Five Pound Note Island - Lake Pukaki , New Zealand

Five Pound Note Island- Lake Pukaki, N.Z.

Lake Pukaki - F.G.R. No. 5548.

F.G.R. - Frederick George Radcliffe (1863-1923) Farmer, photographer from Whangarei. Arrived in New Zealand in the early 1890s. For twenty years from the early1900s he took trips throughout the country to photograph rural and urban New Zealand for his postcard business each on quarter plate glass negatives, nearly 8,000. A member of his family neatly printed the name of the picture, N.Z., initials 'F.G.R.' and consecutive number and the postcards were sent to retailers nation wide. Postcard 5551 is very similar to 5548.

Te Kohai Island aka Five Pound Note Island.

Near Twizel, South Canterbury, N.Z. was the small village of Pukaki in the Mackenzie County. It no longer exists and the island that appears as an engraving on the back of New Zealand's £5 pound note was submerged when the lake level was raised behind the Pukaki High Dam (Tekapo B Dam). The Pukaki Visitor Centre is open from 9.30am until 5.00pm seven days a week with free entry. The lake has been raised twice to increase storage capacity, 9m in 1952 and was raised 37 metres in 1976, submerging Five Pound Note Island (Te Kohai Island). These notes were in circulation from 1934 until 1967 when New Zealand changed to decimal currency. Lake Pukaki is 96 miles north-west from Timaru by road, 56 miles from Fairlie through Kimbell, Burkes Pass and Lake Tekapo. Pukaki means "source of stream."

      Artist - Duncan Darroch

Evelyn Hosken published an autobiography Life on a Five Pound Note in 1964 and wrote: " The winters here are more beautiful than the summers, the snow reaches the foot of Mt. Cook and the reflection in Lake Pukaki is Heaven sent." The dust jacket is painted by Esther S. Hope - a South Canterbury watercolour artist.  Duncan Darroch also reflected the island in one of his many oil paintings.

Lake Pukaki July 2003 with Mt. Cook at the head. Taken by me.
 July 2003. Lake Pukaki - a nationally recognised feature.

The view across Lake Pukaki toward Mount Cook and the Southern Alps is magnificent especially in winter with the Ben Ohau Range to the left. The incredible clear view northwards across Lake Pukaki, in the Mackenzie, is dominated by the Southern Alps and the huge bulk of Mount Cook (3,754 m / 12,316'), forty miles away.

"Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library". WA-39060-F 
Aug. 1955. Two unidentified boys beside Lake Pukaki, with Mount Cook in the background. "Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".

Poverty Bay Herald, 31 December 1892, Page 3
Bishop Moran having returned to Dunedin from the Mount Cook district, where he spent about ten days, was interviewed by a representative of the Otago Daily Times. ... We got a trap, and a pair of well-bred horses at Waimate, and dove from there to Timaru. On the next day we drove all the way to Burkes Pass with out any difficulty. The roads were in magnificent order, there were no hills, and even up the pass we were able to trot the horses most of the way. On the following day we started early — at 7 o'clock — over Burkes Pass. We did not re __ire to leave the trap — the ascent was not difficult. Once we got to Burkes Pass we were 2500 ft above the level of the sea, in the Mackenzie country, and the mountain met us. The roads were excellent and we drove to Lake Tekapo and across the suspension bridge at the lake. After breakfast we started for Pukaki, and we were along the plain all day until 6 or 7 o'clock in the evening. As we went along the mountain scenery was magnificent exceeding anything I had ever seen anywhere in any country. At Way's creek, which is beautiful stream, we stopped for about an hour and a half and had luncheon, which we had taken with us. Here we had a magnificent view of Mount Cook — our first view of the day was perfectly clear, there was not a cloud in the sky, and we had a view of the the mountains to right and left some very lofty ones among them up to 11,000 ft. there was Mount Cook, head and shoulders above the others — 2000 or 3000 ft. It really deserved the name of Aorangi — the cloud piercer. The plain through which we passed was occupied with sheep runs, but a great deal of it is woollen — land which would produce good crops. It is a flue dry country and healthy for sheep, I am sure. At Pukaki we stopped at the hotel for the night. Behind the hotel there is a little rise, from which, when we went out, we had a full view of Mount Cook, 40 miles distant. It appeared to be rising out of the lake, but is 25 miles beyond. We were greatly favored by the weather— there was not a cloud in the sky, the sun was shining on the mountain. That was the most magnificent sight I have witnessed. In the morning we crossed the Pukaki river in a punt, and turned our faces towards Mount Cook, about 40 miles off. There were no difficulties in the road. Between Pukaki and Mount Cook the road is not so good in places, but it could be made a perfectly level if desired, but it is not a bad road.

