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EXPEDITION TO SUTHERLAND FALLS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1994, 12 November 1888
EXPEDITION TO SUTHERLAND FALLS
An Osmnru gentleman, who was a member of the recent expedition, undortaken Kith a view to measuring the height
of the Sutherland waterfall, and to Hccure photographs of the scenery, has kindly forwarded to ourselves (and to the w Oamaru Mail ") the following interesting account of tbe trip : — Our party consisted of Muir, Brodie and myself. \\"e were m company with the surveyors' party, consisting of Mesare O . W. Adams, S. Stable?, W. Wyinks, T. M'Kenz'e, M.H.R, W. 8. Pillans, ond Adams junr; also Burton's party, vz., Messrs Hoodie, Burton, and Fergneson.
We a'l joined the U. 8.8 Ohau at the Bluff on the afternoon of Wednesday 26th September, and while at dinner beforo ■Urtlng, a prominent member of the expedition exponnded his idea of a remedy for Bea-elcknesp, which consists of strips of flannel wouod tightly round the body. After dinner, to show that he was not joking, he proceeded to carry his idea into effect. After getting out of the harbor, the captain goodoaturediy placed a bucket of oysters nt our disposal, and we proceeded to plaoe tlnm with a joy that was only too short-lived, ai one r.y one the greater number sought "the reelusion that a cabin grants " with anything but an appetite for oysters Next morning was exceedingly fine, and we had a glorious view of the opening to the various sounds with the snow-covered mountains towering up behind them. Hearing Milford Sound tbe tops of Mitre and Pembroke Peaks conld be distinguished amongst tbe surrounding high* lands. Bounding St Ann's Point we entered MUfotd Sound. The entranoe Is abont a quarter of a mile wide, opening up to a greater width as we proceed. The grandeur of the scene has been so often desortbed that It would be needless taking np space and time to attempt any lengthened description of it. The great magnitudes are most striking, the huge precipices and mountains with the water . falls tumbling and roariog above the noise of tbe steamer seem to dwarf the human element and make one feel small. At one point, where the preolpfoas overhang tbe water, the steam whistle was sounded and we eonld heat the eoho answering from mountain to mountain, until it died away In a faint whisper. After passing this point we saw m the distance the Bowen Fill, which is 540 feet high. All along the sound waterfalls were seen coursing ~ down the steep slopes, some of them being yery beautiful. ,On arriving at the buoy opposite the Bown F*lls we saw "the Olty,"abouta mile distort, but, although the whistle was Bounded repeatedly, no signs of life eonld be teen, Before going ashore we were treated to a substantial meal, whloh we enjoyed immensely— eipeolally the (□ember of the party who bad adopted the bandage cure ; but havlDg forgotten m remove the bandage, it was apparent that there was no room for expansion and that considerable inoonvenlenoe was therefore being experienced, and a good deal of ohsffiog gave a lively tone to the proceedings. On landing at "The Olty," the residence of Mr Sutherland, we found that he wes •way finiihlrg the track to the falls. The bouse consists of three rooms and a small yeran dab. built of wood, the interior being a picture of neatness and order. Mr Adams »nd party stayed there and tha remainder of tbe expedition pitched their tents for the night. Having doffed their " ashfelt " snits and donned ■ garb more In keeping with bush Ufe, tbe whole party were next morning, photographed by tbe " shadow catchers " of the party, as Sutherland calls them. It was no easy tack to stand quiet for the required time on account of the sandflles which were particularly numerous close to tbe water, and between the exposures a eborus of of slaps and blessings formed a lively Interlude. Jt had been arranged that tbe photograpbars, m company -with Mesirs M'KeDzk »nd PlHans : should start immediately tef Lake Ada en route for the Sutherland F»il* J bo, after loading the boat with a fortnight's provisions and blankets, we comraewjed the first part of onr journey across !be pound and two miles np the Arthur River— a distance of foar and a-faalf miles m all: Arriving at the landing, on what is known as the Lake Ada track, we shouldered onr swags and set out for a two and a-half miles walk through tbe bush to Lake Ada. At tbe Lake we found a large boat-shed 10 x 15, known as the "Banker Bat," where we decided to camp for tbe night. We made another trip down to tbe landing, and, at night, tbe whole party, 7 In all, " turned ' In "on a fern leaf bank at one end of the hut, each person occupying less than 18 lnohas. At about 2 o'clock next morning one of oaf number bad to shift bis beddlsg to the wet floor, beoaese the man next him would persist m poking him m the eye with h's elbow. We passed a lively night, interspersed with jocularity to compensate for onr discomforts. Next day (Saturday) two of us made a trip to the olty, whilst Meisrs Plllsns and Mulr fitted np the conva* boat belonging to our party. I returned at about two o'clock and found the boat completed and In
