Hidden Slide Menu on Left
Below, Curtis Page Index
Curtis Index
Mr George Newsham Curtis, wishing to see something of the interior of the island, decided upon making a walking tour from New Plymouth to Tauranga, and from letters sent to Mr George Curtis, sen., which have been kindly lent up to read, we gather the following interesting particulars: —
Source: Taranaki Herald, 25 May 1893: NEW PLYMOUTH TO  OTORAHANGA
The tourist left New Plymouth on Tuesday, March 28th, by Kibby's coach for Waitara, and from there walked to Urenui, where he stopped the night. On Wednesday he started for the White Cliffs, going by the new road, passing close to the hills. He visited Messrs Atkinson Brothers, who now own most of the land on the New Plymouth side of the Cliffs (between two and three thousand acres), which is in good grass, and the cattle looking well. Mr Curtis then descended to the beach, along which he walked at the foot of cliffs which seemed to him to be 500 feet high. He went through the tunnel, and finished his day's journey at McKoy's accommodation house, near the Tongaporutu River. On Thursday morning, the tide being in, Mr Curtis went in a boat for two miles up the Tongaporutu River. The river flat, he says, is about half a mile wide, and the land good alluvial soil, covered with bush or scrub. There are also limestone hills, which are steep and rugged, also covered with scrub. At about noon Mr Curtis started in the direction of Mokau, twelve miles distance, going partly along the beach and partly over a high terrace about a quarter of a mile wide and two hundred feet above the sea. There were high limestone hills to be seen in the distance, some of them having level flats on the top. They are covered with bush and fern. On the south side of the river is some nice rolling grass land, and on the rise is to be seen Mr Joshua Jones' house, which is a good sized building. Ho crossed the Mokau river in a boat pulled by a Maori, and then went on to Reardon's accommodation house, where he stayed for the night. On Friday a start was made for Mr McCutchan's (late of Hawera), who lives about four miles up the Awakino river Mr McCutchan has about 1300 acres of bush land, 350 acres of which he has just had felled and burnt. The laud, like most of it in that district, is very hilly, some of the hills being a thousand feet high. Mr Curtis says it is a good sheep country if the fern does not grow, and should carry when cleared over two sheep to the acre.
On Saturday, April 1st, at half past six o'clock in the morning, Mr Curtis started for Totora, which although but fifteen miles in a direct line he had to move thus early to reach the place by dark owing to the track being such a zigzag one. He walked for three hours up a spur, and along a ridge about two thousand feet high. He was overtaken by two young men (sons of Mr R. Street, of Bell Block) who were pushing through to reach their land near Totora, in order to burn their bush, which is at the north-east end of the Awakino block. The three walked about two miles down the hill to the first crossing of the Awakino river, and over the second crossing, all the way being zig-zig through a bush country. Messrs Streets being young, with lighter swags than Mr Curtis had, he not wishing to delay them, suggested they should go on,  saying he would follow at his leisure. So they parted company.
The track was easy to find for Mr C. Newsham had just driven 140 steers over it. The Awakino valley is kept to by travellers all the way, but owing to the river winding about from range to range, there are eleven crossings to ford. At first the valley is narrow but near Totora the country is leveller and fern clearings are reached . The first thing Mr Curtis saw on getting out of the bush was Mr C. Newsham and his party minding their cattle which had got into the toot, so he stopped to help them and they camped in the open air as the party did not carry tents. Their supper consisted of wild pork, some potatoes, and biscuit, their beverage being tea. Mr Newsham's party was made up of two white men and two Maoris, and the night was spent watching the cattle to prevent them getting amongst the toot. The mob were a fine lot of nearly fat, and mostly quiet animals; of these five died from eating toot and twenty more showed the effects of the poison. The spot where the party had camped was about six miles from Totora. Early on Sunday morning a Maori was sent on with about twenty steers to lead to rest along the fern track with instructions to drive fast so that the hungry cattle should not have time to eat the toot. He however drove too fast and the cattle behind got blown, so sixteen had to be left in a clump of bush, but which were afterward recovered. At Totora the mob, which had been reduced to 117 were handed over to Mr Limmer, who, with a boy, and a Maori were to drive them to Waikato. Mr C. Newsham and his party returned for another lot of cattle, and to pick up on their way the missing ones.
