Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

The Fairlight terminus - previously the Otautau Railway Station.
It's been 16 years, but you can still find people who'll talk about losing the Otautau Railway Station. It's a familiar story - townfolk, who want to keep their heritage, at odds with local government who dont want the liability.

But our old railway station is still alive and well on the road to Queenstown. It's situated in Fairlight and is the southern leg of the Kingston Flyer, a 14km train-riding adventure. It was moved there in 1996 and is now a gift shop.

The Flyer is temporarily closed for repairs and is also for sale, so the future of this unique tourist attraction is unknown. Meanwhile, the Fairlight station stands ready for the next train. It may be gone from Otautau but certainly not forgotten.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Antagonist Freak Show

Starting in the New Year, local resident Quint Baker, will be staging his exhibition, Antagonist Freak Show. This venture will evolve over its 10-day showing so be sure to visit again and again as it develops and changes. Quint said, "when I'm inspired, I work round the clock."

Dates are 1 - 10 January, 8am to 6pm, at the Courthouse.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Everyone. Have nice holidays. See you in 2013!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Street Fair

This year's Christmas Street Fair was another fun, community event. The Otautau School Choir sang their hearts out. The karaoke competition brought new talent to the Otautau stage. Stallholders lined the street, fundraising for their organisations. Kids bounced around in the puppyland castle, drove mini-cars, got their faces painted and met with Santa. The initial windy conditions didnt hamper spirits too much and by the end of the evening the sun was shining. Once again, the Otautau Promotions have pulled off a great event for the whole community. See more pics on the Otautau Facebook page.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

December Calendar


  • Until 20 Jan 2013: A Body of Work: cloth sculpture figurines, by Hayley Lawn. Delightful characters made from fabric and found materials. Otautau Museum, 146 Main Street, Otautau. Open Wed & Sun, 2pm-4pm and by request. Wheelchair accessible. Blog.
  • Until mid-2013: Otautau Main Street Businesses. Otautau Museum, 146 Main Street, Otautau. Open Weds & Sun, 2pm to 4pm and by request. Wheelchair accessible. For more information, see blog and website.
  • 14 Dec to 10 Jan 2013: Michelle and Friends: Paintings, pastels, rugs, sculpture, mixed media and jewellery exhibition. Works from Michelle Dawson, Southland Eduaction art tutor, and members of her class: David Ellis, Jackie Jones, Bill Jones, Raewyn Leitch, Jessie Campbell, Dorothy Smith, Alice Smith, Esmae Turvey, Paul Frith, Velma Brown and Barbara Reid. Wed-Sun, 12pm-4pm, Riverton Community Arts Centre 129 Palmerston Street, Riverton. (03) 234-9932 or email.


  • 13 Dec: Psychic Night. Come in for a night of insight with clairvoyant/medium Gillian McFarlane. Questions and answers towards the end of the evening. For enquiries and bookings phone 022-129-4517. Starts from 6:30pm onwards at the Courthouse, 146 Main St. Entry is $5 at the door.
  • 14 Dec: Otautau Street Party. Crafts, stalls, entertainment and food. A great time for the community to gather and have fun. All welcome. 5pm-8pm, Main Street, Otautau. To book a stall contact Otautau Promotions, 027-488-3945 or 027-225-8213.
  • 19 Dec: Otautau School Prizegiving. Otautau School invites the community to its 2012 prizegiving. Otautau Sports Complex, 7pm.


  • 13 Dec: Wallace Community Board meeting. Public welcome. If you wish to make a presentation to the Board, please advise Kelly Tagg no later than 48 hours before the meeting, 0800-732-732 ext 3652. Meets at SDC office, 176 Main Street, Otautau, side entrance, 4pm.


  • 1-10 Jan: "Antagonist Freak Show" art exhibition by local artist Quint Baker, starring Southland models: Ashley Kluyts, Nina Poelman and Chelsea Clark. Styles include post postmodern, new media art, mock art and swampy fashion. At the Courthouse, 146 Main Street. Open 8am to 6pm every day.
  • 10 & 11 Jan: SDC Holiday Programme in Otautau. Registration forms at SDC offices and $6/child per day
  • 9 Feb: Otautau Three Churches Flower and Quilt Walk. Any artists or craftspeople wishing to have a display or sales table, please contact Faimie 03 225-8530 or email
  • 24 Feb: All Ford Day. Holt Park, Otautau.
  • 16 Mar: Otautau Golf Club 90th Anniversary. Celebrations include golf and BBQ.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Cut Above

Bev Ballantyne cutting Kieren Drake's hair.
Business is booming on Knutsford Road. Though hairdresser Bev Ballantyne recently left her Main Street premises, she's busier than ever at her new home studio. It's a cozy spot situated on 10 idyllic acres overlooking Otautau. Whilst getting your hair cut or permed, you are lulled by the beautiful rolling hills of Otautau and can simply relax in the peace and quiet.

Bev is the consummate businesswoman. If anyone could make a home business work, it's Bev. The gardens welcome customers with an array of gorgeous flowers. Parking is easy and off the street. And her hospitality is topnotch. She always gives it her all and maybe that's why she's still 'a cut above.'

Kieran Drake, who did the expert plumbing on the new studio, popped in to have a quick hair cut while I was there. Glad he wasn't camera shy.

Election 2017

Election season has swung into gear with the next General Election on Saturday, September 23rd - 7 1/2 weeks away. Not much has changed with...