Tag Archives: Museums

Old things Transport , Collectables and Lawnmowers

One of the things I wanted to do when we got to Invercargill was go to Bill Richardson’s amazing truck Museum. We settled for the Coachmans Inn which is just down the road from the Museum and was $34 a night for two. The receptionist was ex Auckland and we had a great old chat about things Auckland and other things.

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The Coachmans Inn Motorhome Area

Its has a whole bunch of powered sites behind the Hotel surrounding the amenities block which while it was nice and clean, it did seem a little tired.

Amazing new building

We had a lie in with the sun coming in the windows and eventually walked down the road to the Museum. Fiona was walking into the city, another 1k down the road and was going to walk back and meet me in the cafe.

The Texaco Tanker
Early Fords

The Museum is a fantastic place. From first walking in, there is an amazing Texaco Tanker. I forgot to look at the details of what it was but what a mean looking machine. Then onto the early Fords.

Later Fords

It seemed like there was every single model of Ford from 1904 onwards into the 40’s and 50’s.

British Beddy

Every model of truck you could imagine and there were some early lawnmowers too. There was an interesting collection of tools for service stations and I was really interested to see an early tyre changing device.

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

I worked in a service station in Glenfield when I was a teenager and had to use one of these beasts. Swinging on the end of a tyre lever with grease. Lots of fun. It brought back some old memories.

A Tyre Changer

Petrol Bowsers, Oils and some motors along with a GM 671 setup as a generator and a 171 too.

A Gm 671 set up as a Generator

My old boat Rorqual had a GM Turbocharged 671 in it so I was interested to see it setup as a generator and normally aspirated too. In all the *71 series motors, all the pistons, conrods and bearings, valves etc are the same so easy for parts.

A Bean!

Fiona rang and said that just about everything was shut (saturday afternoon) and she was heading back. I was just about finished so I headed for the Cafe where a few minutes later, Fiona wandered in.

Fiona in the cafĂ© done up as a 50’s Kitchen. “That’s the oven we had in Waiouru”!

An amazing place and a must see if you’re in Invercargill.

Our track to Invercargill

Sunday Roast at the Empire

The fire was blazing, the bar looked fantastic and owners Paulette and Mark couldn’t have been more welcoming. I ordered a Chardonnay and paid the $10 for Rafe’s park with power and we had a look around this amazing pub in Ross.

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Fiona with the fire
The Bar. Amazing working cash register

Paulette informed us that as it was Sunday, they had 30 odd people coming for tea and that we should join in. For $20 each for Roast Pork or Beef and $5 for Pavlova and Steamed Pudding, it was a no brainer and we wanted to be at the front of the queue 🙂

The Empire

We went for a walk up the street and checked out the Gold Mining area.  It is all really well set out and well signposted with explanations of what happened during the late 1800’s with lots of photos and some of the original buildings still there.

The Museum up the road

Unfortunately we missed the Museum and seeing a replica of the biggest Nugget found there but we got to see Raymond the friendly Goat over the road from the Empire along with a lots of historical bits and bobs.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

When I went for a haircut in Greymouth, the lady  absolutely raved about the food at the Empire Hotel when she heard we were going there, so the word is out. The food is fantastic!

Rafe parked at the Empire

We thought about staying another night as it was so good but decided we’d move on to Franz Josef and continue on towards the Haast while the weather was good.

Rafes Track to the Empire

What clever people can do with an old tip.

In 1986, some very clever people from Nelson had several problems to solve. Some old historical buildings had to be saved and to do this, they had to be moved to somewhere safe. The other problem was what to do with an old reclaimed tip area.  So the clever people fixed up the tip area to be reasonably presentable and stuck the buildings on it. A trust was formed backed by the council and the momentum to create the Founders Heritage Park was all on.

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Looking down the main street with the Old St Peters Church and the Windmill behind. The Windmill was in the main street of Nelson for many years.

With help coming from all corners of the community and a lot of local businesses, this is a stunning collection of Heritage buildings and historical artefacts from in and around Nelson. Think of a smaller version of Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology.

Old Newmans and NAC buses

Some very nearly didn’t make it with some terrible stories of buildings nearly falling of trucks on the way to the museum.

One of Nelsons Fire Stations

We visited the park on a day when it was pouring with rain but it was really the only time we had left in Nelson to do it.

A section on the history of the Port complete with a manmade lake.

With 30 odd buildings from a church to Schools, a railway station and many local shops rescued from Trafalgar street in Nelson  as new buildings were built.