Whilst at Totora Mr Curtis went up the river in a canoe to a Maori garden where the natives gave him and his companion a water melon and some fine ripe quinces, the taste of the latter being something like pineapples. On Monday morning the party with the cattle left for the Waikato, and as Mr Curtis did not know the country, which was reported to be very rough, he thought it best to accompany them. They crossed the Mokau river, and proceeded for five miles over hills covered with ferns, grass, or bush, and having re-crossed another bend of the river, continued on its north bank for seven miles until they reached the Maori village, Tahunatapu (nearly opposite Mupue), where they slept in a Maori tent, the natives supplying them with a supper composed of pork, potatoes, and dough nuts. The flats about this part of the country, Mr Curtis states, appeared to be good land, but many of the hills and ridges were poor and covered with fern. The scenery is very picturesque, as most of the hills are covered with bush to the very top. A great deal of limestone shows, and the streams in some places run under the hills.
A start was made on Tuesday (April 4), at 6.30 a.m., with 116 steers (one having died during the night), and after a drive of about twelve miles the party arrive at Oparure, a native settlement four miles west of Te Kuiti. Here they camped, the cattle being put on a flat close by. On Wednesday, Mr Lemmer and his party left for Waikato with the cattle, but Mr Curtis, wishing to see the Waitomo cave, got a pakeha-Maori named Hull to show him the way. The guide left the track, and for a mile or so they struggled through the fern, which was over their heads. On arriving at the cave, the key of the wooden door proved to have been lost, so it was finally decided to break the padlock, and an entrance was thus effected. Mr Curtis and six Maoris, each having a candle in a tin shade (which cost 2s a piece), then entered the cave. The guide said in extent the cave covered ten acres, but Mr Curtis says he does think they showed him one third of it. It was, however, the finest cave he had ever seen, and he would not have missed tho opportunity of seeing it. One avenue was about fifteen feet wide, and two hundred feet long, and thirty feet high, with stalactites on the wall and the roof. The floor was perfectly level, and the place had the appearance of one of the Continental cathedral. The stalactites were mostly of a white colour like they are in the caves at Wangarei,  but some were dark and others like the whitest of porcelain. They were of all sizes and shapes, and one might imagine one saw thrones, altars, organs, etc. in them. There were also alcoves of various sizes, running out of the main avenue. 
After viewing the cave Mr Curtis returned to Oparure, and when he had tea, it being moonlight, walked over a low range to Te Kuiti, which is situated in a sandy manuka flat. Thursday morning prognosticated a wet day, for there was a fog in the valleys, which, however, the sun dispersed between 8 and 10 o'clock. It then began to drizzle, and continued raining till the afternoon, it then clearing up a little, Mr Curtis accompanied by Mr G. Newsham, went to see the Runanga house, with its large carved pillars in front. The building ie, however, now fast going to ruin. Friday was very wet, and prevented Mr Curtis proceeding on his journey ; however, he saw Mr C. W. Hursthouse, who gave him a good deal of information respecting the roads, and showed him on the map the route he would have to take to reach Tauranga. On Saturday afternoon (April 8) Mr Curtis left Te Kuiti, and walked to Otorohanga, a distance of ten miles. Otorohanga is a Maori settlement, but all the buildings in it are of wood, and of European structure. There is a Town Hall which is 25 feet wide by 60 feet long. A dance was taking place in it on the night he arrived, and the Maoris and half-castes, Mr Curtis says, danced extremely well. Except the river flat, the country around Otorohanga in poor fern and manuka land.
Ctd: Taranaki Herald, 29 May 1893: FROM OTOROHANGA TO TAURANGA
On Sunday, April 9th, Mr G. N. Curtis walked from Otorohanga to Kihi Kihi, a distance of sixteen miles. The country is owned by Maoris, and till within three miles of Kihi Kihi is poor fern land, with any amount of tutu about. Near Kihi Kihi, which is close to Te Awamutu, the soil gets clayey, and much resembles the poorest portion of the Omata land. It has been a bad fruit season there, and apples could not be disposed of even at a shilling the 50 lb case. One of Reynolds dairy factories is there, and the farmers around supply it with milk. Kihi Kihi was an old military settlement, and has remained stationary for many years. The best improved land is said to worth from £6 to £8 per acre.