The natural lake level before the the hydro electric power development.

Lake Pukaki, 1885, unknown artist. ATL. The hotel was built in 1863. The ferry was built in 1876. Both hotel and ferry were moved to the site shown here at the source of the Pukaki River in 1878. The accommodation house was enlarged in 1885. It caught fire in 1891, but was rebuilt. The site was bridged in 1895. The watercolour must date from between 1878 and 1895, perhaps from the middle period of about 1885. Edmund Norman died in 1875, the year before the ferry was built and three years before the accommodation house was moved to this site. He could not have been the artist of this view.

Image from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Wellington. 1860s.
Shows on the far right the early hotel at southern end of Lake Pukaki, a horse and cart standing on the ferry over Pukaki River. Part of the Ben Ohau and Liebig Ranges and Mount Cook are in the distance. Said to be copied from a watercolour by Edmund Norman, entitled "Lake Pukaki showing original accommodation house, since burnt down." George Moodie photographer for Burton Brothers photography studio, Dunedin took a photo of Pukaki from the river for a postcard in 1893. 

Timaru Herald, 4 October 1878, Page 3
Bad as was the state o£ affairs at the Tekapo, that at the Pukaki was undoubtedly much worse. On Monday morning the water in the lake rose no less than fifteen feet. The stream, which as long as can be remembered has found on exit by a deep and confined channel, has now burst its banks, lined with enormous rocks, and formed a wide, open river - bed. So marvellous is the change which has token place that no one who knew the channel of old could possibly, without again seeing it, realise the altered aspect of affairs. The stream worked all round the mooring posts and anchor posts of the ferry, and carried them and the twin boats away. The latter are now lying against the bank some distance down, and it will be utterly impossible to use them any more at the old ferry. Hugh rocks and boulders were taken down by the current like pieces of wood, and stranded miles below.  

Ferry at Lake Pukaki, [ca 1880s - 1890s] ATL. The Pukaki Ferry & Hotel c1890. At that time the pub was owned by Robert Riddle, who in 1897 drew the ballot for 'Deepdale' Chamberlain Rd, on the Albury Estate. He also leased the Albury Coal mine, which was operated by his two sons. The Ferry was replaced by a bridge in 1895.

Timaru Herald, 21 December 1874, Page 1
A letter was read from Mr Ostler, requesting to be informed of the decision at which the Board had arrived with reference to the proposed Pukaki bridge or punt, also the site of the proposed Tekapo bridge. It was explained that the Engineer had been instructed to report on the matter alluded to. The Engineer said that he had not yet had time to visit the localities, but would be able to do so shortly, and report as directed by next meeting of the Board.

Timaru Herald, 22 October 1875, Page 7
A monthly meeting of the above Board was held on October 6. Present— Messrs Luxmoore (chairman), Hall, Cain, Manchester, Cliff, Russell, Teachemaker, Mendelson, and Flatman. A plan and specifications have been prepared for the Pukaki ferry. As the Mount Cook Road Board refused to become responsible for the maintenance of the ferry, the resolution of the Board of Works directed me not to call for tenders.
    PUKAKI PUNT. A letter was read from the Secretary for Public Works, stating that the Provincial Engineer concurred in the plans submitted by the Board's Engineer for a punt on the Pukaki, provided a few small alterations were made. A letter was read from the Clerk to the Mount Peel Road Board, informing the Board of Works that at a meeting of his Board the following resolution was passed re Maintenance of Pukaki Ferry : — " That the Clerk write to the Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works, informing them that in the opinion of this Board the most convenient and available site had not been chosen for a punt over the Pukaki, and the Board would point out that a better site could be obtained where the old punt used to be, at the mouth of the lake." The considerations which influenced the Board in this decision were the danger of the punt being carried away by the swift current of water at this site proposed by the Board of Works and being more difficult to work. The Board was willing to make the approaches to the proposed site, but did not feel justified in finding a man to live at the ferry, but if the Government would provide the necessary funds the Board would undertake to supervise the maintaining of the same. The consideration of the letter was deferred.
    From the Chairman of the Mount Cook Road Board re Pukaki ferry, stating that his Board is willing to grant £170 for the necessary approaches provided that the Board of Works undertake the supervision of the same. From the Secretary for Public Works re Pukaki punts, instructing the Board to proceed with the work. Moved by Mr Russell, seconded by Mr Teschemaker, and carried — " That the Secretary be instructed to write to the Chairman of the Mount Cook Road Board, and inform him that the Board of Works accepts his offer of the sum of £170, and that it is prepared to undertake the construction of the approaches to the proposed Pukaki ferry, and also that its maintenance will be temporarily provided for out of any surplus that may be over from the Mount Cook land fund."

