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THE BEAUTIES OF WESTLAND.

Mr T, E. Donne's Special Report. .The following is the special report furnished to tbe Hon. tbe Acting Minister fcr Tourist and Health Resorts by Mr T. B. Donne, Chief of the Department, on his recent tour of Westland:— •Vrm-CpAST AND HAABT PASS ROUTH. In cc(&rdaooe with the dinction of Cabinet I hay* the honour to report haviDg visited the West Coast of the Bouth Island, travelling overland fr< m Hokitika to Lake Waaaka by way of the ■ Haast Pas 3 , with aView to obtaining information and making suggestiens regarding the development of Westland as a tourist district. In my opinion the scenery along the route I travelled from Hokitika southwards to the Otago Lakes, cinnot bo surpassed anywhere fer variety, beauty and grandeur. The glaciers are the most beautiful I have seen, the forests more luxuriant than in any part of the colony, and the lakes, with their fringing of bush, the waterfalls and the mountains, art chanrnginthe extreme. At present this- nne district iapractically an unknown lard to visitors from abr»ad, but J atn convinced that when it" is made readily accessible and more comfort is ensured in the means of transit and accommodation, ib wfll become a famous pleasureground for travellers from other council my way down tbe West Coast, I visited Wwtport and Greymoutb, and spent some time at Hokitika. The means of access to this town are being improved considerably, and it, will shortly be possible to reach it in one day by rail and coach from Christchurch . LAKBB KAMEBI AMD MAHINAPtfA. Hokitika is the«entre for the visitor who desires to see Lakes Mahioapua and Kanieri— the one a lagoon like sbeet of water noted for its wonderful shadow like effect*, an* the other a very beaujafal deep. fpreStgirt lake at the footiof lofty moanUlns. Acoess to Msßinapus from Hokitika is controlled by the tide, and at present boats or launches earn be taken up . the Mahinapua Creek from the Hokitika Biver only, whence tide is high. To, obviate tblq difficulty the Department has arranged for the ( construction of a small lock, and this will permit of access at all times.

At Lake Kanieri there is a motor launch under control of the Westland Acclimatisation Society and available for hire by visitors. The Tourist Department contributed £73 towards the cost of purchasing this launch, and a further sum of £35 towards the coat of new engines for it. Th« greater portion of the forest covered watershed surrounding Kanieri is in the hinds of the Grown, and I strongly urge tbat the whole area should be set apart as a scenic reserve, so .that, the fine bu*h can be kept intact This wonld necessitate purchasing the rights of several 8m»ll landowners in tbe vicinity. Begarding accommodation at Kanieri, I am of opinion that a small house, should be erected on the shores of the Lake, where visitors could obtain shelter and refreshments. Several suitable sites for such a building are available, aod if the house were erected the Government should, I thiuk, let it at a nominal rental to some person who would keep it in order and supply refreshments to visitors. ACCOMMODATION ETC., HOKTTIKA TO THB GLACIERS. There ia great need of bettor hotel accommodation for visitors at Hokitika. At Boss, a township 20 miles south of flokitika, the hotel accommodation is inferior, but thfct will not effect travellers vtry much after the railway is opened from Hokitika to that place, es the (raid tine* able will no doubt be arranged to permit of passengers for South Westland starting from Hokitika in the morning and on arrival at Ross, joi&ing tbe coach and going through to Hende's Ferry, Wanganui Biver, tbe same day.

At the Wanganui Biver (where a night ia spent on the drive from Ron to Okarito or to Franz Joseph Glacier) a good &ccomnicdation house should, I consider, be erected, capable of comfortably accommodating at least twenty persons. The location of such a hous* would, of course, be dependent to a great extent on the aite of the bridge over this river. Some visitors would no doubt stay at this heuse in order to inspect the fine mountain scenery up theWaoganui.

At the Watßroa Biver crossing there is need of a suitable building where luncheon can be obtained. From here I would recommend tbat southward bound travellers riiould drive direct to the Watho, at the foot of the Franz Josef, instead of diverging at the Forks to Okarito.

Th« bwntif ol Franz Josef Glacier. 93 mild soath of Hokitika, v one of the ■oat mntrkabU sight* of the West Com* descending v it does to within 7Coft of lea-level; and on account of its unique character, iti lovely framing of f erett vegetation, and the ease with which .visitors can reach and traverte its terming Hv>, it is certain to become one of the favonrite objectives of a West Goaifc ioor. A good house of accommodation is essential here; as most visitors would remain here a day or two a larger house is necessary than the one proposed at the Wanganui River. I consider that a house to accommodate thirty persons is required. The bouse should, in my opinion, be built on the same site as the Department's iron hut, facing the glacier. Wood and water are plentiful and dose at band, At present there is one difficulty in the way —the absence of vebiole or borse bridge over the Waiho Biver at Batson's. This river, flowing from the face of the Fraai Josef, is swift and subject to high floods. When in good order it is forded on horse back; foot passengers cross by a light s -ension bridge. It would not co?t mfeuh to widen the present road from the Waiho Biyer to the Glacier to permit of vehicle traffic; a trap could then be kept at the accommodation house for the purpose of carrying visitors and their baggage between the river (where the coach road ends) iod the glacier, a distance of about two miles.