readiness to prooeed to the bead of the lake* The boat, which was an experiment, was fifteen feet long with a beam of fire feet and a depth of three feet; It drew about clx inches when fully loaded, jo that the broadside oanght the wind to an inconvenient extent. Mulr [and Bradie went with M'Keozte and Flllanu up the Lake, intending to return Immediately. They did cot arrive until Aest morning, haying some difficulty In finding the landing. M'Kenz'e and Plllani had proceeded to the Falls. After dinner, Malr, Brodle, and I started for the head of the lake, and, after some circular sailing amongst the enags, arrived •t the Foieldon River. At this time it began to rain heavily, bat we wanted to gat to the landing on the Falls traok, two miles cp the river, that night; bo we poshed on, the first mile being quite easy, but m the fflcond shallows and rapids •bounded, over <rhloh we had to drag the boat. -Arriving at the landing, we pltohed the tent, and tiled Ineffectaifcllj to light * fire. We had therefore, to content t>nraelves with cold tinned meat and biscuit fot tea. We might have fared worse. It rained heavily all night and next day, ■oaking everything. On Taesday, 2od October, tbs sun oame oat strongly, and we struck oar tent and prooeeded to make up awags In readiness to start for the Falls, 6} miles away. We took three days' provisions with us, leaving the remainder, together with a part of the photographle gear, under the fly, and banging most of the things to the ridgepole, to keep them away from tha pats. At abont 11 a.m., M'Ketzle, Sutherland, Fillips, and Davis arrived from the Falls, And gave as directions as to the ronte. The arrival of these gentlemen was an agreeable change. We sat down and yarned together for pome time, one of the yarns toing worth tejling again. It appears that % member of tha expedition has pioceeded to put m some raspberry plants at the back of Sutherland's hut, on the day of our arrival. While there he discovered two nicely kept mounds. On I hia return he reported that he h&d found two graves, and that it was much to Sutherland's credit that be had kept them m such good order, "It is," s»id he, •' a good point m Sutherland's character. l" like Sutherland." The approval was communicated to Sutherland, who nearly exploded with laughter, and, on recovering, be explained that the mounds were only potato pita, and that m order to start • cemetery it would be necestary to shoot A man or two, as the climate was so good that people never died m these part). The first part of the Falls track was fwy web j W» after prowedjpg about a
fm'le, it was fairly easy and continued so for aHont 8 milea from our starting point. Then came somo difficulty — a branch of the river full of boulders had to be crossed. The fiin now enrm on. maki:g tho track very Bloppy, especially on tho nearly perpendicular rites that bad to be surmounted. About two and a h-ilf miles from the object of our eenrch, the track improved, and the* wo had tho first view of tbe Sutherland waterfall, WSr-were wot and tired by this time, but the view put new blood into us, and wo trudged along nutll we hoird drgs barking, aid, on turning a corner, we oamo upon the Blab hut bnilt by Sutherland, and, what wa» more delightful to üb, a- largo fire waa burning In tho fireplace. We were welcomed by two of Sutherland's mates -
Beattie and a youth known as the Bi'i ua They made tea for us, and, meanwhile, plied vi with quastions about what was dolug In the cuter world. Ono of the fiat questions was how many German Emperors were daad They had got m'xed over this attention, and swallowed all the Items we had to give them with grea* gusto. The rain still fell m torrents aad ontlnued all next day and tho day following, when the storm culminated m a burst of thunder and lightning In the afternoon we went slong ihe traok as far as possible, to see the Falls, It was m full fl >od, the volume of water being about four times greater than when we saw lc first. The iff jot was supremely grand, and, although we wore over a mile away, we could distinguish the roar of the oataraot above the sound of the d(zm or more falls dashing down the mountain eldea In the Immediate violnity, During the night the noise was terrific, the thunder reverberating from peak to peak BDd the optional roar of tho falling avalanches rendering sleep impossible, whilst vivid flashes of lightalng illuminated the but through the chimney and orevloes m the walls At daylleht on Friday morning wo were awakened by the howling of the dogs. Thoy had been dislodged from under the bonks by a stream of water flowing through the hut. The explanation of this was that one of the creeks had risen during tbe night and flooded us all round. It was afiornoou before a fi.e oonld be lighted, and 3 p.m. before we breakfasted. [To be oontinned.]
EXPEDITION TO SUTHERLAND FALLS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1994, 12 November 1888
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