From our legacy
to yours

Throughout their tenure as the landowners at Peninsula Hill, the Mee Family has sought to safeguard an outstanding piece of land and the history that comes with it.

The sloping contours of Peninsula Hill are visible from almost anywhere around the Whakatipu Basin. Those who have owned, shaped or worked this important piece of land have influenced the visual identity of Queenstown. It is not a role to take lightly.

Luckily, this important role has been undertaken by the Mee family for more than sixty years. Throughout Queenstown's tourism boom, they have safeguarded this land with a cool head and a light touch.

A prominent position on the horizon and in the history books

The Mee family name is linked to some of the most iconic pieces of land in the Whakatipu District. Frank Mee (1922 - 2018) made a bold move in 1954 to purchase the remote Branches Station deep in the Shotover Valley. This was followed by a purchase of the spectacular station at the foothills of The Remarkables, Kawarau Falls Station in 1960. Included in this purchase was Peninsula Hill, with its prominent position on Lake Whakatipu.

During this period, what is now the Kelvin Heights Golf Course was once covered in sheep trails and bracken. Farming here was challenging, stock were herded all the way back to the Remarkables Flats for shearing.

Despite the challenges, the beauty and importance of this location were not lost on those who worked the land. The incredible view from the top of Peninsula Hill was often commented upon by farmhands. When it was suggested that the family build a road up Peninsula Hill for sightseers, the consensus was visitors would need something to do when they were up there, as "just the view" wouldn't be enough. This idea launched Deer Park Heights, one of Queenstown's oldest and most iconic tourist attractions.

At Peninsula Hill, the desire to preserve visual integrity and safeguard land use is genuine. The Mee family has proven their credentials for this by gifting more than 170 hectares of land below The Remarkables—the southern entrance to Queenstown— into QEII Trust. This move ensures an iconic vista will be safeguarded and enjoyed in its natural state in perpetuity.

Used for grazing sheep, and in later years, deer, Peninsula Hill has been left largely undeveloped for more than half a century. In 2014, the upper slopes of Peninsula Hill gained Outstanding Natural Landscape status, ensuring its preservation into perpetuity.

Deer Park

The tourist attraction, Deer Park Heights, opened in 1966 and has gone on to become one of Queenstown's most-loved attractions.

As far as the Mees were concerned, the breathtaking views from the 834-metre (2,736-foot) summit were too good not to share.

The first deer herd at Deer Park Heights came directly from the wild and were soon joined by a menagerie of animals, including the iconic Highland cows. Visitors have been enjoying that view - with the animals - for more than five decades.

The next chapter

With the original landowners in the driving seat, Peninsula Hill is moving forward with conscious consideration of every aspect of the development. Integrity and preservation of space are at the heart of their intention. So too is their desire to ensure reputation and legacy are maintained now and well into the future.

Peninsula Hill will become a community crafted by intention and community-mindedness. The strong foundation laid down by the original owners allows new owners to carry on this same spirit of preservation and guardianship.

Peninsula Hill is moving forward with a vision to protect and enhance this cherished Queenstown location.