Friday, November 28, 2008

Travel in the Amuri District, North Canterbury, early 1900s

The Hanmer coach leaving Culverden, early 1900s. The sender writes that motorcars have replaced the coach, postmarked 1913.

Before the railway line was extended all the way to Waiau in 1918 - and to Parnassus in 1917 - the Amuri and Hurunui districts relied on stagecoaches to deliver the mails and passengers to points north of Culverden. The various accommodation houses, later improved to hotel status, provided more than a watering hole for the weary traveler.

Waiau Hotel, Hanmer early 1900s

By the early 1910s, service cars were beginning to replace the coaches but bridging remained a problem in such sparsely populated rural districts.

Departure of Service Cars from Hanmer Springs, circa 1910.

Drowning was a leading cause of accidental death in nineteenth century New Zealand for humans, frequently along with the loss of bullock and horse teams as coaches and wagons got washed away.

Till the arrival of the railway and better roading, bulk commodities such as the wool of the "Amuri Wool Kings" had to be moved by bullock wagons down to the shore to be lightered out to coastal steamers.

Wool wagon - 1880s view - Ready Money Robinson's Cheviot Estate.

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