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“Quirky place - good for the amusement”

Claphams Clocks - The National Clock Museum
Ranked #7 of 61 things to do in Whangarei
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 12 April 2017

I admit, I know nothing about clocks. But the good people of Whangarei are very proud of their local, Archibald Clapham, who decorated his house with hundreds of clocks. He was quirky and obviously a fun guy, and there are some amazing clocks left over from the gilded age when the emerging leisure class could delight themselves with overdecorated moving toys that could double as a 'clock'. The collection is impressive - but what is lacking is a little more research into where, why and what the clocks were made for. For example, when did the idea of the cuckoo clock arise? Why did Grandfather clocks go out of style? When did the "kitchen clock" come into being? Some of the notes with corresponding numbers provide a bit of insight - but some of the numbers have fallen away (one is lying on top of an electrical outlet - clearly long since fallen down), and others are just hard to find. As I was wrapping up my viewing the lovely woman at reception did come through and demonstrated how some of Archbald's more quirky clocks performed. But this would have been missed should I have decided to leave 5 minutes early. Not sure why they just don't have the exhibit on a timer. In any event, it's still an unexpected attraction as you are heading up North.

Thank Margaret O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"clock museum"
in 29 reviews
"wonderful collection"
in 5 reviews
"town basin"
in 16 reviews
"fascinating history"
in 2 reviews
"sun dial"
in 3 reviews
"southern hemisphere"
in 4 reviews
"on display"
in 5 reviews
"interesting place"
in 3 reviews
"extensive collection"
in 2 reviews
"little girl"
in 2 reviews
"private tour"
in 2 reviews
"unique experience"
in 2 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 6 reviews
"all ages"
in 3 reviews
in 11 reviews
in 10 reviews

21 - 25 of 145 reviews

Reviewed 10 April 2017

Very interesting well worth a little look whilst at The Town Basin, not sure I would make a special trip. Please children do not touch, my friends little girl got a stern telling off!!

Thank nikshabbychic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2017 via mobile

We had a great afternoon visiting the clock museum. It was really interesting and well laid out. We were in awe of the talent that went into making each clock and couldnt believe how old some of them were! Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly and her manner of explaining the clocks was interesting and funny. We loved this unique experience and will be back again in the future. It is hard that they dont have anything kids can hold and feel, it is all look for them, which isnt ideal for younger kids. Still our boys aged 2 and 4 enjoyed the experience. Just had to keep a close eye on them to make sure they didnt touch anything.

Thank Melody P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2017

Expectations were not high, but very interesting with odd ball clocks from around the world. The end result of a dedicated collector's obsession. Surrounded by Victorian period wooden buildings by the marina, a perfect place for morning breakfast.

Thank 2017KimRoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 March 2017

The clock museum is in a modern building just along from the quay. It has the largest sun dial in the southern hemisphere. In side there are about 1400 clocks and watches of all sizes shapes and configurations. None are set to the right time therefore every few minutes a clock will chime somewhere in the building. The time pieces are in collections depending on where they came from and how they work. There is also a nice little gift shop. Concessions for the young and old.

Thank old_romantics_2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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