E.J. WAKEFIELD'S LATE EXPEDITION - 1840
Published in The New Zealand Gazette, 9 May 1840 - 20 Jun 1840 LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Sir, - Supposing that some of your readers may feel interested in the account of a journey which I lately undertook through a part of this country hitherto undescribed, I venture to send you the following copy of a rough journal kept during my progress. I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, E. JERNINGHAM WAKEFIELD. Port Nicholson, May 4, 1840.
MARCH 14.-Having engaged eight natives, slaves of a chief of Wanganui, to carry my baggage, and accompanied by another, an inhabitant of Pari Pari, a settlement on the main land near Entry Island, I started over the hills immediately beyond the Koro Koro stream. Our way lay over hilly forest land and the path was much obstructed by the karewau or suple-jack. On the way I shot a young huia. This bird is about the size of a small fowl, its plumage is black, with the exception of the tail feathers, which are tipped with white, and are much esteemed by the natives as ornaments for the head. The beak is long, and curved, and a yellow wattle grows from each side of its insertion. The natives imitate the bird's note, from which it takes its name, and thus attract it until almost within their grasp. These birds are peculiar to this part of the country, and their skins are frequently sent as presents to the natives of the northern parts. We at length reached the top of a hill, from which there is a view of the valley of the Porirua river, and the sea in Cook's Straits. The valley is narrow, and entirely covered with timber of the thickest growth. After descending the hill, we proceeded along the flat land of the valley, and crossed the river fourteen times, but in no place above our knees. Towards sunset we emerged from the wood, which had served to protect us from a heavy rain, into a salt marsh thickly covered with rushes and flax. Here we got well drenched, and were only just in time to get along the beach of the river, as the tide was setting in very fast with a gale from N.W. Just as it was getting dark we fortunately found two small temporary huts, where three Englishmen and some natives, bound for Port Nicholson to fetch the cattle of the Polynesian Company over here, had stopped on account of the rain. They told me that it was yet some distance to the settlement, and as my porters were very tired and cross, I determined on stopping here for the night. A pigeon shot on the way made a very good supper, and notwithstanding the rain which dripped all night through our leaky hut, the length and roughness of the walk secured me a sound sleep. Blankets are in- valuable to the traveller; though wet through, they will always be warm. 15.--My boys, as native attendants are always stiled by both natives and white men, started away early to a native settlement where they could get some food. As the tide was yet over the beach, I preferred the boat of a sawyer, who luckily came into the creek, and went down the river about three miles to a settlement which has been called Parramatta by the Europeans living there. It is situated on the north bank of the river, at the point where it divides into two branches, the one to the southward, along whose valley we came yesterday, and the other to the N.E. The weather cleared up about 12 o'clock, and I walked round to look at the land about here. At this point there is a considerable quantity of level and clear land, and the soil seems equal in richness to that of the valley of the Hutt. I found here a surveyor engaged by the Polynesian Company, to whom Captain Hay has sold a considerable portion of land hereabouts, which he claims to have bought of the natives. These latter, however, deny the validity of the bargain, and refuse to allow the surveyor to proceed with his business. Early in the afternoon the Pari pari native, whose name is Puki Totara, came over to tell me that the rest of my boys would not bring my things here, but had resolved to return to Kai Wera wera, where they have been build- ing a house for which they hope to recieve payment. I accordingly recrossed the river, which is here only 200 yards wide, and walked about a mile along the south bank to a native settlement called Waitawa, where I found them and my baggage in a house building for Mr. Berners, of Mana. Here I also saw Nayti, whom many of your readers will remember as the man who created so great an impression during his residence of two years in London, and who came out here in the "Tory". He addressed me in English and excused himself for wearing a blanket and mat, by saying he had been too ill to wear English clothes. I was told, however, by an Englishman here, that he has given away every thing he possessed. I paid some of the boys who return to Port Nicholson some pipes and tobacco, and persuaded the others to go on tomorrow. The wind shifted in the night to south east, and blew a fresh gale. 16th.