But let's look back a few years...
The photo above, taken just two years ago, shows weeds growing in the concrete graves and sheep deployed to keep the grass down.
The cemetery was opened in 1879 and closed in 1947. It has had its share of problems as well as its glories. A century ago, the sexton, under the auspices of the Cemetery Trust battled gorse, weeds and drays being driven over the graves. Then came the planting of the trees in the 1930s. Decades later, their harvest seemingly left the cemetery in ruins. Iron fencing was mangled and stumps littered the final resting place of the pioneers. There were attempts to clean up the place but ultimately it was not sustained.
Today, the kiosk was officially opened to a small crowd of locals as well as descendants from as far away as Christchurch.
David Adamson, SDC Chief Executive Officer opened the ceremony.
The restoration is heartening. There is still more work to do but the cemetery is now in good enough condition that descendants can feel better about restoring their ancestors' graves as well as installing new plaques for unmarked graves.
The old cemetery is now something to be proud of thanks to the work of SDC staff and contractors, the Otautau Lions Club, and the activism of Alythia Larsen and the local community.