Dunedin Family History Group

Otago and Southland related research

Queenstown – Lakes District




Albert Town  |  Glenorchy  | Nevis Skippers  |

The Queenstown and Lakes District Cemeteries Database. It holds the following cemeteries.Albert Town Cemetery, Arrowtown Cemetery, Cardrona Cemetery, Frankton Cemetery, Glenorchy Cemetery, Kingston Cemetery, Makarora Cemetery, Queenstown Cemetery, Skippers Point Cemetery, Wanaka Cemetery.






Albert Town

There is an old cemetery at Albert Town which is actually located in the camping ground on the left as you leave Albert Town heading towards Hawea. It is a very small cemetery which is no longer open for burials. The Clutha River flooded in 1878 and washed away many of the graves of the early settlers in the Albert Town Cemetery. In 1952 headstones were discovered along the river banks. These headstones, along with several which were being used as fireplaces in the nearby camping ground were placed in a concrete memorial block built in the centre of the Cemetery Reserve. In 1962 the memorial block was topped with coloured stones from the East Matukituki Valley. Four corner pillars were also erected from the same stones. At this time the engravings on the headstones were deepened and filled with black plastic to make them readable. The names which appear on the Early Settlers Memorial are as follows:


SOUTH SIDE       Erected in Memory of the Early Settlers buried here 1861-1883


EAST SIDE           Mary Annie NORMAN nee EDWARDS 26.07.1886. aged 46 years. 3 Infants.                                 

                                Child of Donald and Wlspeth McLENNAN 1877 aged 7 months

                                Abel Ferris DOMINY

                                Henry NORMAN died 5.12.1879 aged 47 years

                                Richard W. HOAD 1881 aged 37                                                        

1873 2 children of Edward J. & Harriet THOMAS nee EDWARDS

                                Jas. MITCHELL 1869 aged 34


NORTH SIDE        Robt. EDWARDS aged 36. 3.8.1879

                                J. E. EDMUNDSON. 1873. Buried in Alexandra. Drowned

                                Robert H. NORMAN. First white child born in Wanaka 11.05.1861. Died 11.8.1923.

                                Phil COMARFORD. 1864 aged 27.

                                Wm McKINNON. Body lost in River 1862.

                                Alexr. KEITH.          1863 aged 25 years.

                                Jno. GILBERT. First Death. 1861


WEST SIDE           1864 and 1870 – 2 Infants

                                Jno. GALLON aged 27. Burned. Buried in Clyde 1869.

                                Thos. DUNN 23 December 1865 aged 55

                                1873        Jas PARKIN aged 40.



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Glenorchy is located at the head of Lake Wakatipu on the old delta of the Rees River. There are numerous sites of Maori camps in the vicinity indicating its importance as an early moa-hunting area, and also as a route to the West Coast.

The township was surveyed in 1864 but the township did not develop until 1885 when three hotels were built to satisfy the beginnings of tourism. Until a road was built in 1962 visitors travelled the 47 kilometres by lake steamer from Queenstown.

Today it is recognised as the gateway to a number of famous walking tracks including the Dart-Rees and the Routeburn tracks.

~~The Glenorchy cemetery is situated in Coll Street. A plan of the town of Glenorchy drawn up in 1864 allows for a Cemetery Reserve of ten acres.

The burial records begin in 1897 but there is a death in 1863 recorded. Burial records for 1921-1929 are lost.

Queenstown Lakes District Council offices hold the burial records for the Glenorchy cemetery.

Their contact details are:

The Civic Centre, 10 Gorge Road, Queenstown

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Postal address: Private Bag 50072, Queenstown

Phone:  +64 3 441 0499

Fax: +64 3 442 7334

email: services@qldc.govt.nz .

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Nevis Cemetery


Nevis Valley, Otago

The NevisValley is a magnificent, remote valley, with its upper and lower sections separated by a gorge.

