UP IAKE WAKATIP IN THE STEAMEK AWTBIM. I left the (company's wharf at 8 o'clock one ; very bleak morning, bound for Glenbrcby and the company's saw mills. Captain Hicks stood at the helm as we skirted the rocky shores of the Lake, the rugged promontories reminded me of those of the St. John Biver at Boar's .Head, without, however, haying the dark pine tree "moored; in the rifted rock," that which is no where seen in this rugged and almost chaotic country. Away ahead to the westward are the woolsheds rof .Messrs White Bros, and Sutherland Bros., and^for them we head, after touching at the, 25-mile and that point. Once well-pastthe turn of the Lake we have a fine reach of about 35 miles, being able to see Glenorch, Kinloch, and the opening to the Bees Biver. Long Island and Pigeon laland-- loom—up :as if hung- between heaven and water, looking like a distant view of the Chinchas, off Pisco, on the West Coast of South America. The -mountains all-around seem to be miniatures of the magnificent Cordillera and Andes, with their snowy summits and blue hazy glaciers. Earnslaw is the finest of the mountain ranges at the head of the Lake, whicii may be said to form its main eastern water shed. We touched at Messrs Sutherland's landing to land one of the firm, and then on our way, after witnessing the colonial reception accorded him by two men and some sheep dogs. Arrived at Pigeon Island (which contains some 600 acres, and belongs to the Municipality of Queenstown), we landed a wood splitter, who was about to clear out, agreeably to the wish of the Corporation. He had sold his hard wood, some 90 cords, to the company, for transportation to town. The island is intended to be leased to anyone who is enterprising enough to take it up. I might suggest that it is adapted for tree culture, and might be turned to profitable account as a municipal nursery. Shearing off, we next made for the Greenstone, at which place we came to anchor, for the purpose of " wooding up." The Greenstone is a very pretty place, and has a fine plain of about 500 acres or clear land on its banks. This is owned by Mr John M'Bride, one of the Com pany. The shore of the Lake is fringed with Kowai trees, whose pendent foliage quite reminds one of the weeping elm, of the American rivers. Having got enough of fuel on board for steam purposes, we started forward, and in the course of an hour or so, brought up at the Companies Saw Mills. These consist of a double shed, with two tables, carrying a breaking down saw, and a " deal circular " they are driven by "a thirty-five foot over- shot waterwheel, which is put in motion by a hand gage from the mill, or shut off at pleasure. Mr D. M'Bride, the manager, showed me a patent saw-sharpener, by which the saws are filed, and put incomplete order, in a very short time. Bough piers and wharves have been constructed of scantling, timber, and logs, on which the planks, deals, and various classes of sawn stuff are piled. The logs from Kinloch, at the head of the Lake, are also yarded here. There are some dozen •men's huts in this logging settlement, for which the Company have a general cookhouse, thus all the men employed in the mill are paid so much a week, and found. Judging from what I saw of this important feature in the life of a bushman, I should say that the men were made very comfortable, and well fed. While in this neighborhood, I paid a visit to Kinloch, accompanied by Mr M'Bride, who acted as guide. I found, at the Kinloch timber yards, a large number of logs, in which there was perhaps one per cent, of sound timber, the rest being affected with dry rot, generally ; this is a great drawback to the millers, who, as will be seen, have a large expense to meet with, in getting it to the mill. We traversed two miles of tramway from this point to the Big Creek Bush, where the Company are engaged in logging. The rails are laid down on longitudinal timbers, set down firmly in the ground, and frame braced. Practical men state that this method of laying down railway lines is much more economical and enduring than the one at E resent in vogue. I observed that the ullock yokes used were of the American class, which is much heavier than our Australian ones, the bows, however, were iron, instead of hickory. We dined at the men's hut, and proceeded to the bush. The difficulties of getting timber down to the tramway are not magnified, the distance averaging from half a mile to three miles, the ground logged on rises, up the side of the mountain range, in a succession of terraces, some of which are 400 or 600 feet high. In bringingthe logs down these steep inclines, it is necessary to ease them down with a rope. This is accomplished in the following way: The team start, let us suppose, from the third terrace at the Templar's Waterfall with three logs fast to their bob-sledge ; on