Wardell's Lake Pukaki Inn - Famed Coaching Stop 1870s

This photo postcard showing the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki discoloured by glacial silt and the old sign was taken when Inky Wardell was the owner. It is earlier than Gladys Goodall's postcards. Inky Wardell was the licensee of the Pukaki Inn 1955. In 1919, before Patrick Joseph Gibson took up life on the run, Simon Hill, he bought Pukaki Hotel from Roberts, who had been there fourteen years. Lake Pukaki Inn sign W.T. 136 has a wagon in the background and sign,WT451, (Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd postcard card) showing James Mckenzie and his dog, and WT595 postcard photo is also of the Pukaki Inn sign photographed in the mid-1960s by Gladys M. Goodall. Her 1950s postcards were in the black and white photography by Gladys M. Goodall, 73A Kilmore Street, Christchurch. 1950s, 1960s and 1970s her postcard mostly sold by Whitcombe & Tombs dominated the New Zealand market.

Goodall W.T. 595
Was situated on the main road, this hostelry was erected in 1947 when the former site was submerged for of hydro electric construction. The original Lake Pukaki Inn stood on the north-east bank of the river outlet. It was built in 1876 and replaced in 1891. Until 1908m when a motor service was inaugurated from Fairlie, Pukaki was an important stopping place for parties travelling by coach to the Hermitage. The inn sign depicts McKenzie with his two faithful and innocent accomplices.

Taken by Gladys Goodall. WT451

"Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".WA-21232-F
July 1949 Pukaki Hotel, with Mt. Cook two road service buses. "Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".

In 1947-1948 Mum and Dad rowed out to the island in a row boat from "The Landing" and collected a couple of large pine cones, Pinus Coulteri, similar to the Ponderosa pine and a couple of rabbits. At that time there were two large trees on the island and black rabbits. The rabbits were beautiful. If you parted their black fur it was white beneath. Later in 1954 after a day trip to Mt Cook in a new 1954 Vauxhall Velox at 9 pm at night the headlights when out. In those days the roads were still shingle and rough all the way down to just above Pleasant Point so Mum and Dad called into the Lake Pukaki Inn. Dad and Mum didn't expect to be fed but the woman there apolgised that the cook had gone home and so she served thinly sliced cold mutton with pickles and thin bread with butter. It was delicious. It turned out to be a enjoyable evening as Dad had gone to school with Inky Wardell in Fairlie. OB, May 2009. The Lake Tekapo Island has several Pinus coulterii (Big Cone Pine), they are protected trees per Mackenzie District Council. There is another tree, Coulter Pine, near Mt. Gerald Station. Ian (Inky) Wardell's Pukaki Hotel was the third hotel at Lake Pukaki, the second being lost when construction began on the Pukaki hydro Dam in 1947. Inky was publican from 1952 until the pub was moved to Twizel in 1970. There was also petrol pumps and a store on site.

The Pukaki Inn Visitors Book is at the South Canterbury Museum

March 27 1891
'The shades of night were falling fast,
Pukaki ferry reached at last.
By tea refreshed and "Holly Ho"
We then to bed did straightway go.'

March 27 1891
'I came here for change and rest,
The land lord got the change,
And the coachman got the rest.'

May 13 1926
'Lost in the Snow,
Impossible to go,
So, a fireside seat,
Some good things to eat,
And that retreat,
Was hard to beat,
At Lake Pukaki.'

Painting by Nicholas Chevalier - Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook in 1872 in the evening.

Otago Witness 14 August 1890 pg 34 by William McHutcheson.
"Lake Pukaki!, Where? Where? And the Jubilee Colonist adjusted his spectacles and scanned eagerly a large oil painting hung in the Art Gallery of the Dunedin and South Seas Exhibition. "Pukaki! Bless me, so it is, and a capital picture, too; and there is giant Aorangi, the sublime cloud piercer! How grandly that noble shoulder of naked granite used to bulk up against the great white throne behind!.... N. Chevalier's fine painting.

