PHOTOGRAPHIC PICTURES OF OTAGAN SCENERY.
PHOTOGRAPHIC PICTURES OF OTAGAN SCENERY.
We have on previous occasions called attention to the arduous task undertaken by Mr Joseph Perry, photographic artist — that of obtaining 100 views of scenery in the Province; and we have described the progress made and its results. Two or three months ago, Mr Perry sent down to Dr Hector, 35 views, making, with those then in the Exhibition, about 50. He has now returned to town with about 50 more, including a dozen which he had found it desirable to re-take, and he will complete the 100 negatives by selecting strikingly fine points of view in the neighborhood of Dunedin, and there planting his camera. Mr Perry has frequently had tryingly hard times, while waiting for suitable weather for "taking" some particular bit of scenery which was too good to be passed by, or while endeavoring to get his "dark room and other apparatus long tracks which had never before been pressed by any fourwheeled vehicle, and probably will not be so pressed again for years, unless some other equally ardent photographer goes over the same ground. But Mr Perry has the satisfaction of knowing that he has all but absolutely carried out the programme prepared with the aid of Dr Hector's intimate knowledge of the interior of the Province; and that the programme was so prepared is the best possible guarantee that all the characteristic features of our great ranges, plains, rivers, &c, have been included in the tour which Mr Perry has made. The majority of the views which we mentioned in our previous notice, were taken in the Shag Valley direction, or between it and the coast. Those which Mr Perry has now brought down are most varied in character, but are, almost without exception, excellent specimens of photography. We may first mention a view of the coal-pit at Green Island, and the surrounding country; one of the famous Cherry Farm, near Waikouaiti; and another of the new bridge at East Taieri. Looking over a number of the other photographs, one may almost be said to make a very pleasant tour through some of the best known and the most romantic parts of the Province. We can examine the architecture displayed by the main street at Tokomairiro, with the square-towered church in the distance, duly faced by the White Horse Hotel. The Woolshed diggings; Waitahuna, with a good stretch of the township shown; Wetherstone's Flat, with the Government storm-water channel, full and glistening; Wetherstone's township ; the famous Blue Spur ; the township of Lawrence (Tuapeka), settled and thriving in look; and the still famous Gabriel's Gully, taken from the top of the Blue Spur— all these, with their surroundings, go to form a capital epitome of our older diggings and what they look like. Then we can pass to the crossing place at the Beaumont, with its substantial double-punt, and seemingly well- formed approach; to Mount Benger district, as seen from the top of Moa Flat, a fine reach of the Molyneux being included in the picture; and to the Teviot's junction with the Molyneux, there being some fine rocks for a young artist's study. What our miners can do, by association, is shown in the gigantic — it really is so — fluming across the Manorburn, constructed by the Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle Sluicing Company; the work being 800 ft. long, and at one point 90ft. high, a considerable portion of it being built in two heights, and the whole looking like an attenuated railway viaduct on a large scale. The water is brought from the Manuherikia. Alexandra (Manuherikia township) comes next, and a good picture it makes, the junction of the two rivers being capitally shown. Put this view aside, and we are at Clyde (the Dunstan township) - not in it, but looking at it across the river, and seeing, high up upon the bank, only a long compact line of wooden dwellings, towered over by a bluff hill, and with the entrance to the Gorge looking frowningly in the distance. From the township, we leap to the Pioneer Sluicing Company's claim, and see the manager and one of his men standing by the long sluice box, a sea of debris spreading around them, and the face of the spur serried and rough at their back. We go upon an inspection of the works of the Company, by means of three views, one of which shows a good stretch of fluming, with the manager's tent, and another being a really splendid rock study. Now we descend to Hartley's Beach, whence the discoverers of the Dunstan took so much of that 87lb weight of fine gold, the story of which turned the heads of the Dunedinites, and of many others, in August and September, 1862; and we see a broad line leading down to the beach, which line (says Dr Hector) shows the old bed of the rich and capricious Molyneux. Put away Hartley's Beach, and you are at Hill's Bridge, over the