At the beginning of the novel, Eliza hears about the possibility of her New Zealand visit when at her local church with her sister, Kitty. They lived on the Stair Parish Estate and the local village would have been Kincardine in Fifeshire, a Presbyterian Church we visited.
Later when Eliza arrived in Wellington, the Manse of the Reids was grand enough to furnish a stove for cooking rather than the simple fire that most of the settlers would have to content themselves with. That stove might have looked something like the one in my picture below, although probably a little more primitive but it does give some idea of what it might have been like.
When Eliza, Alister, Robert and Mary and families travel from Taita near Wellington to Frampton in the Wairarapa, they have a long journey which necessitates camping overnight in the bush. While there, Eliza and Robert spot a Huia bird, a bird which would have been visible in New Zealand at that particular time but was later to become extinct. I found out more about this bird when visiting a museum in Glasgow recently.
The above plague explains a little more about this exotic bird.
And here he is in all his glory, or should I say, she, as she has a hooked beak which Robert explains in the story denotes that she is the female of the species. What a shame such a magnificent bird died out because of the dictates of fashion!
Well I hope these images will encourage you to pick up and read a copy of Waireka and post a review about it. Thank you in anticipation.