5 Brisbane Street, Queenstown

  • House. Original image submitted at time of registration. June 1991.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Chris Cochran.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2331 Date Entered 24th November 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 12 DP 9667 (CT OT12C/811), Otago Land District, and the building known as House thereon.

City/District Council

Queenstown-Lakes District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 12 DP 9667 (CT OT12C/811), Otago Land District


This residence, built in stages, dating from mid-1870s-early 1880s, is associated with the prominent Queenstown settlers – John William Mitchell Purdie and William Lovell Davis. The house has architectural and historical significance.

The house section was first owned by joiner Charles Frederick Small, who sold it to John William Mitchell Purdie in 1872 (and Purdie, in turn, sold it to William Lovell Davis in 1882). Photographs show a small timber cottage on the terrace overlooking Queenstown. The house may have been built by Small, for himself or for Purdie, in the 1870s.

William Davis is reported as building a stone house on the ‘Terrace’ in March 1886. A photograph shows a stone house under construction, next to an existing cottage – meaning the photograph dates probably from 1886. The photograph shows a completed addition to Eichardt’s Hotel, down at lake level; newspapers indicate that the tenders for this addition were advertised in April and the building appears to have been completed by November 1886, so the photograph was taken at about this date.

Davis may not have lived in the house. The Queenstown Courier reports that Davis, an English brewer, went into partnership with a Mr Surman in 1862 to establish the Wakatip Brewery and Cordial Factory, carrying on the business on his own account after 1881. Davis was a partner in the rich Invincible Mine in Rees Valley. Davis himself apparently lived at Skippers for much of this period.

In 1908, William Lovell David died and his estate was offered for sale. The estate included 10 sections in Block XXXVIII, ‘[t]ogether with stone and wooden dwellings thereon’, and described as a ‘very valuable property situated near the Queenstown Park and enclosed by a macrocarpa hedge.’ The property was sold to Davis’ brother-in-law Ralph Buckham. In 1958, the property was subdivided and the outbuilding separated from the house, and the sections in between were built on. In 1961, the house became part of the Crown estate, as a Forest Service Department residence. In later years it became part of the Department of Conservation estate and it was used as a residence and for storage. In 1988, the building was reinstated as a residence with the alterations designed by Queenstown architect Michael Wyatt. In 1989, the house reverted to residential use and in 1989 was sold into private ownership. In 2016, the building remains a residence.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

1886 -
Stone addition

1989 -
Reinstated as residence

Completion Date

23rd March 2016

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Queenstown Courier

Queenstown Courier

Queenstown Courier (3) 1968, pp. 5-6.

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 Otago/Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand