The story of Tara Hills high-country research
The 3340 ha Tara Hills high-country station near Omarama was a Government owned research facility
between 1948 and 2005. Here we present the story of the rise and fall of Tara Hills; turned from a depleted
wasteland into the vibrant research centre of the 1980s, it was eventually sold to commercial interests in the
early 2000s. By the early 1980s, Tara Hills had 14 permanent staff and was internationally recognised as a
model for dryland farm development, experimentation and demonstration. However, subsequent changes in
emphasis for New Zealand farming resulted in a decline in dryland research and to the inevitable sale of this
high-country station. We summarise the broad range of research and its outcomes associated with Tara Hills,
spanning soils, pasture species, their establishment and production, irrigation, grazing management,
animal breeds, animal production and genetics, and farm systems. The changing face of New Zealand’s
agricultural research and extension is an integral part of this story.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Rights granted to the New Zealand Grassland Association through this agreement are non-exclusive. You are free to publish the work(s) elsewhere and no ownership is assumed by the NZGA when storing or curating an electronic version of the work(s). The author(s) will receive no monetary return from the Association for the use of material contained in the manuscript. If I am one of several co-authors, I hereby confirm that I am authorized by my co-authors to grant this Licence as their agent on their behalf. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes the rights to supply the article in electronic and online forms and systems.