In June 1883 John Menzies set off on a holiday trip to the West Coast with his wife Frances and one of their daughters. Leaving their farm near Pigeon Bay on Banks Peninsula, they went by boat to Lyttelton, then by train and coach over Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. They travelled through the central part of the West Coast by coach, with sections on a luggage tram, a punt, boats and in a canoe. They continued on to Nelson and Picton by road, then to Wellington and back to Lyttelton by sea.
It was an adventurous trip that took three weeks. The drawings were done by John Menzies and the diary, written by his daughter, gives her impressions as one of the earliest tourists to the West Coast.
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Source: Mary Menzies, A West Coast holiday in the 1880s. Wellington: Menzies Family History Group, 2003