Monday morning was wet, which prevented the tourist from leaving the hotel, but in the afternoon Mr Curtis walked to Te Awamutu. Here he found fruit extremely cheap, buying 3 lb of fine Ribstone pippin apples for sixpence. One of the apples was the largest of the variety he had seen. It is considered that a hundred acres at Te Aramutu will keep thirty cows. On Tuesday Mr Curtis walked to Waotu, a distance of 26 miles, going mostly through native land which was hilly, and covered with fern, tutu, and manuka. The land is very poor, worse than that at Okato. Here and there a patch is to be seen in cultivation, being worked by the natives. There are very few whares, as the Maoris nearly all live in wooden houses. About 7 miles before reaching Waotu, a bridge of forty feet span crosses the Waikato river, the channel being cut through a kind of sandstone; cliffs of the same cover the sides of some of the deepest gullies, the stone is also to be seen at the tops of some of the hills looking like isolated rocks, pillars. etc. At Waotu there is a patch of totara bush, which is the best Mr Curtis has seen in New Zealand, many of the trees being 70 feet to 80 feet in height. A large quantity of the bush has been cut, but the Maoris are reserving the remainder for their own use.

On Wednesday Mr Curtis walked to Oxford, a distance of nineteen miles. The country through which he passed was much the same as on the other side of Waotu. Near Oxford there are some large estates owned by companies, who have managers. It seems that these managers go in extensively for turnips as a first crop, using bone dust as a manure. The land is then sown down in cocksfoot and clover. In about two years the grass disappears, and turnips, with bone dust, are again repeated, when the land will grow grass for six or eight years. It will be seen from this that the cattle and sheep in the Waikato have to be fattened mostly on turnips. As Mr Curtis was informed that the track from Oxford to Tauranga was very bad, he decided to go by rail on Thursday for Morrinsville, and from there walked to Te Aroha, a distance of fourteen miles, arriving at that place in time for dinner. Te Aroha is a quiet place, and one of the sanitoriums of the North Island. It is not far by rail from Auckland, and a cheap place to live at. There are eighteen different springs, of which fifteen are hot, and, with the exception of Nos. 16 and 17, manifest an alkaline character, being heavily charged with carbonate of soda. Carbonic acid gas is constantly escaping from the springs in large quantities. The mountain range at the foot of which Te Aroha is built, very much resembles Kaitaki, being about the same height, and having its slopes covered with fern and bush on the top.

On Friday, after having a bath in one of the springs, Mr Curtis walked to a town called Waiorongomai, a distance of about three miles. He here saw some very extensive quaitz crushing machinery which was put up there by some enterprising milling speculator. The mine not paying, it was sold at a twentieth part of its cost, and a portion of the machinery is now being worked by the buyers, but with what result Mr Curtis could not ascertain. Mr W. Newsham is living there and is engaged prospecting for quartz reef.
On Saturday Mr Curtis walked over the ranges to Kati Kati, a distance of sixteen miles. From the top of the range a good view is obtained of the plain towards Auckland on one side, and the East Coast on the other. The coast line north of Tauranga looks almost as being at the foot of the range, but in reality is a good nine miles from it. The soil becomes poor and sandy as soon as the bush on the ranges finishes, but close to the coast line there arc some flats of good land, and this seems to be the only good land in the district. Away out at sea, in the distance, can be seen the smoke from White Island, and when the setting sun shines on it the effect is very grand.
On Sunday (April 26th) Mr Curtis walked to Tauranga, a distance of twentysix miles. The journey was over a series of hills - going up one and down another. On his way he had to cross several swamps and to wade through a number of streams, all of which run into the harbour. The land about is very poor, and covered with fern and manuka, with tutu as usual. In the distance and near the harbor, howover, there are some better patches of land. Tauranga is a very quiet town. It has had its boom and now land is about a fourth the price it was a few years ago. There are any number of shops to let, and farms are for sale at a very low figure. The cuttings by the side of the roadway show the soil and sub- soil to be not unlike in color that in Taranaki, but on examination of them, Mr Curtis found they were more sandy. The soil is, therefore, too dry for cultivation. Some fruit trees do well in many places,  but apples, quinces, lemons, and currants, are not amongst them. The population in Tauranga is about two thousand and is not likely to grow larger.
Ctd: Taranaki Herald, 5 June 1893: FROM TAURANGA TO OPOTIKI.
On Thursday, April 20th, Mr G N. Curtis walked from Tauranga to Te Puke, a distance of eighteen miles, where he had to stop on account of the wet weather. On Saturday, however, he managed to get to Maketu, a distance of about seven miles. Here the rain delayed him several days. Mr Curtis describes the ranges south of Tauranga as being lower than those to the north, and being covered with fern and tutu, and about six miles from the sea. The land between the ranges and the sea gradually improves southwards, but for eighteen miles from Tauranga going Te Puke, half of the country is a large swamp, at below a level that it is doubtful, Mr Curtis thinks, of being drained. He says one man had 900 acres of it and spent £10,000 in draining the land, and it is now being offered by the New Zealand Government Insurance at £3 per acre, the man having had to surrender it after losing all his money.
