Top museums to visit in New Zealand
New Zealand is famed for its incredible scenery, but it also provides some spectacular cultural experiences. Away from the rugged mountains and alpine lakes, you’ll find a collection of museums that offer a fascinating insight into the history of the country and showcase local art, dance, music and cuisine. If you’re keen to learn while you travel, here are some of the best museums to visit on your personalised New Zealand holiday.
Te Papa, Wellington
Te Papa is a unique museum located in the capital of New Zealand. Occupying an enviable location at the heart of the city, Te Papa boasts a wonderful collection of interactive displays and ever-changing exhibits, which explore an intriguing blend of subjects. This museum is a celebration of Maori culture and heritage and the natural wonders and landscapes that make New Zealand one of the most photographed countries on the planet. As you meander from room to room, you’ll learn everything there is to know about Maori history and you can also marvel at works of art, look an ancient natural artefacts and even experience what it was like to be caught up in the aftershocks of the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake at the Earthquake House exhibition. Te Papa is family-friendly, and you could easily spend a full day here.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is a stunning sight to behold from the exterior, but the real enjoyment comes from a tour of the internal rooms. This building houses an incredible collection of historic artefacts, mementoes and relics. The museum was constructed in 1929 to act as a memorial to those who fell during the First World War. Every year on Anzac Day, a memorial service is held here at dawn, with crowds gathering to pay their respects to those that have lost their lives in combat.
The Otago Museum, which is located in Dunedin, is an eclectic melange of displays, which feature memorabilia, art and fossils from all over the world that span hundreds, even thousands of years. Move from Japanese art displays and colourful butterfly collections to dinosaur fossil exhibits and the much-loved tropical forests of Discovery World, exploring more than 1.5 million items. It’s best to move at a sedate pace to enjoy everything this quirky museum has to offer. This is a popular choice for travellers who have children, but it’s suitable for all ages.