The Coach House Museum is home to an outstanding collection of New Zealand heritage, showcasing over 140 years of rural history. There is a comprehensive display of horse-drawn vehicles ranging from heavy vehicles used to establish the district, through to the social and commercial vehicles used by settlers, traders and farmers. Historic farm machinery and agricultural equipment used by farmers in the region, and settler lifestyle displays from the horse-drawn era and beyond can be seen. One of the rarest and internationally significant items of machinery in our Museum collection can be found within the Spall Collection - an impressive private collection of restored vehicles and stationary engines, including the rare "Fitch Four" tractor [one of only a few in existence world-wide.
The story of dairy farming in New Zealand is explored alongside the history of the Cheltenham Co-op Dairy Factory - the first dried milk powder, and the beginnings of the world renowned global company Glaxo. When the ship Dunedin left New Zealand on 15 February 1882 with the first shipment of frozen meat on board, she also carried a small quantity of frozen butter. When the butter was then sold in England in perfect condition, dairy farming in New Zealand was changed forever.
passion for all things 'John Deere' has culminated in Otaki
Crawshaw's outstanding collection of historic John Deere
tractors and machinery. Over 30 vehicles and machines have
been painstakingly restored by one dedicated John Deere man and
are now proudly displayed for all enthusiasts to
enjoy. The collection is based around those early
tractors and implements produced during the late thirties,
forties and early fifties. Two trips were made to the USA
to acquire five additional tractors, one of which is very rare,
to fill out the collection.