Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 2

see part 1

to belong to any of the adjacent mountains. It is altogether about 800 feet high, and the rock on the top composes about half of the whole mass. I saw it afterwards from all sides, and can hardly imagine how any one could ever get up to the top, much less how a village could have existed there. As we emerged from the valley, we saw that the rock was on the other side of the Waikato, which here runs rapidly through a small barren plain of about twenty miles long, hemmed in at each end by narrow gorges. We travelled some miles along the plain to seek a good place for encampment, but did not meet with any wood till nine at night, and then could only get a few stunted Karoaka or Karooka bushes [Corynocarpus laevigatus] to make a fire with. The soil was so thin, that bushes five feet high came up with a slight pull of the hand. It was entirely broken pumice, large masses of which lined the sides of the river. The first night I spent on the banks of this river was so intensely cold, that I could not sleep. At nine next morning (February 25) the thermometer stood at thirty-nine in the tent. This cold could not be caused by the elevation of the country, as the barometer at the same time was only 29 inches. The morning was bright and sunshiny. After this I had frequent reason to observe the great chilliness of the climate of the interior, the range of the thermometer being rarely above 60 at one o’clock in those parts of the country where the barometer indicated a mean of about twenty nine inches, and this too in the middle of summer, or rather in what ought to correspond with our July and August. The natives told me that in the winter there was often snow on all this part of the country; and that on the hills around, which were not by any means to be called mountains, it often lay for a week together. In fording a river tributary to the Waikato, I was rather startled to find, that although the water was intensely cold, yet I could not stand still, because

the sand at the bottom burnt my feet. On one side was a patch of hot earth and a pool of hot water, but I had no idea of anything more. The fact was, that the water at the side was the smallest portion of the hot spring; by far the greater quantity discharging itself through the bed of the river. We constantly passed near places where there appeared to have been springs formerly, and often there was steam hissing from slight fissures in the rocks which might be passed unnoticed. One in particular was under a small waterfall; and I should never have discovered it had it not been that I thought the water made a most extraordinary noise, which I found was caused by the water pouring down on the very hole from which the steam escaped. We arrived on the last bank of the Waikato on Saturday evening, and rested the greater part of the following day; after which we went about three miles down the river in a canoe, and found a temporary encampment of natives belonging to the great Waikato tribe, who had come there for the purpose of catching crawfish, shell-fish, &c., and snaring ducks and shags, which were very abundant. My natives took care not to find these people till it was near the evening, as they thought, if they did, I should go on as soon as I reached the other side of the river, although it was Sunday.
The next day we again embarked in a small leaky canoe, and dropped about two miles further down the river, and landed on the other side, just at the head of some rapids, which prevent further navigation for about two miles. At this place the road which we had almost lost sight of for several miles, became again quite distinct, and we set off along it for Towpo. At the head of these rapids the river is fordable, and we found about two hundred natives in temporary huts. I could not find out what brought them there. They said it was to make flax, which grew there in great abundance; but in other parts of the

Waikato country which I have seen it has been much more abundant. The road for about ten miles from the river was very hilly and barren, and lay often through narrow valleys hemmed in with perpendicular rocks, so as to look something like the deep cuts on the railroads at home. There were numerous deep holes in the ground, which would have rendered the road very dangerous at night. I suppose them to have been formerly the sites of hot springs. We passed through this bad road, and, after about a mile of wood, emerged on a gently undulating plain surrounded by mountains in the distance. The land was better than the generality of fern land, but not good: however, there was abundance of water and great capabilities of improvement. At the edge of a wood which forms a belt between the Waikato and Towpo, of about five miles’ average width, we found a small settlement, where about fifty acres were in potatoes. They said that maize would not grow there: at all events, they had none planted. They roasted some Swedish turnips, and afterwards dressed them in a copper mowrie. I refused to eat any at first, but tasted a bit and found it excellent, although the smell was disagreeable. The soil is very rich here, but after one or two crops of potatoes it becomes worn out. I am not certain whether the natives meant that maize would not grow in this part of the country in ordinary seasons, because they said this was one of unusual severity. Thermometer at one p.m. 55; barometer, 28 5/20; weather gloomy. This is about the average range of both the instruments after passing the Waikato towards Towpo. We left this potatoe plantation, and, after about two hours’ walk, emerged from the wood, and again came on a lot of damp moorish ground, which lasted all the way to Pirato, the next settlement we reached. The natives here brought me two very extraordinary plants, one a gigantic umbelliferous plant, the leaves of which were entirely stiff spines, from four to six inches long, and a curious

little ball of scarlet spines about an inch and half in diameter, which I afterwards found to belong to a plant with an almost invisible stem, and leaves clinging closely to the ground, so that a careless observer would think that the heads of flowers which he saw scattered about formed the entire plant. I found it to be a new species of Acaena, a genus allied to the common burnet. It is a very beautiful and curious plant, which I hope to be able to introduce into English gardens {probably Acaena nova-zelandiae, biddy-biddy}. It was about ten at night when we arrived at Pirata. This pa is very strongly situate on the top of some perpendicular cliffs, rising from a small stream which runs into Towpo, from which lake it is only about ten miles distant. The people were not over-disposed to be civil at first, fancying I was only a “Pakiha Mowrie;” but when the missionary lads came up, they quite altered their tone. It was necessary to make inquiries here about a canoe to take us across Towpo, as Mr. Chapman had before told me there would be a difficulty about it. Next morning, before I was up, the old chief “Pirate,” or “Ze Pirate,” came to see me. He is the head chief of this pa, and was quite a gentlemanly old fellow. He said there was one canoe at this end of the lake, and that he would send some people to bring it round to the nearest part. He had several children who had curious sandy coloured hair, which looked very disagreeable; the others had, as usual, black hair; but I could not find out whether they all had the same mother or not. The wife who came with him was a well-looking young woman, about the age of his eldest son, and apparently a great flirt; she took a great fancy to me - so she said; but it was most probably to my blankets: however, she got a new pipe and some of the weed from me, in return for her compliments and smiling looks. I found all my men rebellious this morning; they had made

