Museum visitor milestone win thrills

Tourist Peter Hunt is presented with flowers and a gift basket by Toitu Otago Settlers Museum visitor host Loran McNamara yesterday, to mark his being the 100,000th visitor to the museum since its reopening in December last year. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Tourist Peter Hunt is presented with flowers and a gift basket by Toitu Otago Settlers Museum visitor host Loran McNamara yesterday, to mark his being the 100,000th visitor to the museum since its reopening in December last year. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Visiting Toitu Otago Settlers Museum netted Peter Hunt a bouquet of flowers on Valentine's Day yesterday.

Mr Hunt (76), of Birmingham, England, was the 100,000th person through the museum's doors since its civic reopening on December 6.

Staff congratulated him as he walked into the reception area about 4pm, unaware of the meaning behind such fuss.

Mr Hunt was thrilled with his flowers and gift basket, joking that all he needed was a Valentine to share them with.

''This means I can't win the lottery now,'' he said.

Mr Hunt said his wife died a few years ago, and he was visiting friends in Dunedin as well as his daughters in Auckland and Brisbane.

He said he almost moved to Dunedin decades ago, but instead had visited the city every few years since 1976.

Mr Hunt was interested in the changes at the museum, having last toured it in its former state.

Before its $37.5 million redevelopment the museum attracted about 65,000 visitors each year.

Director Linda Wigley was excited about yesterday's milestone.

''We know that many of our visitors are tourists, including cruise ship visitors, but this number also includes many repeat visits by local visitors, which we are also very pleased to see.''

Ms Wigley was confident the museum would reach its 180,000 annual visitor target.

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