Portobello Kids at Craigieburn

Portobello school at the Byre

The Society hosted the year 5&6 classes from Portobello School at Craigieburn today. The group walked through Ross Creek and up to Craigieburn as part of their school camp. While they were there they cleared part of the stone floor from the old barn/roadway on the main track. During their excavations nothing of any significance was found, but there was enough anticipation to keep everyone busy. Thankfully the weather cleared for Portobello School to enjoy their lunch at the byre site before making the trek through Ross Creek.

Guided Walk at Craigieburn

Project2The first week of spring is a great time to shrug of the winter blues and get back into the outdoors again. The Society is undertaking a guiding tour of Craigieburn on Sunday 11th September starting at 10.30. There will be an opportunity to look at some of the artifacts from the archaeological work undertaken on the site and learn more about the use of the area as a Scottish subsistence farm. The walk through the mature rimu forest to see some of the 700 year old giants is one of the highlights. The walk is relatively easy and suitable for people of all ages. So come on along and embrace your pioneer spirit at Craigieburn.

How to Get There

Shoreline Success – Harbour, Heritage and History

Shoreline Walkers 2015

It wasn’t the greatest of day for a walk around the city with a heavy cover of drizzle, but that’s never put Dunedin people off before. More than 200 people turned up for the Shoreline Walk as part of the Dunedin Heritage Festival 2015 on Sunday 30th August. Such a turn out was overwhelming, but pleasing at the same time.

With the line of the 1848 and 1865 shoreline mapped by Matt Schmidt from Heritage New Zealand and some temporary markers painted onto the route the Shoreline Trail was something entirely new for Dunedin. The trail takes in some of the earliest occupations of Dunedin, from the use of the foreshore by Maori in the settlement of Otepoti, to the arrival of the first settlers in 1848, and onwards into the boom of the city after the discovery of gold in 1861. The shoreline is a time capsule of Dunedin’s development in the 19th century to what we see today. It’s also a reminder of how much of an impact human settlement has had on Dunedin, in light of the amount of land that was reclaimed from the Otago Harbour.

Today’s event took in many of the important sites that we may take for granted or have forgotten that existed in the passage of time. Matt Schmidt gave great in-depth detail of the archaeological record of the area and how that record tells the story of Dunedin, while Paul Pope added some of the above ground detail about some of the areas including their relevance to the Society. Overall, this was a very successful event that gave people a real insight into the history of Dunedin. It also promotes the idea of making this trail a permanent feature of the city to engage both visitors and the community.

With the number of walkers attending it wasn’t possible to show people some of the pictures that we had of different sites that we visited. Below is a selection of those photographs to give readers a feel for the historic land and street-scape. (Click on the image and you will view it in full size)

Craigieburn – a slice of Scotland with a Rimu twist

Visitors to Craigieburn

The Dunedin Amenities Society hosted visitors to Craigieburn who were taking part in the 2014 Dunedin Scottish Festival today. The festival celebrating the unique Scottish heritage of Dunedin has been an opportunity for many to celebrate and explore the city’s Scottish roots. Craigieburn Project Manager Paul Pope gave the group a guided tour of the Craigieburn and showed the group the early life of the Rankin, Sherriff and Tanner families who settled this small piece of the Dunedin Bush as a colonial subsistence farm. It was an also an opportunity to discuss the lasting conservation legacy creating by the settler family who retained the extensive rimu forest on the site. Once again it was great pleasure to share the stories about the Rankin, Sherriff and Tanner families and give people a real glimpse of early Scottish life in Dunedin. (Click on pictures to see a larger view).

The Fantails at Craigieburn

This week Craigieburn had a visit from some budding naturalists, explorers and outdoor adventurers. The Fantail Trails are a Dunedin based nature exploration group for children ages 0 through to junior primary school. The group undertake outdoor outings for caregivers and children to explore some of the great nature spaces in Dunedin. The outdoor walks and exploration provide a social outing for caregivers and children and create opportunities for unstructured play, getting muddy and exploring at a pre-school pace. The group today took the opportunity to explore the Craigieburn forest and visit some of the heritage areas of the reserve. Great to have young children and their caregivers using Craigieburn in such a creative and interesting way.

Fantail Trails Group

Craigieburn and Toitu

Craigieburn RimuThe development of a pilot education programme with Toitu – Otago Settlers Museum is a great opportunity to bring the Craigieburn story to a new and young audience. As an organisation the Dunedin Amenities Society has a role in providing opportunities for learning with a view to developing the future landscape, environmental and heritage stewards of the future. That’s a mantle we should be prepared to pass onto others not as a burden but as a pleasure and privilege. With the development of the partnership programme we’ll see 300 children visit Craigieburn this term and they’ll experience hands on what colonial life was like in the forests of nineteenth century Dunedin. Importantly too, they’ll be able to learn more about the unique conservation legacy that Craigieburn has with its rich rimu forest. This programme will also bring teachers and parents into contact with Craigieburn and the values of the Society and hopefully that will inspire them to explore the City, their roots and our environment further.

This is an exciting opportunity for the Society, Toitu and the City Council to create a strong partnership that adds value to our community and one of Dunedin’s really special places.

Read the Otago Daily Times article here…


Southern Heritage Trust at Craigieburn

The Society were pleased to host members of the Southern Heritage Trust at Craigieburn on a stunning autumn day on Saturday 13th April. The trust members took a 2 hour guided tour of the Craigieburn area with project manager Paul Pope. Trust members were very interested to hear the detailed history of the Rankin, Sherriff and Tanner families who farmed the area from 1860, and enjoyed seeing the archaeological and restoration efforts of the Society for the reserve. The Trust members were also kept fit exploring the tracks around the site and viewing the impressive rimu forest on the southern boundary of the property. The Southern Heritage Trust are an important organisation in the protection and appreciation of Otago’s social, cultural, architectural and industrial heritage and the Trust and the Society have many shared interests and synergies. A very enjoyable day and great to meet people with a passion for a unique site like Craigieburn.