Magnificently restored Douslin house is in a garden setting and features many fascinating exhibits, including “The Sheward collection” of Mäori, missionary and colonial artifacts and “Evansville”, country life in the 1920s, the history of indigenous logging in the area, steam, industrial and agricultural machinery.
Built in 1925 for Horace Balfour Douslin, the house is in Dutch Colonial style, reflecting the architecture of Rhodesia where Douslin lived for some years, before developing an Ayrshire stud farm on his extensive property here.
Douslin’s original farm house has been completely restored through funding from the Lotteries Board, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and the Bay of Plenty Community Trust. The house has been furnished in 1920s-1930s style, with displays of photographic and phonographic equipment and a collection of clocks.
With a working blacksmith’s forge and regular demonstrations on live steam days, sparks fly and the history of Rotorua comes to life!
Live steam days on the second Sunday of every month feature traction engine rides, steam and stationary engines going full bore, . . .
Exhibits include spectacular displays of Maori culture and lifestyles. Beautifully displayed in specially made cases by a master conservator, these exhibits are unique in New Zealand.
Refer to the “Model Trains” link above for running times and more information.