their arrival at the top, an assistant, with a coil of strong Manilla . rope, takes a brace of half hitches round the sledge and timber, while he passes the other part of the rope round a convenient tree ; this done, the team is urged ahead, the ' bullocks and their load are thus steadied down, the hill as the man pays off the stay until they reach the foot in safety. This occurs at every pinch. The logs there are trucked to Kinloch, after which they are rafted to the mills. A team of four- bullocks will draw two tons of timber at once, or eight logs a day, iv dry weather to the tramway. The Company stall-feed their bullocks, giving them oaten hay, chaff and bran. This bush is about nine miles from the Dart settlement, to which the Company are about to construct a private track. This •ettlement, which has been sold to general ptttcaaaers, is alone get-at-able by natural
I means, the Government track not having got further than the map. Glenorcby is on the northern side or head of the Lake, and contains a small diggings, hotel, and several houses, besides the home station of Mr Butement. The grazing capabili; ties of the Wakatip are too well known to require particularization. There is, no doubt, a great future in store for this part of the Province, as the main track to Martin's Bay will be by Kmloch. Messrs J. W. Robertson and Co. have leased 100,000 acres of pastoral country in the neighborhood of Dake Alabaster, and they have found and blazed out a new practicable track to it, this they intend forming next summer — a most difficult and expensive task, and one* which ought to cali forth the active sympathy of our Government, as it will bring to them a new source of wealth in opening the country as far as Jackson's Bay. Internal, navigation is carried on through the medium of our great Lake Wakatip, and its advantages may be understood when we consider that Queenstown owes its present prosperity in a large measure to this source. The first European navigator of this lake was Mr Bees the former proprietor of Messrs Boyes' Run, at the head of the Kawarau, who made this station in the early part of IS6O. This gentleman afterwards explored the Lake, and drove his stock up by the then formidable "Devil's Staircase." Tbe Lake settle*. ments are as follow: — At the southern end, Kingston, which had a considerable population during the flush of the' Wakatip diggings, and is now reduced to two public houses, a store, a private house, school house, and goods depot, with landing jetty and tramway. The probable terminus of the Kingston and Winton railway will be at this place, when the remainder of the journey will be done by steamer. Fifteen miles up the Lake is Halfway Bay, which is now a government wood licensing depot ; that is, bushmen are allowed the privilege of cutting cordwood on claims of 200 ft square, for the sum of L 2 10s, payable in advance. Halfway bay is a very pretty place, but has no great extent of ground available tor purposes of settlement. A little higher up the Lake is Whisky Gully — named so, tradition hath it, on account of a private distillery which was said to have been carried on in its myste, rious depths. These spirits are said still to be " gently stealing" about the Lake shores ; but, as the Spaniards say, Quien sabe? — Who knows? A few miles onward is Bob's Bay, South. Mount Cecil rises in bare and craggy relief against the sky, and is, I am told, part of Mr B. Hallenstein's late purchase by auction of Government pastoral leases. All along these western shores there are patches oi green struggling, stunted bush ; and in one particular locality this wood is all dead, some accidental fire having destroyed it. This burnt wood might become of great service as fuel, if the farseeing economy of our great lights could be brought to bear on it. At any rate, nothing is so unpiopitious to the propagation of the mavis and other " minstrels of the grove," as burnt bush. The other Lake side bushas have been, I am told, proscribed, with the above exception. The east side of this arm of the Lake is part of the run of Messrs Boyes Bros., and has a very fine patch of timber on it. Another fiord is the by-wash of the surplus waters of the Lake, making their exit by the Kawarau. At this point is situated Frankton. Messrs Robertson and Co. have here a jetty and timber yard, from which the neighboring districts are supplied. Some estimate of the effect that the new timber regulations have on the price of fuel will be understood, when it is known that it costs 25s and 35s at the yard, hauling being reckoned at LI per cord, would bring good firing up to L 2 5s per cord. This is a large figure for mixed wood like the Tokomairiro article, the more so when the weather is so much more severe than on the Coast. Posts, rails, and other timber all stand at the most