Much of Ohakune’s rich history revolves around the railway. ‘The Junction’ area of the township, which is popular in the winter season for its après ski, was the original hub of the settlement serving the engineers, labourers and early passengers of the railway. Several of the buildings in this part of town date back to the construction of the tracks in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
At the side of these all-important tracks sits the Railway Museum, a converted 1930s railway shed that was re-located to Ohakune in 1990 and is now home to a selection of fascinating displays on the history of the railway and settlement in the region.
Current exhibits include:
- A moving exhibition on the Tangiwai Train Disaster of Christmas Eve 1953, New Zealand’s worst ever rail disaster – well worth a viewing
- The history and future of the North Island Main Trunk 1870-2013
- Raurimu Spiral and Main Trunk Milestones
- Railway Control Units (Post War)
- Semaphore Signals, early railway workers’ cabin, tools and historic photos.