Once upon a time in a small village called Pembroke...


In the 1940s when Wanaka was a small village named Pembroke, Wanaka Station occupied much of the land outside the central village of today.

Of the home paddocks around the Wanaka Station homestead, the high land on the ridge to the south was known as the top paddock. The ruins of the homestead can be seen today in Wanaka Station Park.

In the 1950’s a character by the name Con Kelliher, plowman for Wanaka Station, formed the track up the hill to the top paddock. The top paddock was quite fertile, and access was required to be able to plough it. This was achieved with a team of harnessed Clydesdale horses! The lane that provides access to the lots is aptly named “Cons Track”.

Bill Macpherson, a past manager of Wanaka Station employed James K. Baxter as a shepherd many years ago. He was a ‘lazy bastard’ said Bill. Jim used to disappear for long periods “looking for lost sheep” or whatever! He was probably resting up writing poetry in the Top Paddock. Jim was rumoured to have conceived High-Country Weather and Poem in the Matukituki Valley while working and living in Wanaka.

High Country Weather

Alone we are born
And die alone
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine.
Upon the upland road
Ride easy, stranger
Surrender to the sky
Your heart of anger.


James K Baxter