Museums in New Zealand

New Zealand Museums

Exploring the Museums in New Zealand is the best way to learn about the preserved artefacts, cultural diversity, and interesting stories surrounding the country. New Zealand takes pride in having more than 470 museums, each having a different theme. The most popular one among these is Te Papa, which is dedicated to specimens of ancient flora. Other than this, the Canterbury Museum has a rich collection of foreign bird skins, butterflies, shells, mammals, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils. You can also study the legacy of the famous kauri trees as you stroll through the Kauri Museum.

New Zealand Museums have a vast variety of choices, and offer diverse specialties for all artists and history buffs. You can witness the Auckland Museum, which constitutes a large collection of Maori and Polynesian artefacts, whereas the Otago Museum in Dunedin delves deeply into the South Island's natural and social history. You will be amazed to see the cable cars, caves, toys, volcanic eruptions, army equipment, boats, trains, and planes, in that diverse collection. One of the interesting parts is that major museums of the country can be admired for free.

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Which are the best museums to visit in New Zealand?

  1. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: Explore the Te Papa museum to learn more about the diverse flora and fauna and wild areas surrounding the country. In this New Zealand museum, you can see rare colossal squid that weigh 495 kg and are very hard to find. Apart from this, the museum also has 250,000 dried specimens of fossils, wetlands, and Maori culture. One can also learn more about the dresses and jewellery that date back to the sixteenth century.

    Location: 55 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 6 pm

  2. Auckland War Memorial Museum: You can visit this New Zealand museum to learn more about the exotic collections of war memorials and the stories associated with it. Walk along the museum's aisles to study documents, manuscripts, historic paintings, maps, and fossil specimens. The major attraction of the museum is its architecture, which is inspired by the neoclassical style. The museum has gained popularity due to the wall memorials that have been built for those who lost their lives during WWI and WWII.

    Location: Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

  3. Canterbury Museum: The major attraction of the Canterbury Museum of New Zealand is its interior, depicting the Gothic Revival which has been designed by Benjamin Mountfor. Explore the museum to study the Maori artefacts and 1,000 plus paua shells. Tourists often visit the museum to learn about the reason why the museum suffered no harm during the earthquakes between 1987 and 1995.

    Location: 11 Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand
    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

  4. New Zealand Maritime Museum: One can explore this museum to learn more about modern commercial shipping, lifeboat, coastguard services, marine surveying, and lighthouses in New Zealand. The museum is home to some of the world's most significant art collections, such as the Edminston and Fraser. The ships and boats that are docked in front of the museum are the biggest attraction for visitors.

    Location: Corner of Quay and Hobson Street, Auckland 1140, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

  5. Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre: The Omaka aviation heritage centre can be explored to study more about the ancient aircraft that were used by the royal air force of New Zealand. You can explore the centre to learn about the war memorials and artefacts. The collection of the New Zealand Museum has Caproni Ca.22 Original, Curtiss MF, Fokker Dr.I triplane, Nieuport 27 replica, Pfalz D.III and Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a which makes it a perfect choice for aviation history lovers.

    Location: 79 Aerodrome Road, Omaka, Blenheim 7272, New Zealand
    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

  6. Otago Museum: Otago museum is one of the largest museums in New Zealand and is governed by the Otago Museum Trust Board. The museum has a very good collection of specimens of insects, mainly spiders. The Otago museum is also famous for its vast collection of ancient coins, glassware, clocks, and furniture. The interactive science centre inside the museum offers a bird's-eye view of the immersive tropical butterfly rainforest environment.

    Location: 419 Great King Street North, Dunedin North, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

  7. Wellington Museum: The Wellington Museum has been voted one of the best fifty New Zealand museums. The architecture of the museum celebrates the ancient maritime history of the country. One can explore the museum to learn about the evolution of marine life in New Zealand. The Wellington museum is also home to the Bond Store, Maritime Gallery, and Wahine Theatre.

    Location: Wellington Harbour Board Head Office and Bond Store,3
    Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

  8. The Kauri Museum:The Kauri Museum is located west of the Waipoua Forest and is known to have the highest collection of Kauri gums in the world. The museum has a lot of fascinating things, like a replica of a 1900 Kauri house, a Pioneer School, the old Matakohe Post Office, and a model of a steam sawmill. While exploring, you can also look at the large collection of photos and other items from the early days.

    Location: 5 Church Road, Matakohe 0593, New Zealand
    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

  9. Toitu Otago Settlers Museum: The Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country. The museum currently has research centres dedicated to European pioneers, which makes it an excellent choice for history lovers. In this museum, you will be astonished to witness the oldest steam engine that has ever been used in New Zealand. The major attraction of this museum is the Chinese garden, whose landscape is designed in accordance with the city of Shanghai.

