Burkes Pass is a small town and a mountain pass in South Canterbury. In earlier times a pioneer township, it’s now a heritage site easy to visit when headed to destinations such as the Mackenzie basin, Mt Cook and Queenstown.
The town grew around a hotel that was opened for weary Mackenzie pioneers. At the town’s height, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it had a population of 143 and a school with three teachers. St Patrick’s Church, built in 1871, is one of New Zealand’s oldest union churches and serves as a landmark in Burkes Pass.
The Burkes Pass Heritage Walk guides visitors through the history of the area while providing a tour of the sites. You can pick up a copy of the walking tour at St Patrick’s Church or The Musterer’s Hut.