Location 156
Location #156. Richard's Ferry.
Map 3

Kawarau River



Location #156. Richard's Ferry.

Still Standing


Construction Details

Unknown. It may well have been similar to location #334 consisting of a platform of about 20ft long by 16ft wide built upon two boats which were placed longitudinally under the platform. The boats may well have been around 28 ft long with a beam of around 8 ft and of clinker-built, double ended construction.

Location Type


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Interested Parties

The table below shows the groups of people that had an interest in this property, either as owners, residents, tenants or shareholders. Clicking on the 'Details' link will display a list of the individuals in the group along with any known historical information about them.

Group Date Description
1 1870 - 1879 John Richards Details


The table below shows any historical notes about the location.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
2139 1870 John Richards applied for a licence to construct and operate a punt service. On 30 May 1870, John Richards applied to the Goldfields Warden in Cromwell to construct and operate a punt to be situated about 1/4 mile upstream from Stuarts Ferry (location #157)
2140 1871 Richards Ferry opened for business. On Feb 1 1871, John Richards ferry is opened for business. It is advertised in the Cromwell Argus as the best punt in the province. The hours of service were 7.am till 10pm with 2 half hour breaks, 6 days per week, and 5 1/2 hours on Sunday. The puntman was Thomas Primate and his wages were £3 per week.
2141 1872 Report of an accident at Richards punt from the Otago Witness. On Oct 5 1872, the Orago Witness reported in the 'news of the week' column. " Accidents on the Bannockburn Punt. The body of a man was found in the Clutha River, on the evening of 25th ult, near Muttontown Gully about three miles below Clyde, and identified as being of the late Thomas Hutton who was drowned by falling from the Bannockburn punt, Kawarau River on the night of the 7th July last. On that night he went onto the punt at around 10 o'clock with the intention of crossing the river. It was said that he was carrying a large lump of coal for his fire. He walked first, the puntman following him with a lantern, and he must consequently have been walking in his own shadow, and could not have seen well where he was going. He struck his foot against the nut of a bolt, and being near to the edge, the next step, in endevouring to recover himself, put him into the river. His widow and family reside at Cromwell. The jury returned a verdict that the deceased was accidentally drowned, and added a rider that the owners of the punt exhibited great carelessness in the management threreof, by not making necessary provision to prevent accidents by placing rails or taking other precaution to prevent persons from falling overboard, and by having lights and buoys etc. This is the second accident of the kind which has occurred at this punt during the last four or five months, a man named Gibbs, whose body has not yet been recovered having walked over the side of the punt in the dark. It would be well if the government would take action in this matter. " The Otago Witness stated that the accidents occurred on the Bannockburn Punt, this promoted a letter to the editor on Oct 22, by James Stuart, the proprietor of the Bannockburn Punt (location #157). He stated in his letter that no accidents had ever occurred on his ferry and that these accidents had actually occurred on Richards punt which was further up the river from his.
2142 1874 A bridge was constructed between the two punt sites. A bridge (location #153), located between the two punt sites was constructed by the Kawarau Bridge Company. and authorised to charge tolls. The bridge soon put the punts out of business. John Richards, the proprietor of Richards punt, was one of the partners of the Kawarau Bridge Company.
2143 1878 A flood swept away the Kawarau Bridge. In September a large flood swept the bridge away. Progress to replace the structure was slow and for a time Richards punt was put back into service.
2144 1879 The bridge was re-opened, signalling the end of the punt service. The bridge was reopened in March of 1879 and the punt service finally came to an end.


The table below shows a list of images related to the location. Click on 'View Image' to display more details about the image, and to view the image.

Image Id Source Date Short Description
215 National Archives via Mrs C Spears 30 May 1870 Application to construct and work a punt - John Richards - Bannockburn View Image
882 Mrs M Craig - Cromwell 1872 Otago Witness, 5 Oct 1872 - Accidents on Bannockburn punt. View Image
883 Mrs M Craig - Cromwell 1872 Otago Witness 22 Oct 1872 - Bannockburn Punt - letter to the editor. View Image