2016 Southward Museum

February 27

While the rest of the club was having fun with the Crab Feed, a museum tour in the Southland, and an Easter parade, my husband Tom and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary with a cruise around New Zealand and southern Australia. Our first port call after sailing from Sydney was Wellington, New Zealand where we had booked a shore excursion to tour the Kapiti Coastal District. The district is named for Kapiti Island off the coast of northern island of New Zealand that is home to the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve.

Apparently, this is not a very popular tour because much to our surprise, the two of us were the only ones on the tour. David, our tour guide gave us a private tour of the gorgeous coastal region that stretches from Paekakariki in the south through Otaki in the north.

Much to our surprise, the tour included a stop at the Southward Car Museum in Paraparaumu, New Zealand. The Southward is home to the southern hemisphere's largest private car collection and was started by Sir Len and Lady Vera Southward in 1956 with a Ford Model-T for which they paid £40. The museum opened to the public in December 1979. The collection contains automobiles from every era, vintage tools, fire engines, aircraft, motorcycles, and even a bicycle built for three-and-a-half. There was even the 20 millionth Model-A on exhibit. Given that the tour description didn't include this little stopover, it was a very pleasant surprise indeed.

Visit http://www.southwardcarmuseum.co.nz/index.html for information on the Southward Car Museum.

Photos by Tom Mullins & Scott Williams