reasonable figure, and much credit is due to the corrpany in being so moderate in their charges, in consideration of the force! rise in timber cutting. Some 500 yards up the Lake side is the brickyard of Mr Burrows, who supplies a considerable quantity of this staple to the Shotover and Arrow district farmers. The clay is of the same quality as that found in various portions of the Lake, and partakes a great deal of denominated fire clay. It contains a considerable amount of mineral salts which have the effect of " stoning" the bricks, and in some instances glazing them. Similar deposits of this clay exist in different parts of the Lake shores. Above this yard is the compact and valuable fellraongery of Mr George Ludeman, with his pretty residence and garden ; while next door to him are the brick and tile yards of Mr Kilburne, who turns out 150,000 bricks per season. The Queenstown Recreation Grounds form the peninsula and east cape of the bay on which the little Lake city stands, and while passing this way a few remarks about the place may be appreciated by the intelligent public. Ballarat- street is the principal thoroughfare, and has the fine hotels of Mr Albert Eichardt and Mr Powell, the town Hall and library, and at the head of the street, the Foresters' neat stone hall, and the main district school, with its handsome new addition ; also, the Presbyterian Church ; — a new drapery and clothing shop has been opened by Messrs Clark and Talboys; it is conducted by the former gentleman, and bids fair to do a large trade in their line. Messrs Woodrow (baker), Barnett (butcher), Tully and Powell (auctioneers), Lewis Hotop (chemist and druggist), on the corner of Bees and Ballarat streets. The National Bank is the next building to Eichardt's hotel. Of livery stables, those of Mr B. Boss receive the most patronage, owing, no doubt, to the care and attention
; bestowed by the proprietor on the animals i entrusted to his care. The buildings oi , B. Hallenstein, Esq., are now occupied by Messrs De Beer and Walde, whose , extensive stock is too well known to re quire further mention. The above firm retain their old business on the corner of , Rees and Beach street. The Bank of i New Zealand is a handsome building, and occupies the same side of the street, the front pillars are plain, with the Corinthian order of capital. Beach-street contains i the handsome .buildings of Mr J. H. Malaghan, the Mayor, besides, the stores of Messrs Black, Whittingham Bros., and others. At the western end is the timber yards and wharf, with the goods shed and office of J. W/Robertson and Co. ; the Lake shore here presents a very lively appearance with its whale boats, gigs, sailing craft, and boathouses. The cemetery is just above this point, at the base of the mountains, where is apportioned off part for the burial of the Chinese, and where once a year they offer oblations of rice, candles, handkerchifs, boots, and other clothing, to the shades of the departed. To make them fit for the use of the departed, they burn them, thus resolving them into new sub-, stances of a like order. There is in this custom a considerable amour, t of philosophy. While at this end of the place, I may briefly mention that Mr J. W. Robertson has brought on a fine timber flume from the One Mile Creek, which enables him to carry on his sluicing operations there. This gentleman offered to supply the Queenstown Municipality with a supply of water sufficient for fire and sewerage purposes for the trifling sum of L 25 per annum. Queenstown though yet exempt from typhoid fever is likely to come in for its share in the course of time, as no effort is being made to provide for the Sanitary law — if there is such a statute in Otago. At the east end of the town stands the Masonic Hall and the large and complete brewery of Mr C. L. Davis, who has, since the death of Mr Malaghan, purchased the brewery of Surman and Malaghan. This brewery was a most complete one. The plant consists of a 600 gallon copper and mash tub (of local make), a refrigerator, which reduces the liquor to 50 deg. in its passage to the fermenting tub and refining cellar. The building is two stories high and36fc x 34ft in dimensions, the malt house is 46ft x 24ft, and capable of malting QG bushels at once. The quantity of beer which can be turned off from this establishment is 10 hogsheads a week. Of the new buildings erected the private house of Mr Spence, Government Surveyor and Civil Engineer, is a handsome addition to the place ; it is built entirely of brick. Altogether, Queenstown is a very pretty and pleasant place.
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Our Traveller., Bruce Herald, Volume VII, Issue 620, 4 August 1874
Our Traveller. Bruce Herald, Volume VII, Issue 620, 4 August 1874
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