Kimbolton and surrounds – “putting the small man on the land”

The area between Cheltenham and Kimbolton, north-east of the Manawatu town of Feilding, offers both interesting landscapes and history to the observant traveller [click here to view map]. But here, the history is not so much in what is there, but what isn’t there.

The area, once part of the Kiwitea County, is speckled with illustrious-sounding placenames, such as Almadale, Cheltenham, Beaconsfield and Kimbolton; names of soon-to-be thriving towns on surveyors’ meticulously laid plans, but towns which never grew beyond small villages. Continue reading

Inland West Coast: the realm of semi-tamed nature

Driving the route east of Lake Brunner, then back to the coast via State Highway 73 through Taramakau Valley [click here to view map], I was struck by the palpable human imprint even on the most (at first glance) wild and rugged looking landscapes. Through the Taramakau Valley, the hills and mountains on either side of the Taramakau River are so steep that landslips are frequent events, sometimes missing farmhouses perched precariously at the bottom of these slopes by a breathtakingly small margin. Continue reading