Visiting some of New Zealand’s museums is a great way to find out more about the country’s culture and heritage, and get an insight into why the country is the way it is.
There are museums all over New Zealand and they come in all sizes, have different themes and offer a wide range of experiences – from large, modern, interactive museums to small, provincial exhibitions. Visiting one of these attractions will help you get to know the country a bit better and add an extra dimension to your Kiwi adventure.
The biggest museum in the country, and the one that should be on any to do list, is the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. This is New Zealand’s national museum and is home to a wide range of amazing Kiwi treasures that tell the story of the land and its people. Don’t miss the Mana Whenua exhibition, which explores and celebrates Maori as the tangata whenua (the indigenous people) of New Zealand, the colossal squid display and the hands-on discovery centres for children.
If you’re visiting one of the other main cities, pop in to either the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, the Otago Museum in Dunedin, or the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland.
The Canterbury Museum has one of the largest collections of Antarctic exploration memorabilia, and among the attractions at the Otago Museum is a state-of-the-art immersive theatre as well as a tropical habitat featuring living exotic butterflies. If you’re planning to visit the Auckland Museum, check out the War Memorial galleries and the amazing collection of Maori and Pacific Island artefacts.
For visitors with more specialised interests, there are many museums that focus on specific topics such as transport, military history, sport, fashion, mining, whaling and policing.
Aviation and military enthusiasts will enjoy the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch, and fashion fans and car buffs will love the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum in Nelson. Visitors interested in nautical history should take a look at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland and sports fans will love the New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North.
Most small towns in New Zealand also have a local museum and they’re good places to visit if you’re keen to find out more about how a town came into being and uncover the lives of the early settlers who built it.
If you’re keen to find more museums to visit, two good resources are the NZ Museums and the Tourism New Zealand websites.
If you do decide to travel around the country to visit some of these museums, make sure you have the right insurance cover should the unexpected happen. OrbitProtect offers a range of insurance packages and you can find the best plan to meet your needs here.