About the National Transport & Toy Museum

The museum is curated by Jason Rhodes. He and sister Debbie, who manages the day-to-day running of the Museum, have kept the museum as an treasure trove of surprises. Local and international visitors alike return year after year to discover more of the delights of the collection and most cannot believe the extent of the collection. Some visitors have said they believe the collection is the largest in the world of it's type.

Opening Hours

8.30am - 5pm daily (except Christmas Day) with extended hours during summer.


There is large outdoor space and a playground area for children with pedal toys and a picnic area which museum visitors are welcome to use. On site is an award winning Boutique Brewery - Wanaka Beerworks.

Entry Fee

Adults $17.00 (Seniors $15.00)
Child (School Age) $5.00
Family $40.00
Under 5 years FREE

For Hire

The Museum can accommodate groups up to 1000 indoors or outdoors for functions. Please discuss your requirements with the Museum staff. Most exhibits are in working order and therefore ideal for film use - please contact Museum Curator, Jason Rhodes, with any queries.

Where to find the National Transport & Toy Museum

The Museum is easy to find, right beside the Wanaka airport just 8km from town along State Highway 6 towards Cromwell.   Check out the Location page for a map

A Brief History

This intriguing collection of over 50,000 items is the result of one man's dream and 50 years of dedication.

Owner Gerald Rhodes was employed by International harvester before going into his own car and truck wrecking business. Naturally enough he found himself in the right places to pick up bargains.

But it also required many years at auctions, flea markets and garage sales, as well as responding to newspaper adverts and word-of-mouth tip-offs to bring together a fascinating range of items.

While Mr Rhodes lives in Christchurch, Wanaka's dry climate and beautiful location made it an ideal place to house such a collection.

The first building went up in 1994 and the first hangar - built to look like a 1940s aircraft hangar - went up in 1995. Since then they have added a 1440 m2 Fire Station and a second 40m-long, 2,000 m2 hangar to house military vehicles, planes and motorbikes.

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