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Mokoreta-Redan

Hub of the West Catlins.

History - Mokoreta–Redan is in the West Catlins accessed through The Catlins Forest Park from Waikawa on the Waikawa Valley Road. The first settlers in 1859 were John Anderson and his family who began the process of clearing bush and scrub to create what is today prosperous land for farming. Life was difficult and they found themselves very isolated and frequently harassed by droves of up to 40 wild pigs and also wild dogs. The last dog was killed at Wild Dog Corner on the Slopedown Range in 1870. In 1903 the Lower Wyndham run was cut into smaller blocks by town planners who drew up street maps of the intended township of Mokoreta. This was never completed, although a post office and a school were established which are no longer there. The small cemetery can still be found today.

Early farming practices included small scale dairy farming supplying the two milk processing factories, as well as several portable flax factories found behind Mt Egremont, further up the Mokoreta Valley, and also down the Redan Valley where a flax worker’s hut still remains today. Some timber was milled and local wood was processed to build the present houses of the area.

In the early days there were no roads in the valley and children attending Mokoreta School arrived either on horseback or by foot across paddocks. For a very long time access to the valley was by only one road from Waikawa up through the bush. It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that the Redan-Mokoreta Road was extended to open the route from the ‘The Caddon” to Waikawa and Tahakopa. In the 1960’s the road to Clinton was also connected which started the beginning of tourism in the valley and cars began travelling the Redan Road to and from the coastal Catlins and Balclutha districts.