The Bristol Freighter

There was even a Bristol Freighter which was good to see as Fiona spent 3 years or so in Malaya at a British and New Zealand Military Camp. When she returned, she came back with her parents and younger brother and sister in a Bristol Freighter. As they are unpressurised, they could only fly at 300 feet and it took 3  days to get from Malaya to New Zealand via Darwin and Sydney, with frozen sandwiches as meals :-).

Fiona on the Bristol Freighter

This was Fiona’s first look inside one of these planes since that trip as an 8 year old so it was a bit special.

Fiona with the Bristol Freighter

I was amazed by how small it was inside. I used to watch them take off from Wellington Airport from my grandparents place up on the hill in Melrose, Wellington.  As a grasshopper, I always thought they were huge !

After having a good look around the plane, we checked out the rest of the village. One of the interesting things there was a replica of Sir Ernest Rutherford’s house as a child.

A replica of Sir Ernest Rutherfords house.

There is so much other stuff to see at the park, I’ll let the Gallery below do the talking.

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

We took shelter from the rain after that and had a nice cup of coffee and a really nice cake and scone at the onsite café.

Part of a great Agricultural display

Its a fabulous place and well done to those involved in rescuing these lovely old buildings and finding somewhere great to put them.

Its only $7 per adult and there is great parking for motorhomes there too.  Next time you’re in Nelson, check it out.

Rafe’s Track to the Founders Heritage Park

Clogs and Windmills

In Arnhem, we met a friendly Dutch Motorhomer who told us about this wonderful little village called Zaanse Schans and that we must pop in for a nosey. So thats exactly what we did and it was stunning.

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Old Buildings on the other side of the river
From the Bridge

Original old buildings and Windmills all restored and many open to the public. It is very touristy but done very well.

Charming houses

We looked for the Motorhome parking but couldn’t find it so parked a few blocks away at a railway station parking area but it was an easy walk to and fro.

Many of the houses were set up as museums and all offered something different. We had a nice Latte and one house, and then a Waffle at another and checked out the inner workings of a windmill.

Fiona and Dianne share a pair of Clogs !

There was a great Clog making display with all the machinery and you could buy almost anything with a windmill or clogs on it 🙂

Zaanse Schans

We spent about 3 hours here and then headed about 20 minutes south for Amsterdam.

Historical Parking with a View

One of the places I’ve been wanting to check out while in Dargaville was the Museum at the top of the hill. The GPS was giving me strange messages that it wasn’t available but it seems they’ve changed the roading to get there. My GPS just didn’t know wbaout it!

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Dargaville from the Museum

Up the hill overlooking Dargaville is the Museum which provides Motorhome parking and also has a dump station and some outside Toilets near the parking with the most amazing view over the Dargaville area.

Museum parking

I had a quick nosey through the museum and it is amazing how much happened in this area with the river and shipping. The Gum Digging history is well documented too along with the Dalmation settlers who largely were involved with the Kauri Gum industry.

Its a great wee town Dargaville, lots to see and plenty of places to stay.

One of the murals on the wall of the Dargaville Museum

This would be one of the premo places to park for a night or two and the Museum is a must do too.

The Kauri Museum

What an amazing place. A must do if you’re in the Kaiwaka – Dargaville area and well worth seeing.

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Kauri dam
Kauri dam

Those with self contained vans can stay the night there too and there is also the Matakohe Holiday park a short walk away.

A full steam sawmill setup
A full steam sawmill setup

The museum is a fantastic collection of all things kauri and has a full Sawmill Hall full of all the things that were used to prepare and process kauri.  There is even a model of bean Rock lighthouse made of Kauri Gum.

Local Photographer and famous for his collections of historic images, Tudor Collins donated his huge negative library to the museum when he found it was being set up. There are some fabulous images on display.

Kauri dressers
Kauri dressers and Tudor Collins images

Allow at least a morning to do it properly but you could easily spend a day there.

New overnight parking at Hukerenui

On our way north by the Hukerenui Pub is the Jack Morgan Museum. I was interested in this as my old Whalechaser Rorqual was built by a Jack Morgan in Picton and although I was certain there was no connection given the distance, one never knows 🙂

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The Museum
The Museum

It turns out that the Hukerenui Jack Morgan was a real character and was a local identity an on retirement started his collection which now makes up the contents of the Museum. Some of the locals have done a great job of the gardens next door too.

His parents owned the pub next door which is where he was born.

The Parking, plenty of room
The Parking, plenty of room

A really interesting place and if you visit the Museum, you can stay for free on the grass behind. It is $6 a night otherwise. There are toilets there too.

MorganIts well worth a look through with all sorts of knick nacks from years gone by and there is a café next door in the pub to finish off with a cup of tea.