up their minds not to stir for the day, on the plea of having walked so far on the preceding one. I wondered at their contumacy, and got very angry with them; especially when I found out that our resting-place was only about ten miles off; so I stormed away for some time, and then proceeded to take more violent measures: at least, so far as to lift one or two of them off the ground, and give them a gentle kick behind at the same time, and a few touches with the strap of my shot-belt. I at last got them all loaded and started a-head, threatening all I could imagine in case they did not follow quickly. As I went on ahead with a new guide, I found out the reason of their unwillingness. The old chief had brought them an immense pig for a feast, and as they had already stuffed as much as they could, they wanted to wait till the evening to kill it, and have another good feed. I looked back from the top of a hill, and saw that they were really on their way, and was satisfied; for when I found out the cause of detention, I feared it would prove too powerful for them to overcome - a pig being as irresistible to a New Zealander as turtle to an alderman, especially when it is to be had for nothing.
On reaching the top of a hill I got the first sight of Towpo, and a splendid sight it was. Much as Mr. Chapman had praised it, its appearance far surpassed his description. Just at the same moment, an opening in the clouds gave me a view of the Peak of Tongadido, covered with snow, and vomiting forth a dense column of smoke. It was only in sight just long enough for me to ascertain that it lay due south; and I did not see it again in the day during the whole time I was on the lake. My guide and I arrived on the shore of Towpo about one o’clock, and after waiting about till three, I began to get alarmed at the non-arrival of my men. Shortly after, a native came to say that we had come wrong, and I had to scramble along the cliffs at the

side of the lake for about a mile, both hungry and angry; to my surprise I found at the place to which I was led, not only my own lads, but the old chief Pirata, with several other men, and women, and boys. On my inquiring about food, they said the pig would be there soon, which I found, to my great surprise, to be the very identical one which had caused me so much trouble at Pirata. This was, it must be acknowledged, a most hospitable action on the part of the old chief, not only to provide a feast for us, but when we would not stay to eat it, to send it after us to try us again. I speedily caused the unfortunate porker to be killed, without allowing him time to recover his fatigue; and immediately set half-a-dozen boys and girls cooking pieces of kidney, liver, &c., on sticks over a fire - a method of cooking which at that time I settled in my mind to be much superior to any other for the inside of a pig.
I distributed some physic to the natives, and was much amused at the cool manner in which they sucked down the nauseous boluses of rhubarb, aloes, peppermint, and the like abominations, without drinking anything afterwards to wash them down. I was provided with this medicine by the kindness of Mr. Chapman; and found it very useful, as the people were all sickly from influenza, which had been violent among them.
The natives are very fond of daubing their heads with a sort of red paint which they call “cocoi;” I saw a large manufactory of it on the banks of the Waikato; a double circle of mat-work was formed round a large spring of rusty water, and the curdy carbonate of iron was by this means strained off. After this preparation, it is burnt and mixed with oil, and plastered on their heads and bodies, till they look as if they had fallen into a paint-pot. I understand it is going out of fashion; but it is still so common, that it is impossible to be carried by a native without

getting your clothes daubed all over with the red dirt which has saturated their mats.
We embarked on Towpo about five in the morning, in a very large Ti-wai (Tee-why) or canoe, hollowed out of a single log of wood, without top sides; those with top sides, of which they have none on this lake, are called Wa-kaw, or in common pronunciation “Walkers.” This canoe was the largest of the kind I had seen; there were seventeen paddlers and about ten idlers, besides a great quantity of potatoes and my luggage. We had plenty of room, and for the first few miles went on very well. We had to cross a large bay, the only dangerous portion of our journey, and till that was done I had nothing to complain of in their pulling. After that they fell off sadly. As the wind almost always blows off the east shore, we kept close under it in case of accidents; the morning was, however, very calm, and the lake as smooth as glass. When we got about half-way through the lake, we had a glimpse of the Peak of Tongadido before us, and appearing to rise immediately out of the lake. As we approached the south end, it became again hid by the clouds, which rested on the summits of the lower mountains forming the range. About eleven o’clock we arrived at a village, where we landed to eat. I had not been long there before I was joined by a native called Peter, who had been left by Mr. Chapman to superintend the building of a house, which the natives are putting up for him, and which he will use as an out-station to visit every two or three months, just as the clergy men do in England with their distant flocks. This Peter was a very good native, and quite imbued with a missionary spirit. It was really edifying to hear him read prayers and expound; it was impossible to doubt his sincerity: but I am afraid there are not many such as he - the greater part of the so-called Christian natives being only attracted to become converts by the love of