At Te Puke the land is dry and undulating, and is occupied by small farmers who have hundred acre lots. They grow a good deal of maize, their crops reaching us high as a 100 bushels to the acre They have also raised heavy crops of turnips. The land at Te Puke, Mr Curtis says, is better than in Taranaki, but he does not think it would carry so much stock. It looks, he added, like the land about Hawera. There is a butter factory there which, however, can only get supplied with 200 gallons of milk per day in the spring, and was not at work when Mr Curtis was at the place, Te Puke is at the foot of the ranges and about six miles from the sea, and Maketu is at the mouth of a rivor of that name. Between the two places the land gets more sandy, but seems to grow good grass. It has been taken up by settlers on the perpetual lease system in lots of 200 acres, at a rental of sixpence an acre, and has been occupied between twelve and eighteen months. Same of the land has had the fern, tutu, and manuka burnt off it, and been sown down in grass. Red and white clover and cocksfoot appear to do well, but Mr Curtis says he did not see any rye grass. In some places the manuka is growing again, and the land will have to be ploughed to kill it. This land Mr Curtis thinks will carry as much stock as the average bush land in Taranaki, and is very cheap at sixpence an acre. The holders know its value, and ask a considerable sum to go out. The land is very level, but there are some large swamps which have not yet been taken up. It is possible that the country lies too low to drain them. Sheep, it is said, will not thrive in the district. The lambs die off, and, as the land is dry in most places, the cause is not to be accounted for.
The older settlers state that, as a rule, the East Coast has a dry climate, but that this summer has been an exceptional one, and that for twenty years no such wet weather has been known. Mr Curtis says that his experience fully bears out the settlers' remarks, for he was detained at Maketu seven days by the wet, during which time the sun was never seen once. It rained — rained — rained - night and day, a steady downpour - in fact, he writes, he had only had one actually fine day since he reached the other side of the island.
The East Coast, Mr Curtis says, seems to be years behind the rest of New Zealand, and most of the land is in a very rough state. There is no such thing as a metalled road, the settlers having to rough it, as they had to do at Okato twenty years ago. The settlers got their supplies by small vessels from Auckland, which also carry their produce. The vessels come up some of the rivers where they land and take in their cargoes. Mr Curtis thinks the place an excellent one for young men to start at, as land can be got very cheap there. Mr and Mrs Hughes (nee Miss Oliver) are stationed there. Mr Hughes was at Wakatane when Mr Curtis was at Maketu, having gone to that place to settle some trouble with the natives about the survey.
Maketu, where Mr Curtis had to stop a week owing to the wet weather, is a town that once was prosperous, but owing to the traffic being diverted, things now are very dull there. He stopped at the Maketu Hotel kept by Mr Robertson, which Mr Curtis says was almost like a private house - it was so quiet in fact there is scarcely trade enough to support the hotel, which is an excellent one.
On Thursday, April 27th, the weather having cleared up, Mr Curtis walked to a new settlement at Pungakawa, a distance of twelve miles inland. The ground, like other places, is covered with fern, manuka, and tutu. He was here entertained by a Mr Binney, who had taken up five hundred acres of land on perpetual lease at a rental of 4 1/2d per acre. Mr Binney had surface-sown some of the land in cocksfoot and clover, which appeared to have taken well. He has also about a hundred acres down in grass, on which he keeps sixty head of cattle, all of which were in good condition. The land, Mr Curtis says, is mostly volcanic ash, and when the Tarawera eruption took place over an inch of ash fell. Mr Billing (a brother of Mr Billing of New Plymouth) told Mr Curtis that the land there differs from Taranaki land, in-as-much as it improves as it gets cropped and worked. It will grow carrots and turnips without manure, but potatoes do badly, returning scarcely the seed sown if planted in virgin soil. Maize crop yielded 50 bushels and over to the acre ; wheat 20 bushels. The land, however, has to be grassed before any crops are put in, or they will prove a failure. If it is surface grassed however for one year it will do for maize. The frosts are not severe, and accordingly grass grows nearly all the winter, and does not dry up much in the summer. The climate is milder than in Taranaki. No wells are dug, but water is collected in tanks from the roofs of the houses. Mr Curtis says he saw no good butter in the district.
