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On your next trip to the Catlins stop over at Owaka and drop in at the distinctive state-of-the-art community resource the Owaka Museum (Wahi Kahuika: the Meeting Place).
Here under the one roof is the community art gallery, genealogical research, mini-films featuring shipwrecks, the Catlins Information Centre and the museum shop.
Winner of the TrustPower Supreme Award in 2008 for the Clutha District, the museum opened in October 2007 and is situated in the centre of Owaka. Developed by the Catlins Historical Society in conjunction with the Clutha District Council, an existing building was redesigned and has proved a popular drawcard for visitors.
The distinctive all-weather venue presents the stories and treasures of the unique Catlins in a series of multimedia exhibits.
Each gives the visitor a deeper understanding of the character of the Catlins and those who have lived there. They culminate in the main Catlins Gallery with the figurehead of the shipwrecked HMS Otago positioned to appear also as the figurehead of the museum.
Comments compiled from the visitor book indicate the response so far: "Wish we had more time to spend at the Owaka Museum! Lovely sounds, beautiful timber, beautiful desk, fabulous toilets. We enjoyed reading the local history and learning what people went through to emigrate. The displays were just like stepping back in time and there is something for everyone. Well done the people who made this happen. It's an asset to the community and a great record of the Catlins. Such an impressive museum for a small town."