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» . The destruction by the disastrous Taraj wera eruption of the famous Pink and ! Whito Terraces, which woro deemed to t be excellence the show places of , Now Zealand, has very naturally been , the subject of wide-spread regret, but it » appoars to bo questionable after all ' whether from a Bight-Beer's point of view that great convulsion of Nature has not ( produced more wonderful thingß, which only need to be known about to attract shoals of tourists and globe trotters The "New Zealand Herald," m a recent issue, declares that " Though the much-belauded Terraces are gone, there are wonderß piled on wonders, and beauticß added to beauties, m those amazing workshops of Naturo, for fifty, sixty, seventy miles away beyond the sites of the Terraces, that greatly surpass the former wonders of the basin of Rotomahana." Indeed our contemporary goes on to say that it is "informed by two tourists who have made the circuit of the globe, and who are familiar with the Yellowstone Park, the National Domain of the United States, and which is the wonder of America for its geysers and other awesome operations of Nature m her wildest moods—that tho wonders of that land of wonders are surpassed m the Wairakei district alone, some fifty milos beyond Kotorua, on the way to Taupo." Then follows the subjoined interesting and graphic description of tho attractions ot this wonderland of Northern New Zealand :—" The Great Wairakoi Geysers, the Little Wairakei Geyeors, the Prince of Wales Feathers—in which tho volumes of water spurting from the earth form a striking facsimile •of the emblematic plumes of His Royal Highness ; the Twin Geysers, the awe-in-spiring Black Geysers; tho Eagle's Neet, formed by branches and twigs of trees, but absolutely turned to stone, and m tho perfect similitude of an eagle's nest, with a tremendouß intermittent geyser bursting from tho centre; tho Champagne Pool of sparkling water, with a glorious fretwork of eilicions bordering around it, sending up a column of steam two hundred ieot m height; tho wonderfully Bluo Lakes, and lakes of deeper blue within them ; the steam hole with its tremendous roaring, rivalling the Devil's Hole of the olden days of Rotomahana—all those and a thousand other wonders beside, make of this one small area of Wairakei a scene of wonder and delight such as Rotomahana, with its Terraces, however glorious, never was ; while this is but a little corner of tho hundreds of square miles included m the Thermal districts, evory mile of which is a scene of wonder. But need we speak of the sanitary character of the varied waters m those thousands of boiling springs, none of which has been impaired or lessened by tho Tarawera eruption. Seventy-five different qualities of waters have been proved m the Thermal district, many of the moat wonderful potency, and which seem adapted to, all the ills that are known to husuanity. Some of these, which are the most extraordinary for their potency, have never even yet been publicly recorded. As, for example, ono which yields a wonderful oil collected from the surface of its sulphur boiling spring i" this pnmo Woirokoi district ; an oil which, among the Maoris for ages past, h»s been » most potent and extraordinary specific for rheumatism ; while about » mile from this, and within a quarter of a mile of tho Huka Falls, is tho Venus Bath, which has tho extraordinary quality of removing with absolute certainty freckles from the skin of those who bathe m it. And the Huka Falls, what pen could describe their weird and exquisite charms —the pent-up waters of the Waikato River forcing themselves through a cleft m precipitoub rocks, forming a cascade of broken waters two hundred feet m descent, with the glorious loveliness of tree ferns and brackens forming the framework to s picture that imprints itself on the memory for ever. But all this is but a little piece of the thermal wonderland. Two or throo miles from Tanpo is Loffler's Gem, with its crow's nest enclosing m its centre a geyser sporting sixty or eighty feet at a shot; indeed, go whore one may, from Tongariro burning mountain and all the steaming, bubbling vent-holes that surround it, and Kuapehu clothed m snows at tho ono end of tho thermal district, to the Wai-o-Tapu valley on the hither side, and only twenty miles from Rotorua— with its pretty terraces forming, and tho strange honeycombed and steaming sides of the huge Maungakakaramea mountain rising above it, from the summit of which one beholds the desolation wrought by Tarawera on the one side, and gazes back over miles and miloß of almost unknown virgin wonderland, spreading away out beyond tho horizon on the other —through all this vast area of seething, steaming, bubbling territory, there are wonders endless to reward the tourist, who, undeterred by tho absurd and baseless idea that the wondors of' our wonderland havo passed away, is willing to go beyond tho beaten track to which tho tourists were confined when the Terraces were tho Ultima Thule of thoir wanderings. Buch a sanatorium is not found m any part of earth besides ; nor are bo many wonders to 'bo soon m the same extent or area anywhere." In tho face of all theße wondors there is yot one wonder tho more, and that is that while so many are attracted from afar to view them ninety-nine out of every hundred of the people of New Zealand have never taken tho trouble to pay them a visit. • ; i

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2012, 13 December 1888

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OUR WONDERLAND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2012, 13 December 1888