The first use of the NevisValley was as a trail route for the Maori. When the gold rush arrived in the 1860s, two small settlements appeared in the lower Nevis. Both the Lower and UpperValleys were worked by miners using all the various mining methods including cradling and paddocking on small claims, sluicing, tunnelling and dredging, spanning a period from 1863 to the 1960s. The gold rush of the 1860s left few traces, but the hydraulic elevators and the six or more dredges which worked on the valley flats between the 1890s and early 1900s left behind evidence which can be seen today. Many of the steep shingle faces, dredge ponds, long races and regular heaps of tailings are easily seen from the road. The remains of what is believed to be the Nevis Crossing dredge lie near the mouth of Schoolhouse Creek. Because of the remoteness of this goldfield, these workings have been left largely untouched and now provide the best representation of any of the original goldfields in Otago or Southland. Now only the family at Ben Nevis Station occupies the valley.

The Nevis can be reached from Bannockburn by climbing to 1300m over Duffers Saddle on the CarrickRange and dropping down to The Crossing in the LowerNevisValley.

The NevisValley road starts near Bannockburn not far from Cromwell. The first section of road is reasonably well maintained gravel that climbs to the saddle. At 1300m high this is the highest mountain road pass in New Zealand. The road then descends into the lower NevisValley. After passing the old NevisValleyCemetery warning signs inform you that the road ahead is for four wheel drive vehicles only and is closed completely in winter. After this the mountains close in and you roller coaster up and down through the narrow gorge. The 4wd warning should be heeded for the gorge and upper valley as there is a total of 31 river crossings. There is some concern that this valley has been considered for a future hydro electric dam.

Nevis Valley Cemetery

NevisValleyCemetery is closed. It is located on pastoral land at Schoolhouse Flat. The area is fairly isolated located at the back of the Remarkables in very rugged country.

It is freehold land but administered as a reserve by the Central Otago District Council, P   O Box 122, Alexandra.

The burial files have been lost and little supporting data left. Any surviving documentation relating to the cemetery is held in the Alexandra office.

It is believed that there is up to 40 burials in the cemetery although some sources suggest more burials in the NevisValley in what are now unmarked graves. A cairn on the hillside overlooking the cemetery (see photo on your right) has a small inscription which reads:




In the actual cemetery there are what appears to be six unmarked graves plus four headstones transcribed as follows:

In loving memory of MAY, daughter of Frances and John McLEAN, Nevis died February 8, 1928 aged 17 years. R.I.P.

In loving memory of our dear mother FANNY GRAHAM, who died at Nevis 6 August 1904, aged 65 years.

JAMES WILLIAMSON, beloved son of John and Isabella, cherished brother of John and Evelyn. Accidentally killed 1939 aged 28 years.

JOHN WILLIAMSON 1914-1976, dearly loved son, brother, husband and father. At rest in his beloved Nevis.

9/197 Trooper C. RISK, Otago Mounted Rifles died 21 February 1923 aged 35 years. 1st N.Z.E.F.

C. Risk was Trooper Charles Risk, son of David Risk, Kelso, Otago, a bachelor, who enlisted in 1914 and served in Egypt. He returned to New Zealand but died in 1923. His brother Private Robert Risk was killed in action on 2 May 1915 at Gallipoli.


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Skippers Road It is not without good reason that most rental car companies ban hirers taking their cars onto Skippers Road. This 17 km stretch of mostly single-lane gravel road has acquired legendary status. It is not a track to be travelled by the faint-hearted.