LAKE IANTUE. A proposal has be«n adtanced thafci boose of acjomraodttion should be pro* vtded at Lake lanfcbe (on the route from Hokitika to Waiho). I looked nto this mab.»r wtU-Mr Uebene, Chief Surveyor, »( Hokitika. There U a splendid aatartU ,

site for such a house on a terrace at the north end of the lake, and with some 10 or 12 acres of clearing a very pretty homestead could be made. A jetty could be provided, and a motor launch , placed on the lake. This, however, is not essential to the successful working of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaoier crips, but could be made a subordinate feature of tbe main tour. At such a house visitors would likely remain for a week or so resting, and others who were not disposed to make the somewhat long journey from Hokitiki to. Wanganui Biver in one day could break it at lanthe,

Nineteen miles by bridle track from the Waiho is the Fox Glaoier, aocther remarkably grand ice flow descending between high forest clothed mountains to about the same law level as the Franz Josef. The track between the two localities is now being widened for vehicle traffic, and when tbis is completed a house should be erected near the present but close to the terminal face of tbo Fox, where the Cook Biver has its source. This house should have accommodation for say 25 person?. LAKE MAPOURIKA. Later on a launch might bo placed on Lake Mapourika (a very beanfciful sheet of water, passed shortly before Wsiho is* reached), for angling and sightseeing purposes. BIVEKS BETWEEN HOKITIKA AXD VRA^Z JCSBF GLACIER. At present the chief obstacle to travel between Hokitika and the Glaciers, is tbe fact that three large rivers, enow- fed and liable to high floods, are unbridged. The roads between these rivers are excellent, but tbe traveller is apt to be delayed and subjected to considerable inconvenience when the rivers rise, which they do very suddenly. The first large river crossed after leaving Boss, the Mikonui, requires a bridge. Tbe next one, the Waitaha, is crossed by a good vehicle bridge. Next is the Wanganui, a swift and wide river, where passengers frequently have to cross in the ferryman's boat. The third unbridged river >is the tWataros, where a ferry boat is also kept. ; Here, too, a large bridge will be necessary. SOUTH WEBTLAND— TMB OLACWRB TO LAKE WANAKA VIA HAAST. From the Fox Glacier down through South Wextland and up over the -Haast Pass to Lake - Wanaka— » distance of about 120 miles', on horseback— the seen,ery is wonderfully beautiful and varied — mountains, snowy or forest clad, dense stretches of fine timber, lakes, rivers and ocean baaoh. Tbe riding track over this distance varies very much in condition ; in, places it is excellent, in others bad and often dangerous. Maay rivers have to be forded, any one of which would delay travellers in time* of flood. However, in spite of the numerous unbridged rivers and the risk of delay through floods, I feel certain that many tourists would undertake tbe horseback journey if tbe track were put in good condition, and buts erected between the larger rivers, so tbat in the event of the streams rising travellers could obtain shelter.

The track from the vicinity of the Fox Glacier to Scott's Accommodation House on tbe Karangaroa river, about 13 miles is over level country, and could be made a vehicle road at a comparativeJy small cost. This, with the bridging of the Waiho, and tbe completion of tbe road over the Waikukupa Saddle between tbe two glaciers, would enable travellers to drive right from Hokitika to Karangaroa, a distance of over 120 miles. From Scott's a good riding track could be made to the Hot Springs at Welcome Flat (12 miles) on tbe trans-alpine route between tbo West Coast and the Mount Cook Hermitage, by way of Fitzgerald's Pass.

It is impossible to exaggerate the beauty of the valley of the Hnast. The road up tbe valley is a succession of river crossings and bush tracks, opening up at every turn grand views of forest clad mountains, wild gorges, waterfalls of great height, and the distant Alpine snows. As tbe valley narrows and becomes cannon like in contour, the land scapes increase in magnificence, and the country towards tbe head of Haast resembles some of the graudest portions of New Zealand's Fjord I and regions. Jnst before the Pass is reached the traveller sees high on his left the great glacier on Sit Brews' er, (826 b feet) from which the northern branch of the Haast takes its rise. Tbe Pass itself is an easy Alpine stddle, the lowest Pass in the Alps, (only 1847 feet above sea level). The ascent to it is so gradual that it can hirdly be called a climb at all. On the southern side of the Pups, descending to Like Wanaka. the scenery is remarkably fii,e; tbe road winds down the Makaroa valley between two lofty ranges and crosses numerous email streams rising from deep cloven gorges.