    Location: 31 Queens Gardens, Central Dunedin, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

  10. Air Force Museum of New Zealand: Visit the Air Force Museum of New Zealand to get up close and personal with the museum's ancient collection, which consists primarily of artefacts from ancient times. The major attraction of this museum is the separate room that owns the artefact pieces that were damaged during the 2011 earthquake. Fans of aviation travel will be excited to witness the museum's collection of enemy aircraft, massive items, and aircraft engines.

    Location: 45 Harvard Avenue, Wigram, Christchurch 8042, New Zealand
    Timings: 09.30 am to 04.30 pm

  11. Edwin Fox Museum: Check out this New Zealand museum to learn about the oldest merchant still alive, the last deck that carried Australian convicts, and how the ship was mostly used to transport goods and people. Maintained by the Edwin Fox Society, the museum is helpful to know about real marine life and examine the preserved art pieces. Go through the museum's deck to study its world-class heritage, architecture, and interactive displays.

    Location: Dunbar Wharf, Picton 7281, New Zealand
    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

  12. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o T?maki: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is the most important museum in New Zealand, where you can look at works of art that are relevant both in New Zealand and around the world. One can also visit the museum to explore four floors of history exhibitions and seven centuries of art. The museum's ceilings look like canopies with geometric patterns that are based on Australian architecture. Make a trip to the museum to gain an understanding of the many histories of Auckland.

    Location: Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

  13. MTG Hawke's Bay: You can visit the MTG Hawke’s Bay to study its fine arts collection, which includes works by eminent personalities like Jenny Campbell, Avis Higgs, Frank Carpay, Rita Angus, Roland Hipkins, Joan Trollope, and Walter Bowring.  This museum can be visited to examine species, social history artefacts, Taonga Mori items, and textiles. One can also learn about what happened to the museum after the terrible earthquake in 1931 and how it was fixed.

    Location: 1 Tennyson Street, Napier South, Napier 4110, New Zealand
    Timings: 9.30 am to 5 pm

  14. Southward Car Museum: Because the Southward Car Museum is the only establishment of its sort in the country, people come from all over the world to view its collection of 470 classic automobiles. The Benz Velo, a Stutz, and a Bugatti Type 57C are just a few of the iconic automobiles at this exhibit , which makes it an absolute must-see for all automobile lovers.

    Location: Otaihanga Road, Otaihanga, Paraparaumu 5036, New Zealand
    Timings: 9 am to 04.30 pm

  15. Tairawhiti Museum: The Tairawhiti Museum was built so that people can learn about the culture of the Tairawhiti people. Because of the museum's groundbreaking design, it is often considered to be among the most innovative regional museums in New Zealand. One can visit the museum to learn about the regional history and cultural diversity of New Zealand. The museum is also a hub for a lot of locally made handicrafts and artistic things related to the Tairawhiti people.

    Location: 10 Stout Street, Whataupoko, Gisborne 4010, New Zealand
    Timings: 10 am to 4 pm

Which are the best museums to visit in Auckland?

  1. NZ Warbirds visitor centre - Take a stroll along this museum to get a complete idea of the operational and static life of the aviation industry. Visitors can check Tr.9 -McDonnell Douglas, North American T-6, and Proctor -Aermacchi MB339C -Royal Aircraft Factory to study the rich aviation and get up close and personal with the working ex-military aircraft.

  2. Mangere Mountain Education Centre - This New Zealand museum displays the details surrounding the ancient volcano. This place is best for those who wish to study the history of marine cultural heritage, archaeology, history, geology and mythology.

  3. Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre - The primary idea of setting up this museum was to educate the common people about life on a deck. It also has a lot of interactive and attractive displays that talk deeply about marine species.

  4. Torpedo Bay Navy Museum - This museum in New Zealand is the official art gallery of the Royal Navy. You can visit the museum to admire the artefacts that date back to the Flagstaff war and World War II.

What is the best time to visit museums in New Zealand?

The best time to visit museums in New Zealand is between December to March every year. The reason is that the country is located in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer season. During this season, one expects longer days, warmer weather, and sunnier skies.

What is so special about the New Zealand Canterbury Museum?

The New Zealand Canterbury Museum is famous for its rich cultural heritage. As a result, Heritage New Zealand has designated the museum as a "historic place" (Category I). The building of the museum is inspired by the architecture of the Gothic Revival. The structure of the building is shockproof and can therefore sustain earthquake shocks easily.

Is entry to museums in New Zealand free?

Yes, entry to most of the museums in New Zealand is completely free. However, some private museums may charge admission fees to the general public.

What is the biggest museum in New Zealand?

Te Papa Tongarewa is the biggest New Zealand museum. It hosts a lot of artefacts that connect one to ancient times. The most attractive section of the museum is the earthquake room, which one can use to experience real-time aftershocks that occurred in 1987.

What are the specialties of the Edwin Fox Museum?

The Edwin Fox Museum is special as it was bought for just a shilling and serves as the last ship that took convicts to Australia. The ship is a prominent destination for those who wish to know about life on deck. One can visit the ship to study its world-class heritage and architecture. The ship is filled with interactive displays that sets it apart.

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