~~Skippers Road It is not without good reason that most rental car companies ban hirers taking their cars onto Skippers Road. This 17 km stretch of mostly single-lane gravel road has acquired legendary status. It is not a track to be travelled by the faint-hearted. Built between 1883 and 1890 the Skippers Road was an enormous engineering task. For most of its length it is carved out of the rock faces of the Shotover River valley. However, the road is well maintained by the Queenstown Lakes District Council and is perfectly passable in a normal two-wheel drive car as far as the Skippers Bridge. Beyond that the road deteriorates markedly, probably due to the fact that the aging bridge has a maximum weight limit of just 2 500kg and a grader therefore cannot pass over it. To put the weight limit in perspective, a large 4×4 vehicle such as a Land Rover, with a few passengers and their gear, would easily exceed the weight limit. Beyond the bridge, however, the road only continues for another 700-800 metres before stopping at the Skippers cemetery. Anyone wishing to visit the cemetery should be able to do so in a normal two-wheel drive car as long as it is dry and they take care to avoid the deep ruts that were carved into this last section when the writer visited in early January. To find Skippers Road you head up Coronet Peak Road just outside of Queenstown but, before reaching the skifield, Skippers Road runs off to your left. It is largely unmetalled and the road surface consists of a fine dust that is very slippery. The road is extremely narrow and if you encounter a vehicle coming in the opposite direction it is likely that one or other of the vehicles will need to reverse until a lay-by can be found. Along the road you will encounter signs noting the evocative names of the various corners and bluffs: Hells Gate, Devils Elbow, Pinchers Bluff and the rather unimaginatively named Big Bend. Look out for Castle Rock soon after entering the road. It is a magnificent rock formation and it is easy to see how it gained its name. The Bridal Veil Falls, just before the bridge, are also worth looking out for. Just before the Skippers bridge is The Branches Road which continues on along the northern side of the valley, high above the Shotover River, for a considerable distance. It is a similar road to Skippers Road, perhaps even more daunting. Near the cemetery there are a number of very informative information boards telling of the history of the area. They are well worth a look. Gold was discovered in the Shotover River in 1862 and it came to be regarded as the richest river in the world. Predictably, this attracted thousands of miners. The only route into the township of Skippers, which quickly sprang up, and the diggings was a horse track. It was like this for over twenty years until the advent of quartz mining in the area brought a need to transport heavy machinery into the Phoenix Mine at Bullendale, a little further up the valley past Skippers. This spurred the construction of Skippers Road. Much of the work involved hand drilling and blasting rock to create the narrow platform on which the road was built. Workmen had to hang on ropes, suspended almost 200 metres above the Shotover River, in order to complete the work. Skippers appears to have been named after “Skipper” Malcolm Duncan who was one of the first prospectors to work in the Shotover River valley. He discovered a lode near where a tributary (now called Skippers Creek) flowed into the Shotover. This location soon became known as Skippers Point or just plain “Skippers”. Duncan’s nickname came from his time working on ships. It was recently announced that the Skippers Road is to be given protected status as a historic place. The Historic Places Trust is keen to restore and preserve key landmarks along the road that tell stories of its construction. A trip along the Skippers Road is well worth it for the scenery and to marvel at the engineering work. For the historian or genealogist, the Skippers Cemetery is an added bonus. However, the road must be treated with respect.

~~PLAQUE ONE: These plaques represent the lives of some of the people who lived and died in the Skippers area. Some are shown in stone and some just echo in the hills. This is a brief record of their lives and predominantly their final resting place within the gates before you. Tread softly on this earth as many resting places are not marked.

PLAQUE TWO: A. H. QUAY. Lived in Skippers near the sluicing company siphon. He is believed to have starved to death. Died 12 April 1904 – 55 years. Born Canton, China, 30 years in New Zealand. The following men were buried on a wild night in July 1863 in a slip after torrential rain dammed back the waters of Ballarat Creek, until a great wall of water finally broke loose and roared down to smother a mining camp on the terrace (Dead Man’s Terrace – Peats).

12 men were drowned and their battered corpses were buried at the scene. ALLEN James HORNBUCKLE John ANGUS David HUNTER Peter CUMMINS William JACK George FRASER John MORTIMER Joseph GRAHAM James WILSON Samuel GRETTEN Samuel WILSON William ASPINALL, Elizabeth died 13 April 1884 aged 18 months. Daughter of John. ASPINALL, John died 20 May 1890 aged 54 years. A miner, son of John an Inn Keeper and Isabella nee Wilson, born Blackburn. Lancashire, England. In New Zealand about 28 years, married in Queenstown aged 35 years to Elizabeth Craigie. 6 sons and 3 daughters. John Aspinall sluiced away a large area of Skippers Point.

