THROUGH LING COUNTRY ON A MOTOR.
DR. KNTGHT'SBECENT TRIP. ■■■ ■■ •' ■-. .\w- " ■ y
AN INTERESTING .DESCRIPTION. Dr. KNIGHT, who recently mdertook a run through the Kins? Country oi.: a motor earth© first trip of the kind—furbishes us with the following details of an altogether interesting and, on the whole, run:— Some account cf a journey throu'jh the King Country, so eallocl, on a motor cai. will, perhaps, be of interest to many. The possibility of such a triri being successfully undertaken was somewhat doubtful. After Orcspondence with a friend, at Otorohanga, learned that a formed road existed from Te K,iti to Waitara, but from Otorohanga to Te Kuiti only a horse track, that I should hav<, two rivers to cross, though at this time of rear they would be low, and fordablc. With 'his information I decided to undertake the »S,p, so on Thursday. March 9, at half-past a : K , 1 left Ponsonby in my 8-h.p. Cadillac, accompanied by my wife and son. aged-. li years. We had a very fair rim to Hamilton, "reaching that place at half-past two, and after a good rest left about five p.m. for Te Awamutu. The road was in splendid condition, quite smooth, and not much dust. A slight mishap caused a delay here until twelve next day, but. we had a good -sttn" to Otorohanga, ~; where '.ve trajued* our car for 'le.'".'«ii. no ro^'J,4exTst"ing between these places. Having made a deviation to visit the Waitomo Caves, we picked up the car again at Te Kuiti next day. Leaving Te Kuiti at half-past, one p.m., we mapped out our journey so that Elliotts, at Mahoenui, 31 miles away, should be our resting place for the night. The country through -which wo passed was of ft very interesting character, and some gorges really magnificent, the views well repaying US for our adventure, the limestone formation at points being particularly fine. The long hills and heavy climbing which the car was called upon to do made us late in reaching our destination, so that it was half-past eight before we dropped suddenly on the bed of the Awakino River, fortunately low, less than two feet deep, with a large stoney bottom. This unpleasant dilemma in tho dark made us hesitate to cross, and wo were contemplating the pleasure of camping out for the night. Investigation revealed the fact that matters were not so desperate, so we went through without much trouble, and finally reached Elliott's, and after a refreshing meal turned in, glad of a rest. Wo were on tho road again next morning— and a lovely morning,. too—-with the intention of running easily into New Plymouth or Waitara, not dreaming of any difficulties which might hinder us, although we were told that the worst was before us. However, wo had light hearts, and away we went, and had a splendid run, although a very hilly one —live miles at a time —but the _car never failed us. and did the climbing without hesitation. The Taumatamaire was the greatest range, and here again the scenery was of the grandest. Then came the run down on tin other side, gliding gracefully round sharp corners and bend? on the gorge-side, witii - sheer fall of hundreds of feet if a false turn was made; all this tended to lend a spicy excitement to the run. This broughtus to the mouth of the Awakino River, and such a pretty spot! An ideal place for a picnic, if only more accessible. A few miles and we were confronted by Hie ocean beach, anr* learned that the only road was over the firm sand. Here oui discomfiture commenced. The tide was too ltis»lj to attempt the beach, so wo availed ourselves of the time by boiling the "billy" and having e cup of tea, and then a swim in tho breakers. The tide being then suitable, we ran the machine on to the sand and stuck. The- loose dry sand above high-water mark was our pitfall, and in it the car buried its chain and tried hard,to convert ironsand into a motor car. This trouble was owing chiefly to the fact of my having solid tires on my driving wheels, and not having beer, built up to the original height: it consequently lowered my gear some inches, and gave very little distance off the ground. With the assistance of a spado and a few good-natured Maoris, we overcame that difficulty, only to be greeted with the comforting statement that the same would happen- at the other end. We. negotiated the firm beach successfully, with an occasional breaker coming further than usual and rising three parts up the wheels, but Still the car worked on, the sea washing the sand out of the gear. We found it practically impossible to get through the sand off the beach, and a horse and cart coming along we enlisted its services and reached terra firnia. once again. Here, again, we were informed that after crossing the Mokau ferry we should have more loose sand, and that on the hill rising from the river, .so that it would not be possible .to work tho car over. We therefore engaged a Maori who possessed horses, and he, with great willingness, came with us over tho ferry and on the other side, and taking the car in charge easily pulled it over the sand and up the hill to a- good road.
As we passed tin? village of Mokau, we received a hearty cheer for having worried through. From here we had a run of nine miles to the next posting-house at Txmgaporutu. The sun was setting as we crossed' the ferry, bur- with a good road and the machine none the worse for a eand bath, wo soon reached our destination. Next morning we ran into New Plymouth through Urun'ui and Waitara, and on the best-surfaced read, With one or two exceptions (where repairs were proceeding), that we had encountered. For 30 miles before reaching New Plymouth the road was almost perfection, and as we raced along we forgot.the tribulation of the previous day. One hill, called Messenger's, after leaving Tonganorutu, was held out as a "demon," but although steep, we had no trouble in ascending it, with a lovely run down on the other side. We did not stay long in New Plymouth, a few hours and we were on the road once more, making for Stratford.
Our journey was continued on through Wanganui, Palmerston, over the hills to Pahiatua and Woodvillo. thence through Waipukurau to Napier, Taupo, Rotorna, and back through Hamilton to Auckland. The run through the King Country was especially enjoyable, owing to the. novelty of the thing, and also the excitement anil amusement it caused the Maoris. They always crowded round the machine whenever we stopped. An old "Maori asked us where wo cam© from while at the Awakino, and en tilling; him from Auckland, he exclaimed: "Baa golly," in a long-drawn breath. The surface of the roads was very fail, with few exceptions, such as where repairs were being effected. For a run with a motor ca. there are uo great difficulties to encounter, provided the machine is of sufficient horse-power for the long, steep hills. I can only give praise to my -machine for the work it, did, uo difficulties in ihe working caused us any (rouble, and but for the sand we should have had no real trouble. Now the trip has once been undertaken, and its practicability established, we, nc doubt, shall have more cars passing through in the summer season. -p.s a matter of fact, with the sand exception, l would far sooner go overland to New Plymouth than take the trip from Rctorua to -Napier; the load was far better.
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THROUGH LING COUNTRY ON A MOTOR., New Zealand Herald, Volume XLII, Issue 12833, 5 April 1905
THROUGH LING COUNTRY ON A MOTOR. New Zealand Herald, Volume XLII, Issue 12833, 5 April 1905
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