Historic Village

Experience ‘the way we were’ with the historical MOTAT Village. 

The MOTAT Historic Village Collection is a diverse selection of objects that demonstrate how we use technology in our daily life. Included in this collection are domestic appliances, utensils, textiles, tools, personal items and toys from the Victorian period onwards. Availability of electricity to urban areas in the 1920s made possible the use of electric stoves, washing machines and other electrical appliances. You can see a broad collection that encompasses the early years of European settlement, when mains electricity was still a dream, up until present day. 

Our MOTAT Village is an all-time favourite with visitors and consists of cottages, shops, a chapel, schoolhouse, cellblock and an operating forge.  The Engineer’s Cottage is one of the original buildings constructed on the MOTAT site and was once inhabited by the Pumphouse engineer.  The Village is the perfect place to relax with a family picnic and let the kids run free on the Village Lawn.  

The Collection also explores New Zealand’s Primary Industries of agriculture, forestry and mining that continue to contribute significantly to New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP). The collection objects are located throughout the MOTAT Great North Rd site.


*Please note that only selected collection items are on display. Please view our Exhibitions section to find out more about current displays.