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What's To See and Do

Homebush is nestled in the foothills of the Canterbury Plains just 45min from Christchurch.

It is a working farm of 1350 acres with 250 acres planted in trees. Sheep and cattle have been farmed in the foothills by the Deans' family since 1850. The cluster of heritage farm buildings were purpose-built for an extensive run of 33,000 acres. They remain on the property as a magnificent legacy to pioneering rural life and are classified in Category One by the Historic Places Trust.

The Museum

The museum is housed in different areas of the beautiful brick stables building. There is plenty to interest everyone since the displays cover the full spectrum of country life from early horsedrawn machinery, early petrol-driven engines, light industrial, military, sporting and domestic artifacts. Of special interest is the 4 tonne Ruston motor which was used in the coalmine in the hills and the 1905 Originals All Blacks memorabilia of Bob Deans who lived and worked at Homebush.

Also of great interest is the unique water turbine, still in working order, with a patent date of 1859 made in Dayton Ohio and installed at Homebush in 1879.

Heritage Garden

The garden has been developed by the Deans family since 1850. It is a heritage garden full of magnificent specimen trees planted from the early 1850's with rhododendrons planted underneath. It is about 8 acres in area with sweeping lawns and featuring a circular orchard planted with old roses, an orchard of old fruit trees and a cathedral of trees.


An integral part of the visit is a tour by our local historian. This will give you an in sight into Homebush and the romantic story of the Deans family and the settlement on the Canterbury Plains.

Farm Demo

Sheep shearing and a working farm dog display are available on request.
We can even provide a vintage car display!

The Gift Shop

In the old Stables workshop is the shop which stocks authentic and natural New Zealand made goods including merino possum garments and accessories, mohair rugs, woollen scarves, hand creams and woodware. Many items are hand-made with New Zealand yarns which are also available to purchase.

There are gifts to take home with you and a postal service is available.

The Cafe

The Swingletree Cafe has great character with high beams and polished kauri floor and brick walls and antique tables and chairs. The caterers, "Country Feasts", provide absolutely scrumptious morning or afternoon tea and lunch for guests.

Swingletree Cafe