Toasting the furthest point from the sea in New Zealand
with Bannock Brae Estate's barrel selection pinot noir 2007
on Monday are (from left) Crawford Brown, John and Arna
Verboeket, Ann Paterson and Catherine Brown (kneeling).
An old-fashioned map and ruler helped Bannockburn
wine-growers Crawford and Catherine Brown pinpoint New
Zealand's furthest point from the sea on Monday, satisfying a
The couple and their friends erected a cairn at the point on
It is 1km south of Castle Rock and 7km north of Leaning Rock
on the Dunstan Range, on the property of Northburn Station
owner Tim Pinckney.
The position of the "unofficial most inland point" is
S4500.340', E16922.245', 119.44km from the Tasman Sea at
Milford Sound and 119.44km from the Pacific Ocean, near
The couple became interested in locating the point after
buying nearby land for their vineyard, Bannock Brae Estate,
12 years ago.
It is very near the boundary of Northburn and Bendigo
Stations - the Browns were surprised to learn from Bendigo
farmer John Perriam it is only about 500m from where musterer
Ann Scanlan found the famous merino sheep of Tarras, Shrek,
To be sure their hunch was correct, the couple contacted Land
Information New Zealand and the geography department of the
University of Otago.
"Surprisingly, a call to Linz elicited the response that they
didn't know where it was, but they could survey it at the
cost of megabucks. That was not an option.
A call to the geography department of Otago University came
back with the reply that they didn't know where it was
either, but "in the Dunstans sounds about right'," Mr Brown
Mr Crawford spent hours on Google Earth investigating all the
possibilities and on Monday took a hand-held GPS system into
the hills to find the point.
"Nowhere else in New Zealand is a piece of land so far from a
coast. Unfortunately, this point is at a very inaccessible
part of the country," Mr Brown said.
The point was about 1500m above sea level and provided
spectacular views to Lake Hawea and Alexandra, but was an
all-day tramp or a rugged ride in a four-wheel-drive vehicle,
Although there were nearby tracks and a conservation area, Mr
Brown said it was best for any visitors to check with both
farmers to make sure they were not going to disrupt farming
For a large part of the year, the terrain would be virtually
impassible, he said. "You would have to be outdoors equipped.
It is not a casual afternoon's drive."