Southward Car Museum; World Famous in NZ

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Located on the Kapiti Coast, the Southward Car Museum houses hundreds of cars as well as planes, motorbikes and other interesting vehicles and machinery.

Southward Car Museum; World Famous in NZ
Southward Car Museum; World Famous in NZ

From the outside, there is not much to see except a very large building. However, once inside you can see hundreds and hundreds of vehicles.

Southward Car Museum - entrance to museum and shop
Southward Car Museum – entrance to museum and shop

The museum was created by Sir Len Southward and his wife Vera. They started collecting cars in 1956. It become the largest private car collection in Australasia. They purchased the current site in 1976 which was then opened to the public.

Vehicles as far as the eye can see
Vehicles as far as the eye can see

Something for everyone

If cars are not your cup of tea and you prefer two wheels not four, then view their many motorcycles. Walk upstairs (or take the lift) to view the gallery of motorcycles and other vehicle memorabilia.

Rows and rows of motorcycles
Rows and rows of motorcycles

There are vehicles for everyone; including a gangster car with bullet holes, a Delorean (the car from ‘Back to the Future’), Herbie the VW, as well as Marlene Dietrich’s Rolls Royce.

The Gangster Cadillac
The Gangster Cadillac

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there is another room downstairs. These vehicles are modern; Triumphs, Humbers and MkII Zephyrs. Also downstairs are the fire engines, other machinery and the more unusual styled vehicles.

The Downstairs Room
The Downstairs Room

There are also vehicles that are waiting to be restored. The Barn Find is one of them. This is what some of the vehicles look like when they arrive at the Southward Car Museum. Until they are lovingly restored and returned to the floor.

The Barn Find waiting to be restored at the Southward Car Museum
The Barn Find waiting to be restored at the Southward Car Museum

There is an admission charge to the museum, however it is worth it. Allow to spend at least an hour if not two at the museum.

For more things to do on the coast, read our Explore the many attractions of the Kapiti Coast blog and visit KapitiCoastNZ.


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