Tuapaka Farm

Massey University's Tuapaka Farm provides a facility for quality research, teaching and extension in sheep and beef farming. It is particularly used in research investigating aspects of hill country farming.

Tuapaka Farm platform

  • Area – 476 hectares. Flats: 99ha  Hill unit: 365ha
  • Soils – Flats: Tokomaru Silt Loam and Ohakea Silt Loam (derived from wind blown dust from riverbeds).  Hill unit: Steepland soil related to Makara Steepland Soils – derived from greywacke and slope deposits. 
  • Animals – Beef cattle: 280 weaner heifers of even split of Angus, Angus/Freisian, Angus Jersey, Angus/Freisian/Jersey. Freisian and Jersey.
  • Forage – Flats: perennial ryegrass / white clover species. Hill unit: browntop, crested dogstail with perennial ryegrass and white clover
  • Paddocks – Flats: 31 paddocks ranging from 1.3 to 5.2 ha.  Hill Unit: Hill unit: 54 paddocks ranging from 1.2 to 12.8 ha. 
  • Infrastructure – Five-stand woolshed, covered yard complex with a night pen capacity of 1500. Two sets of satellite yards. One main set of cattle yards with five main pens with concrete floor crush to race and weighing platform (electronic scales), headbail and spray dip. 

Tuapaka Information Sheet.pdf (1,121 KB)


Rebecca Hickson and Steve Morris on Tuapaka Farm with windmills in the background Research on Tuapaka Farm

The work going on at Massey’s Tuapaka Farm is adding to resources and information available to farmers operating in a hill country environment. Our research is the largest scale nutrient loss research on a hill country farm catchment anywhere in New Zealand. This holistic programme of work covers the effects and potential alternatives to farming practices taking place in a hill-country environment.


Tuapaka Farm history

Aerial view of Tuapaka

The original 420 hectare farm was acquired in 1938, with a further 56.5 ha added in 1971.

In 1983, Tuapaka was divided into two blocks so that better commercial use could be made of the farm – a 111 ha unit of predominantly flat ground and a hill unit of 365 ha. Initially following this subdivision it was decided to run bulls from weaners to 18 months on the smaller unit, with a sheep and bull beef system put into place on the larger unit.

Location and maps

The farm’s road frontage is located along Fitzherbert East Road, approximately 15 km north-west of Palmerston North City. The farm backs onto the southern-most extent of the Tararua Ranges.

(click map to enlarge or download as pdf below)

Map of Tuapaka.pdf (239 KB)


Tuapaka Farm management

Tuapaka Farm is managed by Phil Brooks

Email Phil


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