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HAWKES BAY., Clutha Leader, Volume XIX, Issue 941, 29 July 1892
(I'ROM A COIIIIErfPONnKNT.) Tho summer is now past, and winter has shown itself, as the hills are now and then covered with snow, while the low grounds gut their share of occasional frosts and very heavy rains, which have caused slight floods. There is little that would make a person from Ot?go think it was other than early spring, as vegetables have still a healthy appearance, but yet the old settlers maintain that it is the worst weather there has been for the. past 12 years, though it appears like summer to me. But come what may, it can only effect stock, as the harvest is over in January or early in February at the latest. I must say the people of Hawkes Bay cannot boast of heavy crops, as 15 bushels to the acre is common. They do make a bit of a blow, however, when a few thousand wethers are sent to the freezing works and average over 1201bs. I have heard of these wonders many times, but have not seen the reality yet. On tho 2nd October, at Taradale, Hawkes Bay, I saw 30 acres which had j not been stocked for six weeks, and tho ! ryegrass was about two feet long in ; seed — part standing, part lying. It j reminded me of a very good crop of wheat. This is without doubt a grazing country ; its settlers, almost to a man, are engaged in pastoral pursuits. They do not (or say they don't) pretend to grow wheat, and they import most of their oats from the South. They are too busy sitting on a rail whistling ' Hail ! Columbia !' while the wool grows on the sheep's backs to think of anything but frozen mutton, and yet they will have it that fanning does not pay, as they grow potatoes to be pitched overboard into Sydney Harbor. They seem to think it is more profitable to buy what they consume than grow it on their own fertile soil. They even import their bacon, butter, and cheese. They get most of their butter from Eitham factory in Taranaki, and say ' it is the best they can get,' which I quite believe is true, as the proprietor of that factory is a Chinaman. Surely what a Chinaman can do in Taranaki a white man can do in Hawkes Bay. Mr Chew Chung drives all his machinery by water, and though there is no waterfall here, yet there is artesian water powerful enough for an} 7 butter factory. It has been proved by experiments ments made on the Ij,iverslea estate
from time to time that the climate and soil are specially adapted for the successful cultivation of hops. Tobacco also flourishes, and experiments are being made to ascertain the varieties best suited to the soil and climate. Nearly all English, as well as niost semi-tropical, fruits grow to perfection, though until lately fruit-growing ha? received comparatively little atttention as an industry. Hawkes Bay, though one of the most flourishing parts of the Colony, can as yet he said to be only in its infancy, though it was sighted by European eyes in 1769. It is capable of supporting an enormous population, and as its capacity becomes more widely know, population will inevitably flock here. A township here begins in the usual way. First, a small store and postoffice, then an hotel and a racecourse ; next on the list comes a blacksmith's shop and another hotel, and so on, for the people here, seem to care for little else than alcohol and racing, I fear that before 20 years are past that the churches which are now used for divine worship will be transformed to suit the purpose of racing stables. I am now to give a short description of the Spa Taupo. One of the charming health resorts in the wonderland of New Zealand is the Spa near Tapuaoharuru, which visitors can reach by taking coach from Napier. I allude to this as I think no' tourist should miss the sight of certainly the pretties!", and not the least wonderful place in the North Island. The Spa has been aptly termed the oasis of Taupo. A person will notice a sudden change in the journey from Napier when he finds himself out of the heat and glare of ! pumice sandplains into this tree-shaded retreat. When this property was purchased by the present proprietor he had one object in view. The place was then known as Loffing's Baths, and a great many cures had been effected by their use, though otherwise it offered no attraction to either invalid or tourist. Jack Loffey had had no experience in working spas, and a raupo >. whare or two were all that he thought j anyone would require, but it was a happy day for many hundreds when Mr Joshua bought out the old pioneer. It was then that the transformation process began. The ground was first drained and the medicinal solts evaporated from it. The hot springs that were then bubbling' up in the swamp were led into a stream and the healing waters analysed, houses had to be erected and baths constructed. Then Mr Joshua thought it advisable to turn it into a health resort that all invalids might come and be healed. Mr Joshua, having had a wide experience of spas in Germany, adopted the Continental plan to secure privacy and comfort for invalids, while offering table d'hote and hall accommodation. The place is embosomed by trees, and j there are several cottages erected for the use of families staying for a time. A tennis lawn, English grass paddocks, and everything that a person could wish for, both useful and ornamental, are to be found. Through the midst of all this runs a stream of hot water which here and there is vigorously boiling, and as you walk along its course you can perceive small streams of varying curative waters running into it till it flows into baths of different degrees. It is pleasant to walk along its banks and look at the beautiful flowers and old bridges so gorgeously ornamented. A guide, horses, and everything requisite is supplied by Mr Joshua at very reasonable charges considering these parts. It is really an \ Al place for wedding parties, and 1 : would not mind the least spending my honeymoon there.
HAWKES BAY., Clutha Leader, Volume XIX, Issue 941, 29 July 1892
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