A decade after his death, high country musterer Dave Osmers' evocative photos are being shared with the world.

Mr Osmers was a core player in the settlement of Makarora and a widely loved figurehead for the community, eldest grandson Dean Harliwich said.

"I was handed down Dave's photography some seven years ago, and after a long, careful germination, this has finally taken the form of its first appearance in public exhibition," he said.

Dean Harliwich.
Dean Harliwich.

"The series captures the environment and deep solitude of New Zealand's pioneering shepherds.


"They stood at the edge of the passing world, and from that vantage witnessed the transformation of the years that carried us from the world that 'was' into the world that 'is'."

Mr Osmers, who left school in his early teenage years, found himself shepherding and mustering widely across the body of southern New Zealand.

He visited more than 33 stations from 1956 to 1959 alone, a time from which the photos in the exhibition emerged.

Mr Harliwich had been given the black and white photos by his grandmother, Rhondda Osmers.

The "Winter's Heart" exhibition, supported by Creative NZ and the Queenstown Lakes District Council, will run at Queenstown Arts Centre until August 8.