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The following is an account of ,aa interesting factor trip to tie West Coast, made; Mr Andrew Mci.''arl;utd, jun. (Lyudhurst), Mr David Wilson (iUethveii), Mr JD.aviu I<'echney' (Lauriston), and Mr James Heseltine (AsM>urtonL Our contributor writes: We left iViethven on Thursday, March .20, and wended our way through the Rakaia .Gorge and Glentunnel,. had lunch" tit Cdalgate Hotel, passing through Springfield to the Geyser Hotel, on the , Wauhakariri River, where we stayed the night. Next morning we crossed the river with the assistance.of a -Pair of ■horses to pull us .through..' Then came the Bealey, and after h'avitig had lunch'at the railway station. ,we inspected the tunnel and--other iiifc.e'rivsting machinery, then proceeded to climb.the hill over the Gorge, ■which tested.the car to its utmost, and 1 prSving'Mr MeJfarland -to be a capable driver. The. sight was magnificent down the other "side, and travelling through the hills we passed Castle Hill station, a bit of line limestone country, crops and turnips looking well around the homestead. Otherwise the hills are very poor; it would require a good many acres to keep one sheep. We arrived at the old gold diggings and stayed the night at. Kumara. We had' tr good 1 look round the old worn-out digging's, which are a. perfect wreck from our point of. view. Most of the buildings are closed or falling down, which reminds one of the good did days gone by. At one time Kumara could boast of 44 hotels. Now only six remain, -and-they told us that was too many. , Evervthinpr has gone back. It gave us a very poor impression of .our first visit to the Coast, nothing but wild briar and fern growing on the land. Chaff, we were informed, was selling at £14 per ton.-;

After being keot back with very heavy-rain at Kumara in the-forenoon, we eventually left for. Greymouth, travelling through swamps and bush —not very interesting to the sightseer. \ We arrived' .'if Greymouth in time "to inspect, the "town .and wharves, after which we found out some old Ashburton residents. They complain of things being very quiet—no shipping doing, and very little coal but the Harbour Board is applying to the Government for a £350.000 loan.

We left on Sunday on our way back un the sea const, which was very pretty, winding our way in and out of the hills till we readied the Buller Gorge, which impressed us very much, at the same time thinking wo were never coming to the end of it. It was a- beautiful sight, and here, again, the driver was comDlimented on his complete control: of his ear. '. ' '

Next morning found us spinning along .to .Nelson through very;, pretty country, inclosing, tiro: more-ve.fy-.stwp eorges., tl?en.throu;gh;.atvi)lley whe^-eflm saw gre'aiv. crops of ■ fruit and hops dn& part gramj gvown to perfection, Although ' the country, is very much in need of We stayed two days in Nelson. .It is a lovely little town, but what imDre.ssed~ us most was a trip through Kirkpatrick's Jam.. Factory,, which is a sight worth seeing. Thfc vast ainotmt of machinery is marvellous. The different - processses a tin ■■said contents go through before coming out on the. open market is_ won-' derfulv and *weryfch,ing is so spotlessly, clean. The purity and cleanliness of the Jams, etc., are beyond all dotibt, and no one could imagine the number of hands a■■.■•tin of Jam goes- through from the orchard to the table. There are over 200' hands employed, - and the firm could do with 50. more if obtainable. The manager sent a car to tnke tis to visit some? of the biggest orchards', which, we were very have the chanco of seeing. They were ■'an eyeopener to us all. ' One orchard had sent away to' the freezing chamber -20,000 cases of apples, and one could scarcely see where they had gone from, the trees being loaded to the ground. . '

On Wednesday we left for Blenheim, travelling along the sea coast? through many steep gorges and bush country. The further north we got, the drier the country was and the. rivers almost dry. The approach to the hills looked a brown clayey soil. We passed, many honfields. and saw a great quantity of hop-drying kilns: Tomatoes were growin" in the fields in abundance. The run iiito Blenheim was very interest--ine. Blenheim is a very nice, clean little town. There are a great many new buildings, and it struck, us as being a very prosperous town, motor-cars- running 'in every direction. Thursday found us heading for home,, travelling through hills, passing Seddoh, along the sea coast to lvaikoura; —a most enjoyable run. . . > ■ '

Kaikoura lies in a basin. The hotels were crowded with visitors, as many as 15 carloads of people staying at the two hotels. Spending the night there, we left, for Christchurch on a 150-mile run. Passing through Cheviot, we found the country burnt up sihd short of water. The trip home was most enjoyable, and all of us.had the one opinion us to all the places we had visited, and that was that Ash burton County is the best allround farming district we had seen, i thus com ing 'home well satisfied with bur trip and proxid ipf our adopted |country. . - - .

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Bibliographic details

WEST COAST, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9601, 5 May 1919

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WEST COAST Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9601, 5 May 1919

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