Records show that in February 1876 two large boats left Timaru for the Pukaki ferry, and in April George Tait was appointed ferryman (Andersen 1916). In the early 1890s, the ferry and hotel were moved closer to the outlet of Lake Pukaki, c. 3 miles (c. 4.8 km) upstream, and the ferry was replaced by a bridge in 1895. The original accommodation house site was partially destroyed by controlled spilling by hydroelectric plants and bulldozing in the late 20th century. The main features of the Pukaki Inn site are a concrete chimney, which belonged to the accommodation house, the remains of a forge, the remains possibly of a third building, and a boulder-lined dray track (Jacomb 2000).

Timaru Herald, 10 June 1886, Page 3 Timaru Licensing Committee
Wm. Low, Pukaki Ferry, Pukaki Lake

Timaru Herald, 8 September 1888, Page 2
Transfer of the Pukaki Accommodation license from W. Low to Robert Riddle. — Granted

Timaru Herald, 9 June 1890, Page 3
Robert Riddle Pukaki Ferry Hotel

Pukaki 1890. This looks more  like the Tekapo bridge.
Cassell's Picturesque Australasia - Volume 4 - Page 18 - Edward Ellis Morris - 1880.
At Pukaki there is a pleasant little inn and a blacksmith's forge. The latter we found of great help for our shattered buggy.

Timaru Herald, 24 April 1894, Page 2

On Friday next, the 27th instant, a poll of, the ratepayers of Mackenzie County will be taken for the purpose of determining whether or not a loan shall be raised to provide half the money for the construction of the proposed bridge across the Pukaki River. But a punt service is at the best unsatisfactory, and has proved so in the past. Now that the traffic is increasing, the disadvantages of that means of communication will make themselves more and more felt. A punt service is always liable to accident, and as a consequence there will be serious inconvenience caused by delays to traffic. The alternative of the punt service is a bridge, and it so happens that the County Council are in a position to give the ratepayers and the public the benefit of the infinitely greater convenience |f a bridge for an expenditure not much larger than what would be required to supply new punts. The estimated cost of a bridge is £1760, but the Government have agreed to find half the money, thus leaving the County Council to provide £850, or only £150 more than new punts would cost. The Government would certainly find no part of the money for the punts; If they poll , the requisite number there will be an excellent bridge over the Pukaki at a merely nominal outlay spread over twenty-sir years. If they do not poll; the requisite number, and the bridge is nevertheless built, there must be a substantial increase to the County rates. If neither of those courses be adopted, the Government subsidy of £850 will be lost (and if it be once rejected, it may be difficult to get the offer renewed) and it will be necessary to adhere to the punt service with all its inconveniences, dangers, and extravagance.

Timaru Herald, 13 April 1895, Page 4 Opening of the Pukaki Bridge

On Monday last the members of the Mackenzie County Council held there monthly business meeting at Fairlie, and the same evening they started for Pukaki, for the purpose of formally inspecting and opening the bridge which has just been erected over the Pukaki river, at the outlet of the lake of the same name. The expedition involved a long journey, one which the Councillors hesitated making, important as the occasion was, until Mr John S. Rutherford, with characteristic generosity, undertook to cut off the chief item of expense by providing a conveyance and the greater part of the necessary team. Mr Rutherford placed his large English drag and four horses at the command of the Council, Mr McLeod and Mr Banks furnished horses to make up a team of six, and with Mr Rutherford's skilled hands on the reins the greatest difficulty in the way of the trip was removed. Mr Rutherford drove over the bridge, turned, and returned to the Pukaki Hotel for lunch. The bridge is a perfectly plain and simple but substantial structure, consisting of thirteen 30ft spans, with earth approaches defended from the river by rubble retaining walls. The superstructure is carried by piers of piles, three m each, braced diagonally by railway irons, and tied at water level by similar means, and by stout beams across the tops. Short capsils resting on the latter bear five longitudinal joists, three of them 18in by 10in, the two outer ones 18in by 8in, and on these rests a 4in hardwood decking, 12ft wide inside the guard rails. The bridge is designed to carry traction engine traffic, and is visibly as well as theoretically strong enough for the purpose, all the timber being of Australian hardwood. The bridge is therefore not only strong now, but will retain its strength for many years.

