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“Wasn't expecting much” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Kauri Museum

The Kauri Museum
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Private Tour: 5-Day Auckland and Bay of Islands Trip
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Matakohe
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Kauri Museum tells the story of the mighty kauri tree, its fascinating gum and pioneering past. The Kauri tree is the focal point and theme of this museum, showing the different stages of how this giant wonder fueled industries that sustained communities of the early settlers. The Museum has over 4,500 sq mtrs of undercover attraction, and is a 'Must See'! Visit our heritage Museum en route to the ancient kauri trees in the Waipoua Forest. Visitor Information Centre on site with main focus on the western route of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway and Northland. Disabled friendly, lots of free parking spaces available, accommodation and cafes nearby. Location: 5 Church Road, Matakohe, New Zealand 0593 Hours: Mon - Sun: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Open every day except Christmas Day)
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Wasn't expecting much”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2014 via mobile

Wasn't expecting much so I was surprised to see how awesome this museum was. There was so much to see and learn. Unfortunately we didn't allow ourselves enough time so we started from the back and worked our way to the front. We though 30 minutes would be plenty but 3 hours is what we would have needed.

Visited August 2014
Thank Nicole S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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On the move
Level Contributor
105 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Kauri Treasure trove”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2014

Visited this museum on the second day of a three week trip to New Zealand's North Island. I knew nothing about Kauri trees before hand but boy did I learn a lot!

The first part of the museum you go through contains some wonderful pieces of furniture made from Kauri wood. You are then taken to an area where you are given an indication of the size of some of these trees and how they were cut down and used. this is tied in with some social history of how the early settlers in these parts lived. There is also a room full of Kauri gum (amber) and various artefacts made from it.

My first impression on entering was that NZ$25 seemed like a lot for a provincial museum about a tree, but after 2 or 3 fascinating hours there I considered it money well spent. For the rest of my holiday I looked at the impressive kauri trees with a lot of respect and admiration!

Visited August 2014
Thank madmikeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Unexpected treasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2014

We were amazed by the quality and quantity of items and displays this museum offered. The staff and supporters have done an outstanding job to bring the history of this area alive. Would thoroughly recommend this attraction to all.

Visited August 2014
Thank PensbyLad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biggar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
739 reviews
288 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 763 helpful votes
“Possibly we couldn't see the wood for the trees”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2014

Having seen the largest living kauri tree in New Zealand it seemed a good idea to pop into the museum to see more about these giants which once dominated the landscape.

Entry was $25 (£13) per adult which we thought was too expensive albeit it’s a large site and no doubt costs a bit to maintain (but also gets lots of visitors).

We had read somewhere that it was recommended to go to the far side of the museum and work your way back to the entrance so our first stop was in the operational machinery wing. This shows old equipment used by early settlers and if you’re into engineering it would be of particular interest. The sawmill, Smith Wing and Volunteers Hall focus on the timber industry with some giant specimens and the equipment and methods used to harvest them. There is a model which explains how they managed to extract the timber from the forest using a dam system which flushed it downstream - anything which saves on timber trucks on the road must be a good thing!

Following on from these exhibits there are displays of the products made from kauri - from furniture to boats, a mock up of a boarding house and of a home from the 1900’s. To finish off we visited the “Gum Room” downstairs where you can see the largest collection of kauri gum (amber) that you are ever likely to see anywhere. It’s a bit of an overload and makes you think that sometimes less is more.

It’s everything you would want to know about kauri and more so it does what it sets out to do I suppose but we just found it a bit dull - perhaps we couldn’t see the wood for the trees? You would need a couple of hours to cover the basics and a week or so to do it all.

There is a gift shop on site if you’re looking for some souvenirs prior to heading home.

Visited November 2013
Thank Rantin rover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
304 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Fantastic Social History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014

Make this a "really should see" if you are anywhere near this area. The Museum, is so much more than just a Museum, and actually so much more than just a Kauri Museum. The attraction covers a large area, gives great detail about the way the Kauri tree has changed and influenced NZ fortunes, but is also gives a fantastic insight into NZ social and industrial evolution.

Visited August 2014
Thank Ikorel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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