Bill Richardson Transport World

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Stay and explore key icon. Galleries and museum key icon.

Monday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Tuesday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Wednesday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Thursday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Friday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Sunday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

491 Tay Street, Hawthorndale, Invercargill

0800 151 252

Transportation is something we use nearly every day but don’t often take time to consider (besides complaining about traffic and petrol prices). Transport impacts on almost all aspects of our lives and Bill Richardson, an Invercargill native, had a passion for transport that’s been passed down to two generations and the city of Invercargill itself at Bill Richardson Transport World.

This unique attraction is sometimes explained as a ‘car collection’ or ‘museum’ but those descriptions do not do the museum justice at all. Bill Richardson Transport World is a menagerie of the impressive, quirky, fun and even strange. Every room in this seemingly endless structure has been lovingly curated by Bill’s family and the dedicated staff. Even the toilets are themed.

Of the 300-odd vehicles here, nearly all are roadworthy making this a living museum. More than 200 vintage petrol pumps give a nod to the stuff that powers our modern economy. The oldest piece in the collection is an 1850 push bike and a collection of vintage prams and lawn mowers remind visitors that transport is about so much more than flash old cars. But boy does this collection have some of those...

Bill Richardson Transport World has one of the most complete collections of Ford letter cars that preceded the famous Model T, only the letter B is missing. Every vehicle has been restored in Invercargill by a team of eleven experts who are nothing short of automotive artisans. You can take a peek at their workshop during your visit too. Other highlights include a collection of Volkswagen Kombis, restored vintage American trucks and Cadbury’s antique chocolate delivery trucks.

To get a sense of the ethos that Bill Richardson Transport World was built on get this...when Chrysler heard that Bill had the only working Dodge RX70 Airflow in the world, they offered to buy it off him for a million bucks. When Bill said no, they sent him a cheque to mail back when he was ready to sell. He never did.

Because this attraction is rooted in an honest, fun loving and pure appreciation for everything ‘that goes’, it has an approachable and exciting feel even for those who don’t know much about cars. There’s also a theatre that screens Kiwi classics with automotive features like Pork Pie. Bill’s workshop is preserved exactly as he left it and his passion for transport is sure to endure here and in Invercargill for years to come. Last entry each day is 4 p.m.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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Location

491 Tay Street, Hawthorndale, Invercargill

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