Elderslie Station Stables (Former)

78 Pine Hill Road, Elderslie Estate, Elderslie

  • Elderslie Station Stables (Former). Shows sire 'Night Raid' (in box), dam 'Entreaty' (left) the foal and filly (Te Uira) are full sisters to Phar Lap. c.1939. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wgtn, NZ, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
    Copyright: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Taken By: Green and Hahn.
  • Elderslie Station Stables (Former). A horse sale at Elderslie in the 1920s showing the stables at the rear. Image courtesy of the North Otago Museum. Accession No. 499.
    Copyright: North Otago Museum. Taken By: Unknown.
  • Elderslie Station Stables (Former) in the 1920s. Image courtesy of North Otago Museum. Accession No. 498.
    Copyright: North Otago Museum. Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2420 Date Entered 7th April 1983 Date of Effect 7th April 1983


Extent of List Entry

The extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 381279 (RT 325641), Otago Land District, and the building known as Elderslie Estate Stables (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Waitaki District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 381279 (RT 325641), Otago Land District


These stone stables were built for gentleman farmer John Reid at Elderslie Estate in the Waiareka Valley. The stables are architecturally and historically significant for their association with John Reid and his grand and picturesque Elderslie Estate. They are one of a number of buildings associated with the former estate.

Scottish-born Reid came to New Zealand in 1863. For ten years he was in business in Dunedin before retiring to Elderslie in North Otago. The estate was large – over 17,000 acres. Reid and his family lived one of the three homesteads. Reid was a pioneering stock breeder and was involved in the new frozen meat trade. He had the S.S. Elderslie built in 1883 for shipping to the London market.

Elderslie, like its neighbour Windsor Park, was one of the ‘great properties’ of the Waitaki region. Reid built the first part of his grand house in 1868. He made additions in 1874. He developed a large park – with exotic trees and artificial lakes – around the house. The house’s setting was described as ‘unsurpassed in New Zealand’. Reid built a group of buildings to support the working of the estate: a two-storey Oamaru stone woolshed and yards, men’s quarters, and stables. New men’s quarters were built in 1908 (Category 2 historic place, Register No. 3251).

Reid had a passion for horses and the stables showed his enthusiasm. They were ‘a show place’, ‘elaborate inside and out.’ Built around a cobbled courtyard, the stables had more than 50 horse boxes. The boxes first housed the Clydesdale stud horses and later the racing stud horses. The stables had a smithy and a saddle room. In the 1920s the stables were home to Phar Lap’s sire, Night Raid, and dam Entreaty.

Elderslie Estate was subdivided in 1900 in line with government policy to break up the big estates. Eleven thousand acres of land at Elderslie were opened up for settlement.

John Reid died in 1912. Reid’s obituary recalled how important the Elderslie was to North Otago and Reid’s role in business. His wife Elizabeth died in 1924.

In 1932 Ken Austin moved from Australia to take over the management of the Elderslie racing stud for the Reid family, who stood Phar Lap’s sire Night Raid. Austin was a key figure in New Zealand’s thoroughbred breeding industry. He co-founded the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He had visited New Zealand regularly from Australia as an auctioneer at the Trentham Yearling Sales and helped set up the first New Zealand national yearling sales. Austin founded the Inglewood Stud property in North Canterbury in 1938.

Elderslie was sold to James Rutherford in 1940. The grand homestead became a furnished guest house and later a cabaret. Elderslie Homestead was destroyed by fire on 14 November 1957, leaving the coach house, stables and men’s quarters to recall Reid’s expansive estate. The stone gates were donated to Centennial Park in Oamaru and the Gazebo is to be found in the Oamaru Public Gardens (Category 2 historic place, Register No. 7150).

The stables have been altered. The small round stable windows were changed in the 1930s to six-light tilting windows. Some inside walls of the stable were bulldozed in the early 2000s for a piggery. The smithy and tack rooms were lost.

In 2013 Elderslie is a private residence and also welcomes visitors for functions and for historic home tours.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1869 - 1873

1930 - 1939
Stables windows changed

2000 - 2005
Interior modifications, demolition of smithy and tack rooms

Completion Date

29th August 2013

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1905

Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 4 Otago and Southland, Cyclopedia Company, Christchurch, 1905

McDonald, 1962

K C McDonald, 'White Stone Country', Oamaru, 1962

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

1 Sep 1877, p.2; 7 April 1979

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Office of the NZHPT

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.