If you’re looking for things to do in Auckland, Auckland Museum is quite possibly one the best ways to get a true sense of New Zealand’s culture. As one of the best museums in the Southern Hemisphere, it is renowned for passionately exhibiting the culture, artistic legacy and military bravery of the Pacific People.
Housed in one of New Zealand’s finest neo-classicist style heritage buildings, the museum is located in the grounds of the Domain, a beautiful garden in the city centre and sits on a grassed plinth. The museum provides an ever-changing banquet of local and international exhibitions that excite and delight the visitor.
A central part of the Auckland Museum and a favourite among visitors is the Maori exhibition which delves into the culture and legacy of the people. It is home to the largest and most valuable collection of Maori taonga treasures in the world. These have been collected diligently over time. It is also the only place in Auckland where visitors can experience a Maori cultural performance daily. The performance gives an engaging, vibrant and entertaining glimpse at Tamaki Paenga Hira with the world-famous haka. As part of the experience, you also get the opportunity to interact with and take photos with the performers. This cultural display is considered one of the best in New Zealand.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The museum is often referred to as the Auckland War Memorial Museum as it is one of New Zealand’s most important war memorials. The Scars of the Heart exhibition covers the New Zealand civil wars and Anglo-Boer War of the 19th century, the first and second world wars and the Asian conflicts. There are two main galleries, the World War I Sanctuary and the World War II Hall of Memories. The Hall of Memories is home to the permanent roll of honour which is carved into marble and holds the names of men and women from the Auckland Province who lost their lives in war. The building was extended to allow for war memorials for over 4,000 Aucklanders who lost their lives in World War II.
What is particularly special about the exhibition is that it was created using the personal experiences of those who served in the armed forces and also New Zealanders who stayed at home. Many of the items on display are of a personal nature including photographs and letters to and from home. It even has interactive computers, allowing visitors to browse through photo albums and diaries, and handsets giving oral histories of soldier’s experiences. The personal pieces make a very strong impact to the collection as you get a first-hand sense of the experiences and emotions of the soldiers.
Auckland Museum Cenotaph
The Auckland Museum Cenotaph (empty tomb) is located in the building’s consecrated foreground, along with the Court of Honour. The Cenotaph is inscribed to “The Glorious Dead” and is purposely without decoration or religious symbolism as it was designed by Luytens to capture the grief of an Empire unable to bring those who died at war home. Constructed in 1929, the Auckland War Memorial Museum still remains a place of remembrance for families and comrades.
Auckland Museum Opening Hours
Galleries and Exhibitions are open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.
Auckland Museum Prices
General Admission is $25 for an adult, $10 for a child and $60 for a family of two adults and four children. Extra charges apply for tours and performances.
Being without a doubt one of the best Auckland attractions, make sure you include a visit to the Auckland Museum in your itinerary.
After all the excitement of discovering the treasures of the museum, why not sit back and relax at one of Best Western’s Auckland accommodations.