A couple of weeks ago I drove to Naseby, a little town in Central Otago. Its a beautiful area, just off the main road. Naseby gets quite busy as the summer heats up and holidays begin, but when I was there – very few people were about.
I enjoyed walking some of the paths around the town especially the track to the town cemetery.
Along a dirt road for about 15 minutes you come to another area called Kyeburn. Its near the Dansey’s Pass – an alternative route which takes the traveller from Central Otago to the Waitaki Valley in North Otago. Not for the intrepid traveller, this road is quite windy and often closed in winter due to snow.
This story and attached photos are taken near to the Dansey’s Pass Hotel, a little campsite near Kyeburn. In days long gone, it was an area well used by gold miners. The diggings are what has been left, years later from those times.
I was fascinated by the formations of clay and dirt. They really caught my imagination.
The little wilding pines have continued to seed around them (as has the matagourri, gorse and tussock) but the sculptures themselves are intact.
Some almost looked like horses …
All were perched on what could be called pedestals … I guess the years have pushed them up higher from the ground beneath, the wind has moulded them, as has the other weather patterns in this wild and harsh landscape.
Snow in winter, perishingly cold frosts, and the heat in summer all would have taken their toll.
So what would these have looked like 80 to 100 years ago?
I felt almost privileged to be able to get up close and personal with these “creations”.
Back in Naseby later on (after the walk in the countryside) it seemed like I had been in a different era, and had returned to some form of normality.
What were the people like, those who suffered the conditions in just tents for cover? “Ships of wood, men of steel” comes to mind.
They were tough, they were hardened, but many did not make it. They followed their dream to make their fortunes and some would have perished along the way.
I doubt if many have even walked the uneven paths to go where I was – the route isn’t well signposted, and at times I did wonder who may have owned the land I walked through. Although the campsite is public and accessible, I did wonder how many travellers stop there on the way?