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“Fabulous tour”

Butler Point Whaling Museum
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Mangonui
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: We give conducted tours of the Whaling Museum, restored Historic 1840's House and Gardens. We have picnic facilities so you can enjoy the grounds after the tour.
Reviewed 5 March 2014

A great part of the history of the far north.....beautiful property...well worth the time.......a little gem of history.....a must

Thank golde w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 41 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 7 February 2014

A very interesting place. By appointment only. Our guide was very knowledgeable about whaling. The museum was very good. The house is quaint like going back in time with lots of items in the collection. The gardens are beautiful and well maintained. The pohutukawa trees are amazing.The tour takes about 2 hours and is worth it.

1  Thank Yvonne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We visited the Whaling Museum on the recommendation of the hosts at our B&B. I come from an Australian community that was initially founded as a whaling base, and we learned a lot about whaling as local history, at school - and it has been an abiding, if low key, interest since that time. I was intrigued in seeing what may be different about the NZ whaling experience.

The museum is on Butler Point at HiHi, which opposite Mangonui township on Mangonui Harbour. The museum is only open at specific times, and the Butler Point site is not open to the public at other times.

The car park is a kilometre or so from the gate, along a single lane gravel road. The museum buildings are down a steep driveway form the parking area, more or less near sea level.

The first building has three small rooms which contain whaling artefacts, interpretive material and an short 'film' from 1922 showing whalers in action. There is also a whaling boat (skiff ) on undercover outdoor display. This was fairly interesting, but repeated some common errors in terms of the description of who whalers operated, so I was left wondering how much original research had been conducted beyond the purely local aspects of the whaling base.

The second building is the whaling base owner's cottage and its associated garden. We had a chance to walk-though the building without sopping, but there really was not enough time to absorb anything much about it.

We were allowed to take photos outside of the buildings, but not inside the buildings, which was frankly quite pretentious for a small local museum with a $20 entry charge.

It was an interesting visit but given the size of the display and limited access to some parts of it, the value for money was pretty average.

2  Thank Billton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

Open by appointment only, an excellent museum, pioneer home gardens and Maori sites. The (compulsory) guided tour lasts 2 hours and is highly informative. If you're in the Far North of NZ make an effort to get here

1  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2013

I had a dual purpose for visiting the Butler Point Whaling Museum - first, to see the Museum itself, and secondly, to investigate an ancestor who lived in Mangonui at the same time as the Butlers and who was a near-neighbour to them.
My hosts at the Old Oak Boutique Hotel in Mangonui arranged my visit the Museum, and I drove there in about 15-20 minutes. I was the only visitor at that time, which meant I could have a really good conversation with Jan Ferguson about both the Museum, and the Butlers and their possible connection to my ancestors.
The Museum is wonderful - very comprehensive and beautifully laid out. It's a real credit to those responsible for accruing such a wide collection of objects and artifacts connected to the whaling industry. Jan was a most informative guide.
The Butler House (still used as a residence) is also amazing and is very well maintained. One gains quite an insight into how its residents must have lived in the 1800's.
The gardens are beautiful - give yourself plenty of time to explore the extensive grounds, including the Maori pa. Public toilets (nicely clean) are available.
If you are, in any way, interested in the past, then this is a must-see for you.

1  Thank Alice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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