Timaru Herald, 8 June 1898
accommodation license ; R. Riddle, Lake Pukaki Hotel

Timaru Herald 1898

Timaru Herald, 7 March 1899, Page 3
The monthly meeting of the Mackenzie County Council was held yesterday.

Mr H. Manaton, lessee of the Pukaki Hotel, waited on the Council to reply to a letter of complaint sent to him, a copy of one received from Mr S. Stephens, inspector of post offices, as to the conduct of the hotel. Mr Manaton produced his "visitors' book," and pointed to complimentary entries made about the time Mr Stephens was at Pukaki. One favourable entry was by Mr Cook's tourist agent ; another was made by the Bishop of Melanesia, after a thorough inspection of the house, "found everything very clean and comfortable. Mr Kinsey (who, Mr Manaton understood, had been referred to as an adverse critic; wrote : "On this, occasion we found the hotel very clean and comfortable, meals good, beds clean and attention good." Mr Manaton said he had posted up Mr Stephen's letter in the dining room, and a copy of the Council's letter m every room in the house, lie bitterly denounced Mr Stephens for his complaint, and threatened legal proceedings, and blamed the Council for allowing the complaint to be made public before inquiring into it. It looked as if the Council had a down on him. He gave the bills of fare on the occasions complained of, and asserted that nothing better had been done at the Pukaki. The Councillors emphatically denied that they had any bias in the matter. The complaint had been made m writing, and as landlords, the chair ma a said, they were bound to take notice of it. This the lessee angrily denied. He had a good report from the police, and it was the police report, and not anything the Council could do, that would affect the chief property in the hotel, the license. It was very wrong, he considered, to give the place a bad name, without proper inquiry. He denied the right of Mr Stephens to make any such complaint, and said he had the word of Mr Stephens' superiors that he had no business to do it. — The chairman said that any traveller has a right to complain of the management of a licensed house. At times the interview became a wrangle, and the chairman at last peremptorily cut it short. Mr Manaton having retired the matter was dismissed, the chairman remarking that they had had a denial of the complaint, and others that the remarks in the visitors' book were very satisfactory. An interview was had with Mr Jackson, sign-writer, and he was commissioned to write a fresh set of guidepost names, to be nailed on the various posts in the county.

Timaru Herald, 9 June 1899, Page 3
Accommodation License - H.P. Mannaton

Timaru Herald, 9 October 1899, Page 1
HARRY PHILPOTT MANATON, of Lake Pukaki, being the holder of an accommodation license in respect of the house and premises situate at Lake Pukaki, do hereby give notice that I desire to obtain, and will forthwith apply to the Licensing Committee to have the said license transferred temporarily to JOHN COWLEY, to whom I have sold the lease of the said house and premises. Dated the 3rd day of October, 1899 HARRY P. MANATON.

Timaru Herald, 10 February 1900, Page 3
AUCTIONEERS. Farmers Exchange Coy. CLEARING SALE AT FAIRLIE. MONDAY NEXT, 12th INST., At 2 p.m. FARMERS' EXCHANGE COY. have received instructions from Mr H. Manaton, to Sell at his Residence, Fairlie, the Whole of his Household Furniture and Effects, Horses, Spring Dray, Cows, Trap, and Harness. The list comprises:—
Chiffoniers (mirror back), Easy and Austrian Chairs, Tapestry Lounge, Carpets, Linoleums, 1 Double-ended Couch, Duchesse Chests, Iron and Wood Bedsteads, WW and Kapoc Mattresses en suite, Washstands and Ware, Office fable and Pigeon Holes, Family Bible and lot Books, large Range of Kitchen Utensils, Wheelbarrow, Garden and Carpenter's Tools, 120 good Oat Sacks, Shed for removal, 3 good Cows, 2 Horses, Spring Dray, Shaft and Lead Harness, Whitechapel Cart and Harness, 3 new Leather Collars and in- numerable sundries. Mr Manaton having taken over the Silverstream Hotel, our instructions are to sell every lot to the highest bidder. J. B. RUTLAND, Auctioneer. A. G. ANDERSON, Manager.

Timaru Herald June 6 1900 Licensing Committees - Annual Meetings
Accomodation House Licenses -  Pukaki Hotel, Pukaki, Robert Bell, £5

Scene at the Pukaki Hotel, Mackenzie District, during the Gifford motor tour. Photograph taken in (1907?) by Algernon Charles Gifford (1862-1948). ATL

Accommodation Houses in Canterbury

South Canterbury, NZGenWeb Project

Cold Waters