Attractive new look credited with luring in more people

Cobblestones Museum in Greytown has seen a 50 per cent rise in visitors since it donned its new look last year.

A new entrance and exhibition building was added to the museum of Wairarapa's early settlers in November 2014.

Since then it has also seen a 29 per cent increase in income.

Museum chairman Graeme Gray said the new, attractive building was to thank for the increase in visitor numbers, as was a recent push in marketing.


"We're working hard now to keep the increase coming.

"We're improving our displays, bringing items out that have been hidden away.

"All items tell a story and that's what it is about."

Mr Gray was excited about the positive direction the museum had taken.

"We're putting a lot of work into it to keep it going strong."

Fundraising for a replacement shingle roof for the Donald Woolshed, built in 1858, was now under way.

Replacing the roof in shingle would be more expensive than corrugated iron but Mr Gray said it was important to keep things in the complex authentic.

South Wairarapa District councillor David Montgomerie, who is also on the Cobblestones Museum Trust, said the museum's new entrance had lived up to expectations.

"It's great. It's exactly what we hoped for when we built the new building - that it would increase our visitor numbers.

"It has also meant that we've been able to provide better protection for the exhibits that we have.

"And we're able to work on cataloguing the items that we do have, because it's an extensive collection."

He said the value of the volunteer labour the museum received over a year equated to $200,000.

"It's a huge commitment by members of the community," he said. "We have worked closely with Destination Wairarapa, who have been great in terms of securing as much international business as we can, like cruise ships and conference guests."

Mr Montgomerie said there was a lot of exciting things in the pipeline for the museum in the five-year strategy plan.

Focus would be put on attracting people to utilise the venue for weddings.

The museum's website is next in line for a makeover, with a new one going live in November.

Cobblestones Museum is open everyday from 10am-4pm.