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Museums

Explore history and culture at one of Kāpiti's museums. See one of the finest car collections at Southward's or discover local history.

Southward Car Museum

Housing some of the world’s rarest and most valuable vehicles, Southward is considered the premier privately owned automotive collection in the Southern Hemisphere.

They have an incredible range of classic cars, including a car owned by gangster Al Capone, as well as some newly acquired modern classics including Lamborghinis and Ferraris you can inspect close-up.

Open daily 9am – 4.30pm.

Museum of Aviation

Housed next to the Paraparaumu Airport Control Tower, the small museum overlooks the airfield runways and traces the development of aviation in New Zealand and aviation history in the Kāpiti district.

Kāpiti's airport was the busiest in New Zealand in the 1940s-1950s and the museum features historic photographs of the airport.

New Zealand's airliner history is illustrated through photographs and models, as well as collections of memorabilia from the flights themselves such as the propellor from the Caudron aircraft flown by on the first sustained flight in Wellington on 29 January 1914.

Open Sundays 10am - 4pm.

Wellington Tramway Museum

Take a trip through Queen Elizabeth Park in an original Wellington tram. Explore the display including a film showing the tram used in the movie King Kong.

Open weekends 11am – 4.30pm.

Paekākāriki Station Museum

Constructed in 1910, the railway station was once so busy a nearby 17 room hostel was built just for the girls serving teas. Now the museum has railway memorabilia displayed in the old refreshment rooms.

There are also exhibits about local history, including mementos from the US Marines who trained in the area during World War II.

Open weekends 11am – 3pm.

Ōtaki Museum

Small local museum showing the town’s rich history through photos, newspapers and exhibits.

Open Thursday to Saturday 10am – 2pm (during exhibitions).

Kāpiti Coast Museum

Home to extensive displays of life from the pioneering era such as a functioning 1930s kitchen, colonial schoolroom and barnyard. The collection is housed in the old Waikanae Post Office.

The hands on communications exhibits are always popular with visitors who enjoy writing with a feather pen and ink, typing messages on the typewriter, dialing the old telephones and operating the exchange or mastering morse code. 

Open weekends 2pm – 4pm.

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