A tour to Mt Gladstone Station, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, NZ

Christa and David Brown trace David's ancestor Otterson
David Brown's ancestral research brought him and his wife Christa to the remote Awatere Valley where the Otterson family where intrinsically connected.
Harry and Hayley Pitts with Christa Brown
Harry and Hayley Pitts present Christa with a book Hayley wrote for her boys called 'Mac'.
Marlborough High Country
The majestic valleys and peaks of Mt Gladstone Station
Hayley Pitts
Hayley Pitts of Mount Gladstone Station takes a break from farm life to have a cuppa and a chat with our guest David and Christa.
Christa and David Brown with Hayley Pitts
Christa and David Brown with Hayley Pitts, owner of Mt Gladstone Station with her husband Jeremy.

David and Christa Brown of Nelson rang us to ask for a bespoke tour, a special assignment. David Brown is the great grandson of Francis and Jane Otterman. David has been studying his family history and has traced these ancestors to a very special high country farm. Gladstone Station, Awatere Valley, in the heart of Marlborough. You will not find a place more beautiful or hosts more welcoming than the current owners the Pitts family.

Will Parsons as guide shared with David and Christa a little of his own family background on the way to the station. Will and his family farmed at Mt Victoria in the Flaxbourne area for generations.

The first stop was at the home of Alan and Bev Pitts. They enjoyed sharing their stories of the early Otterson pioneers over tea and scones. Francis and Jane settled to farm merino sheep here in around 1852 and the farm was taken over by their son Henry in 1876. Tragically Francis was drowned crossing the Wairau River, near Manuka Island. His horse stumbled and his foot caught in the stirrup. So many drowned in river crossings in those days.

Mount Gladstone runs around 8000 merinos over 8,903 hectares producing high quality fine fibre which is highly sort after worldwide. Much of it is now sold to a company called Devold in Norway.

Mt Gladstone has a stately altitude of 2,570 metres.

Next stop was the home of Jeremy and Hayley Pitts. David and Christa went for a drive around in search of  Mt Otterson Peak, they also crossed the Otterson River. David selected a large rock out of the river to take home as a memory.

David and Christa were a fun and informative couple and we loved helping them achieve their goal of returning to Mt Otterson to pay their tribute.

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