THE HUNUA AND ITS ATTRACTIONS.
ROMANTIC SCENERY. A flying visit to the Wairoa Falls or to the " big kauri" is not a satisfactory visit to the Hunua, for the district abounds in beauties of a rare sort, and, though not much appreciated by the residents, and very little known to outsiders, there are many places well worth a visit from those who love the beautiful in nature. The Admiral's late flying run has reminded me of the inadequacy of such a visit to give anyone a fair impression of the scenery of the Hunua. The falls and the big kauri are juet now thrown into the shade, to many minds, by the discovery of workable coal, and the prospect of making money out of the many absentees' allotments, and this is making the Hunua a point of attraction for some ; hence this note. But my business is not the coal, though I have a sample on the table, but with the many romantic spots and scenes that are to be found there. Principal and most charming of these is Kelly's Creek, with its beautiful falls. On a hot summer afternoon nothing could be more deljcious than a visit to the cool shade of the gorge in which this creek runs to the Wairoa River. The precipitous bank, covered with evergreen bush, hundreds of feet overhead, and the rich, almost tropical, growth of many of the plants clinging~to the rocks and at your feet, splashed by the spray from the falling waters, the deep, dark pools of deliciously cool, clear water, with the tree ferns and other vegetation mirrored in their depths, and the boulder-bestrewed bed of the creek, with its windings and ever-changing aspect, the innumerable water-worn boulders of all shapes and sizes that have been rolled down in floods, and the splashing falls—all combine to make an impression the most pleasurable imaginable on the visitor, and an impression, too, most likely to endure. The whole scene, once seen on a fine summer afternoon, can never be forgotten. It is not one spot only ; the whole length of the creek from its junction with the Wairoa River is one series of beautiful pictures. One fall, called the Black Fall, leaps about fifty feet in two leaps, a small, deep basin of rock catching the stream half-way down ; the black rock contrasts finely with the white spray of the water. The finest fall, however, is the Lily Fall, which comes over a rock seventy or more feet high, and falls a little way down on to a shelf, where the falling water makes a cloud of spray, and, gathering again, the stream comes tumbling down for a distance, and is then divided by a jutting rock into two streams, with the white spray sparkling all down their course to the deep black basin below. It is a very pretty fall in summer; in winter, when the floods are out, it must be simply grand. There are other smaller leaps farther up the stream, but these two are the finest. Any description, however lengthy, would fail to give a true impression of this beautiful stream; a novice cannot expect to give more than a dim outline of it. There are other streams besides this well worth a visit, but it takes time, and, more than that, it takes a love of nature to really appreciate the beauties of nature. The almighty dollar worshipper would be calculating the " horse-power" of the Lily Fall, and miss the charm of its great beauty. Let these, and all their breed, by all means guage the volume of water, and go into figures as to its value in dollars ; let them count up how many feet of timber there are in the big kauri; or go to the coal seams, and estimate their value as an element in the price of allotments, or as a speculation ; but save me from their company in the presence of the beautiful in nature.
To sit down qa a boulder in Kelly's Creek to enjoy the beautiful surroundings is a pleasure worth a long journey. To sit down on a chair, pen in hand, and a blank sheet of paper before you, trying to analyse and describe the scenes and impressions of the prior sitting, is quite a different matter. I feel that I have made a mess of it, but my attempt may induce a better hand to try it. T. S.
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THE HUNUA AND ITS ATTRACTIONS., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 9004, 17 March 1888
THE HUNUA AND ITS ATTRACTIONS. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 9004, 17 March 1888
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