Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Our New Zealand Cousins
By James Inglis (1887)


The first Chapter of this book explains the circumstances under which I undertook the work, and renders a long preface unnecessary.

Being originally written for the Sydney Press, my descriptions, penned as we journeyed, have all the drawbacks incident to hasty composition ; but I have had so many, and so gratifying requests, to have the letters published in book form, by friends, whose good opinion is dear to me, that I feel it would be prudish to refuse. Frankly confessing my shortcomings therefore, I throw myself once more on the merciful consideration of my critics.

Allusions and comparisons, will be found scattered at intervals through the book, which are more peculiarly applicable to Australians, than to the wider circle of readers at home ; but as, I believe, such references may be found to incidentally illus-rate phases of Colonial life, and circumstance, I have deemed it on the whole better to retain them.

Mindful of former criticism, I have honestly tried to "prune my style," and curb my natural exuberance of expression ; but alas ! I am conscious that I have yet much to learn, and that there is great room for improvement in these and other respects.

However, if the reader will accept my pages, as a homely unpretending record of a very delightful trip, through "The Wonderland of the South Pacific," I hope my comments on what we witnessed, and my revelation of the change and progress, effected by twenty years of colonization, may prove both interesting and instructive.

I have tried to describe simply and truthfully what I saw, and what I thought. My most earnest hope is, that what I have written may enkindle in the hearts of our kinsmen in the dear old mother land, who may read this book, a livelier, deeper, and kindlier interest in the fortunes of their loyal and loving Cousins, of Australia and New Zealand.


Craigo, Strathfield, Sydney, N.S.W.
May, 1886.

{Electric Scotland note: Should  any of you viewing this book have any pictures you could contribute to any of these chapters we'd love to hear from you.]


Chapter I.
A retrospect—Twenty years ago—A long cherished desire about to receive fulfilment—First glimpse of the Maori coast—Kauri gum—The North Cape— An old whaling station—"The old order changeth" —Rangitoto—Auckland harbour—The city from the sea—Contrasted with Sydney—Queen Street, the chief artery—The water supply—The theatres —Hotels—North Shore—Lake Takapuna—Excellence of the city commissariat.

Chapter II.
Auckland continued—Mount Eden the chief lion—View from the mountain —Conveyances—Start for the hot lakes—Railways—The Waikato Hills—The ubiquitous manouka scrub—Wayside villages—A Maori belle—The village market—Arrive at Cambridge the present terminus.

Chapter III.
Cambridge—Mixture of races—Our Jehu, Harry—The Waikato river—Novel sheep feed—The Waikato terraces—A town of one building—A dangerous pass—The lonely, lovely bush—First glimpse of Rotorua—Ohinemutu—Steams and stenches—The primitive cooking-pot—Striking contrasts—Wailing for the dead—An artless beggar "for the plate"— The baths—Whackarewarewa—A Maori larder— Volcanic marvels—Subterranean activity—Barter— The road maintenance man—Forest wealth—The track of the destroyer—The Blue Lake—Musselshell Lake—Wairoa village—Kate the guide— McRae's comfortable home.

Chapter IV.
A rude awaking—An enraged Amazon—"Too hot "for the thief—We start for the Terraces—Lake Tara-wera—A merry boat's crew—The Devil's Rock— Native delicacies—The landing-place—First view of the Terraces—Beauty indescribable—The great basin empty—Pluto's foghorn—The majesty of nature—Wonder upon wonder—The mud cones— Devil's Holq—The Porridge Pot—Devil's Wife-Poor Ruakini.

Chapter V.
Lunch—An ogre—Bush rats—Kate's "familiar"—The Pink Terraces—Sacrilegious scribblers—Nature's masterpiece—Words too tame for such a sight— A Sybarite's bath—Back to Wairoa—The waterfall— Fern-hunting—Adieu to Wairoa.

Chapter VI.
Traits of native character—The wharepuni or common dormitory—The processes of civilization—Foul feeding—Causes of disease—Attempts at reform in social customs—The primitive carving-knife—The Hau Haus—The Urewera country, the Tyrol of New Zealand—Captain Mair's description of the hillmen—The Urewera women—Some queer facts —Extraordinary pigs—A whimsical scene—Then and now, a sharp contrast—A stirring episode of the old war—Snapping of the old links—A Maori chiefs letter.

Chapter VII.
The s.s. Rotomahana—Opotiki, a military settlement—A sensible system of emigration—Faults of the Sydney system—A chance for capital—The town of Gis-borne—Napier—Public spirit—Projected harbour works—Napier, the Malta of the southern seas—An attenuated army.

Chapter VIII.
The famous Hawke's Bay pastures—Hastings—Maori farmers—Mountain torrents—A backwoods clearing —Wasteful methods—The forest and hill country— Woodville—The famous Manawatu gorge—A curious ferry—Palmerston.

