Hendes Ferry Cottage

Hendes Ferry Road, Harihari

  • Hendes Ferry Cottage.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Mike Vincent. Date: 17/09/2012.
  • Hendes Ferry Cottage. January 1989. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Trish McCormack.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5048 Date Entered 21st September 1989


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 2384 (CT WS5B/754), Westland Land District and the building known as Hende’s Ferry Cottage thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Heritage New Zealand Board meeting on 30 April 2015.

City/District Council

Westland District


West Coast Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 2384 (CT WS5B/754), Westland Land District


Hende’s Ferry Cottage was built in the first decade of the twentieth century as the single men’s quarters of the ferry complex known as Hende’s Ferry and is strongly associated with the Hende family, pioneering settlers in the district. It is significant as a marker of the ferry era.

Danish brothers, Johann (Peter) Hende and Jens Jensen Hende, arrived in New Zealand in circa 1870 after almost a decade working on the gold fields in Australia. In 1872 they operated a ferry service at the mouth of Westland’s Wanganui River but soon after the two brothers disagreed over a contract and ceased to work together. The family feud ran for many years. Peter Hende continued to work as a ferryman on the river. In 1878 when the track had been opened up the valley, the ferry was transferred inland to a point where the pack track met the river. Peter and his family loaded all moveable possessions into two wooden ferryboats and towed them up river, a journey which took several days. There, on a grant of land known as the Ferry Reserve, Peter settled with his family and operated the ferry and a line of packhorses to Ross. A site was cleared for the new Hende’s Ferry and a ferry house was built from pit sawn timber. Over time further buildings were constructed at the complex, including a single men’s quarters/accommodation cottage which appears to have been built in circa 1907 or 1908. These quarters were constructed on the river (northern) side of the road, opposite the original homestead.

The single men’s quarters were a single storeyed timber building, originally rectangular in plan, with a gabled roof and a pair of doorways and two windows on its main south elevation. Now situated on the opposite site of the road, on the site of the original Hende’s Ferry homestead, the building’s appearance has changed and it faces north. The original single men’s quarters appears to have been cut in half and one half turned perpendicular to the other, so that it now has an L-shaped plan. Constructed of pit sawn totara timber with a corrugated iron roof, the exterior timbers comprise horizontal timbers as well as some vertical panelling on the front.

The Hende’s Ferry complex catered for the travelling public. Accommodation was often at a premium at the ferry, especially when the river flooded, causing travellers to accumulate indefinitely. Many early diary records include descriptions of a night at Hende’s Ferry. In circa 1914 the first licensed hotel opened in Hari Hari and Hende’s Ferry lost its prime accommodation role, although the ferry service continued until the river was bridged some years later. Between 1919 and 1923 the single men’s quarters building was used as a school, the first known educational facility in the district. In circa 1930, when the original homestead was pulled down, Harold Hende shifted the men’s quarters building across the road and set it up on new piles and renovated it. By the 1960s the building was used as a hostel for trampers and possum trappers. Of the Hende’s Ferry complex, only this cottage, originally the single men’s quarters, remain. The current owner and direct descendent of Peter Hende, Anna Lucas, moved into the property in circa 1974.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

1930 -
Shifted across the road to its present location and layout changed

Original Construction
1908 -

Completion Date

27th March 2015

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 Otago/Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand