TARANAKI: SOUTH TARANAKI

28-Mar-16

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Tawhiti Museum

star rating of 5

by Chris Gaelic

401 Ohangai Rd, Hawera

www.tawhitimuseum.co.nz

Phone: 06-278 6837

rvexplorer id: 19789

Entrance to the Traders and Whalers boat ride

Entrance to the Traders and Whalers boat ride

 

Father and son in their farm workshop

Father and son in their farm workshop

 

Early tractor pulling a plough

Early tractor pulling a plough

 

Steam tractor

Steam tractor

 

The Tawhiti Museum is one of Taranaki's many hidden gems - an amazingly detailed restoration of Taranaki's early history. Self-contained motor caravanners can also park overnight.

 

Nigel Ogle began working fulltime on 'the museum project' in 1988. Starting in the old Dairy Factory he built new display areas populated with hand-crafted figures assembled together to tell the many stories from the early history of the local area. The Maori wars, trading and interacting with Europeans, the bush railway, early agriculture - it all features and is lovingly brought to life.

 

We arrived around mid-afternoon to discover that we didn't have nearly enough time to see everything. We bought tickets for the Traders and Whalers boat ride, and walked through the more formal museum display of agricultural machinery, and had a long chat with Nigel about what he was doing.

 

If you're exploring Taranaki, and have any kind of interest in history, you must visit Tawhiti museum. The Traders and Whalers ride was just stunning! The attention to detail could have been the work of at team of skilled artisans, and not just one man. The stories that were brought to life left a strong impression of what life was like at the time - and how very different it was from today.

 

We could easily have spent the whole day here - which is a good reason to park overnight. Unfortunately, we were committed to meeting some friends the next day, and had to move on. But we will definitely return on our next trip to Taranaki.

 

Be sure to visit their website for more information, especially for information and pictures within the specialist displays.

 

Along with the gift shop, there is a very nice cafe. 

 

Entrance to the Tawhiti Museum

Entrance to the Tawhiti Museum

 

Museum courtyard

Museum courtyard

 

Inside Mr Badger's Cafe

Inside Mr Badger's Cafe

 

Entrance to the Traders and Whalers boat ride

Entrance to the Traders and Whalers boat ride

 

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