Significant Events In Local History

1836
Te Puoho, a Taranaki Maori Chief - the raid

Te Puoho, a Taranaki chief, in 1836 led a war party across Haast Pass, raided the Upper Clutha area then continued on to Southland.

1844
Maps of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea drawn

“Memory” maps of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea drawn by Rakiraki near Kaka Point and Huruhuru at Te Puna-a-maru on the Waitaki River

1853
Nathaniel Chalmers

Nathaniel Chalmers guided inland and through the Upper Clutha by Chief Reiko.

1857
J.T. Thomson surveyed from Mt Grandview

J.T. Thomson surveyed from Mt Grandview. From there he named Mt Aspiring, Mt Pisa, Black Peak, the Cardrona River and Luggate Creek.

1858
John McLean Arrives

Views the area from Grandview. Maps out an area for himself and family, and on 5 September obtains a Licence to Depasture over some 500,000 acres which he names Morven Hills.

1858
Runs sold to R. Wilkin & A.M.Thomson

Runs 239 (Mt Burke to Hawea River), 240 (Albert Town to Lake Wanaka) & 245 (Mt Pisa) taken up, soon sold to R. Wilkin & A.M.Thomson.

1858
First house in the Upper Clutha built by Robert Wilkin

First house in the Upper Clutha built by Robert Wilkin located on the corner of McLelland Place and 79 Lagoon Avenue, Albert Town.

1859
First detailed survey

First detailed survey of the Upper Clutha area by Edward Jollie

1859
Run 334 (Wanaka South) and Run 333 (Wanaka West) 

Run 334 (Wanaka South) taken up by John Roy, Run 333 (Wanaka West) taken up by J.Stuart & J.Kinross.

1859
Morven Hills stock figures

Otago Provincial Gazette reports the McLean brothers had 12,000 sheep depasturing and a year later (1860) had 18,000

1860
Henry Norman & Family arrive

Probably the first family to settle in the Upper Clutha. Henry is manager of Roys Station

1860
Run Managment

H.S.Thomson managing Kinross & Stuart’s run, J.Heuchan managing Wilkin & Thomson’s run.

1860
George M Hassing arrives

He obtained a contract to fell timber on West Wanaka Station

1861
Woolsheds, Gold and Surveys

Wanaka Station woolshed completed at Albert Town; payable gold discovered in the Lindis River. J. McKerrow began his survey of the Upper Clutha area.

1861
Sawmillers at Makarora

Include Caleb Pipson, James Isbell, ‘Red Bill’,   J D Ross, A I Farquhar, Josiah A Wryatt and James Johnson

1862
George Hassing established Ferry at Albert Town

He used a whale boat to ferry travellers across the Clutha at Albert Town (on the north bank) in the early months of 1862.

1862
Runs change hands

Roy transfers Roys Station to R Barton to settle a debt (August 1862). Barton will subsequently sell the Station to Wilkin and Thomson.  Wilkin & Thomson aquired Branch Creek Station (Run 340).

1862
The Norman family moved to Albert Town

Between August and December the Normans moved to the original location of Albert Town (north side of Clutha River)  where Henry purchased an accommodation house and a ferry business.

1862
Gold Discovered in Cardrona Valley

Gold discovered by Fox at Cardrona and the Gold Rush started on 9 November

1862
Cardrona Valley Gold Claims to about 1870

Major Claims:

Gold Mine the ” Pirate”

Gold Mine the “Homeward Bound”

Gold Mine the “Try Again”

Gold Mine the “Georgie Gang”

Gold Mine the “Fenian”

Gold Mine the “Enterprize”

Gold Mine the “Empire”,  – flooded in 1878

Gold Mine the “Alanta”, Branch Creek

Gold Mine the “Banner of War”

Gold Mine the “Anglo Saxons”, Branch Creek

Gold Mine the “Band of Hope” – flooded in 1878

1863
Haast Pass Discovery

Charles Cameron explored up the Makarora Valley and may have found the way through to the Haast Pass just before Sir Julius Haast set out from Makarora three days later.

1863
Haast Pass Crossed by Sir Julius Haast

Sir Julius Haast, a German geologist, and his party left Makarora on 22 January and found the way over the Haast Pass to the West Coast.

1863
Dr James Hector's Expedition

Otago Provincial Geologist, he commenced in January to try to find a way to the West Coast via the Matukituki Valley. The party crossed Hectors Col and down the Waipara Valley.  They sighted the Tasman Sea but were forced back due to their supplies situation.

1863
New Ferry and Store at Sandypoint

Having sold his Albert Town ferry in December 1862, George Hassing and his partner Wm. Ellacott commenced their new businesses in March 1863 at Sandypoint (about 8km in a strightline down the Clutha River from the Red Bridge location).