--Nayti brought me a pig as a present, and promised to come to Port Nichol- son. About mid-day the gale abated, and we sailed across the river in a canoe to a place called Motuara. The Porirua river is about three quarters of a mile wide at its mouth, which is situated opposite the north end of Mana, or Table Island. A reef of rocks lies nearly in the middle of the embouchure; and the channel lies to the southward of it, in which I am told there are about two fathoms water at high tide. Inside this bar there are four, five, and six fathoms. I picked up another boy at Waitawa, and we struck into the wood above Motuara. A long walk, but along a path well-beaten and little obstructed by the karewau, brought us into some fine potatoe grounds on the brow of a hill, from which we had a fine view of Kapiti, or Entry Island, and the adjacent part of the Straits. After walking another mile through the potatoe grounds, we arrived at a settlement called Puki Rua, situate on the slope of the hill close to the sea-beach. There were but few people in the pah or village, the head chief, by name Tunia, or the Wild Fellow, being away with many of his followers. I was much amused by an idiot, who greeted me on my first arrival. He was fantastically dressed in a woman's gown, one grey worsted stocking, one shoe, one black glove, and a handsome mat over all. He shewed me into the ware umu or, cooking-house, which is usually assigned for the reception of visitors ; and then, lashing an iron hoop which he wore round his neck to one of the door-posts, he began to repeat a long oration of which I could not understand a word. He was busy all night making speeches in front of the house, to the great amusement of the other natives. 17th.--Proceeded along the beach, which is shingly, and studded with large rocks, which reach a good distance out. It is altogether a rough coast. The hills rise steep from the beach to the hight of 400 or 500 feet. We soon came to a small temporary settlement, where a chief called Hiroa and his attendants were making a canoe and paddles. We stopped here an hour, the tide being too high for us to pass round a projecting point of rock some way further on. Even after this delay, I had to be carried past it on Puki's shoulders. About five miles from Puki Itua is Pari Pari, where the boys struck work for the day, pleading fatigue. This pah is pleasantly situate on the terrace of the cliff, where the hills rise more gradually from its edge. I was presented with some delicious water-melons, a treat indeed, as the weather was very hot, with a light N.W. air. 18th.--Bought several melons for fish-hooks, and started along the beach. It con- tinues to be shingly and rocky for half a mile further, when the steep hills recede from the sea shore, and a sandy beach, backed by low, barren, sandhummocks, succeeds. We crossed several small rivers on our way ; at the mouth of each of these is a small native settlement, and at each of them I was pressed to aire kiuta, or turn into the pah. But, wishing to get on to a place called Waikanai to-night at any rate, I pushed on. The principal of these small pahs are Wainui, Wareomutu, and Warerua. We reached Waikanai early in the afternoon. This pah is situate at the mouth of the river of that name, and contains a population of 400 or 500 people. I was recognized by many old acquaintances who had seen me here when the "Tory" was lying at Kapiti, and when I came over with our surgeons to cure those wounded in a recent fight with a hostile tribe. A Mr. Hatfield, of the Church Mission, has established himself here-since I was here last. I did not see him, but the natives spoke much of him, saying that he was a son-in-law of Mr. Williams, but that he would give them no books. After a short rest, I walked about half a mile up the south bank of the river, to a small pah called Arapawa, the special residence of those belonging to the Wanganui tribes. Here I was again lodged in the cooking-house. A little after dusk the women started off in a great hurry to the main pah, and the boys came to borrow my fowling pieces, and prowled about the place all night. On my enquiring what it was about, they told me that the Ngateraukawas were coming. This is the name of the tribe inhabiting the country a few miles to the northward, a party of whom attemped to surprise this pah in October last. The inhabitants of Waikanai are all of the same tribe as the natives inhabiting Port Nicholson, viz. : Ngateawa. There has been a deadly feud between these two tribes for many years. I was told in the morning that the supposed invaders had been discovered to be only kuki or slaves stealing potatoes from the fields. 19.--As, beyond this place to the northward, a large tract of coast is inhabited by the Ngateraukawa tribe, I can get no hoys to carry my things along it: and a chief called Te Rangi Wakaruru, with whom I agreed in Port Nicholson for the hire of a large canoe, has not yet arrived. I accordingly went over to Motu Ngarata, or Lewis's Island, which is one of the three small Islands lying between the south point of Kapiti and the main, leaving orders for the boys to bring me word as soon as the old chief should arrive. The mouth of the Waikanai is choked up with sandbanks, so as to be inaccessible to a whaleboat at low water; while ven at high water in rough weather it requires a good pilot to get in. Once inside the bar, a boat may proceed for about six miles up the river. It is situate nearly due east of the middle of Kapiti or Entry Island. This Island is about eight miles long, and may be five or six broad in the broadest part. Inside the southern point two small Islands, called respectively Lewis's and Mayhew's Islands, form an excellent harbour for a few vessls. They protect it from southerly winds, while from west, north, and east, shelter is afforded by the high land of Kapiti, the main land, and a small Island and reef, called Evans's from the name of a man who heads a whaling party there. This third Isladd is about a mile from Kapiti, and three from the main land. A reef of rocks stretches about a quarter of a mile to the southward, but there is a very good roadstead, in deep water about three quarters of a mile north of the Island. The Inner anchorage, however, close inside the easternmost of the two Islands nearest to the main, is perfectly sheltered and in a more convenient depth of water. On Evans's Island, six boats are fitted out for whaling: this party is headed by Mr. Evans, who is supplied by a Sydney house. On Lewis's Island, an American of that name heads a party of four boats. On Mayhew's Island, a store is kept, which has been established by an