On Friday, April 28, the tourist walked nine miles towards the beach through fern land of varying quality, all of which had been taken up on the perpetual lease system. It is said that during the last twelve months over 200,000 acres have been secured on the East Coast. The land had hitherto been considered no good, but now it is being found out that it will pay to cultivate, and people are procuring it. After reaching the beach Mr Curtis walked along for nine miles, when he arrived at Matata, a tidal river harbour, where be found a small steamer which had just arrived from Auckland. He could not see anything of the country from the beach, because it was bounded by cliffs 700 to 800 feet high, which were composed of pumice, though in places they were composed of soft rock like limestone. The road was along the base of these cliffs, and a sand bank between the road and the sea. The breakers could scarcely be heard, but the echo from the cliffs was very peculiar— being more like a heavy wind blowing through trees. The holes in the cliffs,  Mr Curtis thinks, was the cause of this.
On Saturday, April '29, at 10 a.m., Mr Curtis was ferried across the Matata river, and still keeping to the beach walked to Whakatane, another tidal river - the distance being about fifteen miles. The Matata and Whakatane are connected by a channel — or rather a large swamp. Some of the drier portions of the land yield large crops of maize— up to 120 bushels per acre being grown. The town of Whakatane is on the south bank of the river, about half a mile from its mouth, and is built at the foot of a range of hills which are about 300 feet high. Behind the town are to be seen two waterfalls — one having a fall of 86 feet. There are some large rocks in this river, one of which is 6O feet square, and is flat topped. This is used as a wharf, alongside which the small steamers are unloaded. On Sunday, April 30, Mr Curtis walked to Ohiwa, a email settlement on the side of the Opotiki harbour, which is about nine miles from Whakatane, and is gained by going over the hills. The first three miles he found the land covered with the usual growth of fern and tutu; but here and there might be seen what had been peach groves. These hills have recently been leased from the Government at l 1/2d per acre, and on the flats Mr Curtis thinks good grass may be grown. The eruption of Tarewera covered this district with fully three inches of ash. A good deal of it has been washed off the hills into the swamps which has done good, for the cattle in some places can now walk where they could not before go. This is the best harbour about there. At low water there is six feet, and high water eighteen feet, and the entrance is straight and over a hundred feet wide. The town consists of one hotel and one house, Some sections have been surveyed on a sandy spit of land, but until roads are made, not much settlement need be expected. The settlers come down the river in boats. The land which has been taken up far back was obtained very cheap, but it is now on the rise. Mr Curtis did not make a long stay at Ohiwa, but took advantage of the coach going to Opotiki to go there by it. The distance is about eleven miles, and the coach goes along a good hard beach road, with settlers' houses on the rising ground inland. Opitiki is a small town, situated on a small triangular flat, surrounded by lofty mountains covered with bush, which are about six miles away. Maize growing is the chief occupation of the settlers. There is a river up which small steamers sometimes come, but as there is a shifting bar it makes it difficult at times for them to enter. There is a talk of making a tramway to Ohiwa from Opotiki.
Ctd: Taranaki Herald,  12 June 1893: FROM OPOTIKI TO GISBORNE
On Monday, May 6th, Mr G N. Curtis walked from Opotiki to Omarmatu by the beach, a distance of seven miles. hero he found a native school kept by Mr and Mrs Tennent, who have about fifty Maori children attending it. They have a good garden, but there are only two or three acres of. land attached to the school house. Mr Tennent invited Mr Curtis to stop the night, which he did, and was very hospitably entertained. On the Tuesday he made a start for Papamoa, an old native clearing, about seventeen miles distant. He went up a river valley, along which for the first four miles was a horse track cut out of the side of the range, which is two hundred feet high. The country was very broken, but here and there was a level spot, patches of which the Maoris had cultivated, the chief crup being maize. About fourteen miles inland Mr Reed and Mr Saunders have two blocks of land. The former had about seven hundred acres of level land out of the two thousand acres, which he is renting at sixpence an acre. The land, Mr Curtis says, looks good but there is scarcely a rata to be seen These blocks of land are two thousand feet above the sea level.
On Wednesday morning he made a start with the intention of making Motu that night, being a distance of about fifteen miles, but the rain coming on before half the distance had been reached, Mr Curtis and a companion he had picked up on the way, took shelter in a whare at Whitikau, where they found a fire, also some potatoes, biscuits, and bread, which had been left there by some natives. The weather being very stormy, they stopped in the whare all night. Mr Curtis says the land about Whitikau is very poor, and the ranges all covered with birch; there are, however, some patches of good soil in the narrow valley near Whitikau. Thursday being still wet, the couple had to remain in the whare all day.
