Click on any photo for an enlarged view.
As you enter Kaka Point coming from Dunedin or Balclutha there is a sign at the side of the road which says "Welcome to Kaka Point." From that sign up to the Cluth River Mouth (I estimate the distance at 8km) there is a beach. Halfway along that beach is where the Clutha River Mouth used to exit and where there was a harbour and the thriving town of Port Molyneux.

Today all that remains is one old derelict building back off the main road with a swamp behind it. The photos above and below are taken from the beach looking back at what was once Port Molyneux. It is now a mixture of swamp and tidal estuary and is a bird watchers heaven outside of duckshooting season. Of particular interest are the black swans that inhabit the marshland in summer.

This is a link to a fascinating piece of early literature which is one of the earliest (if not THE earliest) accounts of Port Molyneux, the Clutha River and Balclutha.

Click Here

Information taken from
Some Historic Port Molyneux articles from the Clutha Leader and Otago Witness in days long gone...

Read THIS interesting history of Port Molyneux by Ian Stehbens.

Click Here.

Link to Port Molyneux historical TimeLine

Click Here

Click HERE to read an old Otago Daily Times story about Port Molyneaux.

When people came from Scotland to Dunedin many had purchased land around the surrounding districts of Balclutha. Port Molyneux was the place where the settlers docked when they came to find their land. When they got there, the Maori people greeted them and showed them where inland tracks were to their fifty-acre blocks.

Whilst many of the settlers moved on inland to find their fifty-acre blocks of land, other people stayed back in the port and established the community of Port Molyneux. In the 1800's, the mouth of the Clutha River and the coastline surrounding it looked remarkably different to today. There was a large, long spit that stretched all the way across from Summerhill at Kaitangata almost right to Port Molyneux. Behind this spit was a large harbour where the river drained into the sea.

This harbour was the making of the the Port Molyneux township which, at the height of its prosperity, had two hotels, a Pilot and Customs office, several general stores, a hardware merchant, a butcher, a baker, a blacksmith, plus carpenters and other tradesmen. In addition, the town had a church (which later became the Kaka Point Church) and a school of forty pupils. By 1875, the town was considered to be well-established and growing.

Then, in 1878, a huge flood broke the banks of the spit at Summerhill and changed the course of the river and the town of Port Molyneux forever. The river mouth moved close to Summerhill, and the great harbour that was the lifeblood of the town was drained and turned into a large swamp area. After the flood, the population of the town dwindled rapidly and all that is left now is the Port Molyneux School and the Port Molyneux Hall, which was once the wharf building. The Port Molyneux Church still exists but was moved to Kaka Point in 1918.
Port Molyneux history summarised