NOTES TAKEN ON A JOURNEY BETWEEN THE REWAKA AND TAKAKA DISTRICTS.— IB 44.
April 25. — Started at ten, a.m., ia company with the Rev. C. Reay, Apiko, and two Maories, from Mr. Campbell's house, in the Rewako. Ascending the hill at the back of his house, steering west by north, at half-put Wo we
came to a range of hills, from whence we saw the Marahou valley, bearing north by east, and the Rewaka, south by west. Passed Mr. Heaphy's track during the afternoon. Our road lay over hills easy of ascent, and in most cases open woodland.
26th. — Steered west half north for two hours. Passed over small rocks in ascending a range, between which, however, there is room for a bridle-road to be cut. At half -past two we got to the top of the Pukeona range, from which we had a very fine view of the Takaka river and valley immediately beneath us; and saw Mr. Duffey's survey station about two days' journey down the river. Met with a deep chasm such as Mr. Heaphy describes. Descended the range till about six o'clock, without meeting with water.
2lTth. — In two hours we got to an open grass plain of about 500 acres in extent, through which the Takaka runs. The descent from the Pukeona range to the Takaka river is difficult, and would require a circuitous road to be cut to allow horses to descend ; though not worse than what I apprehend some parts of the road from Wellington to Porirua were to cut. The whole of our road was through a succession of dense forest land, generally free from supplejack, in cutting a bridle-road through which few (if any) large trees would need to be felled. The ground is covered with thick moss and vegetable deposit. The view of the Takaka valley is magnificent : the banks of the river are clothed with timber; the land, of which there are some thousands of acres available for agricultural purposes, is generally flat, and of equal quality with the Motuaka woodland ; the trees are chiefly remo, totara, and birch, many of them of very large growth ; the river is rapid, and in many places very deep. From the banks of the river we observed the brown looking peak so plainly visible at Motuaka, bearing south half west, Mr. Duffey'e station distant a day and a-half's journey north, the ridge of the Pukeona down which we descended east, and the Takaka mountains west. We ascended the river all day, steering south, crossing at the fords. Towards evening we fdund that the river suddenly took a turn to the westward through a deep gorge. Steered eastward, and crossed a smaller river, the Mangaona, which forms a junction with the Konganiho, and the two combined become what is called the Takaka. Encamped on the banks of the Mangaona, and found in the bed of the river a good deal of lime and potters' clay. With the exception of the plain before mentioned, there is little or no grass land ; but, owing to the open nature of the woodland, plenty of feed for a limited number of cattle could be obtained. The land generally is suitable for tillage, not for grazing. 28 th. — Ascended another ridge of the Pukeona, on our return, steering south by east. Found the ascent very difficult, chiefly climbing over sharp ledges of slaty rock. The rain, which had been threatening some time, came down in torrents, accompanied with very high wind, during the night, and continued the whole of the next day, during which we made little or no progress.
30th. — The rain ceased about noon, when we started, steering east by south; our road was very difficult. By night we reached the summit of a high range of hills, forming one side of the Rewaka Bush Valley, as the natives call it, from which we had a glimpse of the Motuaka wood. Could not find water.
May 1. — Descended the ridge, which was very steep and craggy, and came to what I imagine to be the source of the Rewaka river. Followed its course all day, the road almost impracticable, from having to walk on the edge of the river, which was very much swollen.
2d. — Continued the same course, and at noon came to some Maori plantations. The whole of this southern branch of the Rewaka valley is grand in point of scenery, but utterly useless for agricultural purposes, the sides being almost perpendicular, and the only feasible road liable to be covered by every rain. If a bridle road be cut, 1 should recommend its being commenced at the hill which we ascended at starting, and continued along the road we traversed to the top of the Pukeona range, tbe descent from which, by proper search to the southward, I have little doubt would be found much more easy than the one we found. I consider that the whole distance of the bridle road would not exceed twenty miles, taking into consideration the circuit which would in places have to be made. The greater part of the road could be made at a trifling cost, and, when completed, might be traversed on horseback in one day. The opening a communication with so much really good land in the neighbourhood of suburban sections would be a very great advantage to the settlement at large. George Murray. The Grove, Motuaka, May 3.
Nov«l and Cruel Match. — Mr. Burke, of trotting celebrity, having undertaken for a considerable wager to drive a pony in harness, without whip, from Bedford to the George and Blue Boar, Holborn, and return the same afternoon, and from Bedford to London the following day, starting with the Times coach and completing the distance in less time than that conveyance ; commenced his arduous exploit on Monday. The entire distance to be gone over in the two days was 150 miles, Bedford being exactly 50 miles from London, and in the first journey the pony had the advantage, arriving at his destination before the coach ; but on the second the poor little animal was completely exhausted by his extraordinary exertions, and," on reaching Shefford, eight miles from Bedford, fell to the ground and immediately expired. The inhumanity of such a match as the above is so apparent, that it is only surprising there should be found persons, however attached they may be to this description of pastime, so deficient of proper feeling as to encourage by their presence similar cruel exhibition!.