Community Contributed

Palmerston North to Auckland, 1880

Manawatū Heritage2020-03-23T17:59:01+00:00
PapersPast is a searchable online resource giving full-text access to New Zealand newspapers from 1839 to (currently) 1948, along with other documents such as letters, diaries and parliamentary papers. Here is a description of an eventful journey from Palmerston North to Auckland in 1880. Travel is somewhat easier now.

Extract from: 

NEWS AND NOTES.,The Manawatu Times, Volume IV, Issue 77, 6 October 1880 An Eventful Trip.— it may be remembered that on Saturday, the 18th of September, Mr. Mitford and family left Palmerston to catch the Oreti at Wanganui, which was to sail for Auckland that night. 

[Note: There is a picture of a steamship named Oreti in the Hocken Collection at:] 

Circumstances occurred which prevented the vessel from leaving the wharf until the following Tuesday, but on that day steam was got up, and she proceeded on her voyage, but upon reaching the bar of the river, it was found impossible to get out to sea, and there she lay for eight days, to the intense disgust of her imprisoned passengers. On the 29th, the captain determined to make a bold dash for it, and succeeded in escaping from the river, but soon found to his cost that he had jumped out of the "frying-pan into the fire." The little steamer managed to crawl along until Opunaki was reached, when a gale was encountered which, threatened to send it on the rocks, the cable which was put out snapping across like a carrot. The scene on board was something terrible, seven head of cattle were so knocked about that the life was beaten out of them, and a score of unfortunate sheep were left a lifeless, crushed mass. Under these circumstances, the captain had no other alternative than to 'bout ship and run back to Wanganui, arriving there on morning last. On Monday evening Mr. Mitford and family-were still in Wanganui, but in hopes —if they have luck — that they will reach Auckland before Christmas.