Huia Settlers Museum

12 December 2008

Huia Settlers Museum

The Huia Settlers Museum is nestled between the forest of the Waitakere Ranges and the Manukau Harbour, in a lovely rural, seaside setting. It records the lives of the settlers in the area.

Isabel and Lois (two of the Museum’s volunteers) are seen having a cup of tea and Anzac biscuits, enjoying the Museum’s Anzac Day display. Stories of men from the area who served in several wars are being gathered. Many never returned.

The Spragg Memorial erected on a ridge leading to Cornwallis beach and overlooking the Manukau Harbour entrance and the bar beyond is the setting for the Museum’s Armistice Day service. The Memorial was erected by the Spragg family in memory of Wesley Neal Spragg, their only son, an Armament Officer in the Royal Flying Corp who was killed in January 1918.

The Manukau Harbour bar has been the scene of several shipwrecks. The most famous being the HMS Orpheus which was wrecked in 1863 with the loss of 189 lives. It is the biggest maritime disaster in New Zealand history.The Museum’s Orpheus room and its substantial section of the mast recovered from the sands at the Kaipara Harbour in 1992 commemorate that disaster.

If you like learning about the stories of the early settlers, their lives, their work their homes, and their suffering as they sailed from the other side of the world to an untamed land, then you would enjoy a visit.

Isabel and Lois are sitting at a Kauri table made from a tree logged – with many others as part of the Kauri logging industry –in the Waitakere ranges.

The Kauri logging industry, the Orpheus disaster, and the lives of the settlers are the main focus of the Museum.

The Museum is run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations and grants. It is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm and at other times for the public and groups by arrangement.

We would be delighted to see you.

Explore the Huia Settlers Museum’s collection