Now Open: Ayrburn Is Arrowtown's New Food and Wine Paradise That's Five Venues in One (Plus More to Come)

The once-successful sheep farm has been restored and turned into a new venue, ready for locals and tourists to enjoy all summer.
Emma Clark-Dow
December 11, 2023

Nestled between Queenstown and Arrowtown in the depths of Central Otago is where you'll find Ayrburn, a once successful wheat, sheep and dairy farm that's been transformed into a multi-venue precinct to wine and dine the day away.

Open to the public since Saturday, December 9, the 160-year-old Ayrburn boasts views of snow-capped mountains and New Zealand greenery, making the perfect setting to enjoy everything that New Zealand has to offer: food, drink and incredible sights.

While Ayrburn may not be the farm it once was, the new version doesn't completely lose sight of what came before. During its transformation, the main buildings — including the woolshed, stables, cart shed and dairy — were restored to their full glory, making sure to protect significant historical features, such as the curved roof in the cart shed. Each of these buildings now serve a specific purpose within Ayrburn, making up the five different venues ready to be explored.

The Woolshed operates as a casual bistro that knows how to throw a party. The Manure Room, while slightly less appealing in name, will be appealing to those who enjoy a glass of wine or three. This particular room is where original owner and farmer William Patterson created his secret speakeasy during New Zealand's prohibition era, confident that the smell of manure would keep away any trouble.

At the helm of these two venues are Executive Chef Richard Highnam and Master of Wine Sophie Parker-Thompson, with Ayrburn also be showing off an exclusive wine range that guests are only able to purchase at the farm.

Next up is Burr Bar, an inviting spot for your after-dinner tipple and open until 2am for that very purpose. The Dairy does what it says on the box, serving up sweet treats any time all day. Finally, The Dell is a central outdoor hub for people to mill about whatever is happening that day, whether it be games, a market or live music.

While this might seem like more than enough places to spend your time, Ayrburn isn't done yet. Through 2024, the farm will be welcoming Billy's, which will serve as the farm's main restaurant, as well as The Barrel Room, The Bakehouse and RM's Butcher.

Find Ayrburn at 1 Ayr Avenue, Arrowtown. Each venue has different opening hours, but are all open everyday: The Woolshed and The Dell is open 8–12am, The Manure Room 10–2am, Burr Barr 2pm–2am and The Dairy 10am–10pm.

Published on December 11, 2023 by Emma Clark-Dow
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