Cameron Blockhouse: a strategic view of the landscape

Cameron Blockhouse
Cameron Blockhouse, overlooking the valley to the north. Photo: C. Knight

Anyone with even a passing interest in Maori history will have recognised the ability of Maori to select sites in the landscape that afforded them both a defensive and strategic advantage over any advancing enemy tribes. Often sites were at the top of cliffs, with sweeping views over plains and down river valleys, frequently bordered on at least one side by a river, which acted as a natural moat. Within the Manawatu, for example, the Rangitane pa sites Otangaki (Ashhurst) and Te Motu o Poutoa (Anzac Park) were examples of sites that took advantage of such geographical features. Continue reading

Turakina – does the Celtic tradition live on in the landscape?

Though I am not entirely sure what it is, there is something about the landscape south of Wanganui that I find quite alluring: perhaps the sculpted curves of the hilly terrain, which is largely pasture, but scattered with clusters of indigenous bush. My attraction to this landscape was explored in another post Drama and history in a southern Wanganui farmscape. This photo was taken just south of the southern Wanganui town of Turakina [click here to view location]. Continue reading

Drama and history in a southern Wanganui farmscape

This photo of a pastoral farm is taken from the roadside of State Highway 3, about 10km south-east of Wanganui City [click here for location]. Hollows in the irregularly formed hillsides attract shadows which gives the landscape an alluring sculptural form, and hints at an intriguing geological history … perhaps the effects of volcanic activity? Continue reading