Visitor information Pānui Manuhiri

Sunflowers at Totara Estate
Sunflowers at Totara Estateexpand/collapse

Step back in time to New Zealand's pioneer past, and journey through the unique part of New Zealand's history that is Totara Estate.  Explore the great Estate and experience along the way

  • an introductory video on the birth and development of New Zealand's meat industry
  • a museum display covering Totara's grand estate days
  • the talk of slaughtermen working "on the line" in the 1880s
  • significant archaeological remains
  • early New Zealand sheep breeds
  • a tribute to men of monumental vision on nearby Sebastopol Hill.

Opening hours

Summer: (September - May) daily 10.00am - 4.00pm
Winter: (June - August) Closed except by prior arrangement.

Closed Good Friday, Anzac Day, and Christmas Day.


Adult: $10
Student (tertiary): $5
Children (school age): free

Heritage New Zealand members/affiliated members are free on production of a valid membership card. Concessions apply, and guided tours are available on request.

Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events and exhibitions, for parking, and the use of other amenities.

Historic kitchen at Totara Estate
Historic kitchenexpand/collapse


Self-guided tour:  Watch the story of Totara Estate on DVD (6 minutes), with an introduction from one of our knowledgeable visitor hosts.  Armed with our tour leaflet, explore the great estate at your own pace, feed the sheep and consider walking up to the Brydone Monument on Sebastapol Hill offering sweeping views of the estate.  Allow 1 - 1.5 hours.  

Cost: $10 per adult, minimum 10 persons.

Personal guided tour: Watch the story of Totara Estate on DVD (6 minutes), then take a personally guided tour with our informative visitor hosts and historical characters from the estate.  Feed the sheep, and walk up to the Brydone Monument (optional) 30-40 minutes. Share billy tea, scones and some yarns around the camp fire with a swagger from the old estate. Or take tea in the old Cookhouse in country heritage style.  Allow 1.5 - 2 hours.

Cost: $20 per adult, minimum 15 persons.

Consider a guided tour of both Clarks Mill and Totara Estate on the same trip (price on application).

Blacksmith at Totara Estate
Blacksmithing demonstrationexpand/collapse

Tailor-made group tours

Group tours may be arranged by contacting the staff at Totara Estate, or phone 03 433 1269 to arrange a convenient time. We would be delighted to work with you to develop a programme suited to the interests and ages of your group, and may be hands-on if you wish (within health and safety guidelines).

Demonstrations of heritage agricultural crafts and skills such as blacksmithing, blade shearing, wood turning, butter-making, spinning, & stone cutting may be arranged with prior notice.  Have a go at some Victorian games.  

Consider a Victorian picnic, served by maids in Victorian dress.

Consider a guided tour of both Clarks Mill and Totara Estate on the same trip.

Price on application.

Venue hire

Totara Estate is available for a wide range of outdoor functions and events, small business meetings and private or commercial photography.  Contact the staff to make enquiries.

Gift shop

Totara Estate has a heritage gift shop where you may purchase that special reminder of a unique place.


Swaggers around the campfire
Swaggers at the campfire.expand/collapse


Wheelchair Access

Some buildings are accessible to wheelchairs, doorways may be narrow for motorised chairs.  There are gravel paths between buildings.


Farmhouse teas including scones, jam and cream are available for purchase, and you are welcome to bring your own light refreshments to enjoy in our picnic area.


Public facilities are available on site for visitors.


All images on this page: Heritage New Zealand.