change, and the easy mode of life which they enjoy at the missionary establishments. Peter immediately volunteered to go with me to Tongadido, and I was very glad to have him, as he was known to the inhabitants of Towpo as a missionary native, and consequently could answer for my not being a “Pakiha Mowrie,” a character the natives hereabout seemed to hold in great suspicion - owing to the reports of the missionary natives with whom they had had communication - Mr. Peter most likely for one. Had they been more in the habit of seeing white people, they would not have cared much whether they were missionaries or Pakiha Mowries, provided they had plenty of tobacco to give away. After resting an hour at this village, which contained about five hundred inhabitants, we again set off with the addition to our company of Peter and another native belonging to Mr. Chapman, and a chief, a friend of theirs.
In about two hours we reached a second and smaller village, where we had another detention, and where Peter wanted me very much to stay the night: however, I was determined not to be prevented from reaching the south end of the lake that evening, and forced them to set off again, although they told me the nearest way to Tongadido was from that village. One of my natives left me here. He had joined at Rotorua, but was not a missionary native, although I found him at the settlement. He was the worst sample of a New Zealander I had met with, and I was glad of an excuse for saying he should not go any farther with me. I could have had a dozen volunteers immediately in his place, if I had wished it. My boatmen were determined not to go farther than the village at the south end of the lake, for that night at all events; and although it was not three o’clock when we started from the last place, and our destination was not five miles distant, they took care not to

get there till it was just time to pitch the tent. They never vexed me so much before; but their reason for delaying me was that they were afraid, if they reached the end of the lake before the evening, I should insist on their starting with me for the mountain that night; and they thought it would be much more pleasant to spend it in the village than in the woods, which was just the contrary to my notion.
It may not be amiss here to give a description of Towpo, as I am but the second European who has ever seen it, and as it is not likely to be again visited for a long time. My visit having taken place only three weeks after that of my predecessor (Mr. Chapman), it is very certain my account of it, imperfect as it will be, must be the only one that has ever reached Europe, and may therefore be considered valuable.
Towpo (Taupo, missionary spelling) is one of the most superb lakes in the world – not from its size, although that is considerable, but from the extreme magnificence of the scenery surrounding it. Mr. Chapman considers it to be thirty-five miles long, and twenty broad. I do not think it is quite thirty-five miles, but the width is not overestimated at twenty. It is situated in S. lat. 39 degrees 35 minutes; E. long. l75 degrees (about). These positions are supposed from the bearings of Mount Egmont, as it is laid down in the charts. Mount Egmont is visible from a mountain which rises interruptedly from the lake. The form of the lake is a sort of irregular triangle, with the two most distant angles forming the north and south ends. The western shore is apparently nearly straight, and the third point of the triangle will be about the eastern boundary of the lake; at this eastern angle is a deep bay about six miles long, running south-east, which is invisible except almost immediately opposite the entrance. The most peculiar feature in the appearance of Towpo is the immense height of the surrounding cliffs; they are always perpendicular,

although in some instances rising in terraces one behind the other, and vary from five hundred to one thousand feet high at several parts of the lake, particularly at the N.N.W. and N.E. sides; these rise perpendicularly from the water to such a height, that I never saw their tops through the clouds for above five minutes together during the whole time I was on the lake (eight days). There are but few places where a canoe can land, and at those the beaches are very short and narrow: they are covered with pumice and black sand, and always indicate the entrance of a small stream of water. There are a number of small water falls round the lake, but none of any consequence; the only river or stream of any size which runs into it being the Waikato, which runs in at the only part of the lake (the south end) where the banks for any distance are level, and the water shallow. At the North end is a very peculiar mountain, with an outline as regular as if it had been the work of art. At the two extremes of the range are two peaks just alike, and each about one-third the height of the mountain. At about the distance of another third rise two other equal peaks, and in the centre rises the fifth. I suppose it is about five thousand feet high. I am not certain that the centre peak belongs to the same range as the four others. It was undoubtedly considerably farther off, and appeared somewhat bluer than the others. At the south end rose Tongadido, which from the north-east part seemed to overhang the lake; but when we reached the south end it was invisible and I did not again see it till after ascending a mountain, which cost us four hours’ hard labour to climb. It does not happen above every other day that one end of the lake is to be seen from the other - at least so the natives said. I saw the two ends at the same time but twice, and each time very early in the morning. Frequently, even the east shore is invi-

sible from the west, in spite of its equal height. The cliffs around the greater part of the lake are of a dark greenish colour, tinged sometimes with red, and are basaltic. The fissures are irregular, but run quite perpendicular; and the whole face of the rock presents much the appearance of a mass of common starch, but on a gigantic scale. On the west coast, about the middle, there appears, for a considerable extent, a dazzling white outline; but I do not know what it is. The natives said it was not a very hard stone. The white cliffs were not so high as the dark ones - rarely more than two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet. There is plenty of obsidian near the lake, and it is cast up on the shore in many places, but I did not see any in situ. The water is of a deep blue colour, appears exceedingly deep, and no weeds growing in it.
The river Waikato runs into Towpo at the S.S.E. end, and makes its exit at the north; at the place where it enters, it is a small sluggish river, about twenty-five yards wide, and from two to four feet deep. It runs in a very circuitous course through a long line of mud and rushes, forming the only piece of flat land near the shore. On one side of the river, about two miles distant, is situate the great pa of Towpo, and on the east side, at about one mile from the river, is a small pa, called Coteropo, where I was encamped; there are several other pas on the west side of the lake, and three on the east, but not large ones: it is, however, decidedly the most populous place I have seen or heard of in the island. I should think the population of the pas on the lake could not be less than 5000. The country around, I do not think can be populous; it is too mountainous and bare of wood, and the Mowries only grow potatoes in land which is just cleared, and after about three crops abandon it, and clear another portion of forest. Mr. Chapman imagines that all the land which is now bare of timber has been

