New Zealand: PredicamentTawhiti Museum: Cedric's Attic Room
The Tawhiti Museum is the brainchild of Nigel Ogle, who in 1975 bought the old Tawhiti cheese factory and turned it into an incredible fantasy land for his modelmaking. He creates both life-size figures and miniatures to capture the region's rich history. When the house of Ronald Hugh Morrieson, author of Predicament, was about to be demolished in 1993, local builder Robert Surgenor purchased the writer's attic and re-purposed it as a sleep-out for his daughter. In 2010, Nigel took possession of the former attic and relocated it to his museum.
After the filming of the movie Predicament was completed in 2010, Nigel acquired most of the props from Cedric's attic room and gave them a new home in his museum. In fact, he meticolously recreated the set in the same building that houses Morrieson's attic.
In order to bring this scene alive, a screen shows behind-the-scenes footage of the movie. Film stills in poster size and film-related stories also contribute to this incredibly detailed experience.
The address is 401 Ohangai Road, Hawera.
Stefan visited the Tawhiti Museum in September 2017.
I have to admit that before my trip to the Taranaki, I had never come across the Tawhiti Museum. My expectations were fairly low when I met owner Nigel Ogle who agreed to show me the Predicament set and the main highlights of his museum. But talk about a surprise... I can honestly say, I was blown away by the attention to detail, the passion and the sheer scale of this place.
You could literally spend a whole day at the Tawhiti Museum and marvel at Nigel's modelmaking skills. In the short hour I had, Nigel did his best to give me a glimpse into his world and impart some information on the visitor highlights.
At the heart of the museum is a series of themed displays, each using scale and life-size models to recreate Taranaki's past, be it shipping, farming, railways or warfare. All models are made on the premises in the 'body shop' - a series of three studios, all accessible to visitors for viewing.
The newest addition to the museum is an amazing themed attraction called 'Traders & Whalers'. The setting is the Taranaki coast between 1820 and 1840 when whaling was one of the most important sources of income for the local populace. The centrepiece of the attraction is a dark ride: visitors enter an extensive artificial cave system and hop into a boat that takes them through a world long lost.
Additional features of the museum are the Tawhiti Bush Railway, a ride on a 2'6" gauge railway and the Farmpower Hall which houses a collection of New Zealand farming machinery since the 19th century.
Thank you Nigel for this absolute tour de force. The Tawhiti Museum was definitely one of the highlights of my location through Taranaki and, in my opinion, one of the most underrated museums in the country.
Tawhiti Museum: Cedric's Attic Room
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