Clutha NZ Fast Facts!
The Tuapeka Mouth Punt was officially opened on 22 February 1896. The punt still operates daily, free of charge, between 8am and 10am, and 4pm and 6pm, when conditions are suitable. Two heavy wire cables cross the river (one upstream and one downstream) are permanently attached, and the craft is powered across the river solely by water current pressure against its rudders, attached to the rear of the pontoon hulls.
The Clutha River is the largest river by volume in New Zealand with an average flow of around 614 cubic metres per second. It is the second longest river in New Zealand, falling just short of Waikato's 354km by a mere 16km.
The so called feudal village of the South Benhar was formed by John Nelson in 1864 and flourished under the management of the McSkimming family, pictured above, with 50 families under their watchful eye in this factory village.
There are only two sets of traffic lights in Clutha. One of them is at Kaitangata's banana bridge to Inch Clutha, while the other is at the Beaumont Bridge over the Clutha River.
Originally, a town by the name of Fairfax was to be at the centre of the Tokomairiro Plains. But as the plains were developed they became the source of grain for nearby Dunedin city. A mill was built out on the plains near the railroad and a town sprung up around it. This mill town became Milton and the planned town of Fairfax never developed.
The fortified Maori Pa site of Taieri Mouth at Motupara holds great significance as the second settlement of the chief Tuwiriroa, originally of Kawarau River.
At the height of the Lawrence- Tuapeka gold rush around July 1862, the population of Tuapeka was around 11,472, including 142 women, while that of Dune- din was 5,850. Gold exported that first year from August 1861 to August 1862 amounted to 477,870 ounces.
Lawrence is believed to be the birthplace of the very first bike in New Zealand. In 1894, local blacksmith Patrick O'Leary reportedly built by hand the first bicycle constructed in this country.
The Purakaunui Falls, located 17km south of Owaka, is among the most photographed waterfalls in the world and once featured on a New Zealand postage stamp. The Falls are a short walk (10 minutes one way) through impressive podocarp and beech forest.
Natural landscapes, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the Clutha District has attracted its fair share of movie location scouts over the years.
Clutha has around 7% (or 2.1 million) of the nation’s sheep numbers and 2.2% (or 100,000) of production dairy cow numbers.
The stunning Purakaunui Falls are one of the most photographed waterfalls in New Zealand.
The Tuapeka Mouth Ferry, established in 1895, is thought to be the last remaining water-driven public punt in the Southern Hemisphere.
The music to our National Anthem, God Defend New Zealand, was composed by JJ Woods at Anthem House in Lawrence.