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Historic place . . . Totara Estate visitor host Steven Henry prepares for the exhibition of New Zealand flags at the estate on Waitangi Day. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Two of North Otago’s best-known historic landmarks will be open to the public on Monday.
Totara Estate and Clarks Mill will hold open days on Waitangi Day as part of a Heritage New Zealand initiative that includes 14 other Heritage NZ properties around the country.
Totara Estate, 8km south of Oamaru, is the historic farm where the country’s billion-dollar frozen meat industry was born in the early 1880s.
The animals that made up the first shipment of frozen mutton to England were slaughtered at the property then transported to Dunedin by rail for freezing aboard the Dunedin.
Totara Estate property manager Anne Sutherland said as well as the usual tours and visitor information, a special exhibition in the form of New Zealand flags had been organised to mark Waitangi Day.
“We have an exhibition of all of the flags that have been used in New Zealand over the years. They’ll all be displayed around the property and we’ll have information about all of the flags so people can learn a little bit more about them.”
Just up the road, Clarks Mill, a historic flour mill that features working machinery, will be open for tours but it will not be in operation.
HNZ heritage destinations manager Nick Chin said Totara Estate and Clarks Mill were integral to North Otago’s early growth.
“Both properties are wonderful places to visit. They are real features of North Otago’s history and heritage, and popular visitor destinations.
“We hope this open day will make visitors just as proud of these properties as we are in caring for them. There is plenty of space to pack a picnic and make a day of it. Tea and scones will be available to buy at Totara Estate as well.”