, or Sedge tribe, 
are represented by an almost equal number as many as 
20 species. They are found especially on the sandy downs 
on the sea-shore, and in swampy and stagnant places. 
There are the following genera: Cyperus (1), Fuirena 
(1), Trolepis (2), Scirpus (1), Vauthiera (1), Elseocharis 
(2), Schoenus (1), Lepidosperma (1), Lampocarya (3). 
Gahnia (1), Morelotia (1), Uncinia (1), Carex (4). 

The nearly-related Restiacece andJunceez have also several 
representatives Leptocarpus simplex, Luzula picta, Jun- 
cus maritimus, effusus, filiformis. The latter species covers 
large districts, hills and plains together, with a stunted fern 
and a Lycopodium : it is a sure indication of little depth of 
soil, and of a subsoil through which the water cannot perco- 
late. Another genus belonging to the same family is Astelia, 


which is found everywhere near the banks of the rivers, in 
shady and moist or overflowed places, and is also frequently 
an epiphyte on trees. 

The family of the Palmes is represented in New Zealand 
by the Areca sapida. In the deepest recesses of the forest 
the traveller enjoys the sight of this graceful tree, which 
grows throughout the island, and often to the height of 40 
feet, and a foot in diameter. It is a useful tree to the 
natives, who call it nikau, and use its large pinnate leaves 
for roofing their houses. The undeveloped plaited leaves, 
or the heart, are also eaten by them. 

The nearly-related Asphodelece have more species, and, 
as tree-ferns and the Areca palm give a character to the 
gloomy forest, so several members of that family are cha- 
racteristic for open alluvial ground, especially the genera 
Dracaena, Cordyline, and Phormium. 

The Cordyline australis, or Dracaena australis, forms 
jungle on the alluvial banks of the rivers. The flax grows 
everywhere : a variety with yellow-striped leaves is scarce. 
The plants belonging to the Asphodelece are Arthropo- 
dium cirrhatum, Dianella intermedia, Dracaena indivisa, 
Cordyline australis, strict a, another undescribed species, and 
Phormium tenax. 

A climbing plant is very common in the New Zealand 
forest, which winds from tree to tree, and often renders the 
path scarcely passable. This is the supplejack of the Eu- 
ropeans, kareao of the natives. It is a useful plant for the 
latter, as it serves to support the thatch-work of the houses. 
The New Zealand pigeon feeds especially upon its red 
berries. It belongs to the Smilacea, and is the Ripogonum 
parviflorum of R. Brown. 

Of the Iridece of Jussieu, the genus Libertia has 3 species 
grandiflora, ixioides, and micrantha. 

The family of the Orchidea, of which so many species 
exist on the American continent and in Australia, has also 
several on New Zealand. The terrestrial Orchidece are 
Thelymitra Forsteri, Orthoceras strictum, Microtis Banksii, 
Acianthus rivularis, Pterostylis Banksii, Gastrodia sesa- 


moides. As epiphytce on trees grow Earina mucronata, 
Dendrobium Cunninghamii, and Bolbophyllum pygmseum. 
Of the Aroidece the natives cultivate the Caladium escu- 
lentum, which they call taro. According to their tales, 
it is not an indigenous plant, but their ancestors brought it 
with them at their first immigration. 


The swamps of New Zealand are generally covered with 
the Typha angustifolia, which often also covers extensive 
districts of low ground, especially in the valley of the 
Thames. The same species is common to both hemi- 
spheres. Under the name of repo, or raupo, it is a most 
useful building-material to the natives, who form the walls 
and roofs of their houses with bundles of them, impenetrable 
to rain, which they tie together with the mangi-mangi, a 
climbing fern, the Lygodium articulatum of Achille Richard. 
The natives also eat the root of the repo., which is somewhat 

Amongst the climbing -plants which seek the support of 
larger trees, the principal one is the Freycinetia Banksii, 
also a monocotyledonous plant, belonging to the family 
of the PandanecB of Robert Brown. It attaches itself prin- 
cipally to the kahikatea-pine. It flowers in September; and 
the natives are very partial to the sweet bractese of its blossoms. 

The number of PILENOGAMOUS or ENDOGENOUS plants 
is 314. 

The Piperacece. Of these we have the Piper excelsum 
and the Peperomia Urvilleana. The former is the New Zea- 
land representative of the Piper methisticum of the Sandwich 
and Tonga Islands: although bearing the same name 
kawa it is not used by the New Zealanders to make an 
intoxicating drink : its leaves, however, form a good and ap- 
parently healthy substitute for tea. It grows everywhere 
throughout the island. 

