Our Story

When Barrys Bay Cheese produced its first cheddar in 1895, it was just one of nine small, family-owned dairy cooperatives dotted around Banks Peninsula. Life was quite a challenge then, so the original hard doers at Barrys Bay weren’t alone in turning their hand to creating something useful from an abundant natural resource.

One by one, those little family dairy businesses eventually fell by the wheyside, so to speak, leaving the

Barrys Bay factory near Duvauchelles as the last outpost of traditional cheese making on the Peninsula. To ensure the continuation of our cheese making tradition, we built a new factory at Barrys Bay in the early 1950s, the very same factory you come across today on your way to Akaroa. Not to be swayed by the mechanical temptations that would most certainly have changed the course of our history, we’ve persevered with the original methods. All this extra work

requires a fair amount of time and love, and perhaps a little stupidity to keep doing things the hard way. But then, after more than a century of doing what we do, we’ve come to know that sticking to our knitting makes a fine cheese.

As we say at Barrys Bay – Good taste comes with age.

Our Factory

The original Barrys Bay Cheese factory was built in 1895 and nestled just at the base of the Onawe Peninsula.  Unfortunately this building went down in flames in a tragic fire in 1952. Soon after a new factory was built just down the road, which is the factory we still use today.  A large viewing window was installed between the shop and the factory, offering visitors a glimpse into the wonderful world of cheese making and a piece of New Zealand’s local dairy history.

Our cheese making season runs from October to May, when we can get fresh milk from our local cows. Check out our cheese making calendar below to see which days we are making cheese.  If you want to stop in for a visit even if we are not cheesemaking, our shop is open all year from 9am to 5pm daily, except for Christmas day.

If you would like to arrange a group visit please email:

 [email protected]

View Cheese making calendar >