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Business Type: Catlins Coastal Heritage


Fortrose is situated at the mouth of the Mataura River.

Address: 37 Neva Street, Fortrose, Southland, New Zealand Invercargill & Southland


Fortrose is situated at the mouth of the Mataura River. The earliest records are from 1834, when whalers established a station, which was later abandoned in 1836. The first settlement, known as the Kaik (derived from the M?ori term for village, kai?a), was on a hill overlooking the Fortrose Estuary and bounded by the Titiroa Stream. The area became well known with the arrival of an early whaler, Captain James Wybrow. The township name, Fortrose, appears to be attributed to a Scottish drover who claimed that the area was very similar to Fortrose in Scotland.

At 37 Neva Street, Fortrose, is the site of the remaining stone of the Blacksmith and Wheelright shop built in 1883 by Hugh and John Chisholm. The shop was expanded in 1891 and became a busy and thriving business. Originally gigs, drays and wagons were built in their entirety on the property. However, the business later concentrated on the maintenance of these vehicles and, of course, the shoeing of horses. Water tanks were also manufactured and repaired here. Business eventually faltered with the introduction of the tractor.

The Fortrose Cemetery is the earliest European cemetery in the South Catlins, the first burial here being recorded in 1873. Captain James Wybrow was buried here in 1878. Children of the Fortrose School raised enough money for a headstone to be erected at the cemetery in commemoration of the people who lost their lives during the wreck of the SS Tararua, along the South Catlins coastline, in 1881.


46km from Invercargill, Gorge Road-Invercargill Hwy and Tokanui-Gorge Rd Hwy

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