The Dunedin Gasworks Museum is situated in the Engine House of the now defunct Dunedin Gasworks which was New Zealand's first and last gasworks, operating from 1863 until 1987.
Following closure of the gas making plant this site was largely cleared. But thanks to the vision and determination of the late Elizabeth Hinds, then Director of the Otago Settlers Museum, a Trust was formed to save the group of Edwardian buildings at the South Dunedin landmark.
"The Dunedin Gas Works Museum is one of only three preserved gasworks in the world, and by far the best and most complete", says Sir Neil Cossons, former Chairman of English Heritage and a noted authority on the history of industrial archaeology, museums and conservation. "Other Gasworks Museums are situated in Scotland and Eastern England, and are much smaller, representing gas making for much smaller communities. The Dunedin Gasworks Museum is important as the only surviving and preserved example of a city gasworks where the process is explained and the equipment demonstrated."
The Engine House has been restored to full working order, featuring a boiler house and steam engines, but the fitting shop is in dire need of preservation. The Gasworks Museum Trust is working closely with the Southern Heritage Trust and other interested parties to preserve and promote the Gasworks Museum as Dunedin's premier industrial heritage site.
The museum is located at 20 Braemar Street, South Dunedin (between Hillside Road and McBride Street, look for the tall brick chimney), and is open on the first and third Sundays of each month, 12 noon to 4:00pm, when the engines are usually in steam.
Images supplied by the Dunedin Gasworks Museum.