Clark’s Mill – Maheno

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.

DSC_3037In 1901 the mill was sold to the Clark family, who operated it for the next 75 years, and it is now best known as Clark’s Mill.

DSC_3039The grain store.

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.DSC_3023On operating days you can see, hear and feel the machinery in action. Experience history coming alive.
DSC_3027A series of belts run the machinery over the three floors.


DSC_3028Electric power was added in the 1930’s


DSC_3024A series of cups inside a boxed elevator/conveyor, move the flour between floors. DSC_3020


DSC_3022Make sure to check out the small museum.

Clark’s Mill 1017 Alma-Maheno Road (State Highway One), Maheno (12km South of Oamaru)

Opening hours:

Update 9.2.23 – The milll does not open all of February anymore, it is open every Sunday through to April and machinery runs on last Sunday of month, also open Thursday morning 10-1pm

Check out my other Otago Posts

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