Museums

Stonehenge Aotearoa

Book here! Simply choose a date from the calendar below and click on it to book.

For millennia people have gazed in awe at Stonehenge and other great stone circles, often totally unaware of how these structures were used. Now a full-scale working adaptation of Stonehenge has been built right here in Aotearoa, allowing all New Zealanders to experience the wonders of stone circles for themselves.

Situated in the Wairarapa countryside, a short distance from Wellington, Stonehenge Aotearoa is a window into the past where the visitor can rediscover the knowledge of their ancestors. It incorporates ancient Egyptian, Babylonian and Indus Valley astronomy, Polynesian navigation, and Celtic and Maori starlore. Built on the same scale as Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in England.

Stonehenge Aotearoa is not a replica. It is a complete and working structure designed and built for its precise location in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand. In this awe-inspiring place, people young and old can explore the mysteries of our past and learn how early cultures, including New Zealand Maori, used the Sun, Moon and stars for life and survival.

See www.stonehenge-aotearoa.co.nz for current opening hours and special events. Private tours are available at any time by arrangement.

Kahutara Canoes

Book here! Simply choose a date from the calendar below and click on it to book.

Kahutara Canoes is all about people from toddlers to grandparents enjoying themselves on the scenic Ruamahanga River in a way few people have experienced before. Whether you are a couple, school party , social club, family group or team building, we encourage freedom paddling. Kahutara Canoes operates seven days a week river and weather permitting. Risk Analysis and Management System is available on request.

Three self guided river trips are available. Trips vary from 1 1/2 hours up to 5 hours. Stop off for a swim in the summer on the river bank or enjoy a picnic. No age limit.

Brancepeth

Take a tour of Brancepeth, one of Wairarapa's grandest and most treasured historic sites. This colonial homestead and gardens near Masterton is still owned by the family who settled on the land in 1856.

Mt Bruce Pioneer Museum

The Mt Bruce Pioneer Museum is an intriguing treasure trove of rural relics, just a few kilometres from Masterton.

Try out the hands-on working displays, and explore the huge shed packed with everything from dolls to books, gramophones and a pedal-operated milking machine - much of it restored by owner Henry Christensen. It's the perfect rainy-day destination for curious families - and a great side-trip from the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre.

The museum is on State Highway 2, 18km north of Masterton, and 10km south of Pukaha Mount Bruce.

World War I on SH2

This self guided tour takes you straight up State Highway 2 to see Wairarapa's World War I highlights. If you have a bit more time and want to see a bit more of the Wairarapa then you might prefer the World War I; Wairarapa Wide itinerary.

 

Rimutaka Summit
State Highway 2
Featherston

Marching over the Rimutaka Hill

From September 1915 until April 1918 about 60,000 infantry reinforcements marched over the Rimutaka Range to Trentham Camp. The Wairarapa Patriotic Association provided a meal for up to 2,000 men as they passed the summit.

Cuppa time at Rimutaka Summit with women from the Wairarapa Patriotic Association

Setting off before dawn and accompanied by the camp's brass band, the soldiers would reach the summit by mid-morning. The next night they would stage a simulated night attack in the Mangaroa hills, before the final morning's march to Trentham.

 

Featherston Military Camp
State Highway 2
Featherston

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a tent camp (Canvas Camp) holding about 3,000.

Infantry would spend about two months in camp, while mounted rifles and artillery did almost all their training at Featherston. The camp opened in January 1916 and over 60,000 men trained here. The hospital area was south of SH2 bounded by Main Road and Camp Road, opposite the barrack camp.

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads.

 

Papawai Camp

Fabians Rd, near junction with Papawai Rd
Greytown

Papawai Camp 1916

Set up in 1915 after training began at Tauherenikau Camp, the camp was next to Papawai Rifle Range where soldiers undertook their musketry (shooting) courses. 500 men could stay at the camp in tents.

 

Memorial Square, Carterton
State Highway 2
Carterton

Memorial Square, Carterton

The square and its central memorial were dedicated in1921, commemorating 114 Carterton area men.

 

Vintage Aviator

South Road
Masterton

British fighters at Vintage Aviator

The Vintage Aviator is the largest collection of airworthy World War I aircraft in the world.

