‘House and garden are presented with honesty, sensitivity and artistic flare. Nothing is overstated, nothing overlooked. Readers of her work will find great satisfaction in seeing the originals referred to in Frame’s work: a hillside, a seat by the kitchen range – but no visitor could leave without a greater insight into the life of the child who grew up here and became the writer, Janet Frame.’ ~ Fiona Farrell, writer.

Hours and admission

We are open  2 -4 pm daily between 1 November and 30 April.

Visits outside this time may be possible by prior arrangement.

Closed: Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Entry: $5

Monday – Saturday you will be greeted by our Curator Rachel Fenton. On Sundays the house hosts are our volunteers.


56 Eden Street, Oamaru, 9400, New Zealand

Plan your visit

Visitors can purchase books and cards, view archival material, listen to recordings, enjoy a guided tour, and learn about the times spent in the house, garden and surrounds by the Frame family.

About the house

The property as it stands today is the story of the re-framing of this modest dwelling.  At each step the work has been carefully carried out to ensure that no permanent damage was done to the original fabric.

The key rooms are very much as they looked during the Frame residency.  The dining room (with its original lino) and the bedrooms have not changed since those days.

The kitchen has been rebuilt according to the recollections of Janet and her younger sister, June Gordon.

The house is not a restoration, it has become what is now called a re-framing, a combination of known facts and recollections.  In many ways, the house is as the first lines in To the Is-Land

‘… with its mixture of fact and truths and memories of truths…’

The Garden

The garden has been lovingly tended, rejuvenated, replanted, and kept in a rambling style where visitors can picnic and be alone with their thoughts.  The garden today is in contrast to the hurly – burly and the anything but quiet when the Frames lived there with an extended family and assorted animals.

‘… I had a little place to live in.  I had a mother who cooked for us, and she cooked nicely too, and my father dug the garden in the weekends, and he planted pansies, and we had cats and dogs and rabbits and a mouse in the scullery and we had visitors sometimes who swore, and I liked being alive and I didn’t care twopence about the past it was the present that mattered…’  from Miss Gibson and The Lumber-Room