The Southward Vintage Car Museum could justifiably be called a shrine without argument. This venue boasts the largest private car collection in the Southern Hemisphere and features 400 cars
that span the history of the world’s first automobiles. Cars without windshields, cars with wooden wheels and cars that were either gifted by Hitler or belonged to notorious gangsters -- they’re all on display on this diverse stroll down the highway of time.
The museum houses a large hall loaded with cars, including an 1895 Benz Velo and a 1905 Darracq Roadster. Visitors familiar with the pursuit of restoring vintage cars are often consumed with jealousy and awe, as the collection here is so phenomenally comprehensive that it’s tough to believe it’s real. Even those with little knowledge of cars will be astounded by the collection’s breadth.
When finished drooling over the chrome-plated history lesson, head outside to the peaceful 15-acre garden for leisurely bushwalks and strolls, and spend some time exploring the greater Kapiti
coastline. The only downside of a museum visit is that your own car just won’t seem as cool as you make your way back to Wellington.
The Southward Vintage Car Museum is located an hour northwest of Wellington along the Kapiti Coast. It is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and tickets cost $15 for adults and $3 for children between the ages of 5 and 15.