European settlers brought sheep and cattle into this area in 1844, driving their stock along the coastal route from Wellington. These run holders were the first to establish pastoral farming in New Zealand.
Following a drowning in 1850, a ferry service was established across Lake Onoke. The ferryman needed accommodation and a way to supplement his income, so he opened the Lake Ferry Hotel in 1851.
Today Lake Ferry is a mixture of holiday homes and permanent residents. Nearby attractions include the Putangirua Pinnacles, Cape Palliser lighthouse and a seal colony. If you're in the area late afternoon, stay to watch the sun go down - Lake Ferry sunsets can be spectacular.