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.'
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Hocken Library, University of Otago
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.