River of Blood : Tales of the Waiatoto
Subject: NZ Non-fiction
‘a place that, even now, fits the label 'The Last Frontier'
— BRIAN TURNER
River of Blood takes us deep into the heart of the Waiatoto Valley on New Zealand’s savage west coast. This is truly our own Wild West: a place which may never really be ‘won’.
The men and women pioneers, musterers, hunters and pilots of South Westland’s Haast District have few peers. Why? Take the isolation, the rugged geography; take the atrocious weather that is sometimes so bad for so long that the hair begins to rot from the backs of live cattle. Take all that and consider the folk who’ve lived there for three generations: imagine how the land must have shaped them.
Ranging from mountain exploration to epic two-week cattle droves through dense bush, wild rivers and over dangerous passes; from hacking an existence out of feral isolation to high adrenaline pursuits, this book encompasses often poignant, sometimes bizarre, tales of tragedy and dogged survival.
A book for all those who are gripped by West Coast lore, and for adventurers of all kinds — pilots and bushmen, hunters and fishers, stockmen, musterers and drovers alike, boaties, trampers and mountaineers — River of Blood gives us the sense of people living by their wits, and with fearsome grit.