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THE SUTHERLAND FALLS.

Mr D. Sutherland writes to the Lyttelton Times: — Of late years the credit of discovering the Sutherland Falls has been claimed by several persons, who, as a matter of fact, did not visit them till years after they were first visited. The Sutherland Falls were discovered on November 10, 1880, by Sutherland and M'Kay. In 1878 I travelled from the Southern Sounds to Milford by a boat, with only a dog for a companion. I made a stay of a few weeks at Milford, and marked out the site for a hut for headquarters at Freshwater Basin. I then went up the Arthur River and discovered Lake Ada, after which I set sail for Big Bay and Jackson's Bay, to the north, returning m a, few weeks to Milford, where 1 - 1 set to work and BUILT A HUT with slabs and thatch. About nine months later I sent word to Big Bay for M'Kay to come to Milford by steamer, while at he same time I set sail again for the Southern Sounds, leaving a note for M'Kay, m case he should arrive m my absence. Some weeks later, on my return, I found M'Kay iri the hut, and together we commenced prospecting m and about the Sound. We continued thus for over a year, and m July 1880 we sailed for Martin's Bay. ' Leaving tho boat at the head of Lake M'Kerrow we walked over to. Lake Harris and thence to Queenstown, where we had an interview with the Lake County Council relative to a track from Milford to the lake. Receiving assistance from ■- the Council td find a track we returned to Milford and set to work. We first went up the Cleddau River, but, finding that it would take us some time to do all the brariches, we left this river to explore up the Arthur River to the south, falling back on the Cleddau River later on, and finishing with it. We made ample arrangements m the way of TOOLS AND "TUCKER" for the trip, as I could see we had a lot of new ground to go over, and we reckoned we ./would have to put m four or five months on the expedition. We hauled our boat up m the bush up the Arthur River,' cut a track to Lake Ada, arid carried everything to the' foot of the lake. We then cut down a birch tree and made a cartoe, 18ft long, m 2 which we explored the lake and all its brariches, taking soundings m various parts of , the lake. Shifting all our belongings up the Poseidon Riveras far as we could go by boat' we made a head camp,- from which we prospected the fivers and creeks, cutting; our way with billhook; arid axe. We then., made our way. up the v Poseidon River till we came to the divide, when -we got our first. view of the Falls. We prospected about that part and past the Falls for three weeks, and then went up on the pass, which we named Balloon Pass, but which is now known as M'Kinrion Pass, also naming Mount Balloon and other mountains m the district. In December, 1880, I sent a letter to the Lake County Council with a full account of our explorations, and this was published m the Wakatipu Mail oh January 21, 1881. I reported that Balloon Pass was too far south; to be of any practical, use, via the Clinton, j for Lake Wakatipu, and stated that; we j did- not intend to go down the Clinton. It was cloudy. on the day we went on top" of the pass,, but I got a few, bearings by conipass. On shifting camp we started to explore Joes River, which, runs into the head of Lake Ada from the east, and also a low pass which we discovered m the south-east branch. This pass is about 1800 ft high, with heavy timber on top, the east branch of the Clinton being on the other side. After we finished Joes River we came back to the Sound. A little later M'Kay left Milford, and I set out on a trip by myself m the Southern "Sounds, where I "wag. engaged

PROSPECTING AND EXPLORING/ j for some years. In 1883 Mr Hart, an I Invercargill photographer; arrived m ' M ilf ord by steamer from the Bluff. He i was the first man I took, to Jthe' Falls. It was a stiff journey, as' my track was grown over by this time— -three years having elapsed since I made it— and 1 do not think Mr Hart , has forgotten it yet. He obtained a number of photographs of the country, and the first one ever taken, of the Falls. We pitched our camp a few, chains lower down than the present Falls, huts, on the bank ot the river, and we put m about five days there, after which we started back for Lake Ada arid the Sounds, Mr Hart journeying thence by the s,s. Stella to Wellington. : 1 was m Dunedin m 1888, by : which time . the Government had thoughts about opening up the country round Milford and gaining information as to the '-height of ; the Falls. To this end I was asked if t would cut a track to the Falls. My sketch-map, together with a'full report of the country, was at this period, m the possession, of the Survey Department. The Government promised me £50 when I CUT THE TRACE, to the Falls,' and though I knew/this sum would not pay for half the "tucker," I agreed to finish the track by the end of October, everything being drawn up m the Survey Office at Dunedin, and sighed. A track, 6ft wide, was to be cut from the boat landing at Arthur River'to Sutherland Falls, one boatshed to' be 1 built at the foot of \ Lake Ada, one boat of timber to 1 be carried up to the lake, and one slab hut built* at the Faljsj 10ft by 12ft, with eight bunks and a fireplace, and a 7ft wall. I made all the filial arrangeirients with Mr Adams, Chief Surveyor of Otago, who, with his staff, was to land at Milford' in October. I found three men and left m the Hiriemoa for Milford m April, with ample tools, tents, arid "tucker" to see the business through. I got a Start on the track by May 1, feeiirig that I had ahead of me si x months m which to hoist this "dead horse" overboard. T reckoned it would take me all my time, but by October 2, after putting m the winter between the head of the Sound and the Falls I- had the track cut. A few days later Mr Adams and his staff arrived, and the survey was completed. Before we left the Falls, M'Kinnon and Mitchel came over the pass and passed within a hundred yards of our hut. Picking up on the track close to the hut they followed it down to the boat landing on the Poseidon River, where I had a tent pitched. They

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19070515.2.42.36

Bibliographic details

THE SUTHERLAND FALLS., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 10972, 15 May 1907, Supplement

Word Count
1,193

THE SUTHERLAND FALLS. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 10972, 15 May 1907, Supplement

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