1863
John Connell's Townships surveys

In April he surveyed areas for proposed townships of Wakefield (near Bendigo), Pembroke ( to be re-named Wanaka), Newcastle (Albert Town) and Gladstone (just east of  the current Lake Hawea township).

1864
Wilkin & Thomson's Sheep Returns

The 1864 Return shows they stocked 46,317 sheep on Runs 239, 240, 245, 334 & 340 ranging from Motatapu & Cardrona through the Clutha to Cromwell.

1865
Mrs Pipson - First Woman Settler at Makarora

Caleb Pipson had married and his wife was the first woman settler to live in the Makarora area.

1866
John Stevenson, Station Manager for Burke at Maungawera after Candy

Stevenson took over as manager when Candy moved to North Canterbury.  Left in 1871.  Stevensons Island and Stevensons Arm in Lake Wanaka named after him.

1866
Runs Change Ownership

H.S.Campbell bought the Wanaka Station Runs (239, 240 & 334). Howell & Loughman Bros bought Runs 245 & 340.

1867
World's First Sheep Dog Trials

On 18 April the World’s first recorded sheep dog trials were held at Dogmatch Flat ( near foot of Hillend).

1867
J D Ross started a sawmill at Lake Hawea
1867
Cardrona Grows

Cardrona had a bakery, general store and hotels in response to the increasing population of gold miners

1868
First Hotel in Pembroke built.

Wanaka Hotel built and run by Theodore Russell & Charles Hedditch.

1868
Alfred Pinn and George Hassing build the "Eureka"

“Eureka” was a 40 ton sailing ship built on Pidgeon island (Mou Waho).

1868
Excursions on Lake Wanaka.

Cutter yachts “Water Lily” and “The Lady of the Lake” offered excursions on Lake Wanaka.

1869
First School in the district

First school in the district opened at Albert Town in 1868/9. Closed in 1876 but reopened in 1878.

1869
Luggate Hotel built by Harry Maidman

Luggate Hotel built by Harry Maidman who later moved to farm at Mt Barker.

1870
Cardrona School opened

Opened on 7 February, initially in a local residence before a classroom was built. Closed in 1948.

1870
Templeton Bros. Sawmill at Snowy Creek

Templetons opened a sawmill at Snowy Creek, West Branch of the Matukituki Valley

1870
Call for large runs to be broken up to allow smaller freeholdings
1871
Store opened at Cardrona

Robert McDougall’s store opened at Cardrona

1871
Small part of Morven Hills Station Subdivided

2460 acres of Run 236 was subdivided into 49 sections of about 50 acres each for farming and settlement.

1873
Pembroke Post Office opened
1874
50 ton sailing ship "Nun" built by Alfred Pinn
1875
Wanaka Station adds Runs

Campbell added Runs 337 (Minaret), 340B (Branch Creek), and Runs 338 & 430B (to the north between Lakes Wanaka & Hawea) to Wanaka Station.

1875
Bendigo School opened

Closed at end of 1925.

1876
Rabbits first reported as a pest in Manuheurikia
1877
James Templeton, Sawmiller at Makaroa
1877
Robert McDougall's house built in Pembroke
1877
Templeton samills

Templeton samills was set up at Snowy Creek on the east branch of the Matukituki River and a third sawmill on the bank opposite Wishbone Falls.

1877
Land ballots including Mt Barker area
1877
Ewan and Marion Cameron take up Glenfinnan Station

Runs 458 and 468 at the head of the Matukituki Valley and named Glenfinnan Station by the Camerons.  Abandoned to the rabbits about 1885.

1877
Thomas Russell and Joseph Ewing set up Matukituki sawmills

Thomas Russell and Joseph Ewing set up Matukituki sawmills at Mill Creek, in the Matukituki Valley

1878
Great Flood in September

Major floods swept away buildings in Albert Town.  Lake Wanaka reached 281.8 m above sea level.  Very heavy snowfalls this year.

1878
First teacher at Cardrona

George Hassing became the first teacher at Cardrona

1878
Forest Nursery established

Robert Studholme established a nursery near the mouth of the Cardrona River.

1879
Cromwell Argus reports on rabbit pest

Many newspapers reported on the rabbit infestation which was a major problem for farmers.

1879
Hugh MacPherson acquired Mt Aspiring Station land

Bought land and built a homestead in the east branch of the Matukituki Valley.  The Run was named Mt Aspiring Station later on.

1880
Pembroke School opened

Opened on 13 January. Became Wanaka District High School in 1940.

1880
W.G. Stewart, Runholder of Mount Albert Station
1880
Paddle steamer "Theodore" built by Asher Smith at Lake Wanaka
1881
Parts of Wanaka West and Mt Pisa Stations recommended for subdivision
1881
Flourmill opened at Luggate

Flourmill opened at Luggate owned by Thomas Anderson, farmer of Mt Barker and Peter McIntosh, carrier.