American captain of that name, who has purchased the Island. At different stations on Kapiti itself, fourteen or fifteen other boats will be fitted out this season. The Island of Kapiti is one mass of steep wooded hills, with the exception of a few level spots in its interior, and a small tract of poor land situate at the northern point, and called Waiorua by the natives and Long Point by white men. While on Lewis's Island, I gave some of the natives whom I had seen before, some prayer books in the native language, at which they were much pleased, declaring that the white missionary at Waikanai would give them none, unless paid in pigs and potatoes. All the inhabitants of these islands have become converts since I saw them last; and on the 22nd, I attended the native service on the main island, when one of them who has lately returned from the Bay of Islands, preached a sermon to his audience. 23.-A canoe having arrived with some of my boys, to announce the arrival of E Rangi at Waikanai, I returned there to-day. As it was too late to set sail for Wanganui to-day, I amused myself by pursuing some pukekas over the swamps and potato-grounds at the back of the pah. This is a bird about the size of a pheasant; its plumage is a beautiful dark blue, except a few white feathers under the tail. The beak is red and straight; and its horny substance is extended into a sort of vizor over the front of the head. The legs and feet are remarkably long and strong. These birds abound hereabouts; as the land consists of alternate swamps and ridges of light sand, on which are the potato-grounds, the pukeka lives in the swamp, and comes out to feed on the potatoes. They generally rise by twos and threes when you have got within gunshot of them, so as to afford better sport than most of the New Zealand birds. One of these birds, though not very tender or rich, makes a very good meal. As I noticed before, the hills recede from the beach a little to the northward of Pari Pari; and the tatika or flat tract gradually widens, being about ten miles wide at Waikanai, one half of this breadth being clear, and the other thickly wooded. But that half of it which is clear seems to be of little value; the greater part of it consisting of morass, in which you sink up to the knee at every step, while the remainder is light, dry sand, on which however the natives manage to grow their potatoes. 24.-Having paid for the hire of my canoe, we started at about ten or eleven a.m., amidst shouts of "aire" and discharges of muskets from the shore. It was a broad, strongly built canoe, with an extra top-side for sea travelling. My crew consisted of seven paddlers, and two helmsmen, one of whom steered with a paddle, while the other managed a clumsy imitation of the steer-oar used in whale-boats. This is an improvement lately adopted in all canoes intended to go to sea. Three women, a child, and two dogs, completed our muster-roll. Among the paddlers is a man named E Au, a son of Te Rangi Wakaruru. A fresh south-east breeze favoured us until we had got from under cover of Kapiti, when a heavy S.W. swell began to set in, and the wind soon shifted round to that quarter. Canoes are bad vessels for running before the wind; as it is impossible for the most skilful steersman to keep them straight. Accordingly, when off Otaki, (a river about ten miles north of the Waikanai, where many of the Ngateraukawa tribe reside,) we shipped a sea; and in reefing the sail, the natives, frightened lest their enemies should come out and catch them, managed to break the yard. It was soon fished, however, and we proceeded before a fine breeze. The next river is called Ohau, but is, I believe, very insignificant. About an hour before sundown, we passed the entrance of the Manewatu river, at whose mouth, I am credibly informed, there are three fathoms' water at high tide. There are some groves of fine straight timber close to the mouth of the river, which form, a good landmark from sea. Near here, too, the range of hills takes a sudden turn to the eastward, and thus the level land extends very far inland, until the hills to the south of the Tonga Rira mountain again confine it to the breadth of thirty or forty miles. The wind now died away, and they paddled hard to reach the next river, which is called Rangi Tiki, before dark; but in vain. On the rise of the moon, about an hour after sunset, we saw four fires made on shore, in answer to our repeated signals with a musket; but on approaching the shore we made out a very heavy surf, and as no one could discover the entrance of the river, it was determined to remain at sea all night. A short prayer was repeated by the natives, and they took it by turns to watch and sleep. It was fortunately a dead calm all night, and the moon shone upon us for a great part of it. A very heavy dew fell; but the blankets again kept me warm. March 25.-On waking at daylight, I found that the natives did not know where- abouts they were, and we stood first to the northward and then to the southward, looking for a landmark. They at length discovered that we were off a place called Turakina, some miles to the northward of Rangitiki. The swell from S.W. continued, and a heavy surf thundered on the beach. There was, however, no wind. Soon after passing the mouth of a river called the Wangaihu, the natives discovered something threatening in the aspect of the weather, and preferred landing through the surf here to proceeding to Wanganui. All preparations were made for the worst chance; guns and other heavy goods were lashed to the thwarts, and blankets - and mats were stripped off. The canoe's head was then turned to the beach, and she went gallantly through the surf, which broke nearly half a mile out from the shore. The natives shouted a lively chorus, interspersed with cries of "tena! tena!" or "pull away," from the steersmen, and of "ki a tika," or "keep her straight," from the others. We got safe ashore, at the expense of filling everything with salt water. The coast is here of the same character as it is all the way from Pari Pari, viz : a clear sandy beach, backed by a belt of low barren sandhills covered with driftwood. We encamped on the sand, and sent a messenger over to Wanganui to announce my arrival to E Kuru Kau, a son of Te Rangi Wakaruru, whom we had brought round here from Waikanai in the "Tory," in November last. The natives were right in their fears, for we had hardly been ashore ten minutes, before it began to blow a strong gale from the south, which lasted all day. I walked over the sand hills to the Wangaihu river, about a mile from our encampment. On the way, I picked up several pebbles, containing fossils of various sorts, and also scorise, the latter no doubt washed down from the Tonga Riro volcano. The mouth of this river is very narrow, and a great surf breaks on the bar outside. In the evening E Kuru and ten or twelve other natives arrived from Wanganui to greet us. They have all been converted by Mr. Williams, who was here in December last, and performed evening service accordingly. The gale continued all night, and a very heavy dew fell. 26.-The wind having died away, they launched the canoe to go round into the river; but, preferring to walk, I started along the beach with E Kuru and several others. We walked about five miles along the beach, which was studded with fossil pebbles, pumice stone, and some sponge, of which I had observed considerable quantities in small pieces washed up on the beach between Puki Puki and Waikanai. We now struck off across the sandhills for two miles, when we reached the south bank of the Wanganui river, about two miles from its mouth. A little further on, on the beach beneath some high cliffs of sandstone and gravel, a tent had been prepared for me, made of two large sails. Several large canoes were hauled up on the beach, and more continued to arrive throughout the day, so that there were soon assembled 80 or 100 persons. Several speeches were made to the effect that I was welcome to the place. E Kuru killed a pig for me immediately I arrived. About mid-day, I went up in a canoe to Putikiwaranui, the main pah, which is situated about two miles higher up the south bank, on the edge of a fine flat, raised ten or twelve feet above high water mark. Here I saw twenty or thirty large canoes, and 300 or 400 people. Among others, was an old acquaintance, a chief who has been nicknamed "Wide Awake " by the flax traders. He is the uncle of Tuarau, who is well known to many of your readers, and was a principal party to the agreement between the natives and the company for the purchase of the Taranaki district. He is now on his way to Waikanai, his usual residence, and is waiting for a fair wind to start with a fleet of twenty or thirty canoes, loaded with pigs and mats. I was presented to the three head chiefs of Wanganui: their names are Turoa, Te Anaua, and Rangi Tauwiri. I told them I was come to see the place and the people ; and they answered that I was welcome to do so, and repeated to me all that Mr Williams had said and done on the occasion of his visit to them. I returned to Waipuna, the name of the place where my tent was pitched, at dusk. 27.-At daylight several canoes went outside to fish, and returned in the afternoon to catch the kawai, or salmon, inside the river. I counted twenty-six canoes engaged in the pursuit. This fish is caught with a hook of wood, covered with pieces of the pawa, or mutton fish shell, to give it the appearance of a fish. Nor will the kawai take a still bait; so that the canoes move up and down the river at full speed, with the lines dragging behind them. The fishery thus presents a most lively appearance; and towards evening on the return of the canoes, a regular sort of harvest home took place, the old women jumping up on the fish racks, and calling out for the fish, while the fishermen dashed in to the beach with their best stroke and loudest song. This afternoon I crossed over the river to Waipade, a large settlement opposite Putikiwaranui. Here there were about 200 persons, and twenty large canoes. On the 28th and 29th, I again visited the pahs, making several presents; and received several visits and presents in return. As I examined this river and its banks for twenty-five miles on a subsequent occasion, I shall at present refrain from describing the country about here. On the morning of the 30th, I engaged a body of boys, or porters, and set off from Wanganui to the northward. We had crossed the river on the previous evening; and after walking about half a mile along the beach on the north bank, we struck across the sandhills until we reached the sea beach about two miles to the north of the river's mouth. At this point the beach begins to be bounded by cliffs, which continue for many miles. They vary in height from 60 to 200 feet. The lowest strata conusists of a stiff blue clay, full of shells of various sorts. The pebbles which I picked up at Wangaihu are evidently pieces detached from this formation, hardened by rolling about in the sea or some other cause. The upper strata consist of soft sandstone, clay, and gravel. A walk of four miles along the foot of the cliffs brought us to the mouth of a small stream called Kaiwi, which issues through a break in the cliffs. There is a small settlement here, and we found threecanoes hauled up on the beach; but all the people were away in the potatoe-grounds. We stopped here to cook some potatoes, and rest. Near this place, and indeed in several other spots during this day's walk, I noticed some trunks of very large trees, imbedded halfway up the cliff in a horizontal position. The natives told me