STEAM TO NEW ZEALAND.
The arrival at Lyttelton on Saturday of Messrs. Money Wigram's magnificent steamer Norfolk, from the Old country, with self-paying passengers, in the short space of 49 actual steaming days, shows what wonderful strides have been made in ocean navigation within the past few years. It moreover indicates the spirit and enterprise displayed by the New Zealand Shipping Company in undertaking such a venture, especially after they had suffered a serious loss by the only previous similar venture they had speculated inviz., the Stad Haarlem, some 18 months ago. The Norfolk is admitted oil' all hands to be the finest steam merchantman which has ever vis ted the colony, and she is not only a very fast, hut also a very seaworthyship—being built more in thefrigate style than in that of the fashionable steam liner of the present day. Her designers and builders have evidently succeeded>in combining in her stability, carrying capacity, and speed. The Norfolk seems to have had a tolerably rough time of it during the last two or three weeks of her passage ; and the passengers growled proportionately ; hut if they compare their trifling discoinfoits with those of immigrants of thirty years ago—when five months was the ordinary clipper trip, and the first duty to be performed by the new chum was to clear a section and build a sod hut or a calico tent —the importations of the present day will perhaps find that comparisons between now and then arc odious. The passage of the steamer is peculiar in one respect: no sickness of any description appears to have been experienced on the voyage out, until the vessel’s arrival in harbor, when it was discovered that a child was suffering from something, which was thought might bo small pox, and the authorities had, reluctantly, to order the steamer into quarantine. We hope her stay will be a brief one, as costly vessels of this description are too valuable to lie idle at anchor. She will proceed from here to Wellington with passengers for that port. We sincerely hope that the initiative step taken by the local shipping firm will prove such a financial success as to induce them to repeat the experiment frequently; and this system of interoceanic intercourse is then bound to be profitable and progessive, both to the ship-owners and the colony. Dunedin, with her bar-bound harbor, will of course be exempted from sharing in the glories of Lyttelton and Wellington, but she can gain them at second-hand by the interposition of the Great South Railway.
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