With favourable weather the ride from the mouth of the Haasc Biver, West Cotst, t» Makarore, »\ the head of Lake Wanaka (57 miles), can be done in two days, but as the Haast has to be orossed at numerous places and is a river of con* siderable volume, the traveller is liable to delay through fleods. There is one bridge on thin route, tbat over tbe Wills River (a tributary of the Haast) on tne second day's ride from the Coast. Tirs bridge, spanning a very depp, swift ani nnfordable creek, is now much decayed and is unsafe for traffic. It should be repaired as early a& possible* The riding track between Cron's station, at the|mouth of tbe Haast, and the summit of the Pass is also in need of attention. The " upper hut " (Burke Hut) in the gorge of the Haast, about 32 miles from Cron's is in an inconvenient position as regards the horse«paddock ; tbe hut and the paddock are about one mile distant from each other. A larger hut tbau tbe pres> entß by 8 iron structure is also required at this place. I consider that a four-room-ed hut should be erected here, with one large sleeping room for men and another for women, and a room for a caretaker ; tbe carstaker should be a married roadmin. The necessary conveniences should also be erected here, and the hut made a comfortable place of stay, as a night is spent here on the overland ride. The Haaßt River, will, I think, be found to be navigable for light draught launches and boats for a considerable distance from its mouth, probably 20 miles There are no rapids of any consequence for probably more than this distance from tbe sea, and there are many long stretches of deep water. PHOTOS AND GUIDE BOOK. Iv thecoursd of m.. tup from Hekitika to Lake Wauaka, about 200 pbotoi of the

scenery, etc.. were taken by tbe Department's photographer, for tho purpose of illustrating and advertising the attractions of the rou-e. A sptcial guide book for the West Coist, embracing the whole district from Westport to the Haast Pass, is now being written, and will be ready for the printer in a few weeks. SUMMARY OF EOUTE. The following summarise* my idea of what tbe Sooth Wesiland route should be when developed, with an itinerary of the various stages :— Hokitika to Boss by rail, say 11 miles, one hoar. Boss to Whangaoai River, 30 miles by coach, one|day frcm Hokitika. Stop hero at Government Accommodation Hoos», furnished for 20 guests. Whanganui Biver ts Waihp^Franz Josef Glacier by coach, 43 miles* om c>y. ( , Stop at Government Accommodation House at foot of glacier ; accommodation for thirty guests.

Franz Josef to Fox Glacier, 19 miles, three hours by coach (when read completed). Stop at Government Accommodation House (26 guests) at foci of glacier. Fox Glecier to Scett's, Karangarna Biver, 13 miles ride (or drive wbeu road is widened); two to three hours. Saott's to Condon's Accommodation Hotue, Mahitahi Biver, near Brace B«j> 20 mile ride, half a day, Mahitahi to Cron's Station, month of Haa&t Biver, 48 miles' ride (en route skirting Lake Paringa and crossing the beautiful Okara-Matakitaki Range) ; one day. Cron's to Bnrke not, in Haast Valley, 32 miles' ride, one day ; sleeb at the Government Hat; accommodation for women to be provided here, also room for caretaker. Burke Hat across Haast Pass to steamer landing at the bead of Lake Wanaka, 26 miles' ride ; one day. Total distance from Hokitika to bead of Lake Wana, 231 [miles. Of this distance 91 miles only is at preeent covered by vehicles; rest on horseback. By extending the driving road to tbe Fox Glacier the riding trip oan be reduced from 140 to about 120. miles. By extending it to Karangirua it would be reduced to 107 miles. Tbe present duration of tbe vehible and horseback trip from Hokitika to Lake Wanaka (allowing fur glacier excursions) is about nine days in favourable weather. (Signed) T E. Donne.

BABY COUGH MUST NEVER LINGER. Nothing is more distreesing than to see a helpless little infant suffering with a cough, and to be fearful of using a re* medy which may contain some harmful ingredient. The makers of Chamberlain's Cough Remedy positively guarantee that tbis preparation does not contain opium in any form, or any other harmful substance. Mothers may confidently give this remedy to their little ones. It gives prompt relief, and is perfectly safe. It always cures, and cures quickly. For sale by J. Chesney & Co, Wholesale nd Re tail.

An up-to»date display of Gent's new ties, {•buds, collar studs, sleeve links. Anything in the way of men's wear we can supply and it will be worth your while to inspect oar stock.— W. M'Kay & Son Hokitika and Grey month.

All really good housewives know the ba*t is cheapest. STAND OUT is the best because of the way it is preparedbest of leaves only. That's why we keep it. J. Chesney & Co.

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Bibliographic details

THE BEAUTIES OF WESTLAND., West Coast Times, Issue 13815, 7 May 1906

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2,690

THE BEAUTIES OF WESTLAND. West Coast Times, Issue 13815, 7 May 1906

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