To take advantage of the increasing tourism on Lake Wakatipu in the first decade of the 20th century, the government decided that a new lake steamer was needed. Their preference was for New Zealand shipbuilders. The Dunedin naval architect Hugh McRae provided the design and the tender was let to John McGregor and Co. of Dunedin, who had built Otago Harbour ferries. The keel was laid at McGregor’s on 4 July 1911. By September the frame, shown here, had been formed.
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