A DAY AT THE MUSEUM
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
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.