On Friday morning, the weather looking fine, another start was made for Motu, but after walking six miles the rain came down so heavy that shelter had to be sought in a hut. It blew and rained all night, and, as their rations were short, Mr Curtis' companion walked back to the Maori whare on Saturday morning, and fetched from it about ten pounds of potatoes and some biscuits which had been left there. It rained all Saturday night, but eased up a little on Sunday morning. Another attempt was made to reach Motu, After walking eleven miles they reached the river which was so flooded it was found impossible to cross, so the two had to sleep under some trees, keeping them - selves warm by means of a fire made up of drift wood which had been washed up on the banks of the river. They had little food with them so they boiled down in their billy some sow thistles and for their supper had only three potatoes each.
On Monday morning, after a breakfist of sow thistles and two potatoes each, they started to ascend the ranges, following a survoyor's line which ended at a trig station. They had been told that three miles up the river there was a log across the stream, but after searching and failing to find it, they became very weak for want of food. When in this state they came across two men who showed them the way to the crossing. From the spot where they had slept the previous night to the fording place was for half a mile or so a scramble along the slope of the range which formed the river bank, and the tourist says he found it very difficult at times to prevent his falling into the water. For the next three miles the ground was more level, and after going along a newly cut survey line the party at last reached the log, which was about 23 feet in diameter, with some of the bark off. It was very slippery, and half the length was six inches under water. The river was about 35 feet wide, with a flat on both sides, which was liable to be flooded at any time ; but at the ford the water scorned to spread out and was fully 100 feet wide. The river was running fully six miles an hour, there being a waterfall 130 feet high just above the site, where a bridge is going to be erected.
Mr Curtis and those with him crossed safely over the logs and then made for the Motu Hotel, where they stopped for the night. Tuesday morning, May 9, opened fine, and Mr Curtis being desirous of seeing something of the place, allowed his companions of the previous day to go on, whilst he walked over a clearing. The grass on the flat was rye, cocksfoot, and white clover, which grow well there. The hills at the back appeared to be poorer land, but grass was growing on them. The caterpillars had, however, cleared a lot of the grass from the hills, for it looked very patchy. The land along the Motu River is a narrow flat, which is liable to be flooded with two or three feet of water whenever there is a heavy rain fall, the water coming down from the rangos which rise a thousand feet above the level of the river. The settlers in their selection get a portion of the flat and a part of the range. The hotel is on a height, which is about 1,800 feet above the level of the sea. The cash price paid for the land, Mr Curtis learned, was from 10s to 12s 6d per acre ; for deferred payment 12s 6d to 15s 7d per acre, and for perpetual lease, 6d to 7d rent. The land is poorly timbered, very few ratas or romus being seen, most of the wood being tawa. It costs 12s a cwt. to get provisions, etc., to here, from Gisborne to Motu. In tho afternoon Mr Curtis walked to Mr W. Brooking's house, who lives about eleven miles from the hotel. it was a large slab house, which cost him £86 to build. He has 1200 acres of land on perpetual lease, for which he pays 6d per acre. He cleared last year about 50 acres, which he grassed. This year he has cleared 200 acres and has it grassed down. He has 340 sheep on the land which he considers after next year will carry from 2 to 3 sheep to the acre. Adjoining this property are two rough sections, which are offered at the same prices Mr Brooking is paying but they have not yet been taken up.
Mr Curtis stayed at this place for the night. On Wednesday Mr Cartis walked to Patutu, a distance of eighteen miles from Mr W. Brooking. He stopped at Mr Richardson, who owned "AC House." There is little or no bush there, and the hills ani flats are in rye grass, which has been solf-sown.
On Thursday Mr Curtis walked to Ormond, a distance of eighteen miles The Potutu valley is about half-a mile wide, and then for three miles it narrowed. Mr Curtis had to cross the river eight times. To the junction of the Potutu with another river, tho valley widened again. The land is mostly in rye grass. The hills rise to about 1100 feet above the level of the plains, but are not steep enough for slips, except in a few places. The tops are green with grass (rye, cocksfoot, and clover, with native grass) and the slopes are partly covered with manuka with English and native grasses. The soil varied very much. The flats are mostly of stiff grey soil like washings from papa rock which shows on the cliff near the river; the hills are grey or brown clay or mould with black or grey top soil. In several places the soil is sandy, not unlike that at Tauranga, As Ormond is approached tho valley widens to the extent of several miles, and is very level There are patches in cultivation, and rape and maize is being grown. The Mangarangiora river which is a large one, threatens to wash away Ormond in time to come, as it curved toward that town. Some of the sheep on the hills look well, but on the flat tho young ones looked far from it. The soil on the flats is said to be too stiff to grow potatoes, and the inhabitants of Ormond are supplied with them from districts where the ground is lighter.
