Davey Gunn lived 30 years in Fiordland's rugged Hollyford Valley, where he had one of the most isolated cattle runs in New Zealand. When he moved there in 1926 he left behind his wife and children - and civilisation - for a tough and solitary life he grew to love. Although quiet and modest by nature, Davey became known throughout New Zealand as a back-country hero for his 20-hour journey on foot to raise the alarm after a fatal plane crash at Big Bay in 1936. His efforts saw the four survivors rescued, and the legend of Davey Gunn began. Against the almost insuperable odds of difficult country, isolation, the Depression, the depredations of a burgeoning deer population and the constant threat of losing his short-term leases, Davey wrestled to make a living from his largely wild cattle. He was also keen to open up and share the land he loved, and in the mid-1930s pioneered guided walking and riding trips in the Hollyford and Pyke Valleys. Hollyford Camp, also known to this day as Gunns Camp, is testament to the efforts of this true No. 8 wire man, who did more than any other individual to alert travellers throughout New Zealand and the world to the unparalleled beauty of this part of Fiordland. It is somehow fitting that eventually, on Christmas Day 1955, the land claimed this remarkable man. The Land of Doing Without brings to life the memories of many of Davey's contemporaries, and explores the man behind the legend: his quirks, his fortitude and his legacy.
Publisher: Canterbury University Press
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 241 x 165 x 13 mm