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Museum of Transport, Technology and Social History (MOTAT)

by Ric Havyatt

Visitors to Auckland should not miss the opportunity to inspect the above museum, located at 805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland. Convenient bus services from the city will get you directly to the front gate.

MOTAT opened in 1964 and is the largest museum of transport, technology and social history in New Zealand. It covers 40 acres, on two sites, and it presents a fascinating and informative record of the technological developments that have helped shape New Zealand. The museum is built on the site that once pumped water drawn from Western Springs to early Auckland homes and businesses. A beam engine operates the pump, only one of three working beam engines in the world. The pump house is one of two original buildings on the site, the other being the engineer's cottage in the Victorian village.

Displays include road transport, early Auckland, medical/dental and aviation amongst others. There is an extensive tramway system operating that will convey you between the museum sites, one of which includes a Lancaster bomber and a Solent flying boat.

One activity not mentioned on the web site, from which the above information was obtained, is the communications section. It is in this section that one of our ATCS members spends a great deal of his time restoring, cataloguing and arranging displays, no less than Geoff Jull. Geoff says that a new building program is under way to provide improved display areas together with workshop and storage facilities. This communications display includes not only early telephones but also exchange equipment, telephone kiosks, telegraphic items, radios and similar items of historical interest.

Hours of opening:- Daily 10am - 5pm
Admission: Adults $10, Children $5, Family $20.

Submitted by Ric Havyatt.

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