PLAQUE THREE: BARRETT Thomas died 20 August 1887 at Pleasant Creek, Shotover. A miner aged 47 years born N.S.W., in N.Z. about 15 years. Deaths by drowning were common in the absence of bridges over many of the main rivers and up until 1868, 13 victims of the “New Zealand Death” were recovered from the Shotover River. DOOLEY John died 23 March 1863 GLEESON Patrick died 8 July 1863 WEIR Robert died 26 July 1863 BARSTOW Joseph died 29 July 1863 UNKNOWN died 10 August 1863 UNKNOWN died 4 October 1863 UNKNOWN died 3 November 1863 RIORDAN Cornelius died 22 January 1864 COLVILLE William died 11 February 1864 WELSH John died 6 October 1864 HUTTON George died 4 November 1864 McNAMEE Denis died 3 September 1866 JEFFERSON Jacob died 11 December 1867 BELL John Died 8 April 1892 at Skippers Creek, a miner aged 56 years. Born Derry, Ireland, 30 years in N.Z. Unmarried. Buried by Wesleyan minister.

PLAQUE FOUR: BORDEAU Julien died 9 September 1916 aged 86 years. A French-Canadian from Montreal, storekeeper and packer for over 50 years. Usually known as “Old B’doo”. Bachelor. BROADFOOT David died 3 December 1896 at Skippers Creek, a miner aged 65 years. A son of a seaman born in Scotland, about 26 years in New Zealand. Unmarried. CALDWELL William (Cemetery trustee) CAMERON John died 22 June 1882, a miner aged 43 years. At Skippers Creek, born Elgin, Scotland, about 20 years in New Zealand, killed by a fall of stone at Bullendale. CAMPBELL Arthur died 19 January 1926, miner and rabbiter, aged 75 years, originally from Glenorchy. Campbells Terrace at the Branches is named after him. CAMPBELL Edwin died 11 March 1900 at Bullendale aged 7 years, son of John, a miner and Annie Campbell born Arrowtown. CARLAN James CARR William drowned 6 January 1874.

PLAQUE FIVE: CLEMENTS Thomas died 11 December 1878, Upper Shotover. Goldminer aged 30 years, bachelor, born County Down, Ireland. About 9 years in New Zealand. Died from powder blast. COPLEY Joshua died 16 March 1902. A miner who generally worked in the Upper Shotover area, is buried with his old partner, Ben Rogers. Died Lake County Hospital, bachelor, 69 years. Born near Hudderfield, England, 40 years in New Zealand. DEWAR James died 7 May 1886 at Skippers Point, a stonemason aged 60 years, son of James (a labourer) and Margaret nee Stuart born Scotland, 26 years in New Zealand. Married Catherine Kitchings in Arrowtown when he was 51 years. One son and three daughters. Burial conducted by Anglican priest. DUNCAN Robert died 19 August 1871 aged 42 years. ELLIOT infant of John, died 1870. FISHER Edward died 14 March 1884 at Packers Point, Wakatipu; a storekeeper aged 65 years; born Staffordshire, England. In New Zealand for about 20 years. Never married. Thought to have shot himself while temporarily insane (drunk). FRIEL William buried on a small terrace below the Ballarat Creek Junction, Floodburn.

PLAQUE SIX: GEMMELL John died 28 August 1891 aged 49 years. Miner died at Sandhills, Skippers. Born Scotland, 21 years in New Zealand. Married aged 28 years to Eliza Cook – no children. He lived at Peats. His widow later married Alex Peat. Buried by a Wesleyan minister. GOODWIN Thomas drowned 4 July 1881 in Shotover River aged 58 years. Born Carented, County Tyrone, Ireland, 18 years in New Zealand. Married in Liverpool, England, aged 25 years, to Elizabeth Fowler. One son. GRIFFITH Edith nee Williams died 25 June 1887 aged 23 years at Skippers Reef. Daughter of Charles, a miner and Mary Ann nee Truscott. Williams married at Skippers, aged 22 years, to James Griffith. HENDERSON John – Trustee cemetery 1881. HAMILTON Alexander Britain died 5 May 1913. A baker employed by Thomas Cotton, he fell over a bank above Skippers Creek and broke his neck. HUGHES Ellen Catherine died 1 March 1895 at Skippers, aged 6 weeks, the daughter of Hugh Hunter, a miner and Mary Jane nee Hunter. HUGHES Fanny died 9 July 1898 at Bullendale aged 2 years, daughter of Frank Henry, a miner and Jenny nee Hunter.

PLAQUE SEVEN: LYNCH Maria Madeline nee Carigg died 22 March 1894 aged 45 years. Daughter of Thomas (a farmer) and Catherine nee Coulan. Born County Clare, Ireland; about 20 years in New Zealand. Two sons 17 and 12 years and two daughters 15 and 10 years. LYNCH Peter T. died 15 January 1885 at Maori Point, a miner aged 52 years. Son of Peter (a farmer) and Julia nee Kane. Born Cross, Clare, Ireland. 23 years in New Zealand. Married at Ballarat, Victoria when 40 to Maria Carigg. Two sons 8 and 5 years and two daughters aged 7 and 3 years. Native of Carnicannell, County Clare, Ireland. To New Zealand from Australia, worked at Macetown, was licensee of the Maori Point Hotel at the time of his death. LISTER Clara Jane drowned Arrow River 29 October 1878 aged 5 years 11 months. Daughter of Thomas, a miner, and Jane nee Godfrey. MARTIN John died 24 June 1888 at Skippers Reef, aged 56 years. Born Cornwall, England, in New Zealand 20 years. Unmarried. MITCHELL James died 13 May 1885 aged 15 years. Son of John (miner) and Elizabeth nee O’Fie. Both John and James were accidently killed in Phoenix Mine on 13 May 1885. MITCHELL John died 13 May 1885, miner, at Skippers Reef, aged 46 years, son of Richard (a miner) and Mary need Reid. Born Cornwall, England; in New Zealand 20 years. Married when 20 to Elizabeth O’Fie. Two sons 20 and 19 and one daughter 17 years. McDOUGALL Mrs John died 1872. McKAY William died 22 January 1887 at Skippers Reef aged 10 days. Son of William and Mary Sophia nee Johnston. McLEOD Ann nee Glynn died 16 July 1915 aged 77 years. Went to Sloans Flat about 1863 and made the first trip out for the opening of the Skippers Bridge in March 1901. Born Limerick, Ireland. 57 years in New Zealand. McLEOD William died 1 April 1913 aged 82 years. Miner worked for many years at Sloans Flat (McLeods) Upper Shotover. Born Glasgow, 50 years in New Zealand. Married to Ann Glynn. McMAHON Eugene drowned Skippers Creek 12 July 1863. McNAMARA Pat is buried at his claim on the high terrace to the north of the Flood Burn. MacNICOL Colin (senior) died 3 April 1928 aged 74 years. Native of Glasgow worked at the Nugget and was later roadman at Skippers. MacNICOL Mignonette Florence nee Smith died 30 August 1918 aged 45 years, daughter of Emma and Alfred Smith. Born in Queenstown. McPHERSON Infant and William and ? Died 5 April 1903.

