Home and away: constructions of place on Stewart Island
Reis, AC 2012, 'Home and away: constructions of place on Stewart Island', Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 83-113.
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Located south of the South Island of New Zealand, separated by Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island is the southern-most of New Zealand’s three main islands. Stewart Island's magnificent landscapes and wildlife provide excellent opportunities for hiking and hunting. The nature of these experiences, however, is quite distinct from one another. The vast majority of hikers visiting the island are international tourists and firsttime visitors, while most hunters are New Zealanders, who have been visiting the island for several years. This difference in background facilitates experiences of place that are distinct from one another, and the performances of these visitors are highly modulated by how place is constructed by themselves and by others with whom they share their experiences. This article explores these constructions of place and the production of a space that allows for these distinct experiences to occur simultaneously and in the same location. It investigates the roles a remote island destination plays in the experience of visitors/tourists, and how these roles are constructed and subsequently performed.