European settlement of Dannevirke began on
15 October 1872 with the arrival of 13 Danish and eight Norwegian
families brought out under the Vogel Immigration Scheme.
These pioneers were immediately allocated
sections and then it was to work, clearing the vast "Seventy
Mile Bush", building roads and establishing the railway.
In their spare time, which was rare indeed they put their efforts
into housing themselves.
With the clearing of bush, timber mills arrived
bringing English speaking immigrants with them. As the land
was cleared, so farmland was developed and Dannevirke was growing
toward becoming an important service centre for the rural community.
Farming from the coastal areas was moving to the west while
from the Ruahine Ranges was moving east and in due course came
Dannevirkes Scandinavian heritage remains
today but perhaps to a lesser extent than it deserves. Street
names of the era such as Hamlet, Thyra, and Christian Streets
are constant reminders. Cemeteries are now of considerable importance
historically and the "Settlers Cemetery" attracts
many visitors. The local Scandinavian Club is small but active
and can often be seen taking visitors from those far away countries
around the points reflecting their heritage.
With changes to farming patterns and the economy,
Dannevirke has changed too, apart from being a service centre
it has now become a popular stopping point for visitors.
Accommodation is available to suit all requirements, camping,
backpackers, homestays or motels will all welcome you.
The 20 hectare Domain is a great place to
stop off if you are passing through or to visit if stopping
over. Enjoy the gardens while the children make good use of
the impressive "Viking Ship" playground. The lower
section of the Domain is scenic and tranquil, ideal for a picnic
before viewing the deerpark and wandering across the bridge
at the duck pond. The camping ground is also set in this area.
Information supplied by Maurice Wright