The Ashburaton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1888. ANOTHER SWITZERLAND.
It needs not that we should inform our readers that New Zealand possesses Alpine mountains which rival, may excel, those of Switzerland, but nearly all of them are, alas, like ourselves, either too busy or too poor to be able to visit their snow-clad heights, their wonderful ravines, their groat glaciers and ice-caves. Possibly, too, their very propinquity leads us to regard ? with the samp sort of contempt that is proverbially born of familiarity the marvels of this wonderland of our own half of New Zealand. But whether or not the fact (hat so few of the people of the colony ever take the trouble to make a trip to Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and their arctic surroundings, be duo to want of time, want of funds, or want of interest, certain it is that m the Old World there are so many who have more timo and money on their hands than they know what to do with, and. who, weary of the old routes of travel and sight-seeing, are eager for new objects of interest, that m years to come a steadily increasing stream of tourists may bo expected to flow bitherwords. In view of this the Mount Cook Hermitage Company wlio have already provided comfortable accommodation for visitors clobo to the famous mountain, aro now taking steps to complete the realisation of a second Switzerland. " They have engaged (says the Wellington " Evening Press") through the agency of the French Consul for New Zealand, who also acts for Switzerland, m the absence of any formally accredited representative of tho Helvetian Eepublic, the Bervices of a Swißß family, numbering nine m all, who came out to New Zealand somo timo ago, and have since boon battling with very uncongenial circumstances m tho bush m the North Island. This family, who speak English, French and German, and are well educated, havo gone to take up their abode at Mount Cook, the parents to assist Mr Huddleston, tho manager of the Hermitage, m the domestic affairs of the establishment, and tho young people to do what they can towards earning a livelihood under what ara to them the familiar conditions of mountain life. There seems every reason to beliove that they will do very well indeed, and they will certainly be a great acquisition to the menage of tho Hermitage Company, who have long wanted somo such auxiliary to enable then, to give tourists and visitors the full advantage of the wonderful natural beautieß and curiosities of the Alpine region, it ie hopetf that by I ;
the assistance of these Swiss, not onfy will the Hermitaga be made more comfortable and interesting as a resort for pleasure or health, but Mr Huddleston, will bo enabled to extent his valuable labors m preserving and multiplying mady forms of Alpine vegetation which otherwise must speedily have passed away. The exploration of hitherto unknown tracts of mountain country may also become possible. It is intended, if' the present experiment should prove satisfactory, to induce five or six other Bwiss families to come out and settle at Mount Cook — thus forming the nucleus of a veritable Swiss village under the shadow of the Mont Blanc of the Bouth. The Government have shown a commendable willingness to provide these people with land on an easy tenure ; and those who are acquainted with their ingenuity and industry and, above all, their singular frugality, are of, opinion that they would very soon adapt themselves to the circumstances and acquire an independence." The Hermitage Company are to be congratulated upon their enterpriap, and the Government are wise m doing all m their power to facilitate the carrying out of an undertaking, the success '>f which will gently enhance the attractions of our Alpine region, a visit to which will soon bo an indispensable part of the grand tour of the Australian.