INSIDE: The Ultimate Guide to MOTAT NZ.
No matter how hard he tried, Ned could not work out how to spin the dial correctly on the old telephone. His most successful try was with an upside down thumb!
Watching him struggle brought my mum and I to tears of laughter.
It’s not that long ago that these telephones were the norm, but modern kids have never faced the struggle. Equally strange, I’d forgotten how long it took to call a friend!
- 1 Inside MOTAT New Zealand
- 2 Things to do at MOTAT in Western Springs
- 3 Motat Aviation Hall
- 4 Motat Museum Weekend Experiences
- 5 Motat School Holidays
- 6 Motat Events – Motat Halloween & Motat Christmas Lights
- 7 The Motat Tram
- 8 Kiwiana Souvenirs at Motat
- 9 Photos of MOTAT
- 10 More of MOTOTS for the Under 5’s
- 11 More of the MOTAT Telecommunications Hall
- 12 The Inside Scoop – Motat NZ
- 13 MOTAT Map
- 14 Toadstool Rating – MOTAT Auckland
- 15 Looking for More Things to Do in Auckland New Zealand for Kids?
Inside MOTAT New Zealand
The Telecommunications Shed #4 was the highlight of our visit, with opportunities to call one another on vintage dial phones.
My mum tried her hand once again at the old-school switchboard. 50 years after she’d been given a job as a switchboard operator, with no experience at all, and left to fumble her way through a day of patching person to person, she giggled at the absurdity of it all.
Our day was made hearing old familiar telephone ring tones, and watching the boys delight as they dialled one another on phones 70 and 71.
But this was just the first shed.
Motat NZ has nine, plus another at Motat 2 – the Motat Planes exhibition hall just a tram ride away. This Motat Aviation Hall is filled with giant airplanes, including the monstrous Short Sunderland V NZ 4115.
Things to do at MOTAT in Western Springs
Hall 1 – Get Smart
Hall 1 has the Get Smart exhibition, a look at the evolution of technology in New Zealand. Kids can play arcade games here, plus take a selfie and watch it reappear in miniature on the FACE SPACE.
Hall 2 – Accelerate
Hall 2 is home to Accelerate, Driving New Zealand’s exhibition of NZ vehicles from past to present.
Hall 3 – The Pumphouse
Hall 3 houses the Pumphouse.
Hall 4 – Telecommunications
Hall 4 is where you’ll find the vintage phones. There’s a Fire Station, and a Print Shop, open Sundays to showcase this labour-intensive art.
Hall 5 – Innovation Hub
Hall 5 is full of fun hands-on activities that showcase innovation for life. Kids can play a video game by jumping on a Springfree Trampoline, design a robot, play with simple machines and life-size pulleys, play the drums, and more.
Hall 6 – Currently Under Refurbishment
Hall 6, the Explorium, reopens on 17th November with the acclaimed travelling exhibition, Above and Beyond in partnership with Boeing.
Hall 7 – Trams Barn
Hall 7 is the Trams Barn full of vintage trams and motors.
Hall 8 – Road Transport
Hall 8 is the Road Transport Workshop.
Hall 9 – MOTOTS
Hall 9 is MOTOTS, a hands-on activity space for the under 5’s.
There’s wooden airplanes on pulleys, a weighing and measuring balance game with green frogs trying to escape the pond, a shaky bridge to cross, and a Shake & Scoop activity where kids crank the wheel and watch the scoop pick up the balls, and wobble it to make them rain down again.
At the bottom of the garden, there’s a complex of rainbow light-beam fuelled tunnels to climb through too. Even my 10 year old loved it!
Motat Aviation Hall
There’s so much to see at the MOTAT Aviation Hall, we wrote a story about it separately.
Motat Museum Weekend Experiences
Weekends at MOTAT go all out with themed events and things to do.
Every Sunday, the Blacksmith Forge fires up, the Print Shop comes to life, there’s hands-on demonstrations of vintage arts and crafts, and horse and carriage rides.
Weekends of Imagination, the new series of brand new activities specifically created to engage young minds, is open both Saturday and Sunday too.
Click here to see the Events Calendar.
Motat School Holidays
Check the website for current school holiday activities at MOTAT.
Motat Events – Motat Halloween & Motat Christmas Lights
MOTAT frequently hosts fun events including:
- MOTAT Halloween – click here for details (No current information or tickets on website as yet for 2018)
- MOTAT Christmas lights – click here for details (No current information or tickets on website as yet for 2018)
- MOTAT Movie Nights
- The Great MOTAT Bear Hunt
Like the MOTAT Facebook page to keep an eye on upcoming events.
The Motat Tram
A return tram ticket is included in your Motat admission fee.
Tram stops are situated at MOTAT’s Great North Road Entrance, Motions Road Corner, Auckland Zoo and MOTAT’s Meola Road site. A request stop is also situated midway along the Western Springs Park edge on Great North Road and outside The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC).
Services generally leave every 30 minutes when operating, more often when necessary. For the latest tram operating times view the tram timetable at the MOTAT shop, or click here.
Kiwiana Souvenirs at Motat
The MOTAT shops are located at each MOTAT site and stock a range of branded merchandise, as well as a variety of fun and educational toys, science kits, puzzles, Crazy Scientist Packs (Balancing robots, Cosmic Rockets, Thinking Putty), models and souvenirs.
The MOTAT Meola Road shop has a great selection of aviation, rail and military themed models and books, plus a Souvenir Penny machine.
Photos of MOTAT
More of MOTOTS for the Under 5’s
More of the MOTAT Telecommunications Hall
The Inside Scoop – Motat NZ
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of.
MOTAT, Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology, is New Zealand’s largest transport, technology and social history museum. Spread across 40 acres, MOTAT will take you on an interactive journey to explore and discover the achievements that have helped shape New Zealand.
Address: The Motat address is 805 Great North Road & Meola Rd, Western Springs, Auckland 1022
Telephone: +64 9 815 5800. Freecall 0800 668 2869
Website: Click here
Motat Opening Hours:
- Motat hours are 10am – 5pm
- Open 7 days a week (excluding Christmas Day)
- Last entry into the Museum is at 4:30pm.
- Adults $19
- Children (5-16 years) $10
- Student with ID $10
- Overseas Senior Citizen $10
- Family Pass $45
- Under 5s FREE
Motat Deals: The Auckland A-Z tourist magazine has a discount coupon for Motat. 25% off adult admission. You can also try GrabOne for current deals. Motat free entry does not apply to tourists.
How to get there: Click here for details on how to get to Motat by car, bus, bike and taxi.
Motat Parking: Stadium Road parking is limited during current construction. We suggest parking for free at Motat 2 Aviation Display Hall, and catching the vintage tram to and fro.
Nearest takeaway coffee and/or food options: The Araroa Tearooms Motat Cafe is opposite Waitakere Station. The entrance is near the Model Railway.
Toilets: The parent’s room facilities include changing tables; chairs; a kitchen sink and microwave; hand sanitiser; and a small ‘time out’ area for overwrought children.
Disability access: Yes. Click here for details.
Closest ATM: Credit card and EFTPOS facilities available.
Closest playground: Western Springs playground is on the northern side of the lake. Access by one of the park’s walkways, or from Motions Road.
Picnic tables: Yes. Picnic Areas are in front of Tram 91 and on the historic Village Lawn at our MOTAT Great North Road, and in front of the train station at MOTAT Meola Road.
Water Bubblers/fountains: Yes
Scooters and Bikes: No
- There’s FREE public WIFI at Motat.
Motat NZ was last reviewed in October 2018.
Toadstool Rating – MOTAT Auckland
An unexpected surprise! A must do.
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