The stories you will hear on the guided tour bring out the characters of the remarkable young men who flew these aircraft in theatres of war.

 

Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial
Queen Elizabeth Park
Dixon Street
Masterton

Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial

This memorial was unveiled on 16 September 1923. The 441 names on the panels include men and one woman from Woodville to Palliser Bay rather than just Masterton town and district.

The four sided marble memorial is surmounted by a bronze statue of 'The last ANZAC' by Frank 'Guy' Lynch, modelled on his brother Joseph.

Other major campaigns are inscribed around the memorial and World War II names were added to the cenotaph.

 

ANZAC Bridge, Kaiparoro

State Highway 2
Makakahi River Bridge
Kaiparoro

Kaiparoro ANZAC Bridge

The one-way concrete bridge crosses the Makakahi River just north of Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Reserve. It was built in 1922 by Alfred Falker, father of one of six local soldiers commemorated on the bridge. There is a walkway from Millers Reserve, south of the bridge.

The two-way bridge on SH2 replaced the ANZAC Bridge in the 1950s.

 

Other stories you might like to follow:

 

World War I; Wairarapa Wide

This self-guided tour takes you to many of the Wairarapa’s scenic towns and villages. It's best done over a couple of days.

Other self-guided tours that take a little less time:

STOP 1: Rimutaka Summit
State Highway 2
Featherston

Marching over the Rimutaka Hill

From September 1915 until April 1918 about 60,000 infantry reinforcements marched over the Rimutaka Range to Trentham Camp. The Wairarapa Patriotic Association provided a meal for up to 2,000 men as they passed the summit.

Cuppa time at Rimutaka Summit with women from the Wairarapa Patriotic Association

Setting off before dawn and accompanied by the camp's brass band, the soldiers would reach the summit by mid-morning. The next night they would stage a simulated night attack in the Mangaroa hills, before the final morning's march to Trentham.

 

STOP 2: Featherston Military Camp
State Highway 2
Featherston

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a tent camp (Canvas Camp) holding about 3,000.

Infantry would spend about two months in camp, while mounted rifles and artillery did almost all their training at Featherston. The camp opened in January 1916 and over 60,000 men trained here. The hospital area was south of SH2 bounded by Main Road and Camp Road, opposite the barrack camp.

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads.

 

STOP 3: Memorial Gates, Martinborough
At the end of Kitchener Street
Martinborough

Memorial Gates, Martinborough

This beautiful little town has World War One Memorial Gates in the town square. The memorial lists 50 dead from the area.

Unveiled in 1921, the gates joined the existing South African War Memorial (in the centre). A World War Two memorial was added opposite the Pain & Kershaw building.

 

STOP 4: 42 Sackville Street
Martinborough

42 Sackville Street, Martinborough

A small house built from half of a Featherston Camp hutment. Although modified, the house retains much of the original look.

 

STOP 5: Papawai Camp
Fabians Rd, near junction with Papawai Rd
Greytown

Papawai Camp

Set up in 1915 after training began at Tauherenikau Camp, the camp was next to Papawai Rifle Range where soldiers undertook their musketry (shooting) courses. 500 men could stay at the camp in tents.

 

STOP 6: Memorial Square, Carterton
State Highway 2
Carterton

Memorial Square, Carterton

The square and its central memorial were dedicated in 1921, commemorating 114 Carterton area men.

 

STOP 7: Maungaraki War Memorial
Te Whiti Road
Gladstone

The little memorial, with 24 World War I and 10 World War II names, is for the Gladstone-Te Wharau and Longbush areas.

Past the plaque is an avenue of 36 scarlet oaks, forming part of the memorial which was unveiled in 1953.

 

STOP 8: Tinui War Memorial/Anzac Cross
Te Ore Ore Road (Masterton to Castlepoint Road)
Tinui

The original Tinui CrossReplacing the Tinui Cross 1965

On 25 April 1916 the World’s first ever ANZAC service was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd. After the service the Tinui community erected a wooden cross on top of Mt. Maunsell (Tinui Taipo) as one of New Zealand’s first memorials to the Gallipoli Campaign.

The Anzac Cross was replaced by an aluminium version in 1965. The village now hosts a large Anzac Day service and a walk to visit the cross.

