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“Heritage transport in the context of modern New Zealand; MOTAT showcases isolation and offers competitive re-positioning”
Review of Motat

Ranked #222 of 428 things to do in Auckland
Attraction details
Reviewed 24 May 2018

Museum of Transport & Technology, 805 Great North Road, Western Springs

Looking back over our visit to MOTAT 1 - discovery, innovation, design and imagination – we appreciate that we’d missed out on ‘Aviation’ (in MOTAT 2) but, pragmatically, you can’t do everything in just three hours – the time that we’d given ourselves before catching the early evening flight to Melbourne – we arrive back 21.30. Next time then.
It was mid-day and we’d parked alongside the perimeter fence outside the MOTAT Village, and followed the tram lines to the main entrance where we paid our NZ$10/each to get in. This is where you find the gift shop with that galaxy of interesting things for kids of all ages; fortunately, we were restricted to hand luggage, but we still got through considerably more than the original entrance fees when buying.
Whatever, we remember our first time coming through >20 years back with our kids in tow; and now they’ve shifted into the real world with kids of their own. The nipoti have yet to reach an age when they’ll be delighted to explore pump house, fire station, car design, bicycles and more. Interest doesn’t decline with age, however, and the oldies will be coming through as long as there are mobile oldies. For best, however, MOTAT 1 captures and stimulates the kids – and particularly if Dad (or Mum) is already an aficionado.

Araroa Teamrooms
For all that this is really an evaluation of the Araroa Tearooms located in a large weatherboard house with veranda and an extensive covered area at the back just opposite Waitakere Station. The tearooms appeared to occupy one corner of the lower floor – it wasn’t really a ‘ground’ floor as such but built on a slope with storage space below. Elsewhere in the house space/rooms were presumably available for private functions.
Staff were friendly and efficient. Take your drinks/snacks outside to the small covered veranda to one side and next to the main entrance, and you over-look the rail line and the period buildings of that make up the station. Nothing was moving during our time there. It was a Tuesday with gloomy overcast skies and few people about; the tearooms contained a handful of guests – most of whom seemed to belong to a women’s group that were dressed in provocative bright red with large hats. No, we didn’t like to ask.
Couple of teas and snacks each came to NZ$12 – so costs were par for the course locally.

It was a pleasant place to sit, look out over the buildings and reflect on the historical mix of old technologies, equipment and transport vehicles – tidy, well-kept, novel; compliments to staff, volunteers and management alike for developing a national asset of this kind. (And, in particular, full marks to the volunteer guide in the pumphouse mid-day 13Mar; his enthusiasm was infectious.)
Equally, you appreciate the effort that has been made to share these images of the past and project them into relevance for the future; the need for young people with STEM capabilities, knowledge and drive that will continue to provide that competitive edge within world markets. This is no longer the 19th century – the country is no longer isolated - innovation is no longer dependent upon dedicated people working in isolation.
Aviation pioneer Richard Pearce comes to mind - he lived through to 1953, but he would still be astounded at modern New Zealand. If you can, get hold of a copy of Gordan Ogilvie’s book – assuming it’s still in print. If you’re travelling through South Canterbury, stopover at the commemorative memorial near Pleasant Point and reflect on Richard Pearce’s time/place. It’s well worth an hour’s detour off State Highway 1. Stop for a picnic. The gorse bushes have all gone.

Peter Steele

Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 April 2018

Having a site totally dedicated to aircraft history is a great way to get a sense of how aircraft have connected NZ to the world and how this isolation has encouraged pioneering in the use of aircraft. The hanger is modern, up-to-date and has a good number of interactive exhibits. The memorial section provides a sombre reflection of the role aircraft have played in keeping us free.

It would be good to create engagement around the science of flight - this would help to create interest with young people and get them more engaged with science & tech. Maybe get the MindLab people on to it?

A great "go-to" when it is raining and appreciated by children of all ages.

Thank DaveE1913
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2018

What an exceptionally great place to spend time! Exhibits are well maintained and the information is very easy to follow. Favourite exhibit has to be the aeroplanes!
Guides were very knowledgeable and friendly - and a lot of them are volunteers. Clean, very accessible and good facilities. Great way to learn more history.

Thank SarahR7505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

Stopped off here for a look around. It's spread over two sites quite a distance away ( Motat 1 and 2). But they have a fantastic tram system that run between the two. Motat 1 is, in my view, best for children and have a cafe. Lots for children to do, and next door to the Western Springs Lake. Motat 2 houses historic aeroplanes.

To visit both sites, tram both ways for 2, 38 dollars.

You can also use the car park at Motat 2, use the tram for 2 dollars return to get too Auckland Zoo.

Worth a visit.

Thank RobertLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 March 2018

Recently visited MOTAT and found it very interesting and enjoyable. Even those with me who thought it was going to be boring were pleasantly surprised. The tram trip to the air museum was good and the air museum itself was a surprise - just fantastic. Don't forget to visit the Cottage Village. Great for kids as well and close to the Zoo and Western Springs spaces. There is cafe but make sure you have lunch at lunch time since the food was popular when we were there.

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

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