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Sketcher., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 2 March 1907
OUT FOR A HOLIDAY. (Contributed). What joy when we woke to fi>id a perfect morning ! After a great hustle and hurry-scurry glutting ready wo departed from the ferry at about 11 a.m., in two traploads en route for the coast beyond the Waiau. After a drive of six miles we arrived at ■the beach, and found that we were a little too early on the tide, but the horses did not seem to mind the water. Four miles of a drive along the beach brought us to our camp alongside the river Rowallan. The drive, having given us a keen appetite, we first turned our attention to getting diiimer ready. After a hearty meal, we turned out to inspect our surroundings, which p>eased us very much. The camp, which was put up by Mr West, and does him great credit, _ is a really comfortable hut, and is prettily placed amongst the bush, close to the river, and about three minutes walk from the sea.
The afternoon we spent strolling along- the seashore. It was a sight .we are not likely to forget. In front of ns the sea—and as one watched it r,o!l in and break with a thunderingroar on the beach, one thought of what little chance a human life has against it. But 0 it is beautiful ! (At the back of us rose the tall cliffs, so silent and majestic in their covering of green, with hero and there tiny waterfalls trickling down the face of them, while right tip on the top we caught a glimpse of the wild deer. After tea, the men suggested fishing', and then the fun commenced. Two ladies of the party undertook to help the men, so with much laughter they robed themselves in man’s attire, and took to the sea- There iwcre not many flounders caught that night, but quite sufficient to keep us in fish for our meals. We did a little torching in the river at night, but ■being tired, turned in early. Visions of a . good night’s rest were soon dispelled, for no sooner had we settled to sleep than that small but terrible mosquito started to work, and didn't he work ! Prayers and threats alike were disregarded, and so at one o’clock we were eagerly looking forward to daylight, and 'when daylight at last appeared—about 4 o'clock— I think we forgot our troubles in ths joy of the morning. AViothcr perfect day, and the bush ringing with the song of the birds ! After having a dip in the brim - I stood to watch the sun rise. I will not attempt to describe it. The beauty of ii thrilled me. The whole .sky, sea, and mountains was lit up with a beautiful shade of pink, which gradually faded away as the great sun himself rose from behind the Tongwood. Being satisfied that the others had missed a great treat, I turned to the camp, where breakfast was In full swing. After that meal we got ready again, aynd by seven o’clock we were on the road or rather beach again, for the next camp, called the Waikoau. which is a very pretty river,, and is about hour miles from the Ilowallan.
Arriving there, we left our horses, ami started for the next camp. Bluecliff, which is two miles from the iWaikaou. It was a pleasant walk along the beach. We made a halt at a river called the Humpburn for lunch. Here some of the party stopped. while the others walked on, bent on getting to Bluecliff. After a while wo entered the hush, and (joy amongst the men, and, I am afraid, consternation amongst the ladies) fresh cattle tracks were found, and the. clog was heard a good way off | barking, eviclcjutly having something | bailed up. Guns were looked to and | loaded, and away started me of the j men, the others slaying behind to protect the ladles. We were tilled j .with admiration at the thought of j that one man going forth to face the terrors of wild cattle. We had vis- } ions of him, a solitary figure, boldly | facing a herd of them. We listened j breathlessly, and presently heard the f clog barking furiously. A shot was j fired, and then we waited for the conquering hero. At last ho came, and in his hand ho held his trophy—a penguin ! We wont on again with no other adventures except the catching of a couple more penguins by the dogs. Arriving at Bluecliff we had a 'good rest, ajncl then inspected our surroundings. This camp is as far as tourists can go with horses on The Preservation Inlet track. After having a good look round we started back for the rest of the party, and then we all made for the Waikoau. Here we stopped for a while to get mussels and cocklcS. and then made for the Bowallan again.
Arriving at our camp, some of us went up the river in a boat, and after rowing for a mile one felt as if they were in a new world, or rather the old world. There are very few places in New Zealand which have escaped the traveller, but this place is one of them. Here we found pigeons in abundance, and even the now rare woodhen was to be seen.
After tea we again strolled along the beach and collected some curios in the shape of stdiios of curious shape, and some with shells embedded in them. The men suggested fishing again, so “Jack” and “Tommy” again made ready for the sea. This time “Jack” took the outside of the net with one of the mcAi, and Tommy staying in the inside with another. The fish were more plentiful than the night before, and everything was going on all right, when there was a scream. A great wave, a “creeper” as the fishermen call it, broke over “Jack,” and for a minute she .was submerged, but nothing daunted she kept on till the end of the fishing, which lasted an hour longer. And then with a drop of the “crater” and a good fire and warm clothes we felt ourselves again. It was now 10.30 p.m., and we turned out again to do some torching in the river, but the flounders were scarce, and we only speared about a ’dozen. At midnight we all turned in, after having spent a good day. The mosquitos had their own wicked way that night, as everyone was too tired to think of them. The next morning we were up at five o'clock to make ready for our homeward journey. After a hurried breakfast and packing up, wo said good-bye to our camp, and by halfpast six we were on the road again. The drive along the beach in the early morning was something to remember. Out in the surf the porpoises were playing, sometimes jumping right out of the water in their
frolics. Here we were fortunate in adding a groper to our supply of fish. We found it stranded on the beach. It had evidently been washed up by the last tide. After leaving the beach we halted an hour to gather mushrooms, ulhich were very plentiful, and then, after another hour’s drive we arrived at the ferry, having Iliad a most enjoyable ' time, and thoroughly -satisfied that for a good holiday there is nothibg like camping-out.
Sketcher., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 2 March 1907
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