The top of the South Island has long been an area of enterprise and ingenuity. These are stories about those enterprises - business, farming, fishing, industry; and the infrastructure which has supported them.

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  1. Shipping and trade on the Ōpaoa River
    At one time, Picton was described as Marlborough’s front door and the Opawa River as the tradesmen’s entrance, but in the early days of European settl... read more
  2. Henry and George Dodson
    New Zealand provided plenty of opportunities for four of Joseph and Isabella Dodson’s nine children to shine, with Thomas and Joseph settling in Nelso... read more
  3. Baton Valley Gold
    The remote Baton Valley, at the base of Mount Arthur, once had two hotels, a shop, Post Office and a racecourse. read more
  4. Newman Brothers
    Running a transport service in the days when unformed roads wormed their ways through virgin bush up steep hillsides and across rivers and mountain cr... read more
  5. Main trunk railway line
    Parochialism and politics, the Great Depression and two World Wars meant that completion of the South Island’s Main Trunk Line was a slow, tortuous 75... read more
  6. Lure of gold - Aorere
    A few specks of gold, found in the Aorere Valley by a musterer in October 1856, saw more than 2000 men flood into Massacre Bay over the following thre... read more
  7. Tasman Ports timeline
    The ports of Tasman Bay/Te Tai-o-Aorere, Māpua and Motueka, and of Golden Bay/Mohua, Tarakohe, Waitapu, Pūponga and Collingwood, were often their regi... read more
  8. Port Nelson timeline
    Port Nelson has been integral to the development of Nelson, and has a long and fascinating history in its own right. This timeline highlights signific... read more
  9. Onekaka Ore
    It took nearly 50 years of exploration, analysis and debate before Onekaka’s rich iron ore resource was commercially processed in 1922. read more
  10. Telegraph Made World of Difference
    The South and North Islands were connected by an under-sea telegraph cable across Cook Strait in 1866. Ten years later, the telegraph connection betwe... read more