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Address: 401 Ohangai Road, Hawera 4614, New Zealand
Phone Number:
+64 6-278 6837

Tawhiti MuseumWidely acclaimed as one of the most innovative museums in New...

Tawhiti MuseumWidely acclaimed as one of the most innovative museums in New Zealand, Tawhiti uses life size exhibits and scale models to capture the past in a series of super-realistic displays. All the displays – including the life size figures created from moulds cast from real people – are designed and built on the premises. Whether the subject is shipping, farming, railways, or just a small corner of a colonial kitchen, the attention given to research and detail is the same. “I hope my enthusiasm for local history comes through the displays. I’m particularly aware of drawing children into our exhibits – they mustn’t feel museums are old buildings, full of old dusty junk. Historical display should be exciting and relevant – I’m always looking for more creative ways of making it just that” Nigel Ogle.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 267 reviews
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    Very good
  • 3
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Unexpected Delight in the Countryside

We visited this museum to experience the Traders and Whalers Boat ride. It reminded us of a Disneyland ride 'pirates of the Caribbean' and told the story of the early trading... read more

Reviewed today
West Auckland, United Kingdom
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267 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 261: English reviews
West Auckland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed today NEW

We visited this museum to experience the Traders and Whalers Boat ride. It reminded us of a Disneyland ride 'pirates of the Caribbean' and told the story of the early trading between the NZ Maori and European settlers. Very well done and fully recommend you take the time to visit. Cafe was adequate; we would have loved some more hot... More 

Thank thompsonmc2016
Bulls, New Zealand
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

A great hidden gem that you should not pass. Fantastic collection with small train and boat ride. NZ history with extra. Toilets/Cafe/Souvenirs. With some hands on exhibits that kids love.

Thank rominkiwis
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Great exhibits which one could spend hours going through it. Full of history and interesting exhibits which were right up there with other international museums. Was pleasantly surprised by this little gem given its location.

Thank mwu014
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great fun for our curious kids-a little on the kitschy side but fun and informative nonetheless-recommended

Thank putiputi123
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Called in at this out-of-the-way small country museum expecting to be round it in an hour and a half....still there 4 hours later. Absolutely stunning. On route from New Plymouth to Wellington, could have spent all day there. Excellent café too. Don't miss Joan Brock Rooms at the back!

Thank Bob A
Level Contributor
90 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My wife and I had intended to visit for an hour but spent half a day. The models are so lifelike and there are so many stories told.

Thank cjb185
Paraparaumu, Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This has to be one of the really inspiring tourist attractions build and developed by a husband and wife team. A visit to the Tawhiti Museum just outside Hawera Is a must. Everything from the lifestyle sized manaquins to the stunning miniatures, collection of fantastic farm equipment, old logging train ride, underground grotto boat ride culminating in excellent coffee at... More 

Thank Glenmac2014
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 14 March 2017

Great family Museum kids will love it especially the boat ride.They also have a very good cafe. There is no problem with parking.

Thank beverleyw996
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 6 March 2017

We travelled to the region just to revisit to the place. Amazing detail in the models that display atypical historical scenes from the Taranaki region, complimented with genuine machinery and items and authentic looking costumes and props from the period. There are also very detailed scale models. We had an 8 year old with us, so rushed a bit quicker... More 

Thank Paul L
Level Contributor
45 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2017 via mobile

Amazing and unique museum. You could easily spend a day here and still not see everything . The dioramas are amazing with such attention to detail. We worth visiting. We will be back.

Thank Clara N

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