This Blogpost has been written by Greg, the other half of Mystic Hills Ngaroma. I make this distinction because last time I randomly wrote a post without informing our followers I caused some confusion as the activity I wrote about didn't seem to fit with the normal activity on this site. How-ever, there are two of us and we have wildly differing interests at times and this blog is about me and my interest.
A few weeks ago I went on a long anticipated trip to Stewart Island to hunt for whitetail deer. Stewart Island is a smallish Island about 25km south of the South Island of New Zealand. Its really little more than some rocks and sand dunes in the way of the wind and waves of the Great Southern Ocean. There is a small settlement on the sheltered eastern side of the Island but the whole Island is now a National Park with the exception of small pockets of privately owned land. We of course flew onto a windswept beach on the exposed western side of the Island.
It is, to say the least, an amazing landscape. We landed in strong winds and eight days later we flew out in gale force winds and in between we had about eight hours where the wind died away enough to hear ourselves think. During that eight hours it snowed and then froze leaving a magical shoreline to wander along in the light of the full moon. I took very few photos as the sand and salt spray being blown everywhere was not an environment I wanted to expose my antique camera to. Even my rifle had to be cleaned, the barrel taped over and then loaded inside so as to avoid jamming everything full of sand as happened on the first day.
Our national icon the Kiwi roams here in great numbers and are easily seen, whereas on the mainland they are struggling for existence.
It would be easy to think of the failed dreams of those who tried to wrest a living from this land, but it is just as easy to be grateful for those lived and loved and left a legacy for those who followed. I suspect that the descendants who still own a small pocket in the shelter of the dunes think of the current state of this land as a success not a failure.