The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45
"This pleasant water-circled suburb, with its flagstaff hill, trees, and tranquil beauties, is the first of Auckland suburbs which attracts the eye of the new-comer. The open breezy beach and strips of pasture-land, dotted with quiet homes and trees, are picturesque in appearance, and page 85 striking in their serene rusticity of dress. An evening trip to the North Shore by one of the steamers, after the heat of the day, is delightful, and under this temptation many citizens of Auckland have selected marine residences in the quiet neighbourhood of Devonport, or in the more distant Lake district. The near settlement of Stoke's point, as the place is now called, has an air of pleasant repose over it; its fields and orchards, moreover, add grace and beauty to interesting pictures of industry. We may add that early strawberries, peas, and cucumbers are sent into the city by the growers of this district. Devonport, nestling between Flagstaff Hill and the North Head, is the favourite resort of persons at Christmas time, when the gardens of Messrs. Allison and others are in full trim, and the arbours thickly shaded from the burning rays of the sun by blossoming foliage. The breezy walks towards Cheltenham Beach, and in other directions towards Vauxhall Gardens, or the Lake, are sweet and refreshing both to body and mind. The scenes are near to the city, which is a great inducement to parents to take their children across the water for the purpose of enjoying themselves on the sward under breathing trees. Flagstaff Hill is an eminence of mark, commanding fine views of Auckland and the open sea. There are many pretty spots and rustic homes at the North Shore; still the hand of progress has been slow in its operations in comparison with Ponsonby and the more remote suburb of Remuera. The houses by the Beach Road, although of lesser size, remind persons acquainted with the shores of Kent, of those green intersecting places which Jerrold was fond of sketching in his epigrammatic style."
After the North Shore comes Ponsonby and Parnell, in each of which places the tourist will find much to interest and instruct him. But it is on the placid waters of the harbour that the excursionist will be able to find most enjoyment, especially if he is fond of a good pull. Boats are to be had at very reasonable, rates, and should the tourist prefer taking it easy to feathering the oars himself, there are always sturdy oarsmen in waiting for a job. The following lines from the pen of Mr. Alfred Sharp, which we have clipped from the New Zealand Herald, will illustrate page 86 the beauties of this charming city much more expressively than our prosaic description of the place:—