The Dargaville Museum Te Whare Taonga o Tunatahi is a Maori, Maritime and Pioneer Museum, situated in Harding Park Pou Tu Te Rangi, overlooking Dargaville with magnificent views of the surrounding district including that of Mt Tutamoe, Northland's highest mountain, Toka Toka Peak, Maungaraho Rock and the Northern Wairoa River.
The Museum exhibitions tell of early Maori, the early pioneers, including the gumdiggers, and the Maritime and Industrial history of the Northern Wairoa River surrounds, the Kauri Coast and of our communities.
Shipping was the main mode of transport in the area up until the 1940s, and the maritime exhibition tell the stories of the many shipwrecks and relics that appeared out of the sand on our wild west coast. Ships such as the French warship the 'Alcemene' and the NZ built 'Huia' and more. Plus the story of the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, sabotaged while at dock in Auckland on the 10th July 1985, only 2 weeks after the museum opened. On display is the ship's clock which stopped when the bomb exploded at 10 minutes to midnight.
Within the Maori exhibition , we have a 16 meter long hand-adzed Maori Waka/canoe, and a very early Maori Pou on display along with other early Maori taonga/ treasures: adzes, kete and more.
Our Pioneer hall shows the life the early settlers lived including the Doctors etc and in the Gumdigger's hall are fascinating insights into the life of the Dalmatian Gumdiggers and exhibited is the restored Blackstone engine which ran the old gum washing machines plus life-like models scraping gum outside the original historic Gumdigger's hut.
The passions of the avid collector are also satisfied with the extensive displays in our Collector's Collection Hall ranging from birds eggs to thimbles, and within the fully restored Aratapu Library, built in 1874 and now part of the museum, the musical history of the district is told; the focal point of which is an extensive Accordion collection from around the world and includes the renown Kevin Friedrich Accordion collection.
Within Harding Park Pou Tu Te Rangi is also the museum's replica Gumdiggers site, the Rainbow Warrior's masts plus a Camper-van Park available for overnight stays with water and dump station.
The park also hold the Vintage Machinery Club open Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Pou tu te Rangi Pa site. And neighboring the park is the old Mt Wesley Cemetery.
P.O. Box 166 Dargaville 0340
09 439 7555
Museum Director: Maree Saunders Weekend Manager: Christine Johnstone
32 Mt Wesley Coast Road Dargaville
Summer ( November - March) 9am-5pm (closed Christmas Day) Winter ( April to October ) 9am-4pm
Adult $15 Seniors $12 Groups of 12 or over $10 School children $5 Family (2 adults & children) $35
Other FacilitiesThe museum has a research Library and Archives and our researchers work in conjunction with the Northern Wairoa Genealogical Society who are also on-site.
The Museum shop has a great selection of NZ Souvenirs plus locally made jewellery and Kauri wood turning. Espresso Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate are available, which you can enjoy while watching videos of local history. We also have free maps, Tourist brochures and Info Brochures on local activities.