Moa Creek, Manorburn, and Puketoi.

Moa Creek, Manorburn, and Puketoi – Buy 

Having spent the morning, and part of the afternoon driving the dirt roads of the Maniototo, I arrived at an intersection. The day was warm and fine and over the last few hours I’d been driving roads with names such as Gimmerburn, Gimmerburn-Naseby, Gimmerburn-Waipiata, Maniototo, Sharkey and Moa Cottage. There were place names that included Moa Creek, Manorburn and Puketoi to name a few. At the intersection I carefully surveyed the options, eventually pointed the car in the direction of Waipiata and headed off in a cloud of dust.

The Maniototo

Stock on the Mniototo – Buy 

I’d spent the day driving the dirt roads near Gimmerburn in the Maniototo looking for old structures. Actually, I wasn’t altogether sure what I was searching for, I just trusted that I’d know when I saw it. It was somewhere between Gimmerburn and Waipiata that I found an old water race that seemed a good subject for further investigation when I saw these sheep in a nearby paddock looking strangely curious.


Gimmerburn Hall – Buy 

Leaving the town of Waipiata, 15 kilometres along the road I came across Gimmerburn and a wonderful old hall. I loved it instantly! Later on I read the ‘burn’ name comes from the Scottish word for stream which was named on a survey map, created in 1850 by John Turnbull Thomson.

Chimney Stack On The Maniototo

Chimney stack on the Maniototo– Buy 

In places like the Ida Valley, Blackstone Hill, Kyeburn, Patearoa and near the Rock and Pillar there are old structures scattered all around the place. They are like a window into the past that tell stories of human existence, past lives and hint at a sense of belonging in a timeless place.

Looking over the land, I like the questions those old structures ask and how they hint towards a forgotten human presence. Here, a crumbling chimney stack sits in a dry and sunburned field,  just beyond a small pond in the wide open spaces of The Maniototo.

Lone Tree In The Maniototo

Lone Tree In The Maniototo – Buy 

I like the name ‘Gimmerburn’. It’s got a kind of, ‘where the hell is that?’ feeling. It’s one of those place names that makes you wonder about the place itself. After all, ‘The Gimmerburn’ hardly sounds like a bustling suburb of London or New York. 

So, one day after a self guided tiki tour through the Maniototo, and at one stage passing through The Gimmerburn, I found this lovely singular tree.