Yes, the city girl met the tall, handsome stranger and ran away to the bush where her life was forever changed and enriched, beyond anything she could have imagined. There have been many stories since, lives lived and died, but I think this one is worthy of a dusting down and airing in the sunlight, just so that people know that magic does sometimes happen.
‘There were several huts but the intention for each was that it could return to the ground and not leave a trace. Our first hut achieved this goal and you will find no sign of the building if you search the dry forest flats along the river. We cut dead wattle logs into short lengths to infill a pole frame. We hauled the smooth volcanic rocks from the river bed in a homemade wheelbarrow. Flattened stringy-bark sheets covered the roof. We had no power, power-tools or machinery. This was a labour of love, brute strength and endurance. But above all, it was a symbol of innocence and hope. We didn’t own the land, it belonged to the Crown. At that first moment, when two young city-dwellers chose a building site above the flood line, then adjusted it several metres to avoid a meat-eating ants nest, it seemed impossible that they would forge a life in the wilds that would last for the next decade.’
First hut: Photo Jeni McMillan