A captivating museum in the heart of Auckland Domain park, where you can explore the rich heritage of New Zealand and traditional Maori culture.
Housed in a Greco-Roman-style building in the city’s Domain park, the Auckland War Memorial Museum was established back in 1929 to honour the memory of all those soldiers who died in World War I. On your approach to the museum, you’ll see the frieze depicting scenes from the two world wars, as well as the poppy motif that recurs throughout the museum.
Once inside, you can explore the museum’s many exhibits, with permanent and temporary shows open to visitors. In the world war memorials, take time to look at the honour rolls on display dedicated to the memory of soldiers who lost their lives. In the Scars of the Heart exhibition you can learn about the experiences of soldiers and civilians in wartime through first-hand accounts and artefacts. You’ll also get to see a Spitfire and a Japanese Warbird Zero plane on show.
But the museum is not all about wars and conflict. Here you can also discover more about Maori culture in the galleries that house important Maori taonga (treasures) from a beautiful carved meeting house and a war canoe to everyday weavings and feather oaks. Hunting weapons that tribesmen once used are on display too. Daily tours are on offer to visitors, during which you’ll get to see Maori performers while listening to guides who will give you a great insight into their heritage.
Visit the museum’s natural history exhibits to learn more about New Zealand’s wildlife. You’ll get to find out more about the island’s flora and fauna, with exhibits all about insects, sea creatures, birds, amphibians, reptiles and more.
Check out the Applied and Decorative arts display too and see some eclectic pieces from New Zealand and beyond. You’ll find costumes, musical instruments, and arts and crafts of all kinds on show.
Located in the inner-city neighbourhood of Grafton, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is open every day through the year except Christmas Day. You can reach the museum easily by bus, though parking is available at a cost in the museum car park.