In 1857 the first sheep farm in the Mackenzie was built on the shores of Lake Tekapo. When the lake is low the remains of the old Tekapo Station homestead can be seen on the eastern shores of the lake. A hotel was established in 1861 and a ferry was set up to cross the Tekapo River. Twenty years later construction began on the first bridge. In the 1930s work began on Tekapo power station.