Blackstone Cemetery

Blackstone Hill Cemetery – Buy 

There’s something quite wonderful about the entrance to Blackstone (Hills Creek) Cemetery. It sits on the side of a hill, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Separated from the surrounding farmland by a fence line, the best thing about it is the large concrete gate that is also a War Memorial. In a place that was once a bustling town, it’s a poignant reminder of human existence in a barren and harsh landscape.

Blackstone Hill School

Schoolhouse at Blackstone Hill – Buy 

I was on my way to Oturehua in the Ida Valley.  Having spent the afternoon exploring back-country roads, trying to get lost and generally avoiding inconvenient accidents like getting a flat-tyre, I stopped at Blackstone Hill Cemetery. While I was there admiring a rather large storm cloud approaching in the distance, I spotted an isolated building on the hill side. Investigating, I discovered it was the former Blackstone Hill (Hills Creek) school house, built around 1890. At one time, Blackstone Hill was a busy place that included 13 hotels in the town. Today, all that remains are a stone cottage, a cemetery and this school building.