An unusual summons from an old, itinerant acquaintance — known as the Lark — piques author Neville Peat's curiosity. The invitation to meet in the mountains around Glenorchy is timely: he's keen to head into the high country to investigate recent reports of sightings of the near-extinct kokako.
The South Island high country has an allure all its own. New Zealand's equivalent of the Wild West, it's a rustic, spectacularly beautiful frontier, combining wild alpine beauty, beech forest and mirror-still lakes. The Head of Lake Wakatipu has attracted Maori for the dazzling local pounamu; its sublime beauty has seduced European tourists, artists, writers and farm-holders since the nineteenth century.
Peat sets off on a fascinating trail that takes him deep into the hills to explore local history, legend and land politics. He skilfully blends the
characters and stories of the past — those of Arawata Bill and Joseph Fenn among them — with a powerful sense of place and concerns for the future.
In prose as fine as snow-caps reflected in lake water, Peat brings us an extraordinary region: from the laconic humour of the locals, to the last chance we might have to halt the demise of several threatened native species.
High-Country Lark is the third in Peat's acclaimed Lark series: the first two of which are The Falcon and the Lark and Coasting: The Sea Lion and the Lark.
” . . . a place where mystery is as abundant as moss on a beech-forest floor.”
Otago Daily Times, October 2008
"His writing style is immensely readable, his photographs stunning . . ."
Beattie's Book Blog, November 2008