1881
Paddle steamer "Theodore" launched

Captained by Charles Hedditch.

1881
First Rabbit Districts defined and trustees appointed
1882
Hawea Flat School opened

Opened March 1882.

1882
Hawea Flat Primary School opens
1884
Luggate School opened

Closed 19 June 1950.

1884
First weasels in New Zealand

First weasels (67) in New Zealand released on The Peninsula (between Lake Wanaka and Stevenson’s Arm).

1884
First stoats in New Zealand released

First stoats (23) in New Zealand released on the east side of Lake Hawea. 177 ferrets released at the head of Lake Wanaka.

1885
Tarras School opened

Opened on 14 September.

1885
Tarras Primary School opens
1885
Commercial Hotel at Pembroke


Opening of Commercial Hotel at Pembroke by William Allan.

1885
Criffel gold diggings productive which lasted a decade

1885
Ewan Cameron moves to Cattle Creek

Abandons Glenfinnan Station to the rabbits and moves his stock to his new Run.

1887
Wanaka Station liquidated

Wanaka Station liquidated – result of overstocking, falling wool prices, rabbits & effect of the Great Flood.

1887
First Wanaka Library opened on Ardmore Street

1888
Wanaka, Minaret and & Mt Albert Stations shearing begins

Robert Stewart, Manager announces shearing on 2nd January.

1889
Queensberry School opened

Closed in 1964.

1890
First flax mill at Makarora

1891
Stations change hands

Wanaka Station bought by R.M. & C.A.Turnbull then the Motatapu & Glendhu blocks were subdivided off the lease.  Mt Burke, Mt Albert & Minaret runs abandoned.

1892
St Patrick's Catholic Church built at Hawea Flat
1895
Building of SS "Makarora" commences

Building started in early 1895 on the foreshore at Pembroke.  William Allan (on right) was the owner. Launched in late 1899.

1895
Makarora School opened

Opened June 1895.

1897
Wanaka South Run split up

Run 334 split up and parts sold to J & R Studholme, R Paterson and Henry Barker.

1899
Duncan MacPherson buys Mt Aspiring Station


He was a nephew of the seller, Hugh MacPherson. Run extended to the top of Mt Aspiring.

1899
Provincial boundaries finally resolved

Provincial boundary between Canterbury and Otago affecting the Upper Clutha northern region was finally resolved. Makarora now part of Otago.

1900
SS "Makarora" commences services

Used for freight and passenger services on Lake Wanaka.

1900
John Miller and his family move to Mt Barker

John Miller and his family move to Mt Barker and farm the area approximated by the current Faulks Farm location.  Previously operated packhorses over the Crown Range from Branch Creek, Cardrona Valley.

1900
Rev A D Mitchell the first Vicar of Pembroke Parish

Also Vicar from 1924-26

1901
Maungawera School opened

Closed in 1906, re-opened 1924 and finally closed 28 February 1946.

1902
Wanaka Station acquires water-right

Robert Turnbull, the new owner of Wanaka Station, acquired water-right for 6 heads for farming purposes.  Seen as a key to realising potential of the land.

1902
St Columba's Anglican Church built at Pembroke

1904
Maungawera punt cost the Vincent County Council £700
1905
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church built at Pembroke

1909
SS "Makarora" wrecked near Stoney Creek

Ran ashore and wrecked near Stoney Creek (towards Wanaka Station Park, Wanaka)

1909
First recorded ascent of Mt Aspiring (Tititea)

First ascent on 23 November by Major Bernard Head, Jack Clarke and Alec Graham

1912
Sir Percy & Lady Sargood purchase Wanaka Station

 

Also purchased the senior water rights to the Cardrona.  He was knighted in 1935.

1913
Wanaka Station developments

Sir Percy Sargood planted 8,000 fruit trees to create Wanaka Orchards.  He also imported the first tractor to the Upper Clutha this year.  The Wanaka Homestead was destroyed by fire and a new one designed and built.

1915
Opening of "Red Bridge" at Luggate across the Clutha River

Replaced the punt service.

1919
Ardgour School opens

Opened In September 1919 and closed in 1940 when all pupils were transferred to Tarras Primary School.

1920
Mt Aspiring Station lease sold

John (Jack) Aspinall and Theo Russell purchased the lease in May.  Ownership still remains in the Aspinall family to the present date (2018).

1922
Albert Town block sold to T Gunn

The block was subdivided in 1950/60s into sections to expand the area of Albert Town – Alison Avenue, Lagoon Avenue, Gunn Road, Dale Street etc.

