Otokia (Henley) cemetery

Pos S  45 57.721'
E 170 12.033'
For the settlers arriving in Dunedin and setting up a farm the key question was access because at those times there were no roads and no rail, and much of the native flat ground was swampy while the high ground was covered in dense bush. The key requirements were a place where some sort of dwelling could be built, and a place that it was possible to get animals and produce to and from the farm. In the case of Otokia there was the Taieri River that cut through the hills to the coast and which had a new ferry.

As a consequence settlements grew up on each side; Waihola to the south and Taieri to the north. The cemetery is located in the hill country overlooking the plains and the hulk of a sometimes snow covered mountain to the west. What was previously bush covered is now either bare grassland sprinkled with poplars (to keep the hills from sliding away) or more recently radiata pine forest.

The Taieri river was a convenient route to the coast where there were other settlements as well as regular services down the coast to Port Chalmers, usually in small sailing vessels. From Port Chalmers it was easy to get up the harbour to the township itself, certainly easier that walking for two days each way. Boats initially did the job of wheeled transport both for goods and for passengers...


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