Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Chathams

Why would anyone go to the Chathams?   These are a group of islands 800km east of Christchurch (way out in the South West Pacific, in other words), inhabited by 600-700 people who rely on the production of livestock and fishing (crayfish, blue cod and black abalone).   They're windswept with peat bogs and grass and bracken covered moors.

Drawing by Rob
Well, brother-in-law Rob went there (flying in a 60-year old prop driven Convair 580), and wrote an article about them in the Victorian National Parks Association's magazine Park Watch (March 2013).  (Flip forward to page 32),

 Rob's article sets out the human history, stemming from the original Maori arrival in about 1500AD, but followed up by a subsequent invasion by two displaced Maori tribes from Taranaki who invaded the islands in 1835, enslaving the original inhabitants.  Meanwhile, there were some sealers and whalers and full control by New Zealand occurred in about 1860.

The flora and fauna has has evolved from drifted, flew, blow or swam there from neighbouring land masses.  Needless to say, the coastline sounds pretty impressive.

Interesting to read about, and no doubt very scenic in their own way, but I have no intention of following in his footsteps!

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