Butler Point Whaling Museum & Garden

Butler Point Whaling Museum & Garden is located at Hihi, near Mangonui in Northland’s Doubtless Bay, a centre for whaling fleets in the 1820s–1850s. The museum includes a house built in the 1840s by William Butler, an earlier Church Missionary Society house from the Waimate Mission moved to the site by Butler, and a recently built whaling museum.

The houses are furnished with period furniture. And the museum houses a restored and fully-equipped whaling boat, tryworks, a collection of harpoons, models, scrimshaw and artefacts from the whalers who called into Doubtless Bay. Substantial gardens and grounds surround the museum, including a 10.9 metre circumference pohutukawa tree, claimed to be the world’s largest.

The owners and curators, a retired ophthalmologist and his wife, live in the grounds. The secluded waterfront garden is the legacy of retired whaler, Capt. William Butler and the second owner Hubert Dacre.  An early Pa site, with good signage, is also a short walk away.