We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A reason to travel to Hawera.”
Review of Tawhiti Museum

Tawhiti Museum
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Hawera
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
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 that we would have liked but it took us about 75 minutes to view all the exhibits.
Since our first visit a second part of the museum has opened featuring Traders and Whalers, which concentrates on the early coastal history of the region. This is again very detailed but separate to the Museum so there is an additional charge for entry. This section involves a boat ride so is not self-paced and takes about half an hour.
My only negative comment about this is the entry fee of $15 per adult and $5 per child for either section, with no discount if you view both. So with the family of three cost us $70 dollars for less than 2 hours entertainment.

Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (309)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"boat ride"
in 54 reviews
"nigel ogle"
in 24 reviews
"life size"
in 16 reviews
"farm machinery"
in 12 reviews
"cafe on site"
in 10 reviews
"new zealand"
in 28 reviews
"history lesson"
in 4 reviews
"talented man"
in 4 reviews
"attention to detail"
in 17 reviews
"nz history"
in 9 reviews
"local history"
in 12 reviews
"dont miss"
in 4 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 6 reviews
"allow plenty of time"
in 6 reviews
"early settlers"
in 6 reviews
"two hours"
in 7 reviews
"every corner"
in 4 reviews

50 - 54 of 309 reviews

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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2017

Lots of dedicated work has gone in to creating this museum, and most of it works beautifully. Life-size and miniatures.

Thank PeteLucy434
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2017

We spent a whole day here and were still there half an hour after closing time ,so much to take in, such clever models.
Although it had closed the attendant let us quickly finish our tour before kicking us out.Worth return visit.

Thank brendanorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 24 February 2017

This would be one of if not the best private museum in the country by far. It has the best model depiction of Maoridom that can ever be seen. Model work is just fabulous and lifelike. I have been time and time again and still find more to see. Traders and whalers is fantastic as is the bush railway. Cafe has nice simple food and the company at the end table isnice and peaceful when you don't want to chat. A fantastic achievement to Nigel and family and helpers'

Thank Vinaki1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Tawhiti Museum also viewed

Hawera, Taranaki Region
Hawera, Taranaki Region
Hawera, Taranaki Region
Egmont National Park, Taranaki Region

Been to Tawhiti Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing