Friday, 27 January 2017

Book Review : The Hot Lakes Guides by John C. M. Cresswell

Guiding in the Rotorua area, pre-eruption Te Wairoa to Whakarewarewa

Guides were the accepted way to see the geysers, hot pools, terraces and lakes from c1850 onward. 

John Cresswell writes a succinct history, of the guides and their families, and the area from Te Wairoa Waimangu, Waiotapu and Whakarewarewa.  Guides were essential at this time before the Mt. Tarawera eruption in 1886 as it was frowned upon for tourists to cross Lake Rotomahana to the terraces any other way.

The principal guides were Sophia, Maggie and Bella and later from 1901 Beatrice, Mary, Miriam and Pipi . In 1910 the guides were required to register for a license to guide with the  'Department of Tourist and Health Resorts'.  There were also many part-time guides and whanau who also performed in the daily Maori Concerts. These concerts continue to this day and Rotorua is the only place where one can attend a regular nightly show.

The author paints a vivid picture throughout his book, of this unique region, and illustrates his work with many black and white images of the guides and the region through the ages up to the 1980s.

A fascinating read for any budding historian or those for whom history explains the present.


THE RISING OF LAKE ROTOMAHANA: GOVERNMENT GUIDE WARBRICK TAKING
SOUNDINGS IN THE LAKE, ROTORUA, AUCKLAND.
From : Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19031029-15-1 '