Of ConifercB and Taxidece 8 species have been described, 
and they give the most valuable timber. I have already 
mentioned in the course of this volume the geographical 
limits of the only cone-bearing pine, the valuable kauri, or 
Dammaru Australis, which is confined to the extreme north of 


the northern island. To the south the totara and tanekaha 
prevail in many places, although it can scarcely be said that 
one species of pine ever forms a forest, as is the case on the 
old continent. The mai and the miro must be separated 
from the Taxidese into a peculiar genus, as the fleshy part 
of their seeds does not surround the seed in the shape of a 
cup, as it does in the true Taxidese, but they bear drupes. 
The kauri, the rirnu, the kahikatea, and the totara attain 
the greatest size, and are the most common ; the kawaka 
and miro are scarce, and form only small trees. The native 
and scientific names of the pines are 

Kauri . . . Dammara Australis. 

Tanekaha . . Phyllocladus trichomanoides. 

Miro _,,., . . Podocarpus ferruginea. 

Totara . . . Podocarpus totara. 

Mai . . . . Dacrydium mai. 

Kawaka . . . Dacrydium plumosum. 

Kakikatea . . Dacrydium excelsum. 

Rimu . . . Dacrydium cupressinum. 

I must here observe that there exist three more species of 
pines, of which one is called hutu by the natives, and is a 
Phyllocladus ; another is a dwarf Dacrydium, on the Ton- 
gariro volcano; and the third, which I found on Mount 
Egmont, is apparently a Podocarpus. 

The family of the Urticece contains the genera Urtica 
(2 species), Elatostema (1), Hedycaria (2) ; and Cunning- 
ham also enumerates, from Banks's collection, the Brous- 
sonetia papyrifera, but which has not been seen again, and 
seems not to be an indigenous plant. , 

The following families contain the genera: Labiatce 
(gen. Micromeria), Eoraginece (gen. Anchusa and Myosotis), 
Convolvulacece (gen. Calystigia, Ipomea, Dychondra), Gen- 
tianece (gen. Gentiana, Sabsea), Loganiece (gen. Genio- 
stoma), Apocynece (Parsonia), Oleinece (Olea), Sapotece 
(Achras), Myrsinece (Myrsine). 

Of the extensive American family Epacridece are four 
genera, of which especially Dracophyllum is very remark- 


able. The genera are Cyathodes, Leucopogon (2 species), 
Pentachondra (1), Epacris (1), Dracophyllum (5). 

Of Ericece we have the genus Gaultheria (3 species), 
also extensively spread in New South Wales. 

Campanulacece Wahlenbergia (1), Lobelia (5). 

Styllideae (gen. Styllidium, Forstera). 

Goodenovice (gen. Goodenia, Scsevola). 

Of Composites are the following tribes and genera : 
1. CichorcBfB (gen. Scorzonera, Sonchus, Picris). 2. Ver- 
noniacece (Shawia). 3. Asteroidece (Solidago, Lageno- 
phora, Aster, Haxtonia, Vittaclinia) . 4. Senecionidece (gen, 
Bidens, Cotula, Myriogyne, Soliva, Craspedia, Cassinia, 
Ozothamnus, Helichrysum, Gnaphalium, Arnica, Senecio, 
Brachy glottis). 

Of Rubiacece exist the genera Opercularia, Galium, 
Coprosma, Ronabea, Nertepa, Geophila, Viscum, Loran- 

Of Conece gen. Alseuosmia. 

The UmbellifercE contain the genera Hydrocotyle, Petro- 
selinum, Ligusticum, Peucedanurn, Apium. 

The Araliacece, spread especially in South America, are a 
remarkable family. They contain in New Zealand the genera 
Panax, Cussonia, Polyscias, and Aralia. The latter con- 
tains two species, the Aralia Scheffleri and crassi folia, whose 
peculiar forms never fail to strike the traveller, especially in 
the shady forests of the east coast. 

Of Oxalidece gen. Oxalis (9 species). 

Of Geraniacece gen. Geranium (2), Pelargonium (1). 

Of Hypericinece gen. Hypericum. 

Of Meliacece gen. Hartighsia (1). 

Of Sapindacece the Aledryon excelsum, the berries of 
which are used for making oil. Dodonese (1). 

Of BombacecB, the Hoheria populnea. 

Of Tiliacece Entelia (1). 

Of Eleocarpece Eleocarpus (1), and Friesia (1). 

Of Sterculiacea; gen. Plagianthus (3). 

Of Malvaceae Hibiscus ( 1 ) . 

Of Linece Linum (1). 


Of Caryophyllea Arenaria (1), Stellaria (1). 
Of Elatinea Elatine (1). 

Of Pittosporece Pittosporum (9). 

Of Droseracece Drosera (2). 

Of Violariece Erpetion (1). 

Of FlacGurtianece Melicytus (2). 

Of CrucifercB gen. Nasturtium (1), Cardamine (1), 
Alyssum (1), Lepidium (1). 

Of Magnoliacecc Drymis (1). 