made so by this custom of the natives: but I hardly think such can be the case. It is to be taken into consideration, that potatoes have not been grown in the island for more than fifty years; and the natives must have been both very much more numerous and industrious, to have cleared such a quantity of land in so short a time. Although I do not think the growth of potatoes sufficient to account for the absence of forest over a great part of the country - perhaps more than half - yet it is certain the wood has decreased, from some cause or other, within no great distance of time; as I constantly found logs and roots lying in the wet ground of the barren moors, where they could not have been brought by any natural causes; and they were too distant from any place where they grow at present, as well as too useless, to have been conveyed there. The natives now yearly destroy large quantities of land, by their wasteful system of agriculture, and in time there will be no timber-land left: but this cause has not been long in operation, and is inadequate to the visible effects on the face of the country.
Wood is excessively scarce near Towpo, except in places inaccessible, and land fit for the cultivation of potatoes equally so. In a very few years, all the wood which now clothes the sides of the ravines and bases of the cliffs will be gone, and great part of the beauty destroyed in consequence; even now you see potatoes planted where it is necessary to climb. In fact, on the shores of Towpo, every bit of soil which a man can reach, even at the risk of his neck, is beginning to be planted with potatoes, as they have worn out all the level lands near. Were they to take half the care in the cultivation of the potatoe they do in that of the Kormera or sweet potatoe, they might grow it in hundreds of places which are now only covered with fern, and are in progress towards becoming barren; owing

to the constant fires which the dry nature of that plant causes to spread in a most destructive manner. A person who paid attention to the subject might easily tell how many years had elapsed since the forest was cut down in any particular place, by observing the height of the fern. In the first year, after its cultivation for potatoes has been discontinued, the fern springs up to ten, or even thirteen feet in height, gradually dwindles down to six inches, and at last vanishes altogether: it is then replaced by a short wiry grass, growing in small tufts, about a foot apart, with nothing between, and presenting the most desolate appearance.
Coteropo, the village where I encamped, at the south-east end of the lake, is a small place surrounded by boiling springs. The whole side of the mountain at the back is enveloped with steam, escaping from innumerable crevices in the soil. The bushes of Veronica and fern-plants grow close to these places, and do not seem to be affected by the heat, unless they are absolutely touched by the boiling water. The portion of land on the side of the mountain where the springs are most numerous is about two miles square, and a great part of it is so covered with springs that nothing grows on it, and it looks as bare as a ploughed field. There are a great many other places on the lake where there are hot-water springs, but not so extensive as at this place. I found here, that the action of the hot water, which was nearly tasteless, (although the vapour smelt of sulphuric acid,) converted the compact black lava into clay of different colours; some of it being quite white, other parts mottled with red and yellow. The stones which overhung the hot places were half converted, while the others were as hard and fresh as if they had been only formed yesterday; the lava is hard, black, compact with white grains, strongly resembling greenstone in general appearance and weight. I physicked some

more people here, especially an old chief: I was very loath to give this old fellow any, as I did not expect to do him any good; old age seemed to be his only disease; he was a quiet old man, and was led about by a little girl, I suppose his daughter. I gave him some boluses, and told him how to take them, and when I returned, found that he was very much pleased; as he said they had quite cured him - of what it would be difficult to say, for when he first came to me his tongue was as clean and his pulse as firm as anybody need wish. His cure quite established my reputation as a physician, and I had innumerable applicants afterwards.
The natives were very curious to know what was the use of my collecting so much trash in the way of stones and plants; so I told them that we Pakihas made all the “rungwau,” with which we cured them, from these things. But even this did not make them more willing to carry a basket of stones, or a portfolio of dried plants: although they would carry twice the weight of tobacco, or my tent, which was very heavy, without any grumbling.
We set off from Coteropo on the morning of the 1st of March, and immediately began to ascend a mountain, which the natives told us was the nearest way to Tongadido. After about four hours’ ascent, we reached a bare place on the top of the mountain, and expected to see the peak momentarily: however, when we arrived at the top, no peak was to be seen, but one of the Towpo natives pointed out another mountain which he said was Tongadido. I was excessively annoyed at having been so deceived, more especially with Peter, who I thought must have known his friends were telling falsehoods; but he declared that he was deceived as well as myself. I was very much puzzled to discover where Tongadido could really be, as the mountain which they pointed out appeared to have no peak; and

I thought I could distinctly see the top of the hill opposite us, through the vapour on its summit. Between us and the other mountain there was a plain and a lake, but I saw it would be impossible to reach it that day at all events. The worst part of the business was, that there was no track to be found down to this lake, and although it did not appear half a mile from us, it took us nearly three hours to force a passage to its shores. The greater part of the side of the mountain was covered with the common arborescent Veronica of New Zealand (V. diosmaefolia), which, from its never becoming anything more than a bush, impeded our passage much more than a large forest would have done, and, besides, prevented our ever seeing the lake or mountain opposite, although the descent was always exceedingly steep. I began to think we must be wrong, and that we had gone round the side of the mountain, instead of directly downwards: but a glimpse of the lake showed my error. Although the lake appeared further off than it did from the top of the hill, yet it was still immediately beneath our feet. Peter and myself at last reached the open plain in which was the lake, and were soon after joined by the rest of the party.
There we found a native who fetched canoes to take us across. At the place where we landed, we found a temporary village with about fifty people, very few of whom had ever seen a white man before. They were very civil, and I agreed to stay there till the next day. One of the people promised to go with us, to show us the proper way to Tongadido. On the top of the mountain I found several exceedingly curious plants: the only one generally interesting is a Gaultheria, not before discovered, perfectly recumbent on the ground, with berries two inches in circumference, in great abundance, and very good to eat, as well as beautiful {Gaultheria intipoda, Snowberry}. Like all the other Gaultherias of New Zealand, this plant has a sort of double identity, there being about half of the plants bearing

