Auckland Museum and Domain, Auckland

38 Reviews

Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland. 09 306 - 7067

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Auckland Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Jun 30, 2012

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    Auckland Museum
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    This is Auckland's premiere site. Make sure to reserve plenty of time for this great museum. It is really 3 museums in one site. A Maori/NZ cultural museum, a natural history museum and a war museum. Each museum has its own floor. The museum has no entrance fee but Maori Cultural shows (3 performances in a day) charges $25 NZD for adults. Admission fees vary depending on the selected packages by the customers.

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    Maoris performances

    by fachd Written Nov 11, 2010

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    Haka war dance
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    There are performances by Maoris introducing of their cultures through to traditional songs and dance and the world famous Haka. When the performance finish you can take photos with the artist and they will take you on a guided tour of the Maori gallery at 11.30 am and 2pm daily. The performances are three times a day at 11 am, 12 pm and 1.30 pm.

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    Rajah the elephant

    by fachd Updated Nov 11, 2010

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    Rajah
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    Rajah the elephant was brought to the museum because he had a bad temper, too dangerous for the zoo keepers to handle and not suitable to take children for rides. For obvious reasons Rajah had to be put down.

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    Story of Pacific People

    by fachd Written Nov 11, 2010

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    The ground floor tells the story of Pacific People; Maori, Pakeha, the peoples of Oceania and other newcomers. On this floor it has the largest Maori and Polynesians artifacts collection in the world. Amongst the collection there’s Maori meeting house and long war canoe, Maori carvings, statues, weapons, tools and others. On this floor there’s also a large stuff Indian elephant.

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    Museum

    by fachd Written Nov 11, 2010

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    I think Auckland (War Memorial) Museum is a must visit. The Museum is located in Auckland Domain on the hill known as Pukekawa. Inside the museum it has three levels. The ground floor is about Maori culture, the first floor is into the natural history of New Zealand and the second floor is the site of commemoration for New Zealanders lost at war.

    The Museum open every day from 10am until 5pm, except Christmas Day and Anzac Day (25th April).

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    A Cultural tour....

    by mashed_NZ Written Jun 29, 2009

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    The Auckland Domain used to be farm grounds in the late 1800's and was turned into the Domain in the 1900's. It was developed around the cone of an extinct volcano. The is a house located on 509 Parnell Road that was the original farm house for the Auckland Domain that later became an upscale brothal in the early to mid 1900's. It is a large house that has been recently renovated and is currently separated into 4 different apartments. The Auckland Domain also plays host to the Winter Gardens which its most noticable feature is the large reflecting pool with 3 bronze statues. The auckland museum is also located in the Domain and is host to new exhibits all the time.

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    Excellent Maori area, but...

    by BurgerQueen Updated May 13, 2009

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    Maori carvings
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    You cannot miss a visit to the Auckland museum while in Auckland.
    Getting there is quite simple, catch a Link bus (1.60 NZ$) and the driver will drop you off just in front of the museum.
    The entrance to the museum is free, but donations are welcome.
    The Maori area is very rich in Maori carvings, and also displays some exemples of Maori buildings and ships. In this area you can also attend a Maori Cultural performance for 25NZ$ per person which I recommend. Be sure to book your place at the admission counter in time, there are only 3 performances per day, and they are often fully booked.
    The rest of the museum was not very interesting from my point of view. I would suggest a visit to the other areas to people with young kids, I got the impression that the museum has been conceived for that age range ("antiques" are from the 1980s!!!)
    The museum is located in the Parnell area, which is also deserves a visit.

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    Winter Gardens

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Nov 14, 2008

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    Winter Gardens
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    The Winter Gardens is a small botanical garden in the Auckland Domain. It was built for the 1913 Auckland Exhibition and is considered as a protected heritage site. It is just a short walk from the Auckland Museum. It's free and great spot for a short stop while visiting the domain.

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    Magnificent Auckland War Memorial Museum

    by xuessium Written Sep 7, 2008

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    AucklandWarMemorialMuseum

    Even if you are not a fan of museums, this should still be a stop. Foremost, the architecture of the building is just breathtaking. If the facade is already this good, wait till you see what's inside!

    Bring yourself or bring your family. This is a place for everyone. There are just so much to see. Established in 1852, Auckland War Memorial Museum is New Zealand's first museum. I was truly impressed. This is one heck of a museum. It tells the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. The Museum is a war memorial for the province of Auckland and holds one of New Zealand's top three heritage libraries. It has pre-eminent Maori and Pacific collections, significant natural history resources and major social and military history collections, as well as decorative arts and pictorial collections. Nature? Walk through the galleries of New Zealand fauna and be truly astounded. History? Immense yourself in the galleries on war and sacrifice. Maori culture? Catch a performance here.