Of Ranunculacece Ranunculus (5), Clematis (3). 

Of Corynocarpea a genus related to the Myrsineis, 
Corynocarpus Isevigata. 

Of Griselinea Griselinea (1). 

Of Saxifrages we have the Quintina serrata; 3 species of 
Weinmannia ; gen. Aikama, and Leiospermum, of which the 
species racemosum is a good-sized tree, which forms exten- 
sive forests all over New Zealand. 

Of Orassulacece the gen. Tillaea. 

Amongst the Ficoidece there exists, besides one species of 
the genus Mesembryanthemum, the Tetragonia expansa, or 
New Zealand spinach, which, however, in the northern 
island is very rare. 

Of Passifloracece exists the Passiflora tetrandra. 

Of Cucurbitacea the Sicyos Australis. 

Of Haloragece the gen. Cercodia (3), Goniocorpus (3), 
Myriophyllum (1). 

Of OnagrariecB the Fuchsia (2), and the Epilobium 

The family of the Myrtacea, although less numerous 
in genera, yet possesses some of a very extensive distri- 
bution, and others form some of the most beautiful and also 
most useful trees existing. The genera are Leptospermum 
(2), Metrosideros (9), Eugenia (1), Myrtus bullata, the 
latter also common to Chilian forests. 

Of Rosace a, the Acoena sanguisorba is common to New 
Zealand and Van Diemen's Land, besides three species of 

The extensive family of the Leguminosa has three genera 


which are quite peculiar to New Zealand; these are Ed- 
wardsia, Clianthus, and Carmichaelia. 

The family of the Rhamnece has the genera Cardopetus, 
Pennantia, Pomaderris, Corokia, Ixerba. 

That of the Coriariea the Coriaria sarmentosa, a very 
common shrub, the leaves of which contain an acrid poison, 
and often produce violent symptoms if eaten by cattle. 

The family of the Rutacea has the genus Melicope (2 

Of Euphorbiacece, the Euphorbia glauca grows amongst 
the shingle of the sea- shore and on barren hills. 

Of Santalacea, the genus Myda is represented by three 

Amongst the Thymelceai, Jussieu, the genus Pimelea has 
six species, mostly shrubs. 

Of the Proteacece, the Tora (Persoonia tora) and Rewa- 
rewa (Knightia excelsa) are the only known species. The 
latter yields a very beautiful wood, and with its dark-purple 
flowers would be a very ornamental tree. It is the New 
Zealand representative of the Banksias, of which such a 
variety of species are known in New South Wales. 

To the Laurinece belong two trees, which are very com- 
mon in some parts of the island. The Laurus tarairi 
and calicaris are especially found to the northward, around 
Waimate and Kaitaia, where they form groves on the banks 
of rivers. The Laurus tawa covers the upper regions of dry 
hills in Cook's Straits, especially on the Tararua mountains 
at Port Nicholson, where it forms continuous forests. 

Of the Atherospermece, the Laurelia Nov. Zeland. grows 
likewise in the northern island, forming a moderate tree. 

Of the Polygonece we have the genera Polygonum (3) and 
Rumex ("2). 

Of the Chenopodieee the genera Chenopodium (1) and 
Salicornia (1). 

Of Amaranthacece~\he Alternant hia denticulata. 
Of Peronychicce the Mniarum biflorum. 
Of Plantagineai the Plantago major and varia. 
Of Primulacece the Anagallis arvensis and Samolus 


Of Scrophularinea, the genus Veronica has as many as 
9 species. Some of them, peculiar to New Zealand, form 
shrubs, and bear very beautiful flowers. To the same family 
also belong the Gratiola sexdentata and Euphrasia cuneata. 
Amongst the plants found by me on Mount Egmont is a 
new species of the genus Ourisia (fam. Scrophularinese), 
not yet described (Sir William Hooker). 

Of Cyrtandracece, is the Rhabdothamnus Solandri. 

Of Solanece, the berries of the Solatium laciniatum are 
eaten by the natives, and its leaves used as cataplasms for 
ulcers. They also eat the leaves of another small species of 
the same genus. 

Of Myoporinece, the Avicennia tomentosa is the Man- 
grove of New Zealand, covering the shallow inlets in the 
northern part of the North Island. 

Of Verbenacea (same order as the teak), theVitex litto- 
ralis is the Puriri of the natives and the New Zealand oak 
of the colonists. Its quality of splitting renders it an ex- 
cellent wood for firing. 


WILLIAM Ci.owKsund SONS, Stain 


RETURN TO the circulation desk of any 
University of California Library 
or to the 

Bldg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

2-month loans may be renewed by calling 

(415) 642-6753 
1-year loans may be recharged by bringing books 

to NRLF 
Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days 

prior to due date 


MAR 22 1991 

MAR- 8 2006 

YC 48385 


v. / 

5 25