Two small, round and fat creatures had invaded the peace and quiet of historic Gabriel’s Gully, local residents Diana and Trevor Barnes said at the weekend.
According to posters displayed in Lawrence, two ancestors of the “Great Haggis of the clan McSweeny,” had fled to New Zealand and had been spotted in Gabriel’s Gully.
Anyone “lucky enough to spot and catch one” would be able to return it to the information centre in Lawrence for a $40 reward.
Quentin Curral, of Lawrence, said he had not hunted haggis in New Zealand before, but was keen to try his hand at it.
He said the town was fortunate to have Gabriel’s Gully so near by, and he often took his dog for exercise in the reserve.
There was lots to see, with evidence of gold mining history close to hand, including water races, evidence of former dams and bits of metal from goldmining machinery.
He hunted high and low for a haggis and it took him an hour to bag his prize, which was “amongst a lot of manuka trees”, on the far side of the gully, he said.
The day turned into a special one for Balclutha residents Aaron and Rowena Miller, who were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary with a walk in Gabriel’s Gully when they spotted a “haggis” under a small clump of trees.
Mr Barnes said Gabriel’s Gully was a wonderful resource that more people needed to discover and enjoy, and he hoped the haggis hunt might become a regular event, encouraging people to appreciate the historic reserve.