You don’t need to be a history buff - or mad on ‘boy’s toys’ - to appreciate this mini Army museum, which forms part of the superb Classic Flyers NZ aviation museum.
The Collection has over 6000 items on display, ranging from all sorts of U.S. and British militaria, from grenades and 25-pounder guns to an American U.S. Army staff car – an elegant 1938 Buick Straight 8, to be precise. The historic memorabilia includes hundreds of photos and paintings.
Classic Flyers won the rights to display the large collection owned by the Moreland family from the Waikato, noting that ‘what started as a family hobby, turned into a museum.’ The collection, opened in 2007, spans family memorabilia, models, grenades, uniforms, radios, and beautifully-restored vehicles in working order. These include a U.S. Army half-track troop transporter from Vanuatu, a U.S. jeep, and the ‘38 staff car, and a two-man submarine. War-time parachutes hung from the ceiling add to a ‘military base’ atmosphere.
The Collection is based in a hangar a short walk from Classic Flyers, beside the vintage Korean War M.A.S.H helicopter operation – focused on a mock-up M.A.S.H camp.
The $10 admission to the Classic Flyers aviation museum, also covers the Military Collection – and is really a tiny price to pay for one of the finest facilities of its kind in the North Island, which more than compares with the Warbirds museum outside Wanaka.
The Collection is open 10 am to 4 pm, seven days a week, admission $10 adults, $5 children and seniors, family $25. More information: www.classicflyersnz.co.nz