snow-white berries, and the others red ones, but not differing in any other particular. They would undoubtedly grow out-of-doors in England. I afterwards found a third variety, or rather a second species, with pink berries, more beautiful than the red and white ones, but not so good to eat. From this lake, which was called Rotuide or Rotuite (Ro-twe-tee), the character of the vegetation entirely changed. The fern on the open land vanished, and was replaced by grass of which I collected more than twenty species, some of them very good for pasture. The common plantain was also abundant, as it is all over the island; so that if I had not the example of the potato before my eyes, I should consider it indigenous. On the shore of Towpo I found a fine plant of wheat. How it came there the natives could not tell me; and as undoubtedly Mr. Chapman was the only European who had ever visited the place before, and three weeks was too short a time for it to have sprung up and come to perfection, its existence there was very curious. In this little lake there were no fish longer than two inches. There were large flocks of gulls, and of the small species of black and white tropic birds which frequent the coasts of New Zealand. There were also, as on all the other fresh waters of New Zealand, abundance of cormorants of two species - one very large and black, the other black and white, and small; and plenty of ducks. The wood which covered one side of the lake was the only one I ever saw in New Zealand composed entirely of one sort of tree. It was an open forest of Totara [Podocarpus totara], and strongly resembled the pine-woods of Canada. The trees were not large, but still large enough to make very good Ti-wais. Canoes and paddles are always made of this wood on the south side of the Thames. It is more brittle than cowrie, but more durable.

At this village I saw a woman so very light, that she had a perceptible colour in her cheeks. I intended to say to her, jokingly, that she was a white woman (Whaiheinie Pakiha), not a New Zealander (Waihini Mowrie): however, she understood me to ask her whether she would be my waihini, i.e. my wife, and immediately came over to the mouth of the tent where I was sitting, and seated herself beside me - to our great astonishment, for all knew that I never allowed any native to come inside the tent. I was still more surprised to find what an easy conquest I had made. I, however, explained, begging to be excused the honour, as I was a missionary, and missionaries did not marry any but white women. She took it in very good part, which in all probability is more than most English women would have done in case of a similar disappointment.
One great peak of Tongadido slopes up from the lake; but while I was there, I could never see the top of it, in consequence of the quantity of vapour always rolling up the side of the mountain from a great many hot springs which are visible on its sides. From one of these a considerable stream of water runs into the lake, but gets cold by the time it reaches it. The side appeared quite barren, with the exception of a small belt of wood about two-thirds up the visible part of the mountain. Rotuite may be said to be the real source of the Waikato, as the stream which runs out of it is called by the natives; those which run into it are very insignificant. The mean of four days gave for the barometer 28 5/20 degrees; thermometer, about 56 degrees.
March 2, 1839. - Several of my natives being unwell, I left them behind till my return, and started for Tongadido with only two of the lads I brought from Tawranga. Peter went with me, and several people from Rotuite. As usual, the men carried the children, and the women the potatoes, &c. The procession

was closed by one or two pigs, which, from the opposition they made to the efforts of their drivers, seemed to have as great a dread of Tongadido as the Mowries themselves. The road led over a tolerably level country covered with grass of many different kinds; the most common was a large wiry one, which I should not think good for cattle. There were, however, many which would be well worth cultivating. I have sent specimens and seeds of most of them to England, where I think they will thrive as well as in their native place. As we skirted the base of the mountain in order to get at the best place for the ascent, we found the ground in general marshy, and crossed a great many small streams, and nearly dry water-courses filled with large stones. The great width of these places would indicate that at some seasons of the year the whole of this country would be impassable from the quantity of water. This was a very dry season, but yet had not dried up the wet places in the moors, although it had nearly exhausted the torrents. We were on Tongadido all day, but the peak was never visible in consequence of the mist which always covered the upper regions. I several times accused the natives of leading me astray, as I could not make out the direction in which we were going as compared with that of the peak as I had observed it from Towpo. About four o’clock we arrived at the junction of two considerable water-courses, where my guides said we must stop; and as I could not see any vestige of wood anywhere else, I agreed. After we had been there about half an hour, the clouds rolled out of the upper end of the valley where we were, and I saw that the cone was close to us, and then found that this, if any, was the proper place to ascend, which the natives still maintained was impossible. The trees which grew here were small stunted coniferous or taxaceous and composite ones. There were none except on the sides of the water-

course, and they did not lift their heads above the level of the top of the bank on which they grew. The stream which here runs down from the mountain is, I have no doubt, (from observations I made afterwards, compared with what I observed at the time of the general direction of the country,) the one called the Waipa (Wypa) or western branch of the Waikato. It is here a noisy mountain torrent about four feet deep. I regret that I did not ask what they called it, as it is very likely they knew it to be a branch of the river called the Waipa when it flows further to the north. I found out that the road we had travelled was one which formerly led to some part of the Waikato country, but now disused, and that it was the only place where the base of the cone could be seen; that nobody had ever approached nearer than we now were; and that the reason was, they were afraid. They said that formerly when they passed this point of the road they used to cover their heads with their mats, because it was “taboo” to look at the mountain, or at least the peak. The night was exceedingly cold, but I did not feel it so much as I did on the Waikato. I found here a most curious little plant of the yew family (Dacrydium); it was not larger than a clump of moss, and was mistaken for a moss by me when I first saw it. I found here also the curious Forstera sedifolia, and many new composite plants and Veronicas.
March 3d. - When I arose in the morning, I was astonished to see the mountains around covered with snow, except the cone, which was visible from its base to the apex, and appeared quite close. The natives said, the mountain had been making a noise in the night, which, at the time, I thought was only fancy: there seemed to be a little steam rising from the top, but the quantity was not sufficient to obscure the view. I set off immediately after breakfast, with only two natives, as all the others were afraid to

