Story: Camping

Snowbound surveyor, Central Otago, 1858 (3rd of 3)

Snowbound surveyor, Central Otago, 1858

Surveyor John Thomson peers from his snowbound tent, pitched in the Hawkdun Range in Central Otago in 1858. The future surveyor general was carrying out a reconnaissance on horseback of the entire province. The previous year he wrote that he and his men were 'boiling our flesh or fowl in our tea-can (called a billy), kneading our dough in waterproof cloaks, and baking our bread in the embers of our camp-fire. Our table is the grass, and our plates a few leaves, our seats a stone or log of wood. Our beds of course are the ground, softened with a few bunches of fern or grass, covered with oiled calico to keep off the damp.'

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: S12-220b
Watercolour by John Turnbull Thomson

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Camping - Early New Zealand campers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/39182/snowbound-surveyor-central-otago-1858 (accessed 26 February 2020)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 Sep 2013