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On the Edge: Wairarapa's Coastal Communities
by Jim Graydon

ISBN: 9780992247515
PUBLISHER: Fraser Books
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 296
DIMENSIONS: 210mmX260mm

The Wairarapa coastline stretches for 220 kilometres, from the mouth of the Mataikona River in the north to Turakirae Head in the south. It is a wild and remote coastal landscape, much of it still deserted, with a distinctive spartan beauty. Some of New Zealand's worst shipwrecks happened here and it is still a dangerous place to go to sea. However, the coast is a prolific fishery and Maori based themselves close to this resource well before Europeans arrived in the 1840s. Then the iconic sheep stations were established, ferry services appeared to deal with coastal traffic, and lighthouses were constructed. Eventually, the first hardy campers and commercial fishermen arrived. Coastal communities began to grow which, in 2013, are holiday venues with some luxurious homes. However, reliable roads and bridges to reach them have only been completed in the last few decades. Until recent times, the history of Wairarapa's coastal communities is the tale of hardy, self-sufficient individuals prepared to tolerate isolation, absence of services, and unreliable communications, to enjoy the ambience and opportunities of their unique coastal environment. On The Edge chronicles the history of these coastal settlements and captures the atmosphere enjoyed by those who have lived or holidayed in the communities.

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