Baton Run Back Country Accommodation, Nelson, Tasman, New Zealand (NZ)
The Baton Run Farm (1011 hectares) has been in the Lublow family for three generations. Gustav Johan Frederick Lublow, a tailor by trade, bought the farm in 1906 believing there was gold to be found. The previous owners, having salted the property, left a gold nugget on the mantelpiece to lead Gustav to believe the area was rich in gold. The mystery of whether there is gold on the property continues today and Fiona and Richard can share some of the stories associated with the gold mania that swept the valley.
The Baton Run was named back in the early settler days when the area was used to graze sheep. Farmers would own a run (an undeveloped area naturally enclosed by valley walls) and send sheep up for the summer, mustering them back at the end of the season. Local families, including the Silcocks, Batts, Flannagans (Midnight Butcher) and Cowins, have areas named after them, and used to take sheep through the Baton Run up to the backcountry tops.
Having mustered the sheep back down to a central point (on the Baton Run), they divided the sheep by tags between the families. This method of farming came into conflict with local miners who considered the free ranging sheep a good source of tucker (food). Sometimes conflicts would veer out of control, with some miners’ huts being set alight as retribution for the sheep rustling.
Kahurangi National Park
The Kahurangi National Park encompasses a huge area of wilderness in the North West corner of the South Island. It stretches west from Nelson through forested mountains and valleys to the rugged and wild West Coast, and south from beautiful Golden Bay to remote Karamea.
It is an area of ecological complexity and colourful human history. The park is home to rare species such as the Blue Duck (Whio), the short tailed bat (Pekapeka) and the giant land snail (Powelliphanta). Rare alpine plants only found in this area can also be found in abundance.
Many miles of walking tracks traverse through this wild area and historic huts from the days of early settlers are well preserved in places. You can stay in these, including the unique rock Shelter on Mount Arthur.
Baton Run looks towards Mount Arthur (Whare Papa), the highest peak in the Nelson area at 1795 metres.
About Fiona and Richard
Fiona first arrived in the Baton Valley in 1993 on a 15.2 Appaloosa mare, having traveled through the back country some 270km from Aaroa. She joined the team at Western Ranges Horse Treks, gaining invaluable experience from it’s founder, Cheryl Dean, and the inspiration, when it closed, to establish her own company: Baton Run Horse Treks.
Fiona’s love of horses goes back to her childhood in Pony Club and show jumping in the United Kingdom, where all her spare time was spent with her horse. She has traveled extensively through Europe and across the United States of American, trying her hand at a variety of jobs, including working in the Canadian Rainforest, driving double decker buses, taking photographs and offering professional counseling. Her passion is to be out in the mountains on quality horses with good company.
Richard was born on Baton Run. His passion is sheep and beef farming and he’ll be delighted to give you a shearing demonstration and explain anything to do with wool and farming in general. If you’re lucky he may recite some bush poetry for you.
He has a great sense of humour and enjoys the back country but would prefer to be on two legs than on a horse. He project managed the building of the Alpine Hut in 1990, for which helicopters were used to bring materials in, and latterly, the Honeywell Hut. Richard farms the 1011 hectare property.