We’re lucky to have many great au­to­mo­tive mu­se­ums in New Zealand – and the range of cars, mo­tor­cy­cles and automobilia on dis­play is truly epic

New Zealand Classic Car - - Special Feature -

The thought of spend­ing count­less hours wan­der­ing around a mu­seum can, for some peo­ple, seem like an ab­so­lute chore, es­pe­cially for chil­dren. Af­ter all, the mer­est thought of a stuffy old build­ing crammed with ob­scure ob­jects of his­tor­i­cal, sci­en­tific, artis­tic or cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance is enough to dampen down any­one’s en­thu­si­asm – un­less of course, the ‘ob­jects’ on dis­play in­clude some­thing of gen­uine in­ter­est.

For mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­asts that usu­ally means vis­it­ing a car mu­seum – some­thing akin to a pil­grim­age for clas­sic car fa­nat­ics as they take a trip down the road of au­to­mo­bile his­tory to dis­cover fas­ci­nat­ing and in­ter­est­ing in­sights and, in­deed, their own per­sonal mem­ory lane. The well-thought out car mu­seum can also reac­quaint vis­i­tors with the world of mo­torised trans­porta­tion – of­fer­ing a greater un­der­stand­ing into the mo­bile ma­chines that have changed the way we all see the world.

Ki­wis have al­ways had a fas­ci­na­tion for cars ever since they ar­rived on our shores in the early 1900s and to­day we own more cars per head of pop­u­la­tion than vir­tu­ally any other coun­try on the planet. As far as clas­sic car own­er­ship goes, we can hold our own amongst the high­est in the world.

So, with that in mind, it’s not at all sur­pris­ing that there are so many fab­u­lous car mu­se­ums scat­tered around the coun­try – all of them of­fer­ing a di­verse range of ve­hi­cles. Some mu­se­ums are more Kiwi–fo­cused, whilst oth­ers spe­cialise in older race or rally cars while oth­ers are happy to dis­play any­thing with wheels – in­clud­ing trucks, mo­tor­cy­cles, bi­cy­cles, tanks, am­bu­lances, buses trams and all man­ner of odd­ball ve­hi­cles.

Many of th­ese mu­se­ums also of­fer some­thing for the en­tire fam­ily – in­clud­ing a on-site café and spe­cialty gift shops stocked with ap­parel, mod­els, posters and mag­a­zines.

Over the next few pages we’ve put to­gether a com­pre­hen­sive list a mu­se­ums that we reckon are def­i­nitely worth vis­it­ing – so, why not stop in and have a look around when you’re in the area next – you never know what you’ll dis­cover.

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