The Awatere is the Marlborough river and valley south of Blenheim. It runs from Molesworth Station in the high country all the way to the sea below the township of Seddon, overlooked by Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku, the highest peak in the Inland Kaikoura Range. Author Harry Broad’s interest in this area was piqued when he was working on his acclaimed and best-selling book Molesworth, and he has followed through with this to produce Awatere. This is a fascinating and extensive collection of stories that document the multi-facetted, changing face of rural New Zealand, and which explores both the people and the landscape of this area. The upper Awatere valley has many well-known, classic high-country stations, such as The Muller, which borders Molesworth. In the lower valley, there are still many conventional pastoral farms, but the huge change has come through the wine industry. Many people do not realise that the Awatere valley is now the second-largest wine sub-region in New Zealand, with three times the production of an area like Central Otago. This mix of farming and wine has given this area its own unique flavour and character, captured both in Harry Broad’s stories, but also through the stunning images from photographers Jim Tannock, Rob Suisted and Dave Hansford, as well as a range of others. Awatere will be a beautiful and engaging book, a must-read for anyone interested in Marlborough, or rural New Zealand.
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