Discover the Totara Estate in Waitaki

Are you looking to learn a little bit more about the heritage and culture of Waitaki? Why not pay a visit to the Totara Estate! Here you will get a first-hand look into what farming life was like in the 1800s and discover the ins and outs of New Zealand’s farming history! Add the Estate to your stack to learn more about this area and it’s history!

What is Totara Estate?

Totara Estate is an old farm made up of 4 buildings that visitors can explore to find out about farming life here in the 1800s.

Totara Estate’s farm buildings and displays are a tribute to the courage, determination and ingenuity of New Zealand’s farmers throughout history.

As you arrive at the estate, managed by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, you will first see the Totara Estate Museum complex. This is a series of 4 different old farm buildings. The carcass hanging shed, sometimes called the meat house, was built to help out with the export of frozen meat to Britain. The granary was used for processing and storing the variety of crops that were cultivated on the estate. The men’s quarters and cookshop was the home of the estate’s labour force, many of which were travellers from other farm estates. The final building was where the estate’s horses were kept and looked after, the stables.

Inside these carefully restored buildings, visitors can discover and learn about the history of the Estate, management of farms in the 1800s, the evolution of New Zealand’s meat freezing industry, sheep breeding and much more! Most of the displays at the Totara Estate are set up to mirror life as it was during the estate’s heyday.

Considering visiting with a group? The Estate has a special experience for bigger groups, including costumed guides, billy tea over the fire and freshly made scones. Or indoors in the original cookshop if the weather isn’t great.

  • Open Thursday to Monday from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Members visit for free
  • Adult entry $12
  • Student entry $6
  • Under 18s visit for free
  • Group tours require a pre-booking


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