go any nearer to the much-dreaded place; nor could I persuade the two who did set off with me, to go within a mile of the base of the cone. They, however, made a fire of such small bushes as they could collect, and waited for me till I got back. As there was no road, I went as straight towards the peak as I found possible, going over hills and through valleys without swerving to the right or left. As I was toiling over a very steep hill, I heard a noise which caused me to look up, and saw that the mountain was in a state of eruption: a thick column of black smoke rose up for some distance, and then spread out like a mushroom. As I was directly to windward, I could see nothing more, and could not tell whether anything dropped from the cloud as it passed away: the noise, which was very loud, and not unlike that of the safety-valve of a steam-engine, lasted about half an hour, and then ceased, after two or three sudden interruptions; the smoke continued to ascend for some time afterwards, but was less dense. I could see no fire, nor do I believe that there was any, or that the eruption was anything more than hot water and steam; although, from the great density of the latter, it looked like very black smoke. I toiled on to the top of a hill, and was then much disappointed to find that the other side of it, instead of being like what I had ascended, was a precipice, or very deep ravine, with a large stream of water at the bottom. With some difficulty I managed to get down; and on ascending the other side, I found myself in a stream of lava, perfectly undecomposed, but still old enough to have a few plants growing among the fissures. As I progressed towards the cone, which new seemed quite close, I arrived at another stream of lava, so fresh that there was not the slightest appearance of even a lichen on it, and it looked as if it had been ejected but yesterday. It was black, and very hard and compact, just like all the lava I have seen in this country;

but the two streams were very insignificant, not longer at the utmost than three quarters of a mile each. I had no idea of the meaning of a “sea of rocks” until I crossed them; the edges of the stony billows were so sharp, that it was very difficult to pass among them without cutting one’s clothes into shreds. I at last arrived at the cone: it was, I suppose, of the ordinary steepness of such heaps of volcanic cinders, but much higher. I estimate it at 1500 feet from the hollow from which it appears to have sprung. It looks as if a vast amphitheatre had been hollowed out of the surrounding mountains, in order to place it in. The sides of all the mountains around are quite perpendicular, and present a most magnificent scene. A circular plain of sand at the north-east base would have been a fitting scene for the wildest piece of diablerie that ever entered the brain of a German, or was embodied by his pencil. Thermometer at base of cone, fine sunshine, 65 degrees in sun; no shade to be had. Barometer, 25 14/20.
The cone is entirely composed of loose cinders, and I was heartily tired of the exertion before I reached the top. Had it not been for the idea of standing where no man ever stood before, I should certainly have given up the undertaking. A few patches of a most beautiful snow-white Veronica, which I at first took for snow, were growing among the stones; but they ceased before I had ascended a third part of the way. A small grass reached a little higher; but both were so scarce that I do not think I saw a dozen plants of each in the whole ascent. After I had ascended about two-thirds of the way, I got into what appeared a water course, the solid rock of which, although presenting hardly any projecting points, was much easier to climb than the loose dust and ashes I had hitherto scrambled over. It was lucky for me another eruption did not take place while I was in it, or I should have been infallibly boiled to death, as I afterwards found that it

led to the lowest part of the crater, and from indubitable proofs that a stream of hot mud and water had been running there, during the time I saw the smoke from the top. The crater was the most terrific abyss I ever looked into or imagined. The rocks over hung it on all sides, and it was not possible to see above ten yards into it from the quantity of steam which it was continually discharging. From the distance I measured along its edge, I imagine it is at least a quarter of a mile in diameter, and is very deep. The stones I threw in, which I could hear strike the bottom, did not do so in less than seven to eight seconds; but the greater part of them I could not hear. It was impossible to get on the inside of the crater, as all the sides I saw were, if not quite precipitous, actually overhanging, so as to make it very disagreeable to look over them. The rocks on the top were covered with a whitish deposit from the stream, and there was plenty of sulphur in all directions; but the specimens were not handsome, being mixed with earth. I did not stay at the top so long as I could have wished, because I heard a strange noise coming out of the crater, which I thought betokened another eruption. I saw several lakes and rivers, and the country appeared about half covered with wood, which I should not have thought had I not gone to this place. The mountains in my immediate neighbourhood were all covered with snow, and much below me. I could not see the sea in any direction. The natives said that from a mountain near, which they pointed out, I could see Taranacker and the island of Capiti in Cook’s Straits: and as this was much higher, I ought to have seen both places from this spot; but the south and east were entirely invisible, from the cloudy state of the sky. I had not above five minutes to see any part of the country, as I was enveloped in clouds almost as soon as I got up to the top. As I did not wish to see an eruption near enough to be either boiled or steamed to death, I made the best of my way

down. It unfortunately happened that the highest part of the crater’s edge was to leeward, otherwise I might have stayed there a little longer. I had not got quite down to the sandy plain I have spoken of, when I heard the noise of another eruption, but am not certain it came from the crater I had just visited. I thought at the time it came from another branch of Tongadido to the northward, on the top of which I had seen a circular lake of water when on the peak. I was half frozen before I reached the ravine, and thoroughly drenched by the mist; so that I was very glad when I found the place where I had left the natives and the fire. I got back to the tent about seven in the evening. The barometer stood when at the base of the cone at 26 1/10 inches; but I could not take it up further than the streams of lava, as I had quite enough to do to get myself along without having anything to hold. The natives said that they had heard the eruption which took place as I was returning, and that the ground shook very much at the time; but I did not feel it, perhaps because I was too much occupied with the difficulties of my path.
When I returned, I was much annoyed to find a party of natives, consisting of three chiefs from Towpo, who had come, they said, to see how I was. Had they brought any provisions, I should not have cared; but being chiefs, that was impossible; and it was equally impossible for me to tell my natives not to give them any. The consequence was, that I was obliged next morning to return to Rotuite, instead of staying another day at the mountain, as I particularly wished and intended, being, in fact, completely eaten out of house and home.
March 4th. - I sent off all the natives but Moning-’aw, who was quite my right-hand man, and told them to have a canoe waiting on the side of Rotuite about sunset, and to have the tent pitched in readiness for me. I then gave Moning-’aw a kettle of

