South Coast

Lake Ferry

Lake Ferry is a small settlement between the shores of Lake Onoke and Palliser Bay.  This was where the Onoke Lake Ferry docked. 
Settlement in this area dates back hundreds of years. Archaeological research suggests that there were people living here from the 12th century until about 1600. Later, Maori settlers came to live mainly around Lake Onoke and the adjoining lakes.


Stock Drovers

 European settlers brought sheep and cattle into this area in 1844, driving their stock along the coastal route from Wellington.These run holders were the first to establish pastoral farming in New Zealand. Today Lake Ferry is a mixture of holiday homes and permanent residents.Nearby attractions include the Putangirua Pinnacles, Cape Palliser lighthouse and a seal colony.

Local Colour

The Ferryman

Following a drowning in 1850, a ferry service was established across Lake Onoke.The ferryman needed accommodation and a way to supplement his income, so he opened the Lake Ferry Hotel in 1851.