The Elms Mission House

You are here

If you're in Tauranga and would like a slice of history, take a walk through the historic Elms Mission Station.

Completed in 1847, the Elms Mission House is one of New Zealand's finest Georgian houses and one of the oldest historic buildings in the country. It was built for the Reverend Alfred Nesbit Brown, who came to New Zealand with his first wife Charlotte in 1829 as a missionary for the Church Missionary Society of England.

The house is constructed from kauri logs that were rafted down from the Coromandel Peninsula to be pit sawn on site. The building is in original condition except for the roof, which was originally shingled but is now clad in corrugated iron. An interesting collection of items used in the early days of the mission is also on display.

Next to the house is New Zealand's oldest free-standing library. The library contains more than 1,000 books which belonged to Reverend Brown. Many are on religious topics; others contain practical information related to survival in an isolated settlement.

The Elms Mission Station grounds are open daily, free of charge. Volunteer guides open the house and library to visitors from 9am to 4pm daily. There is a small entry fee.

Bookings for use of the chapel and grounds can be made by emailing

For more information visit

Find & book flights