Kawarau, a poor, fragile-looking thing, but one that was a great boon when erected. It is dwarfed into more marked insignificance by a series of great stone piers in the foreground of the picture. They were built by day-work, under the Government, and are said to have cost vastly more in money, and to have taken up very much more time, than, was needed for the strongest of bridges or for the work actually done. The bridge exists now, we believe, or is nearly completed; but Hill's Bridge, as a personal venture, was a greatly useful work. The view includes part of Cromwell (Kawarau township), seen on the hill to the left; but the next picture shows the township itself, and exhibits strikingly the "terraces" of the locality. Now, we are looking down the river instead of up, but we still see the bridge and the piers; and here on the right are the three buildings forming "the Camp" at Cromwell. Here is the claim of the Great Extended Company, near the Kawarau Gorge; and in this view, as well as in three or four others which follow, we see striking examples of rocks and equally striking example of the skill and boldness of our miners in carrying out their "flumes." The instances here are of suspended fluming; and some of these canvas pipes or troughs carry several " heads" of water. We leave the works of the miners and see something of their ways — or the tracks they have to form and to follow in moving about the country. Here is Roaring Meg "township," as it is called, shut in by huge hills, and resting upon a bank close above a couple of forks of the Kawarau. We next come upon Roaring Meg itself, a magnificent specimen of something between a waterfall and a mountain torrent. We are standing just above the bridge; and, looking up at the sheer descent of the stream, we can fancy the roar and the seethe with which it tears along between those sharp rocks and those water-rounded boulders. Shift the scene, and we are at the "natural bridge" across the Kawarau. The stream is just low enough to allow this " bridge" to be used. It is no bridge, however. A great tongue of rock protrudes towards another tongue; between them, the river goes at a pace that makes any mill race contemptible; close at hand is a great pool, whirling, but smooth, and terribly deep. Step or leap from one tongue to the other; land safely; and you have crossed the "natural bridge" on the Kawarau. There, further back, you a see a couple of seeming sticks stretching across a chasm. The lowest of them is 20ft. or 30ft. above the "natural bridge," but when the river is high, you get across" by walking on the lower of the two sticks — they are manuka poles — and holding by the upper one. If your eyes are good, you may see the faintest of lines on the photograph, above those poles. It indicates that a rope hangs there. Yes, that is the "road." You haul yourself up the racks by means of the rope, and get round to the track from the "natural bridge." Two other views show some fine bold scenery on the Kawarau; and a third introduces us to the Gentle Annie burn, just at the point where the bridge is being erected on "the road to Fox's." Another shift, and we are far up the Molyneux on the road to Wanaka Lake. This pleasantly romantic looking scene is known as the Devil's Nook, or the rapids above Sandy Point. The junction of the Lugget burn is shown; and in that still looking pool to the right, great quantities of timber, which is being floated down from the Lake, lie embayed for weeks together. Lake Wanaka during a storm, is an effective picture, though it is somewhat misty, grass being burning on one of the hills at the time the view was taken. The succeeding view is of the Matukituki river, which flows into Wanaka. The reflection of the hills in the water is beautifully reproduced: indeed all the views of this lake possess this charming peculiarity, which makes them richly worthy of study by an artist. We have next a fine picture of Mount Aspiring, 9949 ft high, and perpetually snow clad. A peep at the home station on Thomson's run introduces us to three or four views from this neighborhood, which are, artistically, we think, about the best of the series. In one of them, Pigeon Island is seen in the foreground; and the reflection of this rounded isle in the smooth waters of the Lake is perfect as an artistic effect. The other two are still better pictures, and one of them possesses all the delicacy of a finished engraving of the highest class, The whole series of photographs is of public interest, as being the first collection of "Illustrations of the Scenery of Otago;" and we think it will not be questioned that there is almost unlimited scope for the gratification of varied tastes, in the selection of the ten views to which each subscriber of three guineas is to be entitled.
Otago Witness, Issue 712, 21 July 1865, Page 4