Pembroke Hotel (Wanaka, N.Z.)
Was the first hotel at Lake Wanaka at Pembroke [now called Wanaka]. Built in ca 1864 by Theodore Russell (d 1877). Destroyed by fire on 27 Nov 1922. Rebuilt in 1923.
“No town in New Zealand can boast such beautiful surroundings or a healthier or a more salubrious climate.” Lake Wanaka is the most beautiful lake in the world.” This was the wording advertised in Dunedin newspapers in the 1880s. Such words were meant to bring visitors to the lake, a picturesque spot in the bay named after the early runholder, John Roy. At first Pembroke was little more than a landing place, and by 1867 a single boatshed was the only building.
But later that year Theodore Russell bought the four acre block on which the present Wanaka Hotel stands and he and his partner Charles Hedditch, who together had been major shareholders in the Gin and Raspberry claim in the Cardrona Valley, erected an 18m by 12m hotel and store. The first Wanaka Hotel was, wrote one contemporary, ‘on a scale of magnificence not hitherto attempted on any of the goldfields’.