"If you're after something really different, check out Howick Historical Village for a look into what life was like for some of the early New Zealand settlers."
Sir John Kirwan
Walk through more than 30 original colonial buildings at Howick Historical Village, including a school, church, forge and general store. Keep an eye out for the regular Live Days, with family entertainment, costumed villagers, Victorian era games and marching band.
McNicol Homestead Museum in Clevedon is a small 1800s museum set in the restored homestead of early settlers the McNicol family. You can also walk the grounds and picnic in the garden. Open 1pm–4pm on weekends – go for a drive in Clevedon or Whitford in the morning and make a day of it.
On your way to the Pohutukawa Coast, stop off in Whitford, once a village for early settlers. A sign of more modern times, the Prenzel Shop sells gourmet olive oils, sauces, premium liqueurs and other food products. Also in the area is Whitford Bird Garden, a large aviary with exotic plants and birds – open by appointment only.
Driving through Howick you’ll see a number of landmark colonial buildings, including the second oldest wooden church in New Zealand. These days Howick village’s heritage buildings are home to some great cafés, shops and galleries, and Howick Beach and Bucklands Beach are the main draw on a sunny day.
The New Zealand Warbirds Visitor Centre at Ardmore Airport has an impressive collection of restored classic planes once used in service, now fully operational once again. If you know your stuff, you’ll like the sound of a line-up that includes the Mustang, Beaver, Chipmunk, Harvard, CT4 and A4 Skyhawk