Micheal Robinson, of Queenstown, presents his labour of
love, Campbell's Creek, at the book launch in the Lakes
District Museum. Photo by James Beech.
The larger-than-life characters and desperate times of
the Otago gold rush form the backdrop of a new book by a
Queenstown author that was 12 years in the writing.
Former builder Micheal Robinson (72), a Queenstowner since
1953, launched his historical epic Campbell's Creek
fittingly among the displays of the Lakes District Museum
with friends and family late last month.
''The story starts off in Scotland during the land clearances
of the Highlands,'' Mr Robinson said.
''James McKinnon, with his family, thinks he's going to
Canada, but sculduggery leads them to New Zealand.
''The children are schooled in Dunedin until McKinnon hears
of the gold rush and takes off.''
The creek of the book's name is a real place on the Old Man
Range, south of Alexandra. What happened there among the
gold-miners during the deadly snowfall of 1863 is a dramatic
A life-long avid reader, he overcame childhood dyslexia and
put pen to paper in 1957 with his debut The Dark Side of
Aoraki, a murder and romance he rewrote three times over
the years, until the gold rush captured his imagination.
Fellow members of the Queenstown Writers' Group encouraged
his work on the manuscript and its publication as a
paperback, complete with an atmospheric photograph by Jo Boyd
for the cover.
''I hope people take from it a bit of history, a bit of
adventure and a lot of entertainment,'' Mr Robinson said.
• Campbell's Creek is now available to buy from the
museum in Arrowtown, Paper Plus at Queenstown Airport and as