that they had been cut down by the people who planted their potatoes there many years ago, but had been long dead. The land seems fertile to the edge of the cliÝf, and the sides of the ravine through which this river runs are finely wooded. We now walked seven or eight miles more along the beach, and then climbed up the cliff, as the sea washed right up to the next point. A tract of barren land, consisting of barren sandhills, with patches of lose gravel, here stretches four or five miles inland from the edge of the cliff. Five miles over these sandhills brought us to the valley of the Waitotara river, about six miles above the mouth. The valley is here broad and fertile, but intersected on the south bank by some nasty swamps, which might be easily drained, however, the banks of the river being high. There are some groves of line timber on the sides of the valley; the hills which bound it are high, but on their tops lies a table land only partially wooded. We crossed the river, here not more than sixty yards broad, in a canoe, and proceeded to the pah, which is built on the top of a sort of Acropolis, situated close to the north bank. A pretty grove of kraka-trees encircles the base of the hill, which is called E Puku. The soil about here seems to be sand and clay. The valley is covered with a high crop of fern flax, tohi tohi, tutu, and other shrubs. A native teacher from the Bay of Islands has been left here by Mr. Williams. He addressed a long oration to me, which, however I was neither able nor willing to understand, being very tired and sleepy. It was afterwards explained to me that he had called me over the coals for having been connected with buying so much land of the natives, and leaving them none. I have observed this to be the case everywhere: natives, originally made slaves, and taken up to the Bay of Islands and Hokianga, become servants to the Mission, and return to their native place with the greatest possible manifestation of enmity to anybody connected with the Company. I was almost coolly received here, owing to this man's talk. On the summit of this hill, I observed many large oyster shells imbedded in.the soil, and was told, on enquiring their origin, that they had been there as long as memory or tradition could go back. 31.-Started off along the north bank, through fern and shrubs. The banks of the river are in places 100 feet in height. There are several small settlements on either bank, which have been probably used by fishing parties, but are at present uninhabited. At one of these, about three miles below Epuku, we stopped to cook some potatoes. The banks are here nearly on a level with the river, which also assumes itself a different appearance; becoming very shallow, and stopped up with the trunks of totara trees, sticking up perpendicularly from the bed of the river. From the time I left Wanganui, it had, till now, been blowing a hard gale front S.E.; but as the wind abated this morning, and shewed signs of soon changing, several natives who had accompanied me this far, returned, in order to be in time for the fleet of canoes for Kapiti. My party was reduced from fifteen to seven. From this settlement we cut across the sandhills to the beach to the north of the river's mouth; and after half a mile's walk along it, we came to the cliffs again. We had now to walk along the top of them, as the sea covered the beach in many places. I found this very fatiguing, as the path lay over hummocks of loose sand, of which a narrow belt divides the fertile land from the edge of the cliff. Six miles of this tedious travelling, varied only by one break, where the Kokau rivulet empties itself into the sea, and we again descended to the beach. The cliffs continue for three miles more, when they give place to low sandhills, similar to those skirting the coast of Wangaihu. Six miles and a half along these brought us into the bight of a small bay, where the Wenua Kura river has its embouchűre. After crossing this stream by wading up to my knees, I met several people belonging to one of the pahs at the entrance, who pressed me to stop there for the night. As the boys were tired, I acceded to the request. A steep perpendicular cliff, 100 feet high, forms the north head of the river just inside of the beach, and on its summit is built a pah called Tihohi. The southern head is also cliffy, and also boasts of a pah, called Te O. To the latter I was ushered, recrossing the river on one of the inhabitants' shoulders. The natives crowded round me, many of them having never seen more than one or two white people before. They were most anxious to trade, and brought me every thing, from a kaitaka mat or a pig to a handful of sweet potatoes or a dried shark. They placed before me food of all sorts; the ovens having been filled immediately that I was perceived coming along the beach. April 1,--This morning we crossed the river, and passed through Tihohi pah on to the beach. A mile's walk round the base of a high cliffy bluff, brought us to the mouth of the Patea river, in the bight of another small bay. It was high water when we reached it, and an opening in the heavy surf outside seemed to indicate some depth of water. It is not above 40 yards broad at the spot where it passes the beach, but I was assured by the natives that they have always to swim it, even at low water. The channel seems to expand, both inside and outside this narrow passage. As there is no settlement beyond the one here for at least two days walk to the northward, I resolved to give the boys a good rest by stopping here to-night. We accordingly proceeded, as soon as the tide had receded, to the pah, situate on a steep hill ovehanging the river about half a mile up the south bank. This pah is called Airiau, but the natives told me that Mr. Hatfield, the missionary, had christened it " England." They added that he had bought some land on a beautiful flat just above, for one blanket. I again got some water-melons here. One of the chiefs had a long korero with me to-day; and among other things soldiers and men of war were the subjects of conversation. The expedition of the "Alligator" frigate, which landed her marines at Waimate, two days' walk from here, in 1834, is yet fresh in the memory of these people. A ship was visible in the offing all day, trying to beat against a fresh N.W. breeze. 