On Friday, May 12 Mr Curtis left by coach for Gisborne, a distance of twelve miles. He travelled through a flat country the average value being about £25 per acre, which was mostly in rye grass, and would carry six to eight sheep to the acre. The sheep on the flats have done badly this year owing to the very wet season, and flocks of them have been sent to the hills for a change. At Gisborne, the flat appears about twelve miles wide, with hills about a thousand feet high on either side of it which are covered with grass. At Gisborne, the attempt to make a harbor, appears to have been a failure, as large steamers have still to be tendered by a steam-launch. The town is built on & low flat and is said to be unhealthy although the soil is sandy. The frozen meat works are on the river bank, above the town, and the inhabitants complain of their becoming a nuisance, as (hey are defiling the river. All the open land is taken up, and the bush land is now being opened for sale.
Mr Curtis attended a stock sale at Matawbero, about four miles from Gisborne, where cattle and sheep fetched much the same price as they do in Taranaki. Ordinary cows to calve next spring £4, good cows £6 8s, eighteen months good steer calves £2, two and a-half years steers from £3 5s to £4 5s, hoggets (wethers) 11s 9d, old ewes in lamb 7s 6d. At the sale Mr Curtis met Mr Harry Good and Messrs Humphrey and Isaac Bayly.

Ctd: Taranaki Herald,  19 June 1893 FROM GISBORNE TO AWANUI ; AND THEN HOME,

Mr G. N. Curtis left Gisborne for Tolago Bay at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 19. It was a fine clear frosty morning, and the walk was very enjoyable. The road to the beach is between hills, and the distance about three miles. At Tatapouri, which is almost six miles further on, Mr Curtis stopped at an inn there and had luncheon. He then walked another nine miles, which brought, him to the Pakari river, across which Mr Curtis was ferried , and he put up for the night at an inn on the other side. Although cold the mosquitos all night were very tormenting. On Saturday he walked to Tolago Bay, a distance from Pakari is about eighteen miles and slept at the only inn in the place, which was doing a good trade. On his way Mr Curtis stopped at Mr Henry Loisel's, who has 6000 acres of land connected with his station. It was originally a lease from the natives, but he has since purchased 3600 acres of it. Mr Loisel has about three-fourths of the land either in rye or native grass, and the soil is above the average quality. The country is rather hilly, running up to about 2000 feet, which is the height of the loftiest peak. There are patches of bush, mostly kohekohe, but some puriri and karaka trees are to be seen near the beach. Mr Loisel has about 8,000 sheep on his run The goods for the station are landed on tha beach. From one of the hills, through which a road passes, a view of Tolago is obtained. The town is situated on a flat about three miles off, up to which Mr Loisels station runs. It is very doubtful which will be the chief portion of the township, as the flat is large and the site of the proposed bridge across the river has not been decided upon. Steamers lay in Tolago Bay, and are tendered by boats which have to pass over the bar at the entrance of the river. The Government township is on the north bank of the river, but if the claim to the land on the south bank is settled it is thought that that side may be the site of the township if the bridge is built.  Mr Loisel told Mr Curtis that when the bush was first felled the land would carry four sheep to the acre, but after some years, when the potash was exhausted, then it would only carry from one and a half to two sheep. Mr Loisel has been seventeen years on his station.

