Story: Camping

Night-time camp, Rangiora, 1849

Night-time camp, Rangiora, 1849

One of the earliest images of recreational camping in New Zealand is this watercolour, painted by Canterbury sheep farmer and future premier Frederick Weld in 1849. It shows the smaller of two tents used by Weld's party on the edge of the Rangiora bush. Newly arrived settler Charlotte Godley and her family are seated in the open entrance. Weld presented her with a cabbage tree flower, which is tied to the tent's ridgepole. She found it 'a most lovely evening,' although her son Arthur's trousers, which had been drying on a branch, were accidentally added to the campfire. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-269-010
Watercolour by Frederick Aloysius Weld

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Camping - Early New Zealand campers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 Sep 2013