2.-This morning, as I was about to start, E Puki told me that a man had gone off to the bush with two of my blankets. This was the fact; and the chief in whose house I slept took the rest of my things and put them in his ware puni or hot house, that they might be safe from further depredation. Upon inquiring the reason of this outrage, I was told that one of my boys was suspected of having had connection with a wahine tapu or married women, the night before, at Wenuakura; and that Witura, some relation of the women or of her husband, had seized the delinquent's kawenga or load, as well as his mat. I remonstrated against this injustice; and everybody agreed with me, but regretted that the man was gone. I then said that I would remain here a day; and that, if the blankets were not then returned, I should go straight to Port Nicholson, from whence a man of war and soldiers would most likely accompany me back. At this moment, too, the ship, in beating to windward, tacked, and stood in towards the land. They immediately crowded round me, and asked me what ship it was, and whether it would land people on the shore. I answered that I did not know, but that it was very likely the "Tory," which is well known, even here, by reputation. This was my real opinion; but whether right or wrong, it seemed to have an instantaneous effect, for I heard them say to each other, "this is Wide Awake's ship, come to watch his son all round the coast,"-and in ten minutes my blankets, and also the boy's mat, were returned. I now intended to cross the river, and proceed to the northward; but my boys, with the exception of three, refused to go any futher. They said that the husband of the women lived at Waimate, and would certainly seize all my things and cut our throats if we resisted; and notwithstanding all my attempts to convince them that no such thing would happen, not one would change his mind. Nor could I obtain new boys at Pates: so that I was forced to give up my intended journey, three not being enough to carry my baggage and food. I returned to Tihohi, and slept there to-night. There are about 200 inhabitants at Airian, and the same number at the two pahs at the mouth of the Wenuakura. APRIL 3,-This morning, I embarked with all my goods in a light canoe, and proceeded up the river. For five miles it is about the width of the Hutt near the foot bridge; after which it becomes very narrow. The banks are generally covered with timber, and are very high in some places; but from their edge level and clear trašt of country stretches away for miles, only interrupted by occasional ridges, and these low and gradual in their rise, and clear of timber. About six miles up we came to a hutu or fishing-weir, built across the river, with a gap large enough for a canoe only; the river being otherwise navigable for a boat for three miles further, where another weir is built, beyond which it becomes very narrow, and much obstructed by fallen timber. About a mile and a half beyond the weir we stopped at a temporary settlement, inhabited by the potatoe-cultivators. We had passed several of the same description on our way up. I was shown some tobacco grown here, and informed that it grows to a great size near the Wanganui river. 4,--Crossed the river, and proceeded about ■alf a mile through the wood, when we gained the edge of the table land. I could now perceive its whole character. From the edge of the cliff, this tract of country extends for 20 or 30 miles inland, interrupted only by slight undulations, and the valleys of the Wenuakura and its tributaries, which seem cut like trenches out of the table land, and lined with timber. The plains themselves are covered with a crop of high fern, tutu, and other small shrubs, intermixed with a good deal of flax. The spot where we gained the plains is called Pikiarero, or Pa Matangi. From thence we proceeded, at the distance of six or seven miles from the sea-coast, along a beaten path. The fern was in some places eight feet high; in many not more than two; and in a few small spots I observed grass, growing almost alone. Nine miles along this country brought us to the edge of a patch of barren sandhills, reaching inland perhaps six miles from tlie coast, and a mile broad. Beyond the sandhills we crossed the Kokau and Wairua streams, which apparently obstructed by the sandy nature of the soil, form extensive lagoons and swamps at the back of the sandhills. One mile over fern country again brought us to another but less extensive patch of sandhills, called Taranaki. From the summit of these hummocks we had a fine view of the land about the valley of the Waitotara. It is of nearly the same description as that near the Wenuakura; but the wood is more frequent, the sides of the vallies steeper, and the soil apparently not so good. We now descended from the sandhill, and walked another mile, partly through fern, and partly through a swamp formed by the Kowau, a tributary of the Waitotera. We here rested and ate some potatoes roasted in the ashes. Two miles more brought us to a sort of farm on the steep sides of a valley, through which another tributary flows into the Waitotara. On each side there are regular fenced fields, in which some natives were busy gathering a fine crop of Indian corn, potatoes, kumeras, gourds, and pumpkins. Here, too, I saw flax cultivated for the first time. Plants of it were set in a straight row up the steep sides of the vall'y, and seemed remarkably healthy. We crossed this valley, and then dipped down into that of the Waitokra, which seems to me to contain a great deal of rich land, dotted with fine groves of timber here and there. Two miles walk brought us to the bank of the river, about a mile above E Puku pah. When I arrived, everybody was up the river cultivating; and an old woman and child composed the whole garrison of the fortress. About fifty people collected by the evening. I saw gbout 100 here on my former visit. My boys proposed stopping here too-morrow, it being Sunday; but as I told them that I should go alone to Wanganui, and they might follow at their leasure, they waived the mihanere, and said they would all go too. 5.