Hayes Engineering Works and Homestead
Marvel at a fully operational Victorian workshop where Ernest Hayes invented devices still used today, and imagine his wife Hannah, in full skirts and corset, pedalling through Central Otago selling them!
The story of Hannah Hayes in her ankle–length skirts, on her push bike in 1895, venturing on selling trips of over 129kms never ceases to amaze people and is in sharp contrast to today’s bikers. They traverse the Otago Central Rail Trail in comparative comfort with gear-assisted bikes complete with comfortable seats and fancy bike pants.
A genuine example of ‘Kiwi ingenuity’ in formerly isolated and tough conditions, Hayes has something for everyone. The inventive mind of Ernest Hayes is evident in his well-preserved 1890s workshop, and restored 1920s homestead.
Hayes developed and marketed products to improve farming life, like wire strainers, cattle stops and pulley blocks.
His mud brick family home was fitted with modern inventions like electricity (generated by a water-driven pelton wheel), piped radio, and quirky laundry and bathroom facilities.
Seeing the machinery operating in the workshop is a truly memorable experience and a tour of the house, garden, a spot of shopping and a morning / afternoon tea or lunch completes the visit.
A real example of Kiwi ingenuity, invention and resourcefulness.
- Hayes Road, off Ida Valley-Omakau Road
- Daily, November-April.
- 10am - 5pm
- Wednesday-Sunday, September, October and May
- 10am - 5pm
- Closed June-August and Christmas Day.
Adult: $12 (self-guided tour); children (primary school age): free.
Guided tours of the works in operation on operating days: $20 per person.
Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.