R – T



A – B     C – E     F – I      J – M     N – Q    R – T       U - Z






Rainbow Island

Small island at northern end of Tautuku Bay

Spray from rocks causes a rainbow effect.  Maori name ‘Rerekohu’ means mist carried on the wind

Rata Range

Low range of hills extending from Catlins Lake to Wisp Range

Considered by Maori to be haunted by wild men of the woods.  Two peaks were known as Puku and Mihi, two women who were carried away while hunting bird in the bush.


District and old railway station at head of Catlins Lake

Name means ‘big or many rata’ (Rata is native tree with red flowers)


Site of old native school at Karoro.

Means ‘voice of the sea’

Roaring Bay

Small bay south of Nugget Point

Maori name ‘Wanga-paraoa’.  Wanga means bay; paraoa - sperm whale


Township about 13km from Balclutha, old railway station on Catlins line

Name means crooked stream

Andersons Creamery at Romahapa

Anderson’s Creamery at Romahapa 1908


District on west bank of Clutha River about 3 miles up from Tuapeka Mouth

‘Here’ means spear


Southern hill area now part  of Balclutha town


Sandy Bay

Small bay south of Nugget Point, between Roaring Bay and Cannibal Bay

Maori name ‘Te One-a-piria’

Scrub Burn

Small creek flowing into Clutha River opposite Rongahere

Western boundary of goldfield decalred in 1861

Scrubby Knowe

Hill on north bank of Pomahaka to east of Back Creek


Shagree Creek

Small creek flowing into sea at Measley Beach


Shaw’s Track

Early name given (1850) to what is now road from Warepa to Balclutha



22km from Clinton

Descriptive name given by THOMSON and GARVIE in 1850’s


Township on east bank of Clutha River 5km from Balclutha

Archibald ANDERSON gave land for township provided that railway station be called Stirling after his birthplace in Scotland

Stony Creek

Creek crossing main south road between Benhar and Lovells Flat, flowing into Lake Tuakitoto



Old railway station 2 miles from Maclennan, 3 miles from Tahakopa, also school (Papatowai) and post office

Named after early settler in district



High ground on eastern side of Matau branch of Clutha River

Believed to have been centre of most populated dwelling of ancient Rapuwai tribe

Surat Bay

Bay with long white beach at mouth of Catlins River, west of False Island, 11km from Owaka

Ship ‘Surat’ beached and shipwrecked here on New Year’s Day 1874

Sweetwater Creek

At Pounawea


Table Hill

Flat topped hill, NE of Caberfeidh

Maori name of ‘Tua-ta-pere’ means fairy mountain.  Catlins 1840 map calls it Mount Typo

Table Hill

District 11km west of Milton, named for Table Mound, a flat-topped hill in area

Area first called Canada (Canada Reef site of quartz mine)


District and end of old Catlins River railway line, 66km from Balclutha

‘Taha’ curved; ‘kopa’ side

Tahakopa River

Rises in northern slopes of Maclennan Range, flows down Tahakopa Valley to sea at Tahakopa Bay

‘Taha’ means land, ‘kopa’ crippled.

Bay originally spelt ‘Taupuku’ and sometimes ‘Tahaukupu


Up Owaka Valley about 13km from Owaka

Name means ‘the correct side’


Alternative name for Parae


Tamapai Stream

Small tributary of Waipahi Stream, locally called Trumble Creek.

Thomas TRUMBLE built first hut on Otaraia Run.

Tapanui Range

Known as the Blue Mountains



District 10 miles south of Owaka, between Ratanui and Papotowai

Name means ‘a saddle’


Once a productive coal mine in Kaitangata hills, east of Lovell’s Flat

Name means ‘ridgy ground’


Maori name for Inch Clutha


Tauhoku Ridge

Shown on Tuckett’s 1844 map as ridge south or Karoro Creek



Settlement and district on part of Ashley Downs estate

Name for a place on brow of hill that provided good lookout or view


Old name of Tahakopa Bay


Tautuku Bush

Name for large area of heavy country that extended from Port Molyneux to Waikawa.

To the old Maori, this was home of the ‘maeroero’, the hairy wild man of the bush who carried off anyone wandering about.

Tautuku Peninsula

Headland south of Tautuku Bay.  Tautuku River rises south of Maclennan Range and flows into Tautuku Bay

Name means ‘the coast where the canoes anchored’ of ‘stoop or bend down’.  In 1839 WELLER had a whaling base here

Tautuku, Mount

Mountain about 15 miles NE, between Catlins and Maclennan Rivers



District and old railway station on Catlins river line, 24km from Tahakopa.

‘Nui’ big, ‘tawa’ is North Island tree.  Southern beech is ‘tawai’

Te Houka

District on west bank of Clutha River , about 16km west of Balclutha

Tradition says it is named after Te Haoka, Ngati Mamoe chief killed there c1775

The Cairn

Peak in back country, nth of Slopedown Range,


Three Stones

Prominent hill south of Waiwera Peak



Small point a mile north of Nugget Point

Name means ‘view’ or ‘aspect’











Old railway station, district 7km west of Balclutha.  Toiro Stream flows through Kakapuaka into Koau above Finegand

Toiro Store

Toiro Store

Tokata Point

Southern point on coastline of Otago block purchased in 1844.  Alternative name for Nugget Point.


Toko Mouth

Seaside settlement at mouth of Tokomairiro River



6km east of Milton

‘Toko’ pole; ‘iti’ small.  Once known as Fairfax


Name for area and plains surrounding Milton

‘Toko’ means pole

Totara Island

Small island in Clutha River , 10 miles upstream from Balclutha

Early settlers cut totara trees after paying ‘timber licences’

Tuakitoto, Lake

Shallow lake south of Lovell’s Flat


Tuapeka Flat

10km from Lawrence

‘Tua’ beyond; ‘peka’ branch of a river

Tuapeka River

Tributary of Clutha River beginning in gold-bearing creeks around Lawrence.  Flows SW to Tuapeka Mouth



5km from Kaitangata

Name presumed to mean ‘tua’ beyond/on the other side; ‘tara’ peak

Tuck’s Bay

Small bay between Sandy Bay and Cannibal Bay


Tuck’s Stream


Small stream flowing down Hunt’s Road through Katea to Owaka River

Named after John TUCK, settler in Katea district

Tuhawaiki Island

Small island south of Jack’s Bay, locally known as Jack’s Island

Island called after Tuhawaiki, known as ‘Bloody Jack’ by settlers and whalers

Tunnel Island


Maori name ‘Taki-koekoea’

Two Stone Hill

Prominent hill 3.5 miles north of Kaitangata.  Also known as Two Tree Hill.  Two Stone Stream runs from hill into Lake Tuakitoto



A – B     C – E     F – I      J – M     N – Q    R – T       U - Z






‘Pioneering in South Otago’ by F Waite, pub. 1948

‘Catlins Pioneering’ by AR Tyrell, pub. 1989

‘Faith and Toil’ by DJ Sumpter and JJ Lewis, pub 1949

‘Full Circle’ 1975

‘Place Names of New Zealand’ by AW Reed, pub 1975

‘Otago Place Names’ by JH Beattie, pub


Please let us know of any we have missed, or are incorrect

Contact:  Webmissus at help.desk@balcluthagenealogy.org.nz


‘Locations R – T’ last updated 6 July 2012

© Balclutha Branch NZSG (Balclutha Genealogical Society)