---Returned to the Wanganui by the same Road that I came by before. At a place where we rested and the natives performed their service, some of those who had accompanied me from Waitotary refused to eat anything until the sun had passed the meridian, although I had had some potatoes cooked last night on purpose for such strick Puritans. If, as they told me, this is really enjoined upon them by the White Missionaries, the precepts of these latter are too absurd! We did not reach Te Kauwau, the place on the north bank of the Wanganui, where I slept the night before starting to the northward, till after dark; and nobody was there. A shot, however, soon brought over from Waipuna, a son of Turoa, who told us all the news. Ampng other things, he said that the great fleet had started, but had been obliged to put in at Wangaihu on account of bad weather. I accordingly sent one of the boys there at once, to tell E Ku.ru to wait for me. 6.--This morning many natives arrived to greet me, and among others old Turoa, who came down in a large canoe to take me to the pah at Putikiwaranui. It blew hard from west towards noon, and soon afterwards E Kuru arrived, as the canoes could not start to-day. The wind died away about midnight, and it rained till the morning of the 7th; when it again blew a hard gale from S.W., with much rain. 8.-The wind being still from S.W., E Kuru proposed an expedition up the river, which I assented to wifh much pleasure. For about 12 miles above the pah the valley is broad, level, and clear, with groves of kaikatea trees, growing here and there close to the river. The banks on either side are between 20 and 30 feet in height, and the level flat is clothed with fera and small shrubs. I am inclined to believe that, from the edge of the hills which bound this part of the valley, plains similar to those I have before described extend. Beyond this the hills begin to approach closer to the river, and assume a more impracticable aspect. There are, however, many beautiful tracts between the bends of the river. The scenery for the next eight or ten miles is magnificent. Hills 600 or 800 feet high, slope down to the water's edge, covered in many places with every variety of timber: the river continues to be of considerable width, with a rapid current. About 21 miles from the pah we came to another, called Te Kau Arapawa, from a small stream at whose confluence with the Wanganui it is situate, at a pretty bend of the river, at the foot of a steep conical hill. We pulled into the small stream, and were welcomed to a sort of suburb on its opposite bank, were most of the people remain during the day. On the brow of a slight acclivity, and overhanging it, they have built a stage or terrace of small boughs, on which they eat and sit during the day. It is called by them a pataka. 9.---This morning E Taua, a relation of E Kuru, killed a pig for me. I went over to the pah to see some mats in the process of manufacture, for which I paid beforehand. The pah is prettily situated in the midst of a grove of trees, which grow in most of the yards. The wind still blowing from S.W., E Kuru said he should not go back to-day, and took my gun to shoot pigeons, I clambered up a very high hill on the north bank, but was not repaid by any extensive view; the whole country to the N.E. being mountainous, and very thickly wooded. The hills about here consist of a conglomerate of sand, pebbles, and sea shells, even to their summits. 10.-Returned to Putikiwaranui. I sounded the greater part of the way down. There are three, four, and five fathoms opposite Te Kau Arapawa; but in the next reach not more than one. About a mile and a half below is a fall, with not more than three fathoms, much obstructed by fallen timber, but not so as to prevent the free passage of a boat or barge at all times. The soundings vary from one to two fathoms between this and a place called Tama U tu, a mile above Putikiwaranui. Here there are four, five, and no soundings at six fathoms; but immediately below, continuing to our landing-place at the pah, there is only one and a half fathom at high water. The anchorage for small vessels must therefore be below this; but it is evident that barges can bring down produce from all parts of the valley which are available for European agriculture. On the evening of the 10th of April, after taking a hasty meal at the pah, E Kweu and I went down to Waipuna in Turoa's canoe, and from thence walked to the Wangaihu river along the beach. Crossing the river about half a mile fr˛m its mouth on a native's shoulders, we reached the temporary encampment, where the canoes were hauled up, the pigs fastened to stakes, and the fires burning at each chief's settlement. At E Kuru's, the sail tent was again prepared for me, and at daylight on the 11th, I got into one of the canoes, and we all left the river. It was nearly calm, so that we had no surf to cross. Our fleet consisted of 38 canoes, many of great size, and all fitted up with