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Mountain Days

 - From the diary and works of Dave Osmers

The deer winded us and took off, a mob of 18, and even with the snow up to three feet deep they travelled fast and didn’t look like stopping. So on we went knowing we would reach them before the head...

Having spent the last two hours of daylight working in water, I found my feet had lost all feeling, so instead of riding I walked the mile back to the hut...

Inside the hut, the fire going, I had difficulty getting my boots off as they were frozen solid as well as my socks. The fire thawed everything out except my feet which had a burning, tingling feeling and with no difference in the morning I set out to ride into the homestead – 4 miles away...

One of the musterers espied a black wooled sheep and said “let’s put it in with the sale sheep for a joke”. We could imagine the owners face when he saw the black sheep of the family in the middle of his select line of purebred merinos, so in went the black sheep with much mirth amongst all.

Dave Osmers was a southern-born, Christchurch raised mountaineer, who shepherded and hunted across the great body of land known as Southern New Zealand (Te Waka a Māui).

Over his many years among the mountains, Dave's passion for photography took the shape of what is now one of the most comprehensive collections (and recollections) of Old Time New Zealand.

"So I changed clothing, saddled a fresh horse...

tied on the swag and set off on a journey of another two hours ride. I arrived close on nine o’clock that night, and as it was still raining hard, my last lot of dry clothes were clinging wet."

- Dave Osmers,
diary excerpt

"Late that afternoon ...

we had the sheep down the creek, but unable to travel over the highbluff with so many frozen parts. Only one way out – keep crossing the creek or follow the creek between the steep sides. At first it worked well, but when a sheep soaking wet touched the rockface, it froze to it instantly..."

- Dave Osmers,
diary excerpt

"Noel’s smoking his pipe it has no flavour

What is the cause of this behaviour.
One eye on the ceiling and one on the wall,
He lies there waiting for blowflies to fall
Gently blows smoke from out of his briar
Doug pokes out his head and says, “Cripes he’s on fire".”

- Dave Osmers,
diary excerpt

Feel free to explore the journey.

I've made up a series of chapters to share, in the spirit of the book Dave was writing when he passed.

I hope they can share with you some of the glimpses I had of this life as a young boy, and impress our need to preserve the beautiful land of Aotearoa, which has undergone so many changes so quickly.



(Coming soon)


(Coming soon)

Solitude (Dave Osmers)-Whiteburn Hut-Walter Peak-Thumb

These photos have been brough to life in physical large-format for display in the Queenstown Art Gallery and around New Zealand.

A small number of custom pieces, and several print series are in the works at present. If you would like to support this or the Honest Means project, please consider exploring the exhibition up at our orders gallery.

Wood & Xanita

Corrugated Iron