    The Museum is open every day from 10am until 5pm, except Christmas Day (25 December)
    Anzac Day morning - 6:45am
    Adults $5
    Children (up to 6 years old) - free

    Maori Cultural Performance
    Daily 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm
    Extra performance at 2.30pm January - April
    You'll need to pay to see the performance and you can bundle up both entry and performance tickets.

    There is a wonderful cafe within the museum as well as gift shops.

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    Scars on the Heart

    by Kakapo2 Written Jul 17, 2008

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    Impressive wall in the warfare section.
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    Remember: The official name of Auckland Museum is Auckland War Museum...

    It is always surprising to see in how many wars New Zealand has been involved. Well, most of the warfare was due to the fact that the country was a British colony, and until today it belongs to the Commonwealth. The War in Iraq was the first war New Zealand did not follow the Australians, and this is an extraordinary decision, regarding the past when New Zealand and Australia formed the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps), fought side by side, and ANZAC Day is celebrated each year on 25 April. This is the commemoration day for the soldiers who lost their lives but also to honour the returned servicemen.

    On the walls of the Sanctuary and the Hall of Memories all the names of New Zealanders from the Auckland province who died in these wars are inscribed.

    The red poppy – also called Flanders poppy - is the symbol people wear in NZ around ANZAC Day. In other countries around the world they wear it on Armistice Day (11 November). You will see a heap of those poppies piled around an exhibit. The red poppy has been linked with battlefield deaths since the time of the Great War (1914–18). The plant was one of the first to grow and bloom in the mud and soil of Flanders. The connection was made, most famously, by the Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his poem “In Flanders fields”:

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    I especially liked the stained glass windows of the war memorial level of the Museum, church-like, with scenes from war and grief.
    Museum open daily (except Christmas Day) 10 am – 5pm

    Contact

    Museum info line (09) 306 7067
    Booking line (09) 306 7048
    General Enquiries (09) 309 0443
    Internet: www.aucklandmuseum.com
    Email newsletter: news@aucklandmuseum.com

    On photos 2 and 3 you see brilliant examples of the stained glass windows in the warfare section of the museum.

    Photo 4 shows the red poppies people in New Zealand wear on ANZAC Day.

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    Maori Treasures and Performances

    by Kakapo2 Written Jul 17, 2008

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    Inside the historic Maori meeting hall.
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    You find some of the best examples of Maori meeting halls and food stores in this museum. They were saved when traditional Maori villages started to disappear at the end of the 19th century. However, as Maori tribes have started to reclaim those treasures (taonga) it is well possible that those wonderful pieces will disappear in the not too far future.

    The biggest meeting house (whare whakairo) is Hotunui. It was built in Thames in 1878. You will see brilliant carvings on the outside and the inside. Before you walk inside please take your shoes off, this is the traditional Maori protocol.

    Te Toki a Tariri is the only remaining war canoe (waka taua) from the pre-European era. It is 25 metres long and could hold up to 100 warriors. It was made near Wairoa in Hawkes Bay from a single totara trunk. Already in 1885 it was given to the Museum.

    Several food stores – they look like mini meeting halls on stilts - and wonderfully carved statues complete the collection.

    There are daily cultural performances on offer. They include dancing and the haka (war dance), and the Maori performers explain rules and customs.

    Hours (May to December) 11am, 12noon, 1.30 pm; from January to April an additional performance at 2.30pm.

    Charges are $ 20 for adults, and $ 10 for children.

    Museum open daily (except Christmas Day) 10am - 5pm

    Contact

    Museum info line (09) 306 7067
    Booking line (09) 306 7048
    General Enquiries (09) 309 0443
    Internet: www.aucklandmuseum.com
    Email newsletter: news@aucklandmuseum.com

    Photo 2 shows the war canoe which dates back to pre-European times.

    On photo 3 you see a Maori food store.

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    What we see and what we have not seen before

    by Kakapo2 Written Jul 17, 2008

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    Detail of the Maori Meeting House.

    There are two reasons to visit Auckland Museum (Tamaki Paenga Hira). First of all it has the world’s best collection of Maori artefacts (and of the South Pacific Islands) with which the National Museum (Te Papa Tongarewa) in Wellington cannot compare, second it is the country’s War Memorial Museum.

