A colourful history brought to life in a time of farming innovation. Learn how the first successful shipment of frozen lamb sparked an economic revolution. Explore Totara Estate.
Hours: September - May
Thursday - Monday
10.00am - 4.00pm
Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day.
Open National Lamb Day
10.00am - 4.00pm
Student (tertiary) $6.00
Under 18 years Free
* Surcharges may apply for special events
Totara Estate is a complex of four one-storey buildings, with some single steps and uneven surfaces. There is access for people with wheelchairs to most spaces. Buildings are well spaced out; some uncovered walking is involved.
There is a drop-off point at the entrance for visitors with limited mobility.
Men’s Quarters and Cookhouse
The men’s quarters and cookhouse are a one-storey building with some lips between rooms, however a mobility ramp is available, just let our staff know you require it. Wheelchair access is available through the main entry, as well as at the rear.
Stables and Harness Room
The Stables and Harness Room are a one-storey building with cobblestone floors. The Harness Room is wheelchair accessible.
The granary is a one-storey building and is wheelchair accessible.
Slaughterhouse and Carcass Shed
The Slaughterhouse and Carcass Shed are two one-storey buildings joined internally, with some steps between. The Slaughterhouse is accessible through the main entry. To access the Carcass Shed, return outside the building, and use the paths around the building to the Carcass Shed entry. Once there use the ramp for access.
The gardens and grounds are accessible and ready for you to enjoy. Please note the property has grass, gravel, and stone paths throughout. Some areas are sloping. This can make it difficult for some wheelchairs to navigate the grounds.
Food and Drink
Traditional farmhouse style morning or afternoon teas and light lunches can be served in the original Cookhouse or the garden – including our famous tea and scones or workers sandwiches. Produce from our garden is used to produce our kai/food.
Pre-arranged group tours can enjoy billy tea and scones around the campfire and our Daily Guided Tour includes delicious morning tea.
We also hold regular events including our monthly Teatime Special – a rustic Victorian inspired afternoon tea in the Cookhouse. This features an array of traditional cakes served on china.
Gluten free options available and vegan options by previous arrangement.
This is a smoke and vape free site.
Brydone Monument Walk
Visitors are welcome to walk up to the Brydone Monument which takes approximately 40-minutes return. The walk is open to the public during Totara Estate opening hours and can be started up to one hour before closing. At times the walk may be closed due to farm work or weather conditions.
Ask staff if the walk is open and if it suits your fitness abilities. Unfortunately, the monument walk is not wheelchair accessible.
The grounds and buildings of Totara Estate make a unique venue for weddings (ceremonies, receptions, and photographs), family occasions, corporate functions, and film shoots. Contact us for more information.
Children and whānau
Both inside and out, there are plenty of things for kids to do. Inside, you can go everywhere, explore the buildings, experience life as a swagger or do a spot of colouring in. Outside, there is plenty of room to stretch little legs, Victorian games to play and farm animals to see.
We have sheep in our paddocks, who love to have little visitors. If you’re lucky it might even be feeding time when you visit, so don’t forget to ask our staff.
Things to remember
Totara Estate is more than 150 years old with some dry-stone walls around the old pig pen. To help us protect and care for these walls so they can enjoy another 150 years, we ask visitors to refrain from climbing them.
We care for some important taonga/treasures in our collection and our heritage buildings have lived a long life, so some rooms or items may be off limits at times for conservation and maintenance.
Some rooms may be dimly lit depending on the weather and time of year.
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is proud to be part of the Safe Space Alliance, offering safe and inclusive spaces that welcome and support the LGBTQI+ community.
A safe space is a space where the LGBTQI+ community can freely express themselves without fear. It is a space that doesn’t tolerate violence, bullying, or hate speech towards the LGBTQI+ community.
Totara Estate is idenitified as a Tohu Whenua heritage site. Tohu Whenua are the places that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand. Located in stunning landscapes and rich with stories, they offer some of our best heritage experiences. See more on the Tohu Whenua website.
He Aha Kei te Haere | What's On
Not sure where to start?
There’s plenty of heritage throughout the stunning Otago landscape. We’ve put together some ideas to get you started.
Photo: Tim Hawkins / Otago Central Rail Trail Trust