Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/372

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244
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

islands, of long, slender, and crooked extensions, of sharp points and narrow isthmuses. Here, where inlet succeeds inlet until in places they resemble rows of dock basins, is one of New Zealand's finest and most popular pleasure resorts. Here, with more than five hundred miles of shore-line, are Pelorus and Queen Charlotte Sounds. In them abound fish of many kinds, and they are the rendezvous of scores of pleasure craft.

The Marlborough Sounds are very different from the fiords of Southland. They reflect no lofty snow-clad peaks, no mighty granite parapets, no falls matching those of Milford Sound. Overlooking them primeval beauty has been marred by the destruction of large areas of forest, and the adjoining hills, which reach their highest elevation in Mount Stokes (3951 feet), are largely pastoral runs.

Of the two principal sounds Pelorus is the more beautiful, its waters being bluer, its shores more wooded, less abrupt, and freer of fern. It also is the larger, its length being thirty-four miles and that of its shore-line three hundred and fifty miles.

Queen Charlotte Sound, twenty miles from the mouth of Pelorus, is deeper and darker than Pelorus, and has a more pastoral appearance. As in Pelorus, long before the steamer reaches the sound's head Cook Strait is lost to view; and here, too, as in the western sound, vessels can safely anchor close to the coast in many places. At Picton, twenty-five miles from the sound's entrance, my steamer passed within a few yards of the shore.