THE FERRY'S HISTORY IN QUEENSTOWN
The Old Ferry Hotel is one of Central Otago’s longest continually inhabited buildings. The history dates back to the 1860’s when a ferry was used to cross the Shotover River, hence the name.
The Ferryman, Frederick Foster built a hotel in 1863 on the eastern banks of the river, to quench the thirst of miners and travellers en-route to Queenstown during the Central Otago Gold Rush.
In 1871 the first bridge across the Shotover River opened, bringing all its traffic passed The Ferry Hotel. It continued to service miners, farmers and merchants until around 1912 when the bridge closed. Disaster struck in 1872 the hotel was destroyed by fire, but fortunately was rebuilt that same year. We now celebrate this current building from this date and 2022 marks 150 years of The Ferry.
When a new bridge was opened further upstream in 1915, the site of the current “Old” Shotover Bridge; the hotel was unceremoniously cut in half and moved, by traction engine to its present day location on Spence Road. It continued to operate as a hotel until 1971, when Land Transport built the new modern bridge back near its original site. The Old Hotel wasn’t up for moving again and decided to grow old gracefully in its current location.
Since 1994 it has been operating as a Bed & Breakfast, welcoming travellers from all around the world. Dan & Mitzi Cole-Bailey are now the 27th proprietors of this establishment and invite you to come stay and be part of its history.