Supporters of Tuapeka Mouth Ferry

Contact Info

Heritage Hub: Skinner Road
Tuapeka Mouth,
Otago, NEW ZEALAND

Tuapeka Ferry: Ferry Road
Tuapeka Mouth,
Otago, NEW ZEALAND

Matau Paddle-steamer


This rare photograph od the Paddlesteamer “Matau”(1882-1901) passing the Tuapeka Mouth Ferry on the Clutha River.

The iconic Tuapeka Mouth Ferry is on of New Zealand’s national treasurers – the last current driven public ferry (Punt) operating in the Southern Hemisphere.

The ferry carries vehicles, cyclists and passengers across the mighty CluthaRiver near Tuapeka Mouth, a small township in the picturesque CluthaValley. It started service in 1896 and has operated for 115 years plus.


Early in the history of European settlement the Clutha River was crossed by rowboats, however community agitation saw a public ferry service established near Tuapeka Mouth.

This is an abridged summary of the details that are on the reverse side of the very rare photo of the Matau paddlesteamer passing the Tuapeka Mouth Ferry.

The photo has been reproduced courtesy of Frank Leckie of Dunedin. Frank is to publish a book soon titled “Swirling Eddies an Silent Currents, Port Molyneux to Beaumont on Nature’s Highway. The book details European settlement of the area on and adjacent to the Clutha River, between Port Molynex and Beaumont, beginning in the 1840’s and concludes with the abandonment of the paddle steamers.

The photo is available at the cost of $10.00 plus $2.20 pp in New Zealand (please ask us about postage costs for delivery overseas ).