270 page large paperback in excellent used condition. Random House 2017.
Raising children is a challenge at the best of times – try doing it on a farm that is a three-hour drive across rivers and mountains to the nearest town, when the track is driveable at all.
Remote Muzzle Station in southern Marlborough has captured the hearts and minds of generations, including Fiona Redfern and her parents before her. Fiona grew up and thrived in the splendid isolation, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Now Fiona and her husband Guy are running the station and raising their two small children in this wonderful but challenging environment.
As the crow flies, Muzzle Station is not too far from Kaikoura. But it’s not easy to get there. First, the truck — and it has to be a truck — must make it across the Clarence River. If the river is swollen or in flood, there will be no journey. Once safely across, there are more than 25 smaller river crossings and a 1370-metre-high mountain range to get across. If all goes well it takes three hours to make the drive, but it is often blocked with rockfalls and slips, not to mention snow, or rain that turns the track’s clay surface to mud, rendering it completely undriveable.
There is another option. On a good day, it’s just a 15-minute flight by Cessna 180 four-seater aircraft to Kaikoura. But good days are not always easy to come by in this part of the country, especially when they are needed!
This is the story of family life on New Zealand’s remotest station, and what it’s like to live and work in what is literally the back of beyond.