Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

25 January 2012

New Zealand Odyssey: Two Historic Buildings at Okarito, Westland

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

Okarito and its lagoon are west of the main highway that runs from Haast to Greymouth. Its first claim to fame was as a destination for gold-hungry prospectors in the 19th century but now it is visited because it's the home of white herons (egrets) whose Maori name is Kotuku.

Two old buildings caught my eye in the late 1980s: Donovan's Store (no relation to me) and the local youth hostel.

Donovan's was obviously much older than the YHA house and was probably set up to sell everything imaginable to the gold miners. I don't know when it closed down but Coca-Cola, which, I think, only started distribution in New Zealand in the 1960s managed to get its name up so the shop lasted at least until then.


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By Don Donovan