steer-oars. I estimated our muster-roll at about 250 men, women, and children, and as many hogs. A light air, varying between E.N.E. and S.E., helped us down to the mouth of the Kangitiki river, which we entered early in the afternoon. A native stood on the north spit, directing us to the entrance between the breakers by waving his mat. This river is accessible for a boat at high water on a smooth day ; but I should not think it safe under any»other circumstances. We pulled in to the pah, which is situate about a mile up the north bank, and inhabited by about 50 of the Nagtiapa tribe. A strong south-east gale set in at night, and continued with little intermission, acompanied by heavy rain, until the morning of the 15th; but I found that it was not bad weather alone detained us here. For three days more, although it was fine calm weather, with a light breeze every morning off the land, no persuasion could induce the natives to stir. Every day "Wide Awake" and E Kuru, with whom I remonstrated on this unnecessary delay, had some excuse or other ready. If the wind was off the land, they suggested that the canoes would be blown out to sea; if it came in from sea, that they would be blown into the power of the Ngatirau- kawas, who inhabit the country immediately to the southward: and when I had combatted these two objections, they added that they had had bad dreams and that the wai puki or freshet would make the exit dangerous. I soon found that I could not move them from their invariable custom of remaining for at least a week at any friendly settlement where they may put up on their journies ; patience was therefore my only remedy, while they filled the ovens and feasted five or six times a day. The whole country in the immediate neighbourhood of the pah consists of barren sand hummocks; but the river seems to run through a magnificent tract of perfectly level country. To the southward, at a distance of 30 or 40 miles, the view is bounded by the Tararua mountains, which are those terminating the valley of the Hutt. To the eastward, the plains continue to the horizon; and another range of mountains commences at the northern side of this gorge, and continues up to Tonga kiro. 17.-This morning the natives seemed preparing for a start: the pigs and mats were again placed in the canoes, and the masts and sails rigged; but they found out that it was necessary to have some more kai or feasting, and the ovens were filled more than once. This lasted till late in the afternoon; and afterwards a war dance, and speeches between my fellow-travellers and their entertainers the Ngatipas, took up the remainder of the day till twilight. We then started; but as it was low water, all the large canoes grounded several times before we got to the mouth: so that it being dark, with some appearance of a gale from S.W., we returned to the pah. 18.-I had entered a strong remonstrance last night against eating all day and starting at dusk; so that this morning we were down at the river's mouth an hour before daylight, and as soon as the sun rose, we all started together. As there was little or no wind, they had to paddle all day; and as we kept near each other it was a very lively sight, the canoes passing and repassing one another, while their crews kept chorus to a measured song. It was midnight before we got to Waikanai, when all the canoes except mine stopped a little to the northward. I persuaded the commander of mine to go right up to the pah, as a very heavy dew was falling. I slept in a house belonging to E Au, in the main Waikanai pah. 19.-This morning I walked up to Arapawa, the small pah which I have mentioned as my resting place when here before. All the fleet has arrived here, and the chiefs fromWanganui are sitting in state round about the village, receiving visits from their friends here. The place looks like a fair ; many of the Waikania natives are dressed in good English clothes, and every one wears his best blanket mat on the occasion. 20.-Went over to Motu Ngarara, or Lewis's Island, in a canoe. The whalers of Mr. Evans's party have taken a whale, the first this season, in Cook's Straits. On the 23rd, I went up to Long Point, the northern point of Kapiti, where two barques and two schooners had anchored the day before : these proved to be the "Justine;" the "William Wallace," Sydney whaler; and the "Susannah Ann" and "John Dunscombe" schooners. The last was unfortunately driven ashore here sometime afterwards in a heavy south-east gale. I returned the next day to Lewis's Island. On the 28th I left Kapiti in Captain Lewis's whale-boat, and we arrived at Mana in the evening. We slept at a pah called Mangarai Tamviri, on the main land opposite this island. Mana is about two miles long and one broad, and situate about a mile from the main land : it has been very aptly called "Table Island," its summit, at an elevation of 300 feet from the sea, being perfectly level, and well adapted for the feeding of sheep, of which there are some hundreds on the island. On the eastern side, a valley in the form of an amphitheatre is a pretty situation for the native pah and European farm buildings. The whole island belongs to a Mr. Fraser, now residing there. Between it and the main, anchorage may be found in four and five fathoms, but the hold- ing ground is bad, and the roadstead exposed to both the prevailing winds. 29.-We launched our boats before daylight, and arrived, with a fine N. W. breeze, at Britannia in the afternoon. The coast between Cape Terawiti and the heads of this harbour is fringed with rocks both above and below water, and strong tide-rips add to the danger for boats. There are however two small bays, called Oterangao and Potiki Tamaite, which form harbours of refuge for boats caught by a south easter on this side of the Cape. Transcribed by Corey Woodw@rd