Sunday being wet, Mr Curtis stopped at the inn at Tolago Bay, but clearing upon Monday, he with two companions, Mr James Williams (cousin of Mr Williams of Stratford) and a Mr Davidson rode to Tokomaru, a distance of twenty-five miles. The road they took was partly along the beach and partly over the ranges. The former was in a very bad state and not fit for travelling over. All the ranges in the district have been taken up and stocked. There was good grass on some of them, but it was patchy. The sheep, however, looked in good health and were fat. Mr Curtis rode over two hills which must have been 2000 feet above the sea level. The party stopped for the night at the Tokomaru Inn which is kept by a Mr McGuire. On Tuesday Mr Curtis walked to Waiperou, a distance of eight miles, passing on the way over a range 1750 feet. All the land about there belongs to J. U. Williams & Co., said to be in some way connected with Nelson & Co.'s freezing works. In some places their runs are fairly grassed, but most of the land is covered with fern or manuka. The sheep do not look well, although cocksfoot and native grasses are abundant. There is not much level country the runs consisting of ranges reaching the height of 2000 feet, and in looking down from one of the peaks Mr Curtis says he could see the sheep dotted about the green patches on most of the hills and in the gullies. The Williamses are said to have 260,000 acres, on which are about 80,000 sheep, and send away every season 1500 bales of wool .< p=align=left>On Wednesday, May 24th, Mr Curtis walked from Waiperou on to Sir G. Whitmore's run, a distance of about nine miles. The land there seemed better, but less grassed than most of the runs he had been through .He stopped at the Tuparoa Inn, kept by Mr Jones. The country all along the coast is much of the same description - high ranges jutting into the sea, with deep bays between them. In this district there seemed to have been more landslips, Mr Curtis says, than at any place he had ever visited. The inn is built on one. It is about thirty feet above high water mark, and 200 feet from the edge of the slip, which is slowly moving seawards. All along the bay which is called Open Bay there are other land slips washed at their base by the sea. They are to be seen in every direction, falling across the tracks over the ranges, and even visible on the side of the ranges in the distance. The hills seem to be composed of mullock, etc, which the winter rains soften, and then the whole side of a hill will move. Sometimes the grass and trees keep in their natural positions, with cracks, and raised purls here and there, but on the steep hills the slips seem to come down like avalanches, carrying everything before them. All along the coaast and up up the little rivers are numerous whares belonging to the Maoris. Many of them are empty, and only used occasionally. On Thursday Mr Curtis walked to Awanui, a distance from Taporoa of eight miles, and had lunch at Walker's So View Hotel, Mr G. Whitmore has a run near there. His sheep are a quarter each of Down, Merino, Lincoln, and Leicestor, and are now to be crossed with Romneys.

Mr Curtis walked about four miles over a hill through this run and then made his way to the beach. For the last mile before reaching Awanui he had to make his way round several landslips and over several rocks which have been washed clean by the sou. It is a very bad road, yet he sees cattle are driven this way. Round a point the tourist comes suddenly comes on to Awanui, a mail town built on a hiil, which shows sign of every now and then slipping into the sea. Steamers have to anchor in the roadstead, but the landing place for boats is well sheltered and even when a heavy south-easter is blowing it is calm between the reefs that are several chains wide, and run out a quarter of a mile or so from the shore. The beach is covered with driftwood and seaweed. If a large town is ever built, it will have to be inland, the road to which will be up a gully with a stream down the centre But even, here a difficulty will arise, for it is liable to be covered in by slips of earth from the hill on either side. All attempts to keep the road good has failed. In the afternoon Mr Curtis made a start for Robertsons, a distance of six miles and ended on the north side of the Wuiapu river, but when he had gone about two miles he was overtaken by a violent hailstorm, the stones that fell in some instances being two inches long and others an inch square, but flat. He was advised to return to Awanui, which he did. During a conversation with some persons Mr Curtis met at the inn, he learnt that the Maoris are getting titles to their land and leasing it as they are fearing they will have to pay later, the Premier having stated at Napier it was the intention of the Government to rate the native land. Leasing given the lessor practically the presumptive right to purchase the individual shares of each native in any block leased for twenty one years. No covenant except to pay rent is insisted on in the lease, but fore-closure will follow if rent is not paid within three months after the due date.
Owing to the wet and stormy weather Mr Curtis could not proceed further on his tour. On Sunday he walked up to the trig- station on the hill to have a look over the country. The Waiapu river flows through a sandy beach and is a considerable stream of water. The area is occupied by Maoris, and here and there could be seen pools of water lying stagnant in the hollows and in deep tracks, showing that the ground is clay. The hills about are all in native grass, with scrub, and are said to carry two sheep to the acre, the animals however look far from well The ranges in the distance are covered with bush.
On Thursday (May 18) in the afternoon Mr Curtis walked up a hill at the back of the Inn which is about 2000 feet high. The ground at the top seemed to him to be firmer than on the lower spurs, and had here and there pieces of rocks, looking like limestone, sticking out. The sheep pasturing on this hill had a better appearance than those on the opposite side, but none, Mr Curtis says, were so good as the best on this coast. The wet weather, it is said, has seriously affected the sheep there. Fern as a rule does not show on this land, which remains wet for a day or two after rain, even if the weather is fine. The weather promising to be very uncertain, and it being too late in the season to proceed further with his tour with any pleasure, Mr Curtis took advantage of the s.s. Kanoiri calling at Awanui to take passage by her for Auckland, where he arrived on June lst. He then proceeded to Onehunga, and going on board the s.s. Mahinnpua, sailed for New  Plymouth, arriving here on June 7.