Auckland, Destinations, New Zealand, North Island, Oceania 13

Fun educational day for the family at Auckland War Memorial Museum

We had our first ‘indoor’ trip in Auckland as the past one month here has been all about the amazing outdoors – beaches up in Northland region, sea kayaking, fishing and enjoying the stunning natural landscape and seascape around Auckland and Bay of Islands.  We visited the Auckland Warm Memorial Museum located near Auckland central. It is close to Mount Eden and makes for a great family day out in central Auckland combining the two.

You can easily take public transport here, both the LINK Bus and the Explorer bus gets you here, for further details see information on public transport. There is also parking available, free for 2 hours, if you wanted to drive. We came here twice now – once using the bus and the other time drove in from St Heliers. Price of tickets and hours are listed here. It is free for New Zealand residents. Whilst the price is not too steep ($25 for adults and $10 for children over age of 5), we have been spoiled by all the amazing free Museums in the UK past 10 years, and it seemed expensive to us!


Intricate Maori Art and Design

First of all I think the name of the Museum is misleading and in a way bit of a deterrent for ‘family tourists’ – because there is so much more to the museum than the war memorial section! In fact we didn’t even get time to visit the war memorial sections which I heard is very impressive and has several WWI and WWII artifacts and memorabilia.  There is also the special exhibition here at the moment where the Gallipoli campaign is featured using the interactive world of Minecraft. The major sections we got to see included natural history, volcanoes, ocean world, and the rich stories of the Pacific People – Māori, Pakeha, the people’s of Oceania and other newcomers.

We enjoyed the Maori collections and the Natural History sections the most. Our kids are aged 7 and 9 and are at a good age to really appreciate lot of the exhibitions. The second time I came with my sister and her family visiting from the States. Her kids were 2 and 4 and they enjoyed themselves too in the sections that were more child friendly.

The Maori Court section was one of our favourites – This gallery contains over 1,000 artefacts from around Aotearoa which date back to the arrival and settlement of Māori. There are a number of original full-size buildings in this gallery including the famous meeting house Hotunui.


Hotonui – famous meeting house


Te Toki ā Tāpiri, the last great war canoe used in battle and carved from a giant totara tree.


The natural history section was small but very interesting as lot of the displays were of marine and terrestrial plants and animals native to this region.  They also had an interactive section here – the Stevenson Discovery Centre, which had hands-on space for discovering the natural world. This was a big success with the younger kids during both our visits.

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Volcano exhibitions were really cool! The gallery is installed with a series of modules telling various stories, of different volcanic eruptions that have occurred here and in other parts of the world. It combined artefacts, film and video to highlight the benefits of living near a volcano as well as the deathly destruction it can cause.





‘Wild Child’ section was interesting – a funny mixture of what childhood was like here in the early 19th century – a mixture of colonial childhood and the changes from being a wild colonial child of the 1880s into the cherished modern child of the 1950s!




Views from the special gallery section at the top floor were stunning! This area is only opened during special events and not open to the public at all times. There is a children’s library here and story telling and other events during school holidays.

Even though this is by no means like some of the larger museums we have been to in Europe, it was a very rich and informative experience for us here as lot of the general and history knowledge was new to us having just moved to New Zealand. Learning about the Maori culture, heritage, learning about volcanoes and the natural world here in Oceania was a great experience and I would highly recommend visiting here if in Auckland. I think there would be several items of interest for adults and children alike.

View of Auckland

View of Auckland


View of Auckland

View of Auckland

This post is linked to #weekendwanderlust hosted by Casual Traveler and #Sundaytraveler hosted by A Southern Gypsy



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  • kkowen says: May 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Wow this looks like a great place to get a good background information before starting a visit in Auckland! From the sound of it, my son would be happy to spend an entire day here!

    • samselim says: May 3, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      That’s how we felt too, it was a great place to start learning about the history about New Zealand, and in a very fun and family friendly environment too!

  • andy says: May 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    beautiful pictures 🙂

  • Tim says: May 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    That’s a great place. We always used to go there on school trips as a youngster. As an adult I would go for the peace and quiet of the nearby gardens.

    • samselim says: May 3, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      I haven’t been to the nearby gardens as both days we went it was raining. But I can totally see myself going back again and it is such a great place for the kids too!

  • Holly says: May 4, 2015 at 12:34 am

    sounds like a lot of fun. Cute kids! You captured some great pics as well.

  • Gabor Kovacs says: May 4, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Seems to be a really fun museum with loads of different things. Moreover, it seems that you saw Auckland with the blue sky, when we were there, it was raining all the time.

  • connier316 says: May 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Looks like a great museum for both kids and adults.Nice photos!

  • connier316 says: May 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Looks like a nice museum for both kids and adults. Nice photos!

  • theworldonmynecklace says: May 5, 2015 at 12:05 am

    I grew up going to the Auckland Museum all the time when I was a kid and it is still one of my favourite in the world 🙂

  • sophierose233 says: May 5, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Looks like a great museum to get to know more about Auckland. Thanks for sharing!

  • Adelina // PackMeTo says: May 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    What cool looking museum! The Maori are so fascinating and so many people have never even heard of them.

    • samselim says: May 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      I didn’t know much about Maori history/culture before we got here. This Museum is a great starting point for learning!

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