Housed in one of New Zealand’s finest heritage buildings, Auckland Museum has the most significant collection of Maori and Pacific treasures in the southern hemisphere. From the great Polynesian voyages which first brought people to Aotearoa, to the diverse cultures and communities that make up Auckland today, Auckland Museum portrays the rich diversity of New Zealand.
The Museum is spread over three floors each telling a significant New Zealand story. The Ground Floor tells the story of New Zealand the people and their place in the Pacific. The Maori Gallery – displays over 2,000 priceless treasures, including rare carvings and the last great Maori war canoe used in battle. Adjacent to these treasures are the Pacific Masterpieces and Lifeways galleries presenting Pacific arts, history and culture. These galleries and others, tell the story of New Zealands people.
On the first floor, natural history galleries explain New Zealand’s remarkable flora and fauna, from the subtropical north to the mountainous south. These galleries trace New Zealands ancient origins from the great lost continent of Gondwana and are complemented by interactive and award-winning childrens discovery centres. The discovery centres feature hundreds of hands-on displays and interactive activities to keep the kids captivated.
On the top floor, Halls of Memory record the names of Aucklanders lost in military conflict while Scars on the Heart, the Museum’s war memorial exhibition, tells the compelling story of New Zealand’s emergence as a nation through the loss and suffering of war.
Auckland Museum is the only venue in Auckland were visitors can experience a Maori Cultural performance three times daily, or four times from January to March. The Museum Store offers an exceptional range of quality New Zealand and Pacific handcrafts, from wooden carvings and jade, to books, fine jewellery, ceramics and glassware. A café is also on site.
Auckland Museum, Auckland Domain, Parnell. Open daily, 10am – 5pm except Christmas Day. Entry is by donation, $5 per adult is appreciated, children are free. Special exhibition charges and cultural performance charges apply (no further donation is requested). Infoline 09 306 7067, www.aucklandmuseum.com.