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Art & Heritage

Packard Museum, Whangarei – Places to Visit

North Island

Packard Motor Museum is not to be missed. You will be amazed at the sheer size of the collection. Humour and wry comments about petrol heads creating a truly memorable places to visit will be part and parcel of any visit. The collection is massive and, for the editor the dummy models artfully posed next to vintage 1920’s roadsters was special.

Packard Motor Museum vintage fire engines
Packard Motor Museum Vintage Fire Engines

Plan half a day for the sheer wonder at finding things. The Packard Museum is infectious with its enthusiasm for objects and machinery of the 20th century. Expect to find sewing machines and tools. 



The odd, unusual machinery is there for the curious to pore over and think about how on earth did people use that drill.



  • Take as many photos as you can
  • Take videos of yourself posed against the gleaming exterior of a beautiful vehicle
  • Ask lots of questions


Absolute enthusiasts on the other hand, give yourself a couple of hours, then plan on lunch and coffee down the road at the Office Cafe before returning to finish off your exploration.



Getting There


Whangarei is approximately 30 minutes drive making this a great indoors / rainy day attraction. However don’t wait for a rainy day, visit Maungatapere and the museum is on the main road, state highway 14. 


Check out the Packard Motor Museum for up to date opening hours. Admission fees apply


And wheelchair friendly in parts, you will definitely get to view beautifully curated vehicles.

Packard Motor Museum
Packard Motor Museum

Packard Motor Museum is a must visit destination for motor heads, lovers of all things that start with petrol. The extraordinary collection ranges from over 60 Packard vehicles, lawnmowers, heavy earthmoving equipment, fire engines, a plethora of objects from 120 potato peelers to nuts, bolts and screws to repair the numerous vintage motor bikes.  


If you are lucky Fenton will crank the Ford T car and the sound of one of the first commercial cars will fill the warehouse. Then the joy of a vintage motorbike being kick started is another highlight.

The mission of the museum is to show the changes in design and technology from horse drawn vehicles through to motor vehicles and heavy machinery that made NZ what it is today. 


This charitable trust encompasses a vast collection of vintage cars and early heavy machinery housed in 4 large sheds is a place where petrol heads can get lost. And, there are two volunteers whose job is to dust and polish the gleaming vehicles, be careful to avoid the dusting rags as you might have an unexpected job.


What to know more about Whangarei? Check out Whangarei Travel Guide with tips about where to stay.

Whangarei, Northland
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