1922
First Wanaka Hotel Destroyed by Fire
1923
Second Wanaka Hotel and Wanaka Public Hall built

1930
James Horn Bridge over Clutha at Albert Town opened

It replaced the punts that had operated since about 1862.

1932
Lindis Pass School opens

Opened 21 November and closed in 1943 when pupils were transferred to Tarras Primary School.

1935
John Faulks founded the Mt Barker Stud

The foundation sire was Paper Money which sired many well-performed gallopers.

1937
St Ninian's Presbyterian Church, Hawea Flat, foundation stone laid

Laid by James Arthur Drake

1940
Pembroke name changed to Wanaka

Also Pembroke School was renamed as Wanaka District High School and included two primary classes.

1940
Wanaka connected to the National Electricity Grid
1946
Mt Aspiring Hut built

Arthur P Harper laid the foundation stone for the hut built in the Matukituki Valley.

1950
Camp Hill Road Bridge opened

Bridge over the Hawea River giving access to Hawea Flat from the main highway to Makarora etc.

1954
Luggate Memorial Hall opened

1958
Lake Hawea outlet dammed

Lake Hawea becomes a storage lake for the Roxburgh Hydro Electric Power Dam.

1958
Second Wanaka Hotel Destroyed by Fire
1964
Mt Aspiring National Park gazetted

Now part of Te Wähipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.

1964
Wanaka Tourist Hotel Corporation Hotel opened
1965
Wanaka Fire Station opened

On Ardmore Street.  Since replaced by a new Fire Station on Ballantyne Road.

1965
Hokitika to Wanaka Road opened

Road from Hokitika to Wanaka via the Haast Pass opened by the Prime Minister, Sir Keith Holyoake on 6 November.

1968
Treble Cone (Wanaka) Ski Field Ltd formed

Started as a small club of enthusiasts in 1965 and developed into a major skifield.

1972
Mt Aspiring National Park Visitors Centre opened

In Ardmore Street, Wanaka.

1973
The Wanaka Maze opened

Now known as Puzzling World and developed by Stuart and Jan Landsborough.

1976
Wanaka Area School

Wanaka District High School renamed Wanaka Area School.  Closed in December 1986.

1977
Wanaka Station Park gifted to the Community

Gifted by the Sargood Trust.

1977
Wanaka Medical Centre opened
1980
Cardrona Ski Field opened

Founders and owners were John and Mary Lee. Known as Cardrona Alpine Resort, it opened for just three weeks in the winter of 1980.

1980
Wanaka Special Medical Area rescinded

Became a private medical practice.

1981
Pembroke Mall opened
1983
Wanaka Airport opened
1984
First Automotive Product Testing at Wairorau, Cardona

Part of the Snow Farm complex at Waiorau and known as the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds.  The only southern hemisphere vehicle testing facility.

1985
Wanaka Primary School opened

Opened in 1985.

1986
Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church opened

Situated on Brownston Street.

1986
Edgewater Resort opened
1987
Mt Aspiring College opened

Situated on Plantation Road, it opened with 212 students.

1988
First Wanaka Air Show

Now known as Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow which is held biennially at Easter.

1989
Mt Aspiring College officially opened by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal

The College was officially opened by Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) on 4 March.

1990
Nordic ski area opened at Waiorau

Nordic (cross-country) ski area opened at Waiorau just north of Cardrona.  Became known as the Snow Farm later on.

1995
Aspiring Medical Centre established

Since moved to the Wanaka Lakes Health Centre in 2012.

1999
Lake Wanaka flood reaches the second highest recorded level

The flood reached the second highest recorded level of 281.32 meters above sea level.
Average level of Lake Wanaka is about 277.3 metres above sea level.

2001
Lake Wanaka Centre opened
2002
Snow Park Free-skiing and Snow-boarding Area opened at Waiorau, Cardrona

At Waiorau just north of Cardrona.

2003
New Wanaka Library on Bullock Creek Lane opened

Contains the UCHRS Records Room facility.

2006
Holy Family Catholic School opened
2010
New Wanaka Primary School opened

New school built between Kings Drive and Totara Terrace and opened.  Close to Mt Aspiring College.

2012
Wanaka Lakes Health Centre opened

On Cardrona Rd. Contains two medical practices and a wide range of other medical and associated services.

2012
Pembroke Cemetery Memorial Wall erected

Memorial Wall erected with names of people in unmarked graves in the Old Pembroke Cemetery.

2013
New Police Station on Ballantyne Road opened
2015
New LANDSAR Building opened

Landsar = Land Search and Rescue. Situated in Ballantyne Road and opened by the Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae on 7 March.

2016
New Fire Station on Ballantyne Road opened
2016
Wanaka Recreation Centre at Three Parks opened
2018
Queenstown Airport Corporation granted 100 Year Lease of Wanaka Airport