We were two 30-year olds and a 72 year old, visiting just because we wanted to stop somewhere on the way to Dunedin and this looked too weird to miss. We showed up thinking we had about an hour until closing, but we forgot it was Sunday and they close a bit earlier. The guy let us in for a tenner, and told us we should do The Portal. We did, three times!
The whole museum is just weird good fun. I bet a kid would have a field day, there are so many buttons to press! Some of the machines do nothing, but some (like the organ!) do surprising and amazing things! We did go into The Portal, and it is lovely! It's really nothing fancy, but it's BEAUTIFUL. When it ends, you just want to press the start button again and again. Don't open the door to go in until you've made sure to read the instructions, because people will be upset if you interrupt their experience.
The outdoor section was fun, it's like a giant playground with all sorts of places to climb and go inside and explore. It is super weird, and little kids (under 7) might find some things a bit scary, but we found that it turned us all into young explorers again!
The staff came to tell us he had to close up, but then smiled and winked at us and told us to go ahead and do the Portal one more time. So we did!
What a genial place. Full of strange imagination.
*If you don't want to go inside (or even if you do), make sure to find the coin slot on the train engine out front. It's a rusty old coin box that doesn't look like it will actually do anything. There were a bunch of other tourists around when we put a $2 coin in, and we were all surprised at what happened next! Do it, it's fantastic!
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