Cemetery Records Online

Nov 8, 2010

   Historians and genealogists will have easier access to the district’s cemetery records, now online, Queenstown Lakes District Council parks manager Gordon Bailey said.

 Comprising 4,660 records, the database covers all 10 cemeteries in the district (Arrowtown, Cardrona, Frankton, Glenorchy, Hawea, Kingston, Makarora, Queenstown, Skippers Point and Wanaka) and dates back to the first European burial at Glenorchy in 1863.

 “We get a steady stream of requests for information about gravesites, many of them from overseas,” said Mr Bailey. “It’s been the trend for local authorities to put the data on line, giving people from anywhere in the world the chance to search for the information they require. It’s a public record and what information we have is now available.”

 He said the project took around 4-years from inception and some parts of the process proved trickier than others.

 “Documentation was a challenge in one case,” he said, ”The original Arrowtown Cemetery plan dates back to the 1870’s and the only copy of it was in the Hocken Library in Dunedin. The plan had to be restored before we could work with it.”

 Each record has a photo of the headstone as well as details of the grave’s location, relevant dates and other information. Signage in the cemeteries has been updated to include better maps and it’s hoped that these will also be made available online.

Mr Bailey says the database is a work in progress and he’d be happy to hear from people who can add anything to the records.

 “It’s not 100%,” he said. “There are many unmarked graves in our cemeteries so there are a lot of gaps and with the records dating back such a long way, it’s easy to get things wrong. If anyone spots any anomalies, we’re more than happy to correct them.”

 Queenstown Lakes District cemetery records can be accessed online at the QLDC website




For further information, please contact Gordon Bailey 03 441 0499.

By: Andrea Bunting