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November 02 , 2008

Life on Gorge River, A

New Zealand's Remotest Family


Robert Long and his family - wife Catherine, and children Christan (17) and Robin (14) - live in complete isolation, in a hut two days' walk south of Haast in South Westland. Robert has lived there for nearly 30 years; Catherine for 20 and the kids all their lives. Their only contact with the outside world is a helicopter or plane once a month, and two trips a year to the 'outside world'. This is the story of how and why Robert - known locally as 'Beansprout' - came to live at Gorge River, and the family's experiences there over the years, living self-sufficiently and forging close bonds with the natural environment. It is an inspiring tale of one man's decision to 'drop out' of capitalist society and successfully establish a lifestyle most New Zealanders can't even imagine, harking back to the days of the earliest pioneers.

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