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Tawhiti Museum

401 Ohangai Road, Hawera 4614, New Zealand
(06) 278 6837
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98%
Ranked #1 of 11 Attractions in Hawera
Type: Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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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103 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hawera, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2014 NEW

absolutely everything is great about this place, the talented Ogles have put passion into everything here.

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Paraparaumu, Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2014 NEW

TAWHITI is the best private Museum in Hawera South Taranaki New Zealand, absolute must to visit, I was gob smacked when I saw it for the first time, can't believe I nearly missed out on this experience. Life size exhibits and scale models to present our heritage, bush walk, railway and shop. It is so interesting not modern and some... More

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Tauranga, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

This is the most interesting small museum around and it is not so small anymore. I have visited Tawhiti Museum since its beginnings as I lived near Hawera. Now no longer a resident I visit when I come back to South Taranaki. There is so much to see with history brought alive by Nigel Ogle's incredible skill with his dioramas... More

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

Such an amazing Museum. Was not what we expected it was much more!!! We went on the first Sunday of the month which is when the bush train runs. Such fun & learnt alot too! Whalers & Traders was phenomenal. Just clever workman ship throughout the whole museum and the stories for everything was fantastic! Kids loved the toilet surprise,... More

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2014

Tawhiti museum just out of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand is a brilliant visit awaiting you. It is a unique museum full of all sorts of interesting insights and artifacts of history. We learnt more about Maori history and movement than we had anticipated. We also saw lifestyles of settlers past laid out with the tools and machines they used. Absolutely... More

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Blenheim, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2014

This was our 3rd visit over many years and it just keeps getting better and better. Entry prices are low and well worth twice the price. The detail in the dioramas is spectacular and you keep finding more small details the longer you look. Always love watching reactions from those opening the dunny door. It takes over 60 hours to... More

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Marton, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

Check what days this is open as it varies from season to season. Lots of parking, also rest room, cafe and souvenir shop on site. We had two choices, either the regular museum or the new Traders and Whalers exhibit which is the one we picked. Weta Workshops collaborated with some of the setting - amazing, you view most of... More

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Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2014

Nigel Ogle has established a world class "working" museum and his dioramas are just wonderful. His talent is exceptional and it is interesting as an ex-Hawera-ite to recognise some of the faces and scenes. You could easily spend a whole day here taking in all aspects of the museum. The adjacent cafe is delightful, too one of the patrons like... More

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

I'll be the first to say that I am not a museum person, but this was totally brilliant. What a concept by a wonderful guy, so detailed, clever and a wonderful sense of humour too. Room after room of intelligent and beautifully portrayed scenes, I learnt so much, it was amazing. Thank you I would recommend to everyone to take... More

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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

This museum is outstanding and well worth visiting. Well maintained, with humor thrown in the exhibitions there is something for people of all ages. The cafe is delightful and we sat next to the manikin at the table. He looked so real!!!! This is a must see!!!!

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