PLAQUE EIGHT: McPHERSON Mrs died 25 June 1870. Wife of an early run holder at Skippers. NOLAN Cornelius died 12 September 1885 at Skippers, a miner, aged 36 years. Born Tipperary, Ireland; 22 years in New Zealand. Unmarried. Killed in a dynamite explosion with John Tripp. PEARSON William James died 22 July 1899 at Maori Point aged 13 days. Son of William James and Mary nee Leydon. Buried at Skippers Cemetery. POULTER John died 11 February 1908 aged 73 years. An old miner from Skippers Creek, Bullendale. REDPATH John. Gold miner killed by a fall of earth on 19 May 1877 at Skippers Point aged 40 years/ Bachelor. Parent and birthplace unknown. 14 years in New Zealand. ROBERTSON George died 21 March 1910 aged 74 years. An old miner and pensioner. Fell into the working at Londonderry Terrace and died of injuries and exposure. Born Temple Carn, Ireland; 35 years in New Zealand. ROGERS Benjamin Lloyd died 26 July 1912 aged 66 years. Worked at the nugget mine and elsewhere around Upper Shotover. An honorary ranger for the Acclimatisation Society. He lost a hand while fishing with gelignite. Hut chimney still stands at Jenkins Terrace. ROSKRUGE Infant child. PLAQUE NINE: SAINSBURY Egbert (Sen) drowned 16 June 1919 aged 84 years. SAINSBURY Lavinia died 22 December 1925 aged 74 years. Wife of Egbert. SAINSBURY Ellen Henrietta died 20 July 1882 aged 12 years. Daughter of Egbert, a miner and Lavinia nee Smith. Born at Skippers Creek. SCOTT David died 12 December 1900 at left hand branch of Shotover river, a rabbiter aged 68 years/ Born Glasgow; 20 years in New Zealand. One daughter. SCOTT James Allen died 7 November 1900 , a miner, aged 53 years at Skippers. Born Possibly in Victoria; 14 years in New Zealand. Buried by Anglican Priest. Drowned with William Low and Martin Tobin while trying to clear a blockage from tunnel at Londonderry Terrace. SHEAPART William died 1871 SHEEHAN Timothy (“Yankee”) drowned Skippers Creek 12 July 1863. SMITH Alfred buried in 1915 aged about 75 years. Husband of Emma. A veteran of Australian and Otago goldfields, he lived and worked for many years at Smiths Terrace opposite the mouth of Skippers Creek. Inventor of a hydraulic elevator. About 54 years in New Zealand. Married Emma Margaret Weedon. PLAQUE TEN: SMITH Emma nee Weedon died 11 February 1913 aged about 69 years. Wife of Alfred. Emma’s parents were early settlers in Nelson and later had an accommodation house at Weedon. SMITH Gordon died 1872. STEPHENSON James died 20 March 1896 aged 65 years; son of John (a farmer) and Hannah. Born Yorkshire, England. New Zealand for 30 years. Married at Skippers at the age of 39 years to Jane Barnett. Two sons and five daughters. STEPHENSON Robert died 2 August 1896, aged 70 years, at Wakatipu Hospital. A miner, son of John and Hannah. Born Yorkshire, England, 33 years in New Zealand. Buried by Anglican Priest. STROHLE Otto died 21 June 1906 aged 61 years. Native of Sweden. Worked for many years at Strohles Flat, Upper Shotover. 30 years in New Zealand. STEVENSON Elizabeth Craigie died 20 July 1894 (?) at Skippers aged 3 months, the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth nee Mrs Aspinall. Buried by Wesleyan minister. TAYLOR Peter died 28 December 1871 aged 59 years.

PLAQUE ELEVEN: THOMAS John died 1875 or 1876. TRIPP John died 12 September 1885 aged 30 years, at Skippers. A miner, son of Richard (an agriculturalist) and Mary Ann nee Stephens. Born Cornwall, England. In New Zealand for 13 years. Unmarried. Buried by Presbyterian minister. Killed with Cornelius Nolan while thawing dynamite on a shovel. TRIPP Richard Stephens died 9 August 1904 aged 53 years. Manager of Nugget Mine, Upper Shotover. Died Lake County Hospital. Born St Keverne, Cornwall, England. 34 years in New Zealand. Married to Elizabeth Charlotte Fitzgerald. WATKINS William died 1871. WILLIAMS Alice died 10 October 1886, aged 3 months at Skippers Reefs. The daughter of Jeremiah, a miner, and Susan nee Bowden. WILLIAMS William died 22 October 1873 aged 38 years. Most recently BORRELL Lorraine Born 6 June 1933. Runholder with Arthur at Branches Station, Upper Shotover from 1970 until her death in July 1997. Wife, mother and friend to all.


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