Tree covers more than quarter acre

ABOUT THE SOUTH

LLOYD ESLER
Last updated 12:44 07/01/2014
rhododendron

A rhododendron.

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In the South

Selwyn Ballet: Otago lads do the Sugar Plum Fairy Sparrow Thieves set to release debut album Scavenger that does us all a favour Fan of the tree fuchsia Snowstorm cost lives of 17 goldminers Spring chicks for dotterel Educators compete for green awards Browns district marks education centenary Teacher's holiday is one for the birds Old plasterboard has plenty of uses

Southland's largest rhododendron is a massive tree, or possibly several, covering more than a quarter of an acre at the old hotel site at Cromarty in Preservation Inlet.

The plant has flowers of two colours, the pale ones apparently on the original tree and the dark ones on a grafted portion. The original trunks are not detectable and the rhododendron has spread by layering.

Photo courtesy of Don Goodhew.

The first use in New Zealand of airbags to raise a wreck was in 1864. The steamer Scotia struck rocks off Bluff while entering the port without a pilot, close to midnight on 2 June. The passengers, luggage and much of the cargo were saved. The wreck was largely intact and only partially submerged and salvage seemed possible.

Airbags were placed under the decks and inflated and the wreck was raised two feet but not sufficiently high to be clear of the rock piercing her hold and she broke up soon after. She was one of at least 30 shipwrecks at the entrance to Bluff Harbour.

Invercargill was the fifth largest metropolis in New Zealand from when its disparate boroughs united in 1910 until its population was exceeded by Wanganui's at the 1916 census.

In the 2013 census it slipped from tenth to eleventh place, having been overtaken by Porirua. Invercargill has 51,696 residents, up a little on the 2006 census and the population of Southland rose by 2.7 per cent to 93,339 which is 2.1 per cent of New Zealand's population of 4,470,800.

Southland's original 'piecart' was a railcar used on the Edendale-Glenham line and possibly the same machine that was used on the Switzers line.

The Piecart, which had a 1926 Model T Ford engine, was built by the Petone Railway Workshops. It had panniers for luggage and seating for 11 passengers and the driver. A Clayton railcar ran on the Bluff line until 1937.

In 1956 a modern railcar link was established between Invercargill and Dunedin. The service ended in 1976.

Southland's largest freshwater crustaceans are lobsters, also called koura, crawlies and crayfish. They grow to about 20cm.

The world's largest freshwater crayfish, from Tasmania, can reach 5kg and 80cm.

About The South
Lloyd Esler 
15 Mahuri Rd, 
Otatara, RD 9, 
Invercargill 
Phone-fax (03) 213 0404 
email: esler@southnet.co.nz

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- The Southland Times

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