Kokonga Station, c1976.
G W Emerson Collection
The Busy Little Place
First known as Ryan's Crossing, Kokonga (meaning a bend or corner) was a substantial railway workers camp, where many families settled. By 1896, it was described as a ''busy little place''. The area was already known to gold diggers, as it was the easiest place to ford the Taieri River. When the railway reached Ranfurly, Kokonga lost the position as a terminus and became a flag station.
The Otago Witness, regarding the railway line reaching Ranfurly, December, 1898.
Otago Witness, 22 December 1898, page 25.
Architect George Troup had planned to use bricks to build the Dunedin Railway Station, but during the building of the Central Otago Railway, a dark basalt stone was discovered around the Kokonga and Waipiata area. The stone was used for some of the bridges and culverts in the area and was also first used for Dunedin's Queen Victoria statue in the Queens Gardens before it was heavily used for the Dunedin Railway Station.
"The quality of this stone is rapidly making a name for itself and there is a strong possibility of it being used in the new railway station. The supply of stone is unlimited, and of a quality that will stand the test alongside almost anything the colony has as a building material".
Find out more at 'Breaking the Stone'
New Zealand Mining Journal; 5 November, 1903.
Dunedin Railway Station, circa 1910, Dunedin, by Muir & Moodie studio, Te Papa (C.012183)