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Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui


Town of Wellington, Port Nicholson, from Rai - Warra - Warra Hill (From Samuel Charles Brees, Pictorial Illustrations of New Zealand, John Williams and Co., London, 1848) Twelve months in Wellington / by John Wood (1843)

Chapter 2
Description of the Country

Contents: preface | introduction | narrative page 1 | chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Wooded Mountain - Of New Zealand generally, it may be remarked, that the principal mountain ranges are separated by valleys of considerable magnitude ; but that the inferior ridges of any given chain are parted by ravines rather than by valleys. The prevailing character of the country for thirty miles in any direction inland from Wellington is that of heavily timbered mountains. The thin coating of mould which adheres to their steep sides is supported by the surface roots of the trees which spread themselves over the ground like a fabric of net-work. When these are removed, the heavy rains wash down the vegetable deposits and lay bare a red clay.

The Aglionby Arms (Burchams), River Hutt, by Samuel Charles Brees, Pictorial Illustrations of New Zealand, John Williams and Co., London, 1848.

Fern Land - Where the plant is rank, the ground is better adapted for cultivation than the wooded mountain. The depth of soil will admit of tillage where the acclivities are not such as to debar the use of a plough. Dwarf fern, however, like the moorlands of our own country, is worthless in its present state, but improvable; although, at the antipodes, 30s. an acre is too much for permission to reclaim this description of land.

Alluvial Valley - The very best land. It is expensive to clear, but the return is good.

Flax Swamps - For many miles the Manawatu river is fringed with these marshes. They are at present sad quagmires, but of course "capable of drainage." This, however, is a question for the next generation, rather than for the present one.

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