Show Menu


  • Relics from shipwrecks

  • Rainbow Warrior

  • Maori artefacts

  • Working model railway

  • Replica Dalmatian Gum diggers camp

  • Kauri Gum exhibition

  • Pioneer exhibits

  • Genealogy & research department

  • Aratapu Library & musical exhibit

Contact Details

Dargaville Museum
Te Whare Taonga o Tunatahi
32 Mt Wesley Coast Road
Harding Park - Pou Tu Te Rangi
PO Box 166
Dargaville, New Zealand

Phone: +64 9 439 7555

Exhibits at Dargaville Museum Te Whare Taonga o Tunatahi

From small beginnings the Museum has been developed into 6 exhibition halls. The gumdiggers camp in the park grounds is our newest attraction.

We also run feature displays which change throughout the years – details of these can be found here.

Our Collections

Dargaville museum

Pioneer Hall

  • Tells the story of how Dargaville and the surrounding district developed. Feature rooms and shops with life like mannequins are a highlight of this area along with examples of the early timber milling industry and bush work.

Gum Diggers Hall

  • Focuses on the story of the Dalmatian gum digger who arrived early last century to dig "Northland gold" – the Kauri Gum. Complete with gumdiggers huts and an extensive collection of kauri gum, the main attraction is the large engine built by Backstone & Co Ltd in 1914. This fully restored machine is most impressive when fired up and was used to drive the kauri gum washing plant at Red Hill near Dargaville.

model train dargaville

Collections Hall

  • Dedicated to the avid collector this area has extensive displays ranging from birds eggs to boomerangs, teapots and fine china to dolls in national costume. Centre stage is the working model railway, miniature village and transport models crafted by local identity the late Mr. Victor Eke.

arutapu library

Music Room

  • The musical heritage of the district is featured in the restored Aratapu Library built in 1874and moved to the Museum site in 2007. The Kevin Friedrich collection of over 200 piano accordions is the main attraction of this room along with early musical instruments.


martime exhibit dargaville

Maritime Hall

  • In the 1880 to early 1900 the regions main economy revolved around the export of timber and kauri gum. Being New Zealand’s busiest port at the time for sailing ships it was inevitable that there would be many fatalities on the notorious Kaipara bar. One such display features relics salvaged from the French corvette L’Alcmene which was wrecked on Ripiro Beach in June 1851. Twelve members of the crew drowned when the ship got into difficulties in heavy seas as Commander Captain le Compte Harcourt beached the vessel. The 192 survivors were rescued by local Maori and transferred to Auckland to await a ship home to France.

maori hall dargaville

Maori Hall

  • Showcased in the hall is a 16 metre kauri canoe hull that was uncovered from the sands on the Pouto peninsular about 1900. It is possibly pre-European and constructed with traditional canoe making skills using fire and stone tools. The great expertise of the master craftsmen can be seen in the shaping and delicate adze strokes.

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