Welcome to 'Traders & Whalers' - New Zealand's most innovative historical presentation. Two years in the planning and over two years of building, this attraction set out to challenge its guests with a stunningly creative and hauntingly real environment as the basis for a study of the Taranaki coast in the 1820 - 1840 period. And to this end it certainly has succeeded!
As museums world wide seek new and original ways of delivering history to their audiences 'Traders & Whalers' stepped up to the mark and in typically kiwi style said "We can do that ..." and so a partnership between Nigel Ogle's 'Tawhiti Museum' and the South Taranaki District Council was born.
Illuminated only by the twinkling of lanterns and candles, guests drift in boats through this eerie world, where distant birds call and water drips from mossy banks as burly sailors barter with local Maori for pork, potatoes and flax in return for European goods - especially that most sought after item - the flintlock musket.
With the sculpting and modelling skills of Nigel Ogle already widely recognised and a trademark of the 'Tawhiti Museum', he now finds a new level of creativity in 'Traders & Whalers'. His life size figures, beautifully crafted period artifacts and scale models reach a new level in this totally convincing lush bush, rocky coastal and dark river environment.