Top 6 must visit places for history buffs

Horowhenua boasts a range of activities to do, but did you know we’ve got a great selection of local museums too? From locomotive history, to film and photography right through to local history we’ve got something for everyone!

Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre

Located in Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom lies the Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre, a museum that takes you on an engaging journey through whakapapa and pride of place. Through digital displays, soundscapes and a walk past traditional and modern art, you’ll be immersed into Ngāti Ruakawa ki te Tonga history, reo and taonga. Upon visiting you’ll see and experience: 

  • Whakapapa – The origins story, as visuals and soundscape
  • Landscape – An animated journey on-screen, of Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga rohe
  • Taonga – Contemporary expressions of culture and artists of old: weaving and carving
Background pattern test

Oranjehof – Dutch Connection Centre

 Oranjehof stands as a unique museum, telling the story of Dutch immigrants in Aotearoa. Situated within Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, the Dutch Connection Centre serves as a guardian of Dutch heritage, providing insights into history, treasures, language, identity, and culture. Delve into untold stories and unravel your individual ties to Dutch heritage at this enriching destination

Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum

Discover one of New Zealand’s largest collections of steam engines and early industrial heritage at the Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum. One of the highlights in this museum is New Zealand’s oldest steam engine, which was built in 1869 by Appleby Brothers London. To book you need to contact Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum directly so make sure you plan ahead!


You don’t need to be a tech wiz to enjoy an afternoon at MAVtech – the Museum of Audio and Visual Technology. Passionately run by volunteers and home to over 100,000 records of various formats and an estimated 5 million feet of film, this is a must do when in Horowhenua. Located in the heart of Foxton, on your visit to MAVtech you’ll uncover over 100 years of audio visual technology and history. Make sure to head to their website for details on how to visit. 

Shannon Toy Circus

Boasting a vast collection of toys, primarily from the 1970s and 1980s, Shannon’s Toy Circus is a great place to spend the afternoon. Bringing back nostalgic memories for parents and entertainment for the kids who are able to have a go on old-school video games, the whole family will enjoy an afternoon here! Did we mention they also have mini golf, a skate rink, BMX ramps and foam pits!

Background pattern test

Flax Strippers Museum

Step back in time and enjoy the rustic experience of Foxton Flax Strippers Museum.  Housing the only working stripping and scotching machines in the country, the Foxton Flax Strippers Museum is the place to learn about the industry that formed the backbone of Foxton. Once the heart of the thriving flax (harakeke) milling industry, Foxton was home to some of the largest flax mills in Aotearoa. Please contact them directly to book a visit!

A trip down memory lane

Next time you’re in Horowhenua, make sure you take a trip down memory lane and check out the different museums on offer. Keen on learning more? Study up on other great activities to do here!