The Baton Valley, at the top of the South Island, was named after a young runaway sailor, Batteyn Norton, and it remains a place where life is isolated, physical, self-sufficient, and largely dictated by the weather. It hasn’t been much of a destination since an anticlimactic gold rush in the late 1800s—but the opening of a new cycle trail passing through the valley has put it on the tourism map. Now, its residents are wondering how to retain the identity of their home in the face of change.
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