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One of the best ways to truly experience a destination is to learn about the local culture. In New Zealand, one of the best (and most family friendly) places to do this is the Auckland Museum. Keep reading to see why your family will love this amazing museum.
This museum was one of our first stops on our trip to New Zealand. The exhibits here are so diverse that we all found things we loved. My husband could have spent all day in this museum! It is a remarkable place!
What to expect at the Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum was one of the first museums in New Zealand. It is dedicated to two main themes. The first is the history, culture, and story of New Zealand and its place in the South Pacific. The second focus of the museum is a war memorial.
There are three floors full of exhibits in this museum. As you wander through them, you will see ancient Maori boats, art pieces, war planes, interactive volcano exhibits, and so much more.
The Ground Floor
On the ground floor, you will find the Stories of Auckland, the Maori Court, Pacific Masterpieces, Pacific Lifeways, and the Special Exhibitions room.
The Stories of Auckland features pieces that showcase the past, present, and future of this vibrant city.
In the Maori Court, you will find over 1000 artifacts that are all considered treasures of the Maori tribe, the original people of New Zealand. This section of the museum contains several full size pieces, including a meeting house and a war canoe. There are also many traditional Maori art pieces and weapons.
The Pacific Lifeways and Pacific Masterpieces galleries feature art, artifacts, and day-to-day pieces from the various tribes and cultures throughout the South Pacific. These pieces tell the story of these amazing people.
The Special Exhibitions room features temporary revolving exhibits at the museum.
The First Level
The first level focuses primarily on the natural world. The exhibits here all work together to tell the story of the origins of New Zealand and the unique environment and landscape of these islands. There are also exhibits that will teach you about volcanos and the ancient world.
Additionally, the first level showcases two children’s galleries: one hands on collection about the natural world called the Weird and Wonderful and the other is called the Imaginarium.
Lastly, on the first level, you will find a gallery devoted to Asia art.
The Second Level
The second level is the war memorial section of the Auckland Museum. Here, you will find two full size war planes, a section that remembers all the New Zealanders who gave their lives in battle, a gallery devoted to New Zealand at war, a section that tells the story of New Zealand in World War I and before, and another section focused on New Zealand in World War II and after.
Planning your visit
The Auckland Museum is conveniently located in the heart of Auckland right in the middle of the Auckland Domain. You can get to the museum by car, on foot, or by using public transportation.
Please note that parking is limited at the Auckland Museum, so I would suggest arriving early or using public transportation to get to the museum.
Auckland Museum is open from 10 am until 5 pm on weekdays. On the weekends and public holidays, it is open from 9 am until 5 pm.
The museum is free for all Auckland residents to visit. For New Zealand residents who do not live in Auckland, the museum asks for donations. The museum charges international visitors $28 New Zealand dollars for adults and $14 NZD for children age 5-13. Children 4 and under are free.
In addition to a museum store where you can find a souvenir of your visit, the museum has a cafe and an espresso bar where you can grab a bite to eat or your morning coffee. There is also a room to eat if you want to bring your own lunch with you.
Why you’ll love this museum
The Auckland Museum is one of the most unique museums I have ever visited. It tells the story of New Zealand and Auckland from various perspectives and through a wide variety of exhibits.
Your kids will love seeing all of the full size boats, planes, ancient weapons, and other pieces that are located throughout the space. They will also enjoy the interactive exhibits on the first level that are dedicated to children.
Adults will enjoy seeing the interesting history of the Maori people and other Pacific islanders through the large number of artifacts in the different galleries.
Exploring this museum will give you and your kids a great overview of the history and culture of the New Zealand people.
The Auckland Museum is a must-do activity for anyone visiting New Zealand, but especially for families. It tells the story and history of New Zealand through art, boats, war planes, and many other pieces. There is definitely something here to amaze everyone in your family!
For more help planning your trip to New Zealand, see how to plan an amazing trip to New Zealand, tips for driving in New Zealand, tips for New Zealand road trips, Auckland Aquarium, free things to do with kids in New Zealand, the New Zealand Navy Museum, and things to do with kids on New Zealand’s North Island.
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