The original village memorial was moved to the War Memorial Hall in 1954.

 

STOP 9: Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial
Queen Elizabeth Park
Dixon Street
Masterton

Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial

This memorial was unveiled on 16 September 1923. The 441 names on the panels include men and one woman from Woodville to Palliser Bay rather than just Masterton town and district.

The four sided marble memorial is surmounted by a bronze statue of 'The last ANZAC' by Frank 'Guy' Lynch, modelled on his brother Joseph.

Other major campaigns are inscribed around the memorial and World War II names were added to the cenotaph.

 

STOP 10: Vintage Aviator
South Road
Masterton

British fighters at Vintage Aviator

The Vintage Aviator is the largest collection of airworthy World War I aircraft in the world.

The stories you will hear on the guided tour bring out the characters of the remarkable young men who flew these aircraft in theatres of war.

 

STOP 11: Mauriceville War Memorial
Opaki-Kaiparoro Road
Mauriceville

Mauriceville Memorial

The memorial was unveiled in 1928 with 20 local names but was removed about 1939 for improvements to the school grounds. It was re-installed in 1955 with additional World War II names.

 

STOP 12: ANZAC Bridge, Kaiparoro
State Highway 2
Makakahi River Bridge
Kaiparoro

Kaiparoro ANZAC Bridge

The one-way concrete bridge crosses the Makakahi River just north of Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Reserve. It was built in 1922 by Alfred Falkner, father of one of six local soldiers commemorated on the bridge. There is a walkway from Millers Reserve, south of the bridge.

The two-way bridge on SH2 replaced the ANZAC Bridge in the 1950s.

 

A Bootmaker Goes to War

This is the story of Albert Summers, a young bootmaker turned WWI soldier. Allow two hours for the full tour.

Summers Boys with Charlie Superimposed 1919

Brothers in arms

Albert Summers was born at Rangitumau, north of Masterton, in 1892. He was one of 16 children. By 1914 he was living in Lower Hutt, and working as a trained bootmaker. He enlisted in July 1916 into the 19th Reinforcement.

Albert served overseas along with four of his brothers.

 

FIRST STOP
Featherston Heritage Museum
Fitzherbert Street
Behind the Fell Locomotive Museum
Featherston

Before you follow Albert's story stop at the Featherston Heritage Museum. Here you'll get a feel for the layout and environment of the Featherston Military Camp and other aspects of training life through the photographs and memorabilia on display.

 

NEXT STOP (2 min drive)
Featherston Military Camp
State Highway 2
Featherston

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a 'canvas camp' holding another 3,000.

Infantry would spend about two months in camp, while mounted rifles and artillery did almost all their training at Featherston. The camp opened in January 1916 and over 60,000 men trained here.

Like many soldiers when Albert enlisted he was first taken into the army in Trentham before quickly moving over to Featherston for field training.

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads.

 

NEXT STOP
Papawai Camp (10 min drive)
Fabians Rd, near junction with Papawai Rd
Greytown

Papawai Camp 1918

Papawai Camp was next to the Papawai Rifle Range, where the trainee soldiers did their musketry (shooting) training. Up to 500 men could stay at the camp in tents.

Albert and his fellow soldiers would march from Featherston to Papawai for a day's shooting - a round trip of 20km.

 

NEXT STOP
Kaiwaiwai & Kahutara Halls (15 min to Kahutara and then 10 min to Kaiwaiwai)
Highway 53, Featherston-Martinborough Rd (Kaiwaiwai Hall)
Corner of Kahutara Rd and Pukio West Rd (Kahutara Hall)

Kaiwaiwai HallKahutara Hall

Soldiers in training needed some downtime. These community halls were once part of the Soldiers’ Club at Featherston Camp. Here Albert and his mates would have gone to relax when they weren't training. The club buildings were dismantled and re-assembled as community halls in Kaiwaiwai and Kahutara in 1921. 

 

 

NEXT STOP
ANZAC Club (10 min)
Bell Street
Featherston

ANZAC Club

The ANZAC club in Bell Street was built by local settlers and opened in October 1916. Trainee soldiers on leave came here for concerts, dances or a drink or two at the club canteen. Albert would have spruced himself up for dances here with local girls.

On some of his days off he would also have taken a train to Masterton to visit his family.

