Living in the 20th century

The 20th century may not be far behind us, but already it feels like a bygone age. A new book of photographs from an extensive archive shows just how much New Zealand changed during the course of the fastest moving century in history. The appearance and cry of the saleyard auctioneer altered less than many activities, although today he increasingly operates inside a natty pavilion, with the details of the stock on offer digitally displayed to the comfortably seated farmers. This photograph was taken at Whataroa saleyards in the 1940s.



Jan - Feb 2001

Ice climbing

Otago Peninsula


Living in the 20th century




The Blue and the Gold

Like a fingerprint on the land, close-spaced sheep tracks pattern the hillsides of the Otago Peninsula. Although the peninsula lies on the threshold of a major city and has a long history of human modification, it remains wild and remote in character, a place where weather and sea hold sway.


A passion for ice

A snap cold spell transforms a waterfall on Wye Creek, near Queenstown, into an icicle cascade, and beckons a special breed of adventurer-the ice climber-to its cold clutches. New formations like this one are difficult and dangerous to climb: the ice, not yet matured by extended cooling, is brittle, and it is not uncommon for chunks weighing up to half a tonne to shear off and crash to the ground. Allan Uren, one of the country's leading exponents of the sport, abseils down to look for a climbable route.

Living World

Ferns: the glory of the forest

In few of the world's temperate forests do ferns assume the luxuriance and dominance that they achieve in the damper portions of the New Zealand bush. Fronds decorate every tree-trunk and choke the floor of the forest, while stands of huge tree ferns tower over lesser trees. Little wonder that the fern frond has become a major symbol of the country in popular culture.


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