Historic Clarke’s Mill is a great place to visit – just off the main road south of Oamaru just before Maheno or just past Maheno, whichever direction you are coming from.
This flour mill is New Zealand’s only surviving water-powered flour mill. The mill was built around 1865 as part of the Totara Estate. Part of the mill was created with limestone cut from the hill behind the mill. The heavy machinery was brought to New Zealand by sailing ship from the United Kingdom, Australia and United States in the 1860s and 1870s. Wheat and oats were ground using horizontal grinding stones, which were powered by a ‘undershot’ waterwheel. An electric motor was installed in the 1930’s to drive the mill. The machinery still runs as well as it ever did, thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers who maintain it on a regular basis. Houses for the mill manager and workers were thought to have been built about the same time as the mill, and a corrugated iron grain store at the west end was built in 1872 and extended around 1906.
The Mill was built to help process the enormous amounts of grain produced in the fertile lands of North Otago. It has been restored to tell the story of the grain industry and how flour and other products such as oatmeal (porridge) and pollard is made.
The timber is a beautiful golden colour and still in great condition.On operating days you can see, hear and feel the machinery in action. Experience history coming alive.
A series of belts run the machinery over the three floors.
Clark’s Mill 1017 Alma-Maheno Road (State Highway One), Maheno (12km South of Oamaru)
Clark’s Mill is open on Sunday afternoons (1pm-3pm) from October, with the machinery operating on the last Sunday of each month. In addition, it is open every day in February and during that month the mill machinery will run on Thursdays at 11am and Sundays at 2pm.Opening hours:
Check out my other Otago Posts