History of Dunstan Downs

“Great location, great venue”-- Vita Goertgensl, Christchurch

History

Omarama Station was first settled in 1858, prior to 1915 it was 140,695 acres. Tuesday the 6th April 1915 at the Kurow Hall, 9am a ballot was held, for grazing runs dividing Omarama Station into 12 small grazing runs and one Pastoral run.

Jack McNair won the ballot for Run 201A which consisted of 30,050 acres with a half yearly rental of 125 pounds. Jack farmed Dunstan Downs (Run 201A) for 5 years.

In 1920 Thomas and Violet Wigley took over the lease. They came to the high country because Violet suffered from Tuberculosis and the best known cure or relief was high mountain air. They moved to Dunstan Downs with a 3 year old daughter Patricia (Pat), another daughter followed in 1925 -Gabriella ( Gay). When their mother passed away,her sister Vera ( Do ) came and cared for the family.

Tom died in 1935, the estate was farmed by trustees until Pat and Gay were old enough. In 1943 Pat married George Innes from Haldon Station. George went off to war in the same year and while he was overseas Pat and Gay continued to farm Dunstan Downs with the help of their aunt Do and casual help.

On returning from the war George took over the lease from the estate of Tom Wigley- 1947. George and Pat had 6 children -Janet, Jock, Tim , Caroline, Odette, and Suzanne. Tim married Geva Maze in 1974, the A-Frame was built to accommodate them.

Tim worked at Dunstan Downs and also did casual mustering around the area, they took over the lease in 1988. Pat died in 2005 and George died in 2011. Tim & Geva have 2 children Charles and Bridget Charles and his wife Tania are now carrying on the tradition, they have 2 children -Madison and Cameron.