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Bidwill was one of the first Europeans to travel into the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. As a part of his travels he climbed Mount Ngauruhoe. As the Māori regarded the mountain as tapu he was quite possibly the first person ever to do so. Although primarily a botanist (he later became the first director of Sydney's botanic gardens), in this book he discusses philology, geology and anthropology of the pre-colonisation Māori.
February 6, 2013 is the 173rd anniversary of the foundation of the nation of New Zealand.
I arrived at Sydney in September 1838, and soon received the first of those useful lessons which disappointment teaches. I allude to the system observed in the sale of crown lands, which, instead of being surveyed and ready for auction, so that the emigrant may commence operations with undiminished capital, compels him to waste months in idleness and expense ill adapted to the cultivation and advancement of a new colony. As the spot I had selected was at a considerable distance from Sydney, and the time to be wasted between the application and sale proportionately long, I determined to render it as little irksome and unprofitable as possible by rambling in search of information.