Bringing history alive


Images and audio from the history of the head of Lake Wakatipu come together in a heritage event at Queenstown’s St Margaret’s Church hall at Frankton this Sunday.

‘Vintage Viewing’ has been put together by the Glenorchy Heritage and Museum Group and Queenstown and District Historical Society with assistance from Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum.

The oldest photograph, dating back to about 1866, is of John Butement, who became the second leaseholder for most of the head-of-the-lake that year.

Many photos are matched with recorded interviews – one in 1948, for example, features Tom Bryant, whose parents founded Kinloch.

The screening also includes recently-digitised films from the 1950s to the ’80s.

Some from Rees Valley Station were digitised thanks to a grant from Wellington’s national museum, Te Papa.

The Glenorchy group’s chairperson Leslie Van Gelder says the images and audio convey continuity as well as change.

An example is footage from an early Glenorchy flower show.

There’s film of a TV translator being choppered into place on Mt Alfred in 1967.

Progress on building the Glenorchy Road is also tracked – people would drive as far as the road had got and chuck rocks into the lake.

Entry to Sunday’s screening, at 2pm, is by $10 donation.