hashed pig's-head and some cold potatoes to carry, and taking a kit in my own hand, set off in the direction of the water-course in order to botanise. I found the red-flowered variety of the flax (Phormium) growing in the wet places almost as far up as any plants except veronicas. Perhaps this sort would be more advantageous to grow in England than the large common kind. The fibre is equally strong with that of the pale-flowered sort, which is not the case with another species I found afterwards growing on other mountains, which, however, I take to be a distinct species; not a mere variety, as the seed-vessels were hanging, instead of upright. I found also a perfect yew about two feet high. The only perceptible difference, except in stature, was that the seed was not quite so much imbedded as in the English yew.
Barometer at encampment 26 19/20, thermometer 45, at nine p.m., cloudy-mizzle.
I waited several hours collecting specimens and seeds, but afterwards recollected many plants which I had left behind, thinking I could get them nearer home. It will be a lesson to me hereafter never to omit securing a specimen when I first see it. I have lost dozens of new plants by omitting to do so, thinking at the time that I should be sure to get finer ones as I went on. There was but little forest in the line of march today; the little clumps of wood which were met with here and there contained chiefly araliaceous plants, strongly resembling those on the coasts, but really different. In the water-courses were Totaras and Kaikateras, as the natives said; but I think they were different trees from those so called by Europeans and the natives of the coasts. A Dracaena was very common, which grew into a tree thirty feet high, two feet diameter. If I can manage to get this tree to England, it will make quite a new feature in ornamental plantations. There are three species here which would grow

out of doors at home; one is very beautiful. We approached the lake about sundown, and I was rejoiced to see a “tiwai” waiting for us among the reeds, as I was tired with carrying so many specimens. I was no sooner seen than several lads set off to relieve me and Moning-’aw of our burthens, and carry us into the canoe. How such an act of courtesy came to be extended to my companion, I do not know, he being a slave. I suppose, however, they saw that he was a favourite of mine, and thought to propitiate me by it. There was a large flock of the small black and white tropic bird (I do not know its scientific name) hovering over the lake. These were the same birds I saw among the lavas of Tongadido. They have white bodies with some black feathers about the wings, black marks round the eyes, and the characteristic long feathers in the tail. There were also large and small gulls; a small black-and-white cormorant, and a large black one; and plenty of ducks. They were, however, all as wild as ever I saw the same kinds of birds in England, except the cormorants. These and the ducks are common about every river and lake; but the tropic birds I never saw anywhere else except on the coast, and the gulls were rare in the other lakes. The great abundance of all birds seen on Rotuite was no doubt on account of its shallowness, and the great quantity of mud it contained. The natives said that there were no fish in the lake except what I saw, and which were not more than an inch long. The natives had vast quantities of these dried in baskets, which they cook by making them into a kind of soup, but which did not smell sufficiently nice to tempt me to taste. The tent was pitched under some Totara trees, in a very fine open wood, at a sufficient distance from the native huts to avoid fleas, and, for a wonder, with the mouth to leeward. They generally made a practice of pitching it with the door fronting the wind, unless I took care to see that they did the contrary. I could only account for its being otherwise

to-night by supposing that the wind changed after the tent was pitched. Mahia, whom I had left here because he complained of being ill, was very glad to see me, more especially, I dare say, because he said that they had been rather sparing of their potatoes while I was gone.
March 5th. - It had rained hard all night, and continued to do so this morning; but I was determined to start. I had been very particular in asking the natives if we were sure of going back the same way we came. They said yes, and that it was the only way; but after going about a mile, I saw they had been deceiving me; so I went back by myself to get a guide to take me over the mountain by which we had originally arrived at Rotuite. While I was endeavouring to persuade somebody to go with me, Peter came back and we started together. My guide was a most deserving fellow, and well merited the fig of tobacco I promised him. He went first, and cut all the branches and small trees out of my way, actually working as if he was going to earn his life, instead of a fig of tobacco. Our course was directly up the side of the mountain, at the top of which we arrived in about four hours, all of us perfectly drenched and dreadfully cold. When we arrived at the top, I could not for some time find out the road by which we had before got there; which I should not have much cared about, but that I could not see the tree for which I had taken so much trouble. I was, however, very glad of it afterwards, as during my search, which took up several hours in heavy rain, I found a new dracaena, one of the most beautiful I had ever seen, the leaves being large, and striped with red and yellow. It must be also very hardy, as the natives said that this mountain was always covered with snow in the winter. The dracaena was growing in a little gully on the very top where the barometer stood at 25 11/20 ; thermometer, 45. I have been fortunate enough to secure a plant of this dracaena, which is now

