There are few buildings surviving in New Zealand of this type of construction. The district's first European settler, Charles Turner, built this small, four-roomed cottage in the bush in 1881. He and his wife Matilda and their four children lived here for 28 years. The cottage was built of totara and beech slabs, pit sawn on the site. The roof was shingled and the fireplace constructed of river stones. It is furnished in the style of the 1890/1900 period.
The cottage was given to Heritage New Zealand in 1980 after a previous restoration in the 1960s. Visitors can view the interior at any time through glass observation panels.