H. R. H. the Duke of Edinburgh visit to the Rotorua District.
Fine. The Luna came in sight about 10.30 a.m. and anchored off the Township 11. 30 a.m. with H.R.R. Duke of Edinburgh and the Governor; Lieut. Haig Equerry-in-Waiting to his Royal Highness; Capt. Pitt, A.D.C. Capt. Machell, A.D.D; Lord Charles Beresford; Dr. Powell R.N. Hon. N.G. Curzon R. N. and Mr. Neville, R. N.
All the shops were immediately closed. The ladies came flocking in from all parts to see the Prince, and about 400 natives were also present.
H. R. H. the Governor and suite landed about 2 p.m.
There was a guard of honour under Col. Moule on the Wharf ready to receive H. R. H. upon his landing.
H. R. H. and suite walked up to the Court House where the Maories had a korero, afterwards the Prince and suite rode out to the Gate Pah and while they were away I went on board the Luna to get the Stores packed up so as to have them ready for tomorrow.
H. R. H. Came back about 4 p.m. and then went out fishing.
There was a great row amongst the Maories through getting too much drink.
Luna leaves for Maketu at 12 o'clock tonight.
Col. Moule, Capt. G. Mair and self left Tauranga at 7.30 p.m. and arrived at Maketu 11 p.m. I leave again
tomorrow at 5 p.m. with pack horses, and go right through in one day. Everything was very quiet at Tauranga (in the way of addresses) except the Natives. Capt. Fairchild has promised to be off Maketu Bar at 4 a.m.tomorrow
Wednesday 14th Fine. I was up at 4 a.m. and got the stores landed, and sent the pack horses off by 6 a.m. except three to carry personal luggage. I went on board the Luna at 7 a.m. to get the remainder of the things ashore, so I stopped at breakfast. H. R. H. landed at 8.30 a.m.
There was only three of us that went with H.R.H. (Major Mair R. M. Capt. G. Mair and Lieut. H.F. Way) Col. Moule had to return to Tauranga, on account of the row that happened yesterday.
There was a nice arch erected here, by Mr. Haigh manager to Messrs. Samuels and Jacobson.
All the Maori young ladies turned out in there best clothes to welcome the prince, singing songs and dancing down to the beach to meet him.
We had 12 mounted troopers as escort. By 9 a.m. we had every thing ready to start an advance guard, then came H. R. H. the Governor, and the remainer following in two's, four servants and then the rear guard, it was really a pretty sight to see the party leaving Maketu. The Prince rode hard, throughout the whole trip we arrived at the Taheke Ferry at 12. 30 p.m. 22 miles from Maketu in three hours and a half. There was a splendid Luncheon ready for H.R.H. everything very nice and clean.
The Rev. Mr. Spencer met us here, he had walked up from Maketu during the night. The Governor ordered a horse for him. The Prince is enjoying himself very much and the Governor told me that he was so pleased with all the arrangements. They all left again at 3 p.m. and arrived at Ohinemutu about 5 p.m. I remained to get pack horses over the ferry.
I arrived at Ohinemutu with the pack horses at 10 p.m.
We had a jolly camp (10 tents) pitched on the hill facing the Lake. The camp was surrounded with wild rose bushes and it looked uncommonly well.
The Native contingent were here to act as a guard under Capt. Gascoigne.
A long day, I had everything already to start at 8. 30 a.m. We hada good breakfast ready, H. R. H. and party took a great fancy to those small cray fish, that are caught in the Lakes. The Prince and party left at 9 a.m. for Tarawerra via Whakarewarewa Springs. We had luncheon in the bush, and afterwards. H.R.H. the Mairs and self went into the bush to cut supple jacks.
I afterwards went on a head to look after the dinner etc. the Maories at Tarawera were all waiting for the Prince they had erected arches made of willow trees and flowers there were a lot of them with rifles ready to fire off. Directly the Prince came in sight all the Maori
Ladies were dressed in their Sunday best to meet the prince We had dinner in Mr. Spencer house 15 of us, it was rather fun to see every one eatting soup out of pannikins with teaspoons, but everyone were enjoying themselves very much.
We had the large accommodation whare all ready for the staff, and the Prince and Governor slept at Mr. Spencers after dinner we all went down to the village where we had a great Haka, the natives gave the Prince two very old Taihai's one mere and two green stones, they had one or two little speeches telling the Prince that if they had known sooner, that he was coming, that they would have had things better arranged, the Prince made a little speech in return and thanked them very much for the presents.
Very fine. We had breakfast early, and got down to the Canoes by 8. 30 a.m. we had 10 canoes, the Princes canoe had 12 paddles, with the ensign flying. We got away at 9 a.m. the Flag Ship leading, but we had to run into Hawaiki Bay for 3 hours, on account of to much wind, and sea on. Left again about 11. 30 a.m. and arrived at Te Ariki landing place at 2 p.m. the native contingent where here with Capt. Gascoigne, we had luncheon here and then walked up to Rotomahana, the canoes where all polled up the creek into Rotomahana Lake.
We all bathed in Te Terata springs and then went
across Rotomahana in canoes to the Otukapurangi terraces where I had four tents pitched.
The Prince is delighted with the place and he is so sorry, that he has to go back so soon.
The Governor is just as pleased as the Prince. We had dinner in the open air. Tarpaulins for a table cloth. The Prince sitting on a sherry case and the Governor on a brandy case, the remainder sitting on the ground Capt. Preece arrived from the Teko. The prince came out in a shawl, like the rest of us, it was one that I gave him, he is going to send me another from Auckland.
We had a grand Haka, and plenty of singing around the camp fire.
Saturday 17th. A lovely day, we had breakfast at 6 a.m. left Rotomahana 6. 30 a.m. and arrived Tarawera at 10 a.m. it was rough coming accross the lake. We had Luncheon in Mr. Spencer's house and the Prince and suite left at 2 p.m. for Ohinemutu, where he intends to remain until Monday.
The Prince kept the old paddle that he used in crossing the Lake, though the Natives offered him a better one. Mr. Spencer goes to Ohinemutu. I arrived at Ohinemutu with pack horses at 5. 30 p.m.
We had dinner 6. 30 p.m.
A long day I started at 6. 30 a.m. with three mounted troopers on a foraging expedition and went to the
Taheke to get some stores etc. and got back to Ohinemutu at 11 a.m. I sent down to the Taheke 7 pack horses, to act as a relay for the Princes baggage tommorrow.
Mr. Spencer held Church service 11 a.m. A lovely day. I got the Prince's baggage away at 7.30 a.m. We had breakfast at 5 a.m. and left Ohinemutu at 8. 45 a.m. for Maketu. We stopped at Te Ngae a short time whilst the Governor sent Telegrams to Wellington, and arrived at the Taheke Ferry at 11a.m. We had luncheon 12. 30 p.m. and left again 1.30 p.m. arrived, at Maketu 5. 30 p.m.
H. R. H. saw old Tapsell, he also visited the Pah and saw a grand Haka.
At 6 p.m. we all went on board the Luna, to dinner, she was laying out side the bar, Capt. G. Mair and self with them all goodbye at 10. 30 p.m. and went on shore, Major Mair goes to Auckland, the Prince wanted us to go, but we could not do so. He asked us to send our Photo's. Mr. McLean sent a Telegram to Major Mair thanking us, for the manner, in carring out all the arrangements properly. The Luna left for Auckland 11 p.m. and so ends one of the most pleasant trips, that has ever taken place.