growing in Sydney. After a long search, we found the track by which we had passed over the mountain, and by following it I found the tree; which had caused me so much trouble. Strange enough, it was the only one of the kind I ever saw. I dismissed my guide, giving his wife a fig of tobacco as well as himself, with which he seemed as much delighted as an English labourer would have been by a person giving him a thousand pounds; indeed I doubt whether the latter would have shown half so much joy. The view of Towpo from the summit was magnificent. Immediately beneath our feet on the Tongadido side, and about half-way towards Rotuite, was a small lake on the side of the mountain, which I had not seen on my former survey of this part of the country. I should certainly have tried to reach it, had it been finer weather. It was about a quarter of a mile across, completely surrounded by forest. The curious part of it was, that it was situated on the side of a steep mountain, without any level land near. We arrived at Towpo before the other party, and I was half afraid they had again been deceiving me and were gone to some other village, which would have been particularly disagreeable, as they had the tent and all the provisions with them. I was, however, soon relieved from my apprehension by seeing them turn the corner of the mountain where it abutted on the lake. I was visited by several of my patients, most of whom said they were better for the physic. There was one old man, a great chief, and a very quiet old fellow, to whom I had been loath to give any physic, as I could not find out anything the matter with him beyond old age. I was, however, agreeably surprised to find that he fancied himself much better, and brought me a pig in return for his “rungwau.” He always had a little girl with him - I suppose his grand-daughter. As he was a very quiet, gentlemanly old man, I did not like to offend him by refusing the pig, but gave the little girl some beads, and him

a fig or two of the “weed,” in order to make it up with him. Shortly after, another pig was brought as a present for me because I had ascended Tongadido. I could not find out who sent it, and was obliged to let the natives take it along with them. I found it had been given by some person on the road, and had been driven on by some of the hangers-on of my party. This was a curious circumstance, as most of the natives were exceedingly jealous of my achievement. Fire-wood was very scarce here, so that I was obliged to buy it, giving an inch of tobacco for a back-load, a very high price considering the ordinary prices current of New Zealand. Went a short distance on the lake, back to the village where Mr. Chapman’s house was building, in order to please Peter.
March 6th. - Had some difficulty in getting a canoe to-day, owing to a disinclination on the part of my natives to leave the place. I do not know what had become of the canoe we brought with us, but suppose some people who wanted to go to the other end of the lake had taken it with them. When I found out that there was no disinclination on the part of the natives at the village to lend me a canoe, but that only my own natives wished to throw obstacles in the way of going, I soon got over all difficulties by a few figs of tobacco judiciously applied.
I was told, just as I was thinking of starting, that the chief of Towpo wanted to see me, and was waiting for me. I accordingly went to a place where they pointed out three men sitting very gravely; the one in front was the chief. He was a remarkably fine man, upwards of six feet high, and very strongly built – a complete giant. He was also very handsome, and one of the fairest of the New Zealand men I ever saw; indeed I have seen but few women fairer. He did not appear in a particularly good temper, and after about five minutes’ talk he suddenly arose from his seat, and began to walk up and down, and stamp, talking all the

time with great animation. He at last worked himself apparently into a most terrible pitch of fury, at which I only laughed. The cause of complaint was my having ascended Tongadido. I said that a Pakiha could do no harm in going up, as no place was taboo to a Pakiha; that the taboo only applied to Mowries; and finally, that if the mountain was an atua, I must be a greater atua, or I could not have got to the top of it, and that it was all nonsense to put himself in a passion with me, as I did not care for it; but if he would see that the people made haste with the canoe, I would give him some tobacco. I then took out one fig for each of his companions, who sat still all the time without saying a word, and gave him three figs. It proved a most astonishing sedative. He quite changed his tone in a minute and sat down again. He could not help saying, however, that if he had thought I could have gone up the mountain, he would have prevented my ever trying it, and requested me not to tell any other Pakihas of it on any account.
There were no great thanks due to any of them for letting me go, when they had done all in their power to misdirect me; but I thought it as well to let the matter rest, and shook hands with him.
This chief was the most important man I met with in New Zealand; that is to say, his supremacy over the other chiefs was more widely acknowledged. This personal influence had, I suppose, been acquired by his superior courage and physical strength, for in reality all the chiefs are equal by hereditary right, and in all the other tribes it would be difficult to say who was the first chief. Here, however, and throughout all the different villages of the Towpo tribe, he was acknowledged as the “great chief.” He had crossed the lake on purpose to see me, and I suppose was rather annoyed to find that I thought of going away without shaking hands with him. He said during his rage, that he “did

not eat white men;” a pretty strong hint that there were plenty there that would make no difficulty about the matter. This was the only time that a native ever said anything to me more than impertinent; and I believe that the greater part of his rage was put on in order to try if he could not frighten me.
In consequence of these interruptions, it was about twelve o’clock before we could proceed. Peter took leave of me here, as he was going to remain to superintend the erection of Mr. Chapman’s house. He brought a pig as a parting gift. He was a most excellent specimen of a native; had been of great assistance to me; and I was very sorry to part from him. I gave him a knife, some beads, and about a pound of tobacco; but his joy at receiving such a magnificent present was not sufficient to clear up his countenance. Mr. Chapman, in speaking of him, afterwards said that his chief fault lay in his heart, which was as soft as a piece of dough, and that he never had reason to find fault with him, except for not knowing how to say “no” to the other natives.
We had not paddled above seven or eight miles when the lake became so rough that we could not get on any further. We were on a lee-shore, with the rocks rising perpendicularly more than six hundred feet above us. Fortunately we were able to run under a natural arch, where we got shelter till the rain moderated; when, finding there appeared no chance of the gale abating, we encamped; there, fortunately, being just room enough under the rocks to pitch the tent. I was much annoyed, and at the same time amused, at this place by the superstitions of the natives. Being wet and cold, as soon as I got out of the canoe I told them to make a fire; accordingly they took the fire they had in the canoe, and putting it as near the edge of the water as possible, blew it up, and added what small drift-wood they could find on the beach. Presently it began to rain again, and I took up a log and threw

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