Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thames (NZ) - "The First Time": Road trip from Hamilton

The development of roads around the The Thames, was erratic in the early years following the opening of the goldfields. Surveys were undertaken and plans drawn up for roads linking Thames to the principal towns. Delays were not unexpected given the reliance and reliability of sea transport. In many instances this was quicker than riding a horse or taking a horse and cart.

"In 1879 the road from Hamilton to Grahamstown (Thames) for the first time could be easily traversed on horseback, and vehicles could go as far as the Waihou River." (Settlers in Depression by H C M Morris)
A rider had gone to Waihou from Hamilton; from Waihou they set off at 7am, then reached Paeroa at 11am and Grahamstown at 1pm.  The journey from Waihou to Grahamstown taking 6 hours.

It was not until 1882 that the first wheeled vehicle trip took place from Hamilton to Grahamstown.

Waikato Times 10/1/1882

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