 

NEXT STOP
Rimutaka Summit (20 min)
State Highway 2

Marching over the Rimutaka Hill

Between September 1915 and April 1918 about 60,000 infantrymen marched over the Rimutaka Range to Trentham Camp in Upper Hutt. The soldiers would set off before dawn, accompanied by the camp's brass band. 

Cuppa time at Summit with a woman from the Wairarapa Patriotic Association

By mid-morning the troops reached the summit, where the Wairarapa Patriotic Association provided a meal for up to 2,000 men at a time.

From Trentham, Albert sailed to England in 1916 and joined the 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment. He survived the Messines and Passchendaele campaigns, and the Second Battle of the Somme. While in France, he took up bootmaking again to keep his battalion well shod.

Albert with Charlie's grave in France

This picture shows Albert at the grave of his brother Charlie, who was killed in France in 1918.

After the war Albert returned to Masterton, married, and remained in the Wairarapa until his death in 1966.

 

Service number:

Albert Summers 31372

 

Other stories you might like to follow:

A Family at War

This is the story of the Wishaw family - Mabel, Harry and Bernard. Allow about an hour for the full tour.

Mabel WhishawHarry WhishawBernard Whishaw

INTRODUCTION

Mabel, Bernard and Harry Whishaw were three of Catherine and John Whishaw’s eight children, from Stoneridge, Featherston.

Mabel, the eldest of the three siblings was born in 1883 in Kakaramea, South Taranaki. Harry was born in 1885 in Wellington and Bernard, the youngest, in 1893.

In 1914 at the start of WWI, Mabel was 31 years old, Harry was 29 and Bernard 21.

 

FIRST STOP
Featherston Heritage Museum
Fitzherbert Street
Behind the Fell Locomotive Museum
Featherston

Before you follow the Whishaw's story, stop at the Featherston Heritage Museum. Here you'll get a feel for the layout and environment of the Featherston Military Camp and other aspects of training life through the photographs and memorabilia on display.

 

NEXT STOP
Featherston Military Camp 
State Highway 2
Featherston

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a tent camp (Canvas Camp) holding about 3000. 

Mabel became a military nurse at the Featherston Military Hospital in 1916. In April 1918 she was promoted from Staff Nurse to Sister. Three months later, the influenza pandemic arrived. By mid-November, some 2500 men were sick, and the hospital was overwhelmed.  

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads. The hospital area was south of today's SH2, bounded by Main Road and Camp Road, opposite the barrack camp.

 

NEXT STOP
Tauherenikau Camp
Tauherenikau Race Course
State Highway 2
Featherston

Tauherenikau Camp

Tauherenikau Military Camp was set up in August 1915. Bernard trained here then embarked for the Suez in Egypt two months later. When he left, he was a member of the Wellington Mounted Riflemen. At some time during his service in Egypt he moved to the NZ Mounted Rifles Machine Gun Squadron.

Bernard died of malaria in October 1918. He was 26. He is buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

 

NEXT STOP
Featherston War Memorial
Corner of Fitzherbert Street and Fox Street
Featherston

Featherston War Memorial unveiling 25 May 1927

All three Whishaw children’s names are listed on this memorial.

Harry, a labourer, enlisted in August 1914 and by October 1914 was on his way to Suez.  He saw action in Gallipoli, Egypt and Western Europe. At Gallipoli, Harry was wounded twice; first in April 1915 with a bullet to the neck and again in August, with shrapnel in his hand.

Harry was killed in action near Armentieres, France on 3 July 1916. He was 32. He is buried in France at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery in Armentieres.

 

NEXT STOP
Featherston Cemetery
Grave Reference 85
Western Lake Road, Featherston

Featherston Cemetary War Graves

Mabel is buried here at the Featherston Cemetery. She is the only Whishaw sibling to be buried at home.

Mabel died from influenza while nursing at the Featherston Military Camp, at the height of the epidemic. Her younger brother Bernard had died just three weeks earlier. Mabel was 34.

None of the Wishaw siblings had married.

 

Service Numbers:

Mabel Helen Whishaw 22/371

Harry Guthrie Whishaw 10/154

Bernard Guthrie Whishaw 11/1996

 

Other stories you might like to follow:

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