Invercargill motorcycle museum renovations done and dusted

25th August 2020

If you haven’t been back to visit Classic Motorcycle Mecca since it opened, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a completely different place in 2020.

Four years after the Invercargill motorcycle museum opened, the third and final phase of renovations have been completed. The result? The complete transformation of the two buildings the collection now calls home.

 HWR Group property manager Sue Hill says the renovation has been the southern tourism hub’s most challenging project.

“It’s been a massive job, but the hard work has been worth it.”

When Classic Motorcycle Mecca opened in 2016, it was housed across two floors in one building. Today the Classic Motorcycle Mecca collection is spread across three storeys and two adjacent buildings from the nineteenth century.  

“When you’re dealing with older buildings, you get a few unexpected surprises along the way. It’s taken a bit longer than we thought it would – COVID-19 didn’t help – but it’s great to see it finished,” Hill says.

This phase of the renovation has included:

  • Earthquake strengthening work
  • Reinstating an existing staircase to provide access from the top floors to the basement levels
  • Uplifting the existing floor, adding an earthquake strengthening layer and reinstating new flooring
  • Shifting cables for infrastructure including data and electricity
  • Strengthening security infrastructure
  • Opening up two doorways in the existing treble-layered brick wall between the basement spaces of the two individual buildings
  • Moving the boiler infrastructure
  • Adding increased foundation stabilisation
  • Kitting out the two basement areas to house new display, the George Begg Bunker

“The buildings are absolutely beautiful. The level of craftmanship that has been poured into the project is amazing, and the teams from Henderson Construction and Highview Builders have worked really hard to highlight the beauty of the space. I’m looking forward visitors seeing it – I think they’ll be blown away,” Hill says.

A significant focus of the renovation work was to highlight the Invercargill motorcycle museum’s spectacular period features. The project team has also upcycled, restored, or reused as much product as possible. This includes the period glass in windows, tongue and groove flooring reclaimed from the inner-city redevelopment and feature lighting.

“We’ve recycled just about everything that was in there, which highlights how spectacular the original features are,” Hill says.  “It’s a really fitting home for the classic motorcycles in the collection.”

Want to see it for yourself? Book your visit today.