This book is descriptive of things as they are in a part of New Zealand, together with some reference to past history. It does not attempt to handle the colony as a whole, but refers to scenes within the northern half of the North Island only. This part of the country, the natural home of the kauri pine, is what I here intend to specify under the title of Northern New Zealand.I am not an emigration-tout, a land-salesman, or a tourist. When I went to New Zealand I went there as an emigrant. Not until a few days before I left its shores had I any other idea but that the rest of my life was destined to be that of a colonist, and that New Zealand was my fixed and permanent home. I have, therefore, written from the point of view of a settler. Circumstances, which have nothing to do with this chronicle, caused me to lay down axe and spade, and eventually to become a spoiler of paper instead of a bushman. The materials of this work, gathered together in the previous condition of life, are now put in print in the other.
e these good people have been in great force, relating numberless yarns of their past experiences, more or less truthful in detail. But now their self-importance is overwhelming and superior to all considerations. Every headland, bay, or island that we pass is expatiated upon, and its especial story told, in which, I note, the narrator generally seems to have been the most prominent figure himself. No one is allowed to remain below, even for meals, scarcely for sleeping; he or she must be up on deck to hear strange-sounding names applied to every place we sight.
Cape Kara-Kara is a name to us and nothing more. Whangaroa Heads, that guard the harbour of that name, with its settlements and saw-mills, is but little better, though some few, who have been industriously reading up, remember Whangaroa as the scene of the ghastly massacre of the crew of the Boyd, half a century ago. Capes Wiwiki and Brett we have no previous acquaintance with, though we have heard of the Bay of Islands, over whose wid