The Northland Society of Arts (NSA) has been the proud custodian of Reyburn House since 1966. Visit this heritage house in Whangarei’s Town Basin to see an art collection and to enjoy the location of this precious reminder of days gone by. The kids will love the adjacent Town Basin playground.
The colonial-era Reyburn House hugs the Hatea River, which you can see from the covered veranda and its lawns and gardens. The house wasn’t always in this location though. The NSA bought it from the Harbour Board in 1984 for just NZ$10 on the condition that they would move it to its current location, to make way for harbor upgrades.
With a history dating back to circa 1865, this is the oldest settler’s house in Whangarei and therefore considered a national treasure. Reyburn House is also the last remaining settlers house in the city’s downtown area. The original kauri cottage housed a Scottish lad, Robert Reyburn junior, who migrated here with his parents in 1859.
Browse the gallery to admire the selection of artworks in the permanent exhibition, which include paintings, pottery and sculptures. NSA’s total collection consists of over 200 works. Traveling national art exhibitions rotate monthly, to keep the Reyburn House Art Gallery interesting for returning visitors.
Note how the permanent pieces are all created by Northland artists as well as regular seasonal workers and regular visitors to the region. Once a year, the NSA’s members get to display their own works in exhibits that can be themed one year and free-form the next.
For a unique and artistic souvenir, browse the gift shop before you let the children loose in the nearby playground. Sign up for a workshop if you’d love to get creative yourself. These workshops are held in the studios just across the lawn.
Reyburn House is located in the Town Basin of Whangarei. The gallery is closed on Mondays, on public holidays and also on weekend mornings. Parking spaces are available. Entry is by voluntary donation, which will go towards the preservation of the historic home as well as the continuity of the community-minded NSA.