Robert Long’s “A Life on Gorge River: NZ’s remotest family”

An official book launch, at the Dunedin public library, Octagon: “A life on Gorge River” New Zealand’s remotest family by Robert Long.

Awesome sceneries of south-west cast, Fiordland, and Jackson’s Bay, Holiford, Pyke river. Awesome story. Almost 30 years in isolation – days walk from road ends, yet, integrated with hunters and fishing community. Even though the place is remote, there are many people visiting the family. Last year around 180 visitors, 150 helicopter landings, 55 trampers visiting next-door DOC hut. Tiny airfield stretch facilitates dropping off supplies, and occasional trips back to civilization.

Robert started his settlement in 1980, initial visit and love at first sight with the place. Long 10 years alone, then with his current wife. Married 9years and 1week ago. 2 children, both born at home in Arrowtown and another farm. Studying at Wanaka Mt.Aspiring Polytech (Leadership in outdoor education) and botany, zoology, ornithology.

From complete drive to nature, bare-foot tramping and love of nature as it is, some trade-offs and compromises with the use of technology. Solar panels, and wind turbine – allows working more and being more productive (bone and punamu carving). Internet allows staying in touch with children, who grew up and study now in Wanaka and Dunedin.

Hunting, fishing, painting, carving, tramping. Taking care of the garden. Small house. Very warm and simple story, of family love, growing up, and being together.

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