    In between you find a bird collection which does not compare to the all comprising collection of Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, a Children’s Discovery Centre, a shop and a café, and in the centre of the second floor with New Zealand’s history of wars you find somehow misplaced, a nice replica of some colonial Auckland streets with shops, pubs, etc.

    The first level (ground floor) is about the peoples of the Pacific – Maori and Polynesians. Also a small gallery, collections of 1960s furniture, design and decorative arts. Everything is a little crammed. Tthe café is tiny (and you won’t get coffee when their only grinder is broken…), the entrance hall is overcrowded with tellers and info stands, and if you arrive on a rainy school holiday weekend as we did last time we were there the noise can get overwhelming, especially as many parents do not look after their children at all, and the kids race around and scream like on a playground. Even if you are tolerant this can be unbearable, so you cannot concentrate on the collections.

    The second level is about natural history – the already mentioned birds, interactive displays about volcanoes which is very suitable for a city built on 48 volcanic cones.

    The third level is titled “Scars on the Heart”. There the story about New Zealand’s history of warfare is told – quite impressive and well done.

    Lately there has been big discussion about the museum’s new director, a very short-haired Canadian lady who wants to make some changes. Some critics fear she wants to transform it into a place overloaded with interaction like Te Papa and not a real museum anymore. Others criticise her first special exhibition where collections from the archives are on display, and they cannot understand why this is called “Secrets”. Bullocks, I say. Of course, because nobody has ever seen those backstage mysteries. And again others are infuriated that she has put up signs saying that a donation of NZ$ 5 is “suggested – children are free”. This does not respect the country’s policy that museums have free entry and only charge for temporary exhibitions. But to make it clear: You do not have to donate anything if you do not want – only for guided tours ($ 10) which take place daily at 10.30am and 2pm.

    Apart from all this I would say the museum needs some tidying up in several areas – just please not in the Maori area. It is close to perfect, and those spectacular displays do not need any enhancing, they speak for themselves.

    Open daily (except Christmas Day) 10 am – 5pm

    Contact

    Museum info line (09) 306 7067
    Booking line (09) 306 7048
    General Enquiries (09) 309 0443
    Internet: www.aucklandmuseum.com
    Email newsletter: news@aucklandmuseum.com

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    A striking Building in Auckland's first Park

    by Kakapo2 Updated Jul 17, 2008

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    Auckland Museum, seen from Parnell Road.

    I would say, of all buildings lower than the Skytower Auckland’s War Memorial Museum is the most striking one. The next one would be the Ferry Terminal Building.

    It is a huge white monumental building in Greek-Roman style, sitting at the highest point of the Domain. The Domain is a huge park covering the slopes of an ancient volcano, separated from the city centre by the Grafton Gully. The Maori call it Pukekawa – hill of bad memories – as it was a place of tribal wars. When Auckland was New Zealand’s capital – so in the 1840s – the Domain became the city’s first park, with sportsfields, a rotunda, flower beds, huge lawns, plenty of exotic trees, and an amphi-theatre.

    Access to the Domain and Museum is by several ways, one, for example, from Beach Road/The Strand/Parnell Rise (direction: Grafton), then follow the signs. Another one is from Newmarket, turn into Domain Road or Maunsell Road from Broadway. There are quite a number of free carparks, next to the Museum are a carpark and a parking building (charges apply). The roads from Parnell Road which seem to lead to the Museum – because you have great views – are no exit roads.

    Be warned:
    Parking can become very costly if you do not find a free park along the street or in the Domain. Each of the first two hours costs $ 3 (so $ 6 for two hours), the third hour $ 4, and all following hours $ 5 (when they do not believe that you are still in the museum or the Domain…), to a daily maximum of $ 25. In the Domain parking is free for up to three hours.

    Travel by bus: Link bus (every 10 min during the week, every 15 min at weekends), plus a 5 min walk from Parnell Road. The Explorer Bus stops in front of the museum (in summer two per hour, in winter one per hour).

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  • MLW20's Profile Photo

    Auckland Museum

    by MLW20 Written Jul 4, 2006

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    Music anyone?
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    Very nice museum to learn all about New Zealand and it's culture. The first floor has a really good Maori and Pacific Island culture exhibit. There is also a section on science and nature. The second floor is mainly dedicated to NZ at war.

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    Great thing to do on a Rainy Day

    by lesaandbill Written Jun 29, 2006

    It was rainy and cold when we arrived into Auckland...and I ended up visiting the museum. It was impressive and fun to learn about this country thru the museum. It was certainly a great way to spend a rainy day...

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