Chapter IX.
A homely hotel—Hotel management in New Zealand and New South Wales—Sharp criticism—Wan-ganui, the town—Its fine reserve—Mount Ruapehu —A pioneer settler—Diligent farmers—Great fertility of soil—Signs of prosperity—A coasting steamer—The Rip—Entrance to Wellington Harbour—Panoramic view of the capital—Then and now—Importance of the city—View from Mount Victoria.

Chapter X.
McNab's gardens—The Rimutaka railway—The Fell engine—The gorge itself—Grandeur of the scenery —Power of the wind—The Wairarapa Valley—The town of Masterton—An antipodean hermit—Mr. Kohn's curios—The Belmont Viaduct—Meat pre-, serving industry—The various stages—A Social blot.

Chapter XI.
Bank's Peninsula—Port Lyttelton—The changes of twenty years—A transformation—The great tunnel —The graving work—Christchurch, the city of gardens—Its homelike aspect—Hard times— Colloquy with a croaker—The philosophy of the matter—"The good time coming".

Chapter XII.
The majesty of the mountains—The great Canterbury Plains—Ashburton, a city of the plains—Then and now—The Rangitata River—Progress of settlement —Timaru—The surf—The olden time—The city of - to-day—A triumph of engineering skill—The giant mole—Its construction—The engineer's description of the work—An old chum—"Once a mate always a mate"—Calling the roll—A vivid contrast.

Chapter XIII.
"The old order changed"—A fine farming country—A literary peddler—Otago scenery—Wealth of water —The Clutha country—A colonial manse—The minister's lot a hard one—Kindly relations between pastor and people—Tree-planting—Slovenly farming—An angler's paradise—Gore township—The Waimea Valley—A night ride.

Chapter XIV.
Up the dark silent lake—Dawn on Lake Wakatipu—-"The Remarkables" — Queenstown — Chinamen gold-diggers—Lake scenery—Von River—Greenstone Valley—The Rees and Dart Rivers—Head of the lake—Kitty Gregg—Peculiarities of the mountains —The terrace formation—The old Scotch engineer —Frankton Valley—Farmers' feathered foes—Lake Hayes—Arrive at Arrowtown.

Chapter XV.
Arrowtown—"A river of golden sands''—An auriferous , region—A dismal look-out—Old gold-workings—A terrible chasm—Nature's laboratory—Rabbitters at work—A serious plague—The kea, or liver-eating macaw—Hawk and pigeon—"Roaring Meg"— Cromwell township—The Molyneux Valley— Deserted diggings—Halt at Roxburgh.

Chapter XVI.
Dunkeld—Our Jehu—On the box seat—A Chinese Boniface'—Gabriel's Gully—Good farming—Dune-din—Harbour works—A category of "the biggest things on record"—Charms of Dunedin—A holiday drive—The Grand Hotel—The churches—Preachers —Dunedin mud—Beer—Keen business competition —The West Coast connection—"Wild Cat" claims —The Scotch element—Litigiousness—Energy of the people.

Chapter XVII.
The Bluff—Bleak and inhospitable view—Miserable railway arrangements—First impressions—Cheerless ride to Invercargill—Forestry neglected—Shameful waste—The Timber industry—Necessity for reform—Pioneering—The usual Australian mode— The native method—A contrast—Invercargill—A large farm—Conservatism of the farming classes— Remenyi's anecdotes.

Chapter XVIII.
Education in New Zealand—School buildings—Opinion of a high authority—The order of educational arrangements—Professor Black's mining lectures— Scheme for instruction to miners—Technical education—Political parasites.

Chapter XIX.
The farming industry—Technical education for farmers —An agricultural department a necessity—State of farming in Australia—Slovenly methods—New products—Necessity for experiment—Village settlement—Water conservation—Futility of a protective policy.

Chapter XX.
Good-bye to the Bluff—A rough passage—Tasmania in the distance—Coast scenery—A nautical race— Ocean fisheries—Neglected industries—Fish curing —Too much reliance on State aid—The view on the Derwent—Hobart from the sea—An old-world town—"No spurt about the place"—Old-fashioned inns—Out into the country—ATasmanian squire— The great fruit industry—A famous orchard— Young Tasmanians—The hop industry—Australian investments—The Flinders Islands—A terra incognita—Back to Melbourne.

Chapter XXI.
Summary—Importance of the colonies sometimes overlooked at home—Their commercial importance— Fields for capital—Mineral wealth—Farm products —New Industries—Field for farmers—Liberal land regulations—Openings for artisans—For labourers —Free institutions—A land of promise for willing workers—Inducements for seekers after health and lovers of the picturesque—The clouds clearing— Returning prosperity—The peace and unity of the Empire.


Return to our Online Books Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus