Coira's Royal Hotel

75 King Street, Temuka

  • Coira's Royal Hotel, Temuka. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 7/01/2016.
  • Coira's Royal Hotel, Temuka.
    Copyright: Heritage New zealand. Taken By: Milly Woods. Date: 7/02/2018.
  • Coira's Royal Hotel, Temuka.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2028 Date Entered 23rd June 1983


Extent of List Entry

The registration includes the land described as Pt Sec 49 Town of Wallingford (CT CB612/6) and Lot 1 DP 7524 (CT CB599/39), Canterbury Land District, and the building known as Coira's Royal Hotel thereon.

City/District Council

Timaru District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 49 Town of Wallingford (CT CB612/6) and Lot 1 DP 7524 (CT CB599/39), Canterbury Land District


Located in central Temuka at 75 King Street Coira’s Royal Hotel, is a two-storeyed, plastered brick structure constructed in 1894-5 as a replacement for a timber Royal Hotel destroyed by fire. Associated with active community member, Peter Coira and his family, the building has historical and social significance as well as architectural value.

Italian-born Peter Coira arrived in Lyttelton in 1864. In the beginning of 1866 he came to Temuka and worked at various hotels, including at the Royal Hotel for Mrs Heap. In 1880 he became the proprietor of the Royal Hotel, a timber building, which he leased out to a tenant. In August 1894 the timber hotel building was destroyed and for a short time afterwards business was temporarily carried out in a stable. After a number of licensing issues were resolved, Coira took up the licence for the hotel himself and a replacement hotel was constructed in brick and concrete in late-1894 and early-1895. In April 1896 Coira described the Royal Hotel as ‘containing Thirteen Rooms, exclusive of those required for the use of the Family’.

Coira’s Royal Hotel is a two storeyed plastered brick and concrete structure, with a corrugated iron roof surmounted by a glazed rectangular lantern. The main east elevation comprises a central entrance door, flanked by a pair of sash windows on its north side and a single sash window and a door at the south end. A verandah porch, with balcony above, extends along the front and around the north elevation. A flat-roof single storeyed addition extends the front elevation by a single bay to the south of the east front. Above the porch, on the first floor east elevation, are sash windows with curved arched heads and two doors that open out onto the balcony. Decorative brackets support overhanging eaves, punctuated at the centre by a raised pediment incorporating the words ‘COIRA’S ROYAL HOTEL 1894’.

By 1903 ‘extensive additions and improvements’ had been made to the hotel and it was described as having 27 rooms. These included a commercial room, several private sitting rooms, and a spacious dining room on the ground floor. The first floor contained two sitting rooms which led to a balcony, as well as large bedrooms. The Cyclopedia of New Zealand in 1903 described ‘the Royal’ as having ‘long enjoyed the reputation of a first class hotel, but the completion of the new premises has increased its popularity and made it one of the most up-to-date hotels in the Middle Island’. Various meetings, business and amusements were held at the hotel, for example the Acclimatisation Society had it as their meeting point, and in 1906 Dr J H Crawshaw had a temporary spell of holding consultations at the Royal Hotel. Peter Coira relinquished his ownership well before he died in 1923, yet his name has continued to be associated with the hotel as ‘Coira’s Royal Hotel’. A narrow single storeyed addition, with a flat roof, was made on the south side of the building some time in the twentieth century and alterations were carried out to the verandah and balcony. Damage to the building caused by the Darfield Earthquake of 4 September 2010 resulted in the replacement of the balcony and verandah.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1894 - 1895

1903 -

Narrow single storey addition at south side

2012 -
Verandah and balcony replaced

Completion Date

19th February 2018

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand