School History

The School and the Community

The dream to have a Catholic school in Wanaka was deep rooted and brought to fruition by many determined, spirited and faith-filled people. Bishop Len Boyle sowed the seed in 2004 and, together with his successor Bishop Colin Campbell and Yeverley McCarthy and her team, made the dream a reality.

Holy Family Catholic School Wanaka opened in February 2006 to provide a Catholic state integrated full primary school (Years 0 – 8) in the Upper Clutha area. It began with three teachers, 27 students and two classes comprising years 0-3 and years 3-7. An administration block and a two bedroom apartment were completed shortly afterwards together with a new library, staff room, and office suite. 

The roll has grown steadily over the years within its maximum roll limit; 225 in 2018. The school now has four teaching blocks, each with three classrooms, resource rooms, wet areas and a collaborative space in the middle for liturgies and gatherings. The whole complex has wireless capability and lends itself to cutting-edge delivery of information technology for staff and students.

The school is set in a most picturesque location with beautiful grounds, mixed use sports courts and car parking. Native trees are planted throughout the area and Central Otago stonework is a feature of the buildings. 

In 2011 the dream for catholic education in Wanaka was fully realised with